Frustration with Similar Phrases

I love SSiW, but I’m a bit frustrated with the fact that a lot of the phrases are so similar (I’m working on Lesson 4 now). Trying to remember the difference between “I want to,” I’m going to," I’d better," “I still need to,” etc. is really a barrier for me. I am going to write all these phrases on index cards to see if I can memorize them.

Does anyone else have this problem, and if so, how did you deal with it?


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There have been lots (and will be more, no doubt!) mixing these things up - there are a lot of threads posted already (too many to link to here, but if you do a search you’ll find them :slight_smile: ), so you’re definitely not alone.
All these will come up in later challenges and even though they feel like brick walls now, they will fall into place as you go through the course.

Just had a brainwave - how about some memory joggers …

A lot of people have asked about want, going, better, must and need. Well, want and need depend on whether you’re doing North or South dialect because they differ between them, but as for the others, how about…

I’m going to Long Mynd in Shropshire
I’m feeling well now I’m better
I must ride (rhaid) my bike

then, depending on whether you’re learning Southern or Northern -
North -
I want to sneeze… ah isho!
I need to remember ‘angen

South -
I need to sneeze… ah ishe!
I want to remember ‘moyn


I struggled with this as well when I started learning. However, with time, all became clear. I think it’s the similar meanings of the phrase rather than the sounds of them. So, looking back, I haven’t found that I needed to completely master the differences at the time, as long as it happened eventually, within the course.

Also, I have a sneaky feeling that the learning of these pairs of phrases could even be intentional, so that we learn twice as quickly as just learning one phrase at a time.

I have encountered exactly the same kind of thing with other SSiW languages, even though I was expecting it. The end result is that overcoming the difficulty seems to embed the patterns and words in our minds in the long-term, which is all that matters.

Finally, in the real world, it won’t matter at all if you say to a Welsh speaker “I’m learning Welsh” or “I’m practicing Welsh”. They’ll just think: great, how can I encourage this person.


Don’t lose heart, you’ll get plenty of practice and in reality you may choose to say, “I’d better…” instead of, “I need to…” or "I must… ". You just need to recognise then. I have found in level 2 I still get the present and past mixed up because I’m concentrating on the new stuff, but I know I’ve done it and when i make up my own sentences I don’t make those mistakes. I guess being under pressure to respond before the answers roll off the tongues of the tutors can cause us to make stupid mistakes too. Cards are a good idea. I found it useful writing out sentences too…

Thanks to all for your help! Much appreciated.

Just helped me out reading your post Jack and the replies ,as I’m having the same struggles myself today ! However, I trust in the methods so will keep banging my head against heavy objects and carry on :joy:

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Cheers, Bryn. We’ll keep on going together!

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100% , keep going :wink: