SSi Forum

Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread


Level 1 (south) lesson 24. question about the Tense of a sentence

The prompt was “It’s possible that he wanted to help you”
The ssiw answer was “Mae’n bosib fod e’n moyn dy helpu di”

What makes the ‘he wanted’ past tense? I initially answered with " oedd e’n "
If I saw or heard the welsh first, I’d have translated it as “Its possible that he wants to help you”



@Mira I doubt I can answer your question because I just finished Level 1 last week, but out of curiosity, what is the timestamp for that prompt in Challenge 24? I’ll go back and have another listen.


I’m listening to the downloaded file from the website. The question is asked at timestamp 17:16
I’ve just noticed its also written in the vocab list on the app (but not the website).


Wow, ok… so I am hearing the same thing as you and now I have the same query! Why not oedd e’n moyn?

I don’t have that example in my notes, but I use the Android app and I haven’t found a way to access the notes there. Do you use an iPhone?


What the Welsh is actually saying is kind of “It’s possible, him wanting to help you” – which works for English “that he wants to” and also for English “that he wanted to”. Using fod leaves it kind of unmarked for time, but in a normal conversation the context would decide. In isolation, like this, you can basically flip a coin…

There’s a similar discussion, with some useful input from Aran and Gareth King, here:


Thank you!


Diolch yn fawr!

Would it still be correct to say, "Mae’n bosib oedd e’n moyn dy helpu di," then, if we wanted to pin it in time, or would it sound unnatural?


Another question, this time about Level 1 (south) lesson 23.

I’m not sure if I need to…I heard an ‘oes’? in the translation?

I’ve only heard this one time thoughout the course and not seen it written anywhere.

It sounded like: Dw i ddim yn siwr os oes eisiau


How strange that you ask about oes, I was just going to look up that word for an entirely different reason while looking at a 15th century Welsh poem about my ancestor during a discussion on another thread! (Medievalist learning modern)

I don’t remember that part of lesson 23, though, so another timestamp would be helpful, please! :wink:

EDIT: I am not entirely sure what it means here, when I look it up on Ap Geiriadur I get “yes” if it’s an adverb, which it looks like it might be… but I am in over my head here!


its at 2:57

oes is ‘yes’…so doesn’t make sense there. maybe its a different word?

but that reminds me that I’ve heard ‘nagw’ in the middle of a sentence when ‘no’ wasn’t part of the answer…‘my mother told me that your mother doesn’t like football’ ended up with the “dyw dy fam di ddim yn hoffi” replaced with “nagw dy fam di yn hoffi”


I think it is an affirmation more than an answer here… in this case with “os” and “oes” we may be dealing with something like “if yes,” or “if so…”

Here is Google’s (probably iffy) “translation” of the line from the old poem:

…a wnaeth yn oes ein iaith ni.
…she did in our language.

I could see that as being “she did do…” but I am in wayyyy over my head, now! :sweat_smile:


The southern course uses Mae eisuau I fi to say ‘I need’ - literally this translates to ‘there is a want/need for me to’. This is the same sort of construct as ‘rhaid’ for ‘have to’, as another example.

If you want to ask a question with this type of expression, you need to use the ‘Is there?’ form of question which is ‘oes’.

Oes eisiau I fi fynd? - do I need to go ? (Lit: is there a want/need for me to go?)

Answers: Oes (yes!) or Nag oes (no)

So in this example there is an ’if’ - os - in front for good measure (but quite common).

Os oes eisiau I fi - if I need to…(lit: if is there a need for me to)

Hopefully that makes some kinds of sense :smile:

Rich :slight_smile:


So does that mean we are looking at a construction something like this?

Yes need (to) I go?


What Mira heard was spot on…


So in the sentence above the ‘oes’ doesn’t mean yes…it is the question version of the word which means ‘is there’

Oes can mean ‘yes’ as a reply to the question however.

Like lots of questions in Welsh to say yes or no, you mirror the question…

…so in reply you could say Oes which is this context would mean ‘yes’ or Nag Oes to mean ’no’.

Rich :slight_smile:


Ah, and ‘oes’ ( confusingly - languages eh?!) can also mean ‘era’, ‘lifetime’ - that longer sense of time…so there is more than one sense of the word in play here.

So out of context it is hard to be certain about the translation of the extract - it could be …’which did in the life of our language’…but there are a few options.

Rich :slight_smile:


Wow… :exploding_head:

I have a long ways to go with my modern Welsh, and the fifteenth century on top of that?!? What an adventure this is going to be!


Sounds like fun! :smile:

Oes is about existence (to my mind at least). So when you are asking ‘Is there something?’ using Oes, you are effectively asking whether something exists.

So put that way, the other meaning of ‘era’ and ‘lifetime’ - a period of existence - doesn’t seem so different. :wink:

Rich :slight_smile:


thank you so much!
these answers are very useful. I’m sure I’ll get the hang of that when i hear it more often.


Nope, it’s a ‘first language speakers have a hell of a time with u/y in spelling’… :slight_smile: