SSi Forum

Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread


Don’t worry about it - you can use whichever you feel comfortable with. I’m from Monmouth originally and started with Southern dialect but have long since moved to Caernarfon so I basically speak ‘mix-and-match’ now!


Am I the only person here who says, " ges ti Amsterdam?" when asked to say yn Gymraeg "did you have a good time? "


Ha ha. My wife Glenda asked me why I kept saying Haagen Dazs to Ceiri, Cartin & Aran’s dog (Hogyn Da - for Good boy).


Love this tread, as i’m following the rules and pushing on, trying not to worry and trust the method but often hit with huge pangs of self doubt. Good to see others sharing my confusion over the different forms of “to be”, etc. I’m especially struggling with implied past tenses e.g. “o’n i’n meddwl i ti ddweud…” and hoping it falls into place with practice


Northern version beginner here.
Is “try and practice” and “try to practice” the same with “trio ymarfer”? I sometimes say “trio i ymarfer” or “trio ac ymarfer”, and while the last one seems to be purely my own invention, “i” in a string of verbs actually sounds right… Is it okay? Or is there a rule when to say verb+to+verb with “i” in the middle?


that is a good question. I’m guessing “i ymarfer” would be right. It is pretty random, as prepositions are in any language, and if you think it sounds right then trust your instinct. It’s the natural learning method. No-one ever told me why in English i should “do someone in” not “do someone out” (I’m innocent btw)


Yes, I’m fairly sure that you won’t ever need “trio ac [verb]”, just because “try and” in English dialect actually means “try to”:slight_smile:

There is actually a rule when to use “i” between verbs/verbnouns, but I just go by the sound of the phrase. If you do want to know however, here is an earlier discussion on it -


Hi Irina,

Ymaerfer means - to practice/practicting/practice (all 3 English equivalents)

So the sentence “trio ymarfer” could be translated as “try to practice” or “try practicing”

Try and practice is a bit idiomatic in English. “Try and sleep” the and acts different to ac in Welsh.

“i” in those sentences is “in order to” or “for the purpose of”. “Feddet ti’n fodlon i ddod â rhywbeth i’w yfed?” - would you be willing to bring something in order to/for the purpose of drinking it?


Thank you for the explanations, @Onion, @JohnYoung and @AnthonyCusack!
Also, Onion, thanks for the laugh! “Do someone in”, ha! :joy:


“Try and practice” is incorrect even in English, although of course still regularly heard.


Well, I’m sure in some English language school book we did study the difference between and and to between two verbs in general and something specific about “try and”. Therefore I know it exists in English but I don’t remember what it was all about! :smiley:

I’m glad it doesn’t matter in Welsh, although I find a bit confusing the fact that here sometimes there’s nothing between, sometimes i, not sure why!


Hi Gisella,

Whereas no “i” exists when it’s just the verb “trio ymarfer” - trying practising / trying to pracitice.


Thanks, I had missed your post and though I’d read the link @JohnYoung had put in his post later, but then forgot!
However I see the problem for me is that the distinction is not so obvious in English…couldn’t try be for the purpose of practicing too? :thinking:

Oh but I’d rather stop because just like with quite a few other things, it’s easier for me to just skip the English that’s adding an extra complication, and just try and read more examples in Welsh until I figure out what I would use in Italian or simply “get” it as is!


Yes it definitely can. “try that before your exam”, but “try” and “practice” is a bit different. Practice encompasses trying and retrying deliberately to improve. Try can be more fleeting and less purposeful.
If I try to play the violin it’s different to practising to play. Does that help?

Also, with “…trio ymarfer…” it’s just out of context. So “dylwn i drio ymarfer mwy” - to me implies “find the time” or something similar. It implies one should make the effort to practice more.

But you’re 100% right, when you stop thinking of one language through another you start to “get” things. Bod and that are a great example.


Try and… Is not goog English but is quite common in colloquial conversation. Try to… Is correct English. I can’t vouch for the Welsh equivalents though. I’m still striving to accept ‘I’ve got something.’, it means the same as ‘I have something’ in English, so the word ‘got’ is superfluous there.


Interestingly (well, I thought it was interesting, anyway :slightly_smiling_face:) the 1968 edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage, says of 'try and’:

  • “It is, therefore, colloquial if that means specially appropriate to actual speech; but not if colloquial means below that of literary dignity. Though try to do can always be substituted for try and do, the latter has a shade of meaning that justifies its existence; in exhortations it implies encouragement - the effort will succeed; in promises it implies assurance - the effort shall succeed.”


Oh I was sure we officially studied “try and” at school, and our teachers explained the difference with “try to” - that was probably the same as in this book.

However, it looks like most first language speakers are not even aware of it. Just as a reminder of how you end up confused by a whole lot of unnecessary rules when you learn languages at school, that made our life complicated when we first tried and speak…tried to speak…oh, whatever!..with native speakers!

edit: BTW there was also the (very obscure to us) difference between “try to” and “try …ing”. Which I also forgot. Who said that English is so much easier than Welsh? :wink:


Well this has always been a moot point. The general acceptance is that the strength of the English Language is its acceptance of change. At some point the various spellings of the similar words ‘there’, ‘their’ and “they’re” will probably meld into one and be accepted as the norm. I’m old enough to think that would be a loss to the language rather than a benefit. But as we should be discussing a much more interesting language here I’m going to register my opinion and to leave it at that.


I think Aran just changes stuff around (“try to practice” vs “try and practice”, “speak Welsh” vs “talk Welsh”) to make sure we’re really thinking and using our brains, rather than just associating a single English word with a single Welsh word. Probably helps to make it more fluid in our mind, and not fall into the trap of just mindlessly memorizing things by rote. Or directly translating stuff all the time. “Trio ac ymarfer… huh, that’s a new one. Oh wait.” :flushed:
Or maybe because he loves to catch us off-guard. “What? Huh? I don’t remember this.” And to laugh as we mix up “I’ve got” and “I’ve got to”.

Noooooo… Next you’ll be saying that in a hundred years, stuff like this will be proper English: “im going 2 the mall. u want me 2 pick u up, or r u driving? ok, c u l8r.”
Actually, the way things are going, it’ll probably become socially acceptable for five-year-olds to say the f-bomb every other word. :unamused:


If I’m trying(and failing) to mend something, I might say:
“I tried to open it and have a look inside – but I couldn’t get the lid off.”
“I tried opening it and looking inside – but it didn’t help, because I didn’t know what to look for.”

To “try to do” something is to attempt to do it – maybe you can, maybe you can’t.
To “try doing” something is to do it, in the hope that it achieves some other goal – maybe it’ll help, maybe it won’t.

I have no idea how, if at all, one would make that distinction in Welsh: wnes i drio agor y peth feels more like “I tried to open” to me, but I’m frankly guessing. Maybe it covers both, and is disambiguated only by context?