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Croeseiriau Cymraeg Part 3.3 (Crosswords 13-20) - Grammar - Yr Amser Gorffennol / The Past Tense
The Past Tense - Yr Amser Gorffennol
Yr Amser Gorffenol ( The Past Tense) denotes completed actions in the past. In order to form this tense we add the relevant endings to the stem of the verb. To find the stem of a verb in Welsh:-
- For verbs ending with a vowel we drop the vowel and add the appropriate ending ( Welsh vowels = a e i o u w y) e.g gwrando (to listen) - gwrandais i = I listened
For verbs ending with -io we drop the o. e.g chwilio (to search) - chwiliais i = I searched
For verbs ending in -eg / -ed we drop the final syllable. e.g. rhedeg (to run) - rhedais i . cerdded (to walk) - cerddais i
chwiliais i I searched
chwiliaist ti (familiar) You searched
chwilioch chi (formal, plural) You searched
chwiliodd e/hi He/ she searched
chwilion ni We searched
chwilion nhw They searched
Here are some examples:-
Gweithiais i bob dydd - I worked every day.
Rhedon nhw i agor y drws - They ran to open the door.
chwiliais i ddim I didn't search
chwiliaist ti ddim (familiar) You didn't search
chwilioch chi ddim (formal, plural) You didn't search
chwiliodd e/hi ddim He/ she didn't search
chwilion ni ddim We didn't search
chwilion nhw ddim They didn't search
Here are some examples:-
Siaradais i ddim â John ddoe - I did not speak to John yesterday.
Nofiais i ddim yn yr afon - I did not swim in the river.
In Welsh as in English you can form the past tense by using an auxiliary verb - gwneud - to do. This is the 'long form' of the past tense in Welsh.
Long form: Wnes i chwilio ar y we . - I searched on the web, or more correctly - I did search on the web.
Short form: Chwiliais i ar y we. - I searched on the web.
Both of the above are correct and convey the same meaning. The "chwiliais i" (short form) construction is more formal whilst "wnes i chwilio" (long form) is more commonly used in everyday speech. Although, technically, "wnes i chwilio ar y we" means "I did search on the web" it is equivalent in meaning to the 'short form'. The use of 'did' in the long form does not necessarily indicate any additional emphasis in Welsh.
The 'g' at the beginning of the verb is also dropped in commonly spoken Welsh although it is not incorrect to pronounce it. Other formulations of the 'long form' past tense that you might encounter include:- Fe wnes i (southern dialect), Mi wnes i (northern dialect), Gwnes i
Gwneud - To Do, To Make
gwnes i I did
gwnest ti (familiar) You did
gwnaethoch chi (formal, plural) You did
gwnaeth e/hi He/She did
gwnaethon ni We did
gwnaethon nhw They did
Mynd - To Go
es i I went
est ti (familiar) You went
aethoch chi (formal, plural) You went
aeth e/ hi He/She went
aethon ni We went
aethon nhw They went
Dod - To Come
des i I came
dest ti (familiar) You came
daethoch chi (formal, plural) You came
daeth e/hi He/She came
daethon ni We came
daethon nhw They came
Cael - To Have
ges i I had
gest ti (familiar) You had
gaethoch chi neu cawsoch chi (formal, plural) You had
gaeth e/hi neu cafodd e/hi He/She had
gaethon ni neu cawson/m ni We had
gaethon nhw neu cawson/m nhw They had