"dych" correspond to "are", "chi" to "you", and
'n is the abbreviation of the untranslateable particle
Grammatical speculation follows:
There is a certain parallel, perhaps, between the
yn and the English -ing ending... so "Dych chi'n bwyta caws?" would be "Are you -ing eat cheese?" = "Are you eating cheese?"
Or you could think of it as a noun–noun possessive construction, with the verbal noun bwyta being possessed by the noun caws - "Are you at/in the eating of the cheese?"
That matches how things work when the object is a pronoun: "I see you" being something like "I am at/in your seeing".
Literally, yn means 'in', so we might think of its three usages like this (note that the first two are just informal aids to memory, not true grammatical explanations!):
Dw i'n bwyta as 'I am in (the unfinished process of) eating' - I am eating
Ro'n i'n bwyta as 'I was in (the unfinished process of) eating' - I was eating, I used to eat
Bydda i'n bwyta as 'I will be in (the unfinished process of) eating - I will be eating, I will eat
- Dw i'n flewog as 'I am in (the state of being) hairy' - I am hairy
- Dw i yn Aberystwyth as 'I am in Aberystwyth' - yn as a simple preposition
And the last two of these three aspects of yn is followed by a different type of mutation (of course!) so that we don't get them mixed up. As if...
(Note that the abbreviated form 'n occurs only in the first two usages above, never when yn is used as a preposition.)
Wedi then makes sense, too. Where yn + verb-noun has the meaning of an unfinished or continuing action marker, wedi + verb-noun has the meaning of a completed action marker:
Dw i wedi bwyta as 'I am (after) eating' - I have eaten
Ro'n i wedi bwyta as 'I was (after) eating' - I had eaten
Bydda i wedi bwyta as 'I will be (after) eating - I will have eaten
And that is why the common error of combining wedi and yn (eg, * dw i wedi yn bwyta) makes no sense.
Very good explanation. So Dw i does not mean I?
Dw is used for current tense, Ro for past tense and Bydda for future tense (bydda is kind of like the future tense in Russian), and then i means I?
And then you use verb markers to indicate the conjugation or how do you call it? yn for progressive and wedi for being done with the action?
Here is something you might be interested in… The English "be …ing" comes from "be on …ing". Take "eating" as an example. Originally they would have said "I am on eating". This got shortened to "I am a-eating" – think the Twelve Days of Christmas song – then finally to the current form "I am eating".
The same "on …ing" form is also used in Dutch (Ik ben an het eten), and in some dialects of German (Ich bin am Essen) though an het and am more mean "at the".
So the yn + verb construction is by no means peculiar to Welsh: what is strange is how thoroughly they rely on it.
Finally, yn + adjective is also not that strange, languages can easily develop verbs from adjectives meaning "to be …".
Are you? with a question mark, You are. without a question mark. Also do you? with question mark.
I've actually been ask this question, because during Greek orthodox Easter, we fast for ideally 40 days. Within the Greek community you get ask : Dych chi'n bwyta caws, Dych chi'n bwyta cig, Dych chi'n bwyta llaeth etc.. you may never say it in welsh mind you.. but I thought I would share :)
I put in "are you eat cheese" and it was wrong, they expect too much out of my English grammar
Remember the Welsh present tense can be either 'do you......' or 'are you .....ing'
If you had written 'do you eat cheese' you would have been correct.
I would suggest sticking to the 'do you.....' pattern, it's a more straightforward one.
I agree. I am from belgium (dutch speaking background) and have a spelling corrector which doesn't help