SSi Forum

Isn't; wasn't; wouldn't; couldn't;can't


Please help with Southern Welsh translations for the following:

You can’t = GALLET TI

My brother can’t

Bryan can’t

I couldn’t

You couldn’t/can’t = GALLET TI DDIM??

Mr Jones couldn’t

My brother couldn’t

I wouldn’t

You wouldn’t

My brother wouldn’t

Jack wouldn’t

It isn’t raining now

My brother isn’t going to the pub tomorrow morning

My brother isn’t playing tomorrow afternoon

Jack is not

June is not ready yet

I wasn’t in town yesterday

My brother wasn’t in school yesterday

It wasn’t raining yesterday afternoon

It wasn’t raining yesterday morning


Hello David, so this is the original thread that you talked about in your other post, so it actually hasn’t been answered yet. Rob was probably referring to the other thread with 40+ individual phrases that you asked us to translate, which we did.

You are obviously here to learn Welsh, so that is a very good thing, but a very important part of learning to speak a language lies in making an effort to try and produce sentences yourself.

Here are some starters to help you out:
I can’t - Dw i ddim yn gallu
I couldn’t - Allwn i ddim
You can’t - Dwyt ti ddim yn gallu
You couldn’t - Allet ti ddim
I wouldn’t - Fyddwn i ddim
You wouldn’t - Fyddet ti ddim
Jack can’t - Dyw Jack ddim yn gallu
Jack couldn’t - Allai Jack ddim
Jack wouldn’t - Fyddai Jack ddim


Thanks Hendrik. I hadn’t realised that I might be risking attracting disrespect by asking too many questions (that Rob suggested). I will bear that in mind in future. I don’t have any trouble with pronunciations (coming from a strong Welsh speaking area in Carmarthenshire) - but I do need a little help with some of the basic every day expressions that I have not yet come across in the lessons. However, I will try to construct the phrases (as I have done previously) before asking for help.

Diolch yn fawr eto


It’s not really a case of too many questions, David, just perhaps the wrong sort of questions. I can fully understand you wanting phrases you haven’t come across in the course yet - that’s only natural - but remember, the things you want to say and can say in English have had decades of a head start, so there will always be phrases that are beyond you, especially in the first stages of learning a new language, and we all know that frustration! However, learning phrases “phrasebook” fashion to try and plug the gaps isn’t always a good idea in the long term. You are getting our written answers, but you’re not hearing them aloud, so you may find your brain will tend to pronounce new words “in English” and that begins a habit that’s hard to break. Also, as Hendrik said, trying to produce the sentences yourself is a huge, huge, part of the learning process and even any mistakes you make will add to that process in a positive way (I dare say we can all remember certain words or phrases better after making sometimes embarrassing mistakes with them! Or is that just me? :wink::joy:)

It’s obvious that you’re really eager to be using Welsh in conversation as soon as and as much as possible, which really is fantastic, but you don’t need to try and run before you can walk. Using Welsh where you can, switching to English when you don’t have the Welsh words, and going back to Welsh as soon as possible is the key (and perfectly acceptable!), because I can guarantee (because it still happens to me after 20+ years!) that your brain will always be able to come up with a phrase in English that you just can’t match in Welsh, and I’ve even seen it happen to some of my Welsh 1st-language colleagues!


Hi Siaron

Thanks for your response

I hear and understand what you say about learning in “phrasebook fashion”. I definitely do not to run before I can walk. It is just that I have many Welsh-speaking friends and I could simply ask them those little phrases that I need to construct very simple everyday sentences. What I’m afraid of is that they predominantly speak colloquial Welsh and I don’t want to practice with colloquial Welsh.I just need some simple phrases (that I haven’t yet come across in the lessons) that will allow me to use sentences like

My brother isn’t going to the pub tomorrow morning - I could take a stab at this as “FY MRAWD DI MA DDIM YN MYND I DAFARN YN Y BORE FORI”

I will follow your advice by using Welsh and incorporating English words when I don’t have the Welsh - then going back to Welsh as soon as possible thereafter. So - if you can put up with me I will construct a few sentences in that way and post them for advice/correction. Say 3 or 4 sentences for each post.

Will this be OK going forward. I am really keen to learn but I have trouble constructing sentences to use with my friends - based exclusively on what I have learned from the lessons so far. But I’ll keep on trying

Diolch yn Fawr


Hi mate, that’s great news you wanna use your welsh asap. I think that is hands down the best way to learn. I know how you feel there about not knowing how to say some stuff. But honestly I learned that saying almost a full sentence with a couple of English words in is totally fine. You’ll also hear first language speakers doing that as well for many reasons. Personally, I actually want to learn the colloquial language; if that is what everyone around me is speaking then I wanna learn it that way! But of course everyone is different :slight_smile:

I would also check out this thread and post in there with your questions: Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread


Cheers Martin. Thanks for your advice. I too want to learn as much colloquial Welsh - as that is what I hear most from my friends. However, I’ll stick with the ‘proper’ Welsh that I’m picking up from the lessons and filter in the colloquial stuff from time to time. Here is a starter from me:

On ni’n siarad gyda Fy mrwad ddoe. Ddweddod e fod fe’n byddai fe’n ddim yn mynd i’r pub yn y bore yfori achos ma fe’n rhaid i gweitho

I hope this i close enough to “I was speaking with my brother yesterday. He told me that he could not go to the pub tomorrow morning because he he has to work”


Yes, it’s certainly close enough :slight_smile: There are mistakes, but even so I was able to understand your sentence without the translation, so you’re on the right track. Don’t be disheartened by the mistakes - they could well be stuff you haven’t come across in the course yet, or things that behave differently to what you might expect when they’re preceded or followed by certain other things, but the more you work with the building blocks the course gives you, the more these will iron themselves out.
O’n i’n siarad â fy mrawd ddoe. Dwedodd e na allai e fynd i’r pyb bore fory achos bod rhaid iddo weithio.


Diolch Siaron. What is the literal translation of iddo as in “rhaid iddo”?


It’s ‘he’. The i that has to follow rhaid will have inflected forms for most pronouns and iddo is the inflected form for ‘he’.


Gosh Siaron, that’s very ‘technical’ - but now I know and will use it. I actually thought there may have been a connection with “well iddo e” = He’d better.

Unwaeth eto, diolch yn fawr iawn!


yup, absolutely, it’s the same kind of thing happening there :slight_smile:


Just need a quick clarification Siaron.

For “I was speaking with my brother” you have written “O’n i’n siarad â fy mrawd”

In the lessons I believe I heard Aran say “O’n i’n siarad gyda fy mrawd”

Can I assume that your “â” is a common/acceptable short form of “gyda”??


Yes, both â and gyda mean “with”.


“siarad â” is the proper form, and “siarad gyda” is perfectly acceptable colloquially, but they are not forms of each other (they just both happen to mean ‘with’).


Diolch Hendrik


Diolch Siaron