Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread


‘Cymaint â’ = ‘as much as’ - and I think ‘as little as …’ would be ‘cyn lleiaf â …’


mor…â… - as…as…

llai…na… - less…than…

mwy…na…. - more…than… OR -ach…na… - (depending on how short the adjective is)

mor ddrud â choffi - as expensive as coffee
llai drud na choffi - less expensive than coffee
drutach na choffi - more expensive than coffee


Hi again chrome_angel,
I’ve been continuing to think of your problem and empathise with you (at least I imagine I am empathising, at least I am trying to understand and tune in to the source of the pain and confusion with you).

I hate listening back to my efforts to participate on the 6mws hangouts. Often - as in 112b - I’ve just got into the house, still wet through from the storm outside, and I find myself whinnying and braying disconnected words rather than producing beautiful constructions such as all the others in the grŵp sgŵrs were doing that night. Dim ots, I tell myself, at least I was there, struggling.

I know I need to be doing more practice in and revision of constructing sentences, ready to calmly come at expressing what I want to say in Welsh, when in a hangout… letting the right construction come to mind instead of getting caught in the mistake of translating from English.

I have no criticisms whatever of the challenges at levels 1 & 2 in SSiW. Those I notice doing particularly well speaking eloquently in Hangouts have often done some years in traditional classes, or have had some immersion in Welsh even as non-speakers, or in their childhood. They are bound to be drawing on vocab and constructions they have come across before or simultaneously with SSiW. Well, I have temporarily given up Duolingo, or put it on the back burner. I am going for learning songs so as to get comfortable with production of those sounds I find hard. I want now to focus again on building longer sentences. Like @aran I really hate grammar terms, and tables laying out patterns ought to help, but they do not.

For that reason I am glad that I found Y Chwiliadur Iaith. I have not used it enough to feel confident to recommend it, but perhaps you can go somewhere and browse it in a library without purchasing it, and see if it helps to quell your anxiety and frustration as it does mine…

The book is blue, black and grey on white paper. Calming.

Minimum English. Some basic grammar terms are used, It gives an overview. It is all that I want. Its examples are good. It supplies useful phrases as vocabulary to introduce things you might want to say in a more formal way, but it starts the topic of sentences with the simplest…

In the examples, I recognise easily what the challenges at level 1&2 of the SSiW (in my case the 6mws) course have been teaching me. Mostly it is reassuring that there is a place here I can come back to for a recap in written form, as opposed - in addition to, but differently so - to the recaps that happen periodically in the series of challenges.

From the contents pages: see
Brawddegau (3 sections) &
Ysgrifennu brawddegau hirach

From the Index on the next page notice where bod appears…

Here is a photo from the Writing longer sentences/ Ysgrifennu brawddegau hirach where it becomes apparent that this is not a text aimed at Gogs, so I am not sure whether I should be writing lle in these places where ble is used, but that is what I’d have a go at doing, anyway!

I hope, angel, that this is of interest, and that you can browse books such as this one to see if that either helps quell your confusion (i.e. the info is out there) or helps you refine your question by raising a specific example or two for aran or others to help you with…

Pob lwc, and in friendship,
Lorna x


I’m struggling to write a sentence in English to act as an example for @aran because I don’t really understand the grammatical terms.

Something along the lines of “Dyna’r ferch pwy sy’n bwy yn agos at yr ysgol” (that’s the girl who lives near the school" is that close?


I feel exactly the same way. So I googled the terms and came across a handy website. At the bottom it says “When are relative clauses taught in … school?” this is the answer:

"In Year 2 children are taught the terms ‘clause’ and ‘subordinate clause’.

In Year 5 children should be taught what a relative clause is and how to use it correctly in their writing ."



Yeah, that’s the kind of recent ‘innovation’ in the interests of ‘rigour’ that is popular in certain quarters. Naturally, they’re the same people who like ‘fronted adverbials’.


hi yes, thanks for taking the trouble, and yes it is one of those! it’s the linking element in a 2 part sentence, so:

who, whose, which, whether, if, that, are some of the linking choices in english, and bod, sy, y, a, ai, mai, nad, sy ddim, nad ydy na, or none of the above depending on the verb in the sentence itself are the choices in welsh (can you see why my head’s spinning?)

i’m at the stage where fine tuning grammar makes a whole lot of sense, thought i’d got the idea, but then when i tested myself (gareth king’s intermediate welsh), i found i’d got most of them wrong and got all digalon (downhearted)! looking at your example i’d drop the ‘pwy’?

i heard an english learner say she lived in anglesey last week. ok, so i know what she meant, but it sounded odd, and it is the little words that are the hardest to get right, but sound strange when you don’t. as a native english speaker i have no idea why you should live IN wales but ON anglesey, you just do! it’s the same with these linking words. it’s actually been quite helpful to explain this to you, i will get it, just not as quickly as i’d like!

thanks loads


I’m with you and I’m glad I could help :slight_smile:

You can drop the pwy, this is true.

I don’t know the difference between “a” and “y” as linking words. I know “a” goes before “oedd” and “y” goes before forms of “cael” but I’ve no idea why. I’ve found reading helps with this type of nuance. I think “a” goes before forms of bod such as “a fydd” and “a oedd” - I’m not sure if it has a treiglad meddal after it.

“Na” seems to go before all negatives in the middle and becomes “nad” before “ydy” and doesn’t need a “ddim”. So wherever I’d negatively use “bod” just use “na/nad”. Also, “na” before all short forms from what I gather and before “bydd”. Na also adds a treiglad meddal.

“Sydd” always seems to be used where you’d use “who/whose”. So, I guess, whenever you’re talking about someone.

“Bod” seems to be the most versatile. All its varieties (bod/fod/mod) can be positive and negative (just add ddim). From what I gather, bod…ddim seems less formal.

This is my take on the situation. I’m no grammarian nor voice of authority :slight_smile: Perhaps @aran can help further?


It’s kind of the same in English -
Wales is a country - you live IN a country, not on one.
Anglesey is an island - you live ON and island, not in one.
of course there are always exceptions - Britain is, techically, an island but you wouldn’t say you live ON Britain! :smile:


And in Welsh, you use in for a town?
Like “I live in Torino” or “They live in Llandudno” :smiley:

Languages may be odd with these things.
In Italian, for example, you go TO a town, but always go IN a country or region or place like beach, mountain, countryside.


Those little words are the hardest thing to master in any other language, in my opinion, or at least to have them coming out naturally. There is never a one to one correspondence with the little words in your mother tongue, so the best way to learn them is to hear native speakers using them … over and over again!


Bore da pawb,

I re-did level 1 challenge 12 yesterday (I have done the old course before) and was confused by an apparent ‘y’ appearing occasionally in unexpected places! E.g. ‘Dw i’n meddwl y liciwn ni fynd rŵan’.

Can anybody correct me or shed some light?

Diolch yn fawr!


You’re hearing very well there! It’s a fiddly little thing, so don’t worry about it - your brain might start sticking it in at some point for you, in which case great, but if it doesn’t, other people will either not notice or imagine they’ve heard it anyway… :slight_smile:


Diolch, Aran!

I love your philosophy. :laughing:

I heard it in another couple of sentences but missed the opportunity to jot them down. I hope I’ll pick up the idea if I keep on hearing it!



Trust your brain - pattern-matching is what it does - if the input is there (which is kind of nailed on, now that you’ve sensitised yourself to the sound) it’s just a matter of time… :slight_smile:


That is very encouraging! :grin: I’m going to have the mantra ‘Trust your brain’ on repeat!

I have noticed I’m now saying sentences totally on auto-pilot rather than consciously thinking about translation. The same goes for the listening practices; I am automatically understanding without having to translate (and when is there time in real-life to be constantly translating?!)… A glimpse into what true fluency must feel like! It is a wonderful experience!

Diolch eto!


I’m a believer of automatic pattern-matching. :grinning:
However, from time to time, there’s things I tend to get wrong and I see that asking questions here helps clarifying them.

I would/we would is one of these. I collected a bunch of examples from vocabulary lists:

Bydden i’n dweud = I’d tell you
Byddai’n well da fi = I’d rather
Byddai fe’n hoffi = He’d like
The first seems the standard form, is it?
Why does “Well da” use the “byddai” instead? (which appears to be the same as for he, but you still get a “fi” instead of “fe” which should be me instead of him)

Hoffen i
With hoffi and trio there’s often this form with “-en”. Is it just for some verbs or just more common with them?

Fydden ni ddim yn gneud = I wouldn’t do
Fydden ni ddim yn moyn = We wouldn’t want
Why are these two exactly the same? How can you tell when it’s I and when it’s we?


I believe this is because “I prefer” / “I would rather” is constructed literally as “It would be better with me”, and the reason it uses “byddai” is because it’s referring to “it” and not to “I”.


Or ger


Verbs can be used in short form without the need for a form of bod (e.g. dweudais i rather than roeddwn i’n dweud), and this applies to conditional tense endings too (I’m trying to think of exceptions - there are bound to be some - but none spring to mind at the moment), but some are definitely more common than others, and hoffi is one of the most common.

what you’ve got there are actually both ‘we’ statements. For an ‘I’ statement it would be Fyddwn i ddim yn gneud/moyn. The problem is that fyddwn i and fydden ni do sound identical and it’s usually context that tells you which is being said, although not always, and when that happens, there’s no easy way to tell.