Oes plîs

Is ‘oes plîs’ an acceptable way of saying ‘yes please’ in the South Walian dialect?


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It depends on what the question is, e.g.

if someone asked you Oes isie darn bach o deisen arall arna ti? (Do you need another piece of cake?) you could answer Oes, plîs (Yes - I need another piece - then ‘please’ to be polite)

but I can’t think of a lot of situations where you would say that. It has to be in answer to a question starting with Oes?

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I yhink you’ve misunderstood. I’m asking whether oes is a viable alternative to ydw down south. Both words mean yes

No, although they are both positive replies, they’re not interchangeable (anywhere).
Oes doesn’t just mean “yes”, it means “yes I have” *(although as John points out below, technically, it’s “yes there are”)
Ydw doesn’t just mean “yes”, it means “yes I am”

So oes can only be a positive reply to a question that is asking “do you have…?” *or “is there…?” and ydw can only be a positive reply to a question that is asking “are you…?”

*Edited to avoid confusion after seeing John’s post below - he (and Gareth!) is of course correct.


@garethrking points out in his book Modern Welsh Grammar that oes is a form of bod that refers to the existence of something, literally meaning ‘there is’. So, literally translated Oes isie darn bach o deisen arall arna ti? would be Is there a want of a bit of cake on you? to which the literal answer would be There is. For that reason the normal reply here would be Oes.
Basically, then, if you asked Oes bwyd?, i.e. Is there food?, the answer would be Oes/Nac oes

What then would be the correct positive response if there was no question involved. For example, a friend puts his bag of sweets towards me without saying anything. The question ‘would you like one’ is only inferred but not spoken and it only remains for me to say either ‘yes please’ or ‘no thanks’. Forget the text book rules here; this is how people speak in real life.

I’d just say “Diolch!” and take one, in that situation!


In that situation, to take one I’d either say “diolch yn fawr” or “ie, plîs” and to refuse I’d either say “dim diolch” or “nage, dim diolch”.
ie and nage are ‘yes’ and ‘no’ when no verb begins the sentence (and no sentence = no verb!)


Thank you for your answers. It’s left me with a bit more understanding but I can’t help thinking it could be so much less confusing than this.

We’ve got a kids’ game (picked up cheap somewhere) which basically consists of trying to answer a whole load of simple questions without ever saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. It’s good training (in English) for answering questions in Welsh! (Every time someone asks “is it…?” you reply “it is.”)


Hmm. Okay, supposing it is spoken. How might one answer the question “Hoffet ti fabi jeli?” ? (This is from Google translate, looks right I think.)
“Ie, hoffen i fabi jeli”? Or something else?

The ‘yes’ answer here would simply be hoffwn (yes I would like), but it’s common in speech - a carry-over from English - to stick a ie (yeah) in front, although it’s technically incorrect because the question started with a verb.


To me, apart from a couple of cases, such as the ie/nage situation and the do/naddo for the past (preterite) form, the rest of the time it’s best to think that there is no actual word for Yes or No. You just have to either agree or disagree, so it’s like the game that Richard mentions, and we used to play a lot at parties when I was a teenager. You answer the question by basically stating your stance on the matter, e.g.

Are you going to town tomorrow? - I am / I’m not
Will you pass that bread? - I will / I won’t
Do you know how to drive? - I do / I don’t
Would you like to pass the exam? - I would like / I wouldn’t like

If you can think of it like that it becomes fun!


I was with you right up until the word “fun”… :laughing:

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:joy: :rofl:

ie, diolch.