Session 18

Language notes

In this section we will examine some further sentence structures in which sentence groups would be joined by the word 'that' in English.

The Welsh word mai is commonly used to link to a sentence group which does not begin with a verb.  For example, the subject might be emphasised:
              Yr athro daearyddiaeth sy'n arwain y daith.
              The geography teacher is leading the trip.
A further sentence group might be added before this:
              Clywais i gan fy nhiwtor...               I heard from my tutor ...
The link is made using 'mai', which is then followed by the emphasised phrase:   
   Clywais i gan fy nhiwtor mai'r athro daearyddiaeth sy'n arwain y daith.

Without emphasis, the sentence structure would use 'bod':
    Clywais i gan fy nhiwtor bod yr athro daearyddiaeth yn arwain y daith.

Other examples are:
   Mae'n amlwg mai Alys bydd yn ennill y gystadleuaeth.
   It is obvious that Alys will win the competition.
   Fe wnaethon nhw gytuno mai ger y nant oedd y lle gorau 
                                                                                         i blannu'r goeden.
   They agreed that by the stream was the best place to plant the tree.

Unemphasised versions of these sentences would be linked by the exisiting verbs bydd or roedd with the optional addition of y. 'bod' may be used in place of roedd: :
    Mae'n amlwg y bydd Alys yn ennill y gystadleuaeth.
    Fe wnaethon nhw gytuno bod ger y nant y lle gorau i blannu'r goeden.

An interesting case is the use of 'dyna' and 'dyma' in a linked sentence group.  These words are contractions of verb phrases, but express an emphasis.  The linking word mai is therefore used:
     Dywedodd e wrthyf fi mai dyma'r tŷ.  
     He told me that this is the house.
     Fe wnaethon ni ddyfalu mai dyna'r llwybr cywir i'w ddilyn.
     We guessed that that is the correct path to follow.

We may require the sentence structure: 'I must, you must...'  followed by a statement.  This uses the Welsh word rhaid. For example:
      Rhaid i mi fynd i'r dref heddiw.      I must go to the town today.

A tense of the verb bod may be added before rhaid to specify the time when an event happens:
      Mae'n rhaid i mi fynd i'r dref heddiw.   I must go to the town today.
      Bydd rhaid i mi fynd i'r dref yfory.        I must go to the town tomorrow.
      Roedd rhaid i mi fynd i'r dref  ddoe.     I had to go to the town yesterday.

However, the use of bod after rhaid produces the meaning 'it must be that...' or 'it seems that...'
      Rhaid bod y gwesty ar gau.                    The hotel must be closed, or
                                                                         It seems that the hotel is closed   
      Mae'r trn yn hwyr felly mae'n rhaid bod problem ar hyd y lein.
      The train is late so there must be a problem along the line.

Sentence groups may be linked by words other than 'that', for example: 'because...', 'although...', 'unless...'.  These words are conjunctions:
       Byddaf yn stopio torri coed oherwydd bod digon ar gyfer y tn.
       I will stop cutting wood because there is enough for the fire.

It is possible, however, to reverse the order of the sentence groups:
      Gan fod digon o goed ar gyfer y tn, byddaf yn stopio ei dorri. 

Other examples where a conjuction is used with bod in a preceding sentence group are:
     Er bod y pris yn isel, fe wnaethon ni benderfynu peidio phrynu'r car.
    Although the price was low, we decided not to buy the car.
    Oni bai ei fod yn ymddiheuro, ni fyddaf yn siarad ag ef eto.
    Unless he apologises, I will not speak to him again.
    Fel bod ni i gyd yn gwybod, mae'r tywydd yn wael heddiw. 
    As we all know, the weather is bad today.


In this section we will summarise the gramatical rules for use of treigladau which depend on the sentence structure.

The  most important rule is that a treiglad meddal is applied where possible after the subject of the sentence.  For example, using a short form verb:
      Prynodd Alys docynnau i'r gyngerdd.                         tocyn       ticket
           Alys bought tickets to the concert.                              subject: Alys
      Roiff yr Athro ddarlith am ei waith ymchwil.               darlith    lecture
         The Professor will give a lecture about his research.    subject:  yr Athro

The same rule applies when a long form verb is used.  This may include a tense of the verb 'gwneud':
      Gwnaeth yr adeiladwr beintio'r ffenestr.                  peintio  paint
           The builder painted the window.                             subject:  the builder
      Gwnaiff yr adeiladwr beintio'r ffenestr.  
           The builder will paint the window.  

An alternative long form verb uses a tense of 'bod':
       Bu'r adeiladwr yn peintio'r ffenestr.
             The builder painted the window.   
       Bydd yr adeiladwr yn peintio'r ffenestr.
             The builder will paint the window.  
The connecting term 'yn' is added with a bod tense.  This cannot take the treiglad meddal which is normally applied after the subject.  

A treiglad is not applied to a verb noun following 'yn':
      Mae Sin yn beicio i'r coleg.                 Sin cycles to college.

However, a treiglad meddal is applied when 'yn' is followed by a noun or adjective:
       Mae Sin yn fyfyriwr.         Sin is a student.        myfyriwr  student
       Mae Sin yn flinedig.         Sin is tired.                blinedig   tired 

In an exception to the rule, 'yn' does not cause mutation of nouns or adjectives beginning with 'll' or 'rh
         Maen nhw'n llyfrau.        They are books.
         Mae e'n rheolwr.             He is a manager.
         Maen nhw'n llyfn.           They are smooth.
         Mae'n rhad.                      It is cheap.

Note that 'yn' is not added for a tense of 'bod' if the subject is followed by a preposition, for example:
         Mae Sin gyda'i ffrindiau.            Sin is with his friends.

In some sentences a treiglad meddal is applied after the assumed subject which carries out the action, even though this may not be the true grammatical subject.  For example:
 Mae'n rhaid i Sin fynd.    Sin must go.         (Sin is the assumed subject)  
 Bydd rhaid iddo fe fynd.   He will have to go.   ('He' is the assumed subject)    

Commands do not directly state a subject, but this is assumed to be 'you'.  The word following the comand therefore takes a treiglad meddal where appropriate:         Stopiwch ddarllen y llyfr hwnnw!                   darllen       read    
           [you] Stop reading that book!    
       Agorwch ddrws!         [you] Open a door!        drws           door                  

Impersonal tenses again do not state a subject, but in this case a treiglad is not applied to the word which follows: 
         Siaredir Cymraeg yma.            Welsh is spoken here.
         Gwaharddwyd gwersylla.        Camping was prohibited.  

In some situations, an adverbial phrase is inserted between the verb/subject and the remainder of the sentence.  A treiglad meddal is then applied after the inserted phrase,  For example:
       Roedd yn amhosibl cerdded i'r siopau.  
           It was impossible to walk to the shops. 
requires no treiglad on the word 'cerdded'.  However, if we insert a prepositional phrase:
     Roedd yn amhosibl i'r hen ddyn gerdded i'r siopau.
           It was impossible [for the old man] to walk to the shops. 
a treiglad meddal is now applied to the following word 'cerdded'.

      Rydw i'n hoffi beicio i'r gwaith bob dydd.  
            I like to cycle to work each day.
may have a phrase inserted:
       Rydw i'n hoffi er mwyn cadw'n iach feicio i'r gwaith bob dydd.
            I like [in order to keep healthy] to cycle to work each day.

Any previously added treiglad is preserved when a prepositional phrase is inserted:
       Byddai'n well gennym deithio mewn car.
                 We would prefer to travel by car.
        Byddai'n well gennym, yn ystod y gaeaf, deithio mewn car.
                  We would prefer [during the winter] to travel by car.

       Mae gan yr amgueddfa dwyslyfr.
                 The museum has a guide book.
       Mae gan yr amgueddfa, i helpu ymwelwyr, dywyslyfr.
                 The museum has [to help visitors] a guide book.


The word 'cyn' is translated as the English word 'before'. 

      Gwnaethon nhw dynnu eu cotiau cyn mynd i'r cyfarfod.
      They took off their coats before going to the meeting.

'cyn' appears in various common phrases and idioms:

cyn hyn - before now 
      Fe ddylen ni fod wedi atgyweirio'r sied cyn hyn.
      We should have repaired the shed before now.

cyn hynny - before then
      Mae hi'n gyflwynydd teledu, ond cyn hynny roedd hi'n athrawes.
      She is a television presenter, but before that she was a teacher.

cyn pen dim - in a very short time, next to no time
      Daliodd y bws ac roedd yng nghanol y dref cyn pen dim.
      He caught the bus and he was in the town centre in next to no time.

nid cyn pryd - not before time
      Mae pont newydd wedi'i hadeiladu, nid cyn pryd.
       A new bridge has been built, not before time.

Cyn Crist (C.C.) - Before Christ (B.C.)
      Mae'r gaer ar ben y bryn yn dyddio o'r Oes Haearn, tua 500 C.C.
      The fort on the hill top dates from the Iron Age, about 500 B.C.

cyn codi cŵn Caer - very early in the morning
      Rhaid i'r gyrrwr bws fod yn y depo bob bore cyn codi cŵn Caer.
      The bus driver has to be at the depot each morning very early.

The word 'rhag' is usually translated as the English words  'from' or 'against'. 

     Gwnaeth y lladron dianc rhag yr heddlu.
     The thieves escaped from the police.
     Bydd y Cyngor yn amddiffyn y dref rhag llifogydd.
     The Council will protect the town from flooding.

'rhag' appears in various common phrases:

rhag ofn - in case
     Dewch cht rhag ofn ei bod hi'n oer yn y parc.
     Bring a coat in case it is cold in the park.

rhag blaen - at once
     Rhaid inni fynd i'r orsaf reilffordd i gwrdd ag ef rhag blaen.
     We must go to the railway station to meet him at once.

rhag cywilydd - for shame
     Rhag eich cywilydd, gan ddadlau gyda'r heddwas.
     Shame on you, arguing with the police officer.

rhag llaw - beforehand
     Dylech baratoi rhag llaw ar gyfer y cyfweliad.
     You should prepare beforehand for the interview.

mynd rhagddo - making progress
      Mae gwaith ar ei nofel wedi mynd rhagddo yn araf.
      Work on her novel has progressed slowly.

Brad y Llyfrau Gleision

The nineteenth century was a period of great social change in Wales.
The people of Wales were experiencing poverty and oppression by rich landowners, and they began to fight back.
During the 1830s the Chartist movement was widespread in the industrialised areas.
Large open-air meetings were held in a campaign for social and political reform.
Riots began in several towns.
In Newport, a crowd marched to the Westgate Hotel where fighting started with the authorities.
Soldiers fired on the crowd and over twenty protesters were killed.
During the Rebecca Riots in the 1840s men dressed in women`s clothing and attacked toll gates and destroyed them.
Landowners and magistrates were threatened.
These events were given wide attention in the main newspapers including `The Times`.
It was believed that the cause of the social problems was a lack of education in Wales.
In March 1846, William Williams, the Member of Parliament for Coventry, called for an inquiry into the state of education in Wales.
The Government appointed the three commissioners Lingen, Symons and Vaughan Johnson to undertake the inquiry.
They visited every part of Wales collecting evidence and statistics, and published their report in three blue volumes.
The report contained much information about education, everyday life and work in the industrial and rural areas.
The blue books report is an important source for historians.
The commissioners spoke no Welsh and relied mainly on information from Anglican clergymen.
The report caused anger in Wales by claiming that the Welsh people were generally ignorant, lazy and immoral.
It came to the conclusion that the causes were using the Welsh language and nonconformity in religion.
In response the bard Robert Jones Derfel published the book `Brad y llyfrau gleision` which attacked the report.
However, the report did damage to the status of the Welsh language for many years.
Ordinary Welsh people began to believe that they could only improve themselves through the ability to speak and communicate in English.

Translate the sentence:

The nineteenth century was a period of great social change in Wales.

Suggested translation: (a number of alternatives acceptable)


The set of icons below was randomly selected, and has been used to write a story.

You are invited to translate the story into Welsh.


get dark  tywyllu  verb;  already  eisoes  adverb;
anxious  awyddus  adjective; yard (of a farm)  buarth  noun (m);
accelerate  cyflymu  verb;  ditch  ffos  noun (f);
cut  briw  noun (m);  bruise  clais  noun (m);
fable  chwedl  noun (f);  hare  ysgyfarnog  noun (f);
fine  dirwyo  verb;

`Will this meeting never end?` said Pete as he looked at his watch.
The meeting had already started late because some important papers were missing.
He was anxious to leave the office and return home as soon as possible at the end of the day.
He wanted to do some gardening before it got dark after sunset.
Finally the discussions were over, and Pete ran for the door.
He went to his car in the car park and started along the main road.
Soon he was in the countryside, and he turned to follow the network of narrow roads between fields of wheat.
After turning a corner, he found himself behind a tractor that was moving very slowly, with no chance of passing it.
Pete became more and more angry.
After several miles, the tractor entered a farmyard, and Pete saw the clear road ahead.
He accelerated the car, but didn`t see that another car was coming towards him round the corner.
There was just time to avoid a terrible accident.
Pete`s car went into a ditch and the other driver ended up in a hedge.
Fortunately no one was seriously injured, with just a few cuts and brusises.
It took several hours while police gathered evidence about the accident, and the cars were taken back to garages to be repaired.
On his way home in a taxi, Pete thought of the fable of `the tortoise and the hare`.
By coincidence, the magistrate said the same thing when he fined Pete for careless driving.

Translate the sentence:

`Will this meeting never end?` said Pete as he looked at his watch.

Suggested translation: (a number of alternatives acceptable)

Create your own story in Welsh

Click the button to randomly select a set of story icons:

Use of Welsh

Leaflet about Blaenafon Ironworks

The historic Blaenafon Ironworks has been preserved and is now open to visitors as an industrial museum. 

The leaflet shown alongside has been prepared for visitors.  You are invited to translate this into Welsh.


limestone  calchfaen  noun (m);  coalfield  maes glo  noun (m);  
phosphorus  ffosfforws  noun (m);  discovery  darganfyddiad  noun (m);
air  aer  noun (f);  blast furnace  ffwrnais chwyth  noun (f); 
ruined  adfeiliedig  adjective;  foundary  ffowndri  noun (f);
casting house  tŷ castio; tap (i.e. draw off)  tapio  verb;
molten  tawdd  adjective;  water balance  cydbwysedd dŵr;  
Brecon  Aberhonddu;  Abergavenny  Y Fenni;
lift  lifft  non (m);  coke  golosg  noun (m);
explore  fforio  verb;  impurity  amhuredd  noun (m);

Translate the sentence:

Blaenavon is situated on the edge of the south Wales coalfield, where the hills provided coal, limestone and iron ore.

Suggested translation: (a number of alternatives acceptable)


Write four or five sentences in Welsh to describe the picture:

Understanding Welsh

Read the article, then write sentences in Welsh to answer the following questions:

What advantage does the new type of bank note have over the old paper bank notes?

What important work did Alan Turing do before the Second World War?

What work did he do during the Second World War?

How did Turing`s work affect the course of the war?

Why is Alan Turing an important icon to campaigners for equality?

Cyhoeddi mai llun Alan Turing fydd ar y papur 50 newydd

Bydd papur 50 newydd gyda llun or arloeswr cyfrifiadurol Alan Turing arno yn cael ei gyflwyno ym mis Mehefin, yn l Banc Lloegr. O Fehefin 23 ymlaen bydd yr holl bapurau ar gael mewn polymer.

Mae gwaith Alan Turing, On Computable Numbers, yn cael ei ystyried fel man cychwyn y syniad y tu l i beirianneg cyfrifiaduron. Er hynny, mae Alan Turing yn fwyaf adnabyddus am ei waith yn datrys y cd Enigma yn ystod yr Ail Ryfel Byd. Maen debyg fod ei waith wedi cwtogi hyd y rhyfel o ddwy flynedd, ac wedi llwyddo i achub miliynau o fywydau.

Bydd y papur polymer newydd, fel y papur 20, yn cynnwys elfennau a fydd yn ei gwneud yn anodd iw ffugio, yn l y Banc.

Mae ymddangosiad Alan Turing ar y papur 50 yn bwynt hanfodol yn ein hanes, meddai cynrychiolydd y Llywodraeth. Yn ogystal dathlu ei ddawn wyddonol a wnaeth gwtogir rhyfel a dylanwadau ar y dechnoleg rydym nin ei defnyddio heddiw, maen cadarnhau ei statws fel un o ffigurau LHDT+ mwyaf eiconig y byd. Cafodd Turing ei glodfori am ei athrylith, ai erlyn am fod yn hoyw. Maen atgoffa ni o bwysigrwydd cofleidio pob agwedd ar amrywiaeth, ac yn ein hatgoffa or gwaith sydd angen ei wneud i ddod yn hollgynhwysol.


Story board

A story is outlined below as a series of numbered notes and pictures. You are invited to write the story in Welsh so that it could be displayed as an on-line blog or news item. If necessary, please feel free to add any additional details to develop the story.



One of the oldest archeological finds in Wales is the 'Red Lady of Paviland'. This is a skeleton found in a cave on the coast of Gower, which dates from the Stone Age. The skeleton is actually of a young male hunter or warrior. Near his skeleton were found arrow heads and cutting tools.


Bryn Cader Faner in Snowdonia is one of the most interesting Bronze Age sites in Wales. The ring of stones would once have been covered by a mound of earth. It is thought that an important person would have been buried in the centre of the mound.


Mine workings dating back to the Bronze Age have been discovered on the Great Orme in North Wales. Copper ore was mined in a network of underground tunnels.


Tre'r Ceiri is an Iron Age hilltop fort in the Lleyn peninsula. The fort is surrounded by stone walls. Within the walls are ruins of many small stone houses, which would have had turf roofs. It may have housed up to 400 people.


During the Roman conquest of Britain, the army general Agricola establised a fort at Caernarfon in the year 77AD. This provided barracks for a thousand soldiers, who fought against the native Welsh tribes. The fort, known as Segontium, was connected by roads to the other main Roman forts in Chester and Caerleon.


The Dolaucothi Mines near the village of Pumsaint in Carmarthenshire are the best preserved Roman gold mines in Britain. The Romans used technology in the mines which was advanced for its time, including pumps to keep the lower tunnels dry, and machinery to crush the ore and extract the gold.


In 2002, the remains of a large medieval ship were discovered in Newport during construction work for a new building. The ship was built in north Spain in about 1450, and carried goods between Britain and Spain or Portugal. It is hoped that the remains of the ship can be preserved and put on display in Newport.

Enter each section of your story in Welsh in the boxes below: