"It's a big world" = "Mae'n fyd mawr": Why not "byd"?

In Level 3 we are introduced to the phrase “It’s a big world” which is translated as “Mae’n fyd mawr”.
Why is the word “byd” softened?
The answer’s probably nothing, but I’d be interested to know it.

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This may be totally incorrect reason, but is it because Byd is the direct object in the sentence and therefore mutated.

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following the (yn of mae yn) i suspect .
but i just go with the flow so may be wrong.

Cheers J.P.


Because in this sentence “byd mawr” is an adjective describing the “it” (as in “mae’n dda”). Remember mae’n is short for mae e’n / mae o’n (and of course mae hi’n when the “it” is feminine) :slight_smile:


The yn is required between verb ‘to be’ (here mae) and the following noun (byd), and this yn causes SM of nouns and adjectives.


So (I take it) this is not an identification sentence.
What kind of a sentence is it Gareth?
(thought I had this stuff down pat, but realise I’m in need of a bit of revision).

Thank you! :slight_smile:


A long one🤣


It is indeed not an identification sentence, Mike - because they have to have a noun or noun-phrase on either side of the verb bod, both referring to the same thing or person. And in the present, as you know, that form of bod will be ydy (or yw).

In Mae’n fyd mawr It’s a big world, nothing is really being identified as ‘a big world’, it is more that we know what the world is, and this is a comment about the fact that this thing we know about already is big. Does that make sense?

So it’s a descriptive sentence - by default really, in that it involves the verb bod, but is neither an identification nor an existential sentence.

Round about the §220s, I think… :slight_smile:


Thank you Gareth!

Descriptive - that’s the word I couldn’t think of.

Temporary (I hope) mental block. :slight_smile:

Thanks, as ever, for leading us through this (not so) barren land, through the verge of Jordan, and eventually safe on Canaan’s side. :slight_smile:


Stick with me, chaps - I know the way.

Honest…! :wink:


“Send three and fourpence - I’m going to a dance!”



Well, I at least seem to have taken that rather literally.

Thanks so much to all for your most interesting and helpful answers to my query!


I wonder if that military story is true? :slight_smile:


I so want it to be, Gareth! :slight_smile:

I’m sure you know the story (which I used to think was true) of the Indian Army general who captured the province of Sindh, and who cabled back to his superiors the one word “peccavi” (= “I have sinned”) :slight_smile:

But sadly, it isn’t quite true, at least not as normally related:

His orders had been only to put down the rebels, and by conquering the whole Sindh Province he greatly exceeded his mandate. Napier was supposed to have despatched to his superiors the short, notable message, “Peccavi”, the Latin for “I have sinned” (which was a pun on I have Sindh). This pun appeared under the title ‘Foreign Affairs’ in Punch magazine on 18 May 1844. The true author of the pun was, however, Englishwoman Catherine Winkworth, who submitted it to Punch, which then printed it as a factual report.[6]

Unfortunately most of these stories turn out to be untrue, or embroidered at best. Fake news is nothing new!

Students of Russian in this country were (and perhaps still are) routinely taught (both in classes and in books) that the Russian word for a large railway station - vokzal - is simply the English name Vauxhall (Station) in London, ‘borrowed’ into Russian (for reasons not entirely explained). But it’s simply false. :joy: