Hen dyn

Challenge 12. Why is it ‘hen dyn’ but ‘dyn ifanc’?

Although adjectives normally follow nouns, there are a handful of exceptions, one of which is ‘hen’ - ‘hen’ always comes before the noun. ‘ifanc’ isn’t one of the exceptions, so it follows the noun.

1 Like

Tiny addition from me sticking my oar in, sorry, is that “hen” causes a soft mutation in the following noun so it becomes “hen ddyn”. (Don’t ever worry if mutations are forgotten.) :slight_smile:

1 Like

Many thanks to both of you. That makes it very clear.

1 Like

I wonder why that’s the case with hen? It’s the same in Spanish where the adjectives go after front of the noun with a few exceptions like gran.

I’ve seen a few very old farmhouses near me where hen comes after the noun… made me take a second glance

Conversely, the adjective before noun pattern appears to have been common when names such as Glascwm and Hirwaun were formed (interesting that it’s not Glasgwm, btw).

See also the very literary language where adjective-before-noun is seen as a standard pattern, though it is considered to be utterly pretentious in other circumstances!


hen beth = old thing
peth hen = ancient thing

There’s a subtle difference, much more subtle than unig peth / peth unig!