Mae'r (noun)… vs Y (noun) ydy…

As I stumble with misplaced confidence through the boundless and bare sands of Level 3, it occurs to me that I don’t really understand the logic behind choosing one of these constructions over the other.

Mae’r hogyn yn [e.g. deg] (Verb - article - noun - particle - noun/verb phrase…)


Y problem ydy… (Article, noun verb…)

The second seems to be used when there’s a sub clause afterwards (Y problem ydy na fedrwn i ddim yn dallt digon o Gymraeg), but that’s only a wild guess.

Could someone please explain when you’d use both constructions?


Welsh is a language with fundamentally different word order than English, and in a normal (so-called) unfocused descriptive sentence , the verb always comes first:
Mae Megan yn athrawes. - Megan is a teacher.

But there are exceptions that lead to unusual word order, one is a so-called identification sentence:
Megan ydy’r athrawes gorau yn ein hysgol. - Megan is the best teacher in our school.

In your example Y problem ydy … you are basically using the word order of an identification sentence.

Compare these two:
Mae Gareth yn broblem. - Gareth is a problem.
Gareth ydy’r problem.Gareth is the problem.


That’s really helpful, thanks – I’d not heard of identification sentences, and you’ve given me a target to explore further (always difficult to research a concept if you don’t know the technical term…