Question Tags

Can someone explain which tags to use where and when? I am torn between ‘tydy?’ , ‘on’d ife’ ‘on’d ydy’ and ‘on’do’ meaning ‘isn’t it’? e.g Mae hi’n braf heddiw, tydy?


I was raised with on’d ydy e or, for the weather, on’d ydy hi, but that is probably southern and very old fashioned!!


On’do is past (preterite) tense, and is the tag for questions framed with this tense:

Mi ddaeth hi’n hwyr, on’do? - She came late, didn’t she?
Wedodd Eleri a Ffion yn union yr un peth, on’do? - Eleri and Ffion said exactly the same thing, didn’t they?
Naethon ni anghofio’r brechdanau, on’do? - We forgot the sandwiches, didn’t we?
Ddaru nhw weld ni, on’do? - They saw us, didn’t they?


Ah, thanks!

I heard something like that just the other day, for a question which the other person answered with Do! – but I hadn’t come across the associated question tag before.

It came across to me as something like yndo (like northern yndw crossed with do, I believe I thought) but must have been on’do.

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Oh, I’ve just wondered about this the other day. I did use this:

Ych chi’n Gymry, ydych Chi?

Is this correct at all?


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I have a feeling that “ife” is pretty widespread around here regardless of the tense(?). It seems to work in English’ also: “You stayed off because you had a cold, is it?”


Yup, it’s fine :slight_smile:

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Well - N yndw is really ydw with the y- nasalised, for reasons that need not detain us here :wink: - so ndw. While yndo is really on’ do, the on’ being ultimately derived from oni/ onid, for which you will find an exciting little entry in my dictionary, if you’re having a particularly slow day…

Fun! :slight_smile:


never knew this, but think I said something like this by accident the other day, but perhaps not correctly or in the correct sense. I think I was meaning to say “you were enjoying, weren’t you” and it came out ot ti’n joio ond o - not sure what made me stick the ond o on the end to be honest, which is why I remember it (i.e. where the hell did that come from and why did I say that sort of thing) - felt like it needed a bit more and wasn’t sure what to use - wasn’t really thinking about it to be honest it just came out that way. Not sure what to use as a tag for weren’t you, because on’do in this case is probably wrong and doesn’t fit with your past preterite examples.


Well in one sense it is technically wrong, since the imperfect (o’t ti’n joio) is not the preterite, but on broader semantic (as opposed to strictly grammatical) grounds it is pretty acceptable, since the imperfect and the preterite share the characteristic of being past tenses. In other words, in speech in many areas the do, and indeed the on’do tag as well, are associated with general past tense. The purists are appalled, and choke on their creision ŷd at this kind of thing. So that’s another reason for doing it, isn’t it? :wink:


A very good reason, thanks - I’ve never actually met one of those in real life, but I know their out there.

In this particular case I was already saying the words before I realised, I didn’t actually know how to say weren’t you - more of an “ond Doh…”(I’m stuck so I’ll just stop there), than an official on’do. The woman I was talking to didn’t even register it to be honest and just carried on talking - I could have probably said just about anything and got away with it.

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I used to find coughing very helpful at whatever point I ran out of language… :wink:


I could definately do with a few tricks up my sleeve for those all too frequent occasions - I tend to sometimes mumble something out under my breath. Someone at College who used to talk like the Queen used to call me the Welsh mumbler so I guess I have form for that.

I was listening to Beti George on Beti a’i phobol on Radio Cymru on my way home from work last night and she said something similar to what I was trying to say the other day. I’d have to listen to it again to be sure, but in my mind I heard her start off a sentence with “oedd e” , talking about someone’s Dad and I’m pretty sure that she ended it with “ond oedd e”.

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On’d oedd o is exactly like on’d ydy e, only in the past, so I’d imagine a lot of people say it!