Had been & did not (Level two challenge 22)

Hi, can you perhaps explain the grammar to these two points featuring in Challenge 22?

  • You/he/we/etc had been doing , had been …-ing ?? (the ‘had’ bit is confusing)

  • He didn’t = NA… ? NAGUY? (there seems to be another way than ‘dimm’)

This isn’t very clear but I hope it rings a bell.

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Hi @roel-1

So…oedd + wedi gives you the ‘had’ tense:

Eg Oedd e wedi rhedeg = he had run

…a bit like mae + wedi gives the ‘has’ tense.

In Welsh you can say ‘that’ + ‘not’ in the middle of a sentence combined…which is quite a cool thing - and when you’ve mastered it your allowed to wear shades when speaking Welsh :sunglasses:

In the southern SSIW course they use ‘nag’ for this although in a text book you’d see ‘nad’.

…nag yw e = that he is not

…nag oedd e = that he wasn’t

And putting the wedi in from above…

…nag oedd e wedi = that he hadn’t…

As you know wedi is often shortened to 'di in the southern courses which could apply to the examples above.

Rich :slight_smile:


That is a most helpful answer given the question, thank you.

Ah, to one day wear the sbectol haul o ragoriaeth :smiley: let’s hope so.


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Brilliant. This is the worst presented part of the entire course so far but your answer really clarifies it.

Diolch yn fawr

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Just to be clear what is I am not and I was not when using na(g)?

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…that I am not - nag yw i’n…

…that I wasn’t - nag o’n i’n…

Swap the 'n for a wedi - to get haven’t and hadn’t respectively.

So I guess there is a ‘thing’ there which is that the present tense uses the ydy/yw form - similar to if you were giving a negative response (eg. No I’m not)

Hopefully that makes sense! :smile:

Rich :slight_smile:


Thanks for the really helpful explanation of nag yw and nag oedd - I understand it a lot better now!

Still confused with 1 of the sentences in challenge 22:

“I said that he doesn’t want to talk to me until next week” is “Dweudais i nag oedd e’n moyn siarad gyda fi nes wythnos nesa” (31:27)

Why isn’t this nag yw e’n as it’s he doesn’t, not he didn’t?

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Well @diana-allpress

Firstly I would say, as usual, that this is a great question…

… i would say that if you were in a situation where the sentence was literally relaying a conversation ie so that effectively there were quotation marks associated with the “he doesn’t want to…” or even 'he wasn’t wanting to…" it would definitely be nag yw e.

Secondly, if you had that here, it would also be fine and/or correct…

…I have heard stories of Iestyn pondering these sentences prior to recording and asking himself ‘how would I say that…’ - personally I’d explain the way it is, as was described to me many, many times by a first language speaker when I was learning, that people just love to drop into the story telling mode and the story telling tense - the ‘was’ tense at any available opportunity -[which sort of relies you not being quoted or having to provide pinpoint accuracy ( eg an expectation of a direct quote or exactly what was said…)]

This was a new idea for me at the time but I have subsequently realised that this exists in English too…we might use the ‘was’ tense for the recent past…then the past tense for something ‘older’ than that…but when we talk about something even older than that - we are relaying history or just ‘telling a story’, blow me down but ‘was’ appears again…(See below - random from Wikipedia).

…I notice time and time again that the was tense is used in Welsh for things in the past where, in English you might not - so ‘even more so’, if you like.

Overall however @diana-allpress I’d say trust your instincts and see how you go! you’ve got it - Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle applies!

Rich :slight_smile:

Guy Fawkes (/fɔːks/; 13 April 1570 – 31 January 1606),[a] also known as Guido Fawkes while fighting for the Spanish, was a member of a group of provincial English Catholics who was involved in the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605. He was born and educated in York; his father died when Fawkes was eight years old, after which his mother married a recusantCatholic.

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Diolch! That does help. Good to know I was technically correct, I just need to learn to go with the flow and not worry too much about getting it absolutely correct every time - I guess however you say it, you would still be understood :blush: