Proper form of "I Cant"

is one or the other correct or are both? Is I cant alla 'i ddim or dwi ddim yn gallu? or are both correct? It seems the challenge and the old lessons give different forms

You can say both :slight_smile:

I’d normally say “alla i ddim” (fedra i ddim - northern version).

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Try not to translate. Gallu is “to be able” so… if you’re adding “bod” dw i ddim yn. You’re just mentioning a state of being.

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[quote=“georgefear, post:1, topic:8810”]It seems the challenge and the old lessons give different forms
What you’re running into is that there are several ways (in any language) to say substantially the same thing. “I am not able” or “I can’t” mean basically the same thing but are spoken completely differently. Same with Welsh. The main thing is that you will be understood either way.

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Yes - alla i ddim and fedra i ddim mean the same in most circumstance, as do the longer versions dw i ddim yn gallu and dw i ddim yn medru (although I must say I think that last one might be a bit less common than the other three).

And don’t forget the useful verb ffaelu or ffili = not be able:

Wi’n ffili deall - I can’t understand


That’s methu for Gogs, isn’t it?

Would I be right is saying that the yn often goes missing with methu and possibly ffili, too? I commonly hear Dwi methu instead of Dwi’n methu , and I’m pretty sure I see it written in the informal Welsh of social networking, too.

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Down round these parts (SE Wales) I frequently hear ‘fi ffaelu deall’. The ‘purists’ hate it, of course, but it’s pretty normal in speech I think.


Too much information with many of these replies.

I am at the very beginning first few lessons and challenges/ Those lessons give Gallu and Alla 'i.
I appreciate the efforts but all I need to know is dwi ddim yn gallu or alla 'i and the appropriate uses.of each. Too soon for other forms

Thank you

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Yes. Sorry George. These simple questions have a habit of running away with themselves. Anthony’s first answer is the one you want. Remember to come back here in a few months’ time for the more advanced stuff though! :wink:


Something I’m often guilty of is over complicating answers!

However, remember that every single person who has answered you was once in your position - an adult just starting out learning Welsh, confused by variations, over whelmed by too much detail.

But just like you, they put the effort in, asked the questions, and gradually, the overwhelming detail became fun facts and additional usable patterns.

In other words, it’s totally understandable that you don’t want to know more than the answer that is confusing you now, but don’t let “too much detail” put you off, because you will be there soon enough, looking back and thinking “Oh yes, I found that confusing once”.

Enjoy the process, because this kind of measurable learning isn’t something that many adults are willing to expose themselves to, which is a real pity, because it is immense fun!


Yes! :slight_smile:

In speech it’s quite possible that the 'n gets merged with the m- of methu - but they shouldn’t really be missing it out in writing, I suppose…

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Not sure that I ever sound the n in wi ffili in real life, although I can’t remember what I did in the lessons.


I’m not sure we have had “ffili” in any of the lessons/challenges just yet. I’ll take that as a spoiler/sneak preview of what’s to come :slight_smile: Ive only heard it in conversations etc. so far.

Talking of which, in the South I’ve heard:
Methu for miss - “Dwi’n methu fy tad gi”/I miss my granddad
Ffili for can’t or fail to - “Dw’in filli credu…”/I cant believe…
Is this the southern pattern or can we swap the words?

(Ive change credo back to credu twice now! Flippin autocorrect)

*Ffili !

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Nonetheless, the intent from everyone has been to help you, so probably best to focus on that, rather than telling people not to give you more information - maybe the extra stuff won’t be helpful for you, but will be perfect for other people reading this thread who might be a little further along the journey… :slight_smile:


Didnt mean any offense and my apologies if any were taken


I’m sure you didn’t, and thank you for the apology - accepted…:slight_smile:

One of the things we spend a lot of time saying on here is that communication via text is tricky - easy to get wrong, easy to take wrong - so one of the ways in which we keep this community particularly welcoming and friendly is to overcook it all slightly - to be unusually careful, unusually clear, particularly when it’s a matter of thanking people for help with questions… :slight_smile:

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alla i ddim is just the short form. alla and gallu are actually the same verb.

In the short form, the verb is conjugated directly with no auxiliary. The long form conjugates the auxiliary and leaves the verbnoun uninflected.

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Iestyn, I’m fairly sure you left the “n” out of Dw i ffili, because I totally noticed it and kept reminding myself to leave it out. When someone wrote “Dw i’n ffili” at the beginning of this thread, I thought, “No, that’s wrong, there’s no ‘n’.” But apparently it’s not wrong at all, just another way of saying it. I just came back from the Cymdeithas Madog course in upstate NY, and it became clear to me that the language is in a state of transition these days. Not that any living language is ever not in transition, but it seems to be especially acute in Wales right now. Would you say?


In these parts, I say “Sai’n gallu gweud” for “I can’t say”. I can almost hear my Gog friends saying “that’s wrong in soooooo many ways” :smile: but “am i bothered?” :laughing:

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They will of course - but it’s perfect hwntw :slight_smile:

So you’re right not to be bothered. Mock them for ddaru in return! :slight_smile: