Session 2

Language notes

The pronoun e (he) tends to be used in South Wales and o in North Wales. 

Welsh uses two different methods for creating verb tenses:

*  The short form (cryno) system adds an ending to the verb noun to
    indicate the time of the activity and the persons involved, e.g.
         darllen (read) may become:   
         darllenodd hi (she read - in the past) 

*  The long form (cwmpasog) system combines a verb noun (specifying 
    the activity) with a tense of 'bod' specifying the time of the activity and
    persons involved), e.g.: 
        sefyll (stand) may become:   
        mae e yn sefyll     or    mae o yn sefyll        (he stands -present time) 
Some tenses use only one of these methods, whilst other tenses provide the writer with a choice between a cryno or cwmpasog option. Two past tenses which commonly use cwmpasog forms are the past perfect and the past imperfect

The past perfect represents the pattern ' something has happened', for example: 
            'Alice has painted the kitchen', 
           'The man has paid his bill'. 
It is 'perfect' in the sense that the activity has been fully completed.

This tense is constructed by combining a verb noun with the present tense of 'bod' and including the word 'wedi' to indicate that the activity occurred in the past.  For example:  'I have walked', etc. is represented by:

                         singular                                   plural
1st pers.    rydw i wedi cerdded           rydyn ni'n wedi cerdded 
          or    dw i wedi cerdded 
2nd pers.  rwyt ti wedi cerdded            rydych chi wedi cerdded
3rd pers.   mae e/o/hi wedi cerdded     maen nhw wedi cerdded 

The past imperfect tense represents the pattern 'something was happening'.  It is used to describe an activity which took place over an extended period of time:
         'My grandfather lived at a farm in the mountains' 
or an activity which was taking place when some other event occurred:
         'She was walking through the market when she saw the boy' 

The past imperfect is constructed by combining a verb noun with the imperfect tense of 'bod'.  For example, 'I was reading', etc. is represented by:

                            singular                              plural
1st pers.    roeddwn i'n darllen        roedden ni'n darllen 
          or    ron i'n darllen
2nd pers   roeddet ti'n darllen         roeddech chi'n darllen 
3rd pers.   roedd e/o/hi'n darllen     roedden nhw'n darllen  

Note that verb tense usage in English and Welsh are not exactly the same.  
In English we might write 'he worked in a factory'.  However, this would be translated into Welsh as 'roedd e'n gweithio mewn ffatri' ('he was working in a factory') because the activity took place over an extended period, rather than being a single event.   
The negative is produced by changing the first letter to 'd' and inserting the word 'dim' - none.  For example: 'I was not reading', etc.   

                       singular                                        plural
1st     doeddwn i ddim yn darllen       doedden ni ddim yn darllen 
  or    don i ddim yn darllen
2nd   doeddet ti ddim yn darllen        doeddech chi ddim yn darllen 
3rd    doedd e/o/hi ddim yn darllen    doedden nhw'n darllen      


Two rules were given in session 1:
        A noun soft mutation occurs after 'y' ('the') in the case of singular
        feminine nouns, except where the initial letters are 'rh' or 'll'. 
        An adjective soft mutation occurs after a feminine singular noun.

Applying these rules requires a knowledge of the gender of nouns.  There is usually no simple way of determining the gender of a noun, and this must be found from a dictionary or from memory.  The following is a list of some common feminine nouns, with examples of noun or adjective mutations:

     afon            yr afon fawr          the big river            mawr   big
     ardal           yr ardal ddel         the pretty area        del  pretty
     awr             yr awr dywyll        the dark hour          tywyll   dark
     awyren       yr awyren gyflym   the fast aircraft      cyflym  fast
     blwyddyn   y flwyddyn           the year
     braich         y fraich                 the arm
     brawddeg   y frawddeg          the sentence
     cadair         y gadair                the chair
     canolfan     y ganolfan            the centre 
     carreg         y garreg               the stone
     cath            y gath                   the cat  
     cegin           y gegin                the kitchen
     ceiniog        y geiniog             the penny
     cloch           y gloch                the clock 
     clust            y glust                 the ear
     coeden        y goeden             the tree 
     coes            y goes                  the leg
     craig            y graig                 the rock    
     cwpan         y gwpan               the cup
     dafad          y ddafad               the sheep (singular)
     damwain     y ddamwain        the accident
     de               y dde                     the right
     dinas          y ddinas                the city
     diod            y ddiod                 the drink
     eglwys        yr eglwys leol      the local church        lleol   local
     ffatri            y ffatri                    the factory
     ffenest        y ffenest                the window
     fferm          y fferm                    the farm 
     ffordd         y ffordd                  the road
     gardd         yr ardd                  the garden
     gorsaf        yr orsaf                 the station
     gwers        y wers                    the lesson
     gwobr        y wobr                   the prize

iaith          yr iaith gas          the nasty language          cas  nasty
lolfa          y lolfa fach          the small lounge              bach  small 
ln            y ln beryglus    the dangerous lane          peryglus  dangerous 
lori            y lori fudr            the dirty lorry                    budr  dirty
llaw           y llaw dde           the right hand                   de  right
lleuad        y lleuad lawn     the full moon                     llawn  full
llyfrgell      y llyfrgell genedlaethol    the national library
                                                                                       cenedlaethol  national
llygoden    y llygoden fawr  the rat (literally: the big mouse)
marchnad  y farchnad         the market 
melin         y felin                  the mill
milltir         y filltir                 the mile  
nant           y nant ln           the clean stream             gln clean
neges        y neges bwysig  the important message  pwysig  important
neuadd      y neuadd gul      the narrow hall               cul   narrow     
nos            y nos dawel        the quiet night                tawel  quiet  
olwyn        yr olwyn grwn     the round wheel            crwn    round
pl             y bl                     the ball
pobl           y bobl                  the people
pont           y bont                  the bridge
prifysgol    y brifysgol          the university
rhaglen      y rhaglen fer       the short programme    byr  short
rhan           y rhan gyntaf      the first part                   cyntaf  first
seren         y seren ddisglair     the bright star           disglair  bright
sgwrs         y sgwrs  ddiddorol    the interesting converstation  
                                                                                     diddorol interesting    
sioe           y sioe gyffrous    the exciting show         cyffrous  exciting  
siop           y siop fwy            the bigger shop            mwy  bigger
stori           y stori ddoniol    the funny story             doniol    funny  
storm         y storm ddrwg    the bad storm              drwg     bad
stryd          y stryd wag         the empty street          gwag  empty           
swydd        y swydd orau      the best job                 gorau    best
swyddfa     y swyddfa gyfeillgar   the friendly office
                                                                                    cyfeillgar  friendly
tafarn         y dafarn               the pub
tref             y dref                   the town 
troed          y droed                the foot
tudalen      y dudalen            the page
wythnos     yr wythnos drist     the sad week           trist sad
ynys           yr ynys bell        the far island                 pell far
ysgol          yr ysgol gynradd   the primary school    cynradd  primary
ystafell       yr ystafell gyfarwydd    the familiar room 
                                                                                    cyfarwydd   familiar      


The Welsh word 'ar' is commonly used to represent the English word 'on':

                    Mae bwyd ar y bwrdd.
                    There is food on the table.
                    Mae'r swyddfa ar yr ail lawr.
                    The office is on the second floor.

However, 'ar' can also occur with other meanings in Welsh:

'ar' is used to indicate a debt:
            Mae ar Dafydd ddeg punt i mi.
            Dafydd owes me ten pounds.

When expressing numbers, 'ar' is used to mean ' in addition to':
            Mae'r bws yn gadael am bump ar hugain wedi chwech.
            The bus leaves at twenty five past six.

'ar' can indicate that an event is on the point of happening:
           Mae trn Caerdydd ar gadael.
           The Cardiff train is about to leave.

'ar' occurs in a variety of idioms, for example:

ar agor - open
          Mae'r archfarchnad ar agor trwy'r dydd.
          The supermarket is open all day.

ar ben - finished, complete
          Mae'r gwaith ar y prosiect ar ben.
          Work on the project is complete.

ar brawf - on trial
           Gallwch ddefnyddio'r feddalwedd ar brawf am fis.
           You can use the software on trial for a month.

ar draws - across, in various different contexts:
            Cerddodd ar draws y bont i'r dref.
            He walked across the bridge to the town.
            Daeth ar draws hen ffrind yn y llyfrgell.
            He came across an old friend in the library.
            Gwaeddodd yr athro ar draws y sŵn yn yr ystafell ddosbarth.
            The teacher shouted across the noise in the classroom. 

Translate the sentence:

Big Pit is a coal mine on the side of the valley above the town of Blaenafon in South 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.


confused  dryslyd  adjective;    jigsaw puzzle  pos jigso   noun;
suspect   drwgdybio  verb;       drag  llusgo  verb;  
outskirts   cyrion  noun;       continue  parhau  verb;

The Morris family live in a new house on an estate on the outskirts of the city.
They are confused because things in the house have disappeared recently.
First small things were lost, like a jigsaw puzzle piece.
A ring then disappeared which was on the table in their bedroom.
They suspected their small son Huw, who had just started school.
However, some of Huw`s favourite plastic building bricks also disappeared.
The family continued to be confused.
One evening Mr Morris noticed their kitten dragging a teaspoon from the kitchen and taking it under the dresser.
He realised that things had begun to disappear soon after they bought the new kitten.
He looked under the dresser and everything was there.
The family now know where to search if anything else disappears.

Translate the sentence:

The Morris family live in a new house on an estate on the outskirts of 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


A conservation project is being carried out in Wales to remove plantations of conifers and allow native oak woods to regenerate.  Oak woods have existed in the area for thousands of years, but were extensively felled in the 18th and 19th centuries to provide timber for building sailing ships. 

A sign is needed to explain the purpose of the work, and to warn walkers about the dangers during forestry operations.  You are invited to translate the text into Welsh.


conifer   conwydden  noun (f) :  conifers   conwydd;
insect  pryfyn  noun (m):  insects  pryfed;
stack   pentwr  noun (m);   machinery  peiriannau  noun;
vehicle  cerbyd  noun (m);

Translate the sentence:

We are working in this forest to remove conifers.

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 prize is given to the Welsh Tree of the Year?

Who organises the competition?

What species is the tree and how old is it?

In what television programs has the tree appeared?

How will winning the competition be of benefit to the tree?

Coeden y flwyddyn Cymru

Mae coeden ffawydden ger Abaty Margam ym Mhort Talbot wedi ei henwi yn goeden y flwyddyn Cymru.

Mae`r coeden wedi darparu cysgod i ymwelwyr ers blynyddoedd o grwpiau o Fictoriaid yn cymryd te oddi tano, i gynyrchiadau teledu fel Dr Who a Songs of Praise.

`Rydym yn meddwl fod y goeden tua 200 mlwydd oed`, meddai prif arddwr Parc Gwledig Margam.

Mae`r gystadleuaeth i ddod o hyd i Goeden y Flwyddyn yn cael ei chynnal gan y Woodland Trust.

Bydd y wobr mil o bunnau yn cael ei wario ar gynnal y goeden.

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