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  5. Dw i vs. Ydw i?


Dw i vs. Ydw i?

Hello. In school we were always taught to use "ydw i" to say "I am" but I've not seen this yet in the course.

Is ydw i not typically used colloquially (is it more formal)?

March 14, 2016



Dw i means 'I am' and Ydw i is the question form Am I?


For the first person singular, Ydw i...? is a usual question form, as Adams861 says. It is also used in emphatic sentences. Dw i...? is also common in the colloquial language.

Rydw i... is commonly taught in schools, and is common in the spoken language as well, as a positive statement. Dw i... is also commonly used.

  • (Ry)dw i'n mynd allan - I am going out
  • (Y)dw i'n mynd allan? - Am I going out?
  • (Dy)dw i ddim yn mynd allan - I am not going out

In emphatic sentences:

  • Cyfrifydd (y)dw i - I am an accountant
  • Dewi (y)dw i - I am Dewi

Dw i... is the usual form taught for all four purposes in 'Welsh for Adults' based courses - it is widely used and understood all over Wales (and it is nice and simple!). There are a number of additional variations in the various Welsh dialects and in more formal usage.


I am still not sure if this "ydw i" form is used only in questions. You see, I have a book "Complete Welsh" by J. Brake and Ch. Jones, there's a dialogue in it: - Pwy dych chi? (Who are you?) - Matthew ydw i (I am Mathew). This was an answer, not a question. Nevertheless I can see "ydw" form in it. Is there any special reason for this form to be here?


See the explanation and examples of emphatice sentences in my earlier answer.

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