Saying Yes and No in Welsh
(This is a re-post of a note which was posted several months ago and which had fallen off the discussion through old age. Making it a sticky may stop that happening again... Please let us know if you can correct or improve the logic.)
(edited 5 Sep 2017 v4)
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 complex compared to English. However, the underlying logic is not too hard - applying it in conversation is what needs a lot of practice.
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:
- Any emphatic question (that is, a question that does not start with a verb) is answered with ie (yes) or nage (no). If that does not apply then,
- A simple past tense question is answered with do (yes) or naddo (no). If that does not apply then,
- 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,
- A question based on short forms of gwneud and cael and perhaps a couple of others in especially common use, including the conditional of hoffi/licio and gallu/medru, is answered with a form of the same verb from the same tense. If that does not apply then,
- The rest, which will be questions based on short-form future forms of verbs, can be answered with future forms of gwneud.
Remember that with any answer, the pronouns are usually excluded.
So, following the logic:
- (1) Meddyg yw e? - Ie/Nage (emphatic)
- (1) Dewi Lingo sy 'na? - Ie/Nage (emphatic)
- (1) Gyda Sioned aeth e i'r parti? - 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) Wnewch chi'r cinio heno? - Gwna/Na wna (form of gwneud)
- (4) Wnei di werthu dy hen gar yfory? - Gwna/Na wna (form of gwneud)
- (4) Ga i baned, plîs? - Cei/Na chei; Cewch/Na chewch (form of cael)
- (4) Hoffet ti goffi? - Hoffwn/Na hoffwn (conditional of hoffi)
- (4) Allai'r mecanig 'na drwsio fy nghar? - Gallai/Na allai (conditional of gallu)
- (5) Ei di i'r llyfrgell yfory? Gwna/Na wna (short-form future)
- (5) Ddewch chi gyda ni yfory? Gwnawn/Na wnawn (short-form future)
- (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)
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, which is very common in day-to-day conversation anyway.
Welsh is easy and I love it !! Diolch yn fawr iawn am gyngor yr iaith Gymraeg . :)
as a welsh speaker Can I just point out there is a difference between welsh spoken in the north vs the south, north YES: IA NO: NA just food for thought
Don't some northerners also use "Do" and "Naddo" for questions involving wedi?