Shwmae, quick question plis?

Shwmae! Beth ydy ’ I don’t know’ yn Gymraeg os gwelwch yn dda? I know ‘dw i ddim yn gwybod’ but I hear people say something like ‘sain gwybod’ when chatting. I can’t figure out what the ‘sain’ sounding word is

Southern Welsh often uses “sai’n gwybod” - the sai’n bit is a way of forming a negative, but since my Welsh is more Northern and my Southern Welsh is fairly rusty now, I’ll leave one of the Southern speakers to elaborate further.


Diolch! School Welsh in the 90s didn’t prepare me for dialects, and I’m a Cardi which doesn’t help

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Sa i’n gwybod. I don’t know
So ti’n gwybod, so fe’n gwybod, so hi’n gwybod, so ni’n gwybod, so chi’n gwybod. so nhw’n gwybod.
So “So” for all the other persons.

It’s a southern thing. It only works in the present. It’s pretty informal, which is why it probably wasn’t taught in the schools.


Diolch yn fawr Margaret, wracking my brains now to remember the classroom song ‘mae e, mae hi mae nhw’ :smile:

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‘Wn i ddim’ in the North too!

This is the sort of situation where reference grammars really can help.

I tried to look up SA I’N in Gareth King’s Modern Welsh: A Comprehensive Grammar, but couldn’t find it in the index. However, I did find it in a very recently (July 2020) published book by King: Working Welsh: A Guide to the Mechanics of the Language.

On page 139, he states that this form is found in parts of the South, and functions like “DW I DDIM”, etc. . e.g. as the present tense negative of BOD; it is conjugated thus: SA I, SO TI, SO FE/HI (North FO/HI, of course), SO NI, SO CHI, SO NHW; the only variant is in the First Person Singular.

There is another form based on SMO, with no stem variation: SMO FI, SMO TI, etc.


Diolch Rob👍

As it happens, the sa/so and the smo constructions are covered in Gareth Kings Modern Welsh Dictionary (as opposed to MW Grammar). They are towards the top right hand corner of the 1st guide box for the word Bod. Page 25 in the edition that I have :slight_smile:

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