Session 12

Language notes

Using prepositions before a verb

It is sometimes necessary to add to the meaning of a verb by placing a preposition before it.  Examples are:

         Mae'r teulu ar cychwyn ar eu gwyliau.
         The family about to set off for their holiday.
         Roedd e ar siarad pan canodd y ffn.
         He was about to speak when the phone rang.

'ar' indicates that the action is or was about to occur.
         Rydyn ni am brynu dodrefn newydd.
         We want to buy new furniture.

 'am' indicates an intention to do something.        

          Mae e heb obaith am ganlyniad yr arholiad.
          He has no hope for the result of the exam.

'heb' indicates that the action will not occur.
          Rwyt ti i fynd i'r dref y prynhawn.
          You are to go to the town this afternoon.

'i' indicates that the action is expected to occur.

Using a series of verbs in a sentence

It is sometimes the case that a series of actions take place in the same sentence, for example:
       Aethon ni i'r dref, prynon fwydydd, a chwrddon 'n ffrindiau.
       We went to town, bought groceries, and met our friends.

In this case, the past tense has been used for each of the verbs.  However, it is perfectly acceptable to use only verb nouns where the verb tense is clearly indicated by the context of the sentence:
      Aethon ni i'r dre, prynu bwydydd, a chwrdd 'n ffrindiau.

This usage applies also to long form (cwmpasog) verb tenses:

       Mae e wedi atgyweirio'r drws, wedi paentio'r ffenestri 
       a wedi newid y ffens.
       He has repaired the door, painted the windows and replaced the fence.

can be written more concisely as:
       Mae e wedi atgyweirio'r drws, paentio'r ffenestri a newid y ffens. 

It is also possible to use this pattern for a series of commands:  
        Datglowch y drws, edrych am y switsh a throi'r golau ymlaen. 
        Unlock the door, look for the switch and turn on the light.


We will continue our review of the treiglad meddal, this time focussing on its use to indicate different components of a sentence.  

Sentences generally have three components:
       The VERB which specifies an action.
       The SUBJECT which carries out the action specified by the verb.
       The COMPLEMENT which forms the remainder of the sentence.

For example:  
    Torrodd y ffermwr ar ei dractor rych hir syth ar draws y cae.       
    The farmer on his tractor cut a long straight furrow across the field.

We will try to explain why a treiglad meddal has been applied to the word 'rhych'  (furrow).
The specified action is 'cut', so this is the VERB.
The action is carried out by 'the farmer on his tractor', so this is the SUBJECT.
The remainder of the sentence, 'a long straight furrow across the field', is the COMPLEMENT.

In Welsh, the normal sentence order is VERB - SUBJECT - COMPLEMENT.

Perhaps the most important treiglad rule in Welsh is that a treiglad meddal is applied immediately after the subject, at the start of the complement.  This explains the treiglad on the word 'rhych' in the example above.

Consider another example:
                   Bwytodd buwch wair yn yr iard.                              gwair
                   A cow ate hay in the yard.
The structure and meaning of a sentence may not be immediately clear.  The treiglad meddal applied to the word 'gwair' emphasises that 'cow' is the subject which does the eating, and 'hay in the yard' is the complement.

It is, of course, often the case that a treiglad meddal cannot be applied at the start of the complement.  For example:
               Cariodd yr adeiladwr y llechi i'r to.
               The builder carried the slates to the roof.
The subject of this sentence is 'yr adeiladwr', who does the carrying.  The compliment 'y llechi i'r to' begins with a letter 'y' which does not take a treiglad meddal.

The rule requiring a treiglad after the subject is applied using common sense, rather than by following grammatical rules too precisely. For example:
             Mae'n rhaid i Dafydd werthu ei gar.                   gwerthu
             Dafydd has to sell his car.
'Dafydd' is not strictly the subject of the verb 'mae' , but it is clear from the meaning of the sentence that he is doing the selling.  A treiglad meddal is therefore applied after 'Dafydd'.

Commands represent a special case.  Consider the sentence:
           Ffoniwch feddyg ar unwaith!                             meddyg
           Phone a doctor immediately!
There is no subject present in the sentence, but it is understood that the subject is 'you'.  Using the normal Welsh word order, the sentence becomes:
            Ffoniwch (chi) feddyg ar unwaith! 
and a treglad meddal is applied to the complement which follows 'chi'.

The treiglad rule applies in the normal way when a verb noun is used with 'gwneud' to create a cwmpasog tense.  For example:
            Wnaeth Sioned dorri'r deunydd i wneud y llenni.        torri
            Sioned cut the material to make the curtains.
A treiglad meddal is applied immediately after the subject 'Sioned'.   

The verb 'bod' is unusual in adding the marker 'yn' in certain cases.  This happens when a verb noun is used to create a cwmpasog tense.  For example:
              Roedden ni'n gwylio'r ras.
              We were watching the race.
The subject of the sentence is 'ni'. A treiglad meddal is not applied to the verb noun which follows 'yn'.

The verb 'bod' also adds 'yn' when the subject is followed by a noun or adjective, as in the sentences:
                Mae'r bws yn brysur heddiw.                   prysur
                The bus is busy today.
                Mae ein cymydog yn wyddonydd.           gwyddonydd
                Our neighbour is a scientist.
In contrast to the case of verb nouns, a teiglad meddal is applied to the noun or adjective following 'yn'. 

In other cases where the subject of a 'bod' verb is followed by a word other than a verb noun, noun or adjective, then the marker 'yn' is not added:
               Mae'r tŷ wrth ochr y llyn.
               The house is beside the lake.
The normal treiglad rule would apply to the complement following the subject.  


There are two different 'yn' words in Welsh: 

 'yn' is used grammatically in various sentence constructions and has no direct English translation.  For example, with long form tenses of 'bod':
        Maen nhw wedi bod yn rhedeg ar hyd y traeth.
        They have been running along the beach.

 'yn' is also used as a preposition with the meaning 'in':
         Mae yna bobl yn yr ardd.
         There are people in the garden.

There are many common phrases and idioms which include one or other of the forms of 'yn':

beth yn y byd - what on earth
      Beth yn y byd a ddywedodd wrth Mrs Jones?
      What on earth did he say to Mrs Jones?

yn agored - open
       Bydd yr amgueddfa yn agored ar y penwythnos.
       The museum will be open at the weekend.

yn ei anterth 
- at its height
       Mae'r gwaith ar y ffordd newydd ar ei anterth.
       The work on the new road is at its height.

yn blith draphlith
- all over the place
        Roedd pethau wedi cael eu storio yn blith draphlith yn y sied.
        Things had been stored all over the place in the shed.

yn fy marn i - in my opinion
     Yn fy marn i dylai mwy o bobl ddefnyddio trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus.
     In my opinion more people should use public transport.

yn ei hanner - in half
      Gollyngodd y cwpan a thorrodd yn ei hanner.
      He dropped the cup and it broke in half.

yn llawn dop - full to capacity
       Mae'r dafarn yn llawn dop heno.
       The pub is bursting tonight.

yn sgil - following, after
       Yn sgil llwyddiant ei nofel gyntaf, mae hi wedi cychwyn un arall.
       Following the success of her first novel, she has begun another.

yn lle - in place of
       Fe ddefnyddion ni frics yn lle cerrig i adeiladu'r wal.
       We used brick in place of stone to build the wall.


Aberystwyth in Mid Wales is the largest town on the West Wales coast.
Over the centuries Aberystwyth has developed in a number of different ways.
At the southern end of the promenade are the ruins of Aberystwyth castle, which was built by Edward I to control the Welsh.
It was then used by Owain Glyndŵr during the uprising in 1404.
Aberystwyth is the market and commercial centre for the surrounding farming area.
The town began as a fishing harbour and small port.
Lead ore was exported from the port.
This trade increased when the Vale of Rheidol railway was built at the end of the nineteenth centuary.
The narrow gauge railway connected the port with the area of lead mines around Devil`s Bridge.
It now carries visitors to see the spectacular waterfalls at Devil`s Bridge.
The arrival of the main railway line from England in Victorian times allowed Aberystwyth to develop as a holiday resort.
The elegant seafront promenade extends from the pier to the headland of Constitution Hill.
This steep headland has a cliff railway, which opened in 1896.
Aberystwyth University was founded in a grand hotel on the seafront.
The university has now moved to a large modern campus.
Nearby is the National Library of Wales, which has the largest collection of rare manuscripts in Wales.
Aberystwyth is still an important holiday destination.
Many walkers follow the Wales Coast Path which crosses Constitution Hill.
The town has developed a multicultural community, and restaurants provide a variety of food from different countries.

Translate the sentence:

Aberystwyth in Mid Wales is the largest town on the West Wales coast.

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.


temporary  dros dro  adjective;    jewellery  gemwaith  noun (m);
jewel  tlws  noun (m);  director  cyfarwyddwr  noun (m);
security  diogelwch  noun (m);  duty  dyletswydd  noun (f);
silent  distaw  adjective;  attempt  ymgais  noun (m);

The city museum is holding a temporary exhibition of royal jewellery as part of an arts and crafts festival.
The jewels are on loan from a large museum in London.
A local policeman went to a pub with some friends after work.
He heard a conversation where a gang was making plans to break into the museum and steal the jewellery collection.
He reported the conversation to his colleagues at the police station.
They questioned the director of the museum about the security system.
He said that staff were on duty in every gallery when the museum was open.
At night, alarms were fitted to all doors and windows and closed circuit television was operating.
He was sure that there was no risk of a robbery.
Nevertheless, police took the threat seriously and arranged for officers to watch the building.
During the night, they saw a dark figure moving in the shadows around to the back of the building.
He climbed a ladder where builders were doing work on the roof.
The police entered the museum and moved silently through the dark building to the gallery.
Here they found a robber coming down from a roof window on a rope.
They waited for him to approach the jewellery display, then jumped on him.
The police phoned the museum director to tell him about the attempted robbery.
He was astonished and said `That is not possible - our security system is so perfect`.

Translate the sentence:

The city museum is holding a temporary exhibition of royal jewellery as part of an arts and crafts festival.

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

Trevithick engine

A replica of the world's first steam locomotive is on display in a museum in Swansea.

An information panel for visitors will be displayed alongside the locomotive.
You are invited to translate this into Welsh.


bring  dod    verb;  encourage  annog  verb;
tramroad  tramffordd  noun (f);  wharf  glanfa  noun (f);
owner  perchennog  noun;  guinea  gini  noun (f);
ride marchogaeth verb;  repair  atgyweiriad  noun (m);
claim, allege  honni  verb;   forge hammer  morthwyl gefail;
commercial  masnachol  adjective;  locomotive  locomotif  noun (m);
bolt   bollt  noun (f);

Translate the sentence:

The first railway journey in the world ran 9 miles from the ironworks at Penydarren to the Merthyr-Cardiff Canal.

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:

Who was Twm Sin Cati?

Why did Twm Sin Cati go to Geneva?

What did Twm Sin Cati do when he returned to Wales?

What evidence is there that Victorian travellers went to Twm Sin Cati`s cave?

Why do tourists now visit this area of mid Wales?

How are tourists being encouraged to visit Twm Sin Cati`s cave?

Gobeithio denu mwy o ymwelwyr i Ogof Twm Sin Cati drwy osod arwyddion newydd ger y safle ym Mlaenau Tywi

Mae Cyngor Sir Gr yn gobeithio denu mwy o ymwelwyr i Ogof Twm Sin Cati ym Mlaenau Tywi drwy osod arwyddion newydd ger y safle.

Maer llwybr syn arwain at yr ogof yn uchel ym mryniau coediog Rhandir-mwyn wedi cael ei adnewyddun ddiweddar.

Cymeriad gwyllt a direidus oedd Twm Sin Cati, yn l chwedloniaeth, ac roedd yn aml yn cuddio ar l drygioni ar draul y pendefigion a phobol gyfoethog gweithredoedd sydd wedi arwain at ei enw fel y Robin Hood Cymreig.

Roedd yn Brotestant pybyr ac am y rheswm hwnnw y bun rhaid iddo ffoi i Genefa rhag cael ei erlyn gan y Frenhines Mary. Ond fe gafodd e faddeuant yn ddiweddarach gan Elizabeth y Cyntaf.

Yn ddiweddarach yn ei fywyd, fe wnaeth e droi at farddoniaeth, ac fe briododd Joan, gweddw gyfoethog oedd yn byw ger yr Ogof ar fferm Ystrad-ffin.

Fe fur ogof yn boblogaidd ar un adeg, gan ddenu miloedd o ymwelwyr bob blwyddyn, ac fe gafodd dwsinau ou henwau eu cerfio yng nghraig yr ogof, ar cyntaf or rhai gweladwy yn dyddio or ddeunawfed ganrif.

Roedd yn drueni fod llawer or bobl syn heidio bob blwyddyn i Randir-mwyn i weld cronfa ddŵr Llyn Brianne ar barcud ddim yn gwybod am Twm Sin Cati ai ogof.

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