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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

    Short Form

    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.


    Long Form

    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

    Irregular Verbs

    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