When to use and when not to use 'i ' as a preposition before a verbnoun

In the sentence "Would you be willing to bring something to drink with you?’ (ch. 10 level 2 N) ‘i’ is used before ‘yfed’. In the sentence “Would you be willing to wait for him?” the ‘i’ doesn’t appear before the verbnoun ‘aros’. I’m puzzled why it is used before one verbnoun and not the other. Is it just an optional thing?


I often get this incorrect too.

Hopefully @garethrking could help.

There may be exceptions (aren’t there always?!) but I remember being taught a rule-of-thumb that if (in English) you can put an inferred “in order to” before the verb noun and the sentence still makes sense, then you need the ‘i’. If it doesn’t make sense with an inferred “in order to” in there, leave the ‘i’ out.
i.e. “Would you be willing to bring something (in order) to drink with you?” - makes sense (even though it sounds clumsy in English), so use the ‘i’.
Whereas “Would you be willing (in order) to wait for him?” - doesn’t make sense at all, so no ‘i’.

Hope that helps. However, having said all that, don’t worry too much about the grammar rules - the course is designed in such a way that you’ll subconsciously pick up where and when to use the ‘i’ as you go through the levels. But I know there are lots of learners who like to learn ‘why’ as well as ‘where & when’!!


Well said! i read somewhere that i gets put in by mistake even by first language speakers sometimes…

But yes i do it less now.


It’s not the following verbnoun that decisive, it’s the preceding verbnoun or adjective.

bodlon willing doesn’t use i (mostly this is indeed the case with this type of adjective in Welsh), so:
Faset ti’n fodlon aros amdano fo?

While in the first sentence there, the i is associated not with bodlon, but with rhywbeth, isn’t it?
Faset ti’n fodlon dod â rhywbeth i yfed…
The bodlon still doesn’t take i - we say …bodlon aros…, don’t we?

Similarly, for example, with a verbnoun:

Wyt ti’n bwriadu dod?
Are you intending to come?
Wyt ti’n bwriadu dod â rhywbeth i yfed?
Are you intending to bring something to drink?


@siaronjames 's rule-of-thumb is a pretty good one, because (by and large! as she correctly points out, there are always a few exceptions if one looks hard enough) the English ‘to’+ verb has two functions - one of them is simply what is (erroneously, but widely) called the ‘infinitive’ (there is no true infinitive in English, but that’s another issue) , while the other does indeed mean ‘in order to’. So it does work! :slight_smile:


phew! Thanks @garethrking :slight_smile:


Thank’s Siaron. That’s a very useful bit of information. Most grateful to you. I’ve puzzled over this for some time through the course. I accept and applaud the fact that the course doesn’t focus on grammar and too much ‘detail’ but it’s hard sometimes to forget when you’ve been taught and have learned that way in the past. I guess that I’m a bit long in the tooth to completely lose the habit of questioning such things. Apologies to Aran - I’m trying!


Many thanks @garethrking unwaith eto!!!


Hmmm, the mist is clearing. Thanks for that Gareth.
Use your ‘Colloquial Welsh’ too. That’s how I started learning the language. Thanks for that too.
Trevor (I’m sais)


@garethrking, I’ll say thank you this time too. And @siaronjames eto. This is in deed handy to know although when you speak in the wild as 3rd language speaker you mostly don’t have much time to think where to put that confusing “i” and where not to. :slight_smile:

Diolch yn fawr iawn.


Going in a slightly different direction, isn’t this really
Faset ti’n fodlon dod â rhywbeth i’w yfed ?
where i’w yfed is a collapse of i ei yfed ? I seem to recall hearing the difference, especially in Catarin’s voicing. It feels to me like yfed needs the object here, though I can’t say why.


Yup, this is elegant… :slight_smile:


And thank you for using it. :wink:

Yes…technically it is. :slight_smile:

That’s a slightly more formal version - nothing wrong with that, of course!
Indeed - thinking about it - probably more ‘Welsh’, if we’re honest. The shortening by reducing i’w to just i is probably influence of English syntax, isn’t it?

I wouldn’t go to war on any of this, of course…


I find the ‘cheat sheet’ useful on the cmc Web site:

What I have noticed, though, is that these verbs have no associated action. To think, remember, hope, expect. practise, decide etc all take place ‘inside your head’ which seems to relate to the point made by Siaron James. Is this a good way to look at it, please?


Well yes, that’s right I think - and I think any way of looking at something that helps understanding, or indeed helps one to get it right, is a good way! :slight_smile:


Diolch yn fawr.

Thank you so much for generously sharing your excellent observation Raymond and also for the link to the list of relevant verbnouns. Most useful indeed.

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Yes, but I am just a learner with something I had noticed; what gives it value is Gareth’s confirmation.