Rhaid i fi versus eisiau fi

I’ve seen several explanations for the difference between these two but I keep finding that in the challenges I’ll use “rhaid i fi” and the answer comes back “eisiau fi”! Is it possible for a Welsh speaker here to give an example of two sentences, one with rhaid i fi and one with eisiau fi to get a sense of the different meaning they convey? Another way to put it is if I were to use rhaid i fi when a speaker would expect eisiau fi, would they think I was tŵp?


Sometimes things like this will feel like they’re never going to untwist themselves in your head, but eventually they will - it’s just really frustrating until they do!

Rhaid i fi = I must / I’ve got to
Eisiau i fi = I need / I need to

The difference in meaning is not so far apart that using the ‘wrong’ one would make you sound ‘twp’ - to be honest, the person listening probably wouldn’t even notice.

So, some examples - subtle difference expressed in brackets!
I must buy bread / I have to buy bread (because I don’t have any)… Mae rhaid i fi brynu bara
I need to buy bread (before what I have runs out)… Mae eisiau i fi brynu bara

Hope that helps. :slight_smile:


…and the penny drops @siaronjames, thanks. Thanks for beating me to the same question @clare-26. Very helpful.


That does and reminded me that the problem here isn’t the Welsh but the English. Your examples point to a sensitivity to urgency that I don’t think colloquial English today reflects (both “must” and “need to” seem entirely interchangeable to me). I’m guessing that for most people aiming to become passable speakers they just have to listen to enough examples in context to develop a sense of what’s correct. Diolch!

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yup, that’s very often the case! :wink:

yup, spot on! :smiley:

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This is great, I’ve been having the same problem and this is really helpful – but also need to add gyda fi to this area of confusion! How do I remember the difference between rhaid i fi and gyda fi when trying to say “I’ve got to” in Welsh? I always seem to pick the wrong one :roll_eyes:

Again, it’s the English causing the problem here with the word ‘got’…
gyda is ‘got’ as in possession - I’ve got a dog (i.e. i have a dog) = mae ci gyda fi / mae gyda fi gi
rhaid is ‘got to’ as in must do something - I’ve got to walk the dog (i.e. I must walk the dog) = mae rhaid i fi fynd â’r ci am dro

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oh thank you! This is exactly the kind of explanation that will stick in my aging brain!

I don’t know how on earth people ever learn English. I remember my French teacher in school – who was French – going on various rants about learning English every time we girls complained about something in the French language – very funny –


I know this is going to sound strange, but come to think of it, I don’t think that I tend to use Eisiau much (or here it much from 1st language speakers). For some reason, even though Swansea is pretty much as South as you can get, without getting your feet wet, there seem to be some Northern words used here.

So, for me it’s mostly moyn, angen, rhaid and the occasional angenraid (necessity/compulsion/inevitability) just for fun.

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Now I have another one: when to use don i ddim and when to use gwnes i ddim?

I always seem to say the wrong one for “I didn’t”!

Doeddwn/d’on i ddim forms are when it has been an ongoing action (doeddwn/do’n i ddim yn meddwl - I didn’t think - lit. I wasn’t thinking, doeddwn/do’n i ddim yn gwbod - I didn’t know - lit. I wasn’t knowing, etc). The auxiliary form which uses gwneud (nes i ddim darllen y llyfr - I didn’t read the book, nes i ddim gweld y rhaglen - I didn’t see the programme) is when the action has not been ongoing.

This will help too - How to do the past tense: New version of my old video

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Oh Siaron thank you, I rather thought I could count on you to give me an explanation that I can easily understand and remember! The video was fun as well.
You make me want to go back and practice more now

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Can I ask what the difference is between hwnnw and hwnna (both masculine I think). Also what is the difference between honno and honna (both feminine I believe)??

There’s no real difference - hwnna is just a spoken version of hwnnw and honna is a spoken version of honno. :slight_smile:

Diolch yn fawr. The pesky nuances (as I see them) between this/that/those/these/it etc (and whether it’s a specific item or items being referred to or a generic it/those, etc) has always eluded me!! There maybe further questions to follow at a later date… Diolch am dy help xx

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