Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread


If I remember correctly what I was told when I asked this question some time ago - yes. I have a hard time getting chdi out, so I asked it it was alright to use ti and I was told that, in most cases, they are interchangeable. So cwestiwn i chdi and cwestiwn i ti mean the same thing. I have a vague memory that there is some use of one that doesn’t work with the other, but I cannot currently recall exactly what that was.


Diolch o galon, Sionned. Gotta love late night US Cymraeg siradwr answering questions.


Hi again everyone. Can I ask if “gaf i” - may I is the same as “ga i” - may I? I think I remember seeing that “f” gets dropped off a lot of words if it’s at the end in speech? I.e. cyntaf—>cynta
I was just watching a load of lessons with welsh with us and it came up there as gaf i


A quick question, probably asked a million times before:

Presumably Mae’n and Mae fe’n/ fo’n or Mae hi’n are essentially the same. So why use the latter rather than the former? The downside of the latter is needing to remember if it is masc or fem…


Yeah there are a lot of short future tense words that lose the last f. Ga i, Ca i, A i, Do i etc. I think other words too like pentre/pentref

The grammar books usually have the last f - but I’m not sure how many people pronounce them.


Another little thing someone might know: I saw a building the other day called Bont Ddu. Presumably meaning black bridge.

I’m guessing ‘ddu’ has mutated because it is single fem, but why bont not pont? Is it a hidden ‘y/yr’?


Yes, most likely the Y has been lost but the mutation remained - quite common for this to happen.

Yes, they are essentially the same but the reason for using the different ones is exactly because there are masculine and feminine nouns. It is difficult to remember which is masc and which is fem, but this knowledge will build gradually over time the more you are exposed to the language. If you get it wrong and say fe/fo instead of hi, it’s not a huge deal but it will sound wrong.

Martin - as Joe said in his reply, yes, it’s extremely common for the f to drop off in speech.
Joe - spot on, grammar books and dictionaries will usually show the written version, and as for how many people pronounce the f… well just think of how many people pronounce the g in English in words like “going” or “doing”. Some do, but many don’t :wink:


Thanks siaron. I was confusing things - I meant using Mae’n rather than Mae hi’n. I don’t really understand why SSIW sometimes uses the former and sometimes the latter.


Yes (so far as I know) but note that you still would normally put in the “i” before the “chdi” (as Sionned has done), i.e. the “chdi” does not incorporate the “i” (although the resulting sound may well sound like “ichdi”).

I notice on Rownd a Rownd (set in Ynys Môn), they seem to use “chdi” a lot, more than “ti”. I’m guessing as much as anything else, which one you use depends on what sounds better or which is easier to say, depending on context.


mae’n is a common contraction for both mae fe/fo and mae hi (as you’ve spotted!), and it can indeed be a very handy get out in some situations when you can’t remember the gender of the thing you’re referring to but it generaly gets done when the thing referred to is ‘abstract’ in some way (mae’n braf, mae’n dywyll, mae’n hwyr* etc). When you need to specify ‘he’ or ‘she’, of course you would need to put in the fe/fo or hi (mae fe’n golygus, mae hi’n hwyr*)
*note - “It’s late” as in general time can be contracted, but “She’s late” can’t.
The SSiW way will try to expose you to the many different ways you’ll hear things said rather than stick to one pattern, and even if this seems confusing at first, it will sink in and make sense over time. :slight_smile:


Gotcha, that makes sense.


I notice that Gareth King’s dictionary generally puts the last “f” in a word in parentheses - for example: pentre(f) - which helps remind us that it is often dropped in speech.


Straw poll: how do you pronounce Ebbw (as in the river and town in Gwent?)

It seems like almost everyone says it differently - English speakers often say Ebber or Ebb-u. But then maybe it looks more like Ebboo if you are saying it in the Welsh way.

But then it’s actually easier to say Glyn Ebwy, so maybe that’s the solution!


absolutely - that’s why I included ‘usually’ because I was thinking specifically of @garethrking 's dictionary and know he is one of the people who goes a step further to help learners! :wink:


Not entirely. You certainly can’t use chdi after the preterite -est ending, or the future -i ending - so you can’t say *Welest chdi hwnna? Did you see that? - it has to be Welest ti hwnna?; you can’t say *Fyddi chdi’n dŵad? Will you be coming? - it has to be Fyddi di’n dŵad?; and you can’t say *Pam na ddoi chdi? Why don’t you come? - it has to be Pam na ddoi di?
Essentially, then, you can’t use chdi as the subject of the verb. But as the object, and in all other uses (for example after prepositions), it is indeed interchangeable with ti.

Welest ti fi? - Did you see me?
Weles i chdi (or Weles i ti) - I saw you

hefo ti or hefo chdi - with you


Used to hear it a lot on election programmes, as Ebbw Vale was the constituency of some famous political names (national treasures or hotheaded nuisances according to your persuasion - although hotheaded nuisances when young have a habit of turning into national treasures when old - no names, no pack drill …)


To be fair, you are correct. For the town “Ebber”, but for anything else in either language (Bridge, Pont, River, Afon, etc) it has to be Ebbw. Hang on. I’ve changed to Ebbw for the town as well now!!

Incidentally, isn’t it one of the few Welsh words with a double consonant?


Not in Welsh it isn’t :wink:


Google still finds it hard to believe I really mean to search Welsh words and names. :laughing:



Thought so as soon as I posted. :tired_face:
I can only think of Barry at the moment, apart from compound words like Pennant. I’ll have a rethink.

Do they imply pronouncing with a longer consonant sound? (Even longer than the normal long consenant between penultimate and ultimate syllables.)