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https://www.duolingo.com/Ieuan-Jones

Different forms of yes/no

Ieuan-Jones
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First off, I'm really enjoying this course a bunch - always wanted to learn Welsh, but was unfortunately cursed to an English language school when I was younger.

Secondly, I keep getting confused between which form of yes or not to use in different cases, it would be useful if this could be clarified somewhere in the course.

2 years ago

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/MrGWallCymraeg

This causes a heck of a lot of confusion, even amongst some "first" language speakers sometimes. The thing is, any yes and/or no is linked to the tense. So any that start with "dych chi/wyt ti" will be "ydw/nac ydw"; any with "oes" will be "oes/nac oes"; any with "fydd" would be "bydd"; any with "oedd" would be "oedd, roedd.....".

Confusing, yes; impossible, no (see what I did there? :P)

They get easier as time goes by (or you can just say wrth gwrs! (of course) or na, si┼Ár! (of course not!), hahaha).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ieuan-Jones
Ieuan-Jones
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That's awesome thanks! I'll try to bear that in mind - I'm sure I'll get there in the end. I'm not surprised even first language speakers get confused with the number of forms there are haha.

Cheers :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jepkatoj
Jepkatoj
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I've been wondering the same. This explanation on wikibooks seems pretty good: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Welsh/Useful_Phrases#Yes_and_No

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ieuan-Jones
Ieuan-Jones
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That lists helpful, thanks! Further in the tree there are some forms that don't appear in the table though, unfortunately; hopefully as the course gets more fleshed out there'll be some more explanation appearing.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jepkatoj
Jepkatoj
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I imagine that probably has something to do with this part of the explanation: "You must generally answer using the relevant form of the verb used in the question". Not sure though! Hopefully, yes :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mennarempt
mennarempt
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The thing with yes/no in Welsh (and all Celtic languages) is that there is no one word for it. Instead of saying yes/no you repeat the verb used in the question. So if the question is 'Dych chi ....?' (2nd plural/polite you of the verb bot 'to be') you answer 'ydw/nac ydw' (1st singular of the verb to be). For example: Do you wear shoes?: Dych chi'n gwisgo esgidiau? (lit. Are you in wearing shoes?) 'Ydw/Nac ydw (I am/I am not).

I don't know how far you are in the tree (and tbh I'm not that far yet so I don't know when verbal forms will be introduced), but Welsh uses a lot of periphrasis, so the verb used most often is the verb 'to be' (which is also one of the few irregular verbs, as in many languages).

If a different verb were to be used in a question, you'd answer yes/no using that verb. It's been over half a year since I did Welsh last, so I can't think of another verb that isn't another irregular one (or the Middle Welsh form...). I'm not a native speaker, so I don't know if you'd be able to use ydw/nac ydw when a different verb was used in the question in colloquial speech. I think you can in Irish at least, so maybe in Welsh too. And you'd probably get away with just using the English yes/no.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ieuan-Jones
Ieuan-Jones
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When I'm struggling through Welsh in real life, I normally just do Ie/Na for everything, but I've no idea how right that is, but I remember my Welsh teacher in school having a big grid of about 5 or 6 different yes/no's on the wall.

That's interesting though, what you said about verbs, I'll have to pay attention and see how often that happens further down the tree, because there's already yes/no's appearing I never learnt in school. Cheers!

2 years ago