Do'n i ddim or wnes i ddim? (Level 11)

Helo! I’m currently working through level 11 and I’m getting confused with which to use Do’n i ddim or Wnes i ddim? I’ve done welsh courses in the past and I’ve always used Do’n i ddim as “I was not…” I know it means more or less the same but for example I’m working on the sentence “I didn’t want to try again”. I automatically go to answer “Wnes i ddim isio trio eto” but then Cat says “Do’n i ddim isio trio eto”. Are they both right? I’m getting frustrated with myself :smiley:
Diolch!

Hi Angela,

For that particular sentence I would tend to go with “Do’ni…” as well. It’s a weird one, as with English you’re correct in that its very natural to say “I didn’t…”

The problem stems from the way we use “didn’t” in English. There are two ways of using it:

I didn’t cross the road in time to meet him (a one off/moment)
I didn’t like doing Biology at school (a more ongoing thing)

Welsh sort of separates those two, and in your example Cat didn’t want to try again - but she had felt that way for a while, rather than as a one off.

It is a weird one to get used to, and if you make a mistake - you will still be fully understood, but the more you practice, the more you will get a natural sense for where you would use one, and not the other :smiley:

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Diolch Nicky, that makes sense. I’m a bit of a perfectionist which gets in my way a lot of the time! I will keep at it, I’m sure I’ll get there in the end :grin:
Diolch eto Nicky.

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You will definitely get there in the end! :smiley:

As with all things SSIW, when you’re on Level 11 it seems very hard - by the time you’re another 5 lessons down the road, you’ll probably find a new thing hard - and be wondering why you found this one challenging :D:D

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Hi Angela,
You may also like to look at this video Nicky made on the three basic ways of explaining and using the past tense in Welsh -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hGh1c0cnC0&t=40s
It’s helped a lot of us.

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Brilliant, thank you for that.

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“Do’n i ddim” is the imperfect tense (“I didn’t use to…”, “I didn’t usually…”,). Also used with adjectives, and with the verbs “hoffi” and “gwybod”, and mabe with “nabod”, but I’m not sure.
You’d also use it in a sentence like “I wasn’t in Pothmadog yesterday”.

“Wnes i ddim” is the perfect tense, and describes a one-off action in the past. It precedes a verb, as in “I didn’t wash the car yesterday morning”.

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Angela,

The words “eisiau” and, I believe, “angen” are grammatically regarded as nouns that sometimes function as verbs. They cannot be used with “nes i” for a past tense and require “o’n i”.
If I have understood correctly, the “nes i” structure seems more at home with verbs that imply some kind of one-off action: someone please correct me here if needed. The “o’n i” structure seems to be used more with none-action verbs (such as “meddwl”, to think) and with continual action (imperfect).

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