She didn’t want

Honestly, the more I learn, the more questions I have… The phase “ she didn’t want “ I understood to be nest hi ddim yn moyn.
Level 2 challenge 23 starts with this and the translation given is doedd hi ddim yn moyn.
Any ideas as to which to use and when .

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You’ll come across a few verbs in Welsh (and only a few) like moyn and gwybod, that don’t behave like the English and generally go with oedd - it’s just a different way of speaking and thinking - “she wasn’t wanting” is the welsh way of saying “she didn’t want”, similarly “she wasn’t knowing”, for “she didn’t know” - doedd hi ddim yn gwybod. You’ll get plenty of practice with these and soon it will become hard to say these any other way.


Thanks for that. I think I understand.:blush:

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The way I understood, these two forms of the past are distinguished as follows:

  • The “roedd/oeth/doeth” form is used to describe an ongoing action in the past. Wanting, or not wanting, something is ongoing - you don’t just want it for a moment. It is (in this case) a state of mind. Same with knowing. As @Toffidil writes, it’s similar to “was doing”.
  • The “nes/nest” form is used to describe momentary action: I closed the door. You didn’t win the race. Similar to “did”.

No doubt there’s an overlap between the two forms, and in some cases either can be used, as in English.


Yes - want is a state (here, of mind) rather than an action, and that’s why you don’t use the preterite (i.e. nes i (etc) or -es i (etc), or ddaru) for the past tense.

Another example would be perthyn belong:
It belonged to her
Oedd e’n perthyn iddi (NOT *Naeth e berthyn iddi)

Generally, verbs that CAN’T form a progressive (-ing) present in English CAN’T use the preterite for past tense in Welsh. We can’t say *‘It is belonging to her’, see?).


Handy. You should write all this stuff down somewhere.


You know, Mr Gruntius - that is actually a VERY good idea…

Then again -would anyone read it if I did…? :confused: