Session 16

Language notes

In a previous session we discussed pronouns.  Here we will review these and introduce some further concepts.

Use of pronouns can avoid unnecessary repetition of names when referring to the same person or object several times.  For example:
           Siaradodd Siwan John a Lowri.     
may be written more concisely as:
           Siaradodd hi nhw.

A set of special pronouns can be used when emphasising a similarity or  contrast: 
                              Singular                                   Plural
Ist person              innau, minnau     I, me           ninnau            we, us
2nd person            tithau, dithau       you           chithau           you
3rd  person            yntau                  he, him           nhwthau         they, them
                              hithau                 she, her
A sentence with no particular emphasis might be:
          Mae Huw eisiau mynd, a fi hefyd.
          Huw wants to go, and me too.

Emphasis may be applied to 'me too' by writing:
          Mae Huw eisiau mynd, a minnau hefyd.
Other examples are:
          John a fi yn cytuno.  Beth am tithau?
          John and I agree. What about you?

          Mae'n well i chithau fynd i ofyn i'r rheolwr.
          It's best that you go to ask the manager.

Another set of pronouns refer back to the person by including the word 'self':
                             Singular                                   Plural
Ist person             fy hun       myself               ein hunain   ourselves
2nd person          dy hun       yourself               eich hunain  yourself /
3rd  person          ei hun        himself, herself       eu hunain    themselves
For example:  
         Fe wnaethon nhw adeiladu'r tŷ eu hunain.
         They built their own house.

         Coginion ni bryd o fwyd ein hunain.
         We cooked our own meal.

A common idiom uses 'ar ben' along with a form of 'hun' to mean 'alone':
         Rwy'n mynd am dro ar fy mhen fy hun.
         I am going for a walk on my own.

          Cwblhaodd y myfyrwyr y gwaith ar eu pennau eu hunain.
          The students completed the work on their own.

Demonstrative pronouns are used to identify particular persons or objects:
                                           masculine         feminine
                 this                    hwn                 hon
                 that                    hwnnw                 honno
                 these                           y rhain
                 those                           y rheiny

'y rhain' is a contraction of   'y rhai hyn'  :        'these ones'
'y rheiny' is a contraction of  'y rhai hynny':     'those ones' 

The words 'this', 'that', these' and 'those' can also be used as adjectives:
             this house,           that car,            those trees  ....

In the singluar, the same words in Welsh are used as pronouns or as adjectives :
            Byddaf yn symud y bwrdd hwn a'r gadair honno i'r gegin.
            I will move this table and that chair to the kitchen.

             Byddaf yn symud hwn a honno i'r gegin.
             I will move this and that to the kitchen.

There is a different useage in the plural, where the adjectives are:
                 these        hyn
                 those        hynny
For example:
             Byddwn yn bwyta'r llysiau hyn gyda'r pasteiod hynny.
             We will eat these vegetables with those pies.

             Byddwn yn bwyta'r rhain gyda'r rheini.
             We will eat these with those.

A slight complication is that hwnnw, honno and hynny imply that the person or object is far enough away that it cannot be seen directly by the speaker.  

For an adjective, if the person or object is in sight then the expression 'yna' or 'acw' is used:
                  Y dyn yna yw Mr Jones.
                  That man is Mr Jones.

                  Mae'r tai acw ar werth.
                  Those houses are for sale.

For a pronoun, if the person or object is in sight then the expression 'hwnna' (masculine) or 'honna' (feminine) is used:
                  Dyna fy nghar. Byddwn yn defnyddio hwnna.
                  That's my car.  We will use that.

                  Dyna'r bont. Mae e'n byw yr ochr arall i honna.
                  That's the bridge. He lives the other side of that.

The forms hyn 'this' and hynny 'that' (singular) are used as pronouns when referring to ideas or extended pieces of information, rather than specific persons or objects.  For example:
                  Hynny ydy'r ffordd orau i baentio'r wal.
                  That is the best way to paint the wall. 

                   Mae hyn yn gynllun ardderchog.
                   This is an excellent plan. 


Negative verb tenses can be produced by inserting ni before the verb or dim after the verb, for example: 
               Ni siaradodd e.               or      Siaradodd e ddim
               He did not speak

When used with a verb, dim undergoes a treiglad meddal to give 'ddim'.  

Notice, however, there is no treiglad if dim is used with a noun:

          Ffoniais i ond doedd dim ateb.
          I phoned but there was no answer.
          Aethon ni i'r farchnad ond doedd dim llysiau ar werth.
          We went to the market but there were no vegetables for sale.

Short form verbs in negative tenses provide one of the few instances in Welsh where a mixed treiglad is applied:
      If the verb begins with p, t or c, a treiglad llaes is applied.
      In other cases, a treiglad meddal is applied where possible.

Examples of the alternative negative verb forms are: 

   Ni chanodd hi yn y cyngerdd.              Chanodd hi ddim yn y cyngerdd.
   She did not sing in the concert. 

   Ni phrynant nhw fwyd.                          Phrynant nhw ddim bwyd.
   They did not buy food. 

   Ni yrroch chi i'r cyfarfod.                       Yrroch chi ddim i'r cyfarfod. 
   You did not drive to the meeting. 

   Ni roddodd e arian iddi hi.                     Roddodd e ddim arian iddi hi.
   He did not give money to her. 

Where 'ddim' would be immediately followed by the definite article 'y', then it is replaced by 'mo', which is a contraction of 'ddim o'.  For example:

   Ni ddarllenodd e'r llyfr.                          Ddarllenodd e mo'r llyfr. 
   He did not read the book. 

   Ni thorrais i'r gwair.                               Thorrais i mo'r gwair.
   I did not cut the hay. 


The word 'er'  can have several meanings:

 in order to
          Gweithiodd yr athro'n galed er annog y myfyrwyr.  
          The teacher worked hard to encourage the students.

although, despite
           Cafodd yr hen adeilad ei ddymchwel er nifer o bobl yn protestio.
           The old building was demolished despite many people protesting.

causing, resulting in
         Cynyddodd y llywodraeth y dreth er busnesau yn cau.
         The government increased the tax causing businesses to close.

'er' appears in a number of common phrases and idioms:

er gwaethaf - despite
        Aethant am dro er gwaethaf y tywydd gwael.
        They went for a walk despite the bad weather.

er dim - on no account, for any reason
   Ddylai'r brifysgol ddim yn newid y trefniadau arholi er dim.
   The university should on no account change the examination arrangements. 

er da neu drwg - for good or evil
    Bydd y cynllun ad-drefnu yn mynd yn ei flaen, er da neu ddrwg.
    The reorganisation plan will go ahead, for good or evil.

er hynny - despite that, none the less
    Roedd y niwl yn drwchus ond er hynny fe gyrhaeddon nhw'r copa.
    The mist was thick, but none the less they reached the summit.

er lles - for the benefit of
   Rydyn ni'n atal y plant rhag bwyta gormod o fwyd sydyn er eu lles nhw.
   We stop children eating too much fast food for their benefit.

er mwyn - for the sake of, in order to
      Adeiladodd wal er mwyn cadw defaid allan o'i ardd.
      He built a wall in order to keep sheep out of his garden.

er y byd - for the world
       Fyddwn i ddim eisiau gweithio mewn pwll glo er y byd.
       I wouldn't for the world want to work in a coal mine.

The word
'ers' has the meaning 'since':

        Rydym wedi byw yma ers dwy flynedd.
        We have lived here for two years.

'ers' appears in a number of common phrases and idioms:

ers tro / ers amser - for a long time
       Mae hi wedi bod yn diwtor Cymreig ers amser.
       She has been a Welsh tutor for a long time.  

ers llawer dydd / ers talwm - in the olden days, in the past
       Roedd sinema yn y dref ers talwm.
       There was a cinema in the town in the past.

Lower Swansea Valley

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Lower Swansea Valley was a major industrial area.
Huge amounts of copper were produced using local coal.
Copper ore was imported first from Cornwall and Anglesey, and then from other parts of the world such as Chile and Australia.
By 1850 eleven major copperworks had been established on the banks of the River Tawe.
For a time they produced over half of the worlds total copper.
However, the Valley became polluted by the poisonous smoke and huge amounts of copper waste or slag.
By the twentieth century there was a decline in copper smelting and the works were starting to close.
The Valley became one of the most derelict industrial areas in Europe.
The Lower Swansea Valley Project was established in 1961.
This land reclamation project cleaned up the area, bringing back trees and plants and allowing fish to return to the river.
New houses were built on the sites of many of the old copper works.
The only important industrial site which remains is the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks.
This was once a collection of huge, incredibly hot and noisy industrial buildings.
These were filled with powerful machinery and employed a huge number of workers.
On one side the copper works was supplied by the Swansea Canal which delivered coal from mines in the Upper Swansea Valley.
On the other side, boats delivered copper ore which had been unloaded from ships at Swansea docks.
The Hafod-Morfa works finally closed in 1980 but the buildings and machinery which remain are being restored.
The site will become an important museum of industrial history.

Translate the sentence:

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Lower Swansea Valley was a major industrial area.

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.


order  archeb  noun (f);  ash  lludw  noun (m);
engineering  peirianneg  noun (f);  pump  pwmp  noun (m);
Icelend  Gwlad yr I;   volcano  llosgfynydd  noun (m);
spectacular  ysblennydd  adjective;  gravel  graean  noun (m);
glacier  rhewlif  noun (m);  geologist  daearegwr;
errupt  ffrwydro  verb;

Dafydd works for an engineering company in South Wales.
His company makes large water pumps for use in factories and water supply systems.
A few years ago they received an order from a power station in Iceland.
The manager asked Dafydd if he would go there to discuss the designs with the engineers.
Dafydd was delighted because he had always wanted to visit the country.
The company arranged a flight for Dafydd and a hotel in Reykjavic.
Dafydd arrived in Iceland and took a taxi to the hotel.
The first thing that surprised him was how light it was in the evening.
This was the summer and the sun only set for a couple of hours in the middle of the night.
The next day was spent in meetings, and the designs for the pumps were agreed.
The pumps would carry hot volcanic water to the power station where it would be used to produce electricity.
With work completed, Dafydd had a day free before his flight home.
He joined a tour by bus to see the spectacular landscape.
The road followed the coast, crossing huge areas of sand and gravel washed out from glaciers.
They arrived at the glacier itself, and the guide took them for a walk to see the ice.
Back in his hotel room that evening, Dafydd switched on the television to look at the news channel.
He was a bit worried to hear that a volcano in the centre of the island had started to errupt.
There was no danger as no-one lived nearby, but geologists were monitoring the situation.
The next morning he woke and looked out of his bedroom window to discover that the sky was grey.
The volcano had errupted during the night and thrown out a huge cloud of ash.
He switched on the television news and found that all flights from the airport were cancelled due to the volcanic ash.
It was clear that Dafydd would be spending longer in Reykjavic than he had expected.
After several days the airport reopened and Dafydd was able to book a flight back to Britain.
He returned to his office and went to apologise to the manager.
"News of your volcano has been on television every day, so we know exactly what happened".

Translate the sentence:

Dafydd works for an engineering company in South Wales.

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

Quiz questions about Wales

You are invited to translate questions into Welsh so that they can be used in a quiz with a Welsh speaking group:

1.  What is the name of the village in the Teifi valley where you can visit the Welsh national wool museum in an old woollen mill.

2.  What is the traditional Welsh art form in which a harp melody is played and a singer creates their own counter melody while singing a poem.

3.  What is the name of the old copper mine in Anglesey, the largest in Wales, with two huge pits formed when underground shafts and tunnels collapsed.

4.  What is the name of the abbey near Tregaron which was established in 1201 by Cistercian monks, where the poet Dafydd ap Gwilym is said to be buried. 

5.  What is the name of the preserved railway which operates along a short section of the old Carmarthen to Aberystwyth railway.

6.  Near what town is the permanent location of the main Welsh agricultural show which is held for four days each year?

7.  Who built the Menai suspension bridge, which was completed in 1826 and was the biggest suspension bridge in the world at the time?

8.  What island off the coast of Pembrokeshire has a unique type of vole (llygoden bengron). There are approximately 20,000 voles on the island. 

9.  Where was the aluminium factory and village in Snowdonia which were badly damaged when a dam collapsed in 1925?

10.  What is the name of the music company founded by Dafydd Iwan which has a recording studio near Caernarfon?

11.  What is the number of the main A-road running from Cardiff to Llandudno; it appears in a song containing the line 'I only wish the journey was quicker than a flight to Istambul'?


investiture  arwisgiad  noun (m);
counter melody  gwrth-alaw;   open-cast  brig;
Bronze Age  Oes Efydd;  collapse  cwympo  verb;
Cistercian  Sistersaidd;  permanent  parhaol  adjective;
livestock  anifeiliaid   noun (pl);  horticulture  garddwriaeth  noun (f);
unique  unigryw  adjective;  aluminium  alwminiwm  noun (m);

12.  What domestic item from the Bronze Age was found buried at Nannau near Dolgellau, and is one of the earliest and best of its type in Britain?
13.  Where did Prince Charles spend a term learning Welsh before his investiture in Caernarfon?

14.  After what nurse is the Health Board in North Wales named; she worked alongside Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War?

15.  What has been mined near the village of Pumsaint since Roman times?

16.  What fashion designer, originally from  Merthyr Tydfil, opened her first shop in Machynlleth then set up a factory at Carno in mid-Wales?


1. Dre-fach Felindre.
2. Cerdd Dant.
3. Parys Mountain.
4. Strata Florida.
5. The Gwili Steam Railway.
6. Builth Wells (Llanfair ym Muallt). 
7. Thomas Telford.
8. Skomer. 
9. Dolgarrog. 
10. Sain.
11. A470. 
12. Bucket.
13. Aberystwyth University.
14. Betsi Cadwaladr.
15. Gold.
16. Laura Ashley.

Translate the sentence:

1: What is the name of the village in the Teifi valley where you can visit the Welsh national wool museum in an old woollen mill?.

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 event led to Henry VII becoming king?

Why was Henry welcomed by the Welsh?

How did Welsh personal names change during Tudor times?

What was the main occupation of wealthy Tudor families in Wales?

What was a `long house`?

What was the min reason for keeping sheep?

What improvements in house design were introduced by the Tudors?

Cymru a`r Tuduriaid

Roedd y Cymry wrth eu boddau pan enillodd Harri Tudur frwydr Maes Bosworth yn 1485 a chael ei goroni yn Harri VII, brenin Lloegr a Chymru. Wedi`r cyfan, roedd e o waed Cymreig. O ganlyniad i hyn, roedd gan lawer o Gymry ddiddordeb mawr yn llys y Tuduriaid yn Llundain. Er mwyn "dod ymlaen yn y byd", yn aml bydden nhw`n Seisnigo eu henwau, er enghraifft Ieuan ap Dafydd yn newid i John Davies.

Magu gwartheg a defaid ar eu stadau mawr oedd prif gynhaliaeth dosbarth y bonedd yn Nghymru yng nghyfnod y Tuduriaid. Byddai miloedd o wartheg yn cael eu gyrru i farchnadoedd Llundain. Byddai hyn yn dod symiau mawr o arian parod i`r ffermwyr mawreddog. Roedd defaid yn cael eu cadw yn bennaf er mwyn eu gwln, ac roedd y diwydiant tecstilau yn llewyrchus.

O dan ddosbarth y bonedd roedd ffermwyr bychain yn crafu byw. Bydden nhw`n tyfu eu bwyd eu hunain, ac yn gwerthu`r ychydig oedd dros ben i dalu`r rhent, y degwm a threthi lleol.

Yng Nghymru, roedd y rhan fwyaf o bobl yn byw yn y wlad mewn tai hir. Roedd y teulu yn byw ar yn ochr o`r tŷ a`r anifeiliaid yn byw yr ochr arall. Roedd gwaith tŷ yn galed. Doedd dim dŵr gln ar gael yn nhai pobl. Felly roedd rhaid i bobl nl dŵr o`r afon.

Ond newidiodd y Tuduriaid dai yn gyfan gwbl gyda rhywbeth pwysig iawn, sef y simnai. Roedd bywyd llawer mwy pleserus pan ychwanegodd pobl simnai yn eu tai. Am y tro cyntaf, roedd tai cyffredin yn gallu cael eu hadeiladu gygag ail lawr. Roedd hynny`n golygu bod gan bobl mwy o le a phreifatrwydd i fyny grisiau, yn hytrach na byw ar ben ei gilydd ar y llawr gwaelod.

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