Answering "yes" and "no" in the present

Even though I’ve nearly completed Course One (Southern), something probably quite simple is still causing me a problem (as simple thing sometimes do!)

There seems to be two ways of answering “yes” in the present - “ydy” and “ydw”. Which is used when?

Similarly, there seems to be two ways of answering “no” in the present - “nadw” and “nagw”. Once again, which is used when?

(I hope my spelling of the Welsh words is right - corrections gratefully accepted!)

Any help will be much appreciated - Diolch yn fawr.

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S’mae Gavin?

There are many ways of replying in the affirmative, I am afraid! But specific to your question:

ydy - “yes, it is / he is / she is”
ydw - “yes, I am”

Er engraifft:

Ydy’r gath o dan y bwrdd? (Yes) - Is the cat under the table? (Ydy)
Wyt ti o dan y bwrdd hefyd? (Yes) - Are you under the table too? (Ydw)
Oes na gi o dan y bwrdd efo chdi? (Yes) - Is there a dog under the table with you? (Oes)

Hope that helps!




Ydw is used for 1st and 2nd person ydy is for third.

Ydw, dwi’n hoffi coffi. (Yes, I like coffee)
Ydw, ti’n gallu gneud rwybeth. (Yes, you can do something)

Ydy, ma hi’n dysgu Cymraeg. (yes, she’s learning Welsh).

Nadw and nagw are both for 1st and 2nd person just different ways to negate the sentence.

Nadw (Nagw), dwi ddim yn gallu i wneud e. (No, I can’t do it)
Nadw (nagw), ti ddim yn moyn mynd. (No, you don’t want to go)

For the third person it’s heard the same but written differently.

Nag yw, dyw e ddim yn siarad Cymraeg. (No, he doesn’t speak Welsh).

Well, I hope I understood you correctly and it helps.

Ups, I see @essenbee was faster then me and surely gave more accurate answer then I did so take his for granted @gavinM.

Edit deit
Now I’m not sure for 2nd person. Can someone correct me please? I’ve opened everything I have to disposal right now but couldn’t find if I’m correct or not.


Helo Gavin,

My understanding is this, if I’m wrong, someone please correct me! (I’m on Course One Southern, Lesson 21 so not an expert!) For the present tense:

Ydw goes with the first-person form, I: Ydw, dw i’n… Yes, I am…

Ydy goes with the third-person form, he or she: Ydy, mae fe’n… Yes, he is… or Ydy, mae hi’n… Yes, she is…

Nadw and nagw are interchangeable, first-person: Nagw, dw i ddim yn… or Nadw, dw i ddim yn… No, I am not… Both correct, just different pronunciations. Iestyn seems to switch between them at random :slight_smile:

Hope that helps!


Too funny, three of us answering at the same time!

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nadw and nagw are both short for ‘nag ydw’. Both are correct just different ways of shortening.


You are spot on! You can use “ydw” for the 2nd person as well as yourself.

Just to add to the confusion (mua ha ha ha haaah!), we use “ydyn” for “ni” and “nhw”! Seriously though, if you’re not that far into the course yet @gavinM then DONT WORRY! When you reach this far it’ll be plain sailing for you!


What an “evil” Halloween laugh. - hehe :slight_smile:

Oh, and diolch @faithless78, you always come to an aid.

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Tatjana, you seem to be turning from a Welsh learner to a Welsh teacher,
I am really impressed.

Cheers J.P.

Thank you, but don’t be. Go and read here Tatjana - Progress reports and you’ll see there’s nothing to be impressed about. What I’ve answered here in this topic is something what one should know if you wake him/her in the middle of the night especially after so much material I already went through.

But, once again, Diolch yn fawr iawn. :slight_smile:

“Ydw” is yes to questions such as “Wyt ti eisiau cwrw?”, “Ydach chi’n mynd?”. etc. So the questions tend to be in the 2nd person, the answers are in the 1st person, typically, unless you are talking to yourself :smile:


Oh, well, I often do. That probably explains why I’ve written thingys above in the first place. :slight_smile:

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Don’t start worrying about that until you answer “ydy” :slight_smile:

Interestingly enough I tend to answer “ja” when someone asks me something …

Slovenian habit, not much to be done about it. :slight_smile:

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Gollum would answer ‘ydyn’.


Love it! How do you say “precious” in Welsh? :slight_smile:


From the simple question to the Lord of Rings! Am I “Master” then? - hehe

And precious … I found those two words: “drud” and “gwerthfawr” from one little “University” dictionary. Which one suits better? :slight_smile: Or is it none of them which does. :slight_smile:

Not only a Slovenian habit, Tatjana, but a South African one as well! “Ja” is “yes” in the Afrikaans language, and I keep finding myself answering in the affirmative with “ja”. (Even though Afrikaans is not my first language, and I haven’t lived in SA for more than 30 years). Old habits die hard!

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Interesting. I didn’t know this. Diolch. (Something new every day.) :slight_smile:

Diolch yn fawr, pawb, for your VERY helpful replies.

Question from me to myself: Wyt ti’n deall nawr?
Yr ateb: Ydw!