Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread


Yes - for it to count as the ‘same thing’ (for these purposes), we really have to be dealing with two labels for the same object or person. So, for example Garej ydy’r lle = The place is a garage is indeed an identification sentence, because both garej and y lle refer to the same thing. But o flaen y garej is a whole phrase, and is therefore not a label referring to y lle, so mae is correct rather than ydy.


Sorry to interrupt. I won’t catch up with you as I’d have to read approx 1000 posts but I’ve got a question to ask. Is there any other way to say “at all” in Welsh than just “o gwbl”? In the context of the sentence “Nid oedd yn siarad Cymraeg o gwbl.” and as it’s song in question to rhyme better with ending of previous sentence which is “yn ôl”.

The whole two sentences now look like this:
“Pan oedd e’n dod yr gatref yn ôl
nid oedd yn siarad Cymraeg o gwbl.”

And in the last row of the verse, do I need to “repeat” that “fe” again. Sorry Slovene grammar rules prevail in thinking so I’d say I can leave that out but of course Welsh is in question here and I’m not sure if this is possible in Welsh also.

Thx for potential answers/help.


I have a few common words that I just can’t develop an instinctive feel for. One of these that keeps cropping up is the word “dwyn”. I hear it being used (down south) for things like earings and the card on the wi-fi router that has the password on. I read it in contexts where it means the badge or emblem on a car. The news will use it for steal, where local people I know would generally use the related form of the word dwgyd.
It feels like a word for a nice “thingummyjig”, but I can’t add it to my speaking repertoire until I somehow manage to get it nailed down in terms of its general sense.

Any help here?


What about hollol? Ok, I know it’s a bit of a stretch.

Alternatively how about actually using “at all”? I appreciate that it’s English but it sounds very Celtic, well - Irish.


Is there an idomitic form out there I wonder with something like hyd linked with a byth or something else? I like hearing hyd and gyd, they just sound great, in expressions and doubly great when their used together.


I know it’s a bit of a long shot, but is there any chance that it could be a version of Dolen?

The GPC has loads of options for the form of the word Dwgyd type of the word dwyn: as you say, many of them seem to be related to steal, also : bring or bear.


Just thinking - Gwbl seems to fit ok, if you say it in a sort of Valleys way with an added o: Gwbol


Thank you. I thought about that as it fits the most but on the other hand the song is entirely in Welsh. Well, I might considder this also.

Well, this could be an idea for sure. Will try if I can say/sing it as fast as I need to. If I don’t do this right it will sound more like babeling though. :slight_smile:


just had to look up dolen - another new one on me, but very interesting one. There’s a million or so it feels anyway, uses of dwyn, any sort of an adourment to something feels close. @garethrking s Modern Welsh Dictionary has the to steal usage, GPC lists lits of lots of others and i hear loads more.


It seems to rhyme ok, to me.

This is one of the first Welsh words I ever heard, but I have to admit the way it’s stuck in my head might be influenced by the metric of the song I learnt it from, that’s a bit like saying go-ball in English (maybe that’s not exactly how you or people usually say it). :smiley:

I didn’t understand where/what is the “fe” you refer to in your next question, though (I don’t think I can help with it, but got curious about it).


A man who returned home (to Wales) but didn’t speak Welsh at all.

More I can not say for now.


I went into a classroom at work last week to teach a Maths class, and noticed that in the preceding ESOL class the teacher had obviously been doing the habitual past with his students. On the board it said: “I used to live in Spain” and “I used to have long hair.”

Well, I looked at the first one, and immediately thought O’n i’n arfer byw yn yr Ysbaen. And then I thought about the second, and could only manage Oedd gen i wallt hir. Nothing I tried out in my head involving arfer sounded like anything other than a wilfully complicated workaround: Oedd yn arfer bod gen i wallt hir sort of thing.

We discussed this in the pub, poring over @garethrking’s grammar, but wound up not wholly satisfied as to whether there was or wasn’t some way to do the habitual past with impersonal constructions like that; @johnwilliams_6 pointed out that perhaps one didn’t need arfer, as long hair would be a thing that necessarily took time to grow, but I countered that byw wasn’t a momentary thing, either.

And so I’m asking here – although I suspect I’m going to get one of @aran’s “Oh, we just don’t say that in Welsh” answers – how you deal with habitually having long hair in the past in Welsh…


O’n i’n arfer cael gwallt hir?


In Italian there is no literal translation for “used to” as in this sentence. So I’m lucky 'cause would feel fine using a simple “had”, in fact; maybe just adding something like in the past that appears to be yn y gorffennol.

p.s. not meant to answer to @RichardBuck’s curiosities of course, just taking advantage of it to figure out a solution if I wanted to say something like that.


Is it really habitual past? Either you had long hair or you didn’t. If if was occasionally long then what about “oedd wallt 'da fi yn hir yn arferol pan on i’n iau” ?


Well, yes, that was really John’s point – and I’d be happy with “Welsh just doesn’t bother marking that, because you don’t need to” if it weren’t for the fact that we’ve done “I used to live in that area years ago” as O’n i’n arfer byw yn yr ardal hon blynyddoedd yn ôl in the challenges, and I figure ‘living’ is also something that you either did for a while, or didn’t…


I wonder if you add in a verb then it fits the pattern better? On i’n arfer tyfu yng nghwallt yn hir or on i’n arfer gwisgo yng nghwallt yn hir?


If I really wanted to use “used to” I guess I’d go for some o’n i’n arfer (cael) gwallt hir da fi and wait to see how bad or puzzled is the look I get from the other person! :sunglasses:

p.s. again, just challenging myself in public (to practice embarrassment), not really meant to answer any questions.


I have been reading a book this morning and by chance have come across this construction variant.

yn ol 'i arfer roedd Carwyn wedi paratoi
according to his custom (in his customary way?) Carwyn had prepared.

yn ôl yr arfer roedd y gwrthwynebwyr yn meddu ar uned gref aruthrol
as usual the opponents were in possession of an incredibly strong unit

how about then?
Yn ôl ei arfer roedd ei wallt yn hir


O’n i’n arfer bod â gwallt hir

(It’s got to be bod and not cael, by the way - because cael does not mean possess but receive).