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  5. "Pa liw gwallt sy gyda ti?"

"Pa liw gwallt sy gyda ti?"

Translation:What colour hair do you have?

February 5, 2016



What is the purpose of sy? How is it different from yw/ydy or just leaving it out?


"sy" is a special part of the verb "to be", used in focused sentences. Without it, the sentence has no verb, so yes, it needs to be there.

Remember, this isn't a literal translation of the equivalent English sentence, it actually means something like "Which colour hair is with you?", with the "sy" corresponding to "is".


Sy or Sydd as is the full word sort of means which or that so, "Pa liw gwallt sy gyda ti?" is more Which hair colour "which" you have? except you wouldn't include the which in english. It kind of is redundant but it's just a part of the grammar.


Is it a safe bet to include it whenever I use pa?


Thanks, so is it necessary here? Or can it be left out?


It's definitely needed but I don't know why it just feels wrong without it.


It's necessary because it's the verb.


It is also used in sentences like "Dewi Lingo sy'n siarad" (Dewi Lingo is speaking) or "Pwy sy'n galw?" (Who is calling?). In these sentences it means "is", a conjugation of the verb "to be".

So in this sentence, it would literally mean "Which colour hair is with you?"


Checking my understanding: "Mae Dewi Lingo yn siarad" is the standard form, and "Dewi Lingo sy'n siarad" emphasizes Dewi Lingo as the actor (by fronting it to the place where the verb normally is and using "sy")


That's it exactly. In English we have to resort to intonation or italics:

Mae Dewi Lingo yn siarad = "Dewi Lingo's talking"

Dewi Lingo sy'n siarad = "Dewi Lingo's talking"


I have about as much experience with sy as any of you, but I think you can sort of look at it like atá in an is construction in Irish, where it's sort of the connector that makes the sentence make sense. Without sy, this sentence is "what color hair with you?" but the sy acts like is it that is, so it's more like "what color hair is it that is with you?" It turns it into a real sentence, and gives the prepositional phrase gyda ti something to connect to.


Since lliw gwallt  is 'hair colour', couldn't 'What hair colour do you have?' be among the correct answers?


Yeah, that'd be fine too (though for some reason "What colour hair..." sounds more natural to me).


"Sy(dd)" is the question form of 'to be' ("bod") when the question word or phrase is the subject (source: King 2003, p. 100-102). That's the case here: the literal translation is something like "what hair color is with him", meaning that the question phrase, "what hair color" is the subject.


"what color is your hair" should be a viable solution.


That's different:

Pa liw gwallt sy gyda ti? = "What hair colour do you have?"

Pa liw yw dy wallt? = "What colour is your hair?"


Why not ‘what hair colour do you have’?


what's the difference between this translation and 'what colour is your hair'?


You could ask the question in several ways:

Pa liw gwallt sy gyda ti? "What colour hair do you have?"

Pa liw yw dy wallt ti? "What colour is your hair?"

Beth yw lliw dy wallt di? "What's the colour of your hair?"

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