Saying 'Yes' and 'No'

For those of you still near the beginning of the course, this will probably look a bit scary. Don't be put off - it may not help you much yet, so you may want to leave it for now and come back later!

For those of you who have got a reasonable way through the course, you will have found that the Welsh answering system looks more complicated than in English. However, the underlying logic is not too hard - applying it in conversation is what needs practice.

(If you get lost in a live conversation, just go with ie/nage or do/naddo - people will understand you perfectly well. Or just avoid a direct 'yes/no' answer altogether, something which is very common in day-to-day conversation anyway.)

For the colloquial language (but leaving out various dialect variations), the Welsh answering system for 'yes/no' can be summed up by working through the following sequence, stopping when you reach the stage that matches the particular question:

  1. Any emphatic question is answered with ie, or nage. If that does not apply then,
  2. A simple past tense question is answered with do or naddo. If that does not apply then,
  3. A question using a form of bod is answered with the related form of bod from the same tense. (A very wide class of questions and answers!) If that does not apply then,
  4. Any remaining question based on cael, mynd, dod, gwneud, hoffi/licio, gallu/medru (and perhaps a couple of others in especially common use) is answered with a form of the same verb from the same tense. If that does not apply then,
  5. The rest, which will be questions based on the short-form future tense of verbs not mentioned in 3 or 4, can be answered with future forms of gwneud.

(Any informed corrections to the logic welcomed!)

Remember that with any answer, the pronouns are excluded.

So, following the logic:

  • (1) Meddyg yw e? - Ie/Nage (emphatic)
  • (1) Dewi Lingo sy 'na? - Ie/Nage (emphatic)
  • (1) Athrawes oedd hi? - Ie/Nage (emphatic)
  • (1) Ddoe est ti i'r dref? - Ie/Nage (emphatic)

  • (2) Est ti i'r dref ddoe? - Do/Naddo (simple past)

  • (2) Gaeth y lladron eu harestio wythnos diwethaf? - Do/Naddo (simple past)

  • (3) Wyt ti'n mynd allan? - Ydw/Nac ydw (form of bod)

  • (3) Wyt ti wedi bod yn Sbaen erioed? - Ydw/Nac ydw (form of bod)
  • (3) Fasen nhw'n mynd i'r Eisteddfod? - Basen/Na fasen (form of bod)
  • (3) Fydd hi'n oer yfory? - Bydd/Na fydd (form of bod)
  • (3) O't ti'n gweithio yn y Fenni? - O'n/Nac o'n (form of bod)
  • (3) Oedd Dewi wedi clywed y Super Furries cyn neithiwr? - Oedd/Nac oedd (form of bod)
  • (3) Oes teigr yn yr ardd? - Oes/Nac oes (form of bod)

  • (4) Ei di i'r llyfrgell yfory? - Af/Nac af (form of mynd)

  • (4) Ddaw hi gyda chi yfory? - Daw/Na ddaw (form of dod)
  • (4) Hoffet ti goffi? - Hoffwn/Na hoffwn (form of hoffi)
  • (4) Allai'r mecanig 'na drwsio fy nghar? - Gallai/Na allai (form of gallu)
  • (4) Wnewch chi'r cinio heno? - Gwna/Na wna (form of gwneud)
  • (4) Wnei di werthu dy hen gar yn fuan? - Gwna/Na wna (form of gwneud)
  • (4) Ga i baned, plîs? - Cei/Na chei; Cewch/Na chewch (form of cael)

  • (5) Brynan nhw gar newydd yfory? - Gwnân/Na wnân (short form future)

  • (5) Werthi di dy hen gar cyn mis Mai? - Gwna/Na wna (short-form future)
August 9, 2016

1 Comment

Thank you for this! I've been very confused about various forms of yes/no but this explains it perfectly!

August 11, 2016
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