Difference between Dw i eisiau / ma eisiau i fi


I am on Level 1 challenge 18 (South) but I also recently started a formal Welsh learners course for beginners (Mynediad 1&2). I understand that there’s a lot of ambiguity with the different dialects and that we can, to large extent, use the words we feel most comfortable with - but I am confused with eisiau. I know this can mean want and need, but what I don’t understand is when to use ma eisiau i fi and when to say Dw i eisiau. Is this something to do with when you are using it as ‘need’ instead of ‘want’ or is it something else? In the course I have just started, we are taught Dw i eisiau for I want, and Wyt ti eisiau for Do you want. But in SSiW the use of eisiau in Do you need is Oes eisiau i ti.

I would be grateful for any help! Diolch!

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It would seem that your Mynediad course teaches Northern Welsh. Here are the variations side-by-side:
I want = Dw i’n moyn (SW) / Dw i eisiau (usually pronounced “isho”)
I need = Mae eisiau i fi (SW, usually pronounced “ishe”) / Dw i angen (NW)

It’s useful to recognize and know the differences between the dialects, just stick to what you feel comfortable with.

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It’s a difference in the structure of the sentence which shows you the meaning. If you’re using it the same as other verbs, e.g. dw i’n siarad, dw i’n cofio, dw i eisiau then it’s “I want”. The only difference in the structure is that eisiau doesn’t have yn before it.

A common southern alternative for “I want” is dw i’n moyn which you learn with SSiW.

If you’re using the structure that starts with mae then it will have the “need” meaning - mae eisiau i fi - “I need to” and it will be followed by an action, e.g. mae eisiau i fi gofio - “I need to remember”

Another way of saying “I need” is dw i angen and you’ll probably learn that in your Dysgu Cymraeg course too.


Ah, that’s brilliant. Diolch. Makes sense now!

Diolch! It’s definitely South Wales dialect I’m learning which is why I was surprised they taught Dw i eisiau! At least I understand now how to differentiate between when its used for ‘want’ and ‘need’

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You’ll find the pronunciation of eisiau is different in the south too. In the north it’s more like isho as Hendrik mentions, whereas in the south, first language speakers who use it tend to say ishe, often spelt isie. You will hear some people pronouncing it more or less as it’s written, but they are usually people who’ve learnt Welsh as a second language, e.g. in school, rather than first language speakers.

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