https://www.duolingo.com/ibisc

Saying Yes and No in Welsh

ibisc
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(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:

  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 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,
  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 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.

1 year ago

13 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/newrhianno

This is a very useful summary. Diolch yn fawr.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SassmasterMaxie

Useful to know considering I'm moving to Wales soon. Diolch yn fawr!

10 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joe733089
Joe733089
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Welsh is easy and I love it !! Diolch yn fawr iawn am gyngor yr iaith Gymraeg . :)

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/tumblrgirl_
tumblrgirl_
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Diolch yn fawr iawn. It is so useful

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Woof.
Woof.
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Diolch yn fawr. :)

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Branwen741719

Diolch, mae hyn yn helpu lot.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gav962802

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

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yottskry
Yottskry
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Don't some northerners also use "Do" and "Naddo" for questions involving wedi?

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/gav962802

Yes I tend to use “Do” as Yes I did and “Naddo” as no I didn’t

3 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MaryanneSansom
MaryanneSansom
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Diolch yn fawr. Mae hynny'n ddefnyddiol iawn.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/KimberlyS2

Diolch yn fawr!

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JonathanOa15

Thanks!

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JD.Hogan-Davies
JD.Hogan-Davies
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Very useful. I'm getting to that point where I'm finding it tricky to keep straight. This makes it clearer. Diolch!

3 days ago
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