Difference between moyn and eisiau

I learnt some welsh in school many years ago.
I have always been taught that want = eisiau. But on this course you use “moyn”. Can you explain the difference please?

Thank you


Hi @DianeO

They are alternatives, used in different areas - they mean the same thing.

Moyn is more common in some southern and western areas and eisiau more northerly - although there is no north/ south line and different areas can be different.

Both are understood by all.

In SSIW the Northern course uses eisiau and the southern course used moyn.

Rich :slight_smile:


This topic is a “frequent flyer”. You may be interested in this thread
I say “moyn” but, just a few miles North in Aberystwyth, you’ll hear “moyn” and “eisiau” equally.



Thanks @HuwJones @rich.
Confused? You will be! :smile:

@rich - I learnt some welsh in school in West Wales but it was still eisiau rather than moyn.

It has made it clearer. Thanks both, I will just try and remember both words
Diolch yn fawr i chi


Hi @DianeO

Yes, I guess it is a real dilemma from the teaching point of view …and what results is that eisiau is the ‘standard’ or text book form…

…none of which changes anything in the real world :grin:

…so I guess you could say that SSIW is a different compromise which acknowledges two major flavours (whilst each covers the different common ways to say things).

The Northern course is closer to the text book…so there is a bit of a potential choice in there as to which course to do…

…But as you say - and as is often said on the forum - choosing your own preferred way of saying something - perhaps based on what is said in your area - whilst remembering other forms so that they don’t throw you if they are said to you - Is a good compromise!

Rich :slight_smile:

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My grandmother who was from South Wales used to say mofyn… I looked it up in an old dictionary and it comes from ymofyn, which in old standard Welsh meant to seek or look for something. I suppose “what are you looking for” and “what do you want” are similar. I don’t know when mofyn became moyn in common usage. Eisiau is used for need in SSiW South but they say eisiau i, whereas the old Welsh speakers I knew always said eisiau ar - there was a need “on” you. The language changes all the time.


Yes its quite often written with an ‘ in the middle denoting the missing ‘f’… isn’t it (in books I mean)…

The southern course uses ‘I’ for actions / verbs eg eisiau I fi fynd…but ar for things/ nouns eg chocolate! I think I’ve seen Iestyn post somewhere that ‘ar’ can be used for actions too but that it doesn’t feel natural to him - very formal I think he said…but these sort of things do differ between areas don’t they, or as you say it may have changed…

Rich :slight_smile:

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Diolch Rich,

Thanks for the i versus ar clarification following eisiau.

Welsh seems to have a tendency to drop or not pronounce f, for example Galla i, not gallaf i.

Language certainly changes. My grandmother again always called the clock “awrlais”, which I thought was standard Welsh, I find no-one uses it now or even knows the word. “Cloc” is universal.


diolch yn fawr iawn for your answers. I find Moyn easier to say than eisiau and if that is the word used in my area it makes sense for me to use it.

I have another question - sorry!

I want to - dw i’n moyn
I need to - mae eisiau I fi

why the different construct? Why isn’t is dw I eisiau?
I am finding this confusing trying to remember these 2 as I don’t understand why the change. Thinking about it Duolingo has dw I eisiau?

Thanks and sorry - I will be getting blocked from the course! I am only on challenge 2 and have questions already!

This is one of the confusing things about moyn v eisiau when you start.
In the South (generally):
I want to - dw i’n moyn - I am wanting
I need to - mae eisiau I fi - There is a need for me

In the North (generally):
I want to - dwi eisiau - I am wanting
(widely spoken) Dwi angen - I am needing
(more formally correct) Mae angen arna i - There is a need on me

Duolingo uses the “dwi eisiau” for “I want” because that is the more widely used version. SSiW introduces you to other options so that you’ll recognise them when you hear them.

I don’t know the historical explanation of how the use of the different construction came about, but without the difference, it would be harder to differentiate between “want”(Northern) and “need”(Southern).

Never! This is what the forum is all about, helping each other with as many questions as crop up - and yes, there will be plenty more :wink:


#siaronjames Thank you.

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