"Nac ydw"

Translation:No, I don't

January 31, 2016

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I agree because it sounds like not a yes


If the answer is "No I do not," then why is "I do not" incorrect?


Very strange this one...nac SEEMS to be ''not'', and with ydw being yes, seems like it would then be ''not a yes''. Kinda makes sense really.


"ydw" is not really "yes" -- it's more "I am".

Welsh usually answers questions yes/no not with separate words that are just for that, but by repeating the appropriate verb -- as if you said "Are you pretty? I am. Am I pretty? You are not."

So here, "ydw" would be "I am", and "nac ydw", "I am not".

Those would be appropriate answers for a question that starts with "Wyt ti ...?" (are you ...?), though we'd usually say "Yes" and "No" in English rather than "I am" / "I am not", except for some speakers who do this due to Celtic influence on their English :)


Thank you for the explanation. If "ydw" is closer to "I am", what's the difference between that and "dw i"?


Today's answer:

  • dw i (or: rw i, rydw i) = I am (in a positive statement, e.g. I am eating cheese = Dw i'n bwyta caws)
  • dw i ddim (or: dydw i ddim) = I am not (negative statement, e.g. I am not going = Dw i ddim yn mynd)
  • ydw i ...? = am I ...? (question)
  • Ydw. = Yes, I am. (Answer to a question)

In slightly more formal/standard situations, there are different forms for positive statements, negative statements, and questions / answers to questions.

In common language, the positive and negative forms are the same (dw i / dw i ddim), but you may also see ones where the positive form has r- and the negative one has d-. The question one has neither of those and is thus only "ydw" rather than "rydw" or "dydw".

These come from an original form ydwyf which got worn down to ydw or even dw -- and for positive statements used to have an yr in front (yr ydwyf i becoming rydw i) and negative ones a nid (nid ydwyf i becoming dydw i (ddim)). I believe questions used to have an a before which did not leave any mark behind for this verb.


Where do people say rw i? No idea why, but that just feels horrible to say to me for some reason.


According to King's grammar, rw i and w i are used in the south. (I have no personal knowledge of the matter.)


Huh, interesting, I'll be sure to ask my cousin if he's ever heard it next time I see him.


Thank you for this elaborate explanation, it's really helpful :)


So you admit you think you're pretty...


You wouldn't use nac for not, it just is the way of negating the positive answer. For not in a sentence you would use dim/ddim e.g "Dydy o DDIM yn mynd i'r siop"="He is NOT going to the shop"


Makes sense, Zinthak.


So much Strange language actually

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