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  5. "What colour are your eyes?"

"What colour are your eyes?"

Translation:Pa liw yw dy lygaid?

April 27, 2016



"Beth yw lliw eich llygaid chi?" I think I must be wrong, but I'm having trouble working out when to use "Pa" and when to use "Beth". Any hints please? Diolch.


Beth means what and Pa means which.

So you use which when the answer comes from a closed set of answers - there are a finite number of colours for example. In English we generally say "What colour is...?", when we really ought to say "Which colour is...?" In Welsh, you always say "Which colour is....?" Pa liw ydy/yw ...?

Think: Pa fath o ...? Which type of ....?

And note that Pa cause a Treiglad Meddal (Soft Mutation) to the following word.



This is so helpful! Thanks!


When do you use Ydy and when do you use Yw, thanks.


In this context, either can be used.


Which colour are your eyes?


I thought words mutated after the possessive, so I expected llygaid here. Or is llygaid the standard and lygaid the mutated?


Some possessive pronouns cause mutations (soft, nasal or aspirate, depending on the pronoun), others do not. In this sentence, llygaid has taken a soft mutation following the possessive pronoun dy:

  • dy + llygaid => dy lygaid

See the table, lists and examples in the course notes for 'Family 1' - https://www.duolingo.com/skill/cy/Family1/tips-and-notes

To find the course notes generally, go to https://forum.duolingo.com/topic/924/hot and see 'Course tips and notes'. The 'duome' link there is useful for browsing all the notes in one place. We recommend reading the notes for each new section as you start it. You can access them with any web broswer if you have an internet connection.


is llygaid the standard and lygaid the mutated?

Yes, exactly.

(Also, I believe that no native Welsh word starts with l- unless it has undergone soft mutation from ll-; similarly for r- which only occurs in native words as a result of soft mutation of rh-.)


There are some l- and r- words in Welsh, but not very many. Have a look in any good dictionary.


Why isn't the plural verb ydyn used for the plural noun llygaid? Maybe this was explained in previous notes, I don't recall...


Why isn't the plural verb ydyn used for the plural noun llygaid?

ydyn is only used if the subject is exactly nhw "they" -- not with plural nouns as subjects.


Following the notes for Describe1 I thought the verb would be sy not ydy.

Could someone explain this please?


If you look again at the Tips, all forms for "to be" can be used with "Pa". Since we are talking about a definite thing here (the eyes), then ydy is used.

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