Wnaeth vs Oedd for ‘did’ in level 3 lesson 4

In Level 3 lesson 4, the English is ‘She didn’t understand’ and the answer was ‘doedd hi dim deall’

But because it is a ‘did’ action. I thought it would be ‘Wnaeth hi from deall’ ?

Is there another reason to use the oedd form in that sentence that I am missing?

When what we call a stative verb is used (deall is a stative verb - i.e. a state of understanding), then it is used with a form of bod (in this case, doedd) - because it’s describing a continuous action over time i.e. she was not understanding. That, of course, sounds awkward in English said that way, so we don’t say it in translation, and that’s where the confusion occurs because whilst the short-form verbs (in this case wnaeth) are used for short, non-continuous actions (e.g. shutting a door), the English translation is also “she didn’t…” because English doesn’t differentiate between stative and non-stative verbs, but Welsh does.


Thank you!

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Apologies for ‘hijacking’ the question, but I am currently (only) at level 1 challenge 10 - and I was wondering if wnes i ddim deall vs do’n i ddim yn gwybod is the same distinction?
(Also, am I right in thinking that do’n i ddim yn is simply the negative equivalent of o’n i’n?)

yes, absolutely it is :slight_smile:

yup, spot on there too :slight_smile:

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Hi, me confused again. I am on. Challenge 8 now and the English is ‘I didn’t understand…’ and the answer was ‘Wnes I ddim deall…’

So why is it ‘Wnes I’ for ‘I didn’t understand’ but ‘Doedd hi ddim’ for She didn’t understand?

Using a form of bod (e.g. doedd) or using a form of the auxiliary gwneud (e.g. wnes) in these examples can often be a matter of personal/local preference, and often they are interchangeable, although there is also a subtle ‘rule’.
If the ‘understanding’ was a short one-off type of thing e.g. “I didn’t understand what you said just now” , then the ultra-correct form is the one that uses gwneud because it’s more an action rather than a state of being, but if the ‘understanding’ was a longer, continuous type of thing e.g. “she didn’t understand French”, then the ultra-correct form is the one that uses bod because it’s more a state of being rather than a one-off action.
But don’t worry about using the wrong one in the wrong place - the distinction can be really subtle and people will know what you mean anyway - and the more Welsh you listen to, the more certain patterns (which is used in which context) will start to embed themselves and sound ‘right’.