yw and mae - Help please!!

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Dysgwr
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yw and mae - Help please!!

Postby Dysgwr » 13 Jun 2007, 16:02

Hi,

I'm new to learning Welsh and even though I've bought myself the Colloquial Welsh course and Grammar book I still can't find the answer to my question which is:

In the first lesson I learned that "is" is translated as "yw":
Anthea yw honno.

However, now, in the lesson 2, I'm presented with a second option mae:
mae Mari tu allen.

I already know that there are different versions of "bod" depending on whether the sentence is affirmative, negative or interrogative. But the only explaination I get in the course is "You'll notice that the 'he' and 'she' form (mae) is different from the ydy/yw used for identification".

Is this a case of the "specific" nouns. Although I can't find this specific change mae -> yw anywhere.

Could someone please shed some light on this.

Diolch yn fawr!
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Postby Dysgwr » 14 Jun 2007, 07:26

I found the answer in my grammar book - just not where I expected it  :oops:
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al_iguana
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Postby al_iguana » 14 Jun 2007, 09:21

can you post it, just in case anyone else is puzzled by this in the future? Diolch

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Postby Dysgwr » 14 Jun 2007, 10:47

Hi al_iguana,

Certainly, the answer I have found is:

The verb to be (bod in Welsh) has three principal uses:
i. identification (who/what is/are)
ii. existential (there is/are)
iii. descriptive (anything else)

English makes no distinction between i and iii, but does have a special form for ii (there is/there are). However, in Welsh there is a distinction in all three cases.

Futhermore, in the identification sentences, the 3rd person singular distinguishes between the element which is being enquired about (subject, object or plain identification):

Pwy ydy/yw hwnna?
Who is that? - Identification

Pwy sy'n helpu gyda'r llestri heno?
Who is helping with the dishes tonight - Pwy is the subject (person doing the action)

Pwy mae Sioned yn helpu gyda'r llestri heno?
Who is Sioned helping with the dishes tonight  - Pwy is the object (the person being helped by Sioned(subject)

I hope this explaination is clear enough for people to understand.

Blessings,
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