Very confused, Course 2, Lesson 21

Having run through course 2 15-19 several times and torn my hair out at the 20 minutes of nasal mutations in lesson 20 I decided to go on to 21 to see if I could pick up some progress again. But it seems I’m completely lost.

Warning, lack of spelling ahead that probably loses my entire point

It seems that, from the first 10 minutes of this lesson (except “help you”, but I’m pretty sure I remember that from elsewhere):

call you - d aloo de
sell you - d werthye de
call him - ew aloo fe
sell him - ee werthye fe


help you - d helpu de
help him - helpu iddo fe

Why is it suddenly iddo fe?

I was doing ok (not well) with the “d [noun or verb] de” pattern, and picking up the “e [noun] fe” pattern, but sometimes the verb seems to use iddo fe instead, and I can’t see why.

In the same way that different verbs are followed by “to” or “with” in English that add to the meaning, Welsh verbs need additional structures that may seem idiomatic and confusing. If you simply stop worrying about it and accept it on faith, you’ll make smooth progress. It may seem that the right thing would be to be more concerned, but the SSiW mantra is a proven tool:- Don’t worry.
Good luck!

Hi Dave. I had exactly the same problem as you at this point in the course. I know it is hard but please try not to worry too much about it. I still get it mixed up but as time has gone on it happens less and less and when it does I just try and remember it.

I have sometimes been banging my head against walls and got the ‘don’t worry too much about it’ response. Know how it feels… but just keep going and the waters will clear with time.

Hi Dave, you’re going fine! There’s a lot going on in those lessons but as you push on through things start to feel more natural.
If you think about English, you can have something like “look at the news” or “watch the news”. You can’t say “look the news” or “watch at the news” and we just grow up knowing which is right. Most of us probably end up developing a preference and tending to always say it the same way, usually because that’s how people around us say it.
With Welsh it’s the same - sometimes a verb has forms of “i” like “iddo” after it, and sometimes not. Some verbs seem to be happy with both forms and it’s just personal preference which you end up using.
The more you listen to natural Welsh, e.g. on the radio or in the community if you live somewhere where you hear it spoken, the more you’ll pick up those little things and decide which you prefer.
In the meantime, as others have said, try not to worry and just enjoy the variety :slight_smile:

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I think I’d have been less confused if “helpu” had taken a different form for “you” as well as “him”. As it stands it seems it’s not just “some verbs are different” but “some verbs with some people are different”.

I was wondering about this. It doesn’t seem right to me. I tried to go and listen to the lesson but I don’t have access. If @aran or @Kinetic could give me access to the course I will give it a go.

The only one I’m not sure is in the first <11 mins of that lesson is “d helpu de”. I’m sure I remember hearing that a lot in the surrounding lessons but I couldn’t put a pin in it too quickly.

helpu iddo fe - can you provide some context? I agree with Rob, sounds odd - unless it is in a context like “help him to do something” in which case it would be helpu iddo fe wneud rhybeth - “help him” just by itself would be helpu fe

Yes. This.

“Are you going to help him practice too?”

01:39, C2gwers21.mp3 (Old Southern course 2, lesson 2)

So “help him” is “helpu fe”, but “help him to do something” is “…iddo fe…”. So there is an explanation for it! Thank you.


This sounds like I may have introduced a new pattern (or used a pattern which you’ve only used in a different context) wihtout explanation / warning. Do we have any gogs who could confirm / deny the gogdom of this sentece?

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that you could use 'i helpu e (ee helpu e) i wneud rhwybeth" and it would be fully understood. I’m not even sure that it would be “wrong”, but it’s not what I would say, which is what the southern course teaches (I’ve learnt from some of these original courseX mistakes to be a bit more careful in the levelX lessons).

I couldn;t even tell you a rule for when to use which. My advice would be to stick with 'i helpu e … and when I say something different, say a little swear word, and move on. Over time, you’ll find yourself thinking “wait, is this an iddo fe one” as you respond, then before you respond, until in the end, you choose the same response as me most of the time. Then you will start using your Welsh in the wild, find that they say something slightly different, and adapt to what the people you hear most say most of the time.

I know that’s just a variation on the “don;t worry about it” theme, but even if I knew the rule and could tell you exactly when and where to use each pattern, in order to speak you would still have to follow the same process, unless you slowed down enough to think of the rules everytime you spoke. You don;t do that in English, and you’ll become a far more natural Welsh speaker if you don’t do that in Welsh!

I hope that is mostly helpful (even though I haven;t really answered your question!).


Thanks Iestyn, and everyone. It’s good to know there is something going on, even if it may be largely inexpressible, and that I wasn’t necessarily going mad when I noticed it.

Although I guess it means I have to go and pick 20-21 up again, now. Maybe after one more run through of the nice new Southern Challenge 20, first.

If this is the only thing that has confused you in lesson 21, then don;t bother going back a lesson! Sounds like your doing just fine to me.

And if you’re doing shiny new challenge 20, then you’ll have to wait until after you’ve done shiny new challenge 21 as well…

Y’know, I don’t think that was there ~20 minutes ago. I’m hapus iawn it is now, though. Diolch yn fawr.

I have seen the ‘challenges’ mentioned several times in these questions. What and where are they?

It’s just the name for the new courses.

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Diolch! I have been doing those and they’re really useful for consolidating and learning new things, so I’m really pleased that there’s more of them now.
Thanks for your ‘iddo fe’ question, too. I hadn’t noticed what had happened so this discussion has been useful.

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