Am neu Ar Gyfar?

When does one use ‘am’ and when ‘ar gyfar’? Dymuniadau gorau ar gyfar 2024 or Dymuniadau gorau am 2024? Both? Diolch.

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The most basic rule* (i.e. not including where it crops up in idioms, etc) is that ar gyfer means ‘for’ in the sense of ‘in preparation’ or ‘in provision for’.

‘Am’ (again - basic “rule”*) is ‘for’ in the sense of ‘for the purpose of’ or ‘for the sake of’.

Ar gyfer can mean ‘for’ in the sense of “for the benefit of” or “on behalf of” (‘am’ can’t) but cannot be used when the ‘for’ implies “in exchange for” or when the ‘for’ involves a period of time (‘am’ can).

*not so much a rule as a guide :wink:

If you can get your hands on a copy of Gareth King’s “Working Welsh” book, he explains them both more fully on pages 9 (am) and 14 (ar gyfer)

The secret with this type of thing is to get used to the patterns you hear them used in so that they (eventually) come out automatically.


Another basic tip is to learn words like am when they occur with another word, e.g. chwilio am - “looking for, searching for” - then use ar gyfar as a kind of catch all for situations where English has “for” and you’re not sure. It might not always be the best choice, but everyone will understand you.


Thanks, siaronjames, for the advice. I suppose I should use ‘Dymuniadau gorau ar gyfar 2024’, as the ‘for’ is more ‘in provision for’ than ‘for the sake of’. This is unless the expression is an idiom that uses ‘am’. I’d love to get a hold of the Gareth King but it’s so expensive. Diolch eto.

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Diolch, Deborah, for the tip (ar gyfar yr awgrym?). I’ve been doing the reverse: using ‘am’ unless I knew the phrase required ‘ar gyfar’. Dymuniadau gorau.

It’s diolch am so that’s the right one there. After hearing them frequently, your ear starts to tell you which one sounds natural.

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Diolch am eich help.

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