Consistently thrown by 'bod'

I keep finding myself tripping over what is basically the same thing - the construction of sentences with ‘that’ in the middle of them.

I’m always frantically rifling through my memory banks, trying to sort out of I should be using mae, oedd, danni… only to realise when I hear the feedback that you’re simply using bo’ nhw / ni etc.

I think it’s made worse by the fact that after ‘beth’ you do need all the different forms.

I don’t know why I am having a blind spot with this, but I’ve grateful for any suggestion / explanations that might make it stick in my head, cos it’s driving me a bit nuts.
Diolch eto,


Hi Catriona,

Bod (bo’, fod, mod) roughly translates as "that is/are/am’ or ‘that was/were’, depending on the context. It’s used instead of mae, oedd, etc in the middle of a sentence to join two clauses together.

So, for example:

Maen nhw’n hapus - they are happy
Roedden [= ro’n, o’n] nhw’n hapus - they were happy

If you wanted to put “Dw i’n credu (I believe)” before these, you’d end up with:

Dw i’n credu bo’ nhw’n hapus (or, more formally, Dw i’n credu eu bod nhw’n hapus) - “I believe that they are (or were) happy”

You wouldn’t say “Dw i’n credu mae nhw’n hapus” or “Dw i’n credu o’n nhw’n hapus” (though I dare say you’d be understood). You have to use the ‘bod’ construction.


Dw i’n gwybod bo’ fi’n (or ‘fy mod i’n’ in full) barod = I know I’m ready
Dw i’n meddwl bo’ fe’n (ei fod e’n) grac = I think he’s angry

I can’t think of any instances where ‘bod’ would occur after ‘beth’, though it’s true you could have mae, yw, sy(dd), or oedd, depending on the meaning - but that’s another story!


Re-reading my answer above, perhaps worth adding that, in English, we can omit ‘that’ in these types of sentences (as I unintentionally did in the last two examples above) but, either way, you’d need to use the ‘bod’ construction in Welsh…

Hope I haven’t confused matters even more - I’ve a tendency to do that!

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Everybody runs into blind spots with different things - but hang on in there, keep trying, keep exposing your brain to the input and forcing it into the effort, and in due course it will sort things out for you :slight_smile:

Thanks, Peter. I guess part of my problem is to stop thinking that bod=that, but it’s hard to break that association, especially under time pressure!

What I meant about ‘beth’ was the difference between, say, “I didn’t know what they wanted to learn,” and “I didn’t know that they wanted to learn.” Just one letter difference in English, but a different construction entirely in Welsh. And especially that if you change to " what/that they WANT to learn" the construction changes after beth but not after bod. That’s what keeps tripping me up.

And it will keep on doing it, for a while at least - there aren’t any magic solutions to this kind of stuff - but every single time you trip, you’re noticing a difference between what you said and what the model was - and that act of noticing is part of the brain encoding more information - so every single hiccup is bringing you closer to the moment where that particular issues suddenly starts to seem easier… :slight_smile:

Hang on in there! :slight_smile:

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Interesting! I asked my teacher this question only this week. I trouble to sort out which way to say “that” as well! She didn’t give me a full breakdown of the answer, probably because I’m only in my 6th month as a learner and it’s too much to take on board all at once. That’s fine. I only need to know as much as I can be expected to know after 6 months. However, I think SSiW is a big help here: if I can get a few key phrases memorised, e.g.’ Dw i’n meddwl fod on licio’ (excuse spelling) then I can build up my database slowly and the right phrase will sort of bubble up without me having to pause and think too much about it. That’s the plan anyway…

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