During the Intermediate Course so far,I have been having
difficulty guessing when to use “os” and when to use “taswn i”. Along with
this I have been a little confused about when to follow “os” with the future
tense. Now i’ve been thrown by the use
of “ydy” rather than “mae” in some cases in “os” clauses.
Being curious I looked up “If” in my Modern Welsh Dictionary
which explained that the usages reflect the difference between conditions that
are open (likely) and those that are closed (unlikely or unreal).
(Pe) taswn (clause),
mi faswn (clause) (conditional clause)
I would (do this) if (this unlikely condition)
Taswn i’n poeni mi faswn i’n mynd i’r feddyg
Os + future tense (though sometimes present tense)
If this (quite likely condition) occurs (will occur in
Os bydda i’n dod yn gynnar, byddwn ni’n medru mynd am tro
(os + future)
Os ydy’r ddynes yn teimlo yn unig, bydd rhaid inni mynd i
weld hi (os+present)
I now see that it is a grammatical rule in Welsh that in “os”
clauses, the use of the 3rd person singular present tense requires “ydy”
rather than “mae”.
What I can’t get my head around is whether, on the street,
real Welsh people analyse what they want to say in conversation before choosing
which version. I don’t need to in English but I’m quite sure that I shouldn’t
be able to if it were grammatically necessary. In practice does it matter?