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Medrwn - Could

  • medrwn* - could

    sample sentence: 

    Mae'n edrych fel arwynebedd y blaned Mawrth*.

    Medrwch chi gael maddeuant am feddwl felly .

    It looks like the surface of Mars.

    You could be forgiven for thinking so.

    Image: Glyder Fawr

    * Medrwn is used to mean 'could' in the northern Welsh dialect while gallwn is used in the south.

    * Mawrth is the Welsh name for Mars.

  • This is the conditional form of medru (can, to be able, to know) and means 'could'. It uses similar endings to other auxiliary or modal verbs e.g. dylwn -should , byddwn - would and hoffwn - would like. Medrwn is not followed by “yn + verb noun” but only the verb noun. It also causes a mutation in the verb that follows (see examples below).

    Medrwn i fynd i siopa cyn cinio . - I could go shopping before lunch.

    Medren nhw gyrraedd yfory . - They could arrive tomorrow.

    To say 'I could have', 'you could have' etc put fod wedi after medrwn , medrwch etc. The following verb does not mutate. See full forms below.


    Medrwn i                           i could                  
    Medret ti                           you (familiar) could                  
    Medrai e/o                        he could                    
    Medrai hi                           she could                
    Medren ni                          we could               
    Medrech chi                     you (formal & plural) could               
    Medren nhw                      they could       


    Fedrwn i ddim                    i couldn't
    Fedret ti ddim                     you (familiar) couldn't
    Fedrai e/o ddim                  he couldn't
    Fedrai hi ddim                    she couldn't
    Fedren ni ddim                   we couldn't
    Fedrech chi ddim               you (formal & plural)couldn't
    Fedren nhw ddim               they couldn't


    Fedrwn i?                              could I?
    Fedret di?                              could you?
    Fedrai e/o?                            could he?
    Fedrai hi?                              could she?
    Fedren ni?                             could we?
    Fedrech chi?                         could you?
    Fedren nhw?                         could they?


    Medrwn i fod wedi                            i could have
    Medret ti fod wedi                            you (familiar) could have
    Medrai hi fod wedi                            she could have
    Medrai e or Medrai o fod wedi           he could have
    Medren ni fod wedi                           we could have
    Medrech chi fod wedi                      you (formal & plural) could have
    Medren nhw fod wedi                       they could have

    NEGATIVE 'I could not have.'  =  Fedrwn i ddim fod wedi.

    INTERROGATIVE 'Could I have?'  =  Fedrwn i fod wedi?


    mutant.jpg In the sample sentence above on this page you will observe that the spelling of three words ( blaned, gael, feddwl ) differ from the spelling on the relevant Geiriadur listing page ( Planed - Planet , Cael - To Have , Meddwl - To Think ) Be not alarmed!

    This happens because:-

    "Welsh, as with all other Celtic languages, often sees changes made to the beginning of words depending on the word that precedes it, or the role it plays in the sentence. These changes are known as "mutations", of which Welsh has three distinct types. Common situations in which a mutation may occur are when a word follows a preposition, possessive, or number."

    The three types of mutation are:-

    Soft Mutation

    Nasal Mutation

    Aspirate Mutation

    The three links above will take you to further information about these commonly occurring mutations.

    Most Welsh courses and teachers advise students not to worry too much about this at the outset. Fluent speakers will understand you if you forget to mutate a letter. With practice this will come naturally and there is perhaps, no need for beginning learners to make a conscious effort to apply these rules.

    However, if you wish to acquaint yourself with the rules early on you could look out for the 'Mutant Alert' notice on the vocabulary pages and use these as an opportunity to refresh your knowledge by checking the above links.

    Spot the Mutation: The mutation above is an example of a ........... mutation?