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See also: cáel


Alternative forms[edit]


Syncopated form of caffel, from Middle Welsh caffael, verbal noun from Proto-Celtic *kab- (compare Cornish kavos, Breton kavout), alteration of Proto-Indo-European *kh₂pi- (compare Latin capiō, English have, heave, Albanian kap).


  • (North Wales) IPA(key): (standard) /kaːɨ̯l/, (colloquial) /kaːl/
  • (South Wales) IPA(key): (standard) /kai̯l/, (colloquial) /kaːl/
  • (file)


cael (first-person singular present caf)

  1. to get, receive; to have (experience)
    cael anrhegto get a present
    cael brecwastto have breakfast, to get breakfast
    cael gairto have a word
  2. (chiefly future or conditional tense) to get to, be allowed to, may (with a verbal noun)
    Gawn ni weld y ffilm hwyr heno?
    Will we get to see/May we see the late film tonight?
    Yes (you may).
    Gaen ni fynd allan pe tasen ni'n gorffen ein gwaith cartre?
    Might we go out/Would we be allowed to go out if we finished our homework?
    1. to be allowed to have, may have (with a noun)
      Cei di ddiod.
      You may have a drink.
      Ga i docyn i Gaerdydd?
      May I have a ticket to Cardiff?
  3. (chiefly informal, colloquial) used with a possessive determiner (agreeing with the subject) and a verbal noun to form a construction with passive meaning
    Mae’r tŷ’n cael ei godi.
    The house is being built.
    (literally, “The house is having its building.”)
    Gaeth Terry ei tharo gan bêl eira.
    Terry was hit (got hit) by a snowball.

Usage notes[edit]

In more formal Welsh, the passive voice is formed using the impersonal verb forms:

Codir y tŷ.The house is being built. (literally, “[One] builds the house.”)


Derived terms[edit]


Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
cael gael nghael chael
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.


  • R. J. Thomas, G. A. Bevan, P. J. Donovan, A. Hawke et al., editors (1950–present) , “cael”, in Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru Online (in Welsh), University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies