Still making me crazy


The use of wnesi (ti) as a question or statement is still making me crazy. I seem to be stuck on this.
Either I seem to revert to the present tense or add Oes before wnesi (ti). Nver seem to get wnesi (ti) by itself as a question.

Any suggestions?


Hi George.
Yes, as you know, the verb usually comes first.
So, wnes i = I did; wnest ti = you did.
Questions are easier as they are the same word order as in English. again verb first:
Wnes i?; wnest ti? For: Did I? and Did you?

You can stick another verb after that if you want. Such as: Wnest ti dweud? for Did you say? or You did say (without the question mark)


so what is and when do we use Oes?


oes = the question “is there”

we also use it to mean “have you got”, but that’s only a loose translation, not a literal one - the literal question in Welsh is still “is there”.


Ah right, I see the problem now.
Oes is a version of to be Are/am etc.

Oes ci gyda ti (in the South)
Oes ci gen ti (in the North)
literally “Is a dog with you”
The nearest translation in English is “Do you have a dog” although “Oes” isn’t really “Do”.

I hope that this helps.

Edit: (Hi Siaron, “Snap”)


so Oes is always present tense and wnesi (ti) is past?

This is holding me back


I think I got it. Wnesti is did you? and Oes is do you?

But isnt , for example, wnesti ddim trio siarad both Did you try to speak? and You didnt try to speak ! The same sentence used as a question and a statement. This is what gets me every time


Oes is more like is it/is there…Wnest ti diim is always did you not/you did not. You’re quite right, it is the intonation that makes it a question or a statement, not the word order


oes is always present tense - it’s the question form of mae
mae 'na ci yma - there is a dog here
oes 'na ci yma - is there a dog here

Wnest ti is past tense for “did you”, but this can be both a question and a statement depending on your intonation as Louis said
wnest ti orffen y llyfr - you finished the book (literally, you did finish the book)
wnest ti orffen y llyfr? - did you finish the book?


“Oes” is a bit special isn’t it, just like “mae” - don’t let it drive you crazy, because when the penny drops and it definitely will then you’ll be using it correctly all the time and it’ll be like a really good friend.

“Oes” goes with “Mae” like a hand in a glove. The answer to an “Oes” question is always either “Oes” or “Nac Oes” and if you want to say more than a simple “yes” or “no” then the easiest way is to carry on you’re answers starting with Mae after “Oes” or “Does dim” after “Nac oes” (often shortened to sdim).

I would personally play around with them and make up your own simple questions and answers etc. (forget about wnest and everything else for the minute and just focus on oes for a bit).

Oes rhywbeth ar y teledu heno?
Is there something on the TV tonight.
Oes. (for yes)
Nac oes (for no)

Oes eliffant yn y siop?
Is there an eliphant in the shop.
Nac oes, (does dim eliffant yn y siop).
No (there isn’t an Eliphant in the shop) .

Oes radio yn y car?
Oes. (Mae radio grêt yn y car) .



I just had a thought - are you mixing up “oes” with “os”. "Os means “if” and just as in English, the “if” can go in front of lots of different things and “Os” could sometimes go with “wnest ti”(I think, but can’t think of an example) , but you’ll have to work through the lessons to get a feel for that one, because there are a few ways to create that “if” in Welsh.

“Os” is very different to “oes” and the “o” sound is supposed to sound very different, but maybe you are hearing these two different words the same? The “o” in “os”, generally sounds like the “o” in the English “Floss”, but it could maybe change on occasions to the “o” in the English “bore” I think. The “Oe” in “Oes” varies a lot between dialects from the “oy” in “boy” to the “o” in the English word “bore” as well (and that could possibly be confusing?) , but never has that “Floss” sound.


No quite. “Wnest ti” is, as you said, “did you?”
“Oes” - “is there?” or “do you have?”
“Wyt ti” - is how I’d make the “do you” consturction. “Do you like rugby?” - “Wyt ti’n hoffi rygbi?”


As others have said, oes…? means is there…
Would it help you to know that it is also possible to say “was there…”
eg “is there a dog in the house?” = “oes ci yn y ty”
“was there a dog in the house” = “a oedd ci yn y ty”
I drop the initial “a” in speech - perhaps wrongly.