It's an object pronoun

With apologies to those who hate grammar talk: this is something that has been niggling at me since way back when I was working my way through Level One.

When do you use EI and when do you use FO (fe / hi) as object pronouns meaning IT?

Having wrestled with it for months, and tried and failed to find an answer online or in a grammar book, I THINK I’ve figured it out, but I’d be glad if someone could tell me if I’m right.

I think if IT is a direct object pronoun, you use EI and put it before the verb-noun - e.g.
Nes i ei mwynhau / I enjoyed it

But if it’s an indirect object pronoun (ie linked to a preposition) you use FO and put it after the (modified) preposition - e.g:
Dach chi’n siarad amdano fo/ You talk about it.

Is that broadly right? Or am I still barking up the wrong tree?

[edges quietly backwards into the nearest hedge]



Ooookay. Sorry. Maybe just ignore the grammar speak and just share a few more examples of how to luse them, to help build up the pattern …?


No, no, don’t be sorry! - there are people on here who’ll be happy to chat about it, I’m sure - just didn’t want you to think I was actively ignoring you… :wink:

Ha ha
No i think you were right. With perhaps an extra hi or fe at the end to show if the ei was his or hers :grinning:

It’s not clear to me either, how to use “it”, so…mind if I add more questions? Maybe if we persist, at some point some answerer will appear! :smiley:

After hearing and repeating something between “ah” and “eh” every time I had to translate “it” during so many challenges (later found it was written “e”)- all of a sudden I heard “amdani” instead.

It was the translation of “about it” so I could guess “am” for about, but then where did “dani” come from?

Also, browsing through examples, I noticed that
I want to say that I think that you speak it very well
is translated as
Dw i’n moyn dweud bo fi’n meddwl bo ti’n siarad hi’n dda iawn

So why always “e” and now “hi’n”? Are we maybe assuming the thing we’re talking about is language or Cymraeg = feminine, therefore “hi”?

Then, for variety, some from lyrics:
dim ond yr actorion sy’n ei ddefnyddio = only the actors use it (referring to a word mentioned in a previous line. Word = masculine, therefore “ei”?)

Nyrs yn ei ateb (…) amdani = A nurse answers it (…)
(referring to a phone, mentioned in the previous line. Phone = masculine, therefore ei or it’s amdani?).

But then why most examples in challenges use “e”?
And what is “fo”, by the way?

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Yes, exactly that… :slight_smile:

Yes again. You don’t really need my help… :slight_smile:

I tried to mix it up as much as possible, but it’s tricky to keep perfect track.

Fe in the north… :slight_smile:

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Advantages of being Italian? We’re used to this kind of stuff! :wink:

My question about “e” was really why “e” not “ei”?
(It’s another way to write it, or say it, I guess at this point)

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I can help with the amdani bit.

Welsh prepositions have personalised forms. So am (about) fo!!owed by a personal pronoun becomes
Amdana i
Amdanat ti
Amdano fe / fo
Amdanon ni
Amdanoch chi
Amdanyn nhw

Once you’ve worked all that out you can be yn falch ohonot ti dy hun :slight_smile:


Thanks! :slight_smile:

By the way this (yn falch ohonot ti dy hun) that I find really hard to remember, so thanks for reminding it too! :wink:

It IS broadly right, but your terminology is slightly wrong - a pronoun used after a preposition is not an indirect object pronoun…it’s just an object pronoun. So in Welsh it’s not about types of pronoun, it’s simply (as you correctly spotted), that when the pronoun is the object of a VN, then you don’t use the pronoun, you use the possessive adjective (for example ei - although you can use the echoing pronoun that optionally accompanies possessives) instead, and when it’s used after a preposition, you do use the ordinary pronoun (for example fo).

Ga i 'CH helpu (chi)? - Can I help you? (helpu is VN)
Fe helpon ni CHI - We helped you (helpon is NOT a VN)

Mi oedd yn braf iawn EI gweld (hi) - It was very nice to see her (gweld is VN)
Mi welwn ni HI yfory - We’ll see her tomorrow (gwelwn is NOT a VN)

This is a perennially popular topic, isn’t it? Even among people who (think they) hate grammar talk… :wink:






Thank you. That really makes it makes so much sense to me!

I think I have a supplementary about how to tell a verb noun from a noun. I think if it’s formed in a compound with something like mae or wedi or byth, then it’s a verb noun. But simple forms ( like welodd, wela …) are true verbs?

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You got it. In Welsh, the unconjugated form (what we’d call the infinitive in english) of a verb can also be used as a noun, hence the term verbnoun. In “long” constructions you use a conjugated auxilliary verb (Dw i for example) plus the verbnoun carrying the meaning. If the “meaningful” verb itself is conjugated, then it is not a verb noun, and these are sometimes called “short form” (simply because Af i is shorter than Dw i’n mynd :wink: )


Hurrah! I do love it when a whole new bit of logic falls into place. It’s like a door opening.

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Yes - the VN is the dictionary form of the verb, and it is a true noun (you can even stick the definite article y in front of it, and indeed use adjectives after it), conveying only the meaning, without specifying when or who or how of the action. That’s added with auxiliaries and particles and the like. And then verbs with endings are true verbs - meaning in the stem, when, who and how in the endings. :slight_smile:


I wholeheartedly approve of the Datblygu reference! (And the song from which it comes, Mae’r Nyrs Adref, is a particular favourite of mine.)

As you say, the ‘ei’ refers to ffôn (masculine) from the previous line (“Mae’r ffôn wastad yn canu”). Amdani refers to a female nurse (see @Catriona’s post for personal forms of prepositions). The missing bit from your quote is ‘efo ond tywel’ (with only a towel). So: “The phone’s always ringing / a nurse answers it (i.e. the phone) / only a towel around her (i.e. wearing only a towel).”

I definitely think Datblygu lyrics are the perfect resource for discussing the finer points of Welsh grammar.


:+1::+1: for catching it :wink::sunglasses:

That was my first and only source of Welsh language for some time. Still is among main ones, so there’s plenty of quotes in my posts anyway, but glad to discuss it more in detail with someone! :slight_smile:

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Yep, mine too! I was interested in the Welsh language before Datblygu but they were definitively what spurred me into learning it (albeit it took me quite a few years to get round to it). I think it was the way David sings/declaims the word “sglodion” (still one of my favourite Welsh words) at the end ‘Mynwent’ that made me think: wow, I really have to learn that language!

Honorary mention to Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci too (see their albums Patio and Tatay).