Session 22

Language notes

In this section wiIl look in a little more depth at impersonal or passive forms, which were introduced in an earlier session.

An impersonal or passive verb tense is used when we describe an event happening to a person or thing, rather than the person or thing carrying out the action directly.  

Short form verb tenses can be used. For example:
            Atgyweiriwyd y car ar l y ddamwain.  
                  The car was repaired after the accident          
           Talir y staff bob dydd Gwener.
                  The staff are paid each Friday.           
Long form passive verb tenses make use of the verb cael (to have).
Two variants of the past tense of cael are in use, one more commonly heard in the north of Wales and the other in the south.
                          Northern variant                      Southern variant
I had                  Ces i                                          Ces i
You had             Cest ti                                        Cest ti
He/she had        Caeth o/hi                                 Cafodd e/hi
We had              Caethon ni                                Cawson ni
You had             Caethoch chi                            Cawsoch chi
They had           Caethon nhw                            Cawson nhw
Either variant is equally acceptable.

The long form passive is created by use of a past tense of cael in conjunction with a verb noun: 
            Cafodd y tŷ ei adeiladu'r llynedd.   
or         Caeth y tŷ ei adeiladu'r llynedd.   
                    The house was built last year.  

The present and future passive can be created in two ways.  The first is to combine a short form future tense of cael with a verb noun:
              Ceith lorau eu dadlwytho yma.
                    Lorries are unloaded here.
              Cewch chi eich dewis am y tm.
                    You will be selected for the team.

The alternative is to use a long form present or future tense of cael in conjunction with a verb noun:
              Mae'r cyfarfod yn cael ei ohirio. 
                   The meeting is postponed.
              Bydd y ffordd yn cael ei ailagor yfory.
                   The road will be reopened tomorrow.

Other passive tenses can be created using long form tenses of cael, for example:

had been...
           Roedd gwelliant wedi cael ei ddisgwyl.
                  An improvement had been expected.
would be...
          Byddai arian yn cael ei gasglu ar gyfer y capel.
                  Money would be collected for the chapel.
should have been...
          Dylai bwyd wedi cael ei ddarparu.
                   Food should have been provided.

Passive sentences often use a phrase 'cael ei...'  or similar, which includes a pronoun.  In these cases, it is possible to omit the word 'cael', for example:

          Mae'r cegin yn cael ei pheintio.  
 can be written as:
          Mae'r cegin ei pheintio.  
                  The kitchen is painted.

          Mae'r lawnt wedi cael ei thorri.
          Mae'r lawnt wedi ei thorri. 
                  The lawn has been cut.

As an alternative to using an active verb, we can write in the passive and then state the person of thing carrying out the action by means of the word 'gan':
               Ysgrifennodd y rheolwr yr adroddiad.
                     The manager wrote the report.
              Ysgrifennwyd yr adroddiad gan y rheolwr.
                     The report was written by the manager.

               Bydd yr heddlu yn holi'r tystion.
                      The police will interview the witnesses.
               Bydd y tystion yn cael eu holi gan yr heddlu.
                      The witnesses will be interviewed by the police.


We will review a number of situations in which prepositions are used, most  of which require treigladau to be applied.  The words affected by treigladau are underlined.

Some variations occur between English and Welsh language usage.  We will begin with English prepositions, and consider how these are translated into Welsh in different situations.


to get or collect -  am + treglad meddal
           Aeth Sin i'r archfarchnad am fwyd ar l gorffen gwaith.
           Sin went to the supermarket for food after finishing work.

for a period of time -  am + treglad meddal
           Arhoson ni yn y bwthyn am bythefnos.         
           We stayed in the cottage for a fortnight.

in exchange for -  am + treglad meddal
            Gwnes i dalu deg punt am docyn cyngerdd.
            I paid ten pounds for a concert ticket.

for an occasion -  + treglad meddal
           Mae cawl a brechdannau i ginio.
           There is soup and sandwiches for lunch.

to be received by -  + treglad meddal
           Mae'r wybodaeth i fyfyrwyr peirianneg.
           The information is for engineering students.

for carrying out a task -  at + treglad meddal
           Mae cyllell at dorri llysiau yn hongian ar y wal.
           There is a knife for cutting vegetables hanging on the wall.

on behalf of -  dros + treglad meddal
           Mynychodd Mari y cyfarfod dros gydweithiwr a oedd yn sl.
           Mari attended the meeting for a colleague who was ill.

for the reason of -  er + treglad meddal
           Daeth yn l i Gymru er gariad ei famwlad.
           He came back to Wales for love of his homeland.

in preparation for -  ar gyfer (no treiglad required)
           Gwnaethon ni balu'r ardd ar gyfer plannu blodau.
           We dug the garden for planting flowers.

in favour of - o blaid (no treiglad required)
            Ydych chi o blaid dysgu plant yn ddwyieithog?
            Are you for teaching children bilingually?

corresponding to  - am + treglad meddal
             Mae dau deulu tlawd am bob teulu cyfoethog.
             There are two poor families for each rich family.


from a location -  o + treglad meddal
           Daw'r caws hwn o Gaerffili.
           This cheese is from Caerphilly.

from a person  -  oddi wrth + treglad meddal 
           Derbyniodd llythyr oddi wrth feddyg.
           He received a letter from a doctor.

react against -  rhag (no treiglad required)
          Gwnaethon nhw guddio rhag cymdogion blin.
          They hid from angry neighbours.

from on -  oddi artreglad meddal 
          Lansiwyd y cwch oddi ar draeth.
          The boat was launched from a beach.


in the vicinity of - yn ymyl (no treiglad required)
       Mae ei swyddfa yn ymyl gorsaf reilffordd. 
       His office is by a railway station.

near - ger (no treiglad required)
      Roedd y ceffyl yn sefyll ger mynedfa i'r cae.
      The horse was standing by the entrance to the field.

alongside - wrth + treglad meddal
        Roedd y bagiau wrth gar y tu allan i'r gwesty.
        The bags were by a car outside the hotel.

written by - gan + treglad meddal
        Mae'r straeon gan lowyr a oedd yn gweithio yn y pwll.
        The stories are by miners who were working in the pit.

by means of - drwy + treglad meddal
        Roedd y felin ei phweru drwy ddŵr o nant.
        The mill was powered by water from a stream.

by a time - erbyn (no treiglad required)
         Bydd y siop ar gau erbyn pump o'r gloch.
         The shop will be closed by five o'clock.

by transport - ar + treglad meddal
         Mae'r rhan fwyaf o fyfyrwyr yn mynd i'r coleg ar fws.
         Most students go to the college by bus.


to a place -   + treglad meddal  
          Rydw i'n mynd i Gaerdydd yfory.
          I am going to Cardiff tomorrow.   

to a person -  at + treglad meddal  
          Rhaid i chi riportio'r ddamwain at reolwr.
          You must report the accident to a manager.

in order to  -  i + treglad meddal  
          Aethon ni i'r farchnad i brynu ffrwythau.
          We went to the market to buy fruit.

as far as  -  at + treglad meddal 
          Mae'r trn yn mynd at Ferthyr Tudful.
          The train goes to Merthyr Tydfil.

towards  -  at + treglad meddal 
          Dechreuodd yr orymdaith gerdded at ganol y dref.
          The procession began walking to the town centre.


approximately  -  tua  + treiglad llaes
          Mae tua phedair milltir i'r pentref.
          It is about four miles to the village.

around  -  o amgylch or o gwmpas (no treiglad required)
           Roedd coed wedi'u gwasgaru o amgylch y parc.
           There were trees scattered about the park.

concerning  -  am + treglad meddal 
           Derbyniodd yr heddlu adroddiad am bobl yn achosi difrod.
           The police received a report about people causing damage.

on the point of  -  ar + treglad meddal
           Roedd y grŵp ar gychwyn ar eu taith.
           The group were about to begin their journey.  


with a person  -  gyda + treiglad llaes
           Mae'n gweithio gyda chydweithiwr.
           He is working with a colleague. 

with a tool or instrument  -  + treiglad llaes 
           Seiniwyd y larwm thrymped.
           The alarm was sounded with a trumpet. 

containing  -   + treiglad llaes
           Hoffech chi frechdan chaws?
           Would you like a sandwich with cheese?    


In this section we give a selection of commonly used idioms which conjugate to produce for different versions for 'you','he/she', 'we', 'they':

wrth fy modd -  delighted.  
        Roedden nhw wrth eu boddau 'u tŷ newydd.
        They were delighted with their new house. 

ar ben fy hun - alone.  
        Roeddwn ni ar ein pennau ein hunain ar y mynydd.
        We were alone on the mountain.

gwneud eu gorau glas - did his very best. 
        Gwnaethoch chi eich gorau glas yn y gystadleuaeth.
        You did your very best in the competition.

'i wynt yn ei ddwrn - out of breath
       Roedd y cystadleuwyr 'u gwynt yn eu dwrn ar ddiwedd y ras.
       The competitors were out of breath at the end of the race.

ar ben ei dennyn - at the end of his tether, at his limit
           Roedd Jane ar ben ei thennyn ar l y ddadl.
           Jane was at the end of her tether after the argument.

llygad ei lle -  perfectly correct
           Rydych chi yn llygad eich lle ynglŷn 'r penderfyniad.
           You're exactly right about the decision.

nerth ei draed - at full speed
           Rhedais i nerth fy nhraed am y bws.
           I ran as fast as I could for the bus.

gwybod ei bethau - knows his stuff
           Mae'r darlithwyr yn y coleg yn gwybod eu pethau.
           The lecturers in the college know their stuff.

Trawsfynydd power station

Located just off the A470 main road through Snowdonia, Trawsfynydd is a typical small Welsh village.
Nearby, however, are the two reactor buildings of Trawsfynydd nuclear power station.
Construction began in 1959 and the station was opened by the Queen in 1965.
A site in remote mountains may seem surprising when most nuclear power stations are located on the coast.
However, there was a large lake which could be used to supply water for the power station.
A railway passes the site, allowing nuclear fuel to be delivered by train from a factory in Sellafield, and spent fuel returned there for reprocessing.
For more than 20 years the power station generated electricity, and continued to employ staff from the local area.
Fuel containers were loaded into the reactor using a large machine which could move around on the top surface of the reactor.
Carbon dioxide flowed through the hot reactor, then heated water to produce steam.
The steam was carried to the turbine hall, where huge machines generated electricity.
Old fuel containers were taken from the reactor and dropped into cooling water ponds, where they were stored under the water until they were sent for reprocessing.
Since the power station closed in the 1990`s, work has been taking place to clear the site and transfer radioactive waste into safe storage.
The lake supplying the power station is also connected by pipeline to a hydroelectric power station in the valley below at Maentwrog.
Plans are now being considered for installing a new smaller nuclear reactor on the site.
Public opinion is divided about opening a new nuclear power station in Trawsfynydd.

Translate the sentence:

Located just off the A470 main road through Snowdonia, Trawsfynydd is a typical small Welsh village.

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.


conditions  amodau noun (pl);     theory  damcaniaeth noun (f);
polluted  llygredig  adjective;      source  ffynhonnell noun (f);
particular  penodol  adjective;    eventually  yn y pen draw;

One of the most common causes of illness in Victorian times was cholera.
Cholera was a particularly serious problem in industrial areas of England and Wales.
In these towns, people lived in crowded conditions in houses of a poor standard.
At the time, little was known about the causes of cholera.
Many doctors thought that it was transmitted from person to person through the air.
A doctor with a different theory was John Snow.
He was sure that polluted drinking water was to blame.
He was working in London in 1854 when serious cholera occurred in the Soho area.
Snow made a map to show where the affected people lived.
It became clear that they were all close to a water pump in Broad Street where they collected their drinking water.
Snow was sure that the water pump was the source of the epidemic.
He persuaded the local council to remove the handle from the pump, so that local people had to go elsewhere to collect drinking water.
Soon afterwards, the epidemic came to an end.
Also at this time many people in London were receiving drinking water through pipes, supplied by water companies.
When the next cholera epidemic occurred, Snow showed that those affected all received their water from one particular company.
The company was found to be taking polluted water from the River Thames to supply to customers.
Snow`s work in identifying the cause of cholera led to a great improvement in public health.
Eventually, large reservoirs were built in areas such as the Lake District and Wales to supply large cities with clean drinking water.

Translate the sentence:

One of the most common causes of illness in Victorian times was cholera.

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

Questionnaire on Welsh language

A university in Wales is hoping to encourage students to develop their Welsh language proficiency.  Various ideas have been suggested, including: providing free Welsh classes for beginners and more advanced learners, providing social activities in Welsh, and making some course modules available through the medium of Welsh. 

Before proceeding further, a questionnaire survey will be carried out to assess the attitudes of students towards the Welsh language.  The questionnaire will consist of a series of statements, and respondents are asked to give a score for each statement between 1 and 5, according to the scale:

The statements are shown alongside.  You are invited to translate these into Welsh so that the questionnaire can be produced bilingually.


medium  cyfrwng  noun (m);   encourage  annog  verb;
master  meistroli  verb;    atmosphere  awyrgylch noun (m);
dominance  goruchafiaeth  noun (f);    culture  diwylliant  noun (m);
uneasy anesmwyth  adjective;    native  brodorol  adjective;

Translate the sentence:

I would like to study Welsh even if I am not required to do so.

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:

Why was the Britannia Bridge built?

How did the fire start on the bridge?

Why did the fire spread quickly?

Who fought the fire, and did they manage to put out the fire?

How was the design of the bridge changed when it was rebuilt?

Fire on the Britannia Bridge across the Menai Straits

Ar 23 Mai, 1970, cafodd Pont Britannia, campwaith y peiriannydd Robert Stephenson oedd wedi cysylltu Ynys Mn Gwynedd ers 120 o flynyddoedd, bron ei dinistrio`n llwyr gan dn.

Hanner canrif yn ddiweddarach mae`r tn dramatig yn dal i gael ei gofio - tn gafodd ei gynnau ar ddamwain ond arweiniodd yn y pen draw at newid strwythur y bont a chreu dwy ffordd i gerbydau groesi i Fn. Cyn hynny, pont i drenau yn unig oedd Pont Britannia. Yn `nhiwbiau` y bont roedd trenau yn teithio yn uniongyrchol ar hyd y lein fasnachol hynod bwysig o Lundain i borthladd Caergybi.

Fe roddodd grŵp o bobl ifanc y bont ar dn ar ddamwain wedi iddyn nhw ddefnyddio darn o bapur wedi`i danio fel ffagl i gael golau. Dywedodd un o`r bobl ifanc yn 1972 eu bod wedi ffeindio tudalen o lyfr ar y llawr a defnyddio lighter i`w gynnau. Gollyngwyd y darn papur tu fewn y bont, a gyda gwyntoedd cryfion fe ledaenodd y tn.

Bu`r bont ar dn am naw awr. Y pren ar y cledrau aeth ar dn yn gyntaf, a gan fod y to wedi ei wneud o bren fe ledaenodd yn gyflym, o ochr Gwynedd tuag at Ynys Mn.

Dywedodd un cyn ymladdwr tn bod tiwb y bont fel simdde a oedd yn sugno aer gan greu ffwrnais. Roedd hi`n noson wyntog ac fe doddodd y tar a oedd yn amgylchynu`r tiwbiau, gan achosi i goed a phlanhigion o dan y bont fynd ar dn.

Roedd gobaith y byddai dynion tn ar ochr Ynys Mn yn gallu atal y tannau hanner ffordd dros y bont. Ond roedd y tn yn y to mor ddifrifol roedd rhaid tynnu`r holl ymladdwyr tn o`r bont neu fe fyddai llawer wedi gallu marw.

Fe wnaeth Ysgrifennydd Gwladol Cymru, ar y pryd George Thomas, ymweld `r bont y diwrnod wedyn, gan ganmol y dynion tn o sir Gaernarfon ac Ynys Mn. Cafodd y ddwy frigd dn negeseuon yn eu llongyfarch gan y Prif Weinidog ar y pryd, Harold Wilson hefyd.

Penderfynodd yr awdurdodau mai damwain oedd y digwyddiad a chafodd y bobl ifanc a achosodd y tn ddim eu herlyn yn y llysoedd.

Oherwydd y difrod i`r rheilffordd, `roedd rhaid i sicrhau bod nwyddau oedd wedi eu danfon i borthladd Caergybi ar y trn yn cael eu cludo yno ar y ffordd.

Pan gafodd y bont ei hail-adeiladu fe osodwyd bwu newydd o ddur i gynnal y strwythur. Ailagorwyd y bont i`r rheilffordd yn 1972. Yn 1980, ddegawd wedi`r tn, cafodd ffordd ei ychwanegu i`r bont i gario`r A55 i ac o Ynys Mn.

Yn 2011 fe wariwyd 4m ar atgyfnerthu strwythurau dur y bont. Crwyd llwybr arbennig i gerdded drwy`r bont hefyd, er mwyn caniatu i weithiwyr archwilio`r bont yn y dyfodol.


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.

Industry in Wales


One of the largest manufacturing companies in Wales is Airbus UK, with a huge factory and airfield at Broughton in the north east. The factory produces wings for the family of Airbus aircraft.


More than a hundred companies in Wales produce components for cars and other vehicles. One of the largest is the Toyota plant which manufactures engines.


Wales has many electronics companies. They carry out work which ranges from microchip manufacturing, to the design of electronic circuit boards, and the assembly of electronic control systems and other devices.


Wind farms are being developed in the sea around Wales. Engineering companies are building the turbines, and Welsh ports such as Connah`s Quay are providing bases for the ships which install the turbines on the sea bed. In the future, more wind farms will be developed with turbines that float on the sea.


The forests of Wales provide timber for a number of different industries, from making paper to producing timber components for house building. Small businesses produce high quality furniture using timber such as oak.


Wales has a tradition of making dairy products in the western regions of Pembrokeshire and the Lleyn Peninsula. At the present day a large factory in Lleyn produces cheese, and other businesses produce butter, yoghurt and ice cream. Many other companies across Wales use farm and natural resources, ranging from meat and vegetables, to sea salt.


Wales has traditionally had an important woollen industry, producing clothing and household items such as blankets using Welsh wool. A number of mills continue to produce woollen goods and these are in high demand.

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