Use of 'i'w'

I’m struggling to come to terms with the use of ‘i’w’ in a sentence such as “Dw i angen rhywbeth i’w fwyta”. Since I’m thinking that the '‘w’ is a contraction of ‘ei’ o’r ‘eu’ (his/her/their or it’s), it doesn’t seem to my mind to work. Would simply to use “i fwyta” be wrong?

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yes, you’re absolutely right, it is. The reason it doesn’t seem to work for you is because the way it works doesn’t translate back into English without sounding odd. It’s like saying “I need something for its eating”, which of course we don’t say in English, but it’s correct in Welsh, and to simply use “i fwyta” here would indeed be wrong.

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Thanks Sharon. I thought that it might be one of those things that one just has to accept as a ‘non back-translatable’. Fair enough. I was thinking back to a sometime earlier query about the use of ‘I + verbnoun’ or simply using a verb noun without a preceding ‘i’. With the ‘i’ inferring ‘in order to’. Hence thinking that ‘I fwyta’ might be correct usage. Can’t always rely on what seems to be logical eh!?

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hehe, I don’t think grammar and logic tend to go together in any language - that and the more ‘rules’ we think we have nailed, the more ‘exceptions’ we seem to come across! :wink:

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How true. Keeps us on our toes eh. :wink:
But “Dw i’n mynd i fwyta hynna yn nes ymlaen” being correct! As is "Wyt ti’n barod i fwyta? Etc. :joy: So what’s the trigger for inserting the 'w?

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I’m grateful to Trevor for asking the question, and to Siaron for answering it.

But now I know what the “w” represents / means, can anyone explain how it got from ‘ei’ or ‘eu’ to “w”?

Some contractions are more or less self-evident, but that one isn’t, not to me, anyway.

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Although it’s worth noting that the actual difference in sound between ‘i fwyta’ and ‘i’w fwyta’ is minimal, and the number of people who would notice if you said ‘i fwyta’ in conversation is probably vanishingly small…:slight_smile:

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I think this is just because if you said “i ei” or “i eu” it would be noticed even less than it is now, so the “w” sound has come to represent it.

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So there’s no chance it could be “yw” as in 'mae" ? Auxiliary verb :thinking:. Probably not.

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It’s not that, but it sounds exactly the same… :slight_smile:

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The above two being correct, when/why is the use of i’w necessary?

It’s necessary when the thing being eaten is mentioned before in the sentence:
Dw i’n moyn rhywbeth i’w fwyta. - I want something to eat.
(But: Dw i’n moyn bwyta rhywbeth. - I want to eat something.)

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Thought so; shame :slight_smile:

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Aah, thanks @Hendrik for the simple clear answer. That’s one thing that I hadn’t considered. :+1:

Someone posted this useful link a while ago:

The video has a helpful explanation. I think the structure discussed in the video is the same thing that causes the 'w in i’w fwyta.

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Thanks for posting the video @gjpearce. Most useful. The frames change rather too quickly and when the sequence is halted the ‘continue’ arrow blocks a deal of the text but it is nonetheless just about discernible (I’m viewing on a mobile).

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Re: the “i’w” construction, followed by a verb", it’s helpful to think of it as: ‘to be eaten’, ‘to be opened’, ‘to be read’ , ‘to be spent’ (i’w fwyta, i’w agor, i’w ddarllen, i’w wario).

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