"Ca i beint o gwrw."

Translation:I will have a pint of beer.

April 5, 2017

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I understand why peint is changed to beint here (soft mutation after the personal pronoun i), but why was it that in an earlier question, where the phrase 'pint of beer' was to be translated in isolation, the word for 'pint' likewise appeared in its soft-mutated form beint? (There was no opportunity to post a comment on that question, and so my only means of doing so was to put it here.) My tentative understanding has been that the first word of a sentence does not mutate unless it introduces a question (e.g. Ga i?, as against the statement Ca i). What have I overlooked?


As far as I can tell, beint o gwrw does not appear on its own as a Duo phrase. It may perhaps have done so in the past, but it would have been culled because it can be unhelpful to see and practise a mutation out of context - the course team did a clear-out of such phrases several months ago.

The reason for a mutation following ga i/ca i is not because of the personal pronoun i, etc - it is because the peint o gwrw is the object of a conjugated verb, ca/ga in this example (i is the subject and does not cause a mutation). The distinction is useful for two reasons:

  • There may not be a pronoun but a noun or name - Gaiff Siôn beint? (May Siôn have a pint?); Gaiff y gath laeth? (May the cat have some milk?) - but the mutation is still required.
  • In more formal Welsh, pronouns are often dropped as the subjects of conjugated verbs and after conjugated prepositions, so the misleading 'mutate after a pronoun' sort-of-a-clue is of no help anyway.

There is also a soft mutation following the so-called i-dot pattern - for example, cyn i ni gyrraedd - but again that is not because of the pronoun. The mutation is still required if there is a noun or a name instead of the pronoun - for example, cyn i Siôn gyrraedd, or ar ôl i'r gath ddal y llygoden.


Thank you once again! I believe beint o gwrw came up in one of those questions where one is given three Welsh words or phrases, with pictures, and asked to match one of them up with a given English equivalent, but I may be mistaken.

As for the causes of mutation, I am afraid this is not the first time I have tried to identify principles and patterns for myself when my knowledge is far too slight for the task. Your explanation has made this type of mutation at least much clearer.


Right - I hadn't checked for the pictures. I'll look again. (Edit - got it and deleted it - thank you for pointing it out)

No problem trying your own analysis at all - it really helps. You just have to expect the model to fail under some circumstances, and then you just build a better model.

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