Pan or pryd?

Hi everyone.
I have a question about “pan” versus “prid.”
In lesson 8 or 9 of Level 1 Northern, it’s said that “pan” should be used in the middle of a sentence, e.g. “I want to know where you learned Welsh,” and that “prid” should be used when actually asking a question, e.g. “when did you start learning?” However, later in the lesson, “prid” is used in the middle of a sentence instead of “pan.”
Is it ok to ignore “pan” for now, or might this have been an audio typo?

Sh’mae Eirik,

I can’t remember what the lesson said, but I think it’s not so much to do with being in the middle of a sentence, but whether it is an actual question or not.
(Although that rule of thumb will probably work most of the time).

If it’s a direct question, like your "e.g. “when did you start learning?” then pryd is what you want.

When it’s a straightforward statement, e.g. “when I was young …”, then I’m fairly sure it’s “pan”.

I had to double check this, but according to our friend Gareth King, in indirect questions, it’s also “pryd”.

So, in your "e.g. “I want to know when you learned Welsh,” (I think you meant “when” there didn’t you?) then I think it’s “pryd” that you want.

In his Pocket Modern Welsh Dictionary he gives an example of
“I don’t know when the film starts” (and uses “pryd”).

If you like grammar, then apparently if the “when” is used as an adverb, then it’s “pryd”. If it’s used as a conjunction then it’s “pan”, …except in some areas! (But don’t worry about that). In fact don’t worry about any of it, because the SSiW way is to gradually pick it up by listening to lots of Welsh speakers (and of course speaking as well, wherever possible). And the pattern will gradually just be absorbed by osmosis.

By the way, I found online (actually from our friend Gareth, again), an example of where “pryd” doesn’t come at the beginning:

“ers pryd?” - “since when?” (which is a useful little phrase).
“tan pryd?” - “till when?” (ditto)

and I’m sure there are others.


I’m not sure of this, but I think that a good rule of thumb is that if you could have said “while” instead of “when” then you should use ‘pan’

I can’t say for sure that you use ‘pryd’ in all other cases. This probably ties in with what Mike said about conjunctions.


What Mike just said is the correct use of the Welsh for “when”.

Pan” is the statement of when, eg “pan o’n i’n yn yr ysgol,…” “When I was in school,…”
Pryd” is more of a question, eg “pryd west ti fynd i’r ysgol?” “When did you go to school?”, but can also be part of a sentence like “Mae nhw wedi gofyn i fi pryd wnes i fynd i’r ysgol…” “They asked me when did I go to school…”

But as Mike also says, don’t worry about it at all! You will naturally pick up the correct form with practice, and if you do make a mistake, you will usually be understood.


Thanks, everyone, for your quick replies.
I’ll bookmark your posts, and come back to them when my Welsh has improved.
Thanks again!

That’s how I understood too however that “Pryd” just doesn’t want to stick in my head. I many times forget it exests at all (way odd of me though)

And at the first place I was (phonetically) confused with “pan” (when) and “Pham” (why) untill I listened really carefully. Now I know … :slight_smile:

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And remember that some areas (I think mostly southern) use pryd for both - but that’s not really standard.

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Something knew learnt to start the day…Diolch!!!