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  5. "Do, es i i'r banc."

"Do, es i i'r banc."

Translation:Yes, I went to the bank.

February 3, 2016


  • 2363

I'm beginning to come to the realisation that German is baby-talk compared to Welsh! :-)

  • 2363

Is Welsh the only language in the world where you need a whole book on grammar just to answer yes or no?!


Cornish also repeats the verb instead of having a common, invariable word for yes/no.

I've heard a number of learners avoid that by responding with something like "Gwir / Dhe wir / Yn hwir" (True / Truly) :)

On the other hand, since many people form sentences with helping "do", you can get by with learning only the response forms for that verb. (A bit like how learning the forms of bod can get you pretty far in Welsh.)

  • Welsh: Wyt ti'n cysgu? Ydw. (Are you sleeping? I am.)
  • Cornish: A wre'ta koska? Gwrav. (Do you sleep? I do.)
  • or: Esos ta ow koska? Esov. (Are you sleeping? I am.)

If, on the other hand, someone asked you "A goskydh?" (Sleep you?), you would have to answer "Koskav." (I sleep.) - and since many people are not used to conjugating verbs, this can get tricky :) Most verbs are used in their verbal noun form together with a helping verb in daily usage.

I've even heard the theory that the use of "do-support" for questions and negative sentences in English comes from the Brythonic languages, i.e. Cornish and/or Welsh (or their common ancestor).

[deactivated user]

    It is similar in Irish.

    • An bhfuil tú i do chodladh? Táim. (Are you asleep? I am.)
    • An gcodlaíonn tú? Codlaíonn. (Do you sleep? Sleeps.)
    • An dtéann sí ar scoil? Téann. (Does she go to school? Goes.)


    So do is like ydw in the past tense?


    Yes. There is no single 'yes/no' in Welsh - it always depends on the tense/person. For short- past tense, 'do/naddo' is 'yes/no' for all persons.

    Here's a link to nice guide on yes/no in Welsh: http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/learnwelsh/pdf/welshgrammar_ff_replies.pdf


    It gives ydych instead of dych and there’s no sign of mae anywhere.


    It also has "dych" -- "Remember the colloquial forms: Ydych chi? = Dych chi? (S.W.) / Dach chi? (N.W.)."

    And is "mae" used in questions or in answers?


    Yes. The good news is once you get out of present tense, there don't tend to be different forms for person and number. Whereas we use "Ydw", "Wyt," "Ydy", etc. and "Nac ydw", "Nac wyt", "Nac ydy", etc. in present tense, in the conjugated past tense it's just "Do" and "Naddo".


    I've read that that simplification is a northern Welsh thing, though.

    • 2363

    From what I've seen, I'm not sure simplification is a concept known in Welsh of any variety! :-) Are there even words for 'simple' or 'straightforward' in Welsh? :-)


    Hmmm. I'm misremembering. I think there may be other tenses where you get the variation by person and number. (Like the "Bydda" future? Maybe?)


    Yes/no varies by person in the future tense: bydda/na fydda, bydd/na fydd etc. And the imperfect. Oeddwn/nac oeddwn, oedd/nac oedd etc. And at least one other that I can recall.


    Yeah. Looks like I was over-eager with my sweeping generalization.


    Why is this not: "do, fe es i i'r banc" as I thought that statements needed eitheer 'mi' or 'fe' before the verb.


    Should the voice repeat the double i in "i i'r" ? Or elide it as she seems to?

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