Session 21

Language notes

In this section we will review the use of the preposition 'i'.
A number of compound prepositions include i.  For example: 

wrth i;  while...
      Gwnes i gwrdd Steven wrth i mi gerdded trwy'r sgwr.
      I met Steven as I walked through the square.

cyn i;  before ...
      Dylech chi ffonio'r garej cyn i chi fynd i nl y car.
      You should phone the garage before you go to collect the car. 

erbyn i;  by the time ...
     Bydd hi'n dywyll erbyn iddyn nhw ddod i lawr o'r mynydd.
     It will be dark by the time they come down from the mountain.

nes i;  until ....
     Arhosodd yn y swyddfa nes iddo orffen ysgrifennu'r adroddiad.
     He stayed in the office until he had finished writing the report.

tan i; until ....
     Gweithiodd yn y caffi tan iddi ddechrau ei chwrs coleg.
     She worked in the cafe until she started her college course.

The common expressions 'well i mi...' ('it is better if I...', or 'I prefer to...') and 'rhaid i mi...' ('I must...' or 'I have to...')  make use of the verb bod to specify the time of the event: 

'well i mi...' implies 'it is better if I...' :

   Mae'n well i mi brynu llysiau yn y farchnad yn hytrach na'r siop.
        It is better if I buy vegetables in the market rather than the shop.
   Roedd yn well iddo fe fynd ar wyliau i Sir Benfro.
        It was better for him to go on holiday to Pembrokeshire.
    Rwyn disgwyl y bydd yn well iddo fe brynu car trydan.
         I expect that it will be better for him to buy an electric car.

Similar expressions can be written using gan in place if i.  The difference is slight, but 'well gen i...'  implies  'I prefer to...' :

    Mae'n well gen i brynu llysiau yn y farchnad yn hytrach na'r siop.
        I prefer to buy vegetables in the market rather than the shop.
   Roedd yn well ganddo fe fynd ar wyliau i Sir Benfro.
        He preferred to go on holiday to Pembrokeshire.
   Rwyn disgwyl y bydd yn well ganddo fe brynu car trydan.
        I expect that he will prefer to buy an electric car.

      Mae'n rhaid i mi fynd 'r llyfrau yn l i'r llyfrgell.
            I must take the books back to the library.

although this can also be written more simply as:
      Rhaid i mi fynd 'r llyfrau yn l i'r llyfrgell.
            I must take the books back to the library.

     Roedd yn rhaid i ni fod yn ofalus wrth gerdded ar hyd llwybr y clogwyn.
            We had to be careful walking along the cliff path.
     Bydd yn rhaid i ni drefnu cyfarfod ar gyfer y mis nesaf.
            We will have to arrange a meeting for next month.

A number of verbs commonly make use of 'i' to indicate a person or object who is the direct recipient of an action, for example:

eisiau i chi;  ...want you to...  
      Rwyf eisiau iddi ddod i'r parti.
      I want her to come to the party.

hoffi i chi; you to...
      Bydden ni'n hoffi i'r staff fod yn fwy cyfeillgar i gwsmeriaid.
      We would like the staff to be more friendly to customers.

gwneud i chi;  ...make you...
      Bydd y brifysgol yn gwneud i chi dalu am yr offer labordy.
      The university will make you pay for the laboratory equipment.

gadael i chi;  ...leave you to...
       Rhaid i chi fy ngadael i orffen y garddio.
       You must leave me to finish the gardening.

caniatu i chi;  ...allow you to...
      Bydd y ffermwr yn caniatu i chi groesi'r cae.
      The farmer will allow you to cross the field.

disgwyl i chi;  ...expect you to...
       Mae'r cynghorydd yn disgwyl i ni bleidleisio drosto fe.
       The councillor expects us to vote for him.

gofyn i chi;  ...ask you to...
      Gwnaethon ni ofyn i'r adeiladwr atgyweirio'r to.
      We asked the builder to repair the roof.
addo i chi;  ...promise you that..
      Gwnaethon nhw addo i'r trefnydd y byddent yn dod i'r digwyddiad.
      They promised the organiser that they would come to the event.

In some cases an action is carried out on an object, then the preposition 'i' is used to specify who is affected as a result: 

anfon --- i chi;  send --- to you  
      Byddaf yn anfon llythyr i'r cwmni.
      I will send a letter to the company.

rhoi --- i chi;  give --- to you
       Mae hi'n rhoi'r llyfrau i'r siop elusennol.
       She is giving the books to the charity shop.

gwerthu --- i chi;  sell --- to you
       Maen nhw'n mynd i werthu'r paentiad i amgueddfa.
       They are going to sell the painting to a museum.

talu --- i chi;  pay --- to you
        Roedd yn rhaid i mi dalu 200 i'r garej am yr atgyweiriadau.
        I had to pay 200 to the garage for the repairs.

cynnig --- i chi;  offer --- to you
         Mae'r gwesty'n cynnig pris arbennig i gwsmeriaid busnes.
         The hotel offers a special price to business customers.

dangos --- i chi;  show --- to you
         Roedd yr athro cemeg yn dangos yr arbrawf i'r myfyrwyr.
         The chemistry teacher was showing the experiment to the students.

estyn --- i chi;  extend --  to you
         Hoffwn ni estyn croeso cynnes i'n hymwelwyr.
         We would like to extend a warm welcome to our visitors.


In all of the expressions shown above, a treiglad meddal is applied whenever possible after the preposition 'i', for example:

     Rhaid i chi fy ngadael i orffen y garddio.
         You must leave me to finish the gardening.
     Maen nhw'n mynd i werthu'r paentiad i amgueddfa.
         They are going to sell the painting to a museum.
      Mae'r gwesty'n cynnig pris arbennig i gwsmeriaid busnes.
         The hotel offers a special price to business customers.

A treiglad meddal is applied after phrases with the patterns 'well i mi...', 'well gen i' and  'rhaid i mi...'.  For example:

    Roedd yn well iddo fe fynd ar wyliau i Sir Benfro.
        It was better for him to go on holiday to Pembrokeshire.
    Rwyn disgwyl y bydd yn well ganddo fe brynu car trydan.
        I expect that he will prefer to buy an electric car.
     Bydd yn rhaid i ni drefnu cyfarfod ar gyfer y mis nesaf.
            We will have to arrange a meeting for next month.

The set of prepositions 'wrth', 'tra', 'gan' and 'fel'  may all in particular circumstances represent the English word 'while'.

'wrth' is used to mean 'while', in the sense that someone is carrying out two actions at the same time.  A soft mutation is applied where possible after 'wrth'. For example:

     Roedd hi'n gwau wrth wylio'r teledu.
            She was knitting while watching the television.
     Crafodd y car wrth yrru i mewn i'r man parcio.
            He scratched the car while driving into the parking space.
     Gwnaethon nhw gyfarfod wrth deithio ar drn.
            They met while travelling on a train.

'tra' is always linked at a tense of the verb bod, creating phrases such as 'while I am...' and 'while I was...'.  No treiglad is applied after tra.  Examples are:

    Roeddwn i'n byw yn y tŷ hwnnw tra roeddwn i'n fyfyriwr.
          I lived in that house while I was a student.
    Rhaid i chi ymweld 'r castell tra eich bod yn y dref.
          You must visit the castle while you are in the town.
    Teithiodd o amgylch Affrica tra oedd yn ifanc.
          He travelled around Africa while he was young.

'gan' is often used when an extra action is added to the end of a sentence, almost as an after-thought.  It again has the meaning 'while'. 
'gan' produces a treiglad meddal where possible:

   Gwnaethon ni gerdded ar hyd y promend gan fwyta hufen i.
        We walked along the promenade while eating ice-cream.
   Aeth y myfyrwyr am ginio gan adael eu bagiau yn yr ystafell ddosbarth.
        The students went for lunch while leaving their bags in the classroom.  
   Cerddon nhw i fyny'r mynydd gan obeithio y byddai'r glaw yn stopio.
        They walked up the mountain while hoping that the rain would stop.
'fel' can represent the English word 'while' in the sense of 'at the time that...', or  'as...'.  No treiglad is applied after fel. Examples are:

    Fel roedden ni'n croesi'r bont, daeth cwch ar hyd yr afon.
           While we were crossing the bridge, a boat came along the river.
    Fel roedd y ffermwr yn agor y git, rhedodd y defaid i'r cae.
           While the farmer was opening the gate, the sheep ran into the field. 
    Fel byddaf yn cerdded trwy'r dref, byddaf yn edrych am fwyty.
           While I am walking through the town, I will look for a restaurant.


In this section we will look at a further collection of common phrases and idioms using the preposition 'yn', meaning 'in':

yn y pen draw - in the long run
       Mae'n debygol yn y pen draw y bydd Iwerddon yn cael ei haduno.
       It is likely that Ireland will eventually be reunited.

yn yr un cwch - in the same situation     
      Roedd llawer o weithwyr yn yr un cwch pan gaeodd y pyllau glo a'r 
      gweithfeydd dur.
      Many workers were in the same situation when the coal mines and 
      steel works closed.

yn y bore bach - very early in the morning
      Mae'r ffermwr yn dechrau yn y llaethdy yn y bore bach.
      The farmer begins in the dairy very early in the morning.

yn y diwedd - in the end 
      Gwnaethon nhw gadw'r hen gar am flynyddoedd, ond yn y diwedd 
       fe wnaethant ei ddisodli.
      They kept the old car for years, but in the end they replaced it.

yn llygad ei le - absolutely right
       Roedd yn llygad ei le i beidio thalu'r tl parcio.
       He was absolutely right to not pay the parking charge.

yn oriau mn y bore - in the early hours of the morning
       Dechreuodd y tn yn y ffatri yn oriau mn y bore.
       The fire in the factory started in the early hours of the morning. 

yn y bn - basically       
       Mae'n gwneud esgusodion ond yn y bn dydy e ddim eisiau 
       weithio yn Llundain.
       He makes excuses but basically he does not want to work in London.

yn niffyg - because of the lack of, in the absence of
      Yn niffyg paratoi, aeth yr alldaith i drafferthion.
      Because of a lack of preparation, the expedition got into difficulties.

yn y blaen - in the forefront
     Mae'r brifysgol yn y blaen gydag ymchwil ar ynni'r llanw.
     The university is in the forefront with research on tidal energy.

ac yn y blaen - and so on
     Mae'r adroddiad yn trafod ffyrdd, rheilffyrdd, trafnidiaeth ac yn y blaen.
     The report discusses roads, railways, transport and so on.

yn nghysgod - in the shadow of
     Mae ein busnes lleol yn nghysgod cwmnau rhyngwladol mawr.
     Our local business is in the shadow of large multinational companies.

yn fy ngwaed - in my blood
      Cafodd ei fagu yn Aberdaron ac roedd ganddo'r mr yn ei waed.
      He was brought up Aberdaron and had the sea in his blood.

yn fy myw -  for the life of me
      Ni allaf i yn fy myw deall pam y gadawodd ei swydd ar y fferm.
      I can't for the life of me understand why he left his job on the farm.

yn ei lawn hyd - at its full length
    Roedd y tapestri yn cael ei arddangos yn ei lawn hyd yn yr amgueddfa.
    The tapestry was on display in its full length in the museum.

yn ei hwyliau - in good spirits
     Roedd y myfyrwyr yn ei hwyliau pan oedd yr arholiadau wedi gorffen.
     The students were in good spirits when the examinations had finished.

yn ei elfen - in his element
      Roedd yn ei elfen yn dadlau am wleidyddiaeth.
      He was in his element arguing about politics.

yn ei bryd - in its own time
      Bydd hi'n gwneud dewis o yrfa yn ei phryd.
      She will make a choice of career in her own time.

The Mabinogion

Between 1838 and 1845, Lady Charlotte Guest published seven volumes of Welsh folk tales with the title `The Mabinogion`.
Charlotte was the daughter of an English earl, and had a great talent for literature and languages.
When she was 21 she moved to London and met John Josiah Guest, and they married the following year.
John Guest was the wealthy owner of an iron works in Merthyr Tudfil, and had been elected as a member of parliament.
The couple settled in Merthyr, and Charlotte developed a great interest in Celtic and medieval history.
She learned Welsh, and began work in translating the two earliest manuscripts of Welsh folk tales, the White Book of Rhydderch and the Red Book of Hergest.
The books had been written by hand in the 14th century.
The White Book of Rhydderch was produced by monks at Strata Florida Abbey, and contains poetry and religious texts as well as the folk tales.
The Red Book of Hergest contains further folk tales, and also a collection of herbal remedies of a family of doctors known as the Physicians of Myddfai.
The folk tales which were written down in the books would have been well known to the early Celtic people of Wales.
It is easy to imagine the tales being told around the fire at night in a village round house.
The tales would have been carried from village to village by storytellers, and handed down from generation to generation.
Charlotte Guest translated and published four volumes of stories which seem to be events in the lives of Welsh royal families.
Many of the events in the Mabinogion are imagined to have taken place in the western parts of Wales.
Other volumes include stories about the court of King Arthur.
The stories are fictional and full of magical and supernatural happenings.
In the second volume, the lady Branwen is kept prisoner in a castle in Ireland.
She trains a starling to carry a message to her brother in Wales to rescue her.
In the fourth volume, a beautiful woman Blodeuwedd is created out of flowers as a wife for Lleu.
They marry and rule the lands of Eifionnydd and Ardudwy.
The Mabinogion is the forerunner of modern fantasy such as `The Lord of the Rings` and `Game of Thrones`.

Translate the sentence:

Between 1838 and 1845, Lady Charlotte Guest published seven volumes of Welsh folk tales with the title `The Mabinogion`.

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.


faulty   diffygiol      adjective;    internet   rhyngrwyd   noun (f);
supplier   cyflenwr  noun (m);   trace     olrhain  verb;
trail   trywydd  noun (m);    derelict   diffaith   adjective;
carry out   cynnal   verb;     astonish    syfrdanu  verb;
immigrant   mewnfudwr   noun (m);    refugee   ffoaduriad  noun;
seize  atafaelu   verb;       detention centre   ganolfan gadw;
asylum  lloches  noun (f);

The police have been receiving complaints from the public.
Electrical goods, which appeared to be manufactured by well-known companies, were found to be defective and dangerous.
When customers returned the items, they were told that the goods were fake.
Cheap counterfeit electrical items were imported and expensive brand labels were put on them.
The fake goods were on sale on the internet, and on market stalls.
Detectives succeeded in tracing the suppliers.
They followed the trail back to an old factory hidden away in a derelict industrial area.
The police carried out a raid and were astonished by what they found.
Many imigrants from Africa and Asia were living and working in the factory.
Living conditions were very poor, with many people sleeping in a crowded room.
The immigrants were refugees fleeing from war or poverty in their countries.
They had been smuggled to Britain by boat and taken to the factory by people smugglers.
They were told that they must work in the factory making the counterfeit goods.
They received no wages, but were frightened to to run away and get caught by the police.
The police seized the goods in the factory and took them to a laboratory for testing, and the factory owners were arrested.
The illegal immigrants were also arrested, and taken to a detention centre.
However, they were allowed to have discussions with lawyers who could help them to apply for asylum as refugees.
They all hope one day to be lucky and find a safe place to live.

Translate the sentence:

The police have been receiving complaints from the public.

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

Re-use of an old railway in Anglesey

A proposal to bring the Amlwch to Gaerwen railway line on Anglesey back into use has generated a storm of controversy on social media.  There have been numerous comments both for and against the proposals.

Originally known as the Anglesey Central Railway, the closed line extends north almost 18 miles from the North Wales main line at Gaerwen through Llangefni to Amlwch. The railway's tracks remain in place. The line was opened in 1867, passenger services stopped in 1964 but freight traffic continued until 1993.

Before any decision is made about the future use of the old railway, a survey has been carried out to obtain the opinions of local people.  Comments are shown alongside.  You are invited to translate the comments into Welsh, so that a bilingual report can be produced.


line   lein  noun (f);    benefit  budd  noun (m);
Holyhead   Caergybi;   primarily  yn bennaf;  
heritage   treftadaeth  noun (f);  recognise  cydnabod  verb;
encourage  annog  verb;

Translate the sentence:

The line has been used for freight until thirty years ago, track is still in good condition so it can be reopened as a railway.

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 wealthy was the third Marquess of Bute, and how did he obtain this wealth?

How were the personalities of the Marquess of Bute and William Burges different?

Where is Castell Coch, and in what condition was it before the Marquess began his project?

What use did the Marquess wish to make of Castell Coch?

What architectural style was used in the project, and what features were created for the castle?

Why was the castle never fully completed?

What happened to the castle after the time of the third Marquess of Bute?

What special uses are made of the castle at the present day?

Castell Coch

Etifeddodd trydydd Ardalydd Bute ystd helaeth ei deulu pan oedd yn faban ac, erbyn iddo adael Rhydychen, soniwyd mai ef oedd y dyn cyfoethocaf yn y byd. Etifeddwyd ei gyfoeth gan yr ail Ardalydd Bute, a adeiladodd ddociau Caerdydd.

Roedd y pensaer ar dylunydd William Burges yn fab i beiriannydd sifil llwyddiannus iawn, ai gwmnin enwog am adeiladur arglawdd yn San Steffan.

Roedd y ddau ddyn, a gyfarfu ym 1865, yn wahanol iawn. Roedd Bute yn ddifrifol a meudwyaidd, a Burges yn llawn mynd ac yn gymdeithasol. Ond roeddent yn rhannu cryn frwdfrydedd dros bensaernaeth a chelf ganoloesol. O fewn blwyddyn ou cyfarfod cyntaf, roedd Burges wedi llunio adroddiad yn egluro sut y gellid gwella Castell Caerdydd thŵr a gardd ffos wedii datgloddio.

Dim ond dair blynedd yn ddiweddarach, trodd Burges ei sylw at Gastell Coch. Roedd y castell, ar ochr bryn yn edrych allan dros Cwm Taf, yn adfeilion. Awgrymodd ddau gam posibl ymlaen. Yn gyntaf gadael yr adfeilion fel ag yr oeddent. Ac yn ail eu hadfer i fod yn breswylfa wledig i fyw ynddin achlysurol yn ystod yr haf.

Roedd yn sicr o ddigwydd. Roedd yn obsesiwn gan yr ardalydd. Aeth Burges ati i greu ffantasi canoloesol mawreddog a adeiladwyd ar sail dau dŵr mawr a neuadd urddasol caer Gilbert de Clare or 13eg ganrif.

Ailadeiladodd y porthdy, cododd uchder y tyrau a rhoes iddynt doeau conigol gyda cheiliogod gwynt gilt-copr ar eu pennau. Gosododd rodfa ben mur a galeri ymladd o bren.

Ond roedd yr ailgread dilys hwn yn dal i gynnwys pob cyfleustra modern, gan gynnwys gwres canolog.

Pan fu farw Burges yn sydyn ym 1881, dim ond y neuadd wledda oedd wedii haddurno ai dodrefnun llawn. Gadawyd y gwaith i griw o grefftwyr gwblhaur ystafelloedd mwyaf goludog, gan gynnwys yr ystafell groeso gromennog anhygoel.

Ond efallai bod yr hwyl wedi gadael y prosiect pan fu farw William Burges. Nid oes cofnod ohonon aros yng Nghastell Coch ar l 1881 ac ni orffennwyd rhai or ystafelloedd byth.

Yn raddol, aeth yn segur a chafodd ei atafael i filwyr Prydeinig ac Americanaidd yn ystod yr Ail Ryfel Byd un o farics mwyaf afradlon y byd, maen siŵr. Ers hynny, mae wedi cael ail wynt yn drysor cenedlaethol annwyl iawn, yn seren y byd ffilm a theledu ac yn lleoliad priodasau poblogaidd iawn. Daw dros 60 o barau bob blwyddyn i briodi yng nghanol delweddaeth wych yr ystafell groeso.

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