Gair - Word
When to use 'a' or 'ac' for 'and' in Welsh?
There are two forms of the word 'and' in Welsh. They do not differ in meaning. The two forms are:-
Use ‘a’ when the next word starts with a consonant.
Use ‘ac’ when the next word starts with a vowel. The Welsh vowels are:- a, e, i, o, u, w, y
Some Welsh words use 'a' before them and not 'ac' even though they start with a consonant. We have not listed the exceptions to the above rule here as it is probably easier to acquaint yourself with them as you go along.
In the sample sentence above on this page you will observe that the spelling of one word ( bob ) differs from the spelling on the relevant Geiriadur listing page ( Pob - All, Each, Every ). Be not alarmed!
This happens because:-
"Welsh, as with all other Celtic languages, often sees changes made to the beginning of words depending on the word that precedes it, or the role it plays in the sentence. These changes are known as "mutations", of which Welsh has three distinct types. Common situations in which a mutation may occur are when a word follows a preposition, possessive, or number."
The three types of mutation are:-
The three links above will take you to further information on Wikipedia about these commonly occurring mutations.
Most Welsh courses and teachers advise students not to worry too much about this at the outset. Fluent speakers will understand you if you forget to mutate a letter. With practice this will come naturally and there is perhaps, no need for beginning learners to make a conscious effort to apply these rules.
However, if you wish to acquaint yourself with the rules early on you could look out for the 'Mutant Alert' notice on the vocabulary pages and use these as an opportunity to refresh your knowledge by checking the above links.
Spot the Mutation: The mutation above is an example of a ........... mutation?