Os vs. a in SSIW course

Hi, I’d like to ask about the use of os in sentences like

I don’t know if that’s the best thing to do

which as far as I was informed could be said as

Dw i ddim yn gwbod ai dyna ydy’r peth gorau i’w neud.

In the course it’s (North version)

Dw i ddim yn gwbod os mai dyna ydy’r peth gorau i’w neud.

This is a sentence from Level 2, but I’m more than sure if was used in the sense of ‘‘Do you know if (it’s interesting)’’. Not in a conditional sense like ‘’ I’m going to do it if I finish on time ‘’. The first sentence can use a while the conditional if uses os.
I understand we learn only os to make things simpler? I’m currently somewhere in the middle of course 2, maybe that distinction is explained later on?

[EDIT] Sorry if it should have gone to the Tiny questions thread, I haven’t used the forum much so far.

Hi @mariusz-listewnik

I think there are lots of ways of saying most things…often there is a formal way, several informal ways (usually)…some which are a bit more of a translation of the English, and, often a way or two it would have been said from a Welsh point of view - which may not translate literally at all.

One of the many good things about the course is that it gives a collection of things - and alternatives - which people use in the real world…so you don’t have to worry about whether something you just said is going to make people stare at you strangely, or sound to them like it came from the 16th century or simply a book. :grin:

And of course just because you are given a few options it doesn’t mean that there aren’t several more ways of saying the same thing.

So, I’d say roll with options…and choose your favourite way of saying it (which may be different again).

They are as much about understanding things other people say to you - and in truth for your brain to latch onto the underlying patterns (in time) - which can then be used for all sorts of things in all sorts of ways.

Rich :slight_smile:


Hi Rich,
Thanks for a thoughtful answer. Maybe I was too much attached to there being just one option and in fact there might be several.