"What time does she want dinner?"

Translation:Am faint o'r gloch mae hi eisiau cinio?

January 8, 2017

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Why would you use mae here and not ydy? Is ydy only used in yes/no-questions?


It depends on what the question is about.

Questions about how, when, where, why, how often, how quickly, etc, or which start with a preposition or an adverb are generally followed by mae - sut (how), pryd, ble/lle, pam, pa mor aml, pa mor gylfym, am beth, i bwy, gyda phwy, etc.

Am faint o'r gloch...? is asking when, so it is followed by mae.

Other examples:

  • Sut mae Dewi heddiw? - How is Dewi today?
  • Pa mor aml mae e'n dod yma? - How often does he come here?
  • Ble mae e'n eistedd? - Where does he sit?
  • Gyda phwy mae e'n eistedd? - With whom does he sit?
  • Â phwy mae e'n siarad? - Who is he speaking to? (With whom is he speaking?)
  • I bwy mae'r anrheg? - Who is the present for? (For whom is the present?)


The way one of my Welsh teachers explained it to me is that 'ydy' is used with a pronoun (pwy, peth) but 'mae' is used with other question words (ble, pryd, pam, sut, etc) since they're adverbs or, in the case of, 'am faint o'r gloch', a prepositional phrase.


So this is Learn by failing!


It doesn't say 'at what time..' so why the 'Am'??


That is just the usual expression in Welsh. The two languages are very different, and they do not match word-for-word.


If cinio means both lunch and dinner, how would we distinguish one from the other?


Without some reference to time ('lunch' is a midday-ish meal, 'dinner' could be any time from midday-ish onwards, depending on personal usage), you can't.


Dinner can mean a midday or evening meal in English too!


As Ibisc Stated, You Can't Really, If You Want To Specify A Meal At The End Of The Day, You Should Probably Use 'Swper', Or Supper.


What does moyn mean?!


moyn is "to want" or "wanting". Used especially in the south.

It's a normal verbnoun so it takes yn after dw i (etc.), unlike eisiau which does not.

So you could have dw i'n moyn mynd for "I want to go" or dw i eisiau mynd. (But not dw i'n eisiau mynd.)


Very thorough answers re "mae" not "ydy" in reply to question. Many thanks.


Is there a common version that also begins with "beth amser"?


No. You could use something like that if you wanted to know, say, how fast someone had run a race:

  • Beth oedd ei hamser? 30 eiliad - araf iawn! - What was her time? 30 seconds - very slow!
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