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Saying Yes and No in Welsh

(edited 29 May 2020 v4.1) (Please let us know if you can correct or improve the logic.)

For those of you still near the beginning of the course, this will probably look a bit scary. The various ways of answering 'yes' and 'no' are explained in the 'tips and notes' (https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/17638579) for the sections where they first appear, but this note summarises them in one place for reference. Don't be put off - it may not help you much yet, so you may want to keep a copy or 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 general colloquial language (but leaving out various dialect variations and slang), 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 (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,
  2. A simple past tense question is answered with Do (Yes) or Naddo (No). 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. A question based on short forms of gwneud and cael, the conditional of hoffi/licio and 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 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 i 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? - Gwnawn/Na wnawn (answering as 'we) or Gwna/Na wna (I) (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 ( answering as 'we') or Gwna/Na wna (I) (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/na 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. Dych chi'n mwynhau dysgu Cymraeg? Wrth gwrs!

August 14, 2017



This is really very helpful. I am printing it out to refer to at all times! May finally get the hang of it!


A new comment after reading all that probably wouldn’t be printable!

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