Bues i, on i, wnes i questions

I never got to O Level. My headteacher made me take French as at the time Oxbridge demanded a foreign language at O Level and Welsh wasn’t considered acceptable.

I resented it greatly and think my desire to learn now is partly down to this. I really used to enjoy Welsh at school and pleased to say i am enjoying it again now. This week i have waded through the vocab units from old course 2. Done 7 so far. I know i will need to do them again but so far so good! :slight_smile:

Oxbridge was never in the equation at our school, so I did French and Welsh - sacrificing Geology. Going straight straight from Welsh to French lessons I did find a few words crossing over. To this day I find it hard not to think of paratoi as a French word - it just looks so French to me.

I did lesson 24 of the old course 2 yesterday and I couldn’t do it - it tied me up in knots.

I’m nowhere near O Level. Bought a book in early 90s called Welsh for Learners so maybe it’s not most up to date.

We used to use a series of books at school called Dewch i ddysgu Cymraeg, with cartoon pictures in them with people saying things to each other like Bore da, Sut ydych chi heddiw

Just been reading a few examples in my book:

Prydd buodd Mrs Price farw?
When did Mrs Price die?

For those who avoid the past tense of bod, how would you say that? Prydd oedd Mrs Price farw? ?

Bu farw is, I think, a special case. It’s certainly the only preterite of bod that I ever use in the wild! You won’t see it in any other form (not ‘marodd’, for example).

If you use ‘oedd’ the implication would be ‘when was she dying’ - so the process before the event, as it were.

Do you know if there’s a reason for not using pryd wnaeth or could you?

OK - definitely reached the limits of my knowledge here! So I went to my copy of Gareth King, ‘Modern Welsh: A Comprehensive Grammar’, from which I leaned the following:

  • Marw is a ‘defective verb’ (which I think means it doesn’t have the full range of conjugations of other verbs).
  • “Note that ‘bu farw’ serves as the preterite for this verb. A true preterite ‘marwodd’ is sometimes heard, but is unusual” (slightly contradicting/correcting my dodgy information above).
  • The form used is ‘bu farw’ rather than ‘buodd’, and apparently this form is used nowadays ‘in certain well-defined circumstances only’.

Nothing about whether you could use ‘wnaeth’ … but I’ve never come across it before. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than I will chip in!

(I wonder if it’s something to do with ‘existential’ verbs - it seems a little odd to have gwneud + a state of being, since you don’t really ‘do’ living or dying, you just ‘are’ alive or dead. I don’t know … just a musing.)

There do seem to be a lot of ‘dying’ examples in my book so maybe that is one time you would want to use the past tense of bod.

Thanks that makes sense although I’ve done some googling “wnaeth farw” and “wedi farw” and it throws up quite a few news news headlines from Cymru fyw and golwg.

Wnaeth farw seems to be used a lot and also wedi marw is used a lot as well. Now I’m confused by bu farw and when to use that one.

Mae’n ddiddorol iawn yntefe.

We will be waiting a long time for someone “more knowledgeable” than Sara peacock, so in the meantime, here is my tuppence and a few idle thoughts!
This as always only applies to the Welsh speakers I know and have talked about people dying with. [nb- my experience is limited in such matters!]
Using “buodd/bu” seems to be regarded as the “correct grammar” - you know what I mean. Such a thing doesn’t necessarily mean people use it more often.
I’ve heard people use “buodd e”, “bu” [an alternative form of “buodd” which seems to live in grammar books] seems to me to be a bit more unusual and formal, I could well be wrong.
I’ve certainly heard the verb declined- eg, “marwodd e”, but not heard eg “naeth e” [or rather can’t remember hearing it in particular]- but using “naeth e” for any verb would be unusual in this area, anyway. I can’t see why not (which means nothing!) , and as Toffidil says, googling turns examples up, but I can’t speak from experience.

So in my limited experience, both ways of forming the verb (using “buodd” and the short form of “marw”) are used, so I think either one would be fine. I’ve certainly used both without people’s monocles falling out. Personally, I try to use “buodd”, but don’t care if I use “marwodd”. Just a personal preference, for whatever reason.

No idea if that helps anyone - hope it does!

Hopefully that’s killed off the confusion. :grinning:

My writing style, sorry! If my comment confused you, my fault, I thought it might help some people.

Basically saying “bu farw (ef)”, “buodd e farw” and “marwodd e” seem to me to be on a descending scale of formality / “correctness”/ whatever. But all seem to me to be understood and used.

So any worry about which one to use is hopefully a waste of time :blush:


[quote=“owainlurch, post:33, topic:5918”]
My writing style, sorry!
[/quote] Never apologise for your writing style Owain, it’s one of my favourite things about this forum.

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Well I’m touched, Gruntius! Thanks for that!

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He’s looking for a sailing partner really

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Hopefully not to complicate matters even more, but just a comment as “wedi marw” was mentioned.

“Marw” means “to die” as a verb noun, so just as “wedi blino” is the normal way of describing someone as tired - “he has tired”, so “wedi marw” is the normal way of describing someone as dead.

Using “buodd e” or whatever form to replace “marwodd e/naeth e farw” doesn’t have any effect on the use of the verb with “wedi” - everyone carries on doing that.:relieved: