Do'n iddim or wnes i iddim

Hi Aran or Deborah
I am enjoying the ssiw course (South Wales)and am working my way through steadily. I have begun to pay closer attention to the way phrases are used while listening to the tape. I would like to know when to use do’n i ddim and wnes i ddim in sentences, bit confused here as they mean the same thing. Diolch yn fawr Catseye.


Well, strictly speaking they don’t mean exactly the same thing, but both are used to form sentences in the past. Wnes i ddim means I didn’t, and do’n i ddim means I wasn’t.
The “didn’t”-form is used for verbs that describe (short) actions, and the “wasn’t”-form is used for describing states, or something that happened over a longer period of time.
Wnes i ddim cau’r drws.I didn’t close the door.
Do’n i ddim yn gwybod hynny. - I didn’t know that.

In English, both are translated as “didn’t”, but for the second example the Welsh is closer to “I wasn’t knowing that” – which is not a natural sounding sentence in English.


Hi Hendrik
Thanks for your help.

You might find it useful to read through some of these comments too - it’s an often asked question :slight_smile:

I think thats one of the clearer explanations I’ve heard, thanks!

Ay…so ‘wnes i gerdded’ is perfect tense (a completed action in the past) and ‘Ro’n i’n cerdded’ is imperfect tense (an ongoing or incomplete past action) then. Also I believe ‘Wnes i gerdded’ is the same and interchangeable with ‘cerddedais i’.

Please shout me down if I’m mistaken with any of this.

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In many cases, yes, but the “(r)o’n i’n” form is also used for internal processes like ‘liking’ or ‘wanting’ - e.g. o’n i’n moyn (S) or o’n i isio (N) is the usual form for “I wanted”

And to use the “short form” you need to know the root of the verb - cerddais i so if you can’t remember that, the wnes i gerdded form is very useful.


Oops. Missed the spelling error in cerddais :face_with_peeking_eye:

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