Using ‘gan’

Hi, I’m reading Bywyd Blodwen Jones ( would recommend to intermediate learners), and I’ve come across ‘gan’ a few times. I know it means ‘by, with, but not sure how it fits in the sentences, eg gan adael, gan godi, gan fod, gan fethu peidio a gwenu. Is there anyone out there who can help? Diolch


‘gan’ by itself can mean quite a few things - ‘with’, ‘by’, ‘since’, ‘from’ and ‘on’ in an idiomatic sense (not as a position sense).
For instance I would read gan adael, gan godi, gan fethu peidio a gwenu as ‘on leaving’, ‘on getting up’, on failing to stop smiling’.
gan fod - just how you translate this best can depend on context. sometimes ‘because of’ works best, sometimes ‘by means of’, sometimes other things.

but also (just to complicate things!), be aware that sometimes it is used in a phrase where it is part of the phrase and does not translate as a separate word e.g.
gan amlaf - most often / usually / mostly
gan bwyll - steady / take care
gan fwyaf - mostly
gan hynny - accordingly
with these, it’s just a case of learning to recognise them as a phrase in itself rather than two separate words - not easy to do via a list of them, but you’ll certainly pick them up the more you read and listen to speech.

Hope that helps :slight_smile:


Wrth is used similarly, isn’t it?

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wrth gwrs! :wink:


Diolch Siaron, super useful fel arfer. Diolch, Mandy