Welsh: negative relative clauses

Curt Jugg

Senior Member
English - England
Can anyone help me (a beginner) with these two queries about negative relative clauses in Welsh, please?

1) The sentence “Those are the men who were not working” can be translated into Welsh as “Dyna’r dynion nad oeddynt yn gweithio”, using the literary form of the auxiliary verb. A more colloquial translation would be “Dyna’r dynion oedd ddim yn gweithio”. There “nad” is replaced by “ddim”, and the singular form of the auxiliary verb is used with a plural subject. However, I have also come across a third way of translating which would be “Dyna’r dynion nad oedden nhw’n gweithio”. Here the colloquial form of the auxiliary verb is used but the pronoun “nhw” is included as well. My question is: Can this pronoun be omitted without changing the meaning?

2) I have read more than once that where na(d) is used as a relative pronoun the verb must be in the plural form with a plural subject, unlike with the affirmative where a singular form is used. However, two grammars I have consulted are at variance with this:
“Gramadeg Cymraeg Cyfoes” (1998) has on page 76 the sentence “Mae’r plant (nad) aeth ddim ar drip yr ysgol wedi cael mynd adre’n gynnar”; and “Welsh Grammar You Really Need to Know” (2013) has on page 10 the phrase ”y plant na ddaw”. Both of these show plural subjects with singular verbs and with na(d) as the relative pronoun. What is the actual position on this point?

Grateful for any help.
 
  • Tegs

    Mód ar líne
    English (Ireland)
    Helo Siôn a Curt :)

    “Dyna’r dynion nad oedden nhw’n gweithio”. Here the colloquial form of the auxiliary verb is used but the pronoun “nhw” is included as well. My question is: Can this pronoun be omitted without changing the meaning?
    You can't omit the pronoun there. It would leave you with Dyna'r dynion nad oedden yn gweithio, and the omission of nhw makes it sound as though you're trying to use the more formal version oeddent but you're not sure of the verb conjugation and you got it a bit wrong.

    You always need the "nhw" with the informal verb forms. Roedden nhw, doedden nhw ddim, aethon nhw, nawn nhw etc.
     

    Welsh_Sion

    Senior Member
    Welsh - Northern
    Quick addition: Gramadeg Cymraeg Cyfoes is not to be recommended as it uses Cymraeg Byw forms. If you are learning a particular dialect form (Southern Welsh with Hugo, if I remember rightly) stick to this. Although I am a Northerner, my prejudices only extend so far as to not exposing people to Cymraeg Byw - an artificial construct no native speaker speaks.
     
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