Help please - Level 1 Challenges 18-20 - alternative ways to say things

So understandably things are getting a little more complex and I am starting to find that I am getting confused with what seems to be alternative ways of saying things which makes we doubt whether I am choosing the right option or whether it doesn’t matter or whether I have misunderstood what a phrase really means. For example Do n’i ddim and Wness i ddim…I believe that both mean the same thing i.e. I didn’t. Another example might be Gwyli es i and Wnes i wylio i.e. I watched. I find that I am worrying so much about this I am finding it harder to absorb the new material. Has anyone any tips for getting over this?

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“Gwyliais i” and “wnes i wylio” are exactly the same in meaning.

“Do’n i ddim” and “Wnes i ddim” are subtly different in meaning, which you will pick up as you go along. Don’t get too worried about them at this stage, but basically “Do’n i” is more for describing a kind of ongoing state, and “Wnes i” for more of a one-off event. I’d try and think of some examples, but for now I need to go back to project managing the kids building the xmas tree without killing each other!


The key thing is not to worry! There are some options which are interchangeable, there are others which have minor variations in meaning - but your brain is a phenomenal pattern-detecting machine, so as long as you don’t trip yourself up by worrying (which genuinely interferes with the learning process), you’ll end up communicating successfully and naturally… :slight_smile:

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To add some examples to netmouse’s explanation…

You would say “Do’n i ddim yn gwybod” meaning “I didn’t know” because ‘not knowing something’ will have gone on for some time. Another example might be “Do’n i ddim yn moyn” meaning “I didn’t want” which is also something that happens ‘through time’.

Whereas you would say “Wnes i ddim yn dweud” meaning “I didn’t say” because ‘saying something’ will have happened at a specific time. Another example might be “Wness i ddim yn gwylio” meaning “I didn’t watch” which is also something that happens at a point in time.

So think about the context and whether what you “didn’t do” happened at a specific moment in time or was happening over a period of time. I am sure I have used these in the wrong context many times while trying to build sentences on the fly and no-one has ever picked me up on it - which means they are all being polite or it is really not a big deal.

I hope that helps.


Diolch, Siôn, exactly what I might have said, had I said it!

Just one tiny thing, if we’re giving examples for people - you don’t need the ‘yn’ in the ‘wnes i ddim’ structure, so just ‘wnes i ddim dweud’ etc would be strictly correct.


Thank you…that takes quite a lot of thinking about but hopefully it will become clearer with practice.

Thank you…I’ll keep trying!

Oedd- o’n i’n and do’n i ddim- comparable to “I was and i wasn’t”

Gwneud - wnes i and wnes i ddim - I did and I didn’t.

The examples Sion gave are where Welsh and English differ. Know and want are more on going. So: do’n i ddim gwybod - I wasn’t knowing (I didn’t know).
O’n i’n gwylio - I was watching
Wnes i wylio - I did watch (I watched).

Welsh also has a way of just using the verb on its own - gwyliais i - I watched. (This is called “short form”)

You do not need to remember this. You can speak Welsh without using it. You could just say “wnes i ddim gwylio” and be perfectly understood. So don’t worry about it :slight_smile:

As you go on, you’ll pick up the short forms more often.

If you wanted to say: I watched the football, but say “I was watching the football” - you’d be understood. So please don’t worry. It seems daunting because you feel you have to learn more but when you have it it gives you more freedom. You can say it in many ways :slight_smile:


Thank you, at least I now understand why there are differences…that will help when my response differs to the lesson.

Thanks netmouse - that is really useful! This is something I’m struggling with… I feel like I should be adding more ‘bits’ into the sentence.

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This is an older thread but my question relates to its name so thought to post it here rather than start a new one.
In Level 1 Challenge 18 (Northern), at 25:18, the sentence is “I feel that I’ve still got to learn more”. This is translated as “Dw i’n teimlo bod dal gen i fwy i ddysgu” (= still got more to learn). The English sentence contains the sense of “must” so shouldn’t the Cymraeg use “rhaid” here? If so, would it be “…bod dal rhaid i mi ddysgu mwy” ?
Or have I misheard / misunderstood?

This one catches quite a few people, so don’t worry!
Basically, “more to learn” is a ‘thing you have’, so you use ‘gen’ whereas “dysgu mwy” is an ‘action to do’, so you use ‘rhaid’, so yes, if you used rhaid, you’d have to change the words and bod dal rhaid i mi ddysgu mwy is spot on.

Here are a couple of threads dealing with it:


Thank you, Siaron, for your speedy explanation. I love the intricacies of grammar in Cymraeg, even while simultaneously pulling out my hair by the roots.

So, these two sentences (the English sentence and Cymraeg translation) in Challenge 18 are inconsistent?

I acknowledge the enormous amount of work that has gone into these audio files and this is not intended as a criticism of their creators. I take it as a sign of my own progress that I can spot the difference!

No, not inconsistent. It’s just that we tend to impose the English sense of ‘must’ and then automatically choose ‘rhaid’ every time, but it isn’t right every time because English doesn’t differentiate between a thing you have and an action to do whereas Welsh does. It’s a pattern that will seep in with plenty of exposure - in the meantime, don’t overthink it too much, if the wrong one comes out people will know what you mean even if it sounds odd.

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Ah, OK. Thank you - I will let that sink in and at some point it will become automatic.

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I think this sentence is chosen to push the boundary to the limit in demonstrating the distinction between possession and obligation sense of ‘got’…

…and in truth the meaning of the sentence is in the mind of the speaker…as they may feel that they ‘have got to learn more’…if they aren’t going to fail their exam, for example, but…

…if you change what you have still got in the sentence to…eg

I’ve still got…a load more in the fridge

Or nudging closer…

I’ve still got…a load more work to do

It’s clear that it can be possession too.

I think you should you should give yourself a congratulatory pat on the back that you are asking this question.

I would also say the SSIW sentence has come up trumps in provoking it!

Rich :slightly_smiling_face:

Thank you, Rich. Something I really like about this forum is the way in which we all step in to help each other with our “struggles”. Pa mor hir…before I can say that yn y Gymraeg…