With a verbnoun like gweld "see", helpu "help", caru "love", in order to add a pronoun (i.e. say "see her", "help him", "love them" etc.) in Welsh you add a word both before and after the verbnoun:
gweld "see" > ei gweld hi "see her"
helpu "help" > ei helpu fo "help him"
caru "love" > eu caru nhw "love them"
These two words you add are the same ones you add with a noun when your talking possessives ("her", "his", "their" etc.):
gardd "garden" > ei gardd hi "her garden"
het "hat" > ei het o "his hat"
côt "coat" > eu côt nhw "their coat"
It's odd to an English speaker, but this is a very Celtic thing to do.
Obviously the above may cause mutations:
gweld > ei weld o "see him"
caru > ei garu fo "love him"
caru > ei charu hi "love her"
However (lol), in colloquial speech, with verbnouns, you'll often hear people drop the little word at the beginning:
gweld > gweld hi "see her"
helpu > helpu fo "help him"
caru > caru nhw "love them"
With the ones that mutate, some dialects keep a mutation, but many others often drop it:
gweld > (g)weld o "see him"
caru > c(h)aru hi "love her"
Bit of a long explanation and a lot to take in, so let me know if any of that doesn't make sense.
I think the tree could use a skill about object pronouns, with sentences like "I hear him", "the dog loves her", "the cat hates us". It's the third time that I'm going through the Welsh tree and this is the first clear explanation I found on this topic. I find it strange that such a basic topic is hardly covered in this superb course!
I very much concur. In general the course is excellent, but I also found there was a lack of detail and practice concerning object pronouns.
When you say with verbnouns like gweld, helpu, and caru, do es this mean all transitive verbnouns, or is it something more specific than that?
Aha! Maybe this is the discussion people found when they said they were sure there were notes about this construction (which aren't actually in the notes). By my count it's the 3rd sentence I've encountered in the whole course with this structure.
Is there a particular reason this active sentence is suddenly part of a skill focusing on passive sentences? Is it just to juxtapose the two different ways "ei weld" might be used depending on the sentence? I was a bit confused and was trying to figure out if I was missing something and just went ahead with the active translation (which was the correct one).
As mentioned above, I've been a bit confused about this before and have discussed it on the Duolingo Welsh facebook group as well. There's some perception that there was a Skill introducing this non-passive construction, but there isn't. Some folks claim this is the "normal" active construction, but I think I've only found 3 sentences in the course that use it.
Some folks claim this is the "normal" active construction, but I think I've only found 3 sentences in the course that use it.
I don't know what you mean by this. I'm intrigued...??
Ha ... I recognise you as a regular around here, so this feels like a trap :-P
This course teaches the "subject verb object" structure of active sentences. The "ei ... o" style wrappers are only taught as possessives and passives.
I had long since finished the course (on basic levels) before I heard that we'd learnt a regional slang form, that the proper form of the active sentences, does wrap the verbs like "ei weld o", with regional slang dropping either section to make either the familiar "weld o" or "ei weld"
Some others who have taken this course swore it was taught somewhere but Richard confirmed it isn't.... but somehow 3 sentences using that construction appear to keep us on our toes.
Haha. A trap? Indeed ;D
No, I was just curious as to what you meant. I hadn't realised Duolingo doesn't really teach the ei weld o structure. I was surprised actually because I know the Welsh Duolingo course is based on what's taught to adults in Wales and the ei weld o structure is what appears in that.
Just for clarification, and a help hopefully, this isn't what's called a passive structure. That would be things like Mae Siôn yn cael ei weld gan y meddyg "Siôn is seen by the doctor" (as opposed to active Mae'r meddyg yn gweld Siôn "The doctor sees Siôn"). You can see though that this does contain ei weld, so the passive structure is related to what we have here.
It's more that in ei weld o the ei ... o bit indicates an object. This is in contrast to phrases such as ei waith o where ei ... o indicates possession.
I think one of the reasons the full form ei weld o is taught to adults is that they can then learn to distinguish between more informal (g)weld o and formal ei weld - note that last one, i.e. the loss of the final pronoun makes it more formal, not less.
Anyway, thanks for enlightening me on the Duolingo situtation. It's something for me to remember if I comment elsewhere.
@DesertGlass I see what you mean. Its harder to shoehorn the English possessive into these new active sentences, isn't it? I think that's why adult learning courses do a lot of practise with verbnouns to drum into them that e.g. ei weld e = "see him", ei thalu hi = "pay her", eu harestio nhw = "arrest them" etc. Wouldn't it be good it Duolingo did like a next level course where you could practise this and lots of other more advanced Welsh grammar?
TBH, I was pretty shocked to discover that I'd finished the course and but that I'd been tricked into thinking active sentences were simpler than they are.
Also Duolingo teaches understanding the passive construction using the possessive (TheNews skill)
eg "The car had its stealing" "The man had his arresting" How's this work with the active "ei weld o" ?
@DesertGlass Yes, the Welsh course covers a lot of stuff but could be a lot more comprehensive, like the Norwegian one. (Although I guess we should be grateful it isn't as bad as the Hawaiian tree, with only 17 units at present for a language very different to English!)
Just so I understand your question, are you asking for a fuller explanation of the passive than given here: www.duolingo.com/skill/cy/TheNews/tips-and-notes?
No, not at all. I'm saying that the notes on the passive section imply that it's kinda a form of the possessive, that you can just translate passive things literally reading the "ei ... o" as a possessive of the verb.
I'm wondering if that's true of this weird new active construction as well
Yep. "We must be seen tomorrow" would be Rhaid i ni gael ein gweld yfory, i.e. "We must have our seeing" literally.
Please could someone break this down word by word for me so I can understand the structure? :)