Session 3

Language notes

We will now examine the simple past tense.  This is slightly different in meaning to the past perfect, as it does not imply that the action was completed.  

For example, the past tense is used in the sentence:  
              'John painted the house on Tuesday'  
The task may not have been finished - John may have returned on Wednesday to do more painting.  

This is different to the statement:
              'John has painted the house'
which implies that the work is now complete.

The past tense has a short form (cryno) structure. It is produced by adding a set of standard endings to a verb noun.  Taking 'dringo' (climb) as an example:
   dringes / dringais i'r mynydd        I climbed the mountain
   dringest/ dringaist ti'r mynydd     you climbed the mountain
   dringodd e/o/hi'r mynydd              he/she climbed the mountain
   dringon ni'r mynydd                      we climbed the mountain
   dringoch chi'r mynydd                 you climbed the mountain 
   dringon nhw'r mynydd               they climbed the mountain

It may just be necessary to make a slight change to the verb noun before adding the standard set of endings, for example:
    rhedeg - run 
    rhedais i - I ran,   rhedaist ti - you ran .....

    clywed - hear 
    clywais i - I heard,  clywaist ti - you heard ..... 

However, four common verbs: cael, mynd, dod and gwneud, have irregular forms: 

cael - have      past:  I had a good time, you had a good time, etc.  
                         singular                                   plural
1st pers.   ces i amser da                    cawson ni amser da
2nd pers.  cest ti amser da                 cawsoch chi amser da
3rd pers    cafodd e/o/hi amser da     cawson nhw amser da 

mynd - go      past:  I went to the town, you went to the town, etc.          
                         singular                            plural
1st pers.    es i i'r dref                       aethon ni i'r dref  
2nd pers.   est ti i'r dref                    aethoch chi i'r dref  
3rd pers.    aeth e/o/hi i'r dref           aethon nhw i'r dref  

dod - come      past:  I came home, you came home, etc. 
                       singular                           plural
1st pers.    des i adref                      daethon ni adref
2nd pers.   dest ti adref                   daethoch chi adref
3rd pers.    daeth e/o/hi adref          daethon nhw adref

gwneud - do, make     past:  I made a promise, you made a promise, etc.       
                          singular                                 plural
1st      gwnes i addewid                 gwnaethon ni addewid
2nd     gwnest ti addewid              gwnaethoch chi addewid
3rd      gwnaeth e/o/hi addewid     gwnaethon nhw addewid

Questions can be produced by applying a soft mutation, along with a question mark, for example:
             Welodd e'r ffilm?            Did he see the film? 
To avoid ambiguity, the word 'A' can be placed at the start of a question:
             A welodd e'r ffilm?    

Conversely, a small word fe (South Wales) or mi (North Wales) known as a particle is often placed before a positive statement, for example:
            Fe aeth e i Gaerdydd       He went to Cardiff           
            Mi aeth o i Fangor            He went to Bangor
In this course we will generally use fe in the suggested translations, but it would be equally acceptable to use mi.

An alternative way of writing the past tense is to use a verb noun along with a past tense of gwneud. A soft mutation is applied to the verb noun. 
For example:  cyfarfod  to meet 
      gwnes i gyfarfod ffrind                I met a friend 
      gwnest ti gyfarfod ffrind              you met a friend 
      gwneath e/o/hi gyfarfod ffrind     he/she met a friend    
      gwnaethon ni gyfarfod ffrind       we met a friend 
      gwnaethoch chi gyfarfod ffrind   you met a friend 
      gwnaethon nhw gyfarfod ffrind   they met a friend


A very common occurrence of soft mutations is immediately after any of a large group of prepositions, which are words indicating a relationship between components of the sentence.  These are: 

 am:   'for' , sometimes in the context 'in favour of..' 
    Dw i'n gofyn am ddiod              I am asking for a drink
    Rydw i am fynd adre                 I want to go home
    Maen nhw am werthu'r car       They want to sell the car  
 ar:  'on' or 'to'
   Mae llwyddiant yn dibynnu ar bawb    Success depends on everyone       Dwi'n gwrando ar gerddoriaeth           I listen to music
 at:  'to'
   Ysgrifennais at reolwr y cwmni   I wrote to the manger of the company
   Dwi'n edrych ymlaen at ddod      I am looking forward to coming
 dan:  'under' 
    Rhedodd e dan bont                 He ran under a bridge
    Mae'r sefyllfa dan reolaeth       The situation is under control

 dros:  'over'          
  Dringodd dros gamfa                  He climbed over a stile    
  Cymerodd dros flwyddyn i gwblhau    It took over a year to complete

 gan:   'with' , 'from' 
    Mae'r gwaith gan gyfansoddwr enwog          
                                              The work is by a famous composer
    Prynais bara gan ddynes yn y pentref       
                                              I bought bread from a woman in the village

heb:  'without'      
    Mae e heb obaith               He is without hope
    Daethon nhw heb gar        They came without a car       

hyd:   'until'
     Dw i'n aros hyd ddiwedd y rhaglen  
                                            I'm waiting until the end of the program 
i: 'to'
     Mae'r trn yn mynd i Gaerdydd    The train goes to Cardiff          
     Byddaf i'n gofyn i fyfyriwr             I will ask a student

o: 'from'   
     Pethau yn mynd o ddrwg i waeth   Things go from bad to worse
     Symudon nhw o'r ddinas                They moved from the city

tan: 'until'
     Arhoswch tan ddiwedd y mis.            Wait until the end of the month.
     Rydyn ni'n gweithio tan gwblhau'r dasg         
                     We are working until the task is completed

trwy:  'through', 'by'
      Roedd y gwesty yn llwyddianus trwy gynnig bwyd blasus  
                    The hotel was successful through offering delicious food
      Aeth hi trwy ddrws i mewn i'r adeilad 
                    She went through a door into the building

wrth:  'while', 'at', 'by' 
        Welais hysbyseb am gyngerdd wrth yrru i'r gwaith
                    I saw an advert for a concert while driving to work 
        Talwch wrth ddrws y neuadd 
                    Pay at the door of the hall 


The word 'am' often translates the English word 'for':
               Arhosodd am ddwy awr.
               He waited for two hours.
               Rydw i'n mynd i'r siop am laeth.
               I am going to the shop for milk.

However, 'am' can occur in a variety of situations, for example:

'am' is used to indicate the time when an event occurs.
            Mae'r cyfarfod yn dechrau am ddeg o'r gloch.
            The meeting begins at ten o'clock.

'am' can mean 'towards':
            Pan ddaeth yr ysgol i ben, rhedodd y disgyblion am y drws.
            When school ended, the pupils ran towards the door. 

'am' can mean 'about', when specifying a subject.
            Roedden nhw'n siarad am bwy fydd yn ennill yr etholiad.
            They were talking about who will win the election.

Many idioms in Welsh use 'am'.  Some examples are:

am wn i - as far as I know, I suppose:
        Mae'r siop yn dal ar agor, am wn i.
        The shop is still open, as far as I know.

am y tro - for now
        Rwy'n cadw fy meic yn y sied am y tro.
        I am keeping my bicycle in the shed for now.

am byth - for ever
        Bydd ei deulu yn ffermwyr am byth.
        His family will be farmers for ever.

am yn ail - alternately
        Plannodd resi o gennin a nionod am yn ail.
        He planted rows of leeks and onions alternately.

am hynny - therefore, for that reason
       Roedd y peiriant wedi torri ac am hynny wnes i ddim ei ddefnyddio.
       The machine was broken and therefore I didn't use it.

Translate the sentence:

Cardiff Bay is now a large fresh water lake.

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.


Christmas Eve   Noswyl Nadolig   noun;   instead  yn lle;  
aisle  eil  noun (f);  sunset  machlud haul  noun (m);
orange  oraens  noun (m);

Dafydd works in a restaurant in the city.
It had been very busy in the restaurant during the week before Christmas.
There was no time to shop.
He finished his work late on Christmas eve.
Dafydd remembered his sister`s little daughter.
He must buy a present for her.
Late after sunset, he put on his coat and rushed to the shops.
Only the supermarket was still open.
"Oh no", he thought, "my sister will not be happy if I bring a box of chocolates.
She always thinks that healthy food is very important.
Perhaps I should buy some apples and oranges instead".
Fortunately he found a display of toys, and chose a soft toy elephant which would be ideal.
Dafydd took the elephant to his sister`s house on the way home, in time to put it under the Christmas tree.

Translate the sentence:

Dafydd works in a restaurant in the city.

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

Weather forecast


band  band  noun (m);  start  dechreuad  noun (m);
extensive  eang  adjective;   gale  tymestl   noun (f);

You are asked to translate the weather forecast for Wales:

Translate the sentence:

Weather forecast for Wales.

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:

Do all children in Wales learn about Welsh history?

Who is protesting about the teaching of history?

Where does he intend to make his protest?

Do many other people agree with his protest?

What components are required for successful teaching of Welsh history?

In the Welsh Curriculum, what three types of history should be taught?

The article gives the examples of: Welsh mining history, the Cardiff Race Riots of 1919, and the Chartists. Why might these aspects of history not be taught to all Welsh school pupils?

Galw ar y llywodraeth i beidio diystyru deiseb am hanes Cymru

Mae ffermwr o Drawsfynydd wedi dweud byddai`n fodlon cerdded o Drawsfynydd i Gaerdydd a phrotestio ar risiau`r Senedd tan eu bod nhw`n cydnabod yr angen i sicrhau fod disgyblion yng Nghymru yn derbyn yr wybodaeth a`r addysg briodol am eu hanes.

Ar l casglu dros 5,000 llofnod yn gynharach eleni, bydd y ddeiseb yn cael ei thrafod gan aelodau`r Senedd ar Medi 15.

Rhai plant yn ddigon ffodus i ddysgu am Hanes Cymru a rhai eraill ddim.

Os nad oes arweiniad, na chynnwys, na gwerslyfrau cadarn mae peryg bydd rhai disgyblion yn methu ddysgu am hanes eu gwlad.

Mae Cwricwlwm Cymru yn nodi y dylai gwersi hanes yng Nghymru gyflwyno dysgwyr o bob oed i ystod o gyfnodau hanesyddol ar raddfa leol, genedlaethol a byd-eang. Dim ond hanes lleol fyddai`n canolbwyntio ar Gymru:

Oni bai eich bod yn dod o ardal ddiwydiannol draddodiadol, efallai na fyddwch byth yn dysgu am hanes mwyngloddio cyfoethog Cymru - hanes sy`n dal i effeithio a siapio`r cymunedau o`i chwmpas heddiw.

Oni bai eich bod yn dod o Gaerdydd, efallai na fyddwch byth yn dysgu am Derfysgoedd Hiliol Caerdydd ym 1919.

Oni bai eich bod yn dod o Gasnewydd neu Blaenau Gwent, efallai na fyddwch byth yn clywed am y Siartwyr, a sut y maent yn rhoi pwysau ar wleidyddion i ildio`r hawl i ddynion sy`n gweithio bleidleisio.

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