Session 7

Language notes

The verb 'bod', 'to be', is unusual in having a variety of forms for the 3rd person singular, which are used in different situations: mae, ydy, oes and sydd.

We have seen that simple statements generally use mae, for example:
      Mae'r rheolwr yn y swyddfa.     The manager is in the office.

The form ydy is used for a question:
      Ydy'r rheolwr yn y swyddfa?       Is the manager in the office?

The form oes is used in questions when a particular person or thing is not specified:
      Oes rheolwr yn y swyddfa?         Is there a manager in the office?  

Negative statements work in a similar way:
       Dydy'r cwsmer ddim yn y siop.  The customer is not in the shop.

When no particular person or thing is specified:
       Does dim cwsmer yn y shop.   There is not a customer in the shop.

Consider the neutral sentence which makes a simple statement:
       Mae'r rheolwr yn y swyddfa.  
       The manager (subject) is in the office (object)

When we wish to emphasise the object of the sentence, ydy is used:
     Yn y swyddfa ydy'r rheolwr.        The manager is in the office. 
                                                            (i.e. not somewhere else)
sydd (or the shortened form sy) is used when the subject is emphasised:
     Y rheolwer sydd yn y swyddfa.     The manager is in the office.
                                                              (i.e. not someone else)
The neutral senetence:
          Mae'r gweithwyr yn gyfrifol am diogelwch yn y chwarel.
may become focussed on the subject:
          Y gweithwyr sydd yn gyfrifol am diogelwch yn y chwarel.
          (It is) the workers who are responsible for safety in the quarry. 
             (not other people, such as the landowner...)

Alternatively, we may focus the sentence on the object:
         Am diogelwch yn y chwarel  ydy'r gweithwyr yn gyfrifol.
         (It is) safety in the quarry for which the workers are responsible. 
            (not other things, such as planning the work...)

The expression sydd is equivalent to the English 
      ...which is/are...      ...who is/are....      ...that is/are...
and is used in sentences ending in a descriptive clause.  'Sydd' is often abreviated to 'sy'.  Examples are:

         Faint ohonoch chi sydd eisiau mynd yn y car?
         How many of you (are there) who are wanting to go in the car?

          Ysgrifennaf i'r aelodau sydd yn cymryd rhan.
          I am writing to the members who are taking part.

          Beth sy'n bod?
          What (is it) which is happeninig?

           Pwy sydd yna?
           Who (is it) who is there? 

           Beth sy'n mynd ymlaen?
           What (is it) that is happening?

           Dyna'r dyn sydd yn nabod fy'n chwaer.
           literally: This is the man who is knowing my sister.

The sydd form is only used to emphasise the subject of a sentence.  In other cases, ydy is the appropriate expression:

             Mae'r ysbyty yn trin cleifion gyda parch.
             The hospital (subject) is (verb) treating patients with respect (object).
             Trin cleifion gyda parch ydy'r ysbyty.
              The hospital is treating patients with respect.


We have previously looked at examples of soft mutations which are caused by particular words, for example in feminine singular nouns following 'y':
        y ferch   the girl    merch  girl;       
Other examples of words causing mutations are: 
       i                i dref  to a town   tref  town;
       dau:            dau frawd     two brothers     brawd brother

In other cases, a soft mutation can be caused at a particular point in a sentence structure.  Sentences generally have three components:
       The VERB which specifies an action.
       The SUBJECT which carries out the action specified by the verb.
       The OBJECT/COMPLEMENT which forms the remainder of the sentence.

In English  the normal word order of a sentence is:
                      SUBJECT - VERB - OBJECT/COMPLEMENT
for example:
          The student (subject) wrote (verb) an essay about Welsh history. 

However, the word order in a neutral unstressed Welsh sentence is: 
                     VERB - SUBJECT - OBJECT/COMPLEMENT
  Ysgrifennodd (verb) y myfyriwr (subject) draethawd am hanes Cymru.

A distinction between the subject and the object/complement is made by applying a treiglad meddal immediately following the subject.  

In the following examples, the word affected by the treiglad is indicated:
     Mae (verb) gan y gwesty (subject) lawer o ystafelloedd.         llawer
     The hotel has many rooms 
     Prynodd (verb) Sara (subject) botel o win                                potel
     Sara bought a bottle of wine 

The word affected by the treiglad meddal can change depending on whether a cryno (short form) or cwmpasog (long form) verb is used. 

For example, using a cryno sentence order:
        Galwodd (verb) y cwsmer (subject) reolwr                    rheolowr
        The customer called a manager 
then a treiglad is applied to 'manager'.

However, if this is rewritten using a cwmpasog verb pattern we get:             
        Wnaeth (verb) y cwsmer (subject) alw rheolwr            galw

There is no treiglad on rheolwr, but a treiglad meddal has now been applied to the verb noun 'call' galw.          


The word 'i' is often translated into English as 'to', and can appear in many different sentence patterns.  Amongst these are:

'i' is commonly used in conjunction with particular verbs, for example:
           Llwyddon ni i ddringo'r mynydd.
           We succeeded in climbing the mountain.
           Rwy'n addo i werthu'r hen gar.
           I promise to sell the old car.

'i' can appear in the object of a verb when a verb noun is also present:
          Gofynnodd i'r ferch ganu yn y cyngerdd.
          He asked the girl to sing at the concert.

'i' can indicate a relative date or time:
         Byddaf yn ôl o wyliau wythnos i heddiw.
         I will be back from holiday a week today.

'i' can indicate a relationship:
         Hi yw chwaer i fy ffrind.
         She is my friend's sister. 

'i' appears in a number of idioms:

i ffwrdd - away
     Byddwn ni i ffwrdd yn ystod y Nadolig.
     We will be away during Christmas.

i fyny - up
      A wnaethoch chi gerdded i fyny'r llwybr i'r castell?
      Did you walk up the path to the castle?

i'r dim  - exactly, perfectly
      Mae'r nofel yn disgrifio bywyd glowyr i'r dim.
      The novel perfectly describes the life of miners.

i'r gwrthwyneb - on the contrary
       Nid oedd y bwthyn yn glyd; i'r gwrthwyneb roedd hi'n oer iawn.
       The cottage was not cosy; on the contrary it was very cold.

i'r pwynt - to the point
       Pan ysgrifennwch yr adroddiad, byddwch yn gryno ac i'r pwynt.
       When you write the report, be concise and to the point.

Translate the sentence:

Climate change is the main reason for extreme weather 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.


wasp  cacynen  noun (f);  angry  dig  adjective;  
carry out   cynnal   verb;   botanist  botanegydd  noun;
sting  pigo verb;   recently  yn ddiweddar;

Chris is a botanist who has carried out a survey of plants along the coast.
One day in the summer he was following a path along the top of the cliffs.
He stopped to take a photograph of a rare plant growing in a crack in the rocks.
As he touched the rock, a stone moved and an angry swarm of wasps came out from a nest.
The wasps began to gather around Chris`s head.
He was very worried about being stung, so he ran off along the path.
The wasps continued to follow him.
He soon reached a farmyard.
Looking around, he saw a shed that was not locked.
He rushed inside and shut the door, then waited for the wasps to go away.
Chris has recently given a lecture at a botany conference.
He showed a picture of the rare plant on the cliff top, and told the audience about the incident with the wasps.
He warned them to be careful when photographing plants.
It could be more dangerous than expected.

Translate the sentence:

Chris is a botanist who has carried out a survey of plants along the coast.

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

Holiday cottages

Hafod y Cwm farm in north Wales offers holiday accommodation to visitors.

An advertising leaflet is being prepared.  You are invited to translate this into Welsh. 


restore  adfer  verb;   holiday apartment  llety gwyliau;
magnificant  godidog adjective;   beam  trawst noun (f);
conversion  trosiad  noun (m);   equip  cyfarparu  verb;
picture window  ffenestr lydan;  cooker  cwcer  noun (m);
slate  llechfaen  noun (m);

Translate the sentence:

Hafod y Cwm is a historic farm which has been restored beautifully.

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:

How far did the frog travel to reach Wales, and where did it come from?

How did the frog travel to Wales, and where was it found?

Who rescued the frog?

Where is the frog now?

What other creature is mentioned in the article, and how might it reach Wales?

Broga wedi teithio pum mil o filltiroedd i archfarchnad yng Nghymru

Darganfuwyd broga coed egsotig mewn sypyn o fananas gan staff archfarchnad ar ôl iddo deithio pum mil o filltiroedd o Colombia i dde Cymru. Daethpwyd o hyd i`r broga yn siop Asda yn Llanelli. Colombia yw cyflenwr bananas mwyaf ym Mhrydain, gyda channoedd o filoedd o dunelli o`r ffrwythau yn gwneud y daith bob blwyddyn. Nad oedd yn anghyffredin i frogaod `daro reid` mewn ffrwythau gan nad ydyn nhw`n cael eu trin mwyach.

Mae`r broga bellach wedi ei drosglwyddo i ganolfan anifeiliaid arbenigol yn Hwlffordd. Canmolodd arolygydd yr RSPCA staff siop Asda am gadw`r broga`n ddiogel. Roedd un aelod o`r staff wedi gweld y broga, tra bod arall wedi ei ddal a mynd ag ef adref. Diolch byth, mae taith ryfeddol y broga`n dod i ben yn hapus gyda`r anifail bach yn saff ac yn iach mewn cyfleuster arbenigol yn Sir Benfro.

Nid yw`n anarferol i greaduriaid gyrraedd Cymru yn annisgwyl o lefydd pell. Mae staff mewn porthladdoedd a meysydd awyr yn chwilio amdanynt.
“Mae pryfed cop yn cael eu darganfod ar awyrennau o dro i dro,” meddai British Airways – yn enwedig ar rai sy’n teithio o wledydd poeth.

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