"What colour is the little tortoise?"

Translation:Pa liw yw'r crwban bach?

May 15, 2016

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Why do you say 'Pa liw' instead of 'beth liw?


Pa? is the basic word which means 'which/what...?', so pa liw gives us 'which/what colour...?'

(Beth? itself is derived from Pa beth? - 'which/what thing?')


Is pwy "who" a contraction too?


Why is this ‘pa liw yw’ and not ‘pa liw mae’? Haven’t quite got my head round ‘pa’ yet!


In simple questions about identity or description in the present tense, where the answer is going to be a noun, noun phrase, name or adjective, use ydy/yw - note that there are some other patterns where it needs to be mae or sy.

Where the question is adverbial - Pam?, Ble?, Pryd? or Sut? (when it means How?) - or starts with a preposition, always use mae.

  • Pwy ydy hi? Sioned. - Who is she? Sioned.
  • Beth ydy hynny? Telyn deires. - What is that? A triple harp.
  • Pa liw yw car Sioned? Coch. - What colour is Sioned's car? Red.
  • Pa un yw'r gorau? Yr un ar y chwith. - Which one is the best? The one on the left.
  • Pam mae hi'n gadael? - Why is she leaving?
  • Ble mae'r car? - Where is the car?
  • Pryd mae e'n mynd i Aber? - When is he going to Aber?
  • Sut mae hi'n teithio? - How is she travelling?
  • Gyda phwy mae hi'n teithio? - Who is she travelling with? With whom is she travelling?


When asking about Sioned's cat it used 'pa liw ydy'. But now it's "pa liw yw'r"


In this pattern, yw and ydy are interchangeable.

The 'r is 'the' in 'the little tortoise':

  • Pa liw [yw/ydy]'r crwban? - What colour is the tortoise?
  • Pa liw [yw/ydy] cath Sioned? - What colour is Sioned's cat?
  • Pa liw [yw/ydy] ei char? - What colour is her car?
  • Pa liw [yw/ydy]'r car? - What colour is the car?
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