Course 1: Absolute Beginners - Lesson Three / Gwers Tri
Croeso yn ôl i groeseiriau Cymreig / Welcome back to Welsh Crosswords
In this third lesson we will cover the following topics:-
1. The Uses of 'yn'
2. Working with Adjectives
3 . Possessive Adjectives
4. The Future Tense (Periphrastic)
5. How to use the crosswords & Croeseiriau Cymraeg 3
In this lesson we will introduce a periphrastic form of the future tense. We will also be looking at adjectives with a particular emphasis on possessive adjectives.
Additionally we will examine the uses of the word yn ( = in ) in Welsh. The crossword this week focuses on items that you will find around the house and affords opportunities to practice basic vocabulary and sentence formation with everyday household items.
Enjoy / mwynhewch.
Students will have observed that the word 'yn' is used extensively in Welsh in a number of different contexts. Here are four uses of the word yn:-
(i) Consider the following sentence:- Dwi'n mynd i'r llyfrgell. = I go / I am going to the library. The 'yn' here is apostrophised but nevertheless essential. The main differences in construction are twofold. Firstly the order of the elements in the sentences are different. So the Welsh sentence could be translated literally as - "Am I going to the library." Of course this is not intended as a question ( that would be "Ydw i'n mynd i'r llyfrgell?" ) , it is simply the way that the words are ordered in the sentence. The verb (bod) comes first. Welsh is commonly considered to be a VSO (Verb- Subject-Object) language and if you wish to read more on this topic please go here:- Verb-Subject-Object: Celtic Languages
All very well I hear you say but where does 'yn' come in to it. Perhaps to understand the construction better we should read yn here as meaning "in the process of". Now the above Welsh sentence could be expressed in English as follows:- "Am I (in the process of) going to the library." Reversing the verb - subject order we get:- "I am (in the process of) going to the library."
(ii) 'Yn' is also used before adjectives e.g
Dwi'n llwyglyd. = I am hungry.
In this case 'yn' might perhaps be understood as meaning "in a state of being". Consequently "I am in a state of being hungry."
(iii) English adds a suffix 'ly' to the adjective in order to form the adverb. In Welsh we add 'yn' before the adjective. See examples below:
hawdd - easy yn hawdd - easily
anffodus - unfortunate yn anffodus - unfortunately
(iv) Lastly of course, 'yn' simply means 'in' as in the following examples:-
Dwi'n byw yng Nghaerdydd. - I live in Cardiff.
Mae'r caws yn yr oergell. - The cheese is in the fridge.
Whilst working your way through the vocabulary for crossword two you will have noticed many adjectives in the list. If you have not already done so, now may be a good time to look at the Welsh Adjectives FAQ here:- Ansoddeiriau Cymraeg - Welsh Adjectives FAQ
In particular you might note the following section which will help you form the equative, comparative and superlative forms of Welsh adjectives:
Adjectives with one or two syllables take the endings listed below:
trwm - heavy
cyn trymed â - as heavy as
trymach - heavier
trymaf - heaviest
Adjectives with two or more syllables use 'mor' , 'mwy' and 'mwyaf'. See below:
hanesyddol - historical , historic
mor hanesyddol â - as historic/al as
mwy hanesyddol - more historic/al
mwyaf hanesyddol - most historic/al
Adjectives which have exactly two syllables can take either form.
There are irregular adjectives. The forms they take are listed on the individual Geiriadur vocabulary pages.
Now is also a good time to acquaint yourself with Welsh possessive adjectives. These are listed below and more information can be found on the individual word entry pages.
fy - my
dy - your (singular)
ei - his
ei - her
ein - our
eich - your (plural)
eu - their
The Future Tense (Periphrastic)
Hitherto we have concentrated on the present tense. Today we will be introducing a periphrastic form of the future tense. The term 'periphrastic' in this context simply means that the tense is formed by the use of a helper verb. The verb in question is mynd = to go and this form of the future works in the same way as it does in English e.g.
Dwi'n mynd i brynu 'r llyfr . - I am going to buy the book.
'I am going to buy the book' and 'I will buy the book' are equivalent in meaning at least in so far as the timing of the action is concerned. This construction can be used with any Welsh verb. Even the rather inelegant 'I am going to go....." construction is permissible although 'mynd' mutates after 'dwi'n mynd i'. e.g.
Dwi'n mynd i fynd i Caerdydd. - I am going to go to Cardiff.
Here are a few more examples:
Dw i'n mynd i nofio yn y pwll . - I am going to swim in the pool.
Dw i'n mynd i fwyta fy nghinio . - I am going to eat my dinner.
Dw i'n mynd i wylio 'r teledu . - I am going to watch television.
Dw i'n mynd i gerdded ar hyd y traeth . - I am going to walk along the beach.
We will be covering the future tense ( yr amser dyfodol ) in Part 3 of this course but, for now, we will use this periphrastic form since it can be mastered almost effortlessly given what you have already learned.
Consider the following:
Dwi'n cerdded . - I walk / am walking. (present)
Dwi wedi cerdded. - I have walked (present perfect)
Dwi'n mynd i cerdded. - I am going to walk. (periphrastic future)
It is clear from the above examples that we are, at this point, able to express ourselves in both the present and future tenses. We also have some very limited ability to refer to events in the past, at least in so far as they are completed in the present. For this we use the present perfect tense (see example above). We will cover the past tense in Part 2 of this course.
How to use the crosswords & Croeseiriau Cymraeg 3
And so to our third crossword. This week's theme is 'Around the House' and we will be learning the Welsh words for some common everyday household objects.
- Click through the slides below and learn the words as you go.
- Optional: If you want help with pronunciation or wish to check out other vocabulary entries on the wordcard, click the pic or text below to be taken to the appropriate Geiriadur listing page.
That's it for week three. We hope that you have enjoyed the third instalment of the course and that your knowledge of the Welsh language has improved. Next week we will be incorporating a few short translation exercises in the weekly email. These will be no longer than a paragraph or two. There will be one English to Welsh exercise and one Welsh to English.
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* Don't worry if some of the sample sentences are at a more advanced level. Concentrate on the simpler ones unless of course you are feeling adventurous and want to read ahead.