"Cawn ni"

Translation:We will get

August 26, 2016

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/HaroldWonh

I don't understand: Why is this verb sometimes "may" and sometimes "will"? I cannot detect any pattern

August 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ibisc

cawn ni is part of the future tense of cael (to get/have, to be allowed to) - it translates as 'we will get/have/be allowed to', or as 'we may/can' with future or present meaning:

  • Cawn ni fynd ma's yn fuan - We will be allowed to go out soon.
  • Ca i yrru dy gar ar ôl i fi basio fy mhrawf gyrru - I'll be allowed to/I can drive your car after I pass my driving test.
  • Cewch chi beint yn y dafarn nes ymlaen - You can have/You'll get a pint in the pub later.
  • Cawn ni bryd o fwyd yn y dref - We will get a meal in town.

In its question form it is used for asking permission in the present/future, too:

  • Ga i fynd ma's nawr? - May/can I go out now?
  • Gaiff hi ddiod yno? - May/Can she have a drink there? (But also 'Will she get a drink there?')
August 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/HaroldWonh

Thank you for your very full answer. So in Welsh, "to have" and "to be allowed to" have the same meaning? That is an extraordinary thought, for in English they are totally different. But if they are the same, why is it that in this exercise sometimes one and sometimes the other is demanded? I can't make sense of that.

August 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ibisc

I suppose it is a bit like, say, 'light' in English - 'not heavy', or 'bright', or even 'to set fire to'.

In the wild, the context of a conversation would give a clue as to which meaning was the correct one, but a standalone, contextless phrase in Duo might have to allow for at least two translations - ysgafn and golau, perhaps.

August 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/OwainLlyfr

Is it possible that the problem starts in English being extremely illogical while Welsh (at least to me as a Swede) seems to be very logical? Swedish also uses the same word for "to get", "to have" and to ask permision, so what's so wierd with Welsh doing the same thing? :-)

October 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Margaret885737

I was thinking it was to do with modality, and the uncertainty conveyed in the English 'may', but...i think, ibisc, you're saying that Welsh uses 'cael' in that sense too?

I've always found english modals tricky to explain.

February 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ibisc

It is not really used to indicate uncertainty as in 'perhaps/maybe I'll do that'. That is better expressed using, for example, efallai:

  • Gobeithio cawn ni yrru'r car ralio yfory. - Hopefully we [will be allowed to/may/can/will get to] drive the rally car tomorrow. (permission)
  • Efallai byddwn ni'n gyrru'r car 'na yfory - [Perhaps/Maybe] we will be driving that car tomorrow. (general uncertainty)
  • Efallai [gallwn/medrwn] ni yrru'r car 'na ar ôl i ni gwblhau'r cwrs gyrru. - Perhaps we will be able to drive that car after we finish the driving course. (uncertainty, dependent on having the ability)
February 21, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Margaret885737

Diolch!

February 26, 2019
Learn Welsh in just 5 minutes a day. For free.