of the variants

In level 2 Challenge 20 the challenge is reinforcing the distinction between different kinds of ‘that’…and there is one I don’t quite understand…I’ve had the books out (arghh!) but I still can’t pin it down…

I understand the first one below…using bod for the present, taking into account that when it was said in the past, at that time it was said in the present (!)…

#1. You said that you thought it was fairly good

T(1) Dwedest ti bod ti’n meddwl bod hi’n eitha da

The second one is the one I don’t understand…

#2. I thought you said it was fairly good

O’n i’n meddwl y(?) ti’n dweud bod hi’n eitha da

…the y is pronounced like an ‘i’ (which I mention in case I am completely misunderstanding it)…

…which seems like it is the case where if the original thought is not in the present tense you “add an y for ‘that’ and join the sentences together”… in which case…shouldn’t the bit after the ‘y’ be ddwedest ti…

I can’t find any examples in the books I have which are in the past tense…but it would appear from what is said that it doesn’t work that way…it seems to have had its tense removed in a similar way to example 1…(perhaps because the context of the ‘I thought’ sets the context of everything to the past tense…I think it must be something like that…

Strangely this doesn’t seem to be covered in the text I have.



I think you’ll find the sentence is “O’n i’n meddwl i ti ddweud bod…”. It’s an odd construction that causes no end of confusion. The “i ti” basically carries the past tense of the start of the sentence through even though it doesn;t look like a past tense construction (i ti ddweud).

I think you could use the “y” there, if you said “O’n i’n meddwl y dywedaist ti bod…”, but the first is certainly far more natural to me in conversational Welsh.

Does that help?


It does thank you. That makes complete sense.

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Ps. I absolutely love the delivery on the variants of “I want my money back because it was complete rubbish…”

They really make me smile each time - such feeling!



Brilliant. I’m always glad when I’ve managed to explain something usefully!

And I’m glad that you enjoyed the rubbish. Sometimes there’s a gift sentence there that just has to be delivered - co pleased that it hit the spot…


Armed with the explanation I have moved onward and upward. However, when I wasn’t looking for it anymore(!), I stumbled upon a very succinct description of all the ‘that’ options last night.

It struck me that it mapped very well onto the variants run through in the challenges at the end of level 2 so I thought I would ‘share’ on the off chance it is of interest to anyone.

It is in the Gareth King’s Modern Welsh Dictionary but in the introduction covering grammar (not the reference section), the further brutal summary being:

Original idea begins with:

  1. Present tense: use bod
  2. Pretorite past tense: use ‘i’
  3. A verb representing any other tense e.g. byddwn or dylech etc: use ‘y’
  4. No verb at start - because sentence re-arranged for emphasis: use taw or mai


I guess if you’ve got it already you’ve got it…but nevertheless its a very short explanation which is good for consolidation if nothing else!