Bydda i vs. Wna i

Working on the old course level 3 and getting confused about the difference between using Bydda i or Wna i. Could someone explain when to use which one? I think that like O’n i and Wnes i, one is for a single point in time and one is for continuous action, but which is which? Or do I need to relax and not worry about this?


I think that you are correct in that they are based on the two verbs: bod & gwneud (be and do/make). Also I think that (W)nai is the short form.

I read somewhere that Nai could relate to something that you will do very soon or might even be starting to do now; whereas the bydd type construction is looking further ahead. So I can see your comparison with wnes and o’n.

I’m not sure how widespread the above opinion is. I do know that a first language friend answered me on social media using “nai” to say that she would look at something shortly if not earlier.

I hope that this helps.



Yup, you’re spot on guys. :slight_smile:

O’n i and bydda i are forms of bod - “I was / I will be”
nes i and wna i are forms of gwneud - “I did / I will do”
and as such, the “continuous action” still applies to all the bod options and the shorter “point in time” to all the gwneud options.


Brilliant summary! So while we’re talking verbs, what on earth is “bues” please? It’s come in a book I’m reading… :slight_smile:

Ah, yes, one of the lesser spotted past tenses!
This is the preterite form of bod. It’s hardly used in colloquial spoken Welsh except for certain phrases, but you will see it in writing and also in formal speech such as news reports.

'Bues i" is the kind of the “point of time”/completed past tense that we now tend to use “nes i” for.
In English, there isn’t really an equivalent tense - but if there was, it would be like saying “I beed” (i.e. adding the past tense ending ‘ed’ to the verb ‘be’!) rather than “I was” (which is actually the past imperfect tense).

The full set is:
Bues i
Buest ti
Buodd o/e/hi
Buon ni
Buoch chi
Buon nhw

So, “O’n i”, “Nes i”, “Bues i” can all be translated as “I was” - because English only has one type of “I was” to translate them into!


Brilliant - thanks Siaron! :slight_smile:

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A native speaker once asked me “buest ti yn Aberystwyth, ddoe?” I’m not sure if she was testing me out, though. It certainly threw me. :thinking: