SSi Forum

Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread


aaaa Dwi’n deall nawr!

(quick little question … can I use “Wela i” to mean “I understand (Oh I see!)” - a book told me it was a good phrase for “I see what you mean”
… because I use it - ar y stryd - and can never tell if people are quietly thinking GWALL/ERROR! :smiley:


Hi everyone. What a brilliant thread!

I came across this written online today: ‘Dw i’n meddwl dy fod yn meddwl “dyma” a nid “gyda”.’

  1. Is that: ‘I think that you mean “dyma” and not “gyda”’?
  2. Is it the same as saying ‘dw i’n meddwl bo’ ti’n meddwl …’, and perhaps more appropriate in written Welsh, or is it something different altogether?

Cheers, --Antony


“bo’ ti” is quick slangy spoken Welsh heard in speech.

Dy fod di - that you
Ei fod o/e - that he
Ei bod hi - that she
Eich bod chi - that you plural/posh
Eu bod nhw - that they
Ein bod ni - that we

notice bod -> fod due to mutation reasons (eich never causes mutation but dy always does etc)…but please dont get hung up on that…just accept them as part of learning stuff…

Bod - to be (Im thinking be you thinking - sounds weird in English lol)


yup. Perfectly fine :slight_smile: .You can also use “dwi’n gweld”.


Right, yes, I hear ‘bo’ ti’ in songs a lot. Anyway that’s awesome, just what I needed to know. :slight_smile: Thanks!


That’s good, cause this is more similar to the Italian equivalent.

I haven’t really understood how dim doesn’t mean no/zero?
(In Italy we call numbers with zero Arabic as opposed to Roman. And I had never looked up the origin of the word niente, nulla…and it looks like it is a negation of existence of something)


dim does mean nothing/no/any/none/zero.


Oh well, then I suppose I didn’t understand what @brynle meant, but in any case it was more of an abstract speculation, I guess.


It could be a ‘sounds proper’ thing with English -
In English, we’d say “I don’t know anything about it” because “I don’t know nothing about it” is a double-negative and sounds wrong. In Welsh, we do have double negatives which are perfectly acceptable, so we can say “Dwi’m (dw I ddim) yn gwbod dim byd amdani”

Other 'dim’s -
Does dim ar ôl - there is none left
01286 - dim un dau wyth chwech
Dim ysmygu - no smoking
Nid dim un - not any


The concept of zero was not always in human language.

Dim was traditionally in the far past not a direct translation of ‘no’ … I was reading this in a history of the Welsh language. Dont worry about it, not relevant to 2019 Welsh - just interested me. Sorry for confusion


I appreciate your helping me. :wink:


Words easily shift between meaning ‘anything’ ‘something’ and ‘nothing’. If I ask “Did you see something?” or “Did you see anything?” or “Didn’t you see anything?” they all mean pretty much the same thing – even the negative question will find out whether or not you saw anything.

If you didn’t, you could answer:
No, I didn’t see anything.
No, I saw nothing.

But in Italian, and Spanish, Old English, and colloquial modern English, you could also say:
No, I didn’t see nothing.

So dim used to mean ‘anything’ (and still does, in certain phrases); but from being used in negative sentences like “I didn’t see anything”, it kind of shifts to usually mean ‘nothing’. ‘Rien’ in French has done the same – more here and in the replies to it.


Random question. (Which was not at all inspired by goofing off instead of writing my blog post, really!) I wasn’t sure how the phrase “what to write” translates into Welsh, and “beth i ysgrifennu” didn’t look right somehow. I tried typing it into Google Translate, and according to that source, it’s “beth i’w ysgrifennu”.
However, I was wondering why it’s “i’w” rather than “i”. Trying to look up “i’w” by itself didn’t make it clearer to me, on Google Translate or Wiktionary.


In Welsh you use “it” in ways you don’t in English. It’s called reflexive (apparently), so here it’s “what to it’s writing?”

i + ei = i’w


What @AnthonyCusack said, basically, but if you want more detail… here’s my two penn’orth.

Spoken Welsh uses the same pronouns with verbs as it does for saying that you own something (Literary Welsh does something more complicated) – so at the end of one of the old courses Aran says “thank you for choosing me” (to teach you) – only the Welsh for “choosing me” is fy newis, just like “my hat” is fy het.

Welsh doesn’t let you just end a sentence with something left hanging in quite the same way that English does – so when you might end a sentence in English with “something I can believe in” the Welsh would have to say “something I can believe in it.” (The ‘it’ is the same as the something.) I’m reading a book at the moment, where it describes someone climbing, and it says “several times she nearly fell, trying to find a little bit of rock that she could grab onto to pull herself up…” – only in Welsh it’s actually “a little bit, that she could grab onto it” (i afael ynddo) because you can’t have “onto” without also having “it”.

And then beth, for “what”, is really short for pa beth, “what thing?”

So if we really want to pick the Welsh apart in English until we sound like Yoda, the way that it works for me is “thinking about what to write” = “thinking about what thing, to write it” or “thinking about what thing, for the writing of it” – meddwl am beth i’w ysgrifennu – the ‘it’ refers back to the beth, which is why Anthony said it’s reflexive.

But the other thing is that I think – and, as always, pleased to be corrected by those who know more, if I’m wrong – that what people would actually say misses out a lot of these niceties, and could well come out more like meddwl am be’ i sgwennu (colloquial pronunciation for ysgrifennu) :smile:


Hello Everyone,

A quick question (really sorry if I’m repeating a question here).

I’m a bit confused about one of the social niceties.

In the speaking and listening challenges (I’m only on level I challenge 11), ‘how are you?’ is given as ‘sut wyt ti?’, but I also hear ‘sut dach chi?’ elsewhere.

What’s the difference?




It’s a formal/informal-singular/plural thing!

wyt ti is the singular/informal version of ‘are you’, and dach chi is the plural/formal version, so when you use them just depends on whether you’re addressing more than one person or whether you want to be more polite to someone :slight_smile:


Ahhh. Thanks so much @siaronjames :slightly_smiling_face:


These are great for grammar, listening and comprehension practice. Plus they’re free and it’s the entire course! So £250 odd a year.


How would you say “Otherwise” - gwrthwyneb?

As in:

“Otherwise I would have carried on…” gwrthwyneb byswn i wedi cario ymlaen…" is that right?

Bruce is giving “Gwrthwyneb, ar wahan, yn wahanol, fel arall”