Welsh "i have"...

In welsh "i have" is "dw i wedi" like in Duolingo or "mae gen i"? Duolingo have good or bad translation?

February 12, 2017

  • 1652

The simple answer is both.

However it depends on what the 'have' in English is saying.

For the perfect tense (ie the immediate completed past) eg 'I have (gone)' we use 'Dw i wedi (mynd).

For the possessive 'have', eg 'I have a car' we use 'mae car gen i' in the North and 'mae car gyda fi' in the South.

February 12, 2017

Or mae gen i gar.

February 12, 2017

Mae merch gyda fi - there is a girl with me. Mae merch gen i (gen i ferch) - I have a girl.

According to the Welsh department in my school, it's sloppy to use "gyda" for "have" even in the uneducated South!

February 20, 2017
  • 1652

Thanks for the comment.

In fact 'mae gen i ferch' means the same literally as 'mae merch gyda fi' with a slightly different word order:-

Mae merch gyda fi = There is a girl with me

Mae gen i ferch = There is with me a girl

Your Welsh department is rather ill-informed about this.

'Mae....gyda fi' is the standard for all Welsh (for adult) courses in South Wales as required by the WJEC exam board and now part of the new curriculum being developed by the new National Centre for Learning Welsh (learnwelsh.cymu).

In spoken Welsh in South Wales dialects 'mae....gyda fi' or the contracted 'mae....'da fi' are the standard forms.

February 20, 2017

I shall have a word with them! Thanks for your detailed and enlightening reply rmcode. I thought that gen indicated ownership. Can I ask how you would say unambiguously that you have a girl rather that just being with a girl?

February 20, 2017
  • 1652

I missed out the essential bit, apologies:-

Both 'mae merch gyda fi' and 'mae gen i ferch' actually mean 'I have a girl'

This is how we express 'I have' possession in Welsh.

To say 'I am with a girl' we'd say simply:-

'Dw i gyda merch' in South Wales and 'Dw i efo merch' in North Wales.

or for your suggestion:-

'There is a girl with me' = 'Mae merch efo mi' in North Wales

In South Wales it's the same sentence 'Mae merch gyda fi' but the context would give you the different meaning in English.

An easier example to explain is 'Mae car gyda fi' ( I have car/There is a car with me)

Oes car gyda chi? - Do you have a car?

Oes, mae car gyda fi.- Yes, I have a car (ownership)

Dych chi wedi dod รข char? - Have you brought a car?

Ydw, mae car gyda fi heddiw - Yes, I have a car with me today.

February 20, 2017

Thanks again for giving such an informative answer. I probably contracted "gen" from regular visits to Aberystwyth as a child but must have been immune to "efo"!

February 20, 2017
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