Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread


So does this mân, as an adjective, usually come in front of the noun like this? I would have expected “am drwsiad mân”.


I’m stealing @garethrking’s answer from another thread ( Position of the adjective mân) here -

" Generally when mân precedes the noun it has the meaning of ‘slight’ or ‘insignificant’, while its more concrete meaning of just ‘small’ generally follows. So if you can replace ‘small’ with ‘slight’, then mân in front. That’s my impression with this word.
mân wahaniaethau small (= slight) differences
but not
*mân adar small birds , because they are not ‘slight’ birds, are they?
Similarly (for example) arian mân small change , but mân donnau small waves (because they are slight on the surface). "


Diolch, Siaron. I’ll try to remember that! Mân isn’t actually a word I’ve come across before, but I’m sure I’ll see it a lot from now on.


This is interesting to me because the band Anweledig has a line from their song, Chwarae dy Gêm

Mae’r adar mân yn decharu canu

Which is, ‘The small bird starts singing.’ I did not know if ‘mân’ came before the noun it meant slight. Diolch Sharon am rhannu hwn. Thanks Sharon for sharing this.


Thanks, this perfectly answers my other question (about fan). :slight_smile:

At the same time, it also confirms that one of the most complicated things about Welsh - at least for me - is how to identify mutations.

I see fan, how can I understand that I should look for man instead? :sob:

p.s. right, thanks @garethrking too!


nah, don’t thank me - I just happened to remember seeing Gareth’s excellent explanation :wink:


I have a question to ask. I read this sentence earlier on the forum,

Braf iawn dy weld di ar y fforwm.

I read this as, ‘Very good (cool) to see you on the forum.’ What confuses me is …dy weld di… My education thus far indicates this is a form of possession, i.e. your seeing.

If I wanted to say ‘Very good to see you on the forum,’ I would say, ‘Braf iawn i ti gweld ar y fforwm.’ What am I not understanding?


Ah, well, then I thank your memory of Gareth’s excellent description. :smiley:


t is the preposition “am”, that causes soft mutation here. Some other prepositions like “i” or “o” or “ar” work in the same way. It’s no problem if you miss the mutations when you speak of course.


I understand your frustration and ask myself this same thing weekly. Because of all the mutation issues I’ve had, if the sentence doesn’t make sense immediately, I look for mutations and that usually helps. If I still can’t translate the sentence, I’ll put it down and come back to it awhile later.


That the object of a VN is expressed as the possessive adjective - I mean, you’re right in spotting that dy weld ti means your seeing, so you just have to make a little leap from there to remember that when the verb in question is in the VN form, then object pronoun (not nouns, though) appears as the possessive.


Fedrech chi helpu Siaron? - Could you help Siaron?


Fedrech chi ei helpu hi? - Could you help her?


Is it ever the case that people drop the possessive part in sentences like your second example? Do you hear, for example, “Fedrech chi helpu hi?” or would that just sound totally wrong?


Oh thanks, this is already quite a long list that I can easily remember! :slight_smile:

Yeah I don’t worry much about speaking, and actually those are slowly starting to appear automatically in my head in the right form…but I hadn’t realized what they have in common - so this can help for translation a lot!


Diolch, Gareth for another excellent explanation. I’ll need to let it percolate in my head for awhile to fully appreciate it and put it into practice.


Yes you do, and it’s fine.


Percolating is always to be commended.


Is it normal in Welsh books for them to be written in the present tense where, in English, it would normally be in the past?

I’m reading Ffenestri and at first I thought it was just Lois Arnold making the stories more accessible to learners, but even into the Canolradd section the stories continue to be in the present tense. Is this normal in Welsh, and I should be thinking of “Reit! Mae Bryn yn meddwl” as the more usual English construction of “Right! Bryn thought” or has Lois intentionally chose this tense either for stylistic or accessibility reasons and I should take it at face value as “Right! Thinks Bryn”?


Sounds like a stylistic thing, but could be part of a deliberate ‘help learners’ approach - if you could quote a couple of examples in full it might help see… :slight_smile:


“Noswaith dda. Croeso, bawb!” mae Owen y tafarnwr yn dweud.

Mae llawer o luniau ar y disg. Fforest, y wlad, afon, y môr, ynys fach, yr anialwch. Mae’r tîm wrth eu boddau gyda nhw.

And so on, really. Reported speech is always a variation on “Mae Meic yn dweud”, in the present. Thinking in English in the same tense just seems odd for a story, although flicking through the back of the book, some of the very later stories are taking the form “Dwedodd Meic” instead, so perhaps she’s just helping learners out with a tense they’ll be most familiar with.


present tense is increasingly common in English language fiction too, “The Hunger Games” being a notable example