In this sentence "it" is translated as "e". In weather and time sentences "it" is translated as "hi". Could someone explain how I know which pronoun to use for "it", please? Is it just a matter of rote learning, or is there some logic?
"It" can either be translated into Welsh as "Hi" or "Fo/Fe". This is dependant of the noun being talked about. So if we're talking about a masculine noun "Fo/Fe is used, whereas if it's a feminine noun "Hi" is used these gramatical genders have to be learned by heart though there are some endings which signify the gender. This sentence should accept both as the "it" depends on a noun we're not aware of. Now in the case of the weather, although "Tywydd" is a masculine noun we use "Hi" in constructions about the weather because we're not referig to the noun "Tywydd" but more to an abstract context of "it", which is translated as "Hi".
Thanks. So if I've understood correctly, if it's something concrete and you know the grammatical gender of the noun, use the correct gendered pronoun, if it's an abstract concept, use the feminine pronoun, and if it's something concrete but you don't know what, use whichever flows better for you?
- Always use hi when 'it' refers to weather, time or distance.
- Usually, use hi for abstract 'it' such as feelings and opinions.
- Otherwise, use the correctly gendered pronoun, if known.
- Otherwise, usually use e/o for indeterminate 'it'.
There are more detailed guidelines, but they are beyond the scope of this course.
Is there a place in the Welsh tree where it goes over gendered nouns?
No specific section, no. All singular nouns have a gender in Welsh, and a very few can be of either gender.
Any Welsh dictionary will show the gender of nouns. The Ap Geiriaduron app is pretty good if you have a smart phone or tablet.
It is a good idea to look up and learn the genders and plurals of nouns as you first meet them. The extra effort to begin with pays off in the longer term.
Yes, though of course when the languages is in actual use you rarely come across or have to write context-less sentences like the one above so you'll rarely need to do that. Also if you're not sure of the gender of a noun, you're best off going with "Fo/Fe" since the majority of Welsh nouns are masculine (as high as 80% I saw somewhere) unless you can guess from the ending i.e "-aeth" ending words are almost always feminine with a few exceptions.