Course 1: Absolute Beginners - Lesson Two / Gwers Dau
1. The Present Tense
2 . The Present Perfect
3. The Imperative Form
4. Most Essential Verbs
5. The Definite & Indefinite Articles
6. How to use the crosswords & Croeseiriau Cymraeg 2
In this lesson we will concentrate once more, on building your ability to form simple sentences in Welsh. We will look more closely at the present tense and introduce the Present Perfect and command forms of Welsh verbs. Additionally we will examine the definite and indefinite articles.
There is also a useful list of the most used verbs in the English language together with their Welsh equivalents and, of course, this weeks' vocabulary crossword.
Enjoy / mwynhewch.
It is important to remember that English distinguishes between the present simple and present continuous tenses. Welsh does not. Consequently:
Dwi'n mynd = both 'I go' and 'I am going'
When translating it is possible to tell from the context which is meant e.g.
Dwi'n mynd i'r llyfrgell nawr . = I am going to the library now.
Dwi'n mynd i'r llyfrgell bob dydd . = I go to the library every day.
This is a tense which causes problems for learners in other languages (including English). In Welsh it is mercifully simple. We use the present perfect when we want to refer to actions which took place in the past but which are now complete e.g.
Dwi wedi darllen y llyfr . = I have read the book.
Dwi wedi bod i Lundain. = I have been to London.
Dwi wedi gwneud fy ngwaith cartref . = I have done my homework.
It will be noted that the only difference between this and the regular present tense is that we substitute 'wedi' for 'yn'. So that:
Dwi'n darllen y llyfr. = I read/am reading the book.
Dwi wedi darllen y llyfr. = I have read the book.
This presents a complete contrast with the English formulation which is formed by - have/has + the past participle.
So...the present tense is a little easier in Welsh than it is in English.
The Imperative Form (Commands)
Occasionally we want to issue a command or instruction. In English we use the root form of the verb to create the imperative. e.g.
Gwnewch eich gwaith cartref! - Do your homework!
Gwna eich gwaith cartref! - Do your homework!
To make the 'command' (imperative) form of the verb add 'a' to the stem if you are talking to loved ones, family, children, friends or animals. Add 'wch' to the stem when talking to anyone else, or to groups of people.
What is the stem of a verb?
Verbs ending in 'ed' (drop 'ed')
cerdded cerdda cerddwch
Verbs ending in 'u' (drop 'u')
dysgu dysga dysgwch
Verbs ending in 'o' (drop 'o')
gwisgo gwisga gwisgwch
There are exceptions to this rule and they are covered on individual verb entry pages. For a partial list of exceptions go here:- Imperative Irregular Verbs
Below is a list of the 20 most commonly used verbs in the English language together with their Welsh equivalents. A link is provided to the relevant Geiriadur listing. It is perhaps not necessary to commit these to memory immediately but it is a useful checklist of essential vocabulary and one should strive to master all of them fairly quickly.
The Definite & Indefinite Articles
Welsh does not use the indefinite article (a/an) but there are three forms of the definite article (the) - y , yr and 'r . The rules governing their use are presented below.
(1) y is used before consonants. *
y drws - the door y ferch - the girl
( 2 ) yr is used before vowels (including 'w' and 'y') and before h .
yr ystafell - the room yr afon - the river yr hosan - the sock
(3) ’r is used after a word ending in a vowel - it does not matter if the word after it starts with a vowel or a consonant.
Mae’r bechgyn - The boys are Mae’r afon - The river is
* Note on Soft Mutation - "Using the definite article y ( yr before a vowel) causes a feminine noun to undergo a soft mutation (except if it begins with ll- or rh- )."
How to use the crosswords & Croeseiriau Cymraeg 1
And so to our second crossword. These are provided so that you can accumulate vocabulary and practice forming simple (and progressively more complex) sentences. They are very easy to use.
- 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.
Thats it for week two. We hope that you have enjoyed the second instalment of the course and that your knowledge of the Welsh language has improved. Next week we will learn a 'periphrastic' form of the future tense. Don't worry....it's very easy!
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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.