Ydy v. yw

Ok…the following is confusing.
Huw yw athro.
Huw ydy athro.
Mae Huw yn athro.
What’s the difference? Apart from emphasis, when ‘Huw’ is the start of the sentence (I’m guessing) what is the difference between these three examples? When do we use ‘ydy’ and when do we use ‘yw’? Thanks.

1 Like

Yw and ydy are pretty much entirely interchangeable. You’d use yw/ydy as the verb if the subject (Huw in the example) is first, and you’d use mae as the verb if the subject is second.

From my understanding there is no real difference, just a regional thing. If I remember correctly, in the north you’ll hear “ydy” predominantly, while “yw” is used in the south. (Only in sentences, though. As a form of “yes”, as in “yes, he is” you’ll also hear “Ydy” in the south.)


So helpful. Many thanks.

Would not the third sentence, ‘Mae Huw yn athro’ be like ‘Hugh is teaching’, which is a slightly different meaning.

My understanding is also that ydy and yw are the same, with ydy being more ‘Northern’ and yw more ‘Southern’

1 Like


Huw yw/ydy athro is wrong, and indeed not Welsh - if you want to say Huw’s a teacher, it’s either Athro yw/ydy Huw or Mae Huw’n athro, (and those two are identical in meaning, @Y_Ddraig_Las - in answer to your supplementary query)

If you want to say, however (using an identification sentence):

Huw’s the teacher

that would be

Huw yw/ydy 'r athro

(Huw is a teacher is not an identification sentence, you see - nothing is singled out).

And yes - yw is broadly south, and ydy broadly north. But with questions it is Ydy…? everywhere (EXCEPT that some southern regions even use Yw…? here as well)



Oh, and also don’t forget one last pattern:

Athro yw/ydy Huw

This means Huw is a teacher (i.e. and not a bricklayer)


Many thanks Gareth for, once again, cutting through to the clarity of the thing. :sunglasses: Just a final question. You say Huw yw athro is wrong - but would it be OK to say, Athro yw Huw, Thanks again.

Yes indeed :smile: emphasises that he’s a teacher not a physicist (@HuwJones :wink:)

1 Like

Fab - many thanks everyone. :slight_smile: