"Beth yw lliw ei lygaid e?"

Translation:What is the colour of his eyes?

April 26, 2017

5 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Beth743129

Why is it not "yw'R"? In English we say, "What is THE colour of his eyes?" Am I misunderstanding the grammar? Thank you.

April 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mizinamo

In a noun + noun construction, the first noun is definite by construction and doesn't need (and cannot take) an additional article.

Basically, you can translate something like "A B" as "the A of B"

Here, you have "lliw" + "ei lygaid e", so "color" + "his eyes" becomes "the + colour + of + his eyes".

"y lliw ei lygaid e" is as grammatical in Welsh as "the my mother's hat" or "my mother's the hat" would be in English -- there, too, "hat" is definite by virtue of the possessive construction and can't take another definite article.

The second noun can have an article (lliw'r llygaid "the colour of the eyes" -- then you have "the + colour + of + the eyes", which is fine), but not the first. (To compare it with English possessive, "the teacher's son" is fine with a "the" belonging to the owner, "the teacher".)

April 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CivisRomanus

Is it possible to use pa  instead of beth , i.e. Pa yw lliw ei lygaid e?
Or must pa be followed by a noun, i.e. Pa liew yw ei lygaid e?

July 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ibisc

No.

Yes:

  • Pa liw [yw/ydy] ei lygaid?

(Beth...? in this context is actually derived from the now little used Pa beth...?)

July 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CivisRomanus

Thank you (and apologies for the typo).

July 22, 2017
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