SSi Forum

Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread


Thanks! It was counting years lived somewhere in the introductory advanced recording: ddeuddeg blynedd.


Yes, counting always uses singular nouns (and it just happens that ‘year’ is an odd one with more than one singular form) although you can put an ‘of’ in there in which case you use a plural (but this, I think, is more commonly used when you want emphasis)
deuddeng mlynedd = deuddeg o flynyddoedd (but generally, mlynedd sounds more natural)
can waith (a hundred times) = cant o weithiau (cant o sounds fine, especially if you’re using it as an exaggeration … “I tried a hundred times!”)


Profanities if it’s my dog. Bloody disobedient thing!


Here is an excerpt from Gareth King’s dictionary (English to Welsh) that describes the various formats of “Year” pretty well:


I say Benditha! Don’t know if that’s right.


Sorry, that was my reply to a question about responding to someone sneezing! In German you say Gesundheit! What do we normally say or hear here?


You’re very close - we say ‘bendith’ :slight_smile:


Hi Nefyn, I tend to say “bendith”. Geiriadur yr Academi says “rhad arnat ti (arnoch chi)” or “Bendith y tad/y mamau” but that sounds quite overtly religious, so I’m not sure I’d use it myself.


yeah, I’ve never heard anyone use those ever.


A question about level 2 and language logic:

So there are third person singular forms: mae, ydy
and third person plural forms: maen, ydyn

For example, “They are happy” - “Maen nhw’n hapus” or “They look” - “Maen nhw’n edrych.”

Why it becomes singular mae once nhw is replaced by a (plural) noun? “Mae eich plant chi yn hapus,” not “Maen eich plant chi yn hapus.”
And the same for ydy in questions: “Ai eich plant chi ydy rheina?” but “Pa mor hen ydyn nhw?”


“Why” is an odd question in matters of language usage… Answers usually amount to: “It is just the way it is…”

Users of Welsh who are born to it have no difficulty with the situation, feel that plurality is sufficiently marked with this system, I guess, and I, for one, coming to it as an adult learner, from English, can understand why that hard-to-articulate ‘n’ is dropped off… Without the ‘n’ it flows better…


Hi Ani,

I agree with Lorna here. Reading text messages and tweets from first language speakers many, when writing informally, drop the “n” in these situations. It’s not voiced for long in speach, you tend to run one into the other when in flow. In other words, it probably wouldn’t be picked up if you didn’t say it. As with “dan/dyn ni”, I’ve had many messages with “yda ni’n mynd heno?”. Same is true with the “t” at the end of verbs “nest ti” “gest ti”, for example. The t often rolls into the next. Come to think of it, the “ch - ch” does too in speach. “Byddech chi’n” i probably wouldn’t stop for long enough to say ch ch.

There’s a guy called Idahosa Ness who teaches the mainstream languages through sound acquisition. He fully agrees with Aran and Iestyn that we shouldnt read anything until we’ve acquired our accent in the target language. He also talks about the natural rhythm of a language. Where there are unvoiced and voiced changes in sentences. Where one starts and another stops. So with these situations he’d said, the rhythm of the language to a native ear, hears both sounds even if they’re not said out loud. What our body is doing is preparing for the next sound.

So with ydyn nhw - the “n” at the end of ydyn makes us more nasal ready for “nhw”. With ydach chi - we move our tounge ready for the “ch” sound.

Sorry thats a bit of a rambly response but my take on it is, it prepares our mouths.


It’s just a rule, Ani - plural nouns take a singular verb in Welsh. :slight_smile:


Yeah, I expected this answer a bit :slight_smile: I’ve just been curious if there is some history behind it and if it is correct in both spoken and written Welsh.
And also, if there is some generalization to it - if it happens in negative too, or to other verbs (in their conjugated form) etc.
I was also thinging about other persons but then I realized they are never without the pronoun :slight_smile: (That’s me thinking in Czech, we usually don’t use pronouns with verbs).
Thanks everyone.


yes, both the same

yes, same here - plural nouns still take the singular (3rd person) verb
dydy’r llyfrau ddim ar y bwrdd - maen nhw ar y llawr
aeth y plant i’r ysgol - aethon nhw ar y bws


I think you’ve probably got three potential levels of explanation here - the historical, the contemporary grammar, and the “it’s just the way it is.” If I asked why, in English, we say “a person” but “an animal”, I could answer (1) that in Middle English a final ‘n’ was pronounced quite weakly, and tended to be lost before other consonants; or (2) that I’m getting ready for the next word, knowing it begins with a vowel; or (3) “we just do.”

@AnthonyCusack has largely given you an answer in terms of the flow of the language (number 2), and @garethrking and @siaronjames have answered in terms of contemporary grammar (somewhere between 2 & 3). I’m not sure of the history of the thing, but I think I have a kind of guess at number 1.

In some languages, such as Latin or Italian or Catalan, the endings on verbs are distinctive enough that the verb on its own tells you who is doing what, and there’s no need to add a pronoun for ‘I’ or ‘you’ or ‘she’ - such languages are, I think, referred to as “pro-drop” (pronoun dropping). On the other hand, in French, where most of the endings that sound distinct in Catalan all sound the same (parlo, parles, parla vs. parle, parles, parle, & even the -s is silent), if you don’t add the pronoun you’re hopelessly lost.

But in Welsh, where Literary Welsh goes back to something frankly mediaeval, the Literary language is pro-drop and the spoken language isn’t. So in Literary Welsh, as in spoken, we’re not going to have a noun as subject if we’re talking about ‘I’ or ‘we’ or ‘you’; but when it comes to the third person it’s kind of different. If I’ve got a noun that’s obviously singular or plural, there’s no need for it to be marked by the verb as well (although lots of languages do): Literary or spoken, Mae’r gath yn cysgu o’r Mae’r cathod yn cysgu, ‘the cat(s) is/are sleeping’. But when there’s no noun, Literary Welsh could (I think!) just say Mae’n cysgu vs. Maent yn cysgu.

So I’m not wholly sure, but I suspect the rules of agreement basically go back to an earlier stage of the language that is still reflected in the way that Literary Welsh works, and that keeping the third person plural ending only when there’s a pronoun subject goes back to a time when the pronoun itself was optional and the verb had to do more of the work.


Prynhawn da bawb!

Is there a word for burp (as in belch) yn Gymraeg?

I tend to say bwrp and bwrpo (verb) but wondering if there was a native phrase.

(Context, we have a new born, I’m not just being crass i promise! :grimacing:)


According to GM (Y Geiriadur Mawr) the noun for belch is bytheiriad and the verb is bytheirio

GM doesn’t have “burp”


Hi, can anyone tell me where to find the Level 2 listening exercises on the app please? On L1 they were in with the challenges, but I can’t find them in Level 2. I can get it on the website, but can’t find it on the app, which I usually use when I’m out and about. Diolch!


They should be there - are you using the iOS or the Android app?