"Mae gen i gath ddu."

Translation:I have a black cat.

March 1, 2016

21 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/AneurinEE
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I'm really confused about the grammar of this sentence, can someone lay it out for me?

March 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/EllisVaughan
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"Mae gen i"= roughly means " Is with me"(and this is how we express the English verb "to have"). "Cath" means Cat and "Du" means black. When put together the "i" at the end of "Mae gen i" causes "Cath" to mutate softly because it is a pronoun and all pronouns cause the following word to mutate softly. "Mae gen i gath". Also because "Cath" is a feminine word it causes adjectives that follow it to mutate. This means D-Dd. So "Mae gen i gath ddu.". Which translated literally is "Is with we a cat black" (or rearranged a bit "A black cat is with me"). I hope this helps.

March 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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"i" here is not the preposition "to" but the pronoun "I".

March 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AneurinEE
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Thanks, that's very clear! I've been having difficulty getting my head round this construction.

March 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/TanyaMcK

There is a sound problem. The last sounds are 'gath u' not 'gath ddu'. Surely the dd should not disappear completely?

September 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/EllisVaughan
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It shouldn't disappear at all. Sadly we don't have much contortrol over the voice though you could go directly to the Ivona website and use the Welsh Geraint voice to see if that pronounces it better.

September 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/TanyaMcK

Didn't know about Ivona. Diolch yn fawr iawn!

September 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Saman2000
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Why do all of these "I have" sentences use "Mae"? For other sentences, it is "Mae hi" or "Mae e", but then "Dw i", so why does "I have" translate to "Mae gen i"? Thanks...

July 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/EllisVaughan
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Because "Gen" does not mean "To have. In fact Welsh has no word for" To have". So instead we say "X is with me" which comes out as "Mae gen i X".

July 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jonlang_

English can also do this - "Do you have a pen on you?"

This "with you" / "on you" / "at you" construction for possession is the most common in European languages. The English word "have" is a very complicated word.

July 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Saman2000
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Oh, so the "Mae" refers to the X, no the "me"? That makes a lot more sense. Thanks!

July 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jonlang_

Mae means "is/are", hence Mae o'n siarad Cymraeg - "He speaks Welsh/He is speaking Welsh"; Mae hi'n bwrw glaw - "It is raining/it rains".

Mae, dw, dych, wyt, dyn, maen, sydd (there are more) are all different forms of the verb bod "to be". Present and future tense sentences use different forms of bod to make sentences which are linked to the verb by the word yn:

Mae o'n siarad Cymraeg is really Mae o yn siarad Cymraeg:

  • Mae - "to be", literally translated as "is" or "are" here.
  • o - pronoun "he", in the South this is e.
  • yn - linking word to link mae to the verb siarad
  • siarad - a verb-noun. Basically a verb which behaves (grammatically) like a noun. VNs are best translated as English words ending in -ing, therefore siarad would be "speaking" or "talking".
  • Cymraeg - a proper noun, the name of the Welsh language.

So, Mae o'n siarad Cymraeg - "Is he speaking Welsh" - "He is speaking Welsh".

July 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo
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That's right :)

July 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/HeruMornie
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Why has the du softened? It is still the effect of "i" or the "gath" affected it?

March 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/EllisVaughan
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Cath is feminine so it causes "du" to become "ddu" (and it itself becomes "gath" after the "i")

March 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/HeruMornie
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Wow, that was really a quick reply, thank you! Have two lingots for the extra speed and the clear explanation! :)

March 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jonlang_

Not quite. See below.

March 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jonlang_

i causes SM in cath and following adjectives mutate too.

i causes all nouns to mutate, not just feminine. y / yr / 'r causes only feminine singular nouns to mutate and leaves masculines and plurals unmutated.

March 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/EllisVaughan
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Du mutates because"cath" is feminine not because there is an "i".

March 2, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DesertGlass

Hmm seems the reverse order from the other possessives here

July 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jonlang_
  • Mae gen i X(with soft mutation) is Northern.
  • Mae X gyda fi is Souther.

e.g. Mae gen i lefrith - I have got milk (North); Mae llaeth gyda fi I have got milk (South) (note the north/south variants of "milk" - llaeth/llefrith).

These can be reordered for emphasis:

  • Mae llefrith gen i (North)
  • Mae gyda fi laeth (soft mutation) (South)

Literally both North and South is "milk is with me".

July 12, 2016
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