Re weeks 12 & 13

Hello everyone, I hope someone can help with some things I don’t understand:

  1. Dyn, y dyn and Mae’r dyn. I do not understand when to use “Mae’r or Mae” in the answers. Numerous sentences begin with “a man” or “the man” and sometimes the answer given uses “mae dyn…” or “mae’r dyn….” And sometimes the answers are just “dyn….” Or “y dyn…” I am at a total loss as to when to use “mae” or “mae’r” and when not to use them.

  2. I am ok with “well iddi hi “ and “well iddo fe”, but when “well hen fenyw…” is said, it sounds like there is something between the “well” and the “hen” but my ear is not good enough to make out what it is. It sounds like either “i” or “e”, or maybe I am imagining it?

  3. “Byddai fe” is given as “he would”. I have also come across “Basai fe” for “he would”. Are both acceptable in SW or is “Basai fe” only used in NW?

Mae’n ddrwg ‘da fi, for asking so many questions. I will be very grateful for any help. Diolch yn fawr.

  1. Dyn = a man
    y dyn = the man
    mae’r dyn = the man is
    mae dyn = a man is
    We don’t use an indefinite article (a) in Welsh, so if there is no y or 'r ('r because y after a vowel becomes 'r), then it’s “a xxx” and if there is a y or a 'r then it’s “the xxx”
  2. the bit between well and hen is i’r. As you noticed with iddi and iddo, you need a form of i after well, and i’r is i+y but because i is a vowel, the y turn’s into 'r (as I said in #1)
  3. Yes, basai fe is the same as byddai fe, and neither are exclusively NW or SW so use whatever you know best or whatever you hear most spoken around you and just be aware of the other form for when you come across someone who prefers to use that.

Hope that makes it all a bit clearer for you :slight_smile:


Hello Siaron, I am not sure if I am not meant to reply, since “no reply” has appeared in the title, but it would seem rude of me not to thank you for explaining my questions in such a clear and concise way. Your explanations have cleared up my confusion. Thank you so much! Diolch yn fawr!

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Glad I could help, Simon, that’s what the forum is all about - help, support, advice and encouragement. Thanks for your thanks!

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Just a little additional point - sometimes you’re asked to give the Welsh for phrases rather than complete sentences. This gives you “chunks” of Welsh that you later build on to create whole sentences, e.g.

You may be given “the old man and the dog” - a phrase: yr hen ddyn a’r ci
Then later you’ll get something like " I saw the old man and the dog" - weles i’r hen ddyn a’r ci
so you practise phrases first, then use them in sentences.


Simon-francis asked the question No. 1 that I am also having a problem with. Mainly it is because the English question will start with a man… or the man … but the answer required in Welsh is at odds with the ‘a’ or ‘the’. Does this mean that they are interchangeable? Or are we being encouraged to work out for ourselves when it should be mae or mae’r?
Probably will get the hang of it but it is quite frustrating to be wrong so many times!!

No, they’re not interchangeable, and yes, the course is designed to encourage you to work out things for yourself (as Deborah alluded to in her post above).
Remember that ‘mae’ is neither ‘a’ nor ‘the’ (it is a form of the verb ‘to be’) and it is only the presence or absence of an 'r after it which tells you whether it is referring to ‘the’ or ‘a’.


Adding a quick “tech” note, so that you don’t feel as if you shouldn’t be answering, next time:
the "no-reply"is a technical thing and refers to the e-mail only!
It just means that in order to reply to anyone’s message you have to come to the Forum (there’s a direct link at the end of the e-mail) and you cannot reply straight from the e-mail - but more questions, replies and of course thanks are more than welcome! :slight_smile:

I do remember that in the beginning the sound “r” suddenly appearing in a way that seemed totally random to me was very confusing!
Just like those other sounds changing for no apparent reason - then turned out to be “mutations”.
But it’s just a matter of a bit of patience and it will click! :wink:


Thank you Gisella, for the technical help, Siaron, for the help about “bod” and Deborah for the help about “chunks”. I think I finally understand it. Hopefully this will help Sarah but perhaps you will all tell me I am still in the dark.
In challenge 11 these are two of the examples that totally confused me:

“The young man wants to ask you something” = “Mae’r dyn ifanc yn moyn gofyn rhywbeth i ti”
“The young man who wants to speak” =“y dyn ifanc sydd yn moyn siarad”

I couldn’t for the life of me see why the second example didn’t use “Mae’r” like the earlier example. Now I see that in the second example it would be part a “chunk” for a longer sentence such as “Oedd fenyw ifanc gweld y dyn ifanc sydd yn moyn siarad” but it would also be correct to say “Mae’r dyn ifanc sydd yn moyn siarad gyda ti”. I am not sure if I have got those sentences correct but the principle is there.

I hope I now understand it, and thanks to everyone for explaining it to me. The only thing I would ask is how are people to know if something is meant as a sentence or as a “chunk”. For example, an earlier example was “The man still wants” the answer given was “Mae’r dyn dal yn moyn” This is not a complete sentence, more like a “chunk” so I would have thought it should be “y dyn dal yn moyn”

I hope I understand it now, but perhaps I am still totally confused.

Diolch yn fawr

Just as ‘mae’ is a form of ‘bod’ (to be), so is ‘sydd’. sydd = “who is”, so although there is no ‘is’ in the English “The young man who wants to speak”, in Welsh you are literally getting “The young man who is wanting to speak”.
Because you are only talking about one person (y dyn ifanc) don’t need two forms of ‘bod’, so you don’t need a ‘mae’ in “Mae’r dyn ifanc sydd yn moyn siarad gyda ti” - just “Y dyn ifanc sydd yn moyn siarad gyda ti”. (In the sentence you compare it with, you have two people - y fenyw ifanc and y dyn ifanc - so the first form of ‘bod’, ‘oedd’ is referring to the woman and the second, sydd, is referring to the man).

You don’t really need to consciously think about whether something is a sentence or a chunk when you are going through the course - trust your brain because it will figure this out the more it comes across similarities in structure.
“The man still wants” = “The man is still wanting” = “Mae’r dyn dal yn moyn” whereas “y dyn dal yn moyn” doesn’t make sense without the ‘mae’ because you need an ‘is’ in there. (likewise, going back to mae/sydd, if you wanted to say “the man who still wants” = “the man who is still wanting” = y dyn sydd dal yn moyn").

Sometimes it’s very hard not to overthink things like this, but that’s a big part of the difference between learning as an adult and learning as a child - as adults we tend not to give our brains free range to absorb material by themselves, which they are more than capable of doing, and instead try to ‘control’ how information goes in - it’s a perfectly natural habit, but one that is hard to break!


Thank you once again Siaron. I was so wrong and I didn’t realise that “sydd” was a form of “bod”.
It actually does make sense to me now. Thank you for your patience. I know I must trust the process, it is very hard for me not to try and understand how the Welsh language works. I will try harder to absorb and not analyse. Diolch yn fawr iawn.


Hi Deborah, Just a quick thank you for your help in Q&A yesterday. Simon

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Diolch Simon! You did very well!