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Greetings 1 updated 2021-04-10

Croeso - Welcome to the Welsh course on Duolingo.

This Duolingo course is designed to cover the CEFR levels A1 and A2 as taught on the LearnWelsh/DysguCymraeg Mynediad and Sylfaen level courses for adults in Wales. See https://www.learnwelsh.cymru Let's start!

Greetings

Bore da = Good morning

This has two parts:

Note that the usual word order for describing things in Welsh is the noun followed by the adjective, so the Welsh Bore da (literally 'morning good') becomes 'Good morning' when translated into English.

Similarly, Nos da (Good night) which, as in English, is what we say to someone as a farewell last thing at night:

In the first lesson, we use some Welsh first names to help to make the sentences:

Note - Following the usual practice in Wales, personal names are not translated or changed in spelling between Welsh and English. Where a place has a different name in both languages, though, we do translate them.

Note that Draig/Dragon is not used as a name in Wales! The Draig Goch is a national symbol.

Please take the time to read the following notes:

Section notes - 'Tips and Notes'

Most sections of this course have notes explaining new patterns and usages, or giving background information about a topic.

Do read them so that you can get the most out of the course. We keep them updated in response to feedback, especially to points and questions raised in the discussion forums of the course. To see how to find the course notes, go to https://forum.duolingo.com/topic/924/hot and read the discussion 'Course tips and notes'. The 'duome' link there is useful for browsing all the notes in one place. We recommend reading the notes for each new section as you start it.

Pronunciation

Nearly every sound in Welsh is also found in British English. Note that Welsh uses two letters as vowels that are usually treated as consonants in English, w and y. A fuller description of the Welsh alphabet is in the notes for a later part of the course.

There are some very good short videos by Welsh Plus on YouTube to help in learning Welsh pronunciation. Look on the web for 'Welshplus Youtube pronunciation basics'. We recommend that you work your way through all of the videos in the series - they are very clear, and far better than trying to follow any written description of pronunciation. Go back to them at intervals as you follow the course. If you are still unclear about the pronunciation of individual words, many have live voice recordings in the www.gweiadur.com on-line dictionary or at forvo.com.

Discussions

On the Duolingo web site you will find an area for discussing particular sentences. If you are looking for an explanation of some new pattern or word, please look in the course notes first.

Typing accented characters.

Duo provides some accented characters in a menu, but this does not give the full range required in Welsh, so:

Reporting system bugs

The volunteer course teams have no access to the underlying Duolingo software. Report bugs here - https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204728264-How-do-I-report-a-bug-

Audio

The audio on this course is produced by a computer-generated voice. The voice has a neutral accent and usually gives the correct pronunciation or close to it. The course team can do nothing any glitches except to disable the sound for that word or sentence. Also see https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204762054-Troubleshooting

A note to Welsh speakers

Croeso i Duolingo! This course is based on a colloquial register of Welsh as taught in the DysguCymraeg Mynediad and Sylfaen courses. It does not cover formal registers of Welsh, dialect or slang forms of Welsh. Please do not suggest alternative answers based on them. However, please do contribute to the course discussions!

We do not attempt to give all possible ways of translating phrases, just the more common ones as taught to adult learners.

Further information about learning Welsh is here -http://www.duolingo.com/comment/13186004

Greetings 1 updated 2020-10-11

Croeso/Welcome to the Welsh course on Duolingo.

This Duolingo course is designed to cover the CEFR levels A1 and A2 as taught on the LearnWelsh/DysguCymraeg Mynediad and Sylfaen level courses for adults in Wales. See https://www.learnwelsh.cymru


Let's start! - Greetings

Bore da = Good morning

This has two parts:

Note that the usual word order for describing things in Welsh is the noun followed by the adjective, so the Welsh Bore da (literally 'morning good') becomes 'Good morning' when translated into English.

Similarly, Nos da (Good night) which, as in English, is what we say to someone as a farewell last thing at night:


In the first lesson, we use some Welsh first names to help to make the sentences:

Note - Following the usual practice in Wales, personal names are not translated or changed in spelling between Welsh and English. Where a place has a different name in both languages, though, we do translate them.

Note that Draig/Dragon is not used as a name in Wales! The Draig Goch is a national symbol.


Please take the time to read the following notes...


Section notes - 'Tips and Notes'

Most sections of this course have notes explaining new patterns and usages, or giving background information about a topic.

Do read them so that you can get the most out of the course. We keep them updated in response to feedback, especially to points and questions raised in the discussion forums of the course. For how to find the notes, go to https://forum.duolingo.com/topic/924/hot and read the sticky discussion on 'Course tips and notes'.


Pronunciation

Nearly every sound in Welsh is also found in British English. Note that Welsh uses two letters as vowels that are usually treated as consonants in English, w and y.

A fuller description of the Welsh alphabet is in the notes for a later part of the course.

There are some very good short videos by Welsh Plus on YouTube to help in learning Welsh pronunciation. Look on the web for Welshplus Youtube pronunciation basics.

We recommend that you work your way through all of the videos in the series - they are very clear, and far better than trying to follow any written description of pronunciation. Go back to them at intervals as you follow the course. If you are still unclear about the pronunciation of individual words, many have live voice recordings in the www.gweiadur.com on-line dictionary.


Discussions

On the Duolingo web site you will find an area for discussing particular sentences. If you are looking for an explanation of some new pattern or word, please look in the course notes first.


Typing accented characters.

Duo provides some accented characters in a menu, but this does not give the full range required in Welsh, so:


Reporting system bugs

The volunteer course teams have no access to the underlying Duolingo software. Report bugs here - https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204728264-How-do-I-report-a-bug-

Audio

The audio on this course is produced by a computer-generated voice. The voice has a neutral accent and gives the correct pronunciation or close to it. The course team can do nothing any glitches except to disable the sound for that word or sentence.

Also see https://support.duolingo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204762054-Troubleshooting


A note to Welsh speakers

Croeso i Duolingo! This course is based on a colloquial register of Welsh as taught in the DysguCymraeg Mynediad and Sylfaen courses. It does not cover formal registers of Welsh, dialect or slang forms of Welsh. Please do not suggest alternative answers based on them. However, please do contribute to the course discussions!

We do not attempt to give all possible ways of translating phrases, just the more common ones as taught to adult learners.


Further information about learning Welsh is here -http://www.duolingo.com/comment/13186004


Greetings 2 updated 2018-12-09


Introducing Yourself

When introducing ourselves by name or occupation in Welsh, we always emphasise the name or occupation. We do this by putting our name, Sioned, say, at the front of the sentence:

Sioned would not say * 'Dw i'n Sioned' - that is the wrong order of words for this kind of sentence - the name, role or occupation, etc, has to come first.

Remember - It can be interesting to learn the Welsh and English equivalents of personal names, but we do not translate people's names between the two languages.


Welsh has no indefinite article (a / an). So, a dragon could say:


Confirming someone's name - perhaps you misheard it

To confirm someone's name or occupation, we can form a question simply by raising our voice a little at the end of the phrase:

Note - you would not ask 'Dych chi Sioned?' - that order of words is incorrect when asking about names and occupations or roles.


Asking a Name

The question Pwy dych chi? means Who are you? It can sound abrupt in English, but it is perfectly acceptable in everyday Welsh speech and is often heard.


Note - In these lessons, the new characters Gareth (male), Sioned (female), and Eleri Lingo (female) are introduced. Apart from learning a few more common Welsh first names, these will give you some useful listening practice. The word draig (dragon) is also introduced.

Note - This unit introduces the letter and sound /ch/, which is not used in English, but it is pronounced the same as 'Loch' in Scotland. If you have not already done so, look at the videos here to learn how to pronounce things in Welsh.


Opportunities for learning Welsh in Wales

In Wales, there are many locally-held classes aimed at teaching Welsh to adults under the title 'DysguCymraeg' or 'LearnWelsh'. The two basic courses are usually called Mynediad (entry-level) and Sylfaen (basic level).

There are related courses aimed at people with young children called 'Cymraeg i'r Teulu' ('Welsh for the Family').


Further information about learning Welsh is here


Greetings 2 updated 2021-09-22

Introducing Yourself When introducing ourselves by name or occupation in Welsh, we always emphasise the name or occupation. We do this by putting our name, Sioned, say, at the front of the sentence:

Sioned dw i - I am Sioned = (literally, "Sioned am I") Sioned would not say * 'Dw i'n Sioned' - that is the wrong order of words for this kind of sentence - the name, role or occupation, etc, has to come first.

Remember - It can be interesting to learn the Welsh and English equivalents of personal names, but we do not translate people's names between the two languages.

Welsh has no indefinite article (a / an). So, a dragon could say:

Draig dw i - I am a dragon (lit. "A dragon am I"). Confirming someone's name - perhaps you misheard it To confirm someone's name or occupation, we can form a question simply by raising our voice a little at the end of the phrase:

Sioned dych chi? - Are you Sioned? Draig dych chi? - Are you a dragon? Note - you would not ask 'Dych chi Sioned?' - that order of words is incorrect when asking about names and occupations or roles.

Asking a Name The question Pwy dych chi? means Who are you? It can sound abrupt in English, but it is perfectly acceptable in everyday Welsh speech and is often heard.

Note - In these lessons, the new characters Gareth (male), Sioned (female), and Eleri Lingo (female) are introduced. Apart from learning a few more common Welsh first names, these will give you some useful listening practice. The word draig (dragon) is also introduced.

Note - This unit introduces the letter and sound /ch/, which is not used in English, but it is pronounced the same as 'Loch' in Scotland. If you have not already done so, look at the videos here to learn how to pronounce things in Welsh.

Opportunities for learning Welsh in Wales In Wales, there are many locally-held classes aimed at teaching Welsh to adults under the title 'DysguCymraeg' or 'LearnWelsh'. The two basic courses are usually called Mynediad (entry-level) and Sylfaen (basic level). There are related courses aimed at people with young children called 'Cymraeg i'r Teulu' ('Welsh for the Family').


Present 1 updated 2020-04-17

Please remember that there are occasional known glitches in the computer-generated voice - unfortunately the course team can do nothing about this, so please do not report audio faults. They have already been noted and they may be able to be fixed in the future.


Simple Sentences

Every verb can be used to make simple sentences in a standard way using forms of another verb, bod (meaning 'being' or 'to be'). We have already met two forms of bod:

Now:

To say 'I like', we link 'I am' (dw i) with 'liking' ('hoffi') using a small word which does not actually translate into English when it is used like this - yn. In this pattern, the basic word yn is changed to 'n if it follows a word ending in a vowel. So, 'I like' is made up of:

giving us (remembering that yn => 'n after a vowel):

Note how dw i and 'n join together.

And so, following the same idea but this time using dych chi (you are), we get:

So, what do you and I like? Coffee, perhaps, and the Welsh for 'coffee' is coffi:

(Note that although 'n/yn here is not actually translated into English, it does act as a marker showing that the action is 'in progress', unfinished. Later in the course you will find other words used instead of 'n/yn to mark completed or newly completed actions.)


But we don't like coffee...

The usual word for 'not' in Welsh is ddim:

So,

Note that yn is separated from dw i ddim by a space - it does not get changed to 'n. That is because ddim ends with a consonant, not a vowel.

Note that Welsh makes no distinction here between the English 'do not' and 'don't.'


Do we like things?

With dw i... and dych chi..., we can turn them into questions just by lifting our tone of voice at the end of the sentence, as we do when asking a question in English:


Some dialect variations

Welsh has a number of dialects; four or five main ones, with large areas of geographical overlap. Different generations also tend to use different language patterns, too, just as with any modern language. You may live in one of those areas and you may already be learning some slight variations from the forms we generally use on this course. Don't worry about it, just ask your local tutor for advice if this applies to you.

One common variation is in a phrase we introduce in this section - dych chi (you are). In parts of north-west Wales in particular you may be learning this as dach chi, which reflects a local pronunciation. All the way through this course you can respond with dach chi instead of dych chi if you wish. Later in the course you will also meet dach chi being used as a prompt. It is important to become familiar with some simple dialect variations as they do come up in the national media and you will hear them all over Wales because people travel around so much - we don't change the way we speak just because we are working and living in or visiting a different area. There is some more information about the Welsh dialects in the notes for the later section called 'Dialects'.

Note that in this introductory course we do not cover many dialect variations, just those few commonly taught in the two introductory levels in courses for adults in Wales under the national 'LearnWelsh' scheme (www.learnwelsh.cymru).


Further information about learning Welsh is here - https://www.duolingo.com/comment/13186004


Present 2 updated 2019-10-02

Some more examples of 'doing things' in Welsh

A number of other words, both verbs and nouns, are introduced in this unit so that you can start building up your vocabulary. Building a wide vocabulary is essential in learning a language, and there are many tools around to help you.

In this unit, all the verbs are presented in the present tense. For example:

Remember that the 'to' in 'to drink' in the third example is included in the meaning of the single Welsh word yfed. Yfed means 'drinking' or 'to drink', so no additional Welsh word is needed for the 'to' in this pattern.

yn is used to link dw i etc to the following verb. It is usual to shorten it to'n when it follows a Welsh vowel (a e i o u w y). This is normal for any positive sentence. When using a negative sentence, the yn is always full and again comes just before the verb-noun. For example:


Cinio - lunch or dinner

Just as the basic structure of Welsh is very different from that of English - as in something as basic as word order, for example - Welsh words and English word do not always have a one-for-one translation. In this section you will meet an example - cinio - which is used for both 'lunch' and 'dinner'.

In English, different people use different terms for the various meals of the day. This course does not try to address that, but it is consistent in translating the various terms:


Verb-nouns

The basic, dictionary-form of a verb in Welsh (hoffi, yfed, prynu, etc) is known as a verb-noun (berfenw). As you will see later in the course, verb-nouns can be used very flexibly in Welsh.

The nearest equivalent in English is the 'ing-participle' form of verbs (liking, drinking, buying, etc) but it is often also translated as the 'to-infinitive' (to like, to drink, to buy, etc).

In a dictionary, a verb-noun is often idenitifed with the abbreviation be for 'berfenw'.

Translating standalone verb-nouns

Please note that on this course, if you are asked to translate a verb-noun on its own (for example, bwyta, hoffi, yfed, etc), and not as part of a longer phrase, you should use the forms 'xxxing' or 'to xxx'. ('eating', 'to eat', 'to like', 'drinking'). Do not answer with just 'xxx' (eat, like, drink, swim, etc) as those forms can often be mixed up with nouns (a swim, a drink, ...) or commands (eat!, drink!). When you look them up in a dictionary the distinction is made clear, but we cannot do that on Duo.


Welsh pronouns

In colloquial Welsh, verbs are usually followed by their associated subject pronouns, for example dw i, dych chi, (I am, you are), etc.

(In formal Welsh the pronouns are often dropped, but we do not use or accept formal registers of Welsh on this course.)

For reference, here is a table of the usual pronouns:

Cymraeg English Notes
i I, me sometimes fi
ti you informal singular
e or o he, him e in southern dialects, o in northern dialects; sometimes fe, fo
hi she, her
ni we, us
chi you plural, and formal singular
nhw they, them

You will meet the verb-forms that go with each of these later in the course.


Clothes 1 updated 2019-08-25

This unit introduces some terms relating to clothing.

Gender and plurals of Welsh nouns

As in many other languages, nouns in Welsh are either masculine or feminine in gender. In Welsh, this affects how they are used in the language and in particular on how the initial letters in some words can change for various reasons. This is called 'mutation'.

The mutations aren't introduced yet and you won't need to concern yourself with them until they gradually start to be introduced later in the course. Just for an example, notice how the first letters of these feminine words change after the word y (the):

Note that plural nouns in Welsh have no gender - for example, these common articles of clothing have no gender: teits (tights), sanau (socks), and menig (gloves).

Note that there are several ways of forming plurals in Welsh and few guidelines about which method is used for a particular word. A few words have more than one plural. Like genders, plurals are best learned as you go.

Any dictionary will show a noun's gender and its plural.


Some of the words for clothing introduced in this unit are (f - feminine, m - masculine, pl - plural):

You will notice that several of these words in Modern Welsh are similar to their Modern English equivalents. This is not surprising when you think that Welsh and English have developed as close neighbours for the past 1500 years or so. Both of them draw on the Brythonic language of Britain which dates back to pre-Roman times, and both have been influenced by Latin from the time of the Romans in Britain onwards. And of course several of the items of clothing themselves are relatively recent developments.

Both languages have many dialects (Welsh has perhaps five main dialects), and it is noticeable that several Welsh language patterns and words are found in the various English dialects of Wales.

However, the structure of Modern Welsh is much closer to its Brythonic roots than Modern English is now, and this difference in structure and word order means that trying to translate word-for-word from one language to the other often does not work well at all.

Welsh is not that difficult to learn once you realise that it is different!


There is no 'a/an' in Welsh

Remember that there is no indefinite article 'a/an' in Welsh:

In the following sentences, for example, 'a/an' is required to make sense in the English, even though there is no equivalent in the Welsh:

Similarly, with plurals we may use the word 'some' in the English translation where there is no equivalent in the Welsh:


Someone's things

To show that someone owns something we simply put the 'owner' after the thing 'owned':


Adjectives usually come after the noun

When we are describing things, the adjective, the describing word, usually comes after the noun in Welsh:

As in any language, there are always exceptions. In Welsh there are about 10 adjectives which always come before the noun, and perhaps 20-25 which can come either before or after, creating slightly different meanings. Only a very few of these will come up in this course.


Work 1 updated 2021-09-22


Stating your occupation

This unit introduces some nouns for work and occupations. For example:

Note that the name of the occupation comes first in the sentence. This is the correct construction in Welsh when saying what job, occupation or role somebody has - just as when saying what someone's name is, as you learned earlier in the course:


Asking what someone's name or job is

We use the same pattern to ask what someone's name or job is, but we use a rising tone towards the end of the question, as we usually do with questions in English.

The yes/no answering system can be quite complicated, but in this case it is very simple. For a question that does not start with a verb, we simply use Ie (Yes) or Nage (No):

Note that on some areas you will hear Naci or other variations instead of Nage and Ia instead of Ie. Ia and Naci are taught forms on DysguCymraeg 'north' courses.


Names of occupations

Many originally male-orientated occupations and nouns will end in -wr (from gŵr meaning 'a man'), such as ffermwr, and siaradwr, but these can be changed to a specifically female version of the same occupation by changing the -wr to -wraig (from gwraig meaning 'a woman'). For example:

In practice, though, the female versions are not always used. The base version is also used as the non-gendered word, even though it remains a grammatically male noun.

A few other occupations have their own specifically feminine versions, such as:

Others make no distinction and can be used for either gender:


Working somewhere

To say where we work, we use mewn or yn, both meaning 'in' or sometimes 'at'.

The difference between yn and mewn is that yn is in a specific place, whilst mewn means in a non-specific place. Yn is also used when saying 'in the...' (yn y...), in your..., in Cardiff, and so on. (Note that when yn is used fot 'in/at' it does not contract to 'n after a vowel):


'Welsh', 'Wales', 'Welsh language', 'Welsh-language'

It is important to distinguish between the various meanings of 'Welsh' and related words:

Note that some people will refer to 'Welsh school' when meaning 'Welsh-medium school'. There is more information about Welsh-medium education here - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh-medium_education

Similarly:


The 1 updated 2021-01-06


The definite article - 'the'

When saying the in Cymraeg, there are three forms used: 'r, yr and y.

To know which form to use, 'r, yr or y, just go through the sequence 1, 2, 3 below and use whichever one applies first. Note that the 'r, yr, y refers to the word following it in each case:

1 - 'r is used following, and attached to, a word ending in a vowel (a e i o u w y, in Welsh), regardless of what letter the next word starts with. For example:

2 - yr is used before vowels and h-. For example:

3 - Otherwise, y is used. For example:

An example of all three:

Note - occasionally, you will see 'y' instead of 'yr' used in front of some words beginning with w-. This is not necessarily wrong, so do not think that you have misunderstood the rules if you do come across it. It tends to occur with feminine nouns beginning with gw-, especially gwl-, gwn-, gwr-, where the -w- has the quality of a consonant. For example, y wawr, y wers, y wraig, y wlad, y wrach.

Note that 'r is always written attached to the preceding word - this is not always obvious in Duolingo as its underlying display formatting rules sometimes separates them. The course team have no control over that.


Weak soft mutation of feminine nouns after 'r/y (the)

'r/y cause a 'weak' soft mutation of feminine nouns. 'Weak' because the initial letters ll- and rh- resist the mutation caused by 'r/y. Here are examples of the weak soft mutation of some feminine nouns:

Plural nouns and masculine noun do not mutate after 'r/y.


A table of the full soft mutation

For reference:

original letter soft mutation
p- b-
t- d-
c- g-
b- f-
d- dd-
g- -
m- f-
ll- l-
rh- r-

Remember that dd, ll and rh are all single letters in Welsh (along with ch, ff, ng, ph, th).

Note that when g- takes a soft mutation it vanishes, and that both b- and m- take a soft mutation to f-.


The Welsh Alphabet - Yr Wyddor Gymraeg

In Cymraeg, the alphabet has 28 letters (29 if we include the loan letter j). Eight of the letters, called 'digraphs', are written as two characters - but in Cymraeg, these always count as a single letter.

In the list, v stands for vowel (llafariad), c for consonant (cytsain), and d for digraph (deugraff). All digraphs are also consonants. The name of the letter is in brackets (some have more than one) - the grave accent ` over e just indicates that is pronounced as a short vowel, and ˆ indicates a long vowel.

  1. A (â) - v
  2. B (bî) - c
  3. C (èc) - c
  4. Ch (èch) - d
  5. D (dî) - c
  6. Dd (èdd) - d
  7. E (ê) - v
  8. F (èf) - c
  9. Ff (èff) - d
  10. G (èg) - c
  11. Ng (èng) - d
  12. H (âets, hâ) - c
  13. I (î, î-dot) - v
  14. J (jê) - c
  15. L (èl) - c
  16. Ll (èll) - d
  17. M (èm)- c
  18. N (èn) - c
  19. O (ô) - v
  20. P (pî) - c
  21. Ph (ffî) - d
  22. R (êr) - c
  23. Rh (rhî, rhô) - d
  24. S (ès) - c
  25. T (tî) - c
  26. Th (èth) - d
  27. U (û, û-bedol, û-cwpan, û-utgorn) - v
  28. W (ŵ) - v
  29. Y (ŷ) - v

Note that in some regional accents, î and û can sound the same or very similar, so it can be useful to call them î-dot and û-bedol, etc to distinguish them clearly.

Note that many people use the sounds of the letters rather than the names of the letters when spelling things out - be careful to notice which method they are using!


Note that you must be careful to remember the digraphs when looking up words in a Welsh dictionary. For example, chwech comes after cywir because ch is a different letter from c and comes after it in a dictionary.


Numbers 1 updated 2021-09-22

There are two counting systems in Cymraeg: the decimal and vigesimal systems. During this course, you will learn both.

In this section you will learn the modern decimal system (y system ddegol in Cymraeg) that is based on tens. This use of the system is wider than compared to the traditional vigesimal system, and is suitable in most situations. It is quite straightforward to learn.

The traditional vigesimal system (y system ugeiniol in Cymraeg) is based on twenties. It is still used when telling the time and when using ordinal numbers in a date (2nd, 20th, 31st, and so on). It is still often used when talking about money, and about someone's age. We cover this system later in the course.

More information on both systems can be found here (Wikipedia article).


When giving the Welsh answers in this section and elsewhere, please write out the number in full - this is important practice!


Some numbers

The modern system in Welsh follows a regular decimal pattern:

English Cymraeg English Cymraeg
one un eleven un deg un
two dau twelve un deg dau
three tri thirteen un deg tri
four pedwar fourteen un deg pedwar
five pump fifteen un deg pump
six chwech sixteen un deg chwech
seven saith seventeen un deg saith
eight wyth eighteen un deg wyth
nine naw thirty one tri deg un
ten deg forty five pedwar deg pump

Note that once you know the first ten numbers you can construct the rest very easily. For example:


Singular nouns follow numbers

Note that in Welsh the singular noun is used after a number, not the plural. For example:


Note that pump, chwech and cant (100) drop their last letter (-p, -ch, -t) in front of nouns, adjectives and other numbers, changing to pum, chwe and can.


Different forms of dau, tri, pedwar used with feminine nouns

Although it is not practised in this section, you may come across some other forms of 2, 3 and 4 which are always used with feminine nouns. Here, athro (teacher) is masculine and athrawes is specifically a female teacher:

These forms will be practised later in the course.


Using dau and dwy after the definite article 'r/yr/y

Both dau and dwy change after the definite article:

Ths type of change is called a 'soft mutation', and it is covered in more detail later in the course.


Hyphens in numbers in English

Normal English usage is to put a hyphen between two-part numbers - twenty-five, thirty-one, ninety-nine, etc. This avoids confusion between expressions such as 'thirty four-part complete kits' and 'thirty-four part-complete kits'.


Wanting updated 2021-03-01

Remember - please do not report audio faults or mispronunciations, as there is nothing that the course team can do about them at present.


'I am' and 'You are'

Very simply:

Wanting

There are several ways to express want in Cymraeg, and in this unit the noun eisiau is used. For example:

You can follow eisiau with another noun or a verb-noun. For example:

Note - For those who have done a little Welsh before, remember that the noun eisiau does not have 'n/yn in front of it. The pattern is an exceptional one in Welsh.

Note that Welsh makes no distinction between 'a chocolate', 'some chocolate' or 'chocolate' - there is no specific word for 'a' or 'some' in this sense:

Note that in a negative sentence coffi may also mean '...any coffee':

Note that eisiau is often pronounced isio, isie or isia (although the course voice does not reflect this) and in informal writing it is sometimes spelt as it is pronounced. On the course, we use the standard spelling eisiau, although isio is also introduced as it the version taught in the 'north' versions of the introductory DysguCymraeg courses for adults in Wales.


And

The word for 'and' is a, or ac before vowels:

The vowels in Welsh are a, e, i, o, u - as in English, and also w and y.


Or

The word for 'or' is neu:

Although you have not met the soft mutation yet, for future reference, note that neu causes a soft mutation of a following noun, adjective or verb-noun. IT does not affect a verb.


Asking the question

With dych chi (you are), we simply put a question mark at the end of the sentence and use a rising intonation at the end of the question, as in English - Dych chi...?:

Note that it is not always this simple - some verbs use modified forms for the question. These will be introduced later in the course.


Saying "yes", "no", and "thank you"

This skill also introduces one of the several ways of saying "yes" and "no" in Welsh. The ways of answering 'yes' or 'no' in Welsh are quite varied . For example, in this unit we will practice:

(Note that the Ydw in these a verb related to Dw i (i am). In very many forms of Welsh 'Yes/No' responses we are using a form of a verb instead of words specifically for 'yes' or 'no'. There are specific yes/no words, but they are only used in particular circumstances. This is not a straightforward thing to learn as a beginner, so the various yes/no responses are introduced gradually as they come up in the course for the first time. They are always explained with examples in the relevant course notes, though.)

Note that if you do use the isio dialect form of eisiau, the answer yes/no is different - Oes (Yes); Nac oes (No) - no matter who is answering:


Perhaps you might want some ice cream (hufen iâ), and since you are polite, you will want to say 'thank you ' if someone offers it - diolch (thank you):

For a simple 'No thanks' we have a different expression - Dim diolch:


Welsh - Cymraeg

The word for 'Welsh', meaning 'the Welsh language' is Cymraeg:

There are other meanings and uses of Cymraeg which are introduced later in the course.


Pronunciation - keep practising!

Now would be a good time to go back over those pronunciation videos that we recommended earlier in the course: here they are again https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16sqX2Baprg&list=


Wanting updated 2019-06-28

This skill supports Welsh for the Family Unit 2

Remember - please do not report audio faults or mispronunciations, as there is nothing that the course team can do about them at present.


'I am' and 'You are'

Very simply:

Wanting

There are several ways to express want in Cymraeg, and in this unit eisiau is used. For example:

You can follow eisiau with another noun or a verb-noun. For example:

Note - For those who have done a little Welsh before, eisiau does not have 'n/yn in front of it when used in phrases such as 'I want to go', 'Dewi wants to eat', etc.

Note that eisiau is usually pronounced isio, isie or isia (although the course voice does not reflect this) and in informal writing it is sometimes spelt as it is pronounced. On the course, we use the standard spelling eisiau, although isio is also accepted as it sometimes occurs in print.

Note that Welsh makes no distinction between 'a chocolate', 'some chocolate' or 'chocolate' - there is no specific word for 'a' or 'some' in this sense:

Note that in a negative sentence coffi may also mean '...any coffee':


And

The word for 'and' is a, or ac before vowels:

The vowels in Welsh are a, e, i, o, u - as in English, and also w and y.


Asking the question

With dych chi (you are), we simply put a question mark at the end of the sentence and use a rising intonation at the end of the question, as in English - Dych chi...?:

Note that it is not always this simple - some verbs use modified forms for the question. These will be introduced later in the course.


Saying "yes", "no", and "thank you"

This skill also introduces one of the several ways of saying "yes" and "no" in Welsh. The ways of answering 'yes' or 'no' in Welsh are quite varied . For example, in this unit we will practice:

Perhaps you might want some ice cream (hufen iâ), and since you are polite, you will want to say 'thank you ' if someone offers it - diolch (thank you):

For a simple 'No thanks' we have a slightly different expression - Dim diolch:


Welsh - Cymraeg

The word for 'Welsh', meaning 'the Welsh language' is Cymraeg:


Pronunciation - keep practising!

Now would be a good time to go back over those pronunciation videos that we recommended earlier in the course: here they are again https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16sqX2Baprg&list=


Further information about learning Welsh is here


Animals 1 updated 2020-04-26

This unit covers the names of some common animals and revises numbers


Remember - pump, chwech and cant (100) drop their final letters (-p, -ch, -t) before nouns.

Examples:


Remember that 2, 3 and 4 have feminine forms used in front of feminine nouns.


Note some additional points about numbers:

Examples:


Note - Both dau and dwy take a soft mutation after 'r/y (the):


Soft mutation of feminine nouns and adjectives

Many names of animals (anifeiliaid) end in -en. Most nouns that end in -en in Cymraeg are feminine and will therefore take a weak soft mutation after 'r/y (the).

Remember that in a weak soft mutation the letters ll- and rh- resist the mutation.

Adjectives following feminine nouns take a soft mutation. Remember that the adjective usually follows the noun. For example:

[Note that there are a very few exceptions to this rule. These include the phrases - Nos da (Good night) and wythnos diwethaf (last week), where nos and wythnos are both feminine nouns but where the following d- is not mutated.]

Note that the mutation also applies to more than one following adjective in an unbroken sequence:


Singular nouns used with numbers

Remember that in Cymraeg, the singular noun is used when follows directly after a number. For example:


Aspirate mutation following tri and chwe

Remember that nouns following tri, chwe take an aspirate mutation if they begin with p-, t-, c-:


Numbers + o + plural noun

You may also meet ...o... (of) with a number and the plural noun, especially with larger numbers, although this is generally not used in the course. This also requires a soft mutation following the o, as well as a knowledge of the plural form of nouns. For example:


Months updated 2020-08-21

These lessons introduce the names of the months and the seasons.


Please remember that there are occasional known glitches in the computer-generated voice - unfortunately the course team can do nothing about this, so please do not report audio faults.


The Months

Some of the names of the months in Welsh are borrowed from Latin, eg May = Maius (Latin) => Mai (Welsh)


The word mis (month) precedes the name of the month, and the name of the month always starts with a capital letter:

To say in a particular month we add the word ym

Note that using the word mis in front of the names of the months is important, as the names of some of the months also mean other things in Welsh. For example:

The mis is sometimes dropped when the context is very clear or when used with dates (covered later in the course). Apart from when using dates, it is best to use the mis, and this is what Duo does.

Note that the names of the months are all masculine in gender. The word mis itself is also masculine.


The Seasons

Note that the names of the seasons do not usually start with a capital letter unless they are part of the title of something or, of course, if they are used at the start of a sentence.

The seasons are usually used with y/yr:

Note that the names of the seasons are all masculine in gender.

To say 'in autumn' or 'in the autumn', etc, we use yn y ...:


Be careful to spell gwanwyn correctly, as there are some very similar-looking words:


Seeing or enjoying, etc, something doing something

We can say that we see or enjoy, etc, something in the process of doing something by using 'n/yn in front of the 'doing something':


How to remember the genders of the main units of time

Both eiliad (a second) and munud (a minute) can be either masculine or feminine, sometimes varying by dialect. However, if we ignore that for the sake of an aid to memory, there is a useful pattern to be seen in the alternating genders of units of time. (Here, b is benywaidd (feminine) and g is gwrwyaidd (masculine)):

So, if you can remember the gender of one, you can work out the others.


Pronunciation reminder

Have you checked and practised your pronunciation recently? If not, go back over these pronunciation videos.

Try recording your voice saying the same words and then playing it back to compare your pronunciation with that on the videos.


Days of the Week updated 2021-09-22


Days of the week

On its own, the word dydd means 'day'. In combination with other words it is used in the names of the days of the week.

Most of the days of week are named after planets in Welsh, and some are also very similar to the days of the week in Latin and the Romance languages.

Note - include dydd in the name of the day.


Morning and afternoon

To say 'Monday morning', Tuesday afternoon' and so on we just put the name of the day after the word for the time of day:

Similarly,

All the names of the days of the week can be combined in this way for morning or afternoon.


Night and evening

Nos can be combined with the names of the days of the week to mean 'Sunday night' and so on. It is also used in this way for the names of evenings:

Some names of days undergo a slight change (a soft mutation) when used with nos. The reason for this is explained later in the course, so just learn these for now:

Note that we do not use dydd with nos - it has to be either one or the other, never both together.


For the days of the week, always combine the name with some other element

Note that there should always be something in front of the name of the day - dydd Xxx, bore dydd Xxx, bore Xxx, prynhawn dydd Xxx, nos Xxx, etc - do not use just the name of the day on its own, or it could be mistaken for the name of one of the planets.

Note that dydd, bore, prynhawn, nos do not usually take a capital letter in the names of days unless at the beginning of a sentence or as part of a special day (for example, Dydd Calan - New Year's Day).


'On' a particular day

To say that we are doing something 'on' Thursday, say, we do not use a separate word for 'on', we simply change the word dydd to ddydd:

This change does not apply if we use bore or prynhawn:

Note that this form is not used for habitual timings such as saying 'I work on a Friday', 'I work on Fridays' or 'Do you watch television on Sundays?' For that, we use the preposition ar:

Note that ar is also used for 'on' with dates and with named holidays such as Dydd Nadolig (Christmas Day), Nos Galan (New Year's Eve) and so on.


Further information about learning Welsh is at http://www.duolingo.com/comment/13186004 and on the national LearnWelsh/DysguCymraeg website - http://learnwelsh.cymru


Days of the Week updated 2019-03-22


Days of the week

On its own, the word dydd means 'day'. In combination with other words it is used in the names of the days of the week.

Most of the days of week are named after planets in Welsh, and some are also very similar to the days of the week in Latin and the Romance languages.

Note - include dydd in the name of the day.


Morning and afternoon

To say 'Monday morning', Tuesday afternoon' and so on we just put the name of the day after the word for the time of day:

Similarly,

All the names of the days of the week can be combined in this way for morning or afternoon.


Night and evening

Nos can be combined with the names of the days of the week to mean 'Sunday night' and so on. It is also used in this way for the names of evenings:

Some names of days undergo a slight change (a soft mutation) when used with nos. The reason for this is explained later in the course, so just learn these for now:

Note that we do not use dydd with nos - * nos dydd Sul would be incorrect..


For the days of the week, always combine the name with some other element

Note that there should always be something in front of the name of the day - dydd..., bore dydd..., bore..., prynhawn dydd..., nos..., etc - do not use just the name of the day on its own, or it could be mistaken for the name of one of the planets.

Note that dydd, bore, prynhawn, nos do not usually take a capital letter in the names of days unless at the beginning of a sentence or as part of a special day (for example, Dydd Calan - New Year's Day).


'On' a particular day

To say that we are doing something 'on' Thursday, say, we do not use a separate word for 'on', we simply change the word dydd to ddydd:

This change does not apply if we use bore or prynhawn:

^Note that this form is not used for habitual timings such as saying 'I work on a Friday', 'I work on Fridays' or 'Do you watch televison on Sunday?' for that we use the preposition ar*:


Further information about learning Welsh is here and on the national LearnWelsh/DysguCymraeg website - http://learnwelsh.cymru


Days of the Week updated 2019-06-28


Days of the week

On its own, the word dydd means 'day'. In combination with other words it is used in the names of the days of the week.

Most of the days of week are named after planets in Welsh, and some are also very similar to the days of the week in Latin and the Romance languages.

Note - include dydd in the name of the day.


Morning and afternoon

To say 'Monday morning', Tuesday afternoon' and so on we just put the name of the day after the word for the time of day:

Similarly,

All the names of the days of the week can be combined in this way for morning or afternoon.


Night and evening

Nos can be combined with the names of the days of the week to mean 'Sunday night' and so on. It is also used in this way for the names of evenings:

Some names of days undergo a slight change (a soft mutation) when used with nos. The reason for this is explained later in the course, so just learn these for now:

Note that we do not use dydd with nos - * nos dydd Sul would be incorrect..


For the days of the week, always combine the name with some other element

Note that there should always be something in front of the name of the day - dydd..., bore dydd..., bore..., prynhawn dydd..., nos..., etc - do not use just the name of the day on its own, or it could be mistaken for the name of one of the planets.

Note that dydd, bore, prynhawn, nos do not usually take a capital letter in the names of days unless at the beginning of a sentence or as part of a special day (for example, Dydd Calan - New Year's Day).


'On' a particular day

To say that we are doing something 'on' Thursday, say, we do not use a separate word for 'on', we simply change the word dydd to ddydd:

This change does not apply if we use bore or prynhawn:

Note that this form is not used for habitual timings such as saying 'I work on a Friday', 'I work on Fridays' or 'Do you watch televison on Sunday?' for that we use the preposition ar:


Further information about learning Welsh is here and on the national LearnWelsh/DysguCymraeg website - http://learnwelsh.cymru


Going to updated 2021-09-22


A simple way of expressing the future using mynd i

To say that someone is 'going to' somewhere or to do something, the phrase mynd i (going to, to go to) can be used, just as in English.


For example, 'going to' a place:

Note that mynd i is not used for 'going to' a person (going to the doctor, for example). For that, we use mynd at.


By putting mynd i in front of another verb-noun, it can be used to form a statement of someone's current intention to carry out a future action::

Note that siarad and ymweld are both followed by the preposition â (which becomes ag before a vowel). LIke mynd i, this is an example of some verbs needing to be followed by particular prepositions in order to complete or modify their meaning.


Soft mutation

Mutations are changes to some initial consonants of words in certain circumstances. Only nine consonants can take a mutation at all, and not all of them take every mutation. The previous paragraph has some examples of the most common mutation, the 'soft' mutation.

There are many causes of a soft mutation, only the most common of which are covered on this introductory course. In this section, the preposition i (to, for) which causes soft mutation of the word that directly follows it. For example, you will see above that codi has changed to godi following mynd i, and mynd to fynd.

Here is a table showing the soft mutations:

original letter soft mutation
p- b-
t- d-
c- g-
b- f-
d- dd-
g- -
m- f-
ll- l-
rh- r-

Remember - dd, ll and rh are all single letters in Welsh (along with ch, ff, ng, ph, th).

Note - when g- takes a soft mutation it vanishes, and that both b- and m- take a soft mutation to f-.


Some prepositions are routinely followed by a soft mutation

They are:

See - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fjUdJqa5Hg


Church and Chapel

The chapel movement was very strong in Wales. As a result, "chapel" and "church" are not synonymous in Wales. As influence of the established Church of England diminished, the non-conformist chapels became the primary location of Christian worship in many places. In 1920, the Church of England was disestablished in Wales and the 'Church in Wales' was created as a separate Anglican body with no links to civil government.


Going to the usual place

When we are referring to places that we go to habitually, such as 'bed, 'chapel', 'work', 'school' etc, it is the convention in Welsh that i'r... ('to the...') is used. English is not consistent in this:


Doing things on particular days

When we want to say that we are doing something 'on Monday', 'on Sunday' and so on, we usually simply change dydd to ddydd - there is no need to add anything else to mean 'on' in this case:

To say 'on Mondays', etc, when we mean we do something habitually on a day, we use ar as well:


Changes, or not, following question words

The adverbial questions Pryd?, Pam?, Ble/Lle? and Sut? (when it means How?) are not followed by a soft mutation of the verb. Nor are questions that begin with a preposition. They are followed by mae, not by ydy/yw, and they are followed by r-forms of bod*:

(The r- is sometimes dropped in casual use, though...)


Sports

In British English, when there is a well-known sporting event coming up it is usual for it to be referred to as simply 'the rugby', 'the golf', 'the athletics', etc:


Places1 updated 2021-09-22

When using Welsh in Wales you will come across place names which you may only have heard before in English. This unit introduces a few of them. It also covers a couple of many uses of the soft mutation.

Note - Following the usual practice in Wales, personal names are not translated or changed in spelling between Welsh and English. Where a place has a different name in both languages, though, we do translate them.

The Soft Mutation following i (to) and o (from)

You may have heard of mutations in the Welsh language. In this unit we introduce the first, and by far the most common of these - the soft mutation.

The prepositions i (to) and o (from) cause a soft mutation of the following word. This means that some consonants at the start of words 'soften'. Here is the complete list:

Original letter Soft mutated letter
p b
t d
c g
b f
d dd
g -
m f
ll l
rh r

(Note - the g vanishes when it undergoes soft mutation)

For example:

Note that dŵad is a regional variation of dod found in some mid- and north Wales dialects.

More information about the soft mutation, y treiglad meddal, can be found here (a Wikibooks article).


Placenames

We use placenames widely during the rest of the course to give context and variety when discussing travel, work, and so on. You will also often come across them in the Welsh media. Here are some that have separate Welsh and English names:

Enw Cymraeg English Name
Abergwaun Fishguard
Casnewydd Newport
Caergybi Holyhead
Caerfyrddin Carmarthen
Pwllheli Pwllheli*
Manceinion Manchester
Efrog Newydd New York
Amwythig Shrewsbury
Caergrawnt Cambridge
Y Bala Bala
Y Fenni Abergavenny
Y Bontfaen Cowbridge
Y Drenewydd Newtown
Castell-nedd Neath
Hendy Gwyn ar Daf Whitland

Like most places in Wales. Pwllheli has only a Welsh name. It is included here as it has a very high proportion of Welsh speakers, over 80% of its population at the last census.

Note that in the examples where the Welsh name includes y (the), that this is not reflected in the English name.

Note that some Welsh place names have more than one word where the English has only one, and vice versa.


A list of some English-language place names in Wales can be found here (Wikipedia article) and some in the rest of the world here (Wikipedia article).

If you want to know more about these places and where they are, just look in any good atlas or on the internet. Many will have their own web sites and articles on their history.


Many place-names have common descriptive elements in them, and it can add interest to any journey through Wales if you get to know some of them. A fuller list is available at https://getoutside.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/guides/the-welsh-origins-of-place-names-in-britain/, but here are some common ones:

Cymraeg Meaning
Aber Where one river flows into another body of water
Ban, Bannau Peak(s), beacon(s)
Bron Breast of a hill
Bryn Hill
Caer Fort
Cas Castle
Crug Hill, tump
Cwm Valley
Derw, Deri Oaks
Dinas Hill-fort
Dyffryn Valley, vale
Ffin Border, boundary
Isaf Lower, lowest
Llan Church, church land (often followed by the name of the saint to whom the church was dedicated, eg, Llangatwg - a place with a church dedicated to St Catwg)
Morfa Salt-marsh
Nant Brook, dingle
Pont Bridge
Porth Gate
Rhos Moor
Tyle Hill-side, ascent
Uchaf Upper, highest
Ystrad Vale

Present Tense 3 updated 2021-09-22

In this unit, other forms of the present tense of bod (to be) are introduced.


'You' - Ti and Chi

As in several other European lanaguages, Welsh has two forms of 'you', ti and chi, and different forms of verbs are used with each:

Ti is only used with an individual, never with more than one person:

Chi is used:


The forms of bod (to be)

The pronouns we use are:

Note that for 'he', e is generally used in dialects in west, south and some of mid-Wales, o in north and other parts of mid-Wales.

Here is the pattern of the present tense of bod:

Positive Question Negative Translation
(ry)dw i (y)dw i? (dy)dw i ddim I am, am I?, I am not
rwyt ti wyt ti? dwyt ti ddim you (sing.) are..., etc.
mae e/o ydy e/o? dydy/dyw e/o ddim he is... etc.
mae hi ydy hi? dydy/dyw hi ddim she is... etc.
(ry)dyn ni ydyn ni? (dy)dyn ni ddim we are... etc.
(ry)dych chi (y)dych chi? (dy)dych chi ddim you (pl) are... etc.
maen nhw ydyn nhw? (dy)dyn nhw ddim they are... etc

(ry)dw i shows the fuller form in brackets (rydw) compared to the basic spoken form taught on this course (dw i). The fuller forms are sometimes taught in schools, and are used in the media, too.

Note in dialects in south, west and parts of mid-Wales the pronoun 'he' is usually e, while in north Wales and other parts of mid-Wales 'he' is usually o.

Note that on introductory courses using DysguCymraeg 'north' materials, you will be taught dan ni, dach chi, dan nhw, etc. This reflects local pronunciation.

Note that mae is also used with nouns, both plural and singular:

Note that with verbs the third person plural form is only used with the pronoun nhw.

Note that Yw... is not used to start a question, only Ydy...? is used.

Note that the third person singular negatives dyw and dydy have the same meaning and are interchangeable.

Remember, to form the present tense we use the appropriate part of the verb to be (bod) + 'n/yn and the required verb. For example:

Courses in parts of north and mid-Wales may teach the forms dan ni and dach chi, etc, following local pronunciation. Those forms are accepted on this Duolingo course.


Emphatic sentences

In earlier section we saw that when identifying someone by their job or name, we put that first in the sentence:

In identifying sentences in the third person we use ydy/yw following the identifier, or with a plural, ydyn:


More on Yes and No

We have already met the responses Ydw - 'Yes (I am) and Nac ydw - 'No (I am not).

To form the 'Yes' and 'No' in other persons, take the question form and remove the pronoun:

If the question starts with something other than the verb we use a much simpler yes/no system - Ie/Nage. For example:


PastWedi updated 2020-11-17

This unit teaches the present perfect tense, yr amser perffaith, using wedi.


This tense is used to describe something, saying that the activity has been completed - that is why the activity is 'perfect'!

This tense can be seen in English with 'have/has', and often, although not always, followed with the '-ed' verb-ending. For example:

Note that this tense is not the same as the simple past tense 'I swam', I enjoyed', 'I ate', 'I finished' - that is a different tense, the simple past, in both English and Welsh, and it is covered in later sections of the course.


In the Welsh present tense we use forms of bod with yn/'n

There, yn/'n shows that the action is unfinished - it is still incomplete.

In Welsh, the present perfect tense pattern uses the same present tense forms of bod and we simply use wedi instead of yn/'n, to show that that action has been completed - 'I have gone.', 'They have eaten..,'

Note that yn/'n is never used at the same time as wedi - the action cannot be incomplete and complete at the same time. For example, * Dw i'n wedi mynd would make no sense.

More examples:


Questions

Questions can be asked and answered in the same way as with the present tense:

In parts of north Wales, and as taught in the 'north' versions of the intoductory and intermediate DysguCymraeg courses, Do/Naddo can be used in answers to questions in the present perfect tense with wedi:


Negatives

Negatives also work in the same way as with the present tense:


Golchi vs ymolchi - washing vs getting washed

ym- is quite a common verb prefix in Welsh. It often indicates a reflexive action - something that someone does to themselves. This is not always obvious in the English translation. In golchi (washing) and ymolchi (washing oneself, getting washed) it is very clear, though:


Dialects 1 updated 2021-09-22


'Identification' sentences

When we want to say what or who someone is - their name, their occupation or whether they are male or female and so on, this is termed an 'identification sentence'.

Remember that in Welsh, identification sentences use the emphatic construction, with the 'identity' being put first in the sentence.

Remember that with the third person verb this means that the 'identity' is followed by ydy/yw, never by mae:


The five main Welsh dialect areas

A variety of dialects are used in the Welsh-language media, so it is useful to become at least a little familar with some of the main variants as you start to learn the language.

Although people often refer to there being two main variants of Cymraeg, this greatly over-simplifies the reality. There are four or five commonly-recognised main dialect areas (see more below).

The five generally recognised dialects are:

A map of four of the five the main dialect areas is here although it includes the north Pembrokeshire dialect as part of the Dyfedeg dialect.

The dialect areas are not at all as distinct as the map may imply, and in many areas you may hear several words in use for the same thing, and several variations in the details of grammar. These often vary by the age of the person speaking, particularly as younger people tend to move around more for work and education, with the result that their language can tend to mix dialects and to standardise.

For examples of the actual complexity on the ground, look at examples such as these, which, although they cover only the vocabulary and not local variations in pronunciation and grammar, emphasise the lack of clear-cut dialect boundaries:

There are local dialect words and pronunciations for such everyday things as girl, boy, hedge, farm lane and so on. Milk can be llaeth, llâth, llefrith. Large/big is usually mawr, but pronounced /mowr/ in much of the south-west.

Here are some variations for 'table', 'grass', and 'iron': https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLz6oFM0_Iszwucu8_lmEhmk44elcxCCgB

Adre ('homewards') is often pronounced /adra/ in the north-west and the south-east and as /adre/ elsewhere, but it sometimes appears as tua thre (pronounced /sha thre/) in the south and south-east.

-au endings (eg dechrau, cefnau) are often pronounced /-a/, (/dechra, cefna/) in the north-west and south-east, but /-e/ (/dechre/, /cefne/) in the north-east, mid-Wales and the south-west.

Cael might be heard as /câl/ in the south-west and /ciêl, ciel/ in mid-Wales.

Roedd hi'n oer may be heard as /wedd hi'n wer/ in Pembrokeshire.

Gwybod is often /gwpod/ in south-east Wales, and dw i ddim yn gwybod tends to be sa i'n gwpod.

More information here - https://museum.wales/articles/2011-03-29/The-Dialects-of-Wales/


Here are some words introduced in this unit and in which broad area they tend to be more common:

English west and south Wales north Wales
boy crwt, bachgen hogyn (NW), bachgen (NE)
girl merch hogan (NW), geneth (NW/NE)
milk llaeth, /llâth/ llefrith
you are dych chi, /ych chi/, /ŷch chi/, /dech chi/ dach chi, /dech chi/
woman menyw dynes
is not dyw, dydy dydy
is yw, /odi/ ydy, ydi, /'di/
liking hoffi/licio/lico hoffi/licio
he is mae e, /ma' e/, /ma' fe/ mae o
you (singular, informal) ti ti, chdi
hi, how are things? /shwmae/ s'mae
a want, (wanting) eisiau, /isia/, /isie/, (moyn) /isio/
with gyda efo
to be able to gallu medru
coming dod dod, dŵad
out ma's, mas, allan allan
yes; no ie; nage ie, ia; naci
Where? Ble? Lle?, Ble?

Many other variants are also common, such as:

A very big topic that this course can only skim!

There are examples of several dialects here - https://museum.wales/articles/2011-03-29/The-Dialects-of-Wales/ Do not expect to be able to understand them yet, but you may pick up the variations in the various accents.


Extend updated 2021-04-11

This section of the course introduces some additional vocabulary.


Hungry and thirsty

In Welsh the idea of being hungry or thirsty is expressed by 'a want' of 'food/drink' using the word eisiau (a want) in along with bwyd/diod (food/drink):


A reminder of the full present tense of bod (to be)

Here is the full pattern of the present tense of bod - dw i, etc, again:

Positive Question Negative Translation
[ry)dw i (y)dw i? (dy)dw i ddim I am, Am I?, I am not
rwyt ti wyt ti? dwyt ti ddim You (sing) are.. etc.
mae e/o ydy e/o? dydy e/o ddim He is....etc.
mae hi ydy hi? dydy hi ddim She is....etc.
(ry)dyn ni ydyn ni? (dy)dyn ni ddim We are.... etc.
(ry)dych chi (y)dych chi? (dy)dych chi ddim You (pl) are.... etc.
maen nhw ydyn nhw? (dy)dyn nhw ddim They are....etc

(ry)dw i shows the full written form in brackets (rydw i) compared to the spoken form taught on this course (dw i).

Remember that mae is also used with nouns, both singular and plural:


Home, at home, to home

There are three words to learn concerning home:

All three will also be seen with a final -f, although it is rarely pronounced in colloquual Welsh.


May I? updated 2021-01-24


Soft mutation

You may have heard of mutations in the Welsh language. In this unit we again use the first, and by far the most most common of these - soft mutation.

After certain words and patterns, some consonants at the start of words 'soften'. Here is the complete list:

Original letter Soft mutated letter
p b
t d
c g
b f
d dd
g -
m f
ll l
rh r

(Note that the g vanishes when it undergoes soft mutation)

The main reason for soft mutation is that it allows the language to flow better when spoken, although sometimes it is due to reasons of grammar.

More information about the soft mutation, y treiglad meddal, can be found here https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Welsh/Mutations#Soft_mutation.

As you go through the course you will come across some more of the main reasons for soft mutation. Just pick them up and practise them as you go. Above all, when speaking Welsh do not worry if you miss a mutation.

When you use a dictionary to look up a word you may need to take a possible mutation into account. Ofyn will not be in the dictionary, for example - you would need to look up Gofyn. Luckily, some on-line dictionaries such as www.gweiadur.com, and smartphone apps such as Ap Geiriaduron will handle mutated words.


May I?

Ga i...? is a very important phrase in Welsh meaning, simply:

We use Ga i...? to ask for things:

We also use it to ask for permission to do something:

The object (mynd, here) of a short-form verb such as this always takes a soft mutation if it can. Some more examples - check that you can see where the soft mutation comes in:

If there is more than one word in the object phrase, just the first element takes the soft mutation:


Ga i? is a question form of the verb-noun cael. This has several meanings, one of which is 'to be allowed to', and it is this meaning that is being used in Ga i...?


Answering

Note the aspirate mutation following na:


Aspirate mutation

The aspirate mutation (treiglad llaes) is far less common than the soft mutation. It only affects three initial consonants, p, t, c:

Among other things, it follows a (and):


Please

There are several ways of saying 'please':


Verb-nouns

The basic form of verbs that you will look up in a Welsh dictionary is called a 'verb-noun'. By the end of this unit you will have met, for example, gofyn, talu, hoffi, yfed, gwneud and several others. The nearest equivalent in English is the '-ing' form of words - asking, paying, liking,... or the 'to xxx' form - to ask, to pay, to like, ....

Note - if you are asked to translate this sort of word on its own, not as part of a longer phrase on this course, use the forms 'xxxing' or 'to xxx'. Do not answer with just 'xxx' (eat, like, drink, swim, etc) as those can often be mixed up with nouns (a swim, a drink, ...) or commands (eat!, drink!).


Britishisms - a cup of tea or 'cuppa'

'A cup of tea', or 'a cuppa' is a common thing to ask for in Britain. The Welsh equivalent is paned, or in some dialects disgled. 'Te'/'tea' need not be specified.

If you mean 'a cup of coffee', say, you should specify paned/disgled o goffi.


Colours updated 2018-12-31


Colours

Colours, as with other adjectives, follow the noun in Cymraeg. For example:


As with other adjectives, colours undergo soft mutation after feminine singular nouns:


Some colours have specific feminine forms which are often, but not always, used after feminine singular nouns. The feminine forms are the second in each pair:

The feminine forms must also mutate after a feminine noun:


Note that if a feminine noun is followed by an unbroken chain of adjectives, they each take a soft mutation:

But:


Soft mutation of feminine nouns after y/'r (the)

Looking at the sentence above you will see that some nouns have mutated after y. This is because y/'r causes a weak (+) soft mutation of feminine nouns

(+) In a 'weak' soft mutation, there is no mutation of words beginning with ll- or rh-)

There are no comprehensive rules as to which nouns are feminine, so it is best to look up and learn the genders at the same time that you learn the meanings. As you go on you will begin to spot some patterns, but look out for the exceptions.


Colour variations in Welsh

There are some other examples of occasional variations between the words for colours which you may come across:


Numbers2 updated 2020-10-25

More on numbers


Changes in pump, chwech, cant when followed by adjectives or nouns

pump, chwech and cant drop their final letters (-p, -ch, -t) when they come before the nouns and adjectives that they are numbering:

Mutations after un, dau/dwy, tri, chwe:

So ((b) = feminine noun):

Note that feminine forms of numbers are also used with age:

These changes also apply to numbers

Note that these changes also apply to numbers. So:


Britishisms -'sums'

In British English, the word 'sums' is often used to refer to the sort of basic arithmetic taught to children in primary schools - addition, subtraction, division and multiplication, etc. These are the words used to distinguish between the common terms in this area:


Weather updated 2020-02-13

Describing the weather

Note that for an abstract 'it', such as when referring time, distance or weather, we use the pronoun hi.

We use the construction Mae hi'n... (it is) with an adjective. Note that 'n/yn here causes a weak soft mutation of the adjective. (_ indicates a g being mutated away):

Note - the word braf resists mutation.


To say it was, the mae is changed to roedd:


To say it will be, we use bydd hi:


What will the weather be like?

To ask 'What will something be like?' or 'What is something like?' we use sut?:


Morning, afternoon, etc

When saying 'this morning' or 'this afternoon' etc., the definite article y (the) is used (although it is often dropped), then the noun, then 'ma to mean 'this'. For example:

For 'that' we can use, similarly, 'na:


There are words (adverbs) for some other particular times:

And we can combine some of them:

For example:


Soft mutations after nos in days of the week

Now that you have met the soft mutation a couple of times you can use it following nos with the days of the week where we did not cover them earlier in the course:

So:


Too hot, too windy

To say 'too' in this context we use an adverb rhy. It causes soft mutation of the following word:

Note that rhy is not mutated by yn - the letters ll- and rh- resist mutation by yn.


yn again

Note that the 'n in the notes above is a shortened form of yn - this use of yn/'n, though, is not quite the same as the one which we have seen before getting to this section. This use of yn links to an adjective (cold, wet, stormy, red, fast) rather than linking to a verb-noun (going, swimming, buying, getting):

For example:

This will be covered again later in the course, too, so don't worry if it isn't absolutely clear yet.


Time updated 2020-08-09

When telling the time in Cymraeg, the traditional (vigesimal - 20-based) system of counting is used for some of the numbers:

Note that ugain gains an h- when used after ar

Remember that the singular form of the noun is always used if it comes directly after the number. Therefore, "five minutes" is pum munud.

Sometimes there is a change to the spelling of a number before nouns as noted here:

Note that in some areas, munud is a masculine noun, so you will find un munud, dau funud, tri munud, pedwar munud.


The Cymraeg for 'o’clock' is o’r gloch (literally - 'of the bell').

To ask 'What time is it?' you say Faint o’r gloch ydy hi?:

Note that for an abstract 'it', such as when referring time, distance or weather, we use the pronoun hi.

We can also ask to confirm the time - 'Is it ... o'clock?':

And we can add eto, meaning 'yet':

Note that Mae hi’n... or Ydy hi'n...? causes a soft mutation to the number which follows:

Half past the hour is expressed as hanner awr wedi … (note that awr is always used) and 'quarter past' as chwarter wedi … (no awr):

Quarter to the hour is chwarter i ... i causes soft mutation of the following word:.

'Five', 'ten', 'twenty' and 'twenty-five' minutes are expressed as follows:

To say 'at' a particular time we use 'am', which causes soft mutation of a following word:

We can also use this pattern to ask at what time something happens:

Note also:


Possession Gyda updated 2021-09-22

This unit looks at how we indicate possession in Welsh - it covers the pattern using gyda, as explained below.

Note - If you are learning the gan pattern, you can still use that in this unit to answer English to Welsh translations.


One thing belonging to another

Possession of one thing by another is generally indicated simply by word order:


To have

In Welsh, as in other Celtic languages, there is no simple verb for 'having, to have' in the sense of posession.

Instead, we use a roundabout construction which literally translates as 'There is an xxx with yyy'. So, instead of 'I have a car', we use the pattern equivalent to 'There is with me a car' or 'There is a car with me'.

In this pattern, there are two words which are used for 'with', gyda or gan. Using 'gyda' is covered in this unit, how to use gan is covered in another, parallel unit:

Note that gyda changes to gydag in front of vowels - apart from that it does not need to change.


In general, dialects in north and north-west Wales more often use gan, putting it in front of the thing possessed:

In most south Wales dialects, the tendency is to use gyda, at least in informal use, and to keep it after the thing owned:

However, gan can be used after the thing owned - there is no hard and fast rule except that if the possessive phrase comes between the verb and its subject, the thing owned, there has to be a soft mutation:

You will come across both patterns in the media and when meeting people, so you need to become familiar with both.


Note that cael is not used in the sense of possessing something.


Questions - Do you have a...?

To ask a question we use the pattern: "Is there a xxx with you?". The word Oes? is used to start a question about the existence of something:

So, when asking whether someone has something:

As usual in Welsh, the 'yes' and 'no' come from the question form of the verb being used:


Negatives - You don't have a...

For a negative statement we use the pattern: 'There is no car with me/you/etc':


Gyda is followed by an aspirate mutation

Note that when gyda is used as 'with', it is followed by an aspirate mutation:


Possession Gan updated 2021-09-22

This unit looks at how we indicate possession in Welsh - it covers the pattern using gan, as explained below.

Note - If you are learning the gyda pattern, you can still use that in this unit to answer English to Welsh translations.


One thing belonging to another

Possession of one thing by another is generally indicated simply by word order:


To have

In Welsh , as in other Celtic languages, there is no simple verb for 'having, to have' in the sense of possession

Instead, we use a roundabout construction which literally translates as 'There is a xxx with yyy'. So, instead of 'I have/own a car', we use the pattern equivalent to 'There is a car with me' or 'There is with me a car'

In this pattern, there are two words which are used for 'with', gyda or gan. The pattern with 'gyda' is covered another, parallel unit on this course. This unit deal with how to use gan for possession.

To use this construction with a pronoun we need to know that gan changes according to the pronoun it is referring to:

Note the gynn-, gandd- variants - both are in common use. You may sometimes come across some other variations, but we do not cover them on this course.

Note that gan does not change if not used with a pronoun:

With gan, this often comes before the thing being owned, and this change in word order causes a soft mutation of the thing owned:

However, gan can be also used after the thing owned. There is no hard and fast rule except that if the gan comes in front of the thing owned, there has to be a soft mutation, as in the examples above


In general, dialects in mid-, north and north-west Wales more often use gan, putting it in front of the thing owned:

In most west and south Wales dialects, the tendency is to use gyda, at least in informal use, and to keep it after the thing owned:

You will come across both patterns in the media and when meeting people, so you need to become familiar with both.


Note that cael is not used in the sense of possessing something.


Questions - Do you have a...?

To ask a question we use the pattern: "Is there a xxx with you?". The word Oes? is used to start a question about the existence of something:

So, when asking whether someone has something:

The Oes gyn...? forms may be contracted in informal speech and writing to Sgen i/Sgynni hi/Sgynnoch chi/etc...?

As usual in Welsh, the 'yes' and 'no' come from the question form of the verb being used:


Negatives - You don't have a...

For a negative statement we use the pattern: 'There is with me/you/Siân no car'. Note that here the word dim takes the soft mutation:

The Does gyn... ddim? forms may be contracted in informal speech and writing to Sgen i/Sgynni hi/Sgynnoch chi/etc... ddim....


This is very well explained in the Big Welsh Challenge - Practice with the Tutor


Shapes and colours updated 2020-10-26

This is a small unit about some shapes in Welsh. Colours are also reviewed.

Remember some common guidelines:

There is a more complicated sequence of types of adjective, but that is not likely to be very useful until you study more advanced Welsh.


Countries updated 2020-02-20

This section introduces some names of countries, and how to say 'to', 'from' and 'in' places. It revises the soft mutation and introduces the nasal mutation.


To and from - i and o with soft mutation

When saying "to somewhere" or "from somewhere" in Cymraeg, the prepositions i ('to') and o ('from, of') are used.

Note the soft mutation after i and o - this happens whenever i is used to mean 'to', and where o is used to mean 'from' or 'of'.

For example:


Countries and Oceans

Some places in Cymraeg have y/yr in front of them. For example:

This is the same for the use of 'the' in English sometimes:


Although Welsh has a word for 'ocean', 'cefnfor', seas and oceans are usually named using the Welsh for 'sea', môr


Yn - reminders

Remember that yn as a preposition meaning 'in' does not get abbreviated to 'n. When it is used as a particle to link to verbs or to nouns and adjectives, it does get abbreviated:

Remember that yn never causes soft mutation of words beginning with ll- or rh-, no matter what function it has in the sentence:


Nasal mutations following yn when it is a preposition meaning 'in'

When yn means 'in', and only then, it causes a nasal mutation of several letters (never a soft mutation) and can undergo changes itself.

Here is the nasal mutation - note the pattern where there is an -h- in the first three in the list, but no -h- in the second three:

Only when it means 'in', yn changes to ym before m-, and to yng before ng-. Here are some examples with some names of Welsh towns showing both the nasal mutation and the changes to yn:


Other - Arall, Eraill

The adjective arall (other, another) has a plural form eraill which must be used with plural nouns:


The Welsh flag, The Scottish team, ...

There is a particular pattern to use when describing 'the something of ' or 'the something.

Remember how we say 'Owen's car':

The equivalents of 'the' and 'of' in the awkward-sounding, expanded English version are not needed in the Welsh:

Similarly, 'the Welsh team' ('the team of Wales') translates as tîm Cymru - no y/yr/'r:

Note that the yr is only there in the third example because yr Alban is the word for 'Scotland'.

So:

There is still no y/yr/'r in the Welsh phrase.


Travelling updated 2021-01-24

This unit introduces some vocabulary and patterns to use about travelling.


Where?

To ask 'Where?', we use Ble?. In some mid-and north Wales dialects you will come across Lle? instead:


Here is... There is...

If you want to show something or point out something to somebody, as in 'Here is a good place to sit', 'This is a nice cake', we use:

A similar word is used for 'There is his car', That is a nice cake':

Both words are followed by a soft mutation:


Superlative (-est) forms of adjectives

This section introduces the word nesa, meaning 'next' or 'nearest'. The fuller form of this is nesaf, but the final -f is often dropped in colloquial speech and writing.

This is an example of a superlative adjective, the '-est' form such as nearest, closest, best, furthest, dearest, greenest, biggest and so on.

Superlative adjectives ending in -a are not always shown in a Welsh dictionary, so remember to look them up with an ending of -af.


Doing something 'next/last month'

Remember that when saying we are doing something on a particular day we mutate dydd... to ddydd.... This is because ddydd Llun, say, is being used as an adverb to say when we are doing it. We do the same with mis nesa (next month) and mis diwetha (last month) if we use those in the same way:


Past Mynd 1 updated 2019-11-02

The simple past of mynd

(For those people who already know some Welsh, note that this course does not cover the more formal forms of the language where the pronouns may get dropped - responses without the pronouns may not be accepted.)


The simple past

The simple past tense, for example:

is not the same as the present perfect tense which was covered earlier:


The irregular verbs

The four verbs in this unit and the others close to it in the course are 'irregular' - they do not follow the normal pattern in forming their tenses. The four verbs here are:

I went, You went

In the short-form of the verbs, which you are meeting in these units for the first time on this course, there is no form of bod being used to help to form the expression. It is simply the verb followed by the person carrying out the action:


In parts of north and mid-Wales, Mi may be added in front of the verb, especially for emphasis. It is only used with a positive statement, never with questions or negatives. Mi causes a soft mutation of the verb:

In other areas of Wales you may come across Fe being used instead of Mi, although this is perhaps less common nowadays.


Questions and Yes/No

We form the question simply by adding a question mark in writing, and by raising the tone at the end of the sentence when speaking. The simple past of mynd has no initial consonant to mutate:

In the simple past tense there is only one form of Yes and one form of No


Negatives

Simply use ddim for a negative - the simple past of mynd has no initial consonant to mutate:


The full simple past conjugations of mynd, dod, gwneud and cael

For reference, the full pattern of the simple past tense of mynd, dod, gwneud and cael in the general colloquial language is as follows, starting with mynd:

Simple past of dod:

Simple past of gwneud (note that the initial g- is sometimes dropped in the colloquial language, and that if that happens the -w- is often not pronounced either):

Simple past of cael (note that these forms are often seen with the mutation c- -> g- in the colloquial language):


Note that in parts of Mid- and north Wales these are often used and taught with a preceding particle mi and a soft mutation. For example: mi gaethon nhw.

You may well meet some variations of this pattern in these four irregular verbs, especially in informal speech and in the various dialects.

Note that there are also different forms which are used in formal written Welsh. This course does not cover those.


On Monday, On Tuesday, etc

To say that we did something on a day we mutate the word dydd to ddydd:

Note that we do not use ar for this - strictly, ar ddydd Sul means 'on Sundays', not 'on Sunday'.

Note that we do use ar with a particular date:



Past Dod 1 updated 2019-11-02

The simple past of dod

(For those people who already know some Welsh, note that this course does not cover the more formal forms of the language where the pronouns may get dropped - responses without the pronouns may not be accepted.)


The simple past

The simple past tense, for example:

is not the same as the present perfect tense which was covered earlier:


The irregular verbs

The four verbs in this unit and the others close to it in the course are 'irregular' - they do not follow the normal pattern in forming their tenses. The four verbs here are:

I came, You came

In the short-form of the verbs, which you are meeting in these units for the first time on this course, there is no form of bod being used to help to form the expression. It is simply the verb followed by the person carrying out the action:


In parts of north and mid-Wales, Mi may be added in front of the verb, especially for emphasis. It is only used with a positive statement, never with questions or negatives. Mi causes a soft mutation of the verb:

In other areas of Wales you may come across Fe being used instead of Mi, although this is perhaps less common nowadays.


Questions and Yes and No

We form the question simply by adding a soft mutation at the start of the verb, a question mark at the end of the sentence in writing, and by raising the tone at the end of the sentence when speaking:

In the simple past tense there is only one form of Yes and one form of No


Negatives

Simply use the mixed mutation (soft in the case of dod) with ddim for a negative::


The full simple past conjugations of mynd, dod, gwneud and cael

For reference, the full pattern of the simple past tense of mynd, dod, gwneud and cael in the general colloquial language is as follows, starting with mynd:

Simple past of dod:

Simple past of gwneud (note that the initial g- is sometimes dropped in the colloquial language, and that if that happens the -w- is often not pronounced either):

Simple past of cael (note that these forms are often seen with the mutation c- -> g- in the colloquial language):


Note that in parts of Mid- and north Wales these are often used and taught with a preceding particle mi and a soft mutation. For example: mi gaethon nhw.

You may well meet some variations in the patterns of these four irregular verbs, especially in informal speech and in the various dialects.

Note that there are also different forms which are used in formal written Welsh. This course does not cover those.


On Monday, On Tuesday, etc

To say that we did something on a day we mutate the word dydd to ddydd:

Note that we do not use ar for this - strictly, ar ddydd Sul means 'on Sundays', not 'on Sunday'.

Note that we do use ar with a particular date:


Past Cael 1 updated 2020-07-11

The simple past of cael

(For those people who already know some Welsh, note that this course does not cover the more formal forms of the language where the pronouns may get dropped - responses without the pronouns may not be accepted.)


The simple past

The simple past tense, for example:

is not the same as the present perfect tense which was covered earlier:


The irregular verbs

The four verbs in this unit and the others close to it in the course are 'irregular' - they do not follow the normal pattern in forming their tenses. The four verbs here are:

I got, You got

In the short-form of the verbs, which you are meeting in these units for the first time on this course, there is no form of bod being used to help to form the expression. It is simply the verb followed by the person carrying out the action.

These are the forms taught in the introductory DysguCymraeg courses:

You may also come across:


In parts of north and mid-Wales, Mi may be added in front of the verb (only when it is a statement, not a question or a negative), especially for emphasis. Mi causes a soft mutation of the verb. These are the forms taught in the introductory DysguCymraeg 'north' courses:

In other areas of Wales you may come across Fe being used instead of Mi.

You may also come across ges i, gest ti, gaethoch chi, where the soft mutation remains in a positive statement even though the particle fe/mi is not used.


Soft mutation following a short-form verb

Note that the object of a short-form verb, the thing that has been got/sold/bought/etc, takes a soft mutation:


Questions and Yes/No

We form the question simply by adding a soft mutation at the start of the verb, a question mark at the end of the sentence in writing and by raising the tone at the end of the sentence when speaking:

In the simple past tense there is only one form of Yes and one form of No


Negatives

Simply use the mixed mutation (aspirate in the case of cael) with ddim for a negative:

Note that the soft mutation is taken by dim => ddim.


The full simple past conjugations of mynd, dod, gwneud and cael

For reference, the full pattern of the simple past tense of mynd, dod, gwneud and cael in the general colloquial language is as follows, starting with mynd:

Simple past of dod:

Simple past of gwneud (note that the initial g- is sometimes dropped in the colloquial language, and that if that happens the -w- is often not pronounced either):

Simple past of cael (note that these forms are often seen with the mutation c- -> g- in the colloquial language):


Note that in parts of Mid- and north Wales these are often used and taught with a preceding particle mi and a soft mutation. For example: mi gaethon nhw.

You may well meet some variations of this pattern in these four irregular verbs, especially in informal speech and in the various dialects.

Note that there are also different forms which are used in formal written Welsh. This course does not cover those.


Family1 updated 2021-01-24

In this unit, the possessive pronouns are introduced.


A summary table of mutations

Some mutations of initial letters in Welsh have already been introduced. In this section on possessive pronouns all three mutations are going to be used. Here is a summary table of mutations that you can copy and keep somewhere convenient for reference.

Letter Soft Nasal Aspirate
p b mh ph
t d nh th
c g ngh ch
b f m
d dd n
g - ng
m f
ll * l
rh * r

Note that:

More details about the mutations can be found here http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/learnwelsh/pdf/welshgrammar_mutations.pdf or here http://clwbmalucachu.co.uk/cmc/cheat/cheat_mutations.htm.


The possessive pronouns - my, your, etc

After several possessive pronouns, there is a mutation.

After the thing being owned, there is sometimes also an echoing pronoun, which emphasises or clarifies who is owning it, especially with 'his' vs 'hers'. These are optional, unless required to be certain of meaning. They are shown below in the list below:

Remember that dy (your) is related to ti (you - familar and singular) and that eich (your) is related to chi (you - any plural, or unfamilar singular).

Some examples:

And now, showing the h- added after some possessives:

Other examples:


Grandparents

There are two pairs of words used for Grandmother/Grandfather: Nain/Taid and Mam-gu/Tad-cu.

Typically, Nain/Taid is more often used in northern dialects and Mam-gu/Tad-cu in southern areas. In practice, though, it can vary between families even in the same area.


Knowing people and places and knowing facts.

In Welsh, as in several other modern languages, there are two different words used for 'knowing':

So:


Past Mynd 2 updated 2020-06-05

The simple past of mynd

(For those people who already know some Welsh, note that this course does not cover the more formal forms of the language where the pronouns may get dropped - responses without the pronouns may not be accepted.)

In this skill we practise the forms for 'he/she', nouns, 'we and 'them'.


The simple past

The simple past tense, for example:

is not the same as the present perfect tense which was covered earlier:


The irregular verbs

The four verbs in this unit and the others close to it in the course are 'irregular' - they do not follow the normal pattern in forming their tenses. The four verbs here are:

We went, He/She/The children went, They went

Remember that there is no form of bod being used to help to form the expression. It is simply the verb followed by the person carrying out the action.

**Remember that the third person singular verb is used with both singular and plural nouns:


In parts of north and mid-Wales, Mi may be added in front of the verb, especially for emphasis. It is only used with a positive statement, never with questions or negatives:

In other areas of Wales you may come across Fe being used instead of Mi, although this is perhaps less common nowadays.


Questions and Yes and No

We form the quesiton simply by adding a soft mutation at the start of the verb, a question mark at the end of the sentence in writing and by raising the tone at the end of the sentence when speaking:

In the simple past tense there is only one form of Yes and one form of No

Do = Yes
Naddo = No


Negatives

Simply ddim for a negative (no consonants to mutate in these forms of mynd):


The full simple past conjugations of mynd, dod, gwneud and cael

For reference, the full pattern of the simple past tense of mynd, dod, gwneud and cael in the general colloquial language is as follows, starting with mynd:

Simple past of dod:

Simple past of gwneud (note that the initial g- is sometimes dropped in the colloquial language, and that if that happens the -w- is often not pronounced either):

Simple past of cael (note that these forms are often seen with the mutation c- -> g- in the colloquial language):


Note that in parts of Mid- and north Wales these are often used and taught with a preceding particle mi and a soft mutation. For example: mi gaethon nhw.

You may well meet some variations in the patterns of these four irregular verbs, especially in informal speech and in the various dialects.

Note that there are also different forms which are used in formal written Welsh. This course does not cover those.


On Monday, On Tuesday, etc

To say that we did something on a day we mutate the word dydd to ddydd (although this is not always done in casual Welsh):

Note that we do not use ar for this - strictly, ar ddydd Sul means 'on Sundays', not 'on Sunday'.

Note that we do use ar with a particular date:


Past Dod 2 updated 2020-08-22

The simple past of dod

In this section we cover the remaining parts of the simple past of dod - he/she, we, they, etc.


The simple past

Remember that the simple past tense, for example:

is not the same as the present perfect tense which was covered earlier:


He/She, etc came, We came, They came

Following on from the earlier section:


In parts of north and mid-Wales, Mi may be added in front of the verb, especially for emphasis. It is only used with a positive statement, never with questions or negatives. Mi causes a soft mutation of the verb (here it is d- to dd-):

In other areas of Wales you may come across Fe being used instead of Mi, although this is perhaps less common nowadays.


Questions and Yes/No

We form the question simply by adding a soft mutation at the start of the verb, a question mark at the end of the sentence in writing, and by raising the tone at the end of the sentence when speaking:

In the simple past tense there is only one form of Yes and one form of No


Negatives

Simply use the mixed mutation (soft in the case of dod here) with ddim for a negative:


The full simple past conjugations of mynd, dod, gwneud and cael

For reference, the full pattern of the simple past tense of mynd, dod, gwneud and cael in the general colloquial language is as follows, starting with mynd:

Simple past of dod:

Simple past of gwneud (note that the initial g- is sometimes dropped in the colloquial language, and that if that happens the -w- is often not pronounced either):

Simple past of cael (note that these forms are often seen with the mutation c- -> g- in the colloquial language):


Note that in parts of Mid- and north Wales these are often used and taught with a preceding particle mi and a soft mutation. For example: mi gaethon nhw.

You may well meet some variations in the patterns of these four irregular verbs, especially in informal speech and in the various dialects.

Note that there are also different forms which are used in formal written Welsh. This course does not cover those.


Simple Past Cael 2 updated 2020-07-11

The simple past of cael

In this section we cover the remaining parts of the simple past of cael - he/she, we, they, etc.


The simple past

Remember that the simple past tense, for example:

is not the same as the present perfect tense which was covered earlier:


He/She, etc got, We got, They got

Following on from the earlier section, there are two main versions of the remaining forms currently taught. (It is quite common in the colloquial language for these forms to take a soft mutation, even in the positive statement).

These are the forms taught in the introductory DysguCymraeg 'south' courses:

And you may also come across:


In parts of north and mid-Wales, the mi may be added in front of the verb, especially for emphasis. It is only used with a positive statement, never with questions or negatives. Mi causes a soft mutation of the verb.

These are the forms taught in the introductory DysguCymraeg 'north' courses:

In other areas of Wales you may come across Fe being used instead of Mi, although this is perhaps less common nowadays.

You may also come across gaeth e, gaethoch chi, etc, where the soft mutation remains even though the particle mi/fe is not used.


Soft mutation following a short-form verb

Note that the object of a short-form verb, the thing that has been got/sold/bought/kicked/etc, takes a soft mutation:


Questions and Yes/No

We form the question simply by adding a soft mutation at the start of the verb, a question mark at the end of the sentence in writing, and by raising the tone at the end of the sentence when speaking:

In the simple past tense there is only one form of Yes and one form of No


Negatives

Simply use the mixed mutation (aspirate in the case of cael) with ddim for a negative:

Note that the soft mutation is taken by dim => ddim.


The full simple past conjugations of mynd, dod, gwneud and cael

For reference, the full pattern of the simple past tense of mynd, dod, gwneud and cael in the general colloquial language is as follows, starting with mynd:

Simple past of dod:

Simple past of gwneud (note that the initial g- is sometimes dropped in the colloquial language, and that if that happens the -w- is often not pronounced either):

Simple past of cael (note that these forms are sometimes seen with the mutation c- -> g- in the colloquial language):


Note that in parts of mid- and north Wales these are often used and taught with a preceding particle mi and a soft mutation. For example: mi gaethon nhw.

You may well meet some variations in the patterns of these four irregular verbs, especially in informal speech and in the various dialects.

Note that there are also different forms which are used in formal written Welsh. This course does not cover those.


Family2 updated 2020-12-29


Possessive pronouns

To say 'my this', 'your that', 'our something else', and so on, we use possessive pronouns. These come in two parts in Welsh, one coming before the thing being owned, and one, optionally, after:

The second, optional, part of the possessive pronoun is often used for emphasis, or to differentiate between his and hers. For example:


Mutations caused by some possessive pronouns

After some of the possessive pronouns, there is also a mutation of the first letter of the word which follows them:

After some of them, there is an additional h- breath sound (the same as 'h-' in 'has, happy', etc) in front of any vowels (a- e- i- o- u- w- y-) at the start of a following word:

(If it helps, think of it as 'hemphasising' the vowel.)

Here is a summary of the changes:


Some examples:


Note how a + ei is shortened to a'i. This can be seen with other combinations of prepositions and possessives, too:

Note that after i (to/for) there is a different form with ei/eu:

So:


Table of the mutations

As a reminder, here is a summary of the Welsh mutations of initial letters:

Letter Soft Nasal Aspirate
p b mh ph
t d nh th
c g ngh ch
b f m
d dd n
g - ng
m f
ll * l
rh * r

Note that:


Past Gwneud 1 updated 2019-11-02

The simple past of gwneud

Gwneud is another of the common irregular verbs in Welsh, and its simple past tense follows the same pattern as the others.

I made, You made


In parts of north and mid-Wales, Mi may be added in front of the verb, especially for emphasis. It is only used with a positive statement, never with questions or negatives. Mi causes a soft mutation of the verb:

In other areas of Wales you may come across Fe being used instead of Mi, although this is perhaps less common nowadays.


Soft mutation following a short-form verb

Note that the object of a short-form verb, the thing that has been made/got/sold/etc, takes a soft mutation:


Questions and Yes and No

We form the question simply by adding a soft mutation at the start of the verb, a question mark at the end of the sentence in writing and by raising the tone at the end of the sentence when speaking:

In the simple past tense there is only one form of Yes and one form of No


Negatives

Simply use the mixed mutation (soft in the case of gwneud) with ddim for a negative:


The full simple past conjugations of mynd, dod, gwneud and cael

For reference, the full pattern of the simple past tense of mynd, dod, gwneud and cael in the general colloquial language is as follows, starting with mynd:

Simple past of dod:

Simple past of gwneud (note that the initial g- is sometimes dropped in the colloquial language, and that if that happens the -w- is often not pronounced either):

Simple past of cael (note that these forms are often seen with the mutation c- -> g- in the colloquial language):


Note that in parts of Mid- and north Wales these are often used and taught with a preceding particle mi and a soft mutation. For example: mi gaethon nhw.

You may well meet some variations in the patterns of these four irregular verbs, especially in informal speech and in the various dialects.

Note that there are also different forms which are used in formal written Welsh. This course does not cover those.


Past Gwneud 2 updated 2019-11-02

The simple past of gwneud

In this section we cover the remaining parts of the simple past of gwneud - he/she, we, they, etc.


He/She, etc made/did, We made/did, They made/did

Following on from the earlier section:


In parts of north and mid-Wales, Mi may be added in front of the verb, especially for emphasis. It is only used with a positive statement, never with questions or negatives. Mi causes a soft mutation of the verb.:

In other areas of Wales you may come across Fe being used instead of Mi, although this is perhaps less common nowadays.


Soft mutation following a short-form verb

Note that the object of a short-form verb, the thing that has been made/bought/sold, takes a soft mutation:


Questions and Yes and No

We form the question simply by adding a soft mutation at the start of the verb, a question mark at the end of the sentence in writing and by raising the tone at the end of the sentence when speaking:

In the simple past tense there is only one form of Yes and one form of No

Do = Yes
Naddo = No


Negatives

Simply use the mixed mutation (soft in the case of gwneud here) with ddim for a negative:


The full simple past conjugations of mynd, dod, gwneud and cael

For reference, the full pattern of the simple past tense of mynd, dod, gwneud and cael in the general colloquial language is as follows, starting with mynd:

Simple past of dod:

Simple past of gwneud (note that the initial g- is sometimes dropped in the colloquial language, and that if that happens the -w- is often not pronounced either):

Simple past of cael (note that these forms are often seen with the mutation c- -> g- in the colloquial language):


Note that in parts of Mid- and north Wales these are often used and taught with a preceding particle mi and a soft mutation. For example: mi gaethon nhw.

You may well meet some variations in the patterns of these four irregular verbs, especially in informal speech and in the various dialects.

Note that there are also different forms which are used in formal written Welsh. This course does not cover those.


Past Short updated 2020-08-22


The Simple past tense

There are two common ways of forming the simple past:

This section of the course shows how to use the first method, adding a simple past tense ending to the stem of the verb.

Note that there are other ways of creating the simple past tense in some dialects, but this course does not cover them.


The short-form simple past tense

The short-form past tense uses the stem of the verb. This is usually formed by removing:

from the final syllable of the verb-noun.

For example:

For other verbs there is often no change:

There are some common exceptions. For example:

(For other stems, check in, for example, www.gweiadur.com , or Y Llyfr Berfau (by Geraint Lewis).)

Note that there are some dialect variations of some of these stems.


The past endings are added to the stem:

For example, with canu (singing, stem can-):

Some examples:

Note that short form verbs cause a soft mutation of their object.


Questions

The verb takes a soft mutation if possible, otherwise it's just intonation. (Mi is never used before a question):

The answers in this tense are simple:


Negatives

We mutate the verb (soft or aspirate, as in the present or future short forms) and add ddim. The ddim takes the soft mutation as the start of the object of the verb:


We cannot use ddim followed by anything definite - a proper noun, a pronoun, 'r/yr/y (the), etc, and so o is used between them, giving the combination mo:

mo is followed by a soft mutation, just like o:


Auxiliary Past Gwneud updated 2019-10-05

This unit covers the simple past tense, yr amser gorffennol.

(For those who already know some Welsh, note that this course does not cover the more formal forms of the language where the pronouns may get dropped - translations without the pronouns will not be accepted)


The Simple past tense

There are two common ways of forming the simple past:

This section of the course shows how to use the second method, using gwneud.


Using the simple past of gwneud to create a simple past of other verbs

This simple past of gwneud, which was covered a little earlier in the course, can be used to form a simple past tense of other verbs. This method is widely used all over Wales, especially in conversation.

Remember that the object of a short-form verb takes a soft mutation. In this case, the object of gwneud is the verb-noun for which we are creating the simple past tense. Using the example of canu:

The initial g- is often dropped in speech and the remaining w- may only be lightly pronounced, if at all.

In parts of north and mid-Wales, the particle mi is often added at the start of the phrase. Mi causes a soft mutation:

Some examples:


Questions

As with the past of gwneud earlier in the course, just use the soft mutated form of gwnes i, etc and raise the tone at the end of the question:

Remember that Fe/Mi is never used with a question.


The answers to any question in the simple past are the same:


Negatives

As with other negatives, we mutate the verb (soft mutation in the case of gwneud) and add ddim. The ddim takes the soft mutation as the start of the object of the gwneud verb, so we do not mutate the verb-noun which follows it:


Reflexive Pronouns updated 2020-07-28

Note: Please do this lesson a few times to practise with different pronouns.


Reflexive verbs

There are a number verbs in Cymraeg that start with the prefix ym-. They are called reflexive verbs, berfau atblygol. The person carrying out the action also receives the action. Their reflexive nature is not always obvious in the English translation. Notice the soft mutation within the word after the prefix ym-.


Reflexive pronouns

Reflexive pronouns, and their use with verbs in Cymraeg, differ greatly from their English counterparts.

Reflexive pronouns are used when ym- forms of verbs do not exist. They are made up of the possessive pronouns learnt in the previous unit, and the word in Cymraeg for self, hun. For example:


They can also be used with possessive pronouns to indictate 'my/your/their/... own (thing)':


Variations

There is some variation in hun between the various dialects in Wales. In one form, as explained above, the word hun is used for '-self/-selves' regardless of which person it applies to.

In a variation, hunan, is used instead of hun in the singular (me, you, him, her) , and hunain is used for the plurals (us, you, them). The hunan/hunain form is perhaps more common in south and west Wales dialects, although both forms can be found all over Wales.

So, in summary:

And:


The first lesson uses hun and the second lesson uses hunan/hunain.


Must&MustNot updated 2021-09-22


Must

To say that somebody must or has to to do something in English is expressed with the pattern rhaid i... in Welsh.

The standard pattern in the colloquial language is Rhaid i followed by a pronoun or proper name, followed by a verb-noun with soft mutation.

Mae rhaid...

Sometimes Mae... appears in front of rhaid. This is generally omitted in colloquial Welsh unless you want to emphasise the phrase:


Some pronouns cause changes to the preposition ’i’

English Welsh
I must go Rhaid i fi/mi fynd
You (sing.) must go Rhaid i ti fynd
He must go Rhaid iddo fe/fo fynd
She must go Rhaid iddi hi fynd
We must go Rhaid i ni fynd
You (plural) must go Rhaid i chi fynd
They must go Rhaid iddyn nhw fynd

Questions

The question begins with Oes

Do you have to go? = Oes rhaid i chi fynd? (literally - Is there a necessity for you to go?)

If you want to emphasies what they must do, use Oes, mae rhaid ...:


Two negatives - 'Don't have to' and 'Must not'

Don't have to

This negative starts with Does dim rhaid ... and corresponds to ... don't have to ...:

Must not

Another negative phrase ...must not... has a completely different meaning and is written in a different way. Here, we use peidio â/ag, with the meaning 'to not do' something. (ag is used before a vowel):

Note that peidio takes a soft mutation after the rhaid i... pattern.

Note that the preposition â causes an aspirate mutation of a following word beginning with p, t, c:

You will come across the â/ag being dropped in casual speech and writing, in which case there is no adpirate mutation:


Other uses of i fi, i ti, iddi hi, etc in the i-dot patterns

There are many other patterns which use i fi and so on to create various meanings. We introduce one here which means 'since I, you, they, etc did something'. Note that the verb-noun that follows takes a soft mutation just as with the rhaid i... pattern:

Note that if there is no following verb-noun, there is no use of i:


Order updated 2021-09-22


A simple sequence of events

'Before I did this, we did that'. 'After doing one thing, I will do another'. 'Before I go somewhere, they will do something'. These are all examples of simple sequences of events.

In this unit, the words cyn and ar ôl are taught, meaning before and after:

These phrases are "tenseless" - that is to say that when translating them, it is some other part of the sentence which will point to the tense of the whole expression. For example:

When they are used in a pattern saying that somebody does or did, etc something before or after something else, they are used in a pattern that is similar to rhaid i ('must'), using i fi, i ti, iddo fe and so on.

Note that this pattern, the 'i-dot pattern', is common in Welsh in a variety of contexts. It has been covered earlier in the course with rhaid i... and ers i....

Remember that the i-dot pattern is followed by a soft mutation of the verb-noun.

For example:

In this example, est ti, (the past tense of mynd, 'going, to go') meaning 'you went', will mean that the action codi was also in the past. It cannot be * 'After I get up, you went to the shop' as the tenses are mismatched - the sequence makes no sense.

In this example, the siaradais i (being in the past tense) meaning "I spoke" will mean that the fynd is translated as "went". Again, this sentence cannot be translated as * 'Before I go to bed, I spoke Welsh' as the tenses don't match up.

In that example, the governing tense is introduced first - 'you moved', in the past. It cannot be translated as "You moved to Wales before you 'have the children' as the first part, 'you moved', tells you that cyn i chi gael needs to be translated as 'before you had (or had had) the children'.

Note that we do not use yn or wedi in these i-clauses.

If there is no pronoun, we just use i:


Similarly, when moving from English to Welsh:

means that 'we lived in Rhos' can be translated in the imperfect:

There is no tense in the cyn i ni... pattern itself, so the sentence becomes simply:

Now consider 'Before we move to Aber, we will visit Patagonia'. Cyn i ni symud... stays the same - no tense in the expression - and it is just the 'visiting' which needs to be put into the future:

With the past again:

On its own then, a phrase such as cyn i ni symud could translate as 'before we moved', 'before we had moved' or as 'before we move' - all are potentially correct until the phrase is put next to one with a tense in it.


Commands 1 updated 2020-11-26


Giving commands

Cymraeg, along with many other European languages, has separate command forms of the verb.

Firstly, we have to identify the stem of the verb. Looking at the basic for of the verb, the 'verb-noun', as found in dictionaries, we can, in general, remove the following endings if they are present:

For example:

If the word does not end with one of those endings, the stem is usually the same as the basic form

Once we have the stem, we generally add one of two endings to give us the command form:

This section of the course practises the plural or formal -wch form.

For convenience on this course, we will generally add an exclamation mark after the commands to make them easier to identify. For example:


There are several more detailed rules for finding stems and there are some irregular command forms too. Here are some common ones:

And very importantly, these irregular command forms:

Note that cael has no command forms.

Other exceptional forms will come up from time to time in the course, so keep an eye on the pop-up hints. For example:


Soft mutation after a command

The command forms are short-form verbs, so if they are followed by an object, that object takes a soft mutation, as usual:


Telling someone not to do something

We can tell somebody to eat their vegetables - Bwytwch eich llysiau! - but we often need to tell someone not to do something, too.

Paid! and Peidiwch! are command forms from the verb-noun peidio ('to refrain from') and we use those as negative commands:

Note that Paid â...! and Peidiwch â...! are translated into English as 'Don't...!' or 'Do not...!, (not as * 'Refrain from...!')

Peidio and its forms are followed by the preposition â, although it is often omitted in casual speech. Where it is used, â is followed by an aspirate mutation of p-, t-, c-:

Remember that â changes to ag before vowels:


Remember not to mix ti and chi in the same sentence

It would be strange to mix familiar ti and formal/plural chi forms when addressing someone, so stick to one form or the other in a sentence:


Not all words get translated one-for-one between English and Welsh

This is a convenient place to mention that not all words get translated one-for-one between English and Welsh. Here are some examples:


To read more about command forms, visit http://clwbmalucachu.co.uk/cmc/cheat/cheat_commands.htm


Commands2 updated 2021-09-22


Giving commands

Cymraeg, along with many other European languages, has separate command forms of the verb.

Firstly, we have to identify the stem of the verb. Looking at the basic for of the verb, the 'verb-noun', as found in dictionaries, we can, in general, remove the following ending if they are present:

For example:

If the word does not end with one of those endings, the stem is usually the same as the basic form


Once we have the stem, we generally add one of two endings to give us the command form:

This section of the course practises the familar -a form.

For convenience on this course, we will generally add an exclamation mark after the commands to make them easier to identify. For example:

There are several more detailed rules for finding stems and there are some irregular command forms too. Here are some common ones:

And very importantly, these irregular command forms:

Note that cael has no command forms.

Other exceptional forms will come up from time to time in the course, so keep an eye on the pop-up hints. For example:


Soft mutation after a command

The command forms are short-forms verbs, so if they are followed by an object, that object takes a soft mutation, as usual:


Telling someone not to do something

We can tell somebody to eat their vegetables - Bwyta dy lysiau! - but we often need to tell someone not to do something, too.

Paid! and Peidiwch! are command forms from the verb-noun peidio (to refrain from) and we use those as negative commands:

Note that Paid â...! and Peidiwch â...! are translated into English as 'Don't...!' or 'Do not...!, (not as * 'Refrain from...!')

Peidio and its forms are followed by the preposition â, although it is often omitted in casual speech. Where it is used, â is followed by an aspirate mutation of p-, t-, c-:

Remember thatâ changes to ag before vowels:

As you would expect from the endings, paid â! is the informal singular form, and peidiwch â is the formal or plural form.


Not all words get translated one-for-one between English and Welsh

This is a convenient place to mention that not all words get translated one-for-one between English and Welsh. Here are some examples:


To read more about command forms, visit this site.

Revision1 updated 2020-08-12


The aim of this section is to revise patterns already covered, to extend their application, and to introduce additional vocabulary.


Newydd - has/have just

Earlier in the course you met the use of wedi to say that you 'have done' something:

To say that we have just done something, we can simply replace the wedi with newydd followed by a soft mutation of the verb-noun:


Sport updated 2020-08-16

This is a unit on sport.


While the efforts of the national rugby team are probably given the most coverage, there are many other sports played in Wales at every level.

The national football (soccer) team has seen a significant renaissance in recent years, briefly appearing above its neighbour England in the top ten rankings.


Emphatic sentences

As a reminder, the emphatic sentence pattern is used in some of the examples here. The thing being emphasised changes is put at the start of the sentence instead of the main verb:


Perfect vs Simple Past

Remember that a past with wedi, such as:

needs to be translated into an English 'perfect' tense, with 'has/have'. Whereas:

are in the 'simple past' tense and should not include 'has/have' in their translation.

Note, too, that the stem of ennill (double n) is enill- (single n).


National and other sports teams

When we say 'The Welsh rugby team' we usually translate this using a pattern without a matching 'yr/y/'r in Welsh:

But if an adjective for the country or town, etc, that they come from is used, the pattern is this:

If the name of the country, etc, is used, it follows the preposition o:


The Six Nations Championship

'The Six Nations' (Y Chwe Gwlad), as it is known informally, is an annual international rugby tournament between Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy. Look on the web for more information about this year's games and locations.


Opinions updated 2020-12-07


This unit introduces some new adjectives to describe people and things, as well as some more colours.


'Weak' soft mutation after yn

Remember the use of the soft mutation after yn when it is used to introduce an adjective:

But note that this use of yn does not cause soft mutation in words beginning with the letters ll- or rh-:

This particular soft mutation, where ll- and rh- resist the soft mutation, is sometimes known as the 'weak soft mutation'. Although it does not apply to many situations, some of these are quite common, although you may not have met all of them yet. It applies to:


What do you think of...

We are often asked what we think of or about things. The usual construction in Welsh is to use meddwl + o. Remember that meddwl should be mutated in this pattern following Beth...? or Be ...? (although not everybody remembers to do so!) and the ei that causes it may occasionally be left in, especially in writing:

Note that when talking about what people thought about something in the past (what did they think) we usually use the imperfect (beth oedden nhw'n ei feddwl o...) rather than the simple past. This is because 'thinking about' tends to be a continuing, longer lasting process than just a one-off event such as 'going to somewhere'.

Note that we use meddwl o when asking about or giving an opinion, but meddwl am, when, say, thinking about doing something:


What sort of place was it? What is someone like?

We have seen sut? with a verb so far, causing no mutation, and meaning simply 'How...?:

We can also use it in front of a noun or a name to ask 'What sort of place/person is xxx?' 'What is xxx like?' In this case, sut causes a soft mutation if it comes directly before a noun:


An example of a fixed expression - gyda'r nos

Welsh has many idiomatic or fixed expressions where a literal translation does not help to understand the actual meaning. One that is very widely used all over Wales is:

For example:


Money updated 2021-09-22

Money

The monetary units in British currency, punt (pound) and ceiniog (penny), are feminine nouns in Welsh, so we use the feminine versions of the numbers two, three and four for money:

Since there is no indefinite article 'a' in Welsh, a sentence like '£10 (ten pounds) a bottle' is translated in Welsh as £10 y botel.

To say that you can buy something for some amount of money, use am:

Note that:

So:

Plurals - punnau and punnoedd

It is quite acceptable these days to use the singular punt with larger amounts of money:

However, it is also still common to use the plurals punnau (with o, usually for specific amounts) and punnoedd (usually for non-specific amounts, but otherwise with o, too).

Note that the feminine forms of the final part of the numbers are used when they are followed by o bunnau:

Traditional 20-based numbers may also still be seen occasionally:

This last example is perhaps why people are now much more keen to use the newer decimal system of numbering for day-to-day purposes!


Other currencies

For other currencies we have:

Both doler and sent are feminine nouns and so will use the feminine numbers above. Ewro is a masculine noun so will use masculine numbers.


This, these, that and those

Often, we will want to ask 'How much is that?', 'How much are those?'. These are the words to use:

There are some variants of these, especially in some dialects and in more formal writing.

The h- words can also be used as demonstrative adjectives:


There are other words that we use for intangibles, abstract concepts that we cannot physically touch:

For example:

Note that as demonstrative adjectives they can used with plurals:


Health updated 2021-09-22

Being ill

The way of asking if someone is ill in Welsh is to say:


If you have a generalised illness such as a cold, the standard pattern to use is:

Note that in northern dialects the possessive pattern with gan is used rather than using ar. The gan, etc comes before the noun:

If you have a specific localised pain, such as sore throat, the answer is similar to the natural English sentence and we use gyda or gan, as in the Welsh possessive patterns. (This pattern is also used for a generalised illness in northern dialects):

Note that in the second phrase, the gen i has come between the mae... and the gwddw sâl/tost and so it causes a mutation of gwddw to wddw. This is the same cause of a soft mutation as was explained in the notes for 'Possession' earlier in the course.

The following ailments in Cymraeg, particularly where they affect the whole body or are some sort of internal infection, are usually on (ar) us instead of with (gyda/gan) us. (Not in northern dialects, though.) These include:


A conjugation of ar is needed for each pronoun and works like this:

English Cymraeg Example Translation
I have Mae ... arna i Mae annwyd arna i I have a cold
You have Mae ... arnat ti Mae peswch arnat ti You have a cough
He has Mae ... arno fe/fo Mae'r ddannodd arno fe/fo He has toothache
She has Mae ... arni hi Mae feirws arni hi She has a virus
We have Mae ... arnon ni Mae haint arnon ni We have a bug
You have Mae ... arnoch chi Mae gwres arnoch chi You have a temperature
They have Mae ... arnyn nhw Mae annwyd arnyn nhw They have a cold
Siân has Mae ... ar Siân Mae peswch ar Siân Siân has a cough

Some examples:

But in northern dialects:


Asking questions about health

With many diseases and complaints we can simply ask about their existence by using Oes...? as usual when asking about the existence of indefinite things:

In northern dialects:

However, some diseases in Welsh usually come with a definite article, even though there may not be in English. For example:

We do not use Oes...? as a question about definite things in Welsh, so we have to use Ydy...? with these 'definite' complaints instead:


Alternative forms in parts of north Wales

As mentioned, in the 'north' versions of the DysguCymraeg Mynediad and Sylfaen courses, the preposition gan is taught instead of both gyda and ar for ailments and injuries, reflecting local usage. The conjugation of gan was covered earlier in the course in 'Possession Gan'.

There are also some different forms for some common ailments.

Some examples:

Unless there is a specific alternative form, *poen * is usually used:

Note that there are also abbreviated forms. For example:


Revision2 updated 2020-08-12


The aim of this section is to revise patterns already covered, to extend their application, and to introduce additional vocabulary.


This skill revises some of the elements of the previous skills, in particular: Opinions; May I; Health; and Money.


The phrase 'Dawel Nos' in this unit is the Welsh title for the famous carol 'Stille Nacht' (Silent Night)


Please remember that there are occasional known glitches in the computer-generated voice - unfortunately the course team can do nothing about this, so please do not report audio faults. They have already been noted and they may be able to be fixed in the future.


Can&When updated 2020-12-07

Being able to ...

The simplest way to express 'to be able' or 'can' is to use the verb-nouns gallu or medru.

This is usually used with form of bod 'to be':

Adding another verb-noun directly after gallu/medru tells us what it is that the person can do:

In parts of north Wales, medru is often used instead of or alongside gallu:


We can also ask what someone is able to do:

Note that gwneud should be mutated in this construction. This is because of an ei which is usually left out in colloquial speech:

Note that you will come across Be? as a shortened form of Beth?.

As the thing that we are asking about Siôn's ability to do is vague or indeterminate, the masculine gender is assumed for it, so the ei (masculine) causes a soft mutation of gwneud.

Note that in this question Beth...? is followed by mae:


Another accent or diacritic - the diaeresis, y didolnod

We have already met some words which use a vowel with a circumflex accent (to bach or acen grom) to show that the vowel is always pronounced as a long vowel: dŵr, tŷ, ffôn, gêm, ...

A less common but important accent is the didolnod (diaeresis or 'double dot'), which looks the same as a printed German umlaut. In Welsh, it signifies that the vowel is to be pronounced as a separate long vowel in the emphasised syllable and not as part of a diphthong. Some examples:

It can be quite hard to spot in some fonts, so be careful to look out for it. Because it uses the same symbol as the umlaut, it is usually readily available on most keyboard layouts - just look on the web for how to get that accent on your particular device. On phones and tablets it can usually be found by keeping the character key pressed for a short while until a pop-up menu of accented characters appears. The same trick is usually available on MacOS keyboards, too.

Ever or never - byth, erioed

byth and erioed are used to mean both 'ever' and 'never', depending on the context. In a negative sentence they can be used in place of ddim to mean 'never'. They are used with particular tenses:

For example:


Describe1 updated 2020-12-27

Soft mutation of adjectives following feminine nouns

Remember that feminine nouns trigger soft mutation of following adjectives. Also remember that the order is usually noun, adjective. For example:

Note that the mutation also applies to more than one following adjective:


A special case - the verb following Pwy?

In questions stating with Pwy? (Who?) we cannot use mae or ydy in the present tense unless we are talking about something/someone specific - 'the fastest, the slowest', 'the teacher', the electrician', etc.. Instead, a special form is used - sy:

But:

Note that gyda is followed by an aspirate mutation, and gan by a soft mutation.

This is also covered later in the course in the topic on 'Emphasis'.


Which ...?

The question word most closely matching the English 'Which?' is 'Pa?. It can also be used for 'What?' in some contexts where there is a choice between one or more. It is followed by a soft mutation. Note that, like Pwy?, it must sometimes be followed by sy in the present tense:

It is also be used in the questions "Which one?' (Pa un, P'un) and 'Which ones? (Pa rai?):


FutureBod updated 2021-09-22

The future tense of bod

This unit introduces the future tense of the verb bod (to be, being).


The future tense of bod is used either on its own, to mean 'I will be', 'You will be', etc, or to help to form the future of other verbs such as 'I will be eating', 'You will be running', etc.

Here are the future forms of bod:


As with the present tense of bod, the future of bod can be used with 'n/yn and a verb-noun to create a future tense of other verbs:


Questions and answers

When asking a question, the first letter of a verb takes a soft mutation:


When answering 'Yes' we use the usual form of the positive statement, but without a pronoun.

When answering 'No', we use Na... + (mixed mutation) + the form of the statement:


Negatives

To negate a verb, the first letter takes a mixed mutation and ddim is added after the pronoun.

In the mixed mutation:

In the case of the future of bod this means that the b- takes a soft mutation to f-:

So:


Os with the future tense

In English it is usual to use the present tense followed by the future tense in an if-statement such as 'If it rains tomorrow I will stay at home. In Welsh, though, use the future tense for both parts of the sentence:

This is another example of where the two languages use different patterns and structures to convey the same meaning.


Britishisms - revising, to revise

In British English, one of the common meanings of 'revising' is to go over previously learned materials in order to strengthen our knowledge of them. For example, we might 'revise' our knowledge of the simple past tense of the main irregular verbs in advance of a Welsh exam. In Welsh we use adolygu for this meaning of 'revising'. It is not the same as 'studying' (astudio).


Places2 updated 2021-02-15


Saying 'there'

Welsh has several words for 'there' as in:

where 'there' is not necessarily specified in the sentence but perhaps has been mentioned earlier in the conversation. Two common words are:

While yna/'na is also used in other situations to mean 'then' or 'that', yno is only ever used to mean 'there'.


What sort of place was it? What is someone like?

We have seen sut? with a verb so far, causing no mutation, and meaning simply 'How...?:

We can also use it in front of a noun or a name to ask 'What sort of place/person is xxx?' 'What is xxx like?' In this case, sut causes a soft mutation if it comes directly before a noun:


Revision3 updated 2020-08-12

The aim of this section is to revise patterns already covered, to extend their application, and to introduce additional vocabulary.

Prepositions causing soft mutation

The prepositions that cause soft mutation in the immediately following word are:

(+) and their variants tros, trwy, tan


Writing to, Going to

When saying to a person (rather than a place) with certain verbs, such as writing to or going to them, we use at instead of i for 'to':

Conjugation of at English
ata i to me
atat ti to you (singular familiar)
atoch chi to you (plural, formal)
ati hi to her
ato fe/fo to him
aton ni to us
atyn nhw to them
at rywun to someone
at Rhys to Rhys

Note that at is one of the prepositions that are followed by a soft mutation.

Remember that personal names resist mutation.

Note that the preposition only conjugates when used with a pronoun, not with a noun:


Opinions2 updated 2021-09-22


I think that...

We look at the construction: I think that... For example:

Here, bod is used to introduce our opinion, in the way that 'that' can be used in English, as in those examples.


With a slightly modified pattern we can also use a pronoun at the start of what we think about someone. For example:

The variant of bod used in this pattern varies according to the pronoun being used - but only in the examples in bold type in the table below. (The pronouns in brackets may be dropped):

English Welsh
....that I am... ...(fy) mod i'n......
....that you are... ...(dy) fod ti'n......
....that he is... ...(ei) fod e/o'n......
....that she is... ...(ei) bod hi'n......
....that we are... ...(ein) bod ni'n......
....that you are... ...(eich) bod chi'n......
....that they... ...(eu) bod nhw'n......

Some more examples:


More words that use this pattern

So far we have seen this pattern with meddwl, and then with dweud and credu. It is in fact used quite widely, including with the following:


The pattern is the same in the imperfect

Even if the hoping, thinking, saying and so on was happening in the past, the pattern with bod stays the same:

Note that we use the imperfect rather than the simple past for past feelings, thoughts, etc, as they are generally continual in nature:


The pattern can be used with wedi instead of 'n/yn

By using wedi instead of 'n/yn we can put the second clause into the present perfect or pluperfect tenses:


Note that this pattern with bod, etc is not used with the future or conditional tenses.


Imperfect updated 2020-05-10


The imperfect tense

The imperfect is 'I was, You were', etc. It is used to describe things which went on over a period of time in the past, or which were habitual:

Here is the full pattern. Note that the spoken form is often shortened for some forms compared to the longer (written) form.

English Welsh Sentence
I was Ro'n (Roeddwn) i Ro'n i'n hapus.
You were Ro't (Roeddet) ti Ro't ti'n hapus.
He was Roedd e/o Roedd o'n hapus.
She was Roedd hi Roedd hi'n hapus.
We were Ro'n (Roedden) ni Ro'n ni'n hapus.
You were Ro'ch (Roeddech) chi Ro'ch chi'n hapus.
They were Ro'n (Roedden) nhw Ro'n nhw'n hapus.

Questions

The question is formed by dropping the initial r:


Negatives

The negative is formed by replacing the initial r with a d:


Yes and No

'Yes' and 'No' are formed from the question, dropping the pronoun for the affirmative and adding Nac for the negation:


Using arfer

The verb-noun arfer (being used to) can be used with the imperfect to mean that somebody used to do something habitually. It is not actually needed in Welsh to convey that meaning, but if it is used in Welsh is should always be translated into English as 'used to':


Emphatic sentences in the imperfect

Earlier in the course, emphatic sentences were introduced for describing someone's name, job, role, and so on, with yw/ydy following after the thing being emphasised. In the unemphatic sentence, the verb starts the sentence (mae here):

In the imperfect, there is also a difference in the verb-forms used, but it is less obvious:


pan - when (conjunction)

The word pan is used for 'when' when it is a conjunction joining two phrases or when introducing a time when something happened::

pan causes a soft mutation of an immediately following word, or the dropping of r- from forms of bod:


Describe Place updated 2019-10-16

These lessons support Cwrs Sylfaen Uned 5

Using adjectives to describe places and people is reviewed.


Using adjectives

Remember that following mae e, dw i, etc, the pattern is yn/'n + adjective (with weak soft mutation).

Remember that the weak soft mutation following yn/'n means that words beginning ll-, rh- do not mutate.

For example:


Remember that where the adjective follows a noun directly, it mutates if the noun is feminine and singular:


Sometimes an adjective can be a phrase of more than one word:


Using the 'possession' pattern to describe people

Welsh has no straightforward verb for 'having, possessing, owning' and so we use a roundabout pattern:

This can also be used for personal descriptions:


It looks good/awful/interesting/..,

To describe the look or appearance of somethingWe can just use edrych (looking):

A more idiomatic expression uses golwg (a look, appearance), a feminine noun, with the preposition ar:

(When used as a noun meaning (the sense of) sight, golwg usually takes masculine gender.)


Problems updated 2020-09-15


What's the matter?

In previous lessons we learned the question:-

The positive statement follows the same pattern:

This and similar idiomatic patterns do not translate literally into English and keep the same meaning - a common challenge when learning another language.


Some other idiomatic patterns

It is about time that we learned another couple of idiomatic patterns:

This is another pattern that uses i in this way, and so the pattern is a familiar one:

There are many of these i-based patterns used in Welsh, and they are sometimes known as i-dot patterns, after a Welsh name of the letter i - i-dot.

When we use mae at the front of these patterns it is usually either:

Remember that the form of i has to change with some pronouns:


Fault and blame

Another pattern that does not translate directly to or from English is about fault or blame.

This usually uses an emphatic construction, with the person or thing being blamed coming first in the sentence. The word for 'fault, blame' is bai, and the English can be phrased in several ways:

Remember that the preposition ar, like i, changes when used with pronouns:

For questions and negatives:


Answering Yes and No to an emphatic question.

Remember that the simplest Yes/No in Welsh - Ie/Nage (or Ia/Naci in northern dialects) - is used in response to an emphatic question - a question that does not start with a verb:


Prefer updated 2021-09-22


How to express a preference

'I prefer...' in Welsh is mae'n well gyda fi... or mae'n well gen i...:

Note that there is a soft mutation after well gyda fi/gen i, and an aspirate mutation after na.

A summary table of initial mutations in Welsh is here - https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Welsh/Mutations.


There are two ways of talking about things you hate:


How to say 'I had better...'

A very similar construction is used to say that someone had better do something - be careful to note the difference:

Some more examples:


Favourite things

The word for 'favourite' is hoff and, unusually in Welsh, this adjective comes before the noun (like hen, 'old'). Putting an adjective in front of a noun causes a soft mutation of the noun.

When talking about a favourite thing it is usual to use the emphatic pattern, putting either the 'favourite thing' phrase or the 'thing' that is favourite first in the sentence:


A pet hate

My 'pet hate' is 'the thing that I hate the most'. In Welsh, this is expressed by using the phrase cas beth. cas is an adjective, and when used in front of the noun, as in this particular phrase it causes a soft mutation of the noun that follows it, peth.

When talking about a 'pet hate' it is usual to put that phrase at the start of the sentence:


Asking for 'some'

'Some' in this context may mean 'a small amount of' an uncountable material or 'a small number' of countable things. There are several ways of expressing these, but a couple of common ones are to use peth (for 'amount') and rhai (for countable items). Remember that the object of a short-form verb takes a soft mutation:


Extend1 updated 2019-11-14

Years in the date

This is usually expressed simply in Welsh. For example:

However the pattern for the new milennium has altered:


TheNews updated 2020-07-06

How to construct a passive

This unit looks at the passive voice as often used in news reports, that is, how we describe things that have happened to somebody, as opposed to what they have done themselves.

The good news is that, unlike many other languages, Welsh has no passive voice built in to its verb system, so there is no extra set of verb endings to learn! Instead, in the colloquial register of the language, we use a workaround using cael (getting, to get):

Remember that some of the possessive pronouns (ei (her), ein, eu) cause the addition of h- at the front of a word beginning with a vowel. Note that the 'echoing' pronoun sometimes used in the possessive pattern (...ei char hi) is not used in this pattern:

So, if you know how to use cael, you can use it to create passive sentences.


If we want to say that something was done to someone by someone else, we use the preposition gan, here meaning 'by'. Gan causes soft mutation:


There is another workaround that you may hear of for making a passive - that uses the 'impersonal' forms of verbs, but that is usually only used in more formal registers of Welsh, and we do not cover it in this course.


Translating standalone verb-nouns - a reminder

Remember that if you are asked to translate a verb-noun such as bwyta, hoffi, yfed on its own, not as part of a longer phrase, back into English on this course you should use the forms 'xxxing' or 'to xxx'. Do not answer with just 'xxx' (eat, like, drink, swim, etc) as those forms can often be mixed up with nouns (a swim, a drink, ...) or commands (eat!, drink!). When you look them up in a dictionary the distinction is made clear, but we cannot do that on this course.)


BroughtUp updated 2021-02-06

This unit shows how to use the passive in the past.


A passive in the simple past tense

To say I was born in Welsh, we use a roundabout construction - I had my birthing:

So:

We use the same construction for being brought up (magu):

For all other persons the construction is the same:

This construction is also useful for events such as being paid, being seen, getting arrested, and so on....:


Remember the different mutations after the various possessive pronouns:

The h-vowel occurs when an h- is added in front of a vowel:

Some examples:


If we want to say that we were seen/paid/brought up/ arrested, etc by someone, we use the word gan (+ soft mutation):


Favours updated 2019-08-25


This unit teaches the conjugated forms in the future tense of the verb gwneud ('doing, to do, making, to make'), which can be used to say, for example:


Future of gwneud (doing, making)

English Statement Question Negative
I will do Gwna i Wna i? Wna i ddim
You will do (informal singular) Gwnei di Wnei di? Wnei di ddim
He will do Gwnaiff e (SW) / Gwneith o (NW) Wnaiff e? (SW) / Wneith o? (NW) Wnaiff e ddim (SW) / Wneith o ddim (NW)
She will do Gwnaiff hi (SW) / Gwneith hi (NW) Wnaiff hi? (SW) / Wneith hi? (NW) Wnaiff hi ddim (SW) / Wneith hi ddim (NW)
We will do Gwnawn ni Wnawn ni? Wnawn ni ddim
You will do (formal, plural) Gwnewch chi Wnewch chi? Wnewch chi ddim
They will do Gwnân nhw Wnân nhw? Wnân nhw ddim

Yes and No

Forms of the verb to do/make are used for 'Yes' and 'No' in the short future forms for most verbs.

English Yes Welsh English No Welsh
Yes (I will) Gwna(f) No (I will not) Na wna(f)
Yes (you will) Gwnei No (you will not) Na wnei
Yes (he will) Gwnaiff# No (he will not) Na wnaiff#
Yes (she will) Gwnaiff# No (she will not) Na wnaiff#
Yes (we will) Gwnawn No (we will not) Na wnawn
Yes (you (pl) will) Gwnewch No (you (pl) will not) Na wnewch
Yes (they will) Gwnân No (they will no)t Na wnân

'#' Northern dialects tend to use Gwneith/Na wneith

For example:

Future of cael (getting, being allowed to)

English Statement Question Negative
I will get Ca i Ga i? Cha i ddim
You will get (informal singular) Cei di Gei di? Chei di ddim
He will get Caiff e (SW) / Ceith o (NW) Gaiff e? (SW) / Geith o? (NW) Chaiff e ddim (SW) / Cheith o ddim (NW)
She will get Caiff hi (SW) / Ceith hi (NW) Gaiff hi? (SW) / Geith hi? (NW) Chaiff hi ddim (SW) / Cheith hi (NW) ddim
We will get Cawn ni Gawn ni? Chawn ni ddim
You will (formal, plural) Cewch chi Gewch chi? Chewch chi ddim
They will get Cân nhw Gân nhw? Chân nhw ddim

When answering Yes/No to questions using cael we use suitable forms of cael rather than of gwneud:


Emphasise1 updated 2020-11-04


Emphatic sentences

In an emphatic sentence the word order changes so that the subject comes first. For example, early in the course we met:

Now, instead of emphasising Megan's name or occupation we can emphasise that, for example, Megan who is in a particular place:

Note that this requires a different form of the verb - instead of mae or ydy/yw - sy (you may also see the full form of sy - sydd).

Note that sy is only used for this purpose in the present tense. In the future tense we use fydd, and in the imperfect we use oedd.

Note that nowadays the English pattern 'It is I who is...', It is she who is...' is rarely used in English except in very formal situations, so despite it's being grammatically correct, it is not used on this course. We use the less formal 'It is me/us/her who...', which is a better match for the informal register of Welsh taught on this course.


Emphasising who it is who owns something

So far we have met:

Now I pick up a pencil that I think is yours, not mine, not Dewi's. I want to ask 'Is this your pencil? There is a very irregular verb that we use for this: - biau (sometimes seen as piau). biau is only used with an emphatic pattern.

In the colloquial language this pattern is:

To state who owns it, we just drop the question mark and we do not lift our voice towards the end of the question:

Note that you will also come across the pattern without sy being used - that is perfectly valid, too, and it is in fact the normal pattern in more formal Welsh, as the sy is not strictly necessary. Where sy is used, there is no 'n/yn following sy - biau is a verb, not a verb-noun.


Extend2 updated 2019-05-18


Is it a verb or is it a noun?

When we mention verbs-nouns such as bwyta, cerdded, mynd and so on it is normal to think of them as meaning 'to eat, 'to walk', to go' - this is what we are used to in English.

In Welsh, things are a little different. The 'verbs' in this basic form are actually closer in meaning to teh English forms 'eating, 'walking', 'singing', and they can also be used as nouns:

These verb-nouns are very flexible:


'He had done something' - the pluperfect tense

Earlier in the course we covered how to use wedi to say that someone has done something:

We also covered the imperfect tense:

These can be combined to make the pluperfect tense - 'had done' something. We use wedi with roedd, etc:


Aspirate mutation

The aspirate mutation affects only the initial letters p-, t-, c-:

There are several causes of the aspirate mutation of p, t, c in modern Welsh. Here is a summary of the causes covered in this course:


Future Gwneud 1 updated 2018-10-25

Future with Gwneud

This unit supports Cwrs Sylfaen 18


The short-form future tense of gwneud

We have already met the future using forms of the verb 'bod':

Instead of using the future of bod to make the future tense, we can also use a 'short-form' future of gwneud and other verbs without using bod. This is especially common with gwneud, mynd, dod and cael.

The 'short-form' future implying a single future action is formed using the stem of the verb, in the same way as the past tense, and adding the appropriate future tense endings.

The future tenses of gwneud, mynd, dod and gwneud all look quite similar. but with a few differences. Here they are in a summary table:

Mynd Dod Cael Gwneud
A(f) i Do(f) i Ca i Gwna i
Ei di Doi di Cei di Gwnei di
Aiff/Eith e/o/hi Daw e/o/hi Caiff/Ceith e/o/hi Gwnaiff/Gwneith e/o/hi
Awn ni Down ni Cawn ni Gwnawn ni
Ewch chi Dewch chi Cewch chi Gwnewch chi
Ân nhw Dôn nhw Cân nhw Gwnân nhw

Note:

Examples:


The positive statement marker mi/fe is sometimes added at the start of the sentence in some dialects. Whn they are used, mi/fe causes a soft mutation of the verb:


Questions and answers

As with the future of bod, to ask a question we use a soft-mutated form of the verb:

In the short future tenses, the 'yes' answer is the positive of the future of gwneud and the 'no' answer is the negative.


Negatives

Negative statements start with a mixed mutation, as usual. (aspirate of p-, t-, c-, soft of the rest - with gwneud, then, it is a soft mutation) Note that the soft mutation of the object here is taken by dim => ddim:

Remember that we must use mo (not ddim) with definite objects of a negative verb.


Future Mynd 1 updated 2018-10-25

The short-form future tense of mynd

The 'short-form' future implying a single future action is formed using the stem of the verb, in the same way as the past tense, and adding the appropriate future tense endings.

The future tenses of mynd, dod, cael and gwneud are irregular and all look quite similar, but with a few differences. Here they are in a summary table:

Mynd Dod Cael Gwneud
A(f) i Do(f) i Ca i Gwna i
Ei di Doi di Cei di Gwnei di
Aiff/Eith e/o/hi Daw e/o/hi Caiff/Ceith e/o/hi Gwnaiff/Gwneith e/o/hi
Awn ni Down ni Cawn ni Gwnawn ni
Ewch chi Dewch chi Cewch chi Gwnewch chi
Ân nhw Dôn nhw Cân nhw Gwnân nhw

Note:


Examples:

Note that with 'I-forms' there is a second, different i meaning 'to':


The positive statement marker mi/fe is sometimes added at the start of the sentence in some dialects.


Questions and answers

As with the future of bod, to ask a question we use a soft-mutated form of the verb, but thsi does not apply with these forms of mynd. so we must rely on the quesiton mark and intonation to identify a question

In the short future tenses, the 'yes' answer is the positive of the future of gwneud and the 'no' answer is the negative.


Negatives

Negative verbs start with a mixed mutation, as usual. (aspirate of p-, t-, c-, soft of the rest).

Note that the soft mutation of the object here is taken by dim => ddim:


Future Dod 1 updated 2020-12-13

The short-form future tense of dod

The 'short-form' future implying a single future action is formed using the stem of the verb, in the same way as the past tense, and adding the appropriate future tense endings.

The future tenses of gwneud, mynd, dod and gwneud all look quite similar, but with a few differences. Here they are in a summary table:

Mynd Dod Cael Gwneud
A(f) i Do(f) i Ca i Gwna i
Ei di Doi di Cei di Gwnei di
Aiff/Eith e/o/hi Daw e/o/hi Caiff/Ceith e/o/hi Gwnaiff/Gwneith e/o/hi
Awn ni Down ni Cawn ni Gwnawn ni
Ewch chi Dewch chi Cewch chi Gwnewch chi
Ân nhw Dôn nhw Cân nhw Gwnân nhw

Note:


Examples:


The positive statement marker mi/fe is sometimes added at the start of the sentence in some dialects.


Questions and answers

As with the future of bod, to ask a question we use a soft-mutated form of the verb:

In the short future tenses, the 'yes' answer is the positive of the future of gwneud and the 'no' answer is the negative.


Negatives

Negative verbs start with a mixed mutation, as usual. (aspirate of p-, t-, c-, soft of the rest).

Note that the soft mutation of the object here is taken by dim => ddim:


Future Cael 1 updated 2018-10-25

The short-form future tense of cael

The 'short-form' future implying a single future action is formed using the stem of the verb, in the same way as the past tense, and adding the appropriate future tense endings.

The future tenses of mynd, dod, cael and gwneud are all irregular but look quite similar, although with a few differences. Here they are in a summary table:

Mynd Dod Cael Gwneud
A(f) i Do(f) i Ca i Gwna i
Ei di Doi di Cei di Gwnei di
Aiff/Eith e/o/hi Daw e/o/hi Caiff/Ceith e/o/hi Gwnaiff/Gwneith e/o/hi
Awn ni Down ni Cawn ni Gwnawn ni
Ewch chi Dewch chi Cewch chi Gwnewch chi
Ân nhw Dôn nhw Cân nhw Gwnân nhw

Note:


Examples:


The positive statement marker mi/fe is sometimes added at the start of the sentence in some dialects. They casue a soft mutaion of the verb


Questions and answers

As with the future of bod, to ask a question we use a soft-mutated form of the verb:

The 'yes' and 'no' answers are taken from the positive and negative statement forms:


Negatives

Negative verbs start with a mixed mutation, as usual. (aspirate of p-, t-, c-, soft of the rest).

Note that the soft mutation of the object here is taken by dim => ddim:


FutShort updated 2020-06-19


Shall and will

Remember that although 'shall' and 'will' are nowadays considered more or less equivalent in the future tense in English, this course generally only uses 'will' in translations of the future tenses - this is purely for the sake of simplicity.


The Simple future tense

There are two common ways of forming the simple future:

This section of the course shows how to use the first method, adding a future ending to the stem of a verb.


The 'short form' future tense

As well as using the future of bod or gwneud to form a future tense, we can use a short-form future for nearly all verbs if we wish. All we need to do is to remember what the stem is, and then we add the verb-ending for the future tense. You have met the idea of verb stems earlier in the course in the section on the short-form past tense.

Here is the full pattern using canu ('singing') as the example:

Note that the -ith ending in the third person future is more often used in some of the north and mid-Wales dialects, but you will come across both in the media.

Remember that short-form verbs cause a soft mutation of their object:

Here are some more examples:

Remember that if you use the particle mi in front of a positive verb, it causes a soft mutation:


Questions and answers

Questions take a soft mutation as usual:

For yes/no answers we use the yes/no forms from the future of gwneud:


Negatives

Negatives take a mixed mutation as usual (p t c - aspirate; b d g m ll rh - soft):

Remember that we use mo in front of a definite object of negative short-form verbs, not ddim:


Aux Future Gwneud updated 2020-02-22

Using gwneud to form a simple future


The Simple future tense

There are two common ways of forming the simple future:

This section of the course shows how to use the second method, using gwneud.


Using the simple future of gwneud to create a simple future of other verbs

This simple future of gwneud, which was covered a little earlier in the course, can be used to form a simple future tense of other verbs. This method is widely used all over Wales, especially in conversation.

Remember that the object of a short-form verb takes a soft mutation. In this case, the object of gwneud is the verb-noun for which we are creating the simple future tense. Using the example of canu:

The initial g- is often dropped in speech and the remaining w- may only be lightly pronounced, if at all.

In parts of north and mid-Wales, the particle mi is often added at the start of the phrase. In some parts of Wales you may also hear fe being used in the same way. Mi/Fe causes a soft mutation:

Some examples:


Questions and answers

As with the future of gwneud earlier in the course, just use the soft mutated form of gwna i, etc and raise the tone at the end of the question:

Remember that Fe/Mi is never used with a question.


The answers to any question in the simple future are the use that person's form of the future of gwneud


Negatives

As with other negatives, the verb takes a mixed mutation (soft mutation in the case of gwneud) and add ddim. The ddim has a soft mutation as the start of the object of the gwneud verb, so we do not mutate the verb-noun which follows it:


Revision4 updated 2020-08-04


British English expressions

In British English, we 'take' or 'sit' an academic, etc, examination. The Welsh equivalent is sefyll arholiad.


Cariad

Cariad has several meanings: love (the emotion), girlfriend, boyfriend.

When it is used for 'love', it is a masculine noun.

When it is used for boyfriend or girlfriend, its grammatical gender changes to match their actual gender:


Conditional updated 2021-04-09


The Conditional tense of bod

So far we have covered 'I am', 'I will be', 'I was', 'I have been' and so on. Another important form of the verb to cover is the 'conditional' - 'I would be'. For example:

This is how the conditional tense of bod runs:

Positive Question Negative Translation
baswn i faswn i? faswn i ddim I would be..etc
baset ti faset ti? faset ti ddim You would be..etc
basai fe/fo fasai fe/fo? fasai fe/fo ddim He would be..etc
basai hi fasai hi? fasai hi ddim She would be..etc
basen ni fasen ni? fasen ni ddim We would be..etc
basech chi fasech chi? fasech chi ddim You would be..etc
basen nhw fasen nhw? fasen nhw ddim They would be..etc

Note that fe/fo is usually used rather than e/o with verbs ending with -ai

To form a 'Yes' response to a question, take the statement form and remove the pronoun.

Baswn i = I would (be) -> Baswn = Yes (I would (be))

To form a 'No', add Na to the question form and remove the pronoun.

Faswn i? = Would I (be) -> Na faswn = No (I would not (be))

Some examples:


I would prefer...

We can use the conditional to express a preference, too. Rather like possession, the pattern uses gyda or gan:

Remember that in this sort of pattern we often drop the hi in positive statements and questions. Remember, too, that after gan/gyda xxx... there is a soft mutation. Some examples:


WouldDo updated 2020-11-24

Please remember that there are occasional known glitches in the computer-generated voice - unfortunately the course team can do nothing about this, so please do not report audio faults. They have already been noted and they may be able to be fixed in the future.


Reminder - 'any', 'a', 'some'

Remember that these often have no specific equivalents in Welsh:


Baswn forms - an equivalent

Another form of Bas- forms is Bydd-:


Shoulds and coulds

Here are the conditional verb endings with examples:

(Questions and negatives work just as they do with other tenses - there are examples below.)


Dylwn is the word used for 'I should'. It only exists in a conditional form:

Some examples:


Gallu (being able to) (or Medru) can also be used with a conditional form, meaning 'could (be able to)' using the same endings:


Unlikely if

If something unlikely were to happen - in English we often combine two conditionals to say what we would do if something unlikely were to happen:

In Welsh, there is a special form of bod which includes the 'unlikely if'. It uses the same conditional endings shown above. Instead of the word begining with bas-/bydd-, it starts with tas-:

Here is the full conjugation:

Note that tas- forms are usually matched with bas- forms rather than bydd- forms.

Note that we do not use os for 'if' in this case. We use os if the likelihood of the thing happening is neutral. We do not normally use a conditional tense with os:

(Usually os is used with a future tense, but if we do use it with the third person present tense, as in the second example, it must be os ydy..., not * os mae..., although that is a common mistake.)


Not minding

When we are asked whether we would like to do something, we may want to answer: 'I don't mind', 'it doesn't matter' In Welsh we use expressions including the word ots:

There are several variations in common use in the colloquial language:

Some examples:


GiveAdvice updated 2020-04-30


Please remember that there are occasional known glitches in the computer-generated voice - unfortunately the course team can do nothing about this, so please do not report audio faults. They have already been noted and they may be able to be fixed in the future.


Ought to, Should do

There is a verb Dylwn - 'ought to, should' - that we use when saying that someone 'should' or 'ought to' do something. Only the conditional tense is in use in colloquial Modern Welsh.

(Because its other forms, such as its verb-noun and its other tenses, are missing, it is called a 'defective' verb.)

It has the same conditional tense endings as baswn i ( I would be), hoffwn i' ( I would like), etc, that are introduced elsewhere in the course:

Note that fe/fo is usually used in preference to e/o with verbs ending in -ai.

It is followed by a soft mutation:


Ought to have, Should have

To form a past tense, we add bod wedi in front of the verb-noun, and it is bod wedi which catches the mutation:

With the negative, as before, it is dim which catches the mutation:


Idiomatic expressions

Idiomatic expressions are those which convey a meaning, but by using words or structures that do not necessarily say so directly. In English, for example:

In this unit we introduce a Welsh idiom that might be said when giving advice:

As in English, many idioms and sayings in Welsh use quite old-fashioned or very formal words and patterns, as in this piece of advice which applies well to learning Welsh:


As a reminder, there is an idiomatic way of saying that somebody wants to do something. This uses the preposition am. Remember that am causes soft mutation:


Distance&Size updated 2021-01-19


Audio

Please remember that there are occasional known glitches in the computer-generated voice - unfortunately the course team can do nothing about this, so please do not report audio faults. They have already been noted and they may be able to be fixed in the future.


Feminine forms of numbers

The numbers 2, 3 and 4 change to their feminine forms dwy, tair, pedair before a feminine noun. Singular feminine nouns, such as milltir (a mile), take a soft mutation after un, dwy.

Remember that pum(p), chwe(ch), can(t) lose their final letter (p, ch, t) before nouns, masculine or feminine. (Note that until Duo fix the system-wide zombie sentence bug we are unable to remove examples where this has not been done here.)

Look at the the following examples, and note the changes in form of 2, 3, 4 and the soft mutation after un, dwy:

Note that un causes a weak soft mutation - no mutation of feminine nouns beginning ll-, rh-:

Note that the feminine form tair does not cause a mutation, whereas the masculine form tri causes an aspirate mutation:

This use of feminine number forms, the weak soft mutation after un, and the soft mutation after dwy apply to all singular feminine nouns.


Remember that masculine nouns take a soft mutation after dau, just as feminine nouns do after dwy.


How far? How big?

When asking 'how far?', 'how big?', 'how wide?', 'how tasty?' and so on, we use pa mor...? Like un above, mor in this sense causes a weak soft mutation:


In answer we might say:

Note that troedfedd means a foot in length, not a foot with toes!


Reporting what someone said

There is a special verb to report what someone said in the past, and we introduce some forms of it here.

For example:


British English usage

In British English, people's weights are expressed in kilograms, or in stones and pounds rather than in pounds alone. In Welsh, a pound weight (lb) is pwys and a stone weight (st) is stôn.

Note:- 1 stone (in weight) = 14 pounds (in weight)


Comparing1 updated 2021-09-22


The equative pattern for adjectives - 'as xxx as'

The usual pattern for saying that something is 'as xxx as' something else, the equative pattern, is by using mor:

mor causes weak soft mutation (no mutation of ll- or rh-):

Remember that â, like gyda, causes an aspirate mutation:

Note that ti (you) usually resists this aspirate mutation:

Note that when â precedes a vowel, it changes to ag, just as gyda changes to gydag. For example:


A few adjectives are irregular in their equative form, and instead of using mor, the particle cyn is used with them, or embedded in them, instead. (cyn sometimes loses its -n when it is embedded.)

Here are some common ones:

Like mor, cyn causes weak soft mutation.

(Note - this usage of cyn is completely separate to its meaning of 'before'.)


Note that this pattern is also used to say that something is 'so big', 'so red', 'so fast' etc, often with a soft mutation if it acts as an adverb:


When used following a verb-form of bod, there is no need to put yn/'n between the verb and the adjective to link them - mor/cyn provides this link instead:


We may want to compare things to other things by saying that something is like something else. For this we can use fel:


'Together' and 'as each other'

When discussing people 'together' with one another or 'as (something) as each other' we use the word gilydd. (This is a mutated form of cilydd, as word which is now rarely seen). Gilydd is most often used in conjunction with:

For example:

Note the form ...'i gilydd that is used with they/nhw.


Would Hoffi Gallu updated 2018-10-25

Conditional forms of Hoffi/Licio (liking) and Gallu/Medru (being able to)

In an earlier section you met the use of the conditional of bod to form expresssions such as 'I would....'

However, as with the future and past tenses, it is possible to express the conditional using short forms of verbs. This is commonly used in colloquial Welsh with the verbs hoffi/licio (liking, to like) and gallu/medru (being able, to be able).


The verb endings in the short-form conditional are the same as those of the conditional of bod, but this time added to the stems of hoffi (hoff-), licio (lici-), gallu (gall-) and medru (medr-) respectively.

For example, here is how the conditional tense of hoffi runs. The other verbs take the same endings:

Verb with ending Translation
hoffwn i I would like
hoffet ti You would like (singular familar)
hoffai fe/fo He would like
hoffai hi She would like
hoffen ni We would like
hoffech chi You would like (polite or plural)
hoffen nhw They would like

As with other short-form verbs, the short-form condtional of these verbs is followed by a soft mutation of the object:


Questions and Answers

As with other verbs, the question forms take a soft mutation where possible:

For answers, we use a suitable conditional form of the same verb, but without the pronoun. In a negative answers, na causes a mixed mutation, although just a soft mutation is needed here, and only with gallu and medru:


Negatives

As with other verbs, the negative form would take a mixed mutation, but only the soft mutation is required here, and only with gallu and medru.


Remember, too, that mo (a contraction of the more formal ddim o) is used instead of ddim before a definite object:


Could have, Would have

Just as in the perfect tense 'I have gone' (Dw i wedi mynd), we can say 'I would have been able to...' and 'Dewi would have liked to...'. We do this by adding bod wedi after the subject of the verb, mutating it if it follows directly:

In a negative, the ddim takes the mutation, as usual:


Comparing2 updated 2019-02-20

If you are following Cwrs Sylfaen, these lessons correspond to Uned 26.


Forming and using comparative adjectives

To compare adjectives, to say something is -er than something else, you can normally add -ach- on the end of the adjective, sometimes with some modifications. For example:

The comparative of longer adjectives is formed in a similar way to English by using mwy (more):

There are some common exceptions:

If we want to compare two things, we use na for 'than':

na is followed, like â, a, gyda and tua, by an aspirate mutation of p-, t-, c-:

Note that ti generally resists mutation:


Note that in modern English we usually say 'He is taller than her', or 'He is taller than she is', and those are the patterns used on this course.


Forming superlatives

In a similar way to forming the comparative forms of adjectives, the superlative (-est) of adjectives can be formed either by adding -a (although this is usually -af in written Welsh):

The superlative of longer adjectives is formed in a similar way to English by using mwya (most):

There are some common exceptions:

The notes and lessons in Comparing3 will show how to use the superlative.


Being good at doing things

To say that someone is good at something, there is a very simple pattern using da am (good at):

Remember that there is a weak soft mutation after this usage of yn (no mutation of ll- or rh-).

Remember that there is a soft mutation after am.


Dates 1 updated 2021-09-22

Dates

So far, we have introduced numbers using the newer decimal system: un, dau, deg, un deg un, dau ddeg, and so on. When we are using dates in Welsh we still use the old twenty-based (vigesimal) system. This is the same for the first ten, but then the numbering system changes. Here are the twenty-based numbers 10-15:

Number Cymraeg (10) Cymraeg (20)
10 deg deg
11 un deg un un ar ddeg
12 un deg dau deuddeg
13 un deg tri tri ar ddeg
14 un deg pedwar pedwar ar ddeg
15 un deg pump pymtheg

Here are the numbers 1 to 15 as ordinals, as used with dates:

Ordinal Cymraeg
1st cyntaf
2nd ail
3rd trydydd
4th pedwerydd
5th pumed
6th chweched
7th seithfed
8th wythfed
9th nawfed
10th degfed
11th unfed ar ddeg
12th deuddegfed
13th trydydd ar ddeg
14th pedwerydd ar ddeg
15th pymthegfed

These are used to form a date as follows:

Remember that the preposition o is followed by a soft mutation.

Note that the word mis is usually dropped in this pattern since from the context it is clear that the date refers to a month, not to anything else of the same or similar name. So:


Other uses of the ordinal numbers

The ordinals can also be used to describe any noun - the fifth boy, the first prize, and so on. When used like this they come before the noun, except for cyntaf, which follows it.

[cyntaf is actually a superlative form of an ordinary adjective, so it follows the rule that (nearly all) adjectives follow the noun.]


With feminine nouns following 'r/yr/y, the ordinal and the noun both take a soft mutation:

For use with feminine nouns there are feminine forms of some of the numbers and some of the ordinals, shown here in brackets:

English Cymraeg
3rd trydydd (trydedd)
4th pedwerydd (pedwaredd)
13th trydydd (trydedd) ar ddeg
14th pedwerydd (pedwaredd) ar ddeg
19th pedwerydd (pedwaredd) ar bymtheg
23rd trydydd (trydedd) ar hugain
24th pedwerydd (pedwaredd) ar hugain

So, for example:

Note also that ail (second) causes a soft mutation of the noun.

For the abbreviations commonly used in writing the dates (-st, -nd, -rd, -th), Welsh uses the following:

Cardinal Welsh word abbreviation
1st cyntaf 1af
2nd ail 2ail
3rd trydydd 3ydd
4th pedwerydd 4ydd
5th pymed 5ed
6th chweched 6ed
7th seithfed 7fed
8th wythfed 8fed
9th nawfed 9fed
10th degfed 10fed
11th unfed ar ddeg 11ed
12th deuddegfed 12fed
13th trydydd ar ddeg 13eg
14th pedwerydd ar ddeg 14eg
15th pumthegfed 15ed
16th unfed ar bymtheg 16eg
17th ail ar bymtheg 17eg
18th deunawfed 18fed
19th pedwerydd ar bymtheg 19eg
20th ugeinfed 20fed
21st unfed ar hugain 21ain
22nd ail ar hugain 22ain
23rd trydydd ar hugain 23ain
24th pedwerydd ar hugain 24ain
25th pumed ar hugain 25ain
26th chweched ar hugain 26ain
27th seithfed ar hugain 27ain
28th wythfed ar hugain 28ain
29th nawfed ar hugain 29ain
30th degfed ar hugain 30ain
31st unfed ar ddeg ar hugain 31ain

Numbers with days and nights/evenings

To say 'three days', 'four nights' and so on, we use the words diwrnod (masculine) (a day) and noson (feminine) (a night/evening):


Comparing3 updated 2021-03-01


The superlative - how to translate '-est'

In Welsh, when saying that something is 'the best', the quickest', the cleanest' and so on, we always use an emphatic sentence, with the thing that is the '-est' being put at the front of the sentence:

Note that a third person singular verb (ydy/yw; oedd, fydd, etc) is always used with 'the -est', regardless of whether or not the '-est' thing is singular or plural, we or you, etc:


When emphasising with a pronoun or proper noun and using an adjective, the superlative adjective will softly mutate for singular feminine nouns. For example:

In the case of gorau, the g mutates away for Siân as she is feminine. Other examples include:

Similarly if mwya is used:


When asking a question about whether someone is the tallest, or whether a thing is the most expensive and so on, a question must start with the person or thing, as with any emphatic question:


Note that in Welsh, unlike in English, we use the superlative form (-a, -af) to say that something or someone is the taller/shorter/better/etc of two as well as the tallest/shortest/best/etc of three or more:


Using an emphatic clause as the second part of a sentence - mai/taw

When using that in the middle of a two-part sentence where the second part is emphatic, the verb bod changes to the particle mai/taw. This allows us to use another, separate verb in the second part of the sentence, maintaining its emphatic structure. For example:

Similarly with clauses that use sy:

Note the use of sy'n after the pronoun or proper noun.

Similarly, Dw i'n gwybod taw ti sy'n siarad is also correct - taw often being used instead of mai in west and south Wales.


mai/taw can also be used with other tenses, and the translation will also change according to the tense used. For example:


Dates 2 updated 2019-10-02

More on the older vigesimal counting system

Following on from the first section on numbers used in dates, here is a full table of the numbers 10 to 31 in the vigesimal system. You will see that the numbers from 20 to 30 are actually very regular, made up as 'nn on twenty' - nn ar hugain.

Note the h- on the front of ugain when it follows ar - this is a unique pattern in Welsh)

31 uses another pattern - 'one on ten on twenty'.

Number Cymraeg (10) Cymraeg (20)
10 deg deg
11 un deg un un ar ddeg
12 un deg dau deuddeg
13 un deg tri tri ar ddeg
14 un deg pedwar pedwar ar ddeg
15 un deg pump pymtheg
16 un deg chwech un ar bymtheg
17 un deg saith dau ar bymtheg
18 un deg wyth deunaw
19 un deg naw pedwar ar bymtheg
20 dau ddeg ugain
21 dau ddeg un un ar hugain
22 dau ddeg dau dau ar hugain
23 dau ddeg tri tri ar hugain
24 dau ddeg pedwar pedwar ar hugain
25 dau ddeg pump pump ar hugain
26 dau ddeg chwech chwech ar hugain
27 dau ddeg saith saith ar hugain
28 dau ddeg wyth wyth ar hugain
29 dau ddeg naw naw ar hugain
30 tri deg deg ar hugain
31 tri deg un un ar ddeg ar hugain

And here is a full table of the ordinal numbers used in dates. For interest, this includes the abbreviations equivalent to 1st, 2nd, and so on. You may see these on posters advertising events and so on, but we do not want you to use them on the course at this stage - it is important to practise the full forms first.

English Cymraeg Talfyriad
1st cyntaf 1af
2nd ail 2il
3rd trydydd 3ydd
4th pedwerydd 4ydd
5th pumed 5ed
6th chweched 6ed
7th seithfed 7fed
8th wythfed 8fed
9th nawfed 9fed
10th degfed 10fed
11th unfed ar ddeg 11eg
12th deuddegfed 12fed
13th trydydd ar ddeg 13eg
14th pedwerydd ar ddeg 14eg
15th pymthegfed 15fed
16th unfed ar bymtheg 16eg
17th ail ar bymtheg 17eg
18th deunawfed 18fed
19th pedwerydd ar bymtheg 19eg
20th ugeinfed 20fed
21st unfed ar hugain 21ain
22nd ail ar hugain 22ain
23rd trydydd ar hugain 23ain
24th pedwerydd ar hugain 24ain
25th pumed ar hugain 25ain
26th chweched ar hugain 26ain
27th seithfed ar hugain 27ain
28th wythfed ar hugain 28ain
29th nawfed ar hugain 29ain
30th degfed ar hugain 30ain
31st unfed ar ddeg ar hugain 31ain

For interest...

We also use these forms for saying things such as:


When it comes to the compound ordinals, the noun comes after the first element:


With feminine nouns following 'r/yr/y, the ordinal and the noun both take a soft mutation:

For use with feminine nouns there are feminine forms of some of the numbers and some of the ordinals, shown here in brackets:

English Cymraeg
3rd trydydd (trydedd)
4th pedwerydd (pedwaredd)
13th trydydd (trydedd) ar ddeg
14th pedwerydd (pedwaredd) ar ddeg
19th pedwerydd (pedwaredd) ar bymtheg
23rd trydydd (trydedd) ar hugain
24th pedwerydd (pedwaredd) ar hugain

So, for example:


Higher numbers use a similar system:

English Cymraeg Talfyriad
100th canfed 100fed
1000th milfed 1000fed

Duration updated 2021-09-22


The 'simple past' tense of bod

When talking about actions that started and completed within specific periods of times in the past in Cymraeg, a simple past form of the verb bod (being, to be) bu- can be used instead of the imperfect tense roedd-.

The simple past of bod is conjugated as follows in the colloquial language:

Some examples:


There is a specific expression for describing when somebody died - bu farw (or sometimes fu farw) - which you will often see on gravestones.

Note that there is no yn, and that marw (to die, dying) has been mutated to farw. This construction comes from older forms of Welsh, and it has continued to be used for this particular purpose.


I have been here since...

In English we use the perfect tense to describe how long someone has been somewhere where they still are, or how long they have been doing something that they are still doing:

In Welsh we use thge word ers and the present tense of bod for this meaning, rather than the present perfect. So those same two sentences in Welsh are:


I was there for ... I will be there for ...

A - Use ers (since) with actions that started in the past and were or are continuing at the time of the statement.

B - Use am (for) for the duration of actions that started and finished in the past, or which are starting now or in the future.


In formal Welsh, you may see er rather than ers for actions that started at a specified time - er 2005, er mis Rhagfyr - but this is not very common in colloquial Welsh.


Dates

Here is a full table of the ordinal numbers used in dates. For interest, this includes the abbreviations equivalent to 1st, 2nd, and so on. You may see these on posters advertising events and so on, but we do not want you to use them on the course at this stage - it is important to practise the full forms first.

English Cymraeg Talfyriad
1st cyntaf 1af
2nd ail 2il
3rd trydydd 3ydd
4th pedwerydd 4ydd
5th pumed 5ed
6th chweched 6ed
7th seithfed 7fed
8th wythfed 8fed
9th nawfed 9fed
10th degfed 10fed
11th unfed ar ddeg 11eg
12th deuddegfed 12fed
13th trydydd ar ddeg 13eg
14th pedwerydd ar ddeg 14eg
15th pymthegfed 15fed
16th unfed ar bymtheg 16eg
17th ail ar bymtheg 17eg
18th deunawfed 18fed
19th pedwerydd ar bymtheg 19eg
20th ugeinfed 20fed
21st unfed ar hugain 21ain
22nd ail ar hugain 22ain
23rd trydydd ar hugain 23ain
24th pedwerydd ar hugain 24ain
25th pumed ar hugain 25ain
26th chweched ar hugain 26ain
27th seithfed ar hugain 27ain
28th wythfed ar hugain 28ain
29th nawfed ar hugain 29ain
30th degfed ar hugain 30ain
31st unfed ar ddeg ar hugain 31ain

These are used to form a date as follows:

Remember that the preposition o is followed by a soft mutation.

Note that the word mis is usually dropped in this pattern since from the context it is clear that the date refers to a month, not to anything else of the same or similar name. So:


Preposit. updated 2021-09-22

Prepositions

Prepositions, arddodiaid in Cymraeg, behave in a similar fashion in Cymraeg as in English; they tell where an object is in relation to another object. Several prepositions cause soft mutation of the immediately following word. Not all of them are introduced here, but the following verse may help you to remember them for the future:

(+) and their variants tros, trwy, tan

For example:


Prepositions can be made up of more than one word. For example:

For example:


Rheolaeth, Rheolydd

'A remote control', such as a gadget to control a television, is rheolydd pell.

Rheolaeth bell is the process of remote control - 'controlling remotely'.


Some British English usage - 'dice'


HappyAgain updated 2021-03-26

This unit looks at three different patterns.


Saying/Thinking/Believing etc that...

We often want to say something like:

In Welsh we can use use forms of bod to make that link. If the second part of the sentences is in the present or the imperfect we use these forms:

Note that the possessive pronoun before the bod is often dropped in colloquial Welsh, but any mutation remains:


There are other forms of bod and other verbs that can be used to make the link, too:

**Note in written forms of Welsh 'y' indicates 'that' with those tenses. In the colloquial language, the 'y' is often omitted.


Saying that you did not do/see/hear something specific

We usually use ddim in a negative:

But we cannot use ddim with y/yr/'r or with proper nouns, names or pronouns. Instead we have to use a pattern similar to 'nothing of' in English - ddim o, which is almost always abbreviated to mo


Being 'really happy'

The word bodd (pleasure) is used along with wrth + possessive pronouns which mutate the b- to express the idea of being 'really happy' about something.

For example:

The forms are (and note the plural form boddau which is often used with plural pronouns):


Revision5 updated 2020-12-20

The aim of this section is to revise patterns already covered, to extend their application, and to introduce additional vocabulary.


Llongyfarchiadau! Congratulations!

Having reached this far means that you've covered Cwrs Mynediad and Cwrs Sylfaen, which normally takes up to four years in a community education setting! Dal ati - Keep at it!

Mae'r uned hon yn dod â'r pum uned ddiwethaf at ei gilydd.

This unit brings the last five units together.


Conditional2 updated 2020-11-02


Some British expressions

We realise that there are many people using this course who are not familiar with some British activities , so here are some notes which may help.

A coffee morning is a morning social gathering at which coffee or tea is available. In the Welsh context it often provides an opportunity to socialise though the medium of Cymraeg, as well as for those learning the language to gain confidence in speaking Cymraeg and to talk about learning Cymraeg. Some coffee mornings are also held to raise money for good causes.

A car boot sale often takes place in a large open area where people can offer things for sale from the boot of their car. There are usually many people doing this in the same place together. Not the same as a 'garage sale'.


Adverbs1 updated 2021-09-22

An adferf (adverb) is a word or phrase that modifies a verb or adjective, often saying how something is done. In Cymraeg, they can often be created by using the pattern of yn plus an adjective (with a weak soft mutation). For example:

Note the contraction of yn to 'n following a vowel.

Note that the intensifier iawn ('very') can also be used, as in the example above.

Note that yn causes a 'weak soft mutation' in this usage - it does not mutate words beginning with ll- or rh- :


Soft mutation of some words used as adverbs

Some adverbs are formed by a soft mutation of a basic word rather than by prefixing them with yn:

With some of these, the basic unmutated word or phrase is not used or very uncommon in the colloquial language:


Extend3 updated 2018-10-25

Os dych chi'n dilyn Cwrs Canolradd, dyma Uned 5.

(These skills support unit 5 of Cwrs Canolradd)

Extend 4 updated 2018-10-25

Extend vocab and revise patterns

SentenceTags updated 2021-09-22


Sentence tags, or tag questions

Sentence tags are the fillers that give you extra "thinking time" and can make you sound more fluent.


In Lesson 1, the form on'd/oni + time phrase is used, meaning isn't it, wasn't it, won't she...?. Often, a positive answer is expected when a sentence tag such as this is used.

The form oni is used before consonants, and on'd before vowels. (You may sometimes see on'd written in full as onid in more formal Welsh.) Oni causes 'mixed mutation' - aspirate of p, t, c, and soft of b, d, g, m, ll, rh.

Some examples:

Note that an emphatic statement, typically about names, jobs and roles, uses a tag of ife? or on'd ife:

It can also be used to frame a question:


In Lesson 2, the sentence tags for you know? are taught and can be used to fill out your sentences. Two versions from the many that are used have been included:


There are many more sentence tags that are used in Welsh, so this unit is just to give you an basic idea of how they work. If you watch or listen to the Welsh media you will come across many more.


A need - Angen

Like eisiau, angen is a noun, not a verb-noun, and it is used in the same exceptional pattern as eisiau:

Adverbs2 updated 2020-03-31

These lessons show how to describe actions with adverbs, especially about how we do things - this a a revision and extension of Adverbs1.

The last lesson also introduces the the preposition am ('about', or sometimes 'for').


Adverbs - describing how and when we do things

We often need to say how, when, where or why we do things, and we do this by using adverbs:

One way of doing this in Welsh is to create the adverb from an adjective by putting yn/'n between the verb and the adjective:

Remember that yn causes a weak soft mutation of a following noun or adjective (no mutation of ll-, rh-)

While the method shown above is a simple way of creating adverbs, there are other expressions which can describe how and we do things - they don't all use yn:

Note that adverbs saying when we do things are usually mutated:

We may also need to say why we do things - that will be covered later in the course.


Am (about, for) - how it changes with the person to whom it refers

Am is one of several Welsh prepositions that take additional endings in front of personal pronouns:

Very straightforward. But what if she is waiting for you?

Now she is searching for Dewi, or her gloves:


In full, this is how am conjugates:

Those are the common forms used on this course - you may come across minor variations elsewhere.


Remember that in Welsh, as in other languages, there are words which can have more than one meaning. In this unit, for example you will meet ysgol - 'a ladder', or 'a school'.


(Note - For those people who already know some Welsh, please note that this course does not cover the more formal forms of the language where the pronouns may get dropped - responses without the pronouns may not always be accepted.)


Ever or never - byth, erioed

As a reminder, byth and erioed are used to mean both 'ever' and 'never', depending on the context. In a negative sentence they can be used in place of ddim to mean 'never'. They are used with particular tenses:

For example:


Education1 updated 2020-03-02

Forgotten your ruler (pren mesur) and pencil (pensil)? DETENTION! Done your Duolingo homework (gwaith cartre) - gold star!


The Education System in Wales / Y System Addysg yng Nghymru

The education system in Wales includes the Foundation Phase (y Cyfnod Sylfaen), Key Stage 1 (Cyfnod Allweddol 1), KS2, KS3, and KS4 (GCSE / TGAU).

The Foundation Phase includes children 3 - 7 years old. Children are encouraged to be creative and imaginative and learn by taking part in practical activities instead of working through exercises in textbooks. This Phase includes Nursery (yr Ysgol Feithrin) and Reception (y Dosbarth Derbyn) (see -http://www.theschoolrun.com/overview-welsh-education-system).

Key Stage 1 sees the start of compulsory education age and pupils are aged 5 - 7.

KS2 sees the second phase of compulsory education and pupils are aged 7 - 11. KS1 and KS2 (Years 1 to 6) are taught in Primary Schools (Ysgolion Cynradd).

See the notes for 'Education 2' to find out about Key Stage 3, further education and Welsh-medium education.

At the time of writing (mis Mehefin 2016), the Welsh Government, lead by Professor Graham Donaldson, is restructuring the whole curriculum from the Foundation Phase to GCSE. This new curriculum will be available for implementation from mis Medi 2018 onwards and is hoped to be fully implemented by yr haf 2021.


Medium of education

In Wales, schools at each level are often described by their 'medium of education', that is, the language through which the education is provided. Schools can be 'Welsh-medium', 'Bilingual' or 'English-medium'.

In this sense, the word for 'medium' is cyfrwng, as in addysg cyfrwng Cymraeg (Welsh-medium education). However, that is not needed in expressions such as ysgol Gymraeg (a Welsh-medium school) or ysgol Saesneg (an English-medium school), where Cymraeg or Saesneg are used as adjectives meaning Welsh/English-medium.


Education2 updated 2020-03-02

Forgotten your ruler (pren mesur) and pencil (pensil)? DETENTION! Done your Duolingo homework (gwaith cartre) - gold star!


Education System in Wales / Y System Addysg yng Nghymru

The education system in Wales includes the Foundation Phase (y Cyfnod Sylfaen), Key Stage 1 (Cyfnod Allweddol 1), KS2, KS3, and KS4 (GCSE / TGAU).

KS3 sees the first phase of compulsory secondary education (addysg uwchradd) and pupils are aged 11 - 14. This KS includes Years 7, 8, and 9.

KS4 sees the last phase of compulsory secondary education (and education in general) and pupils are aged 15 - 16. This KS includes Years 10 and 11 and is called GCSE - General Certificate of Secondary Education (TGAU - Tystysgrif Gyffredinol Addysg Uwchradd). KS3 and KS4 (Years 7 to 11) are taught in Secondary Schools.

After compulsory education, pupils who qualify can continue post-16 education (addysg ôl-16) at Six Form (y Chweched Dosbarth) or College (y Coleg) (both termed as FE - Further Education / AB - Addysg Bellach)), take Apprenticeships (Prentisiaethau), or start in the world of work, and eventually move on to University (Prifysgol) (termed as HE - Higher Education, AU - Addysg Uwch).


Welsh-medium education - Addysg cyfrwng Cymraeg

All schools in Wales teach Welsh (termed as "Welsh second language" in English-medium schools (ysgolion Saesneg) and as "Welsh first language" in Welsh-medium schools (ysgolion Cymraeg).

There are currently (2016) 65,460 pupils in primary education who receive their education through the medium of the Welsh language, which equates to 24% of the overall total. 36,485 pupils in secondary education also receive their education though the medium of Welsh, which equates to 20% of the overall total.

At the time of writing (mis Mehefin 2016), the Welsh Government, lead by Professor Graham Donaldson, is restructuring the whole curriculum from the Foundation Phase to GCSE. This new curriculum will be available for implementation from mis Medi 2018 onwards and is hoped to be fully implemented by yr haf 2021.


TheHome1 updated 2018-10-25

This section introduces some vocabulary to use about the home, and it gives an opportunity to practice some patterns and rules you have met already.

About a third of Welsh nouns are feminine, and although there are some rough guides as to how to recognise them, there are also many exceptions. The best thing is to learn the gender of nouns as you first meet them. If you make lists of the words that you learn, note those that are feminine.

It is also useful to look up and note down the plurals, too - Gweiadur Pawb and Geiriadur yr Academi are useful on-line dictionaries to help you. The Gweiadur gives both Welsh to English and English to Welsh, it often has examples of how the words are used, and it often has real voice recordings of the pronunciation of the Welsh words.


Soft mutations and feminine nouns

Firstly, the definite article y/yr/'r causes weak soft mutation of feminine nouns (that is, it does not cause mutation of words beginning with ll- or rh-).

Secondly, remember that an adjective following a feminine noun undergoes soft mutation.

Some feminine nouns used about the home include:

Remember that plural nouns lose their singular gender, so they do not undergo, or cause, either of the mutations mentioned above.

So:

But:

Cult&Lang updated 2021-09-22

The 'something' of the 'something' pattern

The Welsh xxx y zzz translates into English as 'the xxx of the zzz'. So:

This is a common pattern:


Welsh culture

Wales has many traditions and customs, and an interesting history; all being entwined with the rich development of the Welsh language.

The National Eisteddfod (yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol in Cymraeg) is held every summer and celebrates poetry, the arts, the sciences and contemporary Welsh culture in a week long programme. It is held in a different location each year, alternating between the main regions of Wales. For example, Cardiff in south-central Wales (2018), Anglesey, north-west Wales (2017), Abergavenny, Monmouthshire in south-east Wales (2016), Meifod, Powys in mid-Wales (2015), Denbigh, north-east Wales (2014) and the Vale of Glamorgan in south-central Wales (2013), It attracts people from all over Wales, the UK, and beyond and it is the largest cultural festival in Europe. There are some traditional events, such as the 'Chairing of the Bard', which are performed during the week-long event. There are many concerts, including live gigs and music performances held in Maes B. Learners of the language can meet up and attend events tailored for them in Maes D on the main site. You can read more about the Eisteddfod Genedlaethol here,

Eisteddfod yr Urdd is for school-age children, with competitions in many areas of interest, including dance, recital, poetry, and technology. Details of the Urdd Eisteddfod are here

There is also an international Eisteddfod (Eisteddfod Ryngwladol) held in Llangollen every year, which attracts performers from all over the world to compete. There is more information here.


Saunders Lewis is an important character in the history of Welsh language; he was a language activist who fiercely defended his rights, and the rights of others, to use Welsh. He did this by putting pressure on the Government and by founding Plaid Cymru, 'the Party of Wales'. In 1962, he gave a radio speech entitled 'Tynged yr Iaith', or 'The Fate of the Language'. With this speech, he intended to motivate the members of Plaid Cymru into more direct action in promoting the language; however, it led to the formation of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, the Welsh Language Society, which is now well-known for its non-violent, direct protests for the rights of Welsh speakers and Welsh language services in Wales. You can read more about Saunders Lewis here (Wikipedia article) and about Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg here.


Adverbs 3 updated 2018-10-25

This section introduces some common adverbial expressions, especially of time.

Shopping updated 2018-10-25

This unit introduces some vocabulary to do with shopping


The 'bag for life'

Because of the huge amount of poorly recyclable, flimsy plastic bags being given away each day by shops and supermarkets in Britain, shops now have to charge a small amount for them. The proceeds go to charity. This has been very successful in hugely reducing the numbers of these bags being used and thrown away. Instead, people now tend to use more durable, longer-lived shopping bags, nick-named 'bags for life' - the life of the bag, anyway:


The 'checkout' or 'cash desk'

desg is a feminine noun - we can tell that because it mutates after y. So why has talu not mutated - after all, it looks as though it is acting as an adjective, as in a paying desk?

Instead, talu here is acting as another noun. We know by now that desg Owen means 'Owen's desk' ('desk of Owen'). So, desg talu here means 'desk of paying' - the desk where we pay, the 'checkout'.


Tech1 updated 2018-10-25

The use of Cymraeg in technology (technoleg) has come a long way in the past decade with the roll out of broadband (band llydan) to Wales and more rural areas.

Roughly 73% of households have access to the internet (y rhyngrwyd) and roughly 76% of people currently use the internet at home, work or elsewhere (source).

The use of Cymraeg on-line (ar-lein) has boomed in the past decade as well, with the following being available partly or fully in Cymraeg:

  1. The availability of Welsh language music on YouTube or SoundCloud. Popular and contemporary bands and artists include: Yws Gwynedd, Sŵnami, Gwyneth Glyn, Elin Fflur, Sarah Louise, Team Panda, Fi a Fo, Casi Wyn, Calfari, and Fleur de Lys. Radio Cymru is also available throughout Wales and on-line.
  2. Welsh language television on S4C or on the BBC iPlayer. Popular programmes include Gwaith/Cartref (similar to Waterloo Road, but better :P) and Pobol y Cwm.
  3. On-line magazines, books, and papers such as IAW!, Lingo, Y Cymro, Ciwb (aimed primarily at Key Stage 3 schoolchildren (aged 11-13)) and Golwg360. Golwg360 is also available on-line and can be used with more advanced learners and Cymraeg speakers.
  4. Apps for games and learning. Click here to visit the Welsh Government's website that promotes apps in Cymraeg.
  5. On-line dictionaries such as Gweiadur, Geiriadur yr Academi, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, grammar and spell checking with Cysill ar-lein (for more experienced learners).
  6. The availability of Windows, Libreoffice, Microsoft Office, Firefox, and Ubuntu in Cymraeg.
  7. You can even change your Facebook into Cymraeg and watch other videos on using Cymraeg in technology here
  8. Check your e-mail in Cymraeg by changing the language settings in Gmail or Outlook or use Thunderbird.

Tech2 updated 2018-10-25

This session introduces some common vocabulary to do with logging on and logging out of a computer, sending texts, charging a phone, sending a tweet and so on.


It revises possession, which may be expressed in several similar ways:

Remember that you may need to mutate the word for the object owned:


Remember that neu ('or') causes soft mutation of a following noun, adjective or verb-noun, but not of a verb:


Having just done something

To say that we have 'just' done something we use the word newydd. This was introduced earlier in the course as an adjective meaning 'new', but it is also used in place of wedi to convey the meaning of having 'just' (done something). In this context it is followed by a soft mutation:


Nature updated 2018-10-25

This section introduces some basic vocabulary about seasons, the landscape, and plants and trees. It also introduces a way of saying 'here is...' when you want to show something or point something out to someone.


Audio problems

Please remember that there are occasional known glitches in the computer-generated voice - unfortunately the course team can do nothing about this, so please do not report audio faults. They have already been noted and they may be able to be fixed in the future.

(In this section y sêr is mis-pronounced)


Remember that feminine nouns take a soft mutation following the definite article y (except if they begin with ll- or rh- - this is known as a 'weak' soft mutation)

Also, adjectives following a feminine noun take soft mutation.

Examples:


Drawing attention to something

'This is the thing!' we say and point to it or hold it up. In Welsh there are particular words we use for this:

Note that the endings are the same as yma/'ma (here, this) and yna/'na (there, that):

Note that both dyma and dyna cause a soft mutation:


You will also come across these words in colloquial expressions such as :


Compound words

In common with many other languages, Welsh can make compound words from two or more other words or prefixes or suffixes. This unit introduces one example from the English - 'biodegradable':

We can drop the -o and add an ending similar to '-able' in English - -adwy:

A taking it a step further by adding the prefix bio-:

Notice that the d- of the original diraddio has mutated to dd- following the prefix. This is very common in the pattern of compound words in Welsh.

So, even if a long word looks very complex, you can often break it down into its component parts to make sense of it.

(Note that in this particular word, the middle -i is often also dropped, so you will usually see the form bioddiraddadwy, but both are valid.)


Banking updated 2018-10-25

The section introduces some terms to do with banking and making payments.


Contactless payments

A rapidly spreading technology, especially in Britain, allows payments of small amounts of money, up to a few tens of pounds usually, to be made by payment card or by a smart-phone app without having to enter any details such as PIN codes. This works by just holding the card or phone very close to the payment terminal. This is termed 'contactless payment' in English, or talu'n ddigyffordd ('paying contactlessly') in Welsh.


SchoolEqu updated 2020-11-19

This section introduces some common words for classroom items.


Borrowing

For 'May/Can I borrow...' we use Ga i fenthyg...?. Remember that in this pattern, benthyg (borrowing, to borrow) is softly mutated following the Ga i....


A 'compass' vs 'compasses'

The word for a north-seeking compass is cwmpawd. The word for compass as in (a pair of) compasses for, say, drawing a circle, is usually cwmpas, although cwmpawd can be used for that as well.


Whose thing is this or that?

To ask 'Whose xxx?' we simply use Xxx pwy?:

Note that hwn/hon, etc has to agree with the gender and number of the item (see the course notes for the earlier section 'Money')


Business updated 2018-10-25

This section introduces some vocabulary about businesses and companies.

It also provides a chance to revise the prepositions i, yn, mewn.

Remember also the distinction between the indefinite a (no equivalent in Welsh) and the (yr, 'r, y).


If we want to say that we work for a company, we use the preposition i. Remember that i causes a soft mutation (but not usually of names of companies):

Be careful to distinguish for a... and for... from for the...:

If we are discussing working in an un-named or non-specific place or organisation, we use mewn instead of i:

But if it is somewhere particular, we use the preposition yn, which, remember, causes a nasal mutation:

Religion updated 2019-12-07

Traditionally, the Welsh have been a religious people.

The people of pre-Christian Wales (Cymru cyn-Gristnogol) had a variety of religious beliefs and rituals which are described as Paganism (Paganiaeth), and specifically Druidism (Derwyddiaeth). Evidence of their death rituals can be seen in dolmens (cromlechi), prehistoric megaliths (megalithau cynhanesyddol) that typically have two or three upright stones and a capstone. They are thought to be burial chambers (siamberi claddu) and, according to archaelologists, they are among the earliest permanent structures built by people, even older than the pyramids of Egypt. There are around 150 dolmens in Cymru, the most notable being at Pentre Ifan in Preseli, Pembrokeshire. Pentre Ifan is the cover design on Duolingo's Welsh page.

Pembrokeshire (sir Benfro) also has a link with the most famous stone circle in Britain, that at Stonehenge (Côr y Cewri, lit: The Giants' Choir), as its inner circle consists of bluestones (cerrig gleision), apparently from the Preseli hills close to Pentre Ifan.

(Information adapted from this BBC article - http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/history/sites/themes/religion/religion_pre_christian_wales.shtml)

In current Cymru, according to the 2011 UK Census, Christianity (Cristnogaeth) is the country's largest religion with about 58% of respondents claiming to be Christian (adj. Cristnogol, noun Cristion (Cristnogion)), despite falling numbers. Until 1920, the established church (eglwys), in common with England, was the Anglican (Anglicanaidd) Church of England, when it was formally disestablished in Wales, becoming the Church in Wales (yr Eglwys yng Nghymru). However, Wales has a strong tradition of nonconformism (anghydffurfiaeth) and Methodism (Methodistiaeth). Many non-conformists worship in chapels (capeli) rather than churches (eglwysi), and the distinction between Church and Chapel remains strong.

Muslims (Mwslimiaid) are the next biggest religious group, making up 1.5% of the population according to the 2011 census.

Meanwhile the proportion of the population who reported they have no religion (dim crefydd) had reached about 32%.

Other religions include Paganism, Buddhism (Bwdhaeth), Hinduism (Hindŵaeth), Judaism (Iddewiaeth), Islam, Sikhism (Siciaeth), and Druidism (Derwyddiaeth). These "other religions" account for 1.2% of the population of Cymru, with a higher proportion living in Cardiff. (sources: ONS (http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/culturalidentity/religion/articles/religioninenglandandwales2011/2012-12-11) and Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Wales)).

There are roughly 3,450 people who identify as Pagan (adj.Paganaidd noun Pagan (Paganiaid) in Cymru, including 740 people who identify specifically as Wiccan (adj. Wicaidd, noun Wiciad (Wiciaid). (source -http://ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-census/key-statistics-for-local-authorities-in-england-and-wales/rft-table-qs210ew.xls).


Medicine updated 2019-09-12

This section deals with illnesses and medical services


Being ill

In Cymraeg there is a distinction describing illness or injuries which affect only one part of the body, and those that tend to be general infections:


Britishisms - where does a family doctor work?

In Britain, the place where you go to see your family doctor (meddyg teuleuol) is their 'surgery' or the "doctor's/doctors' surgery". It is unusual to call it a "doctor's office" or a clinic, which are used for, respectively, their administrative office or a specialist clinic. Many family doctors now work in a health centre (canolfan iechyd) which houses several sources of primary care under one roof such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, etc, as well as the back office to support them all.


Going to a place or going to a person - i or at?

Remember that we mynd i a place, but mynd at a person:


Words with more than one gender

A few words in Cymraeg can appear with more than one gender. There are various reasons for this: historical, local traditions, differing meanings, and so on. Some common examples:


The genders of languages are a common problem:

The simple names of languages are feminine and we use hi when referring to them:

But when we are describing their attributes they are treated as masculine:


Science updated 2021-09-22

Science, including mathematics, has a rich history of Welsh inventors.

Isaac Roberts, an astronomer (seryddwr) born in Groes in Denbighshire (Groes yn Sir Ddinbych), was the first to take a clear deep space photograph of what was then labelled a nebula (nifwl), and discovered that it was spiral in shape. He discovered that our closest neighbouring galaxy (galaeth), Andromeda, is spiral in shape.

Alfred Russel Wallace, born in Llanbadoc in Monmouthshire (Llanbadog Fawr yn sir Fynwy), helped Charles Darwin redefine theory of evolution (damcaniaeth esblygiad).

David Edward Hughes, born in Corwen in Denbighshire (Corwen yn Sir Ddinbych), refined the idea of a microphone (microffon) as a way of electronically transmitting an acoustic signal, and paved the way for the modern microphone after Edison invented the idea of the microphone when he placed the carbon telephone transmitter inside a telephone (ffôn, teleffôn).

Edward George Bowen, born in Cockett in Swansea (y Cocyd yn Abertawe), was one of the men who developed the radar that could be used to detect aircraft (awyrennau). He eventually managed to install radar in aircraft and went on to trying to detect submarines (llongau tanfor) by radar during World War II (yr Ail Ryfel Byd).

Donald Davies, born in Treorcy in the Rhondda (Treorci yn y Rhondda), developed the idea of sending large amounts of data across the world by breaking it up into smaller packets (pecynnau) of data which move independently through a series of networks (rhwydweithiau).

Robert Recorde, born in Tenby in Pembrokeshire (Dinbych-y-pysgod, Sir Benfro), was the first person to use the modern equals (= hafalnod) and plus (+ adio, plws) signs in a publication. He also produced the first English language book on algebra. On the subject of mathematics, William Jones, born on Ynys Môn (Anglesey) in 1675, invented the modern symbol for Pi.

Adapted from Wales Online here.


British English usage - gases

In British English usage, 'gases' is the plural form of the noun 'gas', and nothing to do with filling a vehicle's fuel tank.


Short form present/future of gallu/medru

In more formal registers of written and spoken Welsh, most verbs have a short-form present/future (or 'non-past') tense. With gallu and medru, this tense is sometimes used in the colloquial language as well. For example, in the third person singular:

These two forms will be used occasionally in the latter parts of this course.


Politics updated 2020-09-18

This unit introduces vocabulary for political parties and other political terms.


Saying that someone has just done something

The word newydd has already come up as an adjective meaning 'new'. However, it can also be used as an adverb following forms of bod to mean 'just' as in 'I have just washed the car'. In this pattern it replaces wedi and causes soft mutation:


Expressions such as Senedd Cymru ('the Welsh Parliament')

Note that in Welsh we do not use the definite article y ('the') in front of two proper nouns put together to form a proper noun phrase such as Senedd Cymru.


The Senedd

As an institution, the national elected body of Wales was renamed Senedd Cymru in May 2020. It was formerly known as Cynulliad Cymru (the Welsh Assembly). In English it is now known as 'Welsh Parliament', or more often just 'the Senedd'. See https://senedd.wales/en/abthome/Pages/abthome.aspx

There may have been a short-lived parliament during Owen Glyndŵr's time in the Middle Ages, although the building in Machynlleth where it was once reputed to have been held is now known to date to some time after Glyndŵr.

As a word on its own, senedd simply translates as 'a parliament' or 'a senate'.

Wales has had regular representation in the Westminster parliament since 1536. The Westminster parliament is usually known informally in Welsh as San Steffan after the St Stephen's entrance to the House of Commons.


Forms of address - personal titles

y is also used in front of people's professional and honorary titles, where it represent a form of address:

This is also used when addressing praise (or not!) to someone:


Welsh Government and politics

Following a series of devolutions, the people of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland now have their own parliaments or assemblies with some devolved powers and the ability to make local laws covering some subjects. Wales was granted devolution in 1999.

These parliaments/assemblies are responsible for a wide range of devolved powers. As at Jun 2016, Wales has twenty subjects of devolved power, including Health, Education, Social welfare, Environment, Economic development and Culture. A new devolution agreement for Wales is currently (June 2016) under discussion.


Political parties in Wales

The main political parties in Wales following the Assembly elections of 2016 are:

In the names of the parties, note that we only use y in front of those where the noun Plaid is followed by an adjective (llafur, ceidwadol) rather than by another noun (Cymru, Annibyniaeth)

Remember that Plaid is a feminine noun, so that it mutates after y, and itself causes mutation of a following adjective:


Reporting Back C7 updated 2021-09-22

This unit teaches how to report what someone else has said.

It also teaches how to explain that something must be so.


Reporting what someone else said or wrote.

Quite simply, we use the same pattern that was introduced earlier in 'Expressing Opinions':

Note that you may need to be careful about which tense you use in the English translation - be sure that it makes sense.

Note that bod, etc is only used to introduce a sub-clause that uses the present or imperfect tenses of bod.

Note that the (y) used in the last two examples is not the same as 'r/yr/y ('the'). It is a particle which is used to link to verbs in certain tenses of bod, including the conditional, as here. It is often omitted in the colloquial language, as shown by the brackets. It does not itself cause a mutation.

Note that the rule about the object of a short-form verb taking a soft mutation applies here (look back to the sections on the past of cael and gwneud, for example). In the examples just given, the ei, fy and y 'shield' the following word (usually a form of bod here) from mutation as an object, although they may cause their own mutation even if they are omitted. If there is no 'shielding' word, the soft mutation of the 'object' takes effect:


Rhaid bod... - It must be...

Earlier in the course you met the pattern Rhaid i... to say that something must happen:

We also use rhaid - but followed by bod, etc - to give an explanation of things:


Describing a Selection C8 updated 2018-10-25

The section teaches how to describe part or some of a group.

Using o with personal pronouns

As with a number of other prepositions such as am, ar, i and so on, o (of) takes additional endings when used with personal pronouns:


Describing a selection

o is used when describing a selection of a larger whole or group. For example:


Revise and Extend C10 updated 2018-10-25

This section revises and extends the second part of Canolradd Intermediate level Welsh

No new patterns are introduced, but the sentences have bene extended to give you a little bit more of a challenge so that you can revise earlier patterns and prepare for learning and using Welsh at an intermediate level.


Celebrate updated 2019-06-28

This section introduces some vocabulary about some common celebrations and offering good wishes.


Short-form present/future

In the earlier part of the course you met the short-form future of some verbs. For example:

In more formal Welsh and in a few common expressions in colloquial Welsh, this future form is also used with a present tense meaning. A example here is:


Noson lawen

A noson lawen does not really have a very good translation into English. Here we have included 'an evening of entertainment'. A noson lawen is usually a locally organised informal evening of singing, music, stories, dancing and so on, run along the lines of a concert. On the Welsh-language TV channel S4C a Noson Lawen is sometimes broadcast from a local venue or from a studio.


Celebrate updated 2018-12-10

This section introduces some vocabulary about some common celebrations and offering good wishes.


Short-form present/future

In the earlier part of the course you met the short-form future of some verbs. For example:

In more formal Welsh and in a few common expressions in colloquial Welsh, this future form is also used with a present tense meaning. A example here is:


Noson lawen

A noson lawen does not really have a very good translation into English. Here we have used 'an evening of entertainment'. A noson lawen is usually a locally organised informal evening of singing, music, stories, dancing and so on, run along the lines of a concert. On the Welsh-language TV channel S4C a Noson Lawen is sometimes broadcast from a local venue or from a studio.



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