Sentence structure and 'my name is'

I know you’re not supposed to worry about grammar, etc but i’ve got to vocab unit 5 and i’ve kinda ground to a halt as this is really bugging me…
…What sentence structure is being used for the 'My name is ', ‘Is your name ’ and so on? In all the previous lessons the setences made sense, I could match them up to english-ish, even if it would sound odd if said like that in english, eg In Welsh it’s sort of ‘I ask a question (of) you’ rather than ‘I ask you a question’ but I can make sense of it.
However, I just can’t work it out in Vocab 5. I’ve looked up the words for ‘My’ ‘name’ and ‘is’ and whilst I can see where ‘my name’ and ‘your name’ are cropping up I cant work out why it is ’ y di f’enw i’ (sorry if i’ve spelt that wrong!) rather than 'f’enw yw ’ or maybe ‘fy enw i yw’?

Hopefully that makes some sort of sense, I really dont want to just learn it parrot fashion as that doesn’t feel right, or that it’s really me learning the language.
Any help appreciated, thanks :smile:

I usually introduce myself as “Huw ydw i”.
In response to the formal question “beth yw dy enw di” I’d reply “fy enw i yw/ydy Huw” (usually dropping the “i”)

(BUT as always that’s based on what I hear in South Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire)

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The same. I always introduce myself as “Tatjana ydw i.” This is what I’ve learnt from one old book in the time before I “met” SSiW site and it is something that is stuck in me. I never actually tried to figure out gramar thingy in that. It was strange to my ears and eyes at first but now I actually just can’t say it differently.

I suggest not to pair such phrases with English “equvivalent” too much or seak for them because I found out there simply are not to be found for some of Cymraeg phrases.

It doesn’t help you too much of course, I know, but anyway.

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What Huw and Tatjana said, but as you mentioned grammar…

In Welsh, word order is used much more than in English to indicate emphasis, in English that is often done by stressing the bit of the sentence that needs emphasis, in Welsh that bit of the sentence moves to the front. So, in response to the question “what is your name?” you would say “my name is George”, with more stress on “George”. In Welsh, “beth ydy dy enw di”, “George ydi fy enw i” has the same effect. You will find this pattern used a lot, not just for names.


Okay, the bit about word order is useful, but does this mean that the general structure for ‘my [thing] is…’ is ‘[thing] y di f’enw i’? As it, to say ‘My cat is’ would be ‘Cath y di f’enw i…’?

Not sure I understand your question. “George ydi fy enw i” literally is “George is my name” - “Cath ydi fy enw i” is “My name is Cath” or “Cath is my name”. The general structure for "my [thing] is [xyz]’ is “Mae fy [peth] yn [xyz]” and if you need to emphasise [xyz], it becomes “[xyz] ydi fy [peth]”. Does that help?

Aah yes, I did tie myself in knots a bit there. So why does ‘My name is’ not follow the structure you posted? To go with that, is 'Mae fy enw yn George valid but not…normal Welsh? Is it just randomly different? If it is, thats fine, would just be nice to know.

It is a bit like “My name is long” vs. “My name is Long”, if you get my drift :wink:

Aye, I see what you mean. So basically for now I just need to accept that ‘My name is’ is a unique structure, learn it parrot fashion and carry on. I think I can live with that now I know.
Thanks for the help :smile:

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I think that the essence of what George was asking is:

Under what circumstances is it natural to use this “A ydi/yw B” kind of construction instead of “Mae A yn B” I’d also be curious to know the answer. I know it is not limited to the case where B = “my name/ fy enw”

Basically, if you want to give more emphasis. I thoroughly confused myself when I started looking up ‘focused sentences’ in my grammar books just then, there are more rules than you can poke a stick at :smile:

Mae fy merch yn filfeddyg - my daughter is a vet
Milfeddyg yw fy merch - my daughter is a vet

It’s not so much that it’s a unique structure, it’s just our early example of what Louis is saying about how Welsh plays around with word order for emphasis.

So don’t worry if it feels as though it’s a ‘parrot fashion’ thing at the moment - it isn’t, really, because it’s preparing you for other possibilities - some of which you’ve already started to intuit… :sunny:


Sorry for taking so long to reply. Okay, I think that makes sense now. Thank you all for being patient with me as I utterly failed to explain properly what I meant :smile:

I made a definite effort to go at vocab 5 again yesterday to try and get back into it and got on OK, I think the knowledge from this thread had helped clear the worst of the frustration, so thank you.

A lot of new words in that vocab unit aren’t there? Gonna take a few attempts to get most of it sunk in I think.