SSi Forum

What does ai mean?


Hi, I’ve never come across the word ‘ai’ before! Can anyone tell me where it comes from? Diolch


Can you give us some context?


There’s a word ai that’s equivalent to a “whether” in indirect questions, but is also used on the beginning of what would otherwise be a statement in order to turn it into a direct question. On the quiz show Celwydd Noeth (Bare-faced lie) the contestants have to identify one untrue statement from amongst a number of other, true ones; when they’ve settled on their answer, the host repeats it, and then instead of saying Dyna’r celwydd noeth (“There’s - or That’s - the bare-faced lie”) she says Ai dyna’r celwydd noeth? (“Is that…?”).

Ai dyna beth oeddet ti’n feddwl?


Are those children yours?




Yes, that’s it. We usually put the verb first in Welsh, but for “identification sentences” - where you’re identifying something/someone rather than merely describing them - the verb goes in the middle, like an = sign. (So “Fred is my brother,” works differently from “Fred is friendly.”) Eich plant chi ydy rheina “Those are your children” - but Ai eich plant chi…? = “Are those…?”


It’s worth searching the forum on that particular sentence (“Ai eich plant chi ydy rheina?”).
There are a few threads on it, with some useful information.


Good call - it turns out that there’s a lot of them (and some more good examples and explanation), and I’ve even taken part in some that I had forgotten all about :slight_smile: