Cymraeg (Welsh): Present Tense Forms of the Verb "bod"


Senior Member
English - usa
I have been trying to learn a little Welsh on my own and am confused with the various forms of this verb in the present tense. My understanding is that there are different forms for affirmative, negative, and interrogative.


dw i
wyt ti
yw e
yw hi
dyn ni
dych chi
dyn nhw


The same other than putting "nid" in front

I am particularly confused with this:

dw i'n dysgu
rwyt ti'n dysgu
mae e'n dysgu / mae hi'n dysgu
dyn ni'n dysgu
dych chi'n dysgu
maen nhw'n dysgu

Why are these bolded forms different from those above?


ydw i
wyt ti
ydy e / ydy hi
ydyn ni
ydych chi
ydyn nhw

This seems to be just an addition of a "y" before each of the affirmative form above, other than the second person singular.

The negative is the same other than the addition of "nac" before it.

Then there are these other negative forms! I am so confused!!!! :(

dw i ddim yn dysgu
dwyt ti ddim yn dysgu
dyw e ddim yn dysgu / dyw hi ddim yn dysgu
dyn ni ddim yn dysgu
dych chi ddim yn dysgu
dyn nhw ddim yn dysgu

AHHH!!! Why are the second and third person singular forms different from those above? Why is "ddim" used here as a negative word instead of "nac" or "nid"?

Last edited:
  • Celdu224

    New Member
    English - US
    Yes, in the "standard" written language, there are distinct forms for the affirmative, interrogative and negative. In the spoken language, however, these forms are very fluid and often cross over the affirmative, interrogative and negative. There are many different forms used in different parts of the country in the spoken language. For example, in your affirmative list, you have "wyt ti" listed. This is a commonly used form, and you might also hear "rwyt ti" or simply "ti" used for the affirmative. However, in the written language, only "rwyt ti" would be the correct affirmative form, and only "wyt ti" would be the correct interrogative form. "Wyt ti" would not be used for the affirmative in the written language. The forms that you have listed are spoken forms. The contemporary written forms do not sound natural to native speakers, but you would be completely understood.

    Since this is my first post on WordReference, my post keeps getting deleted by the system, so I'll just correct some of your forms. If you want further explanation, please feel free to ask on the board, or you should be able to send me an e-mail from what I understand.


    dw i - can also be "wi" or "rwy i"
    wyt ti - can also be "rwyt ti" or just "ti"
    yw e - should be "mae e"
    yw hi - should be "mae hi"
    dyn ni
    dych chi
    dyn nhw - should be "maen nhw"

    These changes and the first paragraph should show why "dw i'n dysgu" etc. are correct. The "yw e", "yw hi" and "dyn nhw" forms are commonly used for interrogative and negative, but I've never heard them used for the affirmative.

    Your interrogative forms look good. You can, of course, also use the "yw e", "yw hi" and "dyn nhw" forms here as well.

    Negative forms

    dw i ddim
    dwyt ti ddim (also ti ddim)
    dyw e ddim / dyw hi ddim (also dydy e ddim / dydy hi ddim)
    dyn ni ddim
    dych chi ddim (also y chi ddim)
    dyn nhw ddim

    There are many different forms that are used in different parts of the country, and I can't list them all here. "Ddim" is standard for negating verbs, so don't use "nid". "Nac" would be used to form "no" answers. Ex. Wyt ti'n dysgu? (Are you learning?) Nac ydw. (No. Literally I am not). Dw i ddim yn dysgu. (I am not learning)

    Google "cymraeg byw" bod. There is a good posting on Unilang on Bod. The system wouldn't let me post the hyperlink. My suggestion would be to learn the textbook forms, and the spoken forms will come naturally from those. I know I kind of rambled, but it's not easy to explain. Feel free to ask if you have further questions.