What are some methods to learn plurals?

So are there any tricks to learn Welsh plurals? The plurals seem like the most difficult aspect of the language. What does a native speaker do when they don’t know a plural form or forget it? In English the plurals are fairly regular so we would just as an s, but because there are multiple forms for Welsh words what would they do?

If there are, I am not aware of them. The best way is to learn the word as a pair (for example cat/s -> cath , cathod, dog/s -> ci, cŵn). Dictionaries will usually tell you how to form the plural.
You could also make flash cards for training, with singular on one side and the corresponding plural on the other.
Note that there are words in Welsh, where the “base form” is inherently plural, and you form a singular by adding an ending. Some examples are sêr = stars, seren = star and plant = children, plentyn = child
But whatever you do, the biggest advice is don’t worry, you’ll pick it up as you go along, as you use the language and hear people use the words.
Pob lwc!


See my post here.Singular and Plural Nouns in Welsh

Might help.

I went on a weekend in Bethesda with Cymdeithas yr Iaith and one night we had a quiz, the second round of which - learners only - was basically “pin the plural on the noun”.

But English wasn’t always so simple, and we’ve changed things around by simplifications and analogies over the years, for example:

ox, oxen; child, childer; brother, brether; sister, sister; deer, deer; fish, fishes; beef, beeves

ox, oxen; child, children; brother, brethren; sister, sistren; deer, deer; fish, fish & fishes (depending on context); beef, cattle

And then finally brothers & sisters.

So Welsh is just as awkward as English, only more so - and sometimes when you look things up you’ll find that more than one form is accepted, anyway. And once you get used to enough common patterns to make plausible guesses you’ll be perfectly comprehensible even when you’re not right :slight_smile:

1 Like

Not only this, but if you guess and you’ve based your guess on a basic knowledge on the alternative ways that plurals are generally formed, you’ll either hit one of the accepted plurals, or the person you’re speaking to will recognise it as an alternative and just assume that that’s ‘the way they say it’ where you’re from.