Gwybod. Forff. copi gwaith

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Orthography and pronunciation

A dictionary of the written language cannot teach pronunciation accurately, but fortunately the orthography of Welsh is, with some exceptions broadly phonemic, i.e. as a rule one letter or combination of letters (ch, ll, rh, ng) represents one phoneme. By following the rules of orthography, Welsh words may be pronounced at sight, giving a standardized pronunciation intelligible to all educated Welsh speakers. Of course, as with speakers in every other language, including English, ordinary Welsh speakers do not speak as if they were carefully reading from a book. The learner is advised to listen to Welsh radio and television broadcasts, to practise conversation with a good native speaker and to invest in one of the many courses available on record and cassette.





phonetic definition

English approximation


b as in byd


weakly voiced bilabial

as b in book, abbot

d as in darn


weakly voiced dental or alveolar

as d in dog, adder

g as in gwyn


weakly voiced palatal or velar

as g in gag, ago

p as in peth


voiceless bilabial

as p in pit, open

t as in tad


voiceless dentalor alveolar

as t in town, pity

c as in cwm


voiceless palatal or velar

as c in cat, bacon


f as in fel, haf


weakly voiced labiodental

as f in of, as v in even

dd as in bedd, ddoe


weakly voiced dental or alveolar

as th in then, breathe

ff, ph as in corff, (ei) phen


voiceless labiodental

as ff in off, as ph in hyphen

th as in ethol


voiceless alveolar or dental

as th in breath, theatre

ch as in bach, chwyn


voiceless velar

as ch in Scots loch, German Bach

h as in heno


voiceless glotal fricative

as in h in hot, aha


s as in Sais


voiceless alveolar

as s in hiss, sit

si or sh as in siarad, stwnsh


voiceless palatal

as sh in sham, mesh


j as in joch


weakly voiced alveo- palatal

as j in judge, ajar

tsi or tsh as in tsieni, cratsh


voiceless alveo-palatal

as ch in church


m as in mam


voiced bilabial

as m in mummy

n as in nain


voiced alveolar or dental velar

as n in nanny

ng as in llong


voiced velar

as ng in song, singer

ng as in Bangor, dangos


voiced velar + voiced velar plosive

as ng in bingo


l as in lol


voiced lateral, clear

as l in lily; not as in look



fortis voiceless lateral fricative


trills or taps

r as in erw


voiced alveolar tap or trill

as r in Scots pronunciation of rip, dry

rh as in rhaid


voiceless alveolar fricative



i as in iawn, hercian


voiced palatal

as y in yes, youth

w as in gwan, galwad


voiced bilabial

as w in went

Voiceless allophones of l, r, occur regularly after voiceless consonants p, t, c, ff, th, ch, and of i after h, e.g. in ei hiaith. The sound of ll, as in llall, Llanbedr, &c. has no equivalent in English, but a lenis voiceless allophone faintly resembling it occurs in English in the pronunciation of l after the voiceless consonants p, t, c, in words such as atlas, please, clean; if these words are whispered loudly, with practice it should be possible to isolate the voiceless sound of l; this, pronounced more strongly, would approximate to the sound of Welsh ll. Similarly, the sound of Welsh rh may be produced by practising and isolating the voiceless allophone of r after p, t, c, th, f in the Scots pronunciation of tree, thrill, crag, &c.

The plosives b, d, g and fricatives f, dd are weakly voiced, especially so at the ends of words; if the following word begins with h-, then b, d, g are almost voiceless. Thus: ei thad hi is pronounced as i thati; ei mab hi as if i mapi; ei cheg hi as if i checi. The conjunctions ac and nac are always pronounced as if ag, nag before vowels. In many Southern forms of Welsh b, d, g are voiceless even between vowels; thus blota for blodau, popi for pobi, acor for agor, &c. Essentially the contrast between p, t, c on the one hand, and b, d, g on the other, is that p, t, c are followed by aspiration [h]. The clusters gwl-, gwr-, gwn- before a vowel (e.g. in gwlad, gwraig, gwneud, &c., should be pronounced as lip-rounded gl-, gr-, gn-; i.e. gwlad, gwraig, gwneud are monosyllables accented on -ad, -aig, -eud.



i as in chwim, pigyn


short, very close

as i in Fifi, pique

i as in tir



long, very close

as ee in sleet, i in machine

î as in pîn, sgîl

e as in het


short half open

as e in pet

e as in hen



long half close

as ê in fête

ê as in llên


a as in cam


short, very open

as a in Northern English bath, hat

a as in tad



long very open

as aa in kraal, Saar

â as in tân

y as in hynaf, yn, yr, y


short, half open

approx. as u in but

y as in bryn


[ɨ] or [I]

short, very close

as i in sinner

u as in munud

i in some recent borrowings e.g. bin

y as in byd


[ɨ:] or [I:]

long, very close

as i in bin but longer, rather like French u in mur

ŷ as in ŷd

u as in sul

û as in bûm


w as in cwm


short very close

as oo in look

ŵ as in cŵn


long very close

as oo in boot

o as in ffon


short, very open

as o in hot

o as in oll



long, fairly close

as o in bored

ô as in sôn

It will be seen from the above that y represents two different sounds:

1. It is pronounced [I] or [ɨ] in monosyllables, e.g. (short) bryn, byr, byw, cyrn, ffyrch, gwyn, [I:] or [ɨ:] (long) bys, dydd, sydd; and (always short) in the final syllable of polysyllables, e.g. awydd, blodyn, ceffyl, emyn, mynydd; The prefixes cyd-, cyn- always correctly retain the sound [I] or [i].

2. In the non-final positions in polysyllables, y is pronounced as the “obscure” central vowel [ə], e.g. bryniau, dynion, tynnu, ymylon.

3. Exceptions to these rules are:

(a) monosyllables pronounced with [ə], the definite articles y, yr, the particle and preposition yn, the relative particle y, yr, the possessive adjectives fy, dy, the particle myn (in oaths), syr and ys = it is;

(b) gyda is always pronounced as [gIda]; i gyd is always pronounced [i gi:d].

(c) y is also pronounced [I] or [ɨ] , even when non-final, if it precedes a vowel, e.g. lletya;

(d) -yw- follows the rule as in byw [bIu], llyw [ɬIu], but bywyd [bəuId], llywydd [ɬəuIð]. But it is often pronounced [Iu] in the penult, e.g. amrywio, amrywiaeth, distrywio, llywio; so also gwywo, gwywedig;

(e) the rule does not apply to the diphthong wy [uI] whose pronunciation does not change in words such as cwyn, cwyno, cwynwr, mwyn, mwynach, rhwym, rhwymo, &c.; gwyrdd [gwIrð] should follow the rule, but the plural gwyrddion is usually pronounced [gwIrðjɔn]

(f) sylw is pronounced [sIlu], but sylwi, sylwedydd, &c. observe the rule: [səlwi], [səlwedIð];

(g) Southern speakers tend to pronounce y as [I] or [i] in all positions, and scarcely to distinguish between y and u. Throughout Wales u is pronounced as [i] in ugain, deugain, union, rhywun, cynnull, bugail, cuddio, trueni; y is generally pronounced [i] in dilyn, disgybl, disgyn, diwyg, diwygio, diwygiwr, dychymyg (final syllable), esgyn, gilydd, gyda, llewyg, llewys, meddyg, menyg, plisgyn, tebyg, amryw, rhywbeth, rhywun, rhywsut, rhywle, rhywfath, cyw, yw, ydyw, efengyl, gwylio, dryw, cyfryw, ystryw, distryw, benyw, rhelyw, llwyni. This tends to be the case when the vowel in the preceding syllable is i, when y is preceded or followed by -g-, or when y is followed by w.

The English vowel sounds can only be approximations: in particular the long English vowels shown are in reality diphthongs, combinations of two vowels, rather than single pure vowels. Thus fête is [feit] and boot is [buwt]. This diphthongization must be avoided in Welsh.


These are combinations of two simple vowels pronounced rapidly under one stress:

ai as in tai, saith


approx. as ai in Shanghai

au as in cau


mostly pronounced as above

âi as in câi, hwyrhâi


as above but longer, as igh in sigh

ae as in cae, maen


[a:ɨ] or [a:I] mostly pronounced as âi

au as in traul

âu as in dramâu

aw as in hawl


as ow in cow

aw as in braw, glaw


as above but longer

ei as in ceir, cei


as ei in weighty

eu as in creu, dweud


[eɨ], [eI], [əɨ] or [əI]

as ei in weight

ey as in teyrn, lleyg

ew as in mewn, Dewi


eh-oo: Dewi is pronounced as if dare we

ew as in llew


as above, but longer

oe as in poeni, oeri



as oi in oily

oi as in troi

ou as in cyffrous, clou

[ɔI] or [ɔi]

much as above

ôi as in deffrôi


as above, but longer, as oy in toy

oe as in ddoe, poen, oer

[ɔ:ɨ], [o:I],

öy as in bröydd, glöyn

[ɔ:ɨ] or [ɔ:I]

ow as in down, rhown


oh-oo, as ow in bowling, slowly

iw, yw as in rhiw, yw


approx. as ee-oo pronounced rapidly

uw as in Duw

[ɨu] [Iu]

Mostly pronounced as iw, except in the North where the distinctive pronunciation is [Iu] or [ɨu]

yw (in non-final syllables of polysyllables) as in Hywel, bywyd, llywodraeth


more or less as ow in bowling, slowly

wy represents two sounds:

1. (a) the semi-consonant w + y [wi] or [wI] as in Gwyn, gwyrdd, gwynt, chwyn, chwyrn where it approximates to wi in with;

(b) wŷ, as in gwych, gwyllt, gwŷr, gwŷs, chwys, chwyth is pronounced as above, but the second vowel is longer [wi:] or [wI:] or [wɨ:], somewhat like wee especially in the South.

2. as a genuine diphthong or combination of two vowels

(a) short [ui] or [uI] only in polysyllables (cwyno, llwyddo, wybren, wylo, wyneb, cydwybod, gwybod, arwydd, morwyn, gwanwyn, cannwyll, cadwyn, aswy, Conwy, galwyn, gwyliau, gwenwyn, synnwyr, egwyddor, nodwydd, annwyd, tywydd, celwydd, arwyr, enwyn, palmwydd, pinwydd, myrtwydd, &c.) approximates to English oo-ee pronounced rapidly. This diphthong tends either to be reduced to a single vowel, e.g. gwbod for gwybod, annwd for annwyd, morwn for morwyn, &c. or to be replaced by [wi] or [wI] e.g. arwydd is often pronounced as if ar-widd.

(b) long [u: ɨ] or [u:i] or [u:I] in monosyllables e.g. ŵyn, mwyn, twyn, cwyr, llwyr, hwy, mwy, llwy, trwy, &c.

Although the rule is that wy in polysyllables such as gwynnaf, gwyntoedd, gwyrddion, chwynnu, gwyrthiau, celwyddog, chwythiadau, tywyllwch, &c. is to be pronounced as a diphthong containing the neutral vowel or schwa thus [wə] like wo in wonder, in practice the pronunciation is [wi] or [wI] as wi in winner, following the pronunciation in gwyrdd, gwynt, gwyrth, chwyn, chwyth, &c. This is almost invariably so in the South, where there is a strong tendency to give y the “clear” pronunciation [i] in all positions. In the endings -wy, -wyd, -wydd, -wyf, -wyl, -wyll, -wym, -wyn (except gwyn and its compounds), -wynt (except gwynt and its compounds), -wyr (except compounds of gwŷr), -wys, -wysg, -wystr, -wyt, -wyth, the -wy is a true diphthong [ui] or [uI] not [wi].

The foregoing guide to pronunciation can be only an approximate one. Learners of Welsh are advised to listen to Welsh radio and television broadcasts where possible, to practise conversation with good native speakers or to use some of the many courses available on record, tape and cassette. As is the case in many languages including English, ordinary spoken Welsh differs from the standard speech used in the media, in the pulpit and in formal lectures &c. The learner would be well advised to acquire one or other of the varieties of spoken Welsh, Southern or Northern, but to avoid mixing features of more than one.

No detailed phonology of the dialects of Welsh is furnished here, but some major features are indicated. Northerners do not distinguish between short and half-long vowels in the penult: tonau and tonnau are both pronounced short. Northerners distinguish the sounds of i [i] and u, y [I] or [ɨ].

In much of the North, and in the South-East, in final syllables -e, -ae, -ai ar replaced by -a, thus bora for bore, atab for ateb, perffath for perffaith, &c., except in “learned” words (coleg, anthem, &c.); elsewhere the pronunciation is [ɛ]. Many Southern dialects do not have the phoneme [h], thus: ‘eddi’ for heddiw, arn for haearn, &c., and rh is replaced by r. In the South initial chw- is often reduced to hw- or w-; hence hware or ware for chwarae, &c., -is is often pronounced -ish; mish for mis, ishta or ishte for eistedd, &c. Many Southern speakers have kept the older diphthong -ou for -au, e.g. (h)oul for haul, dou or doi for dau, clou or cloi for clau, &c.

In the South-East voiced consonants (b, d, g) become voiceless (p, t, c) even between vowels; popi for pobi, blota for blodau, (h)wpo for hwbio, &c. Where the Northern Welsh and the standard language have verb-endings in -io, -ian and noun endings in -iad, Southern Welsh has endings in -o, -an, -ad respectively, thus: pwno for pwnio, pwnad for pwniad, &c. Neither can be said to be more “correct” than the other, but in this dictionary, to save space, as a rule the standard forms in -io, -iad have been listed only, except in the cases of words characteristic only of the South. In the South, the 3rd person singular of the past or historic tense is -ws instead of -odd, e.g. cwplws for cwblhaodd.

In the North mi is used as a particle before all inflected forms of the verb, in the South fe is so used. In this dictionary mi has been used before the first person singular and plural, and fe before all other persons.

In the Welsh text we have sought to vary the style to match the register of the English, from the highly literary to the very colloquial, from for example, nid yw/ydyw efe to ‘dydi ‘o ddim or ‘dyw e’ ddim or ‘smo fe ddim.

A comprehensive presentation of the Welsh dialects will be found in Thomas (B.) & Thomas (P. W.): Cymraeg, Cymrâg, Cymrêg … Cyflwyno’r tafodieithoedd (Gwasg Taf, Caerdydd, 1989).

Quantity of vowels

A. Vowels may be short, long or medium. In many cases long vowels are distinguished by the circumflex e.g. in tŷ, cânt, bûm, siâp, &c., but not always, and the following indications will be useful: in polysyllables, the main accent falls as a rule on the penultimate (last but one) syllable, which may be long or short; all other syllables in the word will be short (unless otherwise indicated by a circumflex).

B. The vowel is long in:
1. Open monosyllables
In open monosyllables (i.e. ending in a vowel) the vowel is as a rule long, thus: da, lle, tri, to, du, llw, &c. This includes words ending in -f which tends to be very faintly pronounced if at all: tre(f), ca(f), go(f), &c. There are a few always unaccented monosyllables: the definite articles y, yr; the prepositions yn, ym, yng; the possessives fy, my; dy, thy; a, ac, and; a = that; pa = what. These can scarcely occur in isolation and in practice the vowel is short; while y, yr, pa may be stressed by emphasis, the others can scarcely be stressed, unlike English my.

2. Closed monosyllables (i.e. ending in a consonant)
(a) syllables ending in -b, e.g. mab, neb, pab, pob, tyb, &c.; except hwb, heb, and borrowings such as bib, nib, cob, lob, slob, ffab, cab, dab, lab, tab, wab, &c.; heb follows the rule and is long in the South, but short in the North;

(b) syllables ending in -d, e.g. tad, gwlad, bod, rhod, llid, cred, hud, rhwd, hyd, &c.; except nid, nad, ar dỳd, and borrowings from English e.g. dad, ffad, pad, sad, led, cid, bòd (= buzzard), nòd, ròd, òd, hwd, mwd (= mud), &c.;

(c) syllables ending in -g, e.g. brag, nâg, rheg, gwig, pig, crog, grug, rhyg, mwg, og; except rhag, ag,nag (= than) and borrowings from English: bag, ffag, gag, nag, sbrag, slag, stag, tag, wag, ffeg, meg, peg, ig, wig, còg, ffog, grog, jog, hog, log, nog, prog, slog, wog; jwg, mwg, plwg, rỳg, tỳg and èg (name of the letter g);

(d) syllables ending in -f, as haf, llef, rhif, cof, &c.; except borrowings from English, e.g. sbif, laf, &c. and èf (name of the letter f);

(e) syllables ending in -dd e.g. gradd, bedd, rhodd, cudd, ffydd, &c.; except èdd (name of the digraph dd);

(f) syllables ending in -ff, e.g. rhaff, cloff, cyff, hoff, &c.; except caff, haff, piff, stiff, off, toff, wff, clwff, pwff, mwff, rwff, stwff, hwff, èff (name of the digraph ff);

(g) syllables ending in -th, e.g. cath, peth, rhith, croth, crwth, syth, &c.; except bèth, hèth, Beth, Seth, ffroth, broth, myth, èth (name of the digraph th); byth may be long or short;

(h) syllables ending in -ch, e.g. bach, strach, llech, coch, gwich, rhych, trwch, &c.; except àch, pach, hàch, llach, fflach, och, soch, joch, èch (name of the digraph ch);

(i) syllables ending in -s, e.g. cas, nes (= nearer), clôs, nos, mis, us, pys, &c.; except os, nas, nes ( = until), pes, ys, bws, clos, pàs, sws, g(i)as, ffrès, màs, piws, sbriws, was, bos, còs, gès, ffỳs, ffws, ès (name of the letter s).

C. The length of the vowel varies in:
(a) syllables ending in -ll, e.g. llall, pell, coll, pill, hyll, &c., the vowel is generally long in the South, short in the North; holl, oll are always pronounced long;

(b) syllables ending in -l, -n, -r;

(i) -il, -ul, -in, -un, -ir, -ur are long, e.g. hil, cul, min, llun, tir, cur, &c.; except bil, dril, ffril, Wil, swil, dul, pin, prin, tun; cnul can be long or short;

(ii) syllables ending in -al, -el, -ol, -wl, -yl, -an, -en, -wn, -yn, -ar, -er, -or, -wr, -yr may be short or long: Welsh orthography distinguishes all long syllables in this class by the circumflex; except :in dyn, hen, which are long despite not being so marked; tynn, ynn, gyrr, syrr, are short; pryn, cryn may be long or short;

D. The vowel is short in:
(a) syllables ending in -p, -t, -c, -ng, -sh, -j are short, e.g. hap, clep, cip, at, het, ffit, pot, crwt, llac, clec, broc, tric, plwc, cam, trem, crom, trwm, llwm, pang, lleng, ing, llong, mwng, ffresh, brwsh, posh, plwsh, fflwsh, slej; except ŷm, bôm, bûm, bôt forms of the word bod, written with a circumflex as are other exceptions siâp, sêt, ffrâm, &c.; cot, grot are long in the North, short in the South.

(b) monosyllables ending in more than one consonant, e.g. plant, cast, wrth, corff, hynt, rwtsh, ffwrn, &c. Following this rule, the vowel is short before -llt, -sg, -sb, -st, e.g. gwallt, mellt, hollt, swllt, Pasg, gwisg, cosb, tyst, cwsg, llesg, cist, hesg, hesb, cost, &c. in the South, but in the North these are usually pronounced long. Other exceptions to this rule are marked by the circumflex, e.g. in contracted verb-forms such as cânt, ânt, gwnânt, dônt, trônt, &c.;

E. Length of diphthongs in accented monosyllables.
(a) the diphthongs ae, oe, wy are long whether in open or closed syllables: cae, caer, mae, maes, doe, oer, bloesg, mwy, llwyr, rhwysg, pwynt, cwymp, rhwystr, rhwym, twym, also gwnaent, caent, maent, paent, hwynt, &c.;

(b) Other diphthongs are as a rule short, with some exceptions listed:

(i) ai, ei, are short, e.g. bai, cei, rhaid, maint, beirdd, &c.; except circumflexed forms of verb: câi, gwnâi;

(ii) -aw, -ew, -iw, -uw, -yw are short, e.g. brawd, dewr, lliw, lluwch, Duw, Huw, Puw, clywn, byw; ew! ow! aw! ewch; except open syllables in -aw, -ew, are long in the North; e.g. llaw, blew.

(iii) -au is usually short, e.g. brau, cau, dau, haul, clau, mau, and the corresponding Southern -ou e.g. dou, clou, houl, &c.; except caul, ffau, gwaudd, gwaun, pau, traul.

(iv) eu, oi, ey, ow, oy are short, e.g. creu, gweu, troi, heyrn, moyn, &c.; exceptions are marked by the circumflex, e.g. contracted verb-forms such as trôi (= troai), 3rd person singular imperfect of troi: it was turning, rhôi, he was giving.

F. All the above observations apply to monosyllables when stressed, i.e. when standing alone or as the stressed word in a phrase or sentence. Otherwise, when unstressed, all long vowels are drastically shortened, the more so the further they are away from the main stressed word. Thus, in hen ŵr bach tew iawn, though in isolation hen, ŵr, tew and bach are all long, in this phrase every single vowel is short for all practical purposes.

G. Stress and length of vowels in polysyllables
1. In polysyllables the main stress falls as a rule on the last syllable but one. If one or more syllables are suffixed, the rule still applies, i.e. the stress will automatically move forward to the last syllable but one, e.g. ffenestr, plural ffenestri. In this dictionary exceptions to this rule are indicated by a thin vertical line | before the stressed vowel, e.g. caraf|an, p|aragraff, |ambiwlans, ff|yrbilo.

The line thus shown does not form part of the usual spelling of the word and is not repeated in the entry. Many such words conform to the general rule in the plural, e.g. ac|ademi (academïau), t|estament (testam|entau). This vertical marker is not used where the stress is already normally indicated either by the circumflex, e.g. in achlân, or by the grave accent, e.g. carafàn. In general, borrowed words keep their original stress pattern.

2. Classes of words accented on the final syllable are:
(a) the emphatic pronouns myfi, tydi, efe, efô, hyhi, nyni, chwychwi, hwynt-hwy;

(b) compound adverbs, adjectives and prepositions: heblaw, drachefn, gerllaw, erioed, ymhlith, ymhell, paham. ynghylch, ynghlwm, yngholl, ynghynn, ynghyd, ynglŷn, ynghlo, ymysg, ymhen, ymron, islaw, uwchlaw, cyfuwch, gogyhyd, goggyfuwch, goruwch, gorîs, yrhawg, ymlaen, ymhlith, cyhyd, gyhyd, i gyd, perhôn, diymdroi, ychwaith, ynghynt, yn unswydd, yn isgîl;

(c) certain compound verbs beginning with ym-, e.g. ymhel, ymweld, ymwneud, ymdrin, ymlâdd = exhaust oneself, ymddŵyn = conceive, bear; third person forms such as ymgêl from ymgelu, ymwnêl, ymwnaeth, ymwnâi from ymwneud, ymlŷn from ymlynu, also atbrŷn from atbrynu;

(d) verb-nouns ending in -au, -oi, -eu-: ail-greu, ail-weu, atroi, datroi, amdroi, atgloi, camdroi, cildroi, cogordroi, cyfleu, cyfrdroi, cylchdroi, chwyldroi, dileu, dyheu, geirdroi, datgloi, datoi, osgoi, paratoi, ymbaratoi, cilgnoi, cyffroi, atgnoi, cydgrynhoi, cyfloi, gwrthdroi, nydd-droi, tindroi, tyndroi, ymdroi; crynhoi, ymroi, crasgnoi, amgáu, nesáu, dynesáu, amlhau, llesáu, glanhau, arwyddocáu, boddhau, breisgáu, dyfalbarhau, esmwytháu, gwacáu, hirbarhau, brochgáu, cwpláu, tecáu, brwysgáu, parhau, llesgáu, gwanhau, nacáu, gwastatáu, tristáu, iselhau, hwyhau, lleihau, mwyhau, mwynhau, caniatáu, coffáu, atgoffáu, iacháu, lladratau, llwfrhau, cyfiawnhau, dyfnhau, anufuddhau, edifarhau, meinhau, ymwacáu, ymnesau and their third person forms lladratâ, &c.;

(e) compounds of gwneud, gweld, ymweld, cyfweld, ail-wneud, ymwneud, dadwneud and their third person forms, ymwnâ, cyfwêl, &c.;

(f) nounds ending in – âd, -had, (always long) usually formed from verbs ending in -au, -hau-, e.g. amlhad, arwyddocâd, byrhad, cadarnhad, caniatâd, coffâd, cwblhad, cyfiawnhad, dyfalbarhad, dyfrhad, eginhad, eglurhad, esmwythâd, glanhad, gwacâd, gwanhad, gwellhad, hirbarhad, hwyhad, iachâd, iselhad, parhad, pellhad, perswâd, prinhâd, rhyddhad, sarhad, sicrhad, trugarhad, tynhad, ymfoddhad, ymwacâd, penllâd;

(g) in compounds of -wr ending in -awr, -ewr, -iwr, -owr, -uwr, -ywr the endings are of two syllables, with the main stress regularly on the first, sometimes indicated by the diaeresis (“), thus bwyt|awr, not b|wytawr, gwrand|awr, not gwr|andawr; e.g. casáwr, cyfiawnhawr, difawr, glanhawr, gwrandawr, iachawr, darlläwr, crëwr, cyflëwr, syrfëwr, crïwr, storïwr, comedïwr, copïwr, dyweddïwr, gweddïwr, crïwr, marsiandïwr, mechnïwr, ysbïwr, ffrïwr, cnöwr, chwyldrowr, glöwr, osgowr, töwr, tröwr, düwr, plüwr, rhüwr, süwr, lletywr, gwestywr, &c.; however: awr, cawr, clawr, gwawr, llawr, mawr, ‘nawr, pawr, sawr, dewr, piwr are monosyllables;

(h) nounds ending in -fa in the singular form plurals in -fâu (long) and/or -feydd (short). In these plurals the stress is always on the last syllable, e.g. athrofâu, berfâu, camfâu, cadwrfâu, canolfâu, crynfâu, curfâu, cuddfâu, cychwynfâu, cyfrinfâu, cylchfâu, deorfâu, drefâu, dychrynfâu, enynfâu, genfâu, gwahanfâu, gwalfâu, gwarchodfâu, gyrfâu, helfâu, llechfâu, llewygfâu, llethrfâu, maethfâu, magwrfâu, neithdarfâu, poenfâu, porfâu, taenfâu, trofâu, tyrfâu; angorfeydd, arosfeydd, atomfeydd, cerddorfeydd, cronfeydd, glofeydd, golygfeydd, porfeydd, rhegfeydd, ogofeydd, dychrynfeydd, gweithfeydd;

(j) some nouns ending in -a in the singular, form a plural in -âu, which is stressed: berâu, bwâu, dramâu, sinemâu, themâu, plâu. The plural of gwely is often gwelâu; of beudy often beudái, and of gweithdy often gweith-dai;

(k) some proper names: Bartim|eus, Elis|eus, Zach|eus, Gwrtheyrn, Cyndeyrn; some names of places: Caerdydd, Caerweir, Caerlŷr, Llandâf, Llandŵ, Llandygái, Llandylŵyf, Tre-fîn, Llan-giwg, Llangyndeyrn, Llanllŷr, Llan-soe, Llan-teg, Coed-llai and other hyphenated names of the type Bryn-coch, Rhyd-ddu, &c.;

(l) adjectives ending in -aus, -eus, -ous, -aig, -eig: boddhaus, bywiocaus, dyfalbarhaus, parhaus, sarhaus, trahaus, trofáus, anghyfleus, amheus, cyfleus, anghyfleus, chwareus, diamheus; cyffrous, hir-ymharhous, ymarhous, ymrous, cynhaig, bwyteig, Cymreig, Hebreig, also Cymraes, Cymraeg, Hebraeg, Aramaeg;

(m) loose compound adjectives and nouns formed with the suffixes di-, cyd-, cyn-, cam-, gor-, hunan-, e.g. di-âm, di-boen, di-lyth, di-feth, di-ffael, di-lun, di-siâp, di-rif, di-fref, di-les, di-nag, di-dâl, di-chwaeth, di-oed, &c. (many have a more literary form stressed on the penult, e.g. dilyth, dirif, &c.); cyd-ddwyn, cyn-faer, cam-farn, cyd-fyw, cyd-gwrdd, cyd-weu, hunan-dyb, hunan-lês, cam-drin, cyd-fynd, cydweld, gorwneud, &c.;

(n) some adjectives: annheg, amhûr, amhêr, anghlîr, cytûn, anghytûn, diymdroi, aflêr, annhêr;

(o) monosyllables begining with ysb-, ysg-, yst-, e.g. ystâd, ystên, ystôl, ysbrêd, ysbâs, ysbwng, ysgrech, ystôr, ystwc, ystryd, &c.; most of these are now usually written without the y-;

(p) interjections aha, oho, yntê, onidê, aiê, hwrê, iwhŵ, tihî;

(q) borrowings which have kept their original stress pattern, e.g. apêl, brigâd, perswâd, pipî, parêd, promenâd, ffarw|el or ffarwel, ymbar|el, pedigrî, ciwpî, jiwbilî, cysêt, sidêt;

(r) miscellaneous items: penllâd, penrhaith, penaig, ysgolhaig, cad|it or cyd|it, gwahodd, dylêd (as well as dyled), rownd-y-rîl, dinad-man, siang-di-fang, rwdl-mi-ri, tad-cu, mam-gu, di-ben-draw, di-droi’n-ôl, storiáes, cyhudd, rhegen-ryg, siliffrit, cadw-mi-gei, prynhawn, hobidi-hoi;

(s) Some forms of verbs:
(i) the first person of the past tense of adnabod, canfod, gwybod: adnabûm, canfûm, gwybûm;
(ii) of verbs ending in -hau, -au: the forms of the present and imperfect tenses, and all the imperative forms, also the contracted forms of bwyta and difa; for the forms of bwyta, difa, para, gwella, see “Verb-nouns classified by ending, -a”.
(iii) of the verb gadael, the forms gadawn, gadewch;
of the verb dileu, the forms dilewn, dilewch;
of the verb cyfleu, the forms cyflewn, cyflewch;
of the verb dyheu, the forms dyhewn, dyhewch;
of verbs conjugated like troi:
in the Present tense of datroi, the forms datrôf, datr|oi, datr|own, datr|owch, datrônt;
the Imperfect tense forms datr|own, datr|oit, datrôi, datr|oem, datr|oech, datroynt.
the Past tense forms datr|ois, datr|oist, datr|oes/datr|odd, Impersonal: datr|oed.
the Present Subjunctive forms datr|oech, datr|o, datrôm, datr|och, datrônt, datr|oer.
the Imperative forms: datr|o, datr|oed, datr|own, datr|owch, datr|oent, datr|oer.

Similarly, the comparable forms of deffro (1st person present: deffroaf/deffrôf, otherwise like troi, datroi), of cyffr|oi (1st person present: cyffroaf), of parat|oi (1st person present: paratoaf), of crynh|oi (1st person present: crynhof or crynhoaf), and of datgl|oi (1st person present: datglôf or datgloaf );

(t) conditional compound forms of pe, = if: petawn, petait, petai, petaem, petaech, petaent.

Length of the vowel in the stressed penult

The vowel may be long, medium or short.

1. The vowel is long when followed by the vowel of the following syllables, thus: nesaodd, bröydd, lletya, duach, düwch, dianc, eang, deon, paratoad, dyhead, parhawyd, llwon, &c.

2. The vowel is medium when followed by b, d, g, f, ff, th, ch, e.g. in gobaith, tadau, tegan, gofal, meddal, hoffus, pethau, achos; many such are formed from naturally “long” monosyllables e.g. tân, pl. tanau; peth, pl. pethau; canu from cân; gwenu from gwên. Few if any Northerners use a medium vowel in this position, using a short vowel instead, and not all Southerners observe the distinction.

3. (a) The vowel is short when followed by more than one consonant e.g. barnu, candryll, cystal, gwacsaw, morfa, pentref, plentyn, &c.;

(b) The vowel is short before p, t, c, m, ng, ll, s, j, sh, si, e.g. epil, ateb, tecaf, cymod, llongau, cyllell, prysur, swejen, mosiwns;

(c) all diphthongs in this position are short, e.g. heulwen, heuais, lleisiau, euraid, neiaint, haearn, gloywon, teneuon, &c.


In certain grammatical and phonological contexts, the initial consonants p, t, c, b, d, g, ll, m, rh mutate, i.e. are replaced by other consonants as indicated in the following table, which uses examples after dy = your, fy = my and ei = her:








(dy) ben

(fy) mhen

(ei) phen (hi)



(dy) dad

(fy) nhad

(ei) thad (hi)



(dy) gi

(fy) nghi

(ei) chi (hi)




(dy) fys

(fy) mys

(ei) bys (hi)



(dy) ddant

(fy) nant

(ei) dant (hi)



(dy) ardd

(fy) ngardd

(ei) gardd (hi)




(dy) law

(fy llaw)

(ei) llaw (hi)



(dy) fam

(fy) mam

(ei) mam (hi)



(dy) raw

(fy) rhaw

(ei) rhaw (hi)

In the aspirate column ei = her; (ei = his is followed by the soft mutation or lenition).

In the North, initial m, n have an aspirate mutation thus: ei mham (hi), her mother; ei nhain (hi), her grandmother, usual in spoken Welsh and sometimes found in writing, but not regarded as standard.

Initial tsi in borrowed words such as tsiaen, tsiopen, tsipsen, mutate to j; ei jaen (o/e), his chain; dwy jopen, two chops, siop jips, chip shop; after ei (= her), tsi mutates to si, thus: ei siaen hi, her chain: after fy, tsi mutates to nhi or nj, thus: fy njaen/nhiaen i, my chain; fy njipsen/nhipsen i, my chip; such mutations are not regarded as standard.

Note that in the soft mutation of g, the consonant simply disappears. It is not usual to mutate recent borrowings beginning with g, such as gamblo, garej, gêm, gêr, gerbocs, giali, gias, gini, gliw, golff, &c.; but older borrowings such as gwn, glasiad mutate regularly.

Rules governing the use of the mutations

A. The soft mutation or lenition

1. Nouns

(a) A feminine singular noun lenites after the definite article; cath, y gath; gafr, yr afr; pobl, y bobl; dafad, y ddafad. N.B. ll, rh do not mutate: y llaw, y rhaw, except in the case of adjectives used as a noun: y lwyd. Plural feminine nouns do not mutate, except the plural of pobl: pobloedd, y bobloedd, (and the collective noun, poblach: y boblach, the plebs); neither does y tair, the three, mutate; but y pedair, the four, may mutate: y bedair.

(b) all nouns lenite after the prepositions am, ar, dan, dros, drwy, heb, i, o, tan, tros, trwy, wrth, gan, hyd, and their compounds, e.g,. am geiniog, ar gam, at beswch, dan ganu, dros ben, drwy wyrth, o bant i bentan &c.; except i mi, i ti, i mewn, i maes;

(c) all nouns lenite after the possessive adjectives dy (thy, your) and ei (his); dy ferch di, your daughter; ei fab ef, his son; and after the corresponding infixed forms ‘th, ‘i, ‘w used after the prepositions i, o; i’th gartref (to your home), o’i ardd (from his garden), i’w dŷ, (to his house); i’th dŷ dithau, (to your house too);

(d) all predicate nouns lenite after the predicative yn: mae’n drueni, it’s a pity; mae’n arddwr medrus, he’s a skilful gardener; Nouns beginning with ll, rh do not mutate: mae hwn yn lle da, this is a good place; mae hon yn rhaff gref, this is a strong rope. Verb-nouns do not mutate after yn;

(e) after the inflected (personal) forms of a verb, all indefinite objects, singular or plural, lenite: gwelodd gyfle da, she saw a good opportunity; cawsom fargeinion, we had bargains. N.B. There is no mutation after the verb-noun (infinitive) form, normally the form listed in the dictionary, nor after the impersonal forms used to convey a passive sense: gweld pethau, to see things; ceir bargeinion, bargains are to be had; ni welir dim, nothing is to be seen; but fawr is always mutated even here; ni chafwyd fawr ddim, very little was found. Bod mutates to fod even after the impersonal form when it means that, e.g. dywedwyd fod storm ar ddod, it was said that a storm was on the way;

(f) nouns lenite after an adjective; hen wraig, an old lady; unig fab, only son; annwyl fam, dear mother; gau broffwyd, false prophet; rhyw ddydd, some day; unrhyw fore, any morning; amryw bethau, various things; pa ddiwrnod, what day; sut beth, what sort of thing; y cyfryw drosedd, such an offence; pa fath bris, what sort of price; y naill ferch, either of two girls; ychydig win, a little wine; yr holl drafferth, all the bother; ambell ddarn, an occasional bit; y fath ddewis, such a choice; aml dro, many a time; prif ddiben, the main purpose &c.;

(g) lenition occurs after certain numerals: un: feminine nouns beginning with a mutatable consonant (not ll or rh) mutate: un gath, un ddafad, but un llaw, un rhaw. Both dau and dwy are mutated after y, and both are followed by the soft mutation: y ddau gae, the two fields; y ddwy law, the two hands; y ddwy ryd, the two fords; except dau cymaint, twice as much; dau canmlwydd, two hundred years. Saith, wyth, may be followed by the soft mutation of p, t, c, ll, rh: saith geiniog, wyth geiniog, saith bunt, wyth bunt, saith law, wyth rosyn &c., or more usually by the radical (unmutated) form: saith pen, wyth tŷ, etc.

(h) all nouns lenite after the ordinal: ail, second; yr ail fab, the second son; yr ail ferch, the second daughter; feminine nouns after trydedd, pedwaredd, pumed, chweched, seithfed, wythfed, nawfed, degfed, unfed ar ddeg, &c: y drydedd bennod, y bedwaredd waith, y bumed dorth &c.; cyntaf usually follows the noun; when it precedes it does not mutate the noun, e.g. y peth cyntaf or y cyntaf peth, the first thing;

(i) ordinal adjectives used as nouns, referring to feminine nouns, lenite after the article: y gyntaf, y drydedd, y bedwaredd, y bumed, y ddegfed, y ddeuddegfed, y bymthegfed, y ddeunawfed, y ddeugeinfed, y ganfed, y filfed &c.;

(j) any noun or verb-noun used as an attributive, i.e., as if it were an adjective, lenites after a feminine noun: llwy de, a teaspoon; gefel bedoli, pincers; gardd lysiau, kitchen garden. N.B. There is no mutation in the plural: llwyau te, gefeiliau pedoli. When the relation between the two nouns is possessive or partitive, there is no mutation: merch meddyg, a doctor’s daughter; cost benthyca, the cost of borrowing; cyfadran gwyddorau, faculty of sciences; ymyl gwisg, the hem of a dress. However there are many borderline cases in which it would be equally plausible to mutate or not to mutate;

(k) a noun lenites in apposition, even with a masculine noun or proper name: Arthur Frenin, King Arthur; Ioan Fedyddiwr, John the Baptist; Mair Forwyn, the Virgin Mary; ni ddynion, we men; a minnau, deithiwr blin, and I, weary traveller;

(l) nouns lenite when used vocatively, i.e. to address someone or something, or in interjections, and after o! och! wae! woe, alas! hei! hey! Gyfeillion! Friends! Foneddigesau! Ladies! tyrd yma, gythraul! come here, damn you! bechod! shame! o drueni! alas! O Gymru! O Wales! och fi! woe is me! gwae Gymru! alas for Wales!

(m) any noun lenites when used adverbially, in the singular or plural, indicating time or extent: bûm wrthi ddydd a nos, I worked day and night; gwelais hi dridiau’n ôl, I saw her three days ago; ganllath o gopa’r mynydd, a hundred yards from the hilltop;

(n) lenition occurs after the conjunction neu, or: mab neu ferch, a boy or girl; bod neu beidio â bod, to be or not to be. It is less usual to mutate an imperative form, e.g. gwerthwch neu r[h]owch y llyfrau i rywun, sell or give the books to someone.

(o) lenition occurs after the demonstratives: wele, behold; dyma, here is; dyna, there is; dacw, there is; wele wyrth, behold a miracle; dyna welliant, that’s better; dyma lanast, here’s a mess; dacw dafarn, there’s a pub;

(p) nouns or verb-nouns, subject or object of a verb, lenite when separated from the verb by an intervening element, e.g., an adverb, adverbial phrase, an inflected preposition, &c.; e.g. contrast the following pairs: mae tref yno: mae yno dref; yr oedd cariad gennyf: yr oedd gennyf gariad; gwelwyd tyrfa o’i chwmpas: gwelwyd o’i chwmpas dyrfa. Thus the very common expressions: mae ‘na, ‘roedd ‘na, fe fydd ‘na, mae ‘ma, bu ‘ma, oes ‘ma, oes ‘na, &c. are always followed by the soft mutation;

(q) ni mutates the noun rhaid: ni raid iti fynd, you don’t have to go.

(r) lenition occurs after forms of bod, if yn is omitted: nid wyf ramadegydd, I’m no grammarian; Dafydd sydd frenin, David is king.

2. Adjectives

(a) an adjective lenites after a feminine singular noun or pronoun: mam dda, a good mother; pobl fawr, bigwigs; neuadd lawn, a full hall; gwisg rad, a cheap dress; un bert yw hi, she’s a pretty one; rhywun dda, some good woman/girl. N.B. no mutation in the plural: mamau da, gwisgoedd rhad, neuaddau llawn &c. But pobl is usually followed by a mutated plural adjective in phrases such as pobl wynion, white people, pobl dduon, black people,&c.;

(b) an adjective lenites after the predicative particle yn: mae’r bwyd yn dda, the food is good; ‘roedd y tŷ’n wag, the house was empty; bydd y gost yn o fawr, the cost will be quite high. Rh, ll, do not mutate: ‘roedd ei hwyneb yn llwyd, her face was pale; mae’r car yn rhad, the car is cheap.Adverbs are formed identically: gwerthu’n rhad, to sell cheaply; gweithio’n dda, to work well;

(c) an adjective lenites in the equative degree, after mor, cyn: mor ddewr or cyn ddewred, as brave; cyn dlysed or mor dlws, as pretty; except that rh, ll do not mutate: mor rhad or cyn rhated, as cheap; mor llawn or cyn llawned, as full. Also after gan, since, as; gan fwyned (or gan mor fwyn) oedd y cwmni, as the company was so pleasant;

(d) an adjective lenites in the equative degree, in exclamations: deced yw hi! how fair she is!

(e) an adjective lenites after the adverbs go, quite: lled, fairly; rhy, too; reit, quite; pur, quite; hollol, llwyr, cwbl, wholly; braidd yn, rather; mor, so; gweddol, fairly; go fawr, quite big; lled dda, fairly good; rhy beryglus, too risky; reit ddel, quite pretty; hollol wirion, quite silly; cwbl gelwyddog, wholly deceitful; braidd yn ddrud, rather dear; gweddol foddhaol, fairly adequate; mor gynnar, so early;

(f) an adjective qualifying another adjective normally follows it and is mutated: drud ryfeddol, surprisingly dear, oer ddychrynllyd, frightfully cold, &c.;

(g) the second instance of a duplicated adjective lenites: cwsg tawel dawel, very quiet sleep; cyflwr gwaeth waeth, a worsening condition; gwellwell, ever better; mwyfwy, ever greater;

(h) an adjective lenites when following the article and before a singular feminine noun: y dawel nos, the still night; y decaf ferch, the fairest maid; y lwyd wawr, the grey dawn (This construction is highly literary);

(i) an adjective lenites when standing for a feminine singular noun, after the definite article: o’r peli, y werdd sydd agosaf, of the balls, the green is nearest; ymhlith gwiwerod, mae’r lwyd yn drech na’r goch, amongst squirrels, the grey is stronger than the red; yr orau o wledydd y byd, the best country in the world;

(j) an adjective in the superlative degree lenites when used adverbially: pan welais i hi ddiwethaf, when last I saw her; galw yno gyntaf, call there first; gweithiwn orau y gallwn, I worked as hard as I could;

(k) an adjective in the superlative degree lenites after po, the more: gorau po gyntaf, the sooner the better; po fwya’r hwyl, mwya’r sŵn, the more fun, the more noise;

(l) ni mutates the adjectives gwiw, gwaeth: ni wiw i mi gwyno or nid gwiw i mi gwyno, I dare not complain; ni waeth iddi fynd, she might as well go (contrast nid gwaeth angau na gwarth, death is no worse than dishonour).

(m) an adjective lenites after forms of bod, when yn is omitted: byddwch lawen! rejoice! byddwch wych! farewell! nid wyf deilwng, I am not worthy; os wyt barod, if you are ready; and always after sydd: dyna sydd orau, that’s best.

3. Verbs.

(a) verbs lenite after the interrogative particle a: a glywsoch chi? have you heard? a wrthododd hi? did she refuse? a ddaw ef? will he come? a lwyddwn ni? shall we succeed? a ryddhawyd hi? was she freed? a also = whether, if, introducing indirect questions: os gwn i a ddaw hi? I wonder whether she will come?

(b) verbs beginning with g, b, d, ll, m, rh, lenite after oni: oni welwch chwi? don’t you see? oni fethodd? didn’t it fail? oni roddwyd ef? wasn’t it given? oni leddir ef? won’t he be killed? oni ddaliwyd hi? wasn’t she caught? oni frathwyd ef? wasn’t he bitten? (N.B. oni is followed by the aspirate mutation of p, t, c, see below in section C.)

(c) verbs lenite after the relative pronoun a = which, that, who, whom: y tŷ a brynais, the house (that) I bought; y llythyr a ddaeth ddoe, the letter that came yesterday; y croeso a geir, the welcome (that is) to be had; also after pwy a, who, pa beth a, what, in questions: pwy a wnaeth hyn? who did this? pa beth a barodd hyn? what caused this? pwy a welsoch chi? whom did you see? (Contrast: pwy a’ch gwelodd chi? who saw you?) Note that sentences of the form, y dyn a frathodd y ci are ambiguous, meaning either, the man whom the dog bit or (it was) the man who bit the dog; the first sense would be clearly conveyed by either y dyn y brathodd y ci ef or y dyn a frathwyd gan y ci;

(d) verbs lenite after the conjunction pan, when: pan gyrhaeddais, when I arrived; after [hyd] oni = until, verbs beginning with b, d, g, ll, m, rh lenite: gwell aros oni ddaw, better wait till it comes. (N.B. oni is followed by the aspirate mutation of p, t, c.)

(e) forms of bod may mutate after tra, while: tra fo gobaith, while there’s hope; tra fydd hi’n gyfleus, while it’s convenient; however tra bo, tra bu, tra bydd &c. are equally usual; tra in this sense does not mutate other verbs.

(f) verbs begining with b, d, g, ll, m, rh, lenite after ni, not, na, that … not; ni frathwyd mohonof, I wasn’t bitten; ni ddywedodd hi ddim, she didn’t say; ni allem weld, we couldn’t see; ni laddwyd ef, he wasn’t killed; ni ryddheir hwy, they will not be freed; gwn na ddaw hi, I know she won’t come, &c.; na also introduces a negative command: na ladd, thou shalt not kill; (N.B. ni, na, are followed by the aspirate mutation of p, t, c.)

(g) verbs lenite after the particles mi, fe: fe ganodd hi, she sang; mi wyddwn i, I knew. These particles are often omitted in speech, but the mutation remains: they are often omitted when in parenthesis: honno, greda’i/debygwn i/goelia’i, yw’r orau, that one, I think, is the best.

B. The nasal mutation

1. Nasal mutation occurs after fy, my; fy nghoes, my leg; fy nhŷ, my house; fy mhoen, my pain; fy nrws, my door.

2. Nasal mutation occurs after yn, in: yn nannedd y gwynt, in the teeth of the gale;

yn + p, b becomes ym + mh: ym Mharis, in Paris; ym Merlin, in Berlin;

yn + m becomes ym + m: ym Milan, in Milan; ym Mair, in Mary;

yn + c, g, becomes yngh + ngh, ng: yng Nghaer, in Chester; yng ngardd Eden, in the Garden of Eden; yng Ngwenno, in Gwenno; the apparent exception, yn Gymraeg, in Welsh, stands for yn y Gymraeg; yng Nghymraeg y Beibl, in the Welsh of the Bible; mewn Cymraeg da, in good Welsh.

With titles of books, periodicals, &c. non-mutation is tolerated.

Before figures denoting years, yn or ym is written yn/ym 1900, depending on whether one says ym mil naw cant or yn un fil naw cant. In 1000 is yn y flwyddyn mil; in 2000, yn y flwyddyn dwy fil; in dates before the year 1000, yn follows the rules set out above. N.B. Do not confuse this use of yn with its use before predicate nouns, e.g. he is a good father, mae ef yn dad da; she is a good mother, mae hi’n fam dda; this was a loss, bu hyn yn golled (soft mutation, not nasal).

3. Nasal mutation occurs after the numerals pum, saith, wyth, naw, deng, deuddeng, pymtheng, deunaw, ugain, deugain, trigain, can, hanner can, dau can, tri chan, &c., before blynedd, blwydd, diwrnod: pum niwrnod, five days; wyth mlynedd, eight years; saith mlwydd oed, seven years old.

C. The aspirate mutation

1. Aspirate mutation occurs after ei = her, and the infixed pronouns forms ‘i, ‘w: ei chariad, her love; ei phen, her head; i’w thŷ, to her house; o’i theulu, of her family. N.B. when ‘i represents the object (masculine or feminine) of the verb, there is no mutation: y llanc a’i carodd hi, the youth who loved her; y bobl a’i prynodd ef, the people who bought it.

2. Aspirate mutation occurs after tri, chwe: tri phen, three headings; chwe chae, six fields.

3. Aspirate mutation occurs after â, gyda, with: tua, towards; â phleser, with pleasure; gyda thosturi, pityingly; tua chartref, tua thre, homewards.

4. Aspirate mutation occurs after the conjunctions â, as; a, and; oni, until; na, than/or; o, if; cyn boethed â thân, as hot as fire; ci a chath, cat and dog; hyd oni pheidio, until it cease; mwy na phentref, more than a village; o cherwch fi, if you love me.

5. Aspirate mutation occurs after ni, na: ni chysgais i, I didn’t sleep; er na pheidiodd hi, though she didn’t stop; na chig na thorth, neither meat nor loaf.

6. Aspirate mutation occurs after tra = very: tra phoblog, very populous; tra chywir, very correct. N.B. do not confuse with the conjunction tra = while, which does not cause mutation, except the occasional soft mutation of forms of bod.

7. Aspirate mutation occurs after a = and in the case of the prepositions and adverbs gan, gyda, ger, dros, tros, drwy, trwy, drosodd, trosodd, dan, tan, draw: a chan, a chyda, and with; a cher, and near; drosodd a throsodd, over and over; yma a thraw, here and there; a thrwy dwyll, and by trickery; a than ganu, and a-singing.

8. Wedi/wedyn, = afterwards, sometimes change to chwedi, chwedyn, after na, nor, a = and: na chynt na chwedyn, neither before nor after; a chwedi hynny, and thereupon.

D. Aspiration of vowels

h is prefixed to words beginning with a vowel:

1.(a) aspiration occurs after ei = her: ei harian, her money; after the corresponding infixed pronouns ‘i, ‘w; o’i hachos hi, because of her; i’w hochr hi, to her side;

(b) aspiration occurs after the infixed object pronoun, ‘i, both masculine and feminine: fe’i hanafwyd ef, he was wounded; ac a’i hanfonodd hi, and sent her; pwy a’i hofna ef/hi? who will fear him/her?

(c) aspiration occurs after ein/’n, our, eu/’u, their: ein hoes ni, our lifetime; eu hawydd hwy, their desire; i’n hachub ni, to rescue us; o’u heiddo hwy, of theirs, of their property; i’w herlyn, to prosecute them;

(d) aspiration occurs after the infixed first person pronoun ‘m: o’m hachos i, because of me; a’m hachubodd i, who saved me.

2. In numbers compounded with ugain, ugain is aspirated after ar: un ar hugain, twenty-one; unfed ar hugain, twenty-first &c.

A checklist of words causing mutation and of some not causing mutation


Part of speech




rel. pron.

who, whom, that, which



interr. particle















ordinal adj.





about; for; at




an occasional



adj. (before n.)

many a



adj. (before n.)

various, sundry



adj. (before n.)

various, some



adj. (before n.)





on, upon

soft: prefixes h- to ugain



for; to, toward



adj. (before n.),




prefix (before vn.)

faintly, partly




wrong, false




mis-, falsely





nasal mut. of blwydd, blynedd & occ. diwrnod


ordinal adj.


soft mut. of fem. nouns


adj. (before n.)



‘co = dacw








false, pseudo-



adj. (before n.)

a considerable, quite a



adv. (before adj.)




adj. (before n.)








adj. (before n.)



‘cw = dacw





soft, except of ll- and rh- which do not mutate







former, ex-





1. before masc. noun: none
the first thing, y cyntaf peth.

2. before fem. noun: soft, y gyntaf wraig, the first wife


adj. (before n.)

as good as





spirant. N.B. six years,
chwe blynedd; six years old, chwe blwydd oed


noun & adv.






soft of fem. nouns


demonstrative adv.

behold! there is/are













soft except occ. of can: two hundred yards, dau canllath; dau itself is mutated after the article y, ‘r


ordinal adj.


soft mut. of fem. nouns:
mutates after the articles y, ‘r:
y ddegfed bennod




1. nasal mut. of blwydd, blynedd & occ. diwrnod.

2. also N.B. ten times, dengwaith


ordinal adj.


soft mut. of fem. nouns




1. nasal mut. of blwydd, blynedd & occ. diwrnod.

2. also N.B. twelve times, deuddengwaith




nasal mut. of blwydd, blynedd and occ. diwrnod


ordinal adj.


soft mut. of fem. nouns




nasal mut. of blwydd, blynedd & occ. diwrnod


ordinal adj.


soft mut. of fem. nouns


adv. (before adj.)


none: good enough, digon da



over, for, on behalf of




through, by



fem. numeral


before fem. nouns: soft: mutates after the articles y, ‘r: the two girls, y ddwy ferch


possessive adj.

thy, your



demonstratvie adv.

here is/are



demonstrative adv.

there is/are





mutates bod to fod





ei … (hi)

poss. adj. fem.


1. spirant.

2. prefixes h- to a vowel

ei … (ef)

poss. adj. m.




poss. adj.




num. adj.




poss. adj.


prefixes h- to a vowel


adv. (before adj.)


none, e.g, eithaf da







by, against







poss. adj.


prefixes h- to vowels

y fath

adjectival noun




adv. in neg. sentence

hardly, little

1. soft: hardly any, fawr ddim.

2. No mut. Before comp. adj.: hardly better, fawr gwell


preverbial particle








by, in



poss. adj.



y ffasiwn

adjectival noun




adj. (before adj.)

fake, pseudo-




with; by

soft; except gan mwyaf = mostly


adj. (before n.)

false, pseudo-




near, by



adv. (before adj.)


soft; go itself mutates regularly after yn, ‘n


adj. (before n.)


none or soft, esp. of a fem. noun


adj. (before n.)


none or soft, esp. of a fem.


adj. (before n.)




adj. (before n.)


none or soft, esp. of a fem. noun


adj. (before n.)




adv. (before adj.)




adj. (before n.)




adj. (before n.)




adv. (before adj.)
















adj. (before n.)




adj. (before n.)

whole, all



adv. (before adj.)





very reverend




up to, till

soft (but ar hyd none)






soft except: i mi or imi, i ti or iti

‘i = ei










adj. (before n.)

many a



adj. (before n.)

1. complete, full

soft: full growth, llawn dwf.

2. full of

no mut.




none or soft; quite as good, llawn cystal.


adv. (before adj.)

fairly, quite







adv. (before v., adj.)




1. = fy



2. infixed personal pron.

prefixes h- to vowels






preverbial particle





usu. foll. by o + soft mut.


ordinal adj.


soft mut. of fem. nouns


ordinal adj.


soft mut. of fem. nouns


contraction of dim o

none of





soft, but not of ll-, rh-. mor itself is never mutated








none or soft, esp. of a fem. noun


adj. (before n.)




= yn


negative particle

do not

1. spirant mut. of p-, t-, c-

2. Otherwise soft mut.






negative rel. pron.

who / which / that / whom … not

1. spirant mut. of p-, t- c-.


2. Otherwise soft mut.


adj. (before n.)

the one (of two)



neg. rel. pron.

that … not





nasal mut. of blwydd, blynedd & occ. diwrnod


ordinal adj.


soft mut. of fem. nouns


1. adj. (before n.)

scarcely a


2. adv. before comp. adj.










soft, but not always in imperative


adj. & adv.

newly, just



neg. preverbial particle


1. spirant of p-, t-, c-

2. Otherwise soft


neg. preverbial particle





of, from


o2 = os










scarcely a, nary a



adj. (before n.)








neg. interrogative particle

1. spirant mut. of p-, t-, c-.

2. soft mut. otherwise, but forms of the verb bod beginning with b- may remain unmutated.




as for oni1


neg. interr. particle






pa (fath/ryw/sut)

interr. particle

what (sort of)







adj. (before n.)








fem. numeral conj.


1. none; the four girls, y pedair merch.

2. before adjs.: soft: four big girls, pedair fawr


masc. numeral




fem. ordinal


soft; and itself mutates after the articles y, ‘r.


masc. ordinal adj.




adj. (before noun)


none or soft, esp. of a fem. noun


adv. before adj.



adj. before noun








particle before superlative adj.

the (more, better, &c.)

















1. nasal mut. of blwydd, blynedd & occ. diwrnod.

2. soft mut. of fem. adjs. representing nouns: five fine women, pum wych.


fem. ordinal adj.


soft mut. of fem. nouns, and itself mutates after the articles y, ‘r.


adv. (before adj.)



pwy (a)

interr. pron.

who/whom … ?

soft (even if a is omitted)




none; but see pymtheng


fem. ordinal


soft mut. of fem. nouns, and itself mutates after y, ‘r.


num. adj.


1. nasal mut. of blwydd, blynedd, & occ. diwrnod.2. soft mut. of gwaith, in pymthengwaith.


def. article
(after & before vowels)


see y, yr


adv. (before adj.)












adj. (before n. & adj.)




num. adj.


1. nasal mut. of blwydd, blynedd & occ. diwrnod.

2. Occ. soft mut. of cant, ceiniog, punt, pwys.


adj. (before n.)




fem. ordinal adj.


soft mut. of fem. noun


interr. pron.


soft mut. of noun

sut (y)

interr. adv.



sydd (yn)

rel. verb form

that is

soft mut. of adj. and of noun even if yn is omitted, but no mut. of vn.


fem. num. adj.


1. none, nor does it mutate after y, ‘r.

2. soft mut. Of adjs. representing nouns: the three fat girls, y tair dew.



under, until











masc. num. adj.




num. adj.


nasal mut. of blwydd, blynedd, occ. diwrnod.


ordinal adj.


soft mut. of fem. nouns



over, on behalf of




through, by



fem. ordinal adj.


soft, and itself mutates after y, ‘r.


masc. ordinal adj.





about, towards

1. spirant.

2. tuag before vowels


infixed pers. pron.

you, your



infixed pers. pron.

them, their

prefixes h- to vowels






num. adj.


nasal mut. of blwydd, blynedd & occ. diwrnod


num. ordinal


soft mut. of fem. nouns


num. adj.


1. soft mut. of fem. nouns, except ll-, rh-.

2. soft mut. of fem. adjs. (inc. ll-, rh-).

3. nasal mut. of blwydd, blynedd in composite numerals.



1. the same, identical

soft mut. of fem. nouns except ll-, rh-.

2. similar

soft mut. of masc. & fem. nouns inc. ll-, rh-.


fem. noun


soft mut. of adjs. inc. ll-, rh-.


fem. ordinal adj.


soft mut. of fem. nouns


adj. (before noun)









senior, upper


‘w (= eu)

infixed pers. pron.

them, their

prefixes h- to vowels

‘w (= ei masc.)

infixed masc. pers. pron.

him, his, its


‘w (= ei fem.)

infixed fem. pers. pron.

her, it, its

1. spirant.

2. prefixes h- to vowels.







behold, see




by, while



num. adj.


1. nasal mut. of blwydd, blynedd & occ. diwrnod.

2. soft mut. of cant, ceiniog, punt, pwys.


ordinal adj.


soft mut. of fem. nouns


def. article


1. soft mut. of fem. sing. noun (inc. ll-, rh-) even if the noun is only implied.

2. soft mut. of adjs. before a fem. noun (inc. ll-, rh-)) even if if the noun is only implied.



a little, few

1. soft mut. of nouns.

2. does not mutate adjs.

yn, ‘n

predicative particle linking forms of bod with n./adj.

soft (except of ll-, rh-): yn dda, yn llawn, yn rhydd


prep. (should not be abbreviated to ‘n)


nasal mut.: yn Nolgellau

ym, yng

prep. (forms of yn)


ym Mangor, yng Nghaer

yn, ‘n

particle before verbnoun


none: yn mynd, yn caru.
The slipshod omission of the masc. infixed pronoun. ei, ‘i, in sentences such as Beth wyt ti’n ei weld? is misleading: the soft mut. is retained but is not due to yn, ‘n.


interrogative conj.


none; in sentences such as te ynteu coffi? the soft mut. in teisen ynteu beth? is due to the omission of pa before beth.

yr, ‘r

def. article (before and after vowels)


see y.

The above is intended only as a summary. A useful bilingual manual dealing with the mutations is D.Geraint Lewis: Y Treigladur (Gwasg Gomer, 1993), and see also D. Thorne, Taclo’r Treigladau (Gwasg Gomer, 1997).


The vast majority of adjectives are invariable insofar as they have no feminine or plural forms. Where such forms exist, they are indicated thus: green a. gwyrdd (f gwerdd, pl. gwyrddion) or, where there is no feminine form, thus: shining a. gloyw (-on).

1. Adjectives beginning with the mutable consonants p, t, c, b, d, g, ll, rh, m, mutate after a feminine noun, but these forms are not uniquely feminine forms and are thus not indicated.

2. Feminine forms are given in their radical, i.e. unmutated form. In practice, most can scarcely occur in the radical form, since they normally follow a feminine noun and must mutate if they

begin with p, t, c, b, d, g, ll, rh, m, or if, less usually, they occur in a predicate position e.g. in a sentence of the type: the river is deep, mae’r afon yn ddofn. The radical form of the feminine adjective may occur in sentences of the very unusual form: deep is the river, dofn yw’r afon.

3. In the predicate position, in any case, it is now more usual to find the masculine form, e.g. the river is dried-up, mae’r afon yn sych/hysb, is more usual than, mae’r afon yn sech/hesb.

4. The feminine forms have no distinct plural or comparative forms.

5. Feminine forms in fairly common use are: brith (f braith) and two classes of adjectives

(a) containing w which changes to o:
brwnt f bront; crwm f crom; crwn f cron; cwta f cota; dwfn f dofn; llwm f llom; tlws f tlos; trwm f trom;
as crwm are amgrwm, argrwm, cefngrwm, ceugrwm, cynghrwm, deugeugrwm, gochrwm, gogrwm, gwargrwm;
as crwn are amgrwn, argrwn, cyfrgrwn, hirgrwn, pengrwn, talgrwn;
as llwm are bonllwm, cefnllwm, croenllwm, lledlwm, noethlwm;
as tlws are meindlws, mindlws;
as trwm are amdrwm, bondrwm, hirdrwm, hwyrdrwm, pendrwm;

(b) adjectives containing y which changes to e:
brych f brech; bychan f bechan; byr f ber; crych f crech; cryf f cref; cryg f creg; ffyrf f fferf; gwlyb f gwleb; gwyn f gwen; gwyrdd f gwerdd; hysb f hesb; llym f llem; melyn f melen; sych f sech; syml f seml; syth f seth.
as gwyn: bolwyn, bronwyn, claerwyn, disgleirwyn, glaswyn, gorwyn, llaethwyn, llathrwyn, lledwyn, llwydwyn, melynwyn (f melenwen/melynwen), penwyn, tinwyn, torwyn &c.;
as gwyrdd: bytholwyrdd, bythwyrdd, glaswyrdd, lledwyrdd, llwydwyrdd, melynwyrdd (f melenwyrdd/melynwerdd) &c.: the f of gwyrddlas is gwerddlas;
as llym: aflym, awchlym, blaenllym, minlym, minllym;
as melyn: cochfelyn, glasfelyn, gwalltfelyn, gwyrddfelyn (f gwerddfelen/gwyrddfelen), llwydfelyn, penfelyn, pigfelyn &c.and compounds beginning with melyn, e.g. melynfrig f melenfrig; melynlas f melenlas; melynlliw f melenlliw; melynllwyd f melenllwyd; melynr[h]udd f melenr[h]udd; melynwallt f melenwallt; melynwawr f melenwawr; melynwyn, f melenwen/melynwen; melynwyrdd f melenwerdd/melynwerdd.

Plural forms

Most adjectives have no plural forms. The commonest exceptions are:

1. Those which form a plural by adding either -ion e.g. annoeth(-ion), blin(-ion), blith(-ion), brith(-ion), caeth(-ion), caled(-ion, celyd), coch(-ion), crin(-ion), cul(-ion), cyfrin(-ion), dewr(-ion), dirgel(-ion), doeth(-ion), dwys(-ion), glew(-ion), gwael(-ion), gwych(-ion), gwyllt(-ion), hir(-ion), hwyr(-ion), ir(-ion), llawn(-ion), llwyd(-ion), mawr(-ion), mud(-ion), poeth(-ion), rhudd(-ion), sur(-ion), tew(-ion), tyn(-ion), traws(-ion), trist(-ion), uchel(-ion), ynfyd(-ion) and their compounds, or -on, e.g. budr(-on), croyw(-on), chwerw(-on), du(-on), gloyw(-on), gloywddu(-on), gweddw(-on), gwelw(-on), hoyw(-on), meddw(-on), tryloyw(-on) and their compounds.

2. Those which change an internal vowel, e.g. amddifad (amddifaid), arall (eraill), balch (beilch,

beilchion), banw (beinw), buan (buain), bychan (bychain), byddar (byddair), cadarn (cedyrn), cyfan (cyfain), garw (geirw, geirwon), hardd (heirdd, heirddion), hwn (hyn), ieuanc (ieuainc), ifanc (ifainc, ifync), llydan (llydain), marw (meirw, meirwon), truan (truain), ysgafn (ysgeifn).

3. Those which change an internal vowel and add either -ion, e.g. balch (beilchion), bras (breision), cain (ceinion), cam (ceimion), claf (cleifion), crwn (crynion), dall (deillion), dwfn (dyfnion), ffals (ffeilsion), glas (gleision), gwag (gweigion), gwan (gweinion), hallt (heilltion),

hirfaith (hirfeithion), llwm (llymion), main (meinion), maith (meithion), tlawd (tlodion), trwm (trymion); or -on, e.g. brau (breuon), pwdr (pydron), tenau (teneuon); mân has an occasional plural manion, e.g. manion bethau, trifles. In the case of adjectives containing y, the sound of y changes from the ‘clear’ (high frontal) vowel sound to the ‘obscure’ central vowel sound, as in tyn(-ion), though the spelling remains unchanged.

4.(a) Many common adjectives have no plural, e.g. aeddfed, aml, annwyl, anodd, araf, bach, briw, byw, call, cas, cau, coeg, crog, chwim, chwith, da, dig, drwg, dwys, ffiaidd, gau, glân, gwâr, gwir, hagr, hawdd, hen, hoff, iach, llawen, llon, llesg, llosg, llwyr, mad, mwll, onest, pur, pŵl, rhad, rhwydd, sâl, serth, sicr, siriol, siŵr, sobr, syn, tal, teg, tywyll &c.;

(b) comparative forms have no plural; nor do feminine forms;

(c) adjectives ending in -adwy, -aid, -aidd, -gar, -in, -lyd, -llyd have no plural;

(d) some adjectives ending in -ig, -og, -ol, -us can add -ion to form plural nouns, e.g. caredigion, cyfoethogion, nefolion, anffodusion, but otherwise have no plural;

(e) compound adjectives formed from a noun plus adjective have no plural, e.g. hirben, prydlon, unless the adjective comes last and has a plural in its simple form, thus: claerwyn(-ion), pengrwn (pengrynion);

(f) adjectives beginning with hy- have no plural, e.g. hyfryd, hyglyw, hynaws, hynod (the form = hynodio, curiosities);

(g) adjectives beginning with di- have no plural, e.g. dieffaith, di-nam, dinod, &c.;

(h) nouns used as attributes have no plural, e.g. gwydr, pren.

5. Many plural forms as listed above are going out of use, even in the written language, and are replaced by the singular form: this is the rule in the spoken language. The plurals of adjectives of colour are still used (cochion, duon, gleision, gwynion, llwydion, &c.) and of a few very common adjectives, breision, brithion, budron, bychain, byrion, ceimion, crynion, culion, cyfain, dyfnion, eraill, geirwon, gloywon, gweigion, gwylltion, gwyrddion, hirion, hyn, ifainc, ifync, llyfnion, mawrion, meinion, meithion, poethion, surion, sychion, teneuon, tewion, trymion, ysgeifn, are in varying degrees of currency. Other plurals are poetic or used as nouns (cleifion, deillion).

6. Pobl though a feminine singular noun, is followed by a plural adjective: pobl dduon, black people; pobl wynion, white people. Thus also arian: arian gwynion, silver coins; arian sychion, hard cash.

7. After plural feminine nouns, adjectives do not mutate: afon ddofn, a deep river; afonydd dyfnion, deep rivers.

8. In the predicate position, the singular form is more usual than the plural: their faces were pale, yr oedd eu hwynebau yn welw, is as acceptable as, yr oedd eu hwynebau yn welwon.

Comparative forms

There are three degrees of comparison, the equative, the comparative and the superlative, formed by adding endings to the stem of the positive form. The equative is formed by adding -ed, the comparative by adding -ach, the superlative by adding -af, thus: cas, nasty; cased, as nasty; casach, nastier; casaf, nastiest.

Where the positive ends in -b, -d, -g, -dl, -dn, -dr, -gr, these are replaced by their voiceless equivalents, -p, -t, -c, -tl, -tn, -tr, -cr, before the comparative endings. Occasionally there is a change of vowel in the stem, and sometimes -n and -r are doubled.














































































































































































Some borrowings add -ied, -iach, -iaf, especially in the North: e.g. braf, brafied, brafiach, brafiaf; so also neis, ffres, cŵl, crand, nobl.

Periphrastic comparison

Many adjectives, especially those of more than two syllables, are usually compared by inserting mor (= as), mwy (= more) and mwyaf (= most) before the adjective; mor is followed by the soft mutation (but not of rh, ll)


mor frawdol

mwy brawdol

mwyaf brawdol


mor gyndyn

mwy cyndyn

mwyaf cyndyn


mor warthus

mwy gwarthus

mwyaf gwarthus


mor llwfr

mwy llwfr

mwyaf llwfr


mor rhesymol

mwy rhesymol

mwyaf rhesymol

This method may be used to compare any adjective, except the irregular ones listed below.

Irregular comparison









(less correctly:




bach, bychan




occ: bychaned

















occ: (in sense of naughty)








(less correctly:








(less correctly:








(less correctly: hynach)





(less correctly:
































Defective comparison


clodforach, renowned

clodforaf, most renowned

trech, stronger

trechaf, strongest


amgenach, better, alternative

eithaf, extremest, furthest, ultimate

Comparative forms formed from nouns





blaen, front

blaenaf, foremost

dewis, choice

dewisach, preferred, preferable

diolch, thanks

diolchach, more grateful

diwedd, end

diwethaf, last

elw, profit

elwach, better off

lles, benefit

llesach, more beneficial

ôl, back

olaf, final

pen, end, head

pennaf, chief, supreme

rhagor, more

rhagorach, superior

rhaid, necessity

rheitied, as necessary/ urgent

rheitiach, more necessary/ urgent

rheitiaf, most necessary/ urgent


Cyn, mor, used with the equative forms, must not be preceded by yn.

The equative forms given are as a rule preceded by cyn + soft mutation (except of ll, rh), thus: cyn wynned, cyn ddued, but cyn rhated, cyn lleied.

Alternatively, use mor + soft mutation (except of ll, rh) + positive form, thus: mor wyn, mor ddu, but mor rhad, mor llawn.

Cyn cannot precede cynddrwg, cymaint, cystal, cyfled, cyfuwch, cyhyd; but cyn gynted is usual.

After mor/cyn + adjective, as is translated by â + spirant mutation of p, t, c, and by ag before a vowel: as bright as silver, cyn loywed ag arian; as white as snow, cyn wynned â’r eira or mor wyn â’r eira; as heavy as lead, cyn drymed â phlwm or mor drwm â phlwm; as big as a cat, cymaint â chath or mor fawr â chath.

Comparative forms of adjectives have no feminine or plural forms (except, in some cases, as plural nouns, e.g. y goreuon, the best ones; y tlodion, the poor). Comparative forms of adjectives also function as comparative forms of adverbs: rhedai cyn gyflymed ag a allai, or rhedai cyn gyflymed ag y gallai, she ran as quickly as she could;mae’r trên hwn cyn gyflymed â’r llall, this train is as rapid as the other.

Than is translated by na + spirant mutation of p, t, c, and by nag before a vowel: gwannach na chath fach, weaker than a kitten; gwell nag aur, better than gold.

Where English uses the comparative degree in sentences such as the better man of two, Welsh always uses the superlative: y dyn gorau o’r ddau or y gorau o’r ddau ddyn.

Equative and Comparative forms may precede the noun: cystal dyn, gwell lle, dewrach gŵr, sicrach gafael &c. without mutation of the noun. The superlative form may precede the noun, sometimes without mutation: cyntaf peth, gorau gŵr, eithaf peth; sometimes with the soft mutation: y decaf fro, gwaelaf ŵr.

In English, sentences of the type, the higher the mountain, the better the view, use two coupled comparative adjectives; in Welsh, the verb construction is po + soft mutation + superlative + subjunctive mood of verb: po uchaf y bo’r mynydd, gorau oll fydd yr olygfa; or uchaf yn y byd y bo’r mynydd, gorau’n y byd fydd yr olygfa; the scarcer the food, the dearer it is, po brinnaf y bo’r bwyd, drutaf yw or prinnaf yn y byd y bo’r bwyd, drutaf yn y byd yw; the sooner she goes, the better, gorau po gyntaf yr êl/elo hi; the more, the better, gorau po fwyaf; all the better, gorau oll.

Sentences containing superlatives, of the type, she is the prettiest girl in the village, must be emphatic: hi yw’r ferch dlysaf yn y pentref or y ferch dlysaf yn y pentref yw hon, not mae hi y ferch dlysaf yn y pentref, which is quite incorrect and unnatural. Thus, I know she is the prettiest girl, is to be translated as gwn mai hi yw’r dlysaf, not gwn ei bod hi’r dlysaf.

The superlative forms are not used in Welsh to translate a most agreeable day, a most difficult task, &c. which should be translated diwrnod dymunol iawn or diwrnod tra dymunol or diwrnod dymunol dros ben; tasg anodd iawn or tasg dra anodd or tasg gyda’r anhawsaf.

In sentences of the type she is more silly than wicked, the most natural translation is: gwirion yw hi yn hytrach na drwg, although mae hi’n fwy gwirion nag y mae hi’n ddrwg is also possible;

he is more wicked than he is foolish, mae e’n fwy drwg nag yw’n wirion (not mae’n waeth nag yw’n wirion).

The position of adjectives

In Welsh, adjectives, with some common exceptions, normally follow the noun. If there is more than one, then the order is the reverse of that in English, thus: a pretty little blue flower, blodyn glas bychan tlws. In poetry or for rhetorical effect, almost any adjective may precede the noun; in that case it lenites the noun, thus: o hyfryd ddydd! O lovely day! However, comparitive forms do not lenite a following noun.

1. Adjectives which always precede the noun.
(a) The definite articles y, yr, ‘r before a singular feminine noun lenite it, thus: mother, mam; the mother, y fam; town, tref; the town, y dref; but ll, rh do not lenite, thus: the spade, y rhaw, the hand, y llaw;

(b) The possessive adjectives fy, my; dy thy/your; ei, his/her; ein, our; eich, your; eu, their. Fy is followed by the nasal mutation, thus: head, pen; my head, fy mhen; dy is followed by the soft mutation, as is ei = his: thy/your head, dy ben; his head, ei ben. Ei = her, is followed by the spirant mutation of p, t, c (and, in Northern Welsh of m, n): her head, ei phen; her father, ei thad; her leg, ei choes; her grandmother, ei nhain; her mother, ei mham. (The last two mutations are not regarded as standard). Ein, eich, eu are followed by the radical form of the noun, except that after ein, eu, h- is prefixed to vowels: ein hiaith, our language; eu henwau, their names; so also ei (=her) prefixes h- to vowels: ei hafal, her apple; ei afal, his apple.

(c) The cardinal numbers, un, dau/dwy, tri/tair, pedwar/pedair &c.;

(d) The ordinal adjectives unfed, ail, eilfed, trydydd/trydedd, pedwerydd/pedwaredd, pumed, chweched &c.; except that cyntaf, first; olaf, last, may precede or follow: y peth cyntaf or less usually y cyntaf peth, y peth olaf or yr olaf peth;

(e) Ill, every one of, in the set expressions ill dau/dwy, both of them; hwy ill tri/tair, the three of them; and y naill = either one of, followed by the soft mutation: yn y naill dŷ ar ôl y llall, in one house after another.

(f) Rhyw, some, a certain and its compounds unrhyw, any; amryw, various; cyfryw, such, all, followed by the soft mutation; cyfryw itself is not lenited before a feminine noun: y cyfryw ddyn, such a man; y cyfryw wraig, such a woman;

(g) The interrogative adjectives pa? what? which? (pa) sut? pa fath? what sort of? all + soft mutation, and (pa) sawl? (how) many? e.g. pa lyfr? what book? pa fath (o) beth? what sort of thing? pa sawl tro? how many times?

(h) Pob, every/each; prif, main; sawl, many, so many; ambell, an occasional; cryn, considerable, much; yr holl, the whole, all the; nemor, a few, hardly any; rhai, some (before plural nouns only); prif, ambell, cryn, yr holl, nemor, are followed by the soft mutation, thus: ambell beth, cryn dipyn, yr holl bobl, nemor ddim, y prif ddyn, but rhai pethau, some things;

(i) Y fath and the colloquial y ffasiwn, y rotsiwn, all meaning such a, of the sort are all followed by the soft mutation: y fath lanast, such a mess; y ffasiwn/rotsiwn lol, such nonsense; also hoff ddewis, favourite; fy newis beth, fy hoff beth, my favourite thing;

(j) English borrowings such as the intensive rêl, blydi, bali &c. These lenite feminine nouns, e.g. y bali ddynes ‘ma, this bally woman.

2. Adjectives which may precede or follow the noun.
(a) All comparative forms of adjectives may precede the noun, thus: a better place, lle gwell or gwell lle; a surer grasp, sicrach gafael or gafael sicrach; more urgent things, rheitiach pethau or pethau rheitiach; better methods, amgenach dulliau or dulliau amgenach; a superior runner, trech rhedwr or rhedwr trech; the main thing, y pennaf peth or y peth pennaf; as good a chance, cystal cyfle or cyfle cystal; a higher grade, gradd uwch or uwch gradd, quite a good house, eithaf tŷ or tŷ eithaf;

(b) In some titles, adjectives that normally follow the noun, precede it: the Privy Council, y Cyfrin Gyngor; the High Court, yr Uchel Lys; the Very Reverend Father, yr Hybarch Dad; the Honourable Member, yr Anrhydeddus Aelod; the Supreme Court, y Goruchaf Lys; Her Most Excellent Majesty, Ei Hardderchocaf Fawrhydi;

(c) Some adjectives vary in meaning according to position: hen, old, may precede or follow in this sense, but before the noun it is also used as an intensive, either affectionate or pejorative according to context, tone of voice &c., without necessarily meaning old, e.g. hen blentyn bach annwyl, a dear little child; hen genawes fach, a little minx; hen ŵr bach, an old man; gŵr hen, a really old man; if hen is modified, it must follow: gwraig hen iawn, a very old lady. Cam before a noun = mistaken, wrong e.g. cam farn, a misjudgement; after the noun it = crooked: ffon gam, a crooked stick. Gwir before the noun = real, genuine, true, e.g. y gwir Dduw, the true God; gwir enghraift, a genuine example; after the noun, gwir = veracious, truthful: stori wir, a true story. Glân before the noun = holy, e.g. glân briodas, holy matrimony; after the noun it = clean, e.g. dŵr glân, clean water. Unig before the noun = only, sole: yr unig beth, the sole thing; after the noun it = lonely: lle unig, a lonely place. Diweddar before the noun = late, deceased; after the noun = recent. Aml before the noun = many a; or with a plural noun = numerous: aml dro, many a time; aml bechodau, numerous sins; aml un, many a one; after the noun it = frequently: ymweliadau aml, frequent visits. Eithaf = not bad, quite good, may precede or follow the noun, e.g. eithaf peth, not a bad thing; when it follows its other meaning is furthest, most extreme; terfyn eithaf, the furthest limit. Cwta before a noun = scarce a, nary a: cwta flwyddyn (or blwyddyn gwta) sydd ers hynny, it’s scarcely a year since; after a noun it often = cut short, curtailed, tailless; gwallt cwta, short hair; mochyn cwta, guinea-pig. Prin before a noun = faint: prin gof, a faint memory; after the noun, it = scarce, rare: enghraifft brin, a rare example. Cynifer before a noun = as many, so many; cynifer gwaith, as many times; after the noun it = even-numbered; deilen gynifer, four-leaved clover; rhif cynifer, even number. Hoff before a noun = favourite, preferred: fy hoff lyfr, my favourite book; after the noun = beloved; cyfaill hoff, a dear friend. Cas before a noun = most detested: fy nghas beth, my bête noire; after the noun it = disagreeable, nasty. Annwyl, dear, beloved, may precede or follow the noun. At the start of a letter it usually precedes; otherwise it more usually follows. Cyffelyb, similar, may precede or follow the noun: cyffelyb bethau or pethau cyffelyb, suchlike things, things of the sort. Mân before a plural noun = minor, petty: mân bethau or manion = trifles; after the noun = very small, tiny: plant mân, toddlers. Brith before a noun = partial, imperfect: brith gof, a hazy recollection; after the noun = speckled, variegated: bara brith, currant bread; siaced fraith, coat of many colours. Union before a noun = the very; yr union beth, the very thing; after a noun = direct: ffordd union, a direct route. Pen before a noun = chief: pen blaenor, chief deacon; after the noun = end: e.g. y tŷ pen, the end house.

(d) While all other adjectives usually follow the noun, some will be found to precede in certain clichés and set expressions, e.g. o dragwyddol bwys, of eternal importance; parchedig ŵr, reverend gentleman; hybarch Dad, most/very Reverend Father; drwg lygad, evil eye; o barchus goffadwriaeth, of blessed memory; rhad ras, free grace; rhydd ewyllys, free will; achubol ras, saving grace; cyfyng gyngor, dilemma; rheitiach peth, more urgent/necessary thing; caeëdig ddôr, closed door; aneirif lu’r merthyron, the numberless host of martyrs; dewisol ganiadau, selected poems; gloywach nen, brighter sky; meithion oriau, long hours; tyner lais, a tender voice; haeddiannol wobr, deserved reward; poeth offrwm, burnt offering; hyfryd fore, joyful morn; annwyl gariadus Gymry; dearly beloved Welsh people; unig-anedig fab, only-begotten son; Hollalluog Dduw, Almighty God; er mawr syndod imi, to my great surprise; mae mawr angen, there is a great need; yr anfarwol fardd, the immortal bard; yr enwog Ddaniel Owen, the celebrated Daniel Owen; taer angen, dire need; dwfn fyfyrdod, deep meditation.

Comparative adjectives rheitiach, amgenach, gorau, gwell &c. do not lenite the noun but adjectives in the positive degree, as in the above examples, lenite the noun.

Position of modifiers of adjectives and adverbs

Adverbs are formed thus: yn + soft mutation + adjective. Hence da, good; yn dda, well. There is thus no formal distinction between an adjective in a predicate position, e.g. mae hi’n dda, she is good, and an adverb, e.g. mae hi’n gweithio’n dda, she works well.

1. Modifiers may follow the adjective/adverb: iawn = very, always follows, thus: da iawn, very good; yn dda iawn, very well. Modifiers such as ofnadwy, cynddeiriog, odiaeth, dychrynllyd, trybeilig &c. either follow and are lenited thus: mawr ofnadwy/ddychrynllyd/gynddeiriog/ drybeilig, awfully big, or may precede, thus: ofnadwy [o] fawr, cynddeiriog [o] fawr &c.

2. Tra, very, always precedes and is followed by the spirant mutation of p, t, c, thus: tra mawr, very big; tra drud, very dear; tra pharod, very ready; tra charedig, very kind; yn dra charedig, very obligingly; tra thadol, very fatherly; yn dra thadol, in a very fatherly manner.

3. Eithaf, quite; digon, enough; hen ddigon, quite … enough; llawer, much, chwarter, a quarter; hanner, half precede the adjective: eithaf parchus, quite respectable; llawer gwell, much better; digon boddhaol, satisfactory enough; hen ddigon glân, quite clean enough; hanner call, half crazy.

4. Note position with comparative adjectives/adverbs: llawer llai or llai o lawer, much smaller; nid yw fawr gwell, it is little better; rhywfaint pellach, somewhat further; y gorau o ddigon, by far the best, much the best; mae beth yn fwy, it is somewhat bigger; mae dipyn yn llai, it is a bit smaller; cymaint gwaeth, so much worse; mwy cyfoethog, more wealthy; mwyaf anhapus; most unhappy;

5. Go, reit, quite; rhy, too; lled, quite; braidd yn, fairly; mor, so, cyn, as always precede and lenite the adjective: quite skilful, go fedrus; quite cheeky, reit ddigywilydd; too dear, rhy ddrud; quite easily, yn o hawdd; too quickly, yn rhy gyflym; quite suddenly, yn reit sydyn; fairly satisfactory, lled foddhaol; rather lazy, braidd yn ddiog or diog braidd; so loving, mor gariadus; as white, cyn wynned.

6. Other adjectives acting as modifiers of an adjective, precede and lenite it forming as it were a compound adjective/adverb: rhannol wir, partly true; perffaith lân, perfectly clean; cwbl wallus, wholly wrong; pur wallus, quite faulty; gweddol rugl, fairly fluent; gwir barchedig, right reverend; aruthrol bert, terribly pretty; difrifol wael, seriously ill; hollol gywir, wholly right; holl-bresennol, all-pervading; gwirioneddol lesol, really beneficial; anhraethol ddiflas, unspeakably boring; anhygoel wych, incredibly fine; eithriadol ddiddorol, exceptionally interesting; rhyfeddol ddewr, wonderfully brave; llwyr ddibynnol, completely dependent; llawn gystal/cystal, fully as good.

Adjectives and nouns denoting nationality

(a) Note that in correct Welsh it is usual to distinguish between a very general sense of the adjective, and a strictly linguistic one, thus: oen Cymreig, Welsh lamb, llyfr Cymreig, a book of Welsh interest (which might be in any language), as distinct from llyfr Cymraeg, a book in Welsh which might be on any topic under the sun; similarly, the French temperament, yr anian Ffrengig or anian y Ffrancwyr, but a French poem, cerdd Ffrangeg; English ways, dulliau Seisnig, but an English dictionary, geiriadur Saesneg.

(b) In translating expressions such as the Welsh people, it is very unidiomatic to say pobl Gymraeg/Gymreig; one says simply Cymry or pobl Cymru; likewise English people is simply Saeson or pobl Lloegr; French people, Ffrancwyr or pobl Ffrainc. In expressions such as an English gentleman, the usual construction is bonheddwr o Sais; a French doctor, meddyg o Ffrancwr; Italian ladies, Eidalesau, boneddigesau o’r Eidal; Welsh ladies, Cymryesau, Cymraesau, boneddigesau o Gymru and so on.

(c) In talking of products or institutions peculiar to a country, it is more idiomatic to use the name of the country than the adjective, thus: French wines, gwinoedd Ffrainc; a French wine, gwin o Ffrainc or gwin Ffrengig; the Canadian parliament, senedd Canada; a Canadian parliament (i.e. one of the provincial legislatures), un o seneddau Canada. This is especially so when there is only one of the nouns in question at any one time, thus: the American President, Arlywydd America; Arabian oil, olew Arabia; the Spanish fleet, llynges Sbaen.


A. Simple prepositions

1. These consist of a single word. Most cause mutation:
the soft mutation after am, ar, at, dan, dros, drwy, heb, i, o, trwy, tan, gan, hyd, tros, wrth;
the aspirate mutation after a, â, tua, gyda; the nasal mutation after yn.
There is no mutation after cyn, er, ger, mewn, rhag, rhwng, wedi.

2. Some conjugate, i.e. have personal forms, like verbs, when followed by a pronoun.

(a) The first conjugation

ar: sing. 1. arnaf (fi) 2. arnat (ti) 3 m arno (ef), f arni (hi)
pl. 1. arnom (ni) 2. arnoch (chwi) 3. arnynt (hwy)
Adverbial form: arnodd, on, over
Like ar: oddi ar.

at: sing. 1. ataf (fi) 2. atat (ti) 3. ato (ef), ati (hi)
pl. 1. atom (ni) 2. atoch (chwi) 3. atynt (hwy)
Like at: tuag at, hyd at

tan: sing. 1. tanaf (fi) 2. tanat (ti) 3. tano (ef), tani (hi)
pl. 1. tanom (ni) 2. tanoch (chwi) 3. tanynt (hwy)
Adverbial form: tanodd, underneath
Like tan: dan (danaf fi &c., with adverbial form danodd); am (amdanaf fi &c.); oddi tan (oddi tanaf &c.); also in popular Northern Welsh, rownd, with forms rownda’i, rowndat ti, rowndo fo, rowndi hi; rowndon ni, rowndoch chi, rowndyn nhw.

(b) The second conjugation

er: sing. 1. erof (fi) 2. erot (ti) 3. erddo (ef), erddi (hi)
pl. 1. erom (ni) 2. eroch (chwi) 3. erddynt (hwy)

heb: sing. 1. hebof (fi) 2. hebot (ti) 3. hebddo (ef), hebddi (hi)
pl. 1. hebom (ni) 2. heboch (chwi) 3. hebddynt (hwy)

Adverbial form: heibio, past

o: sing. 1. ohonof (fi) 2. ohonot (ti) 3. ohono (ef), ohoni (hi)
pl. 1. ohonom (ni) 2. ohonoch (chwi) 3. ohonynt (hwy)

rhag: sing. 1. rhagof (fi) 2. rhagot (ti) 3. rhagddo (ef), rhagddi (hi)
pl. 1. rhagom (ni) 2. rhagoch (chwi) 3. rhagddynt (hwy)

rhwng: sing. 1. rhyngof (fi) 2. rhyngot (ti) 3. rhyngddo (ef), rhyngddi (hi)
pl. 1. rhyngom (ni) 2. rhyngoch (chwi) 3. rhyngddynt (hwy)
Like rhwng: cydrhwng (cydrhyngof fi &c.)

tros: sing. 1. trosof (fi) 2. trosot (ti) 3. trosto (ef), trosti (hi)
pl. 1. trosom (ni) 2. trosoch (chwi) 3. trostynt (hwy)
Adverbial form: trosodd, over
Like tros: dros (drosof fi &c.)

trwy: sing. 1. trwof (fi) 2. trwot (ti) 3. trwyddo (ef), trwyddi (hi)
pl. 1. trwom (ni) 2. trwoch (chwi) 3. trwyddynt (hwy)
Adverbial form: trwodd, through
Like trwy: drwy (drwof fi &c.).

(c) The third conjugation

gan: sing. 1. gennyf (fi) 2. gennyt (ti) 3. ganddo (ef), ganddi (hi)
pl. 1. gennym (ni) 2. gennych (chwi) 3. ganddynt (hwy)
N.B. the forms ganddom, ganddoch are totally inadmissible

wrth: sing. 1. wrthyf (fi) 2. wrthyt (ti) 3. wrtho (ef), wrthi (hi)
pl. 1. wrthym (ni) 2. wrthoch (chwi) 3. wrthynt (hwy)
Like wrth: oddi wrth.

(d) the preposition i is in a class by itself

sing. 1. imi or i mi 2. iti or i ti 3. iddo (ef) or iddi (hi)
pl. 1. inni or i ni 2. ichwi or i chwi 3. iddynt (hwy)
The forms i mi, i ti &c. are more emphatic. In the South i fi is usual for i mi. In poetry occur the forms:
sing. 1. im 2. it; pl. 1. in. 2. iwch

(e) the forms of â:

sing. 1. â mi 2. â thi 3. ag ef, â hi
pl. 1. â ni 2. â chwi 3. â hwy

Like â: gyda(g), ynghyd â/ag, tua(g).

(f) invariable prepositions

cyn (before), efo (with), erbyn (by), ers (since), fel (like), fesul (by), ger (near), gerfydd (by), hyd (till), is (below), llwrw (in the direction of), megis (such as), mewn (in), namyn (less, minus), nes (till), uwch (above), wedi (after), ŵysg (after, along).

B. Compound prepositions

1. Where the second element is a simple preposition it conjugates accordingly. Examples: ynghyd â/ag (together with), yn ogystal â/ag (as well as), heibio i (beyond, past), oddi wrth (from), oddi tan (underneath), gyfarwyneb â/ag, gyferbyn â/ag, (opposite), y tu draw i (beyond), y tu hwnt i, (beyond), gogyfer â/ag , parth â/ag (towards), y tu mewn i (inside), y tu allan i (outside), ar wahân i (apart from).

2. (a) compounds of a simple preposition and a noun:
ar fedr, ar fin, ar dỳd (about to), gerllaw (near), islaw (beneath), oddieithr, oddigerth (except), uwchlaw (above), yn anad (more than), heblaw (besides), ymhen (at the end of) are invariable and followed by nouns or by the simple independent pronouns;

(b) in other compounds of a preposition and a noun governing a pronoun, the noun must be preceded by the appropriate possesive adjective. Thus on top of me becomes ar fy mhen (i), literally, on my head:

am ben (upon, in addition to)

sing. 1. am fy mhen (i) pl. 1. am ein pennau (ni)

2. am dy ben (di) 2. am eich pen/pennau (chwi)

3. m am ei ben (ef) 3. am eu pennau (hwy)

f am ei phen (hi)

ar ben (on top of):

sing. 1. ar fy mhen (i) pl. 1. ar ein pennau (ni)

2. ar dy ben (di) 2. ar eich pen/pennau (chwi)

3. ar ei ben (ef) 3. ar eu pennau (hwy)

ar ei phen (hi)

ar bwys (near)

sing. 1. ar fy mhwys (i) pl. 1. ar ein pwys (ni)

2. ar dy bwys (di) 2. ar eich pwys (chwi)

3. ar ei bwys (ef) 3. ar eu pwys (hwy)

ar ei phwys (hi)

ar draws (across)

sing. 1. ar fy nhraws (i) pl. 1. ar ein traws (ni)

2. ar dy draws (di) 2. ar eich traws (chwi)

3. ar ei draws (ef) 3. ar eu traws (hwy)

ar ei thraws (hi)

ar gefn (astride)

sing. 1. ar fy nghefn (i) pl. 1. ar ein cefnau (ni)

2. ar dy gefn (di) 2. ar eich cefn/cefnau (chwi)

3. ar ei gefn (ef) 3. ar eu cefnau (hwy)

ar ei chefn (hi)

ar gownt (on account of)

sing. 1. ar fy nghownt (i) pl. 1. ar ein cownt (ni)

2. ar dy gownt (di) 2. ar eich cownt (chwi)

3. ar ei gownt (ef) 3. ar eu cownt (hwy)

ar ei chownt (hi)

ar gyfer (in preparation for)

sing. 1. ar fy nghyfer (i) pl. 1. ar ein cyfer (ni)

2. ar dy gyfer (di) 2. ar eich cyfer (chwi)

3. ar ei gyfer (ef) 3. ar eu cyfer (hwy)

ar ei chyfer (hi)

ar gyfrif (on account of)

sing. 1. ar fy nghyfrif (i) pl. 1. ar ein cyfrif (ni)

2. ar dy gyfrif (di) 2. ar eich cyfrif (chwi)

3. ar ei gyfrif (ef) 3. ar eu cyfrif (hwy)

ar ei chyfrif (hi)

ar gyfyl (near)

sing. 1. ar fy nghyfyl (i) pl. 1. ar ein cyfyl (ni)

2. ar dy gyfyl (di) 2. ar eich cyfyl (chwi)

3. ar ei gyfyl (ef) 3. ar eu cyfyl (hwy)

ar ei chyfyl (hi)

ar hyd (along)

sing. 1. ar fy hyd (i) pl. 1. ar ein hyd (ni)

2. ar dy hyd (di) 2. ar eich hyd (chwi)

3. ar ei hyd (ef) or ar hyd-ddo 3. ar eu hyd (hwy) or ar hyd-ddynt

ar ei hyd (hi) or ar hyd-ddi

ar ochr (on the side of)

sing. 1. ar f’ochr (i) pl. 1. ar ein hochr (ni)

2. ar d’ochr (di) 2. ar eich ochr (chwi)

3. ar ei ochr (ef) 3. ar eu hochr (hwy)

ar ei hochr (hi)

ar ôl (after)

sing. 1. ar f’ôl (i) pl. 1. ar ein hôl/holau (ni)

2. ar d’ôl (di) 2. ar eich ôl/olau (chwi)

3. ar ei ôl (ef) 3. ar eu hôl/holau (hwy)

ar ei hôl (hi)

ar uchaf (upon)

sing. 1. ar f’uchaf (i) pl. 1. ar ein huchaf (ni)

2. ar d’ uchaf (di) 2. ar eich uchaf (chwi)

3. ar ei uchaf (ef) 3. ar eu huchaf (hwy)

ar ei huchaf (hi)

ar warthaf (upon)

sing. 1. ar fy ngwarthaf (i) pl. 1. ar ein gwarthaf (ni)

2. ar dy warthaf (di) eich gwarthaf (chwi)

3. ar ei warthaf (ef) 3. ar eu gwarthaf (hwy)

ar ei gwarthaf (hi)

ar ymyl (on the edge)

sing. 3. ar ei ymyl (ef), ar ei hymyl (hi) pl. 3. ar eu hymylon (hwy)

dros ben (over)

sing. 1. dros fy mhen (i) pl. 1. dros ein pennau (ni)

2. dros dy ben (di) 2. dros eich pen/pennau (chwi)

3. dros ei ben (ef) 3. dros eu pennau (hwy)

dros ei phen (hi)

Like dros ben: tros ben

er gwaethaf (despite)

sing. 1. er fy ngwaethaf (i) pl. 1. er ein gwaethaf (ni)

2. er dy waethaf (di) 2. er eich gwaethaf (chwi)

3. er ei waethaf (ef) 3. er eu gwaethaf (hwy)

er ei gwaethaf (hi)

er mwyn (for the sake of)

sing. 1. er fy mwyn (i) pl. er ein mwyn (ni)

2. er dy fwyn (di) er eich mwyn (chwi)

3. er ei fwyn (ef) er eu mwyn (hwy)

er ei mwyn (hi)

gerbron (in the presence of)

sing. 1. ger fy mron (i) pl. 1. ger ein bron (ni)

2. ger dy fron (di) 2. ger eich bron (chwi)

3. ger ei fron (ef) 3. ger eu bron (hwy)

ger ei bron (hi)

gerllaw (near)

sing. 1. ger fy llaw (i) pl. 1. ger ein llaw (ni)

2. ger dy law (di) 2. ger eich llaw (chwi)

3. ger ei law (ef) 3. ger eu llaw (hwy)

ger ei llaw (hi)

i blith (into the midst of) No sing. forms.

pl. 1. i’n plith (ni) 2. i’ch plith (chwi) 3. i’w plith (hwy)

i fysg (into the midst of) No sing. forms.

pl. 1. i’n mysg (ni) 2. i’ch mysg (chwi) 3. i’w mysg (hwy)

i ganol (into the middle of)

sing. 1. i’m canol (i) pl. 1. i’n canol (ni)

2. i’th ganol (di) 2. i’ch canol (chwi)

3. i’w ganol (ef) 3. i’w canol (hwy)

i’w chanol (hi)

is gil (behind)

sing. 1. is fy nghil (i) pl. 1. is ein cil (ni)

2. is dy gil (di) 2. is eich cil (chwi)

3. is ei gil (ef) 3. is eu cil (hwy)

is ei chil (hi)

islaw (beneath)

sing. 1. is fy llaw (i) pl. 1. is ein llaw (ni)

2. is dy law (di) 2. is eich llaw (chwi)

3. is ei law (ef) 3. is eu llaw (hwy)

is ei llaw (hi)

o achos (because of)

sing. 1. o’m hachos (i) pl. 1. o’n hachos (ni)

2. o’th achos (di) 2. o’ch achos (chwi)

3. o’i achos (ef) 3. o’u hachos (hwy)

o’i hachos (hi)

o amgylch (around)

sing. 1. o’m hamgylch (i) pl. 1. o’n hamgylch (ni)

2. o’th amgylch (di) 2. o’ch amgylch (chwi)

3. o’i amgylch (ef) 3. o’u hamgylch (hwy)

o’i hamgylch (hi)

o blaid (in favour of)

sing. 1. o’m plaid (i) pl. 1. o’n plaid (ni)

2. o’th blaid (di) 2. o’ch plaid (chwi)

3. o’i blaid (ef) 3. o’u plaid (hwy)

o’i phlaid (hi)

oblegid (because of)

sing. 1. o’m plegid (i) pl. 1. o’n plegid (ni)

2. o’th blegid (di) 2. o’ch plegid (chwi)

3. o’i blegid (ef) 3. o’u plegid (hwy)

o’i phlegid (hi)

o blith (from among) No sing. forms

pl. 1. o’n plith (ni) 2. o’ch plith (chwi) 3. o’u plith (hwy)

oddeutu (about)

sing. 1. o’m deutu (i) pl. 1. o’n deutu (ni)

2. o’th ddeutu (di) 2. o’ch deutu (chwi)

3. o’i ddeutu (ef) 3. o’u deutu (hwy)

o’i deutu (hi)

o fewn (within)

sing. 1. o’m mewn (i) pl. 1. o’n mewn (ni)

2. o’th fewn (di) 2. o’ch mewn (chwi)

3. o’i fewn (ef) 3. o’u mewn (hwy)

o’i mewn (hi)

o flaen (before)

sing. 1. o’m blaen (i) pl. 1. o’n blaen/blaenau (ni)

2. o’th flaen (di) 2. o’ch blaen/blaenau (chwi)

3. o’i flaen (ef) 3. o’u blaen/blaenau (hwy)

o’i blaen (hi)

o fysg (from among) No sing. forms.

pl. 1. o’n mysg (ni) 2. o’ch mysg (chwi) 3. o’u mysg (hwy)

o ganol (into the middle of)

sing. 1. o’m canol (i) pl. 1. o’n canol (ni)

2. o’th ganol (di) 2. o’ch canol (chwi)

3. o’i ganol (ef) 3. o’u canol (hwy)

o’i chanol (hi)

o gwmpas (around)

sing. 1. o’m cwmpas (i) pl. 1. o’n cwmpas (ni)

2. o’th gwmpas (di) 2. o’ch cwmpas (chwi)

3. o’i gwmpas (ef) 3. o’u cwmpas (hwy)

o’i chwmpas (hi)

o gylch (around)

sing. 1. o’m cylch (i) pl. 1. o’n cylch (ni)

2. o’th gylch (di) 2. o’ch cylch (chwi)

3. o’i gylch (ef) 3. o’u cylch (hwy)

o’i chylch (hi)

oherwydd (because of)

sing. 1. o’m herwydd (i) pl. 1. o’n herwydd (ni)

2. o’th herwydd (di) 2. o’ch herwydd (chwi)

3. o’i herwydd (ef) 3. o’u herwydd (hwy)

o’i herwydd (hi)

o ran (as regards, for my &c. part).

sing. 1. o’m rhan (i) pl. 1. o’n rhan (ni)

2. o’th ran (di) 2. o’ch rhan (chwi)

3. o’i ran (ef) 3. o’u rhan (hwy)

o’i rhan (hi)

rhag bron (in front of)

sing. 1. rhag fy mron (i) pl. 1. rhag ein bron (ni)

2. rhag dy fron (di) 2. rhag eich bron (chwi)

3. rhag ei fron (ef) 3. rhag eu bron (hwy)

rhag ei bron (hi)

uwchben (above)

sing. 1. uwch fy mhen (i) pl. 1. uwch ein pennau (ni)

2. uwch dy ben (di) 2. uwch eich pen/pennau (chwi)

3. uwch ei ben (ef) 3. uwch eu pennau (hwy)

uwch ei phen (hi)

wrth ymyl (near)

sing. 1. wrth f’ymyl (i) pl. 1. wrth ein hymyl/hymylau (ni)

2. wrth d’ymyl (di) 2. wrth eich ymyl/ymylau (chwi)

3. wrth ei ymyl (ef) 3. wrth eu hymyl/hymylau (hwy)

wrth ei hymyl (hi)

ymhlith (among) No sing. forms

pl. 1. yn ein plith (ni) 2. yn eich plith (chwi) 3. yn eu plith (hwy)

ymysg (among) No sing. forms

pl. 1. yn ein mysg (ni) 2. yn eich mysg (chwi) 3. yn eu mysg (hwy)

yn erbyn (against)

sing. 1. yn f’erbyn (i) pl. 1. yn ein herbyn (ni)

2. yn d’erbyn (di) 2. yn eich erbyn (chwi)

3. yn ei erbyn (ef) 3. yn eu herbyn (hwy)

yn ei herbyn (hi)

yn herwydd (according to)

sing. 1. yn fy herwydd (i) pl. 1. yn ein herwydd (ni)

2. yn dy herwydd (di) 2. yn eich herwydd (chwi)

3. yn ei herwydd (ef) 3. yn eu herwydd (hwy)

yn ei herwydd (hi)

yn lle (instead of)

sing. 1. yn fy lle (i) pl. 1. yn ein lle (ni)

2. yn dy le (di) 2. yn eich lle (chwi)

3. yn ei le (ef) 3. yn eu lle (hwy)

yn ei lle (hi)

yn ôl (according to)

sing. 1. yn f’ôl (i) pl. 1. yn ein hôl/holau (ni)

2. yn d’ôl (di) 2. yn eich ôl/olau (chwi)

3. yn ei ôl (ef) 3. yn eu hôl/holau (hwy)

yn ei hôl (hi)

yn wysg (following)

sing. 1. yn f’wysg (i) pl. 1. yn ein hwysg (ni)

2. yn d’wysg (di) 2. yn eich wysg (chwi)

3. yn ei wysg (ef) 3. yn eu hwysg (hwy)

yn ei hwysg (hi)

yn ymyl (near)

sing. 1. yn f’ymyl (i) pl. 1. yn ein hymyl (ni)

2. yn d’ymyl (di) 2. yn eich ymyl (chwi)

3. yn ei ymyl (ef) 3. yn eu hymyl (hwy)

yn ei hymyl (hi)

ynghanol (in the middle of)

sing. 1. yn fy nghanol (i) pl. 1. yn ein canol (ni)

2. yn dy ganol (di) 2. yn eich canol (chwi)

3. yn ei ganol (ef) 3. yn eu canol (hwy)

yn ei chanol (hi)

yng nghyfer (rashly – in the expression siarad yn eich cyfer, to speak rashly)

sing. 1. yn fy nghyfer (i) pl. 1. yn ein cyfer (ni)

2. yn dy gyfer (di) 2. yn eich cyfer (chwi)

3. yn ei gyfer (ef) 3. yn eu cyfer (hwy)

yn ei chyfer (hi)

ynghylch (about, concerning)

sing. 1. yn fy nghylch (i) pl. 1. yn ein cylch (ni)

2. yn dy gylch (di) 2. yn eich cylch (chwi)

3. yn ei gylch (ef) 3. yn eu cylch (hwy)

yn ei chylch (hi)

yng ngŵydd (in the presence of)

sing. 1. yn fy ngŵydd (i) pl. 1. yn ein gŵydd (ni)

2. yn dy ŵydd (di) 2. yn eich gŵydd (chwi)

3. yn ei ŵydd (ef) 3. yn eu gŵydd (hwy)

yn ei gŵydd (hi)

Expressions containing a verb-noun, of the type ac eithrio (excepting), o gofio, gan gynnwys, ac ystyried, a chofio (considering), have conjugated forms analogous to those of compounded prepositions when governing pronouns:

ac eithrio

sing. 1. a’m heithrio (i) pl. 1. a’n heithrio (ni)

2. a’th eithrio (di) 2. a’ch eithrio (chwi)

3. a’i eithrio (ef) 3. a’u heithrio (hwy)

a’i heithrio (hi).


Identifying the stem of a verb

In this dictionary, the only form usually listed of any verb is the verb-noun (vn.). To conjugate the verb, the stem to which the appropriate endings are suffixed must be known. The conjugations of very irregular verbs are given in full elsewhere. The majority of verbs are conjugated like gwenu and canu.

1. The largest class is of verb-nouns ending in a vowel: -a, -i, -io, -o, -u.
To find the stem, drop the final vowel: thus, of difetha, the stem is difeth-; of torri, torr-; of gweithio, gweithi-; of teimlo, teiml-; of magu, mag-. Any stem in -i drops -i before another -i: fe weithi di, you’ll work. Exceptions are verbs such as sgio, ffrio, trio, &c.: 2nd persons singular, present tense, sgii, ffrii, trii, &c. In the case of verbs having -a- in the stem, this will change to -e- as in the case of canu. Exceptions to this general rule will be found under the appropriate ending below. Most verb-nouns in -an, -ian drop the -an and are conjugated regularly.

2. Verb-nouns ending in a consonant may be divided into three classes:

(a) those which are also the stem, to which the regular endings are attached, e.g. achub: achubaf, achubi, achub/achuba &c.;

(b) others drop the ending, like the verbs in -io, -o;

(c) others form the stem irregularly.

Verb-nouns (vns.) classified by ending, including exceptions to category 1

-a: most drop the -a to form the stem, e.g. difetha: difethaf; hala, halaf. A few may insert -i- in the stem: benthyca: benthyc(i)af; dala: dal(i)af, deli, deil, dal(i)wn, dal(i)wch, dal(i)ant, &c.;

hela: hel(i)af, heli, hel(i)a, hel(i)wn, hel(i)wch, hel(i)ant; so also herwhela;

some have contracted endings: coffa: coffâf, atgoffa: atgoffâf; gwreica: gwreicâf; lladrata: lladratâf; chwiwladrata: chwiwladratâf; marchnata: marchnatâf;

bwyta: bwytâf, bwyt|ei, bwyty, bwyt|awn, bwyt|ewch, bwytânt; Impers. bwyt|eir.;

difa has forms like bwyta: difâf, dif|ei, difâ, dif|awn, dif|ewch, difânt; Impers.:difeir; Imperfect: difawn, &c.; Impers.: difeid; Past: difeais, difeaist, difaodd, difasom, &c.; Impers.: difawyd; but its forms are rare in the literary language, having been replaced by the construction with bod; in speech its forms have been regularized, e.g. mi ddifa’i, fe ddifi di, &c.;

cryffa: cryffâf, cryff|ei, cryffâ, cryff|awn, cryff|ewch, cryffânt, &c.;

para; parhaf, parh|ei, pery; parh|awn, parh|ewch, parhânt, &c.;

Many verbs in -ta, e.g. pysgota, cardota, mercheta have no conjugated forms in the literary language, but such may be found in the spoken language;

cwpla, a Southern form of cwblhau, conjugates regularly, like gwenu, e.g. fe gwpla’i, fe gwpli di, fe gwpliff e/hi, &c.

-ach: ceintach, conach, grwgnach, llamsach, tolach, ymgyfeillach: the vn. is the stem; bregl(i)ach, cyfeddach, clindarddach: only the vns .are in use.

-ad: to form the stem, most drop the ending: e.g. brefad, caead, cuddiad, dringad, gwatsiad, gweitiad, gweryrad, gwingad, pistyllad, pingad/pyngad, twtsiad, wylad; gwylad is a dialect form of gwylio; dwad is a familiar form of dod, dyfod; bugunad, clindarddiad have only the vn.; siarad, dirnad, add endings to the vn.: siarad, siaredi, sieryd, &c., dirnadaf, dirnedi, dirnad, &c.

-add: lladd and its compounds brigladd, darnladd, cydladd, ymladd/ymlâdd all add endings to the verb-noun: lladdaf, lleddi, lladd, &c.;

gwadd is a contracted form of gwahodd: gwahoddaf, gwahoddi, gwahodd, &c.

-ae: chwarae, ymchwarae, gwarchae: add endings to the vn.

-aedd: cyrraedd has the stem cyrhaedd-:cyrhaeddaf, cyrhaeddi, cyrraidd, cyrhaeddwn, &c.

-ael: gafael: gafaelaf, gafaeli, gafael, &c.; so also atafael, dadafael, ymafael;

dyrchafael, arddyrchafael, ymrafael: drop -ael, add endings: dyrchafaf, dyrchefi, dyrchaif, dyrchafwn, dyrchefwch, dyrchafant, &c.;

gadael, ymadael have the stems gadaw-, ymadaw-: gadawaf, gadewi, gedy; gad|awn, gad|ewch, gadawant, &c.;

cael, caffael are irregular: see the section on irregular verbs.

-aeth: gwastrodaeth, marchogaeth, ymyrraeth drop -aeth; gwastrodaf, gwastrodi, gwastroda, &c.; marchogaf, marchogi, marchoga, &c.; ymyrraf, ymyrri, ymyrra, &c.

-ang: damsang: add endings: damsangaf, damsengi, damsang, &c.

-ail: adail: old form of adeilio: adeiliaf, adeili, adail, &c.;

arail: old form of areilio: areiliaf, areili, arail, &c.

-ain: arwain and compounds camarwain, cyfarwain, cylcharwain, rhagarwain have stems arweini-, &c.: arweiniaf, arweini, arwain, &c.;

atsain: stem atseini-; atseiniaf, atseini, atsain, &c.;

cywain: stem cyweini-; cyweiniaf, cyweini, cywain, &c.;

olrhain: stem olrheini-: olrheiniaf, olrheini, olrhain, &c.;

diasbedain, llefain and compounds crochlefain, dolefain, drop the -ain: llefaf, llefi, llef, &c.; of diasbedain, only the vn. is in use;

rhechain = rhechu, rhechian: rhechaf, rhechi, rhech(a), &c.;

rhochain = rhochian: rhochiaf, rhochi, rhoch(a), &c.;

sgrechain = sgrechian: sgrech(i)af, sgrechi, sgrech(ia), &c.;

wylofain = wylo: wylaf, wyli, ŵyl/wyla, &c.;

ymrain: ymreaf, ymrëi, ymrea, ymrëwn, ymrëwch, ymreant, &c.;

ochain, ubain: only the vns. are in use.

-air: cellwair: cellweiriaf, cellweiri, cellwair/cellweiria, &c.;

cyniwair: cyniweiriaf, cyniweiri, cyniwair/cyniweiria, &c.

-ais: goglais: gogleisiaf, gogleisi, goglais/gogleisia, &c.

-aith: dadlaith: dadleithiaf, dadleithi, dadlaith, &c. but only the vn. is in common use;

ymdaith = ymdeithio: ymdeithiaf, ymdeithi, ymdaith/ymdeithia, &c.

-al: atal adds -iaf: ataliaf, ateli, eteil/etyl/atalia; ataliwn, ataliwch, ataliant; so also camatal, cyfatal, llwyrymatal, ymatal;

dial, ymddial: add -af, &c.: dialaf, dieli, dial, &c.;

cynnal has the stem cynhali-: cynhaliaf, cynheli, cynnal; cynhaliwn, cynheliwch, cynhaliant, &c.;

mwngial, myngial, sisial: add -af, &c.;

mwmial, swnial, tincial: drop -al and add -af, &c.

-all: deall/dyall: add -af, &c.: deallaf, deelli, deall; deallwn, deellwch, deallant so also camddeall.

-allt: tywallt: add -af, &c. tywalltaf, tywellti, tywallt, &c. so also: ymdywallt;

dallt is an incorrect Northern form of deall.

-an: most verbs drop the -an and are then conjugated like gwenu or canu; exceptions are: cyhwfan/cwhwfan, cwynfan, darogan, datgan, ehedfan, hedfan, griddfan, yngan, ymddiddan, whose vn. is also the stem.

-anc: dianc: stem dihang-: dihangaf, dihengi, dianc; dihangwn, dihengwch, dihangant, &c.

-ar: clegar, clochdar, cyfarpar, darpar, gwasgar, gwatwar, trydar, ysgar: the vn. is the stem.

-arch: cyfarch, llongyfarch, moesgyfarch: conjugated like erchi: the vn. is the stem; cyfarchaf, cyferchi, cyfeirch, cyfarchwn, cyferchwch, cyfarchant.

-ardd: gwahardd: stem gwahardd-: gwaharddaf, gwaherddi, gwahardd, &c.

-arth: cyfarth: stem cyfarth-: cyfarthaf, cyferthi, cyfarth; cyfarthwn, cyferthwch, cyfarthant.

-as: lluddias: lluddiaf, lluddi, lludd/lluddia, &c.

-au: cau has the stem cae-: caeaf, caei, cae; caewn, caewch, caeant, &c.; Imperfect: caewn, &c.; Past: caeais, &c.; Pluperfect: caeaswn, &c.; Imperative: 1. – 2. cau 3. Caeed; pl. 1. caewn 2. caewch 3.caeent; so also amgáu;

dechrau (stem dechreu-); cynnau (cyneu-), dadlau (dadleu-), gwrthddadlau (gwrthddadleu-), hau (heu-), maddau (maddeu-); gwau/gweu (gwe-) conjugated regularly. Eisiau is not a verb but a noun. The idiom is mae eisiau arnaf, not yr wyf eisiau.

-áu: verbs accented on the final syllable have contracted forms like nesáu. See the section on contracted verb-forms, where nesáu is given in full. Like nesáu are: agosáu, arwyddocáu, brasáu, bywiocáu, caniatáu, casáu, coffáu, cwpláu/cwpla, dwysáu, esmwytháu, gwacáu, gwastatáu, iacháu, llacáu, llesáu, llesgáu, nacáu, tecáu, tristáu, ymdecáu, ymfrasáu, ymnesáu, ymwacáu and all verbs ending in -hau; exception, amgáu: see above, under cau.

-aw: darllaw: the vn. is the stem: darllawaf, darllewi, darllaw; darllawn, darllewch, darllawant. &c.

-awdd: gwawdd is a dialect form of gwahodd.

-e: chware, gware are dialect forms of chwarae.

-eb: ateb, cyfateb, ymateb: the vn. is the stem: atebaf, atebi, etyb, &c.

-ed: most, such as clywed, cerdded, gweled, synied, tybied, &c., drop the -ed and conjugate like canu: clywaf, clywi, clyw; clywn, clywch, clywant, &c.;

gwelaf, gweli, gwêl; gwelwn, gwelwch, gwelant, &c.;

cerddaf, cerddi, cerdd; cerddwn, cerddwch, cerddant, &c.;

exceptions: amgyffred, arbed, darymred, dynwared, ymddiried whose vn. is the stem.

-edd: gorwedd: gorweddaf, gorweddi, gorwedd; gorweddwn, gorweddwch, gorweddant, &c.;

ymhŵedd: only the vn. is in use.

-ef: addef, cyfaddef, dioddef, goddef: the vn. is the stem;

addef: addefaf, addefi, eddyf; addefwn, addefwch, addefant, &c.; so also cyfaddef;

dioddef: dioddefaf, dioddefi, dioddef, &c.; so also cyd-ddioddef, goddef, ymoddef.

-eg: rhedeg, stem rhed-: rhedaf, rhedi, rhed; rhedwn, rhedwch, rhedant, &c.; so also cyfredeg, cylchredeg;

ehedeg, stem ehed-: ehedaf, ehedi, eh|ed, ehedwn, ehedwch, ehedant, &c.

-el: arddel, damsiel, diarddel, diwel, dychwel, dymchwel, gochel, ymochel, ymogel: the vn. is the stem, e.g. dychwelaf, dychweli, dychwel, &c.; arddel also has forms based on the stem arddelw- e.g. arddelwaf, arddelwi, arddeilw; arddelwn, arddelwch, arddelwant, &c.;

hel has the stem hel(i)- : hel(i)af, heli, hel/hela, hel(i)wn, hel(i)wch, hel(i)ant, &c., so also ymhél;

caffel, another form of caffael, cael: see the section on irregular verbs;

gadel, ymadel: forms of gadael, ymadael, see under –ael.

-eld: gweld has the stem gwel-, gwelaf, gweli, gwêl; gwelwn, gwelwch, gwelant, &c., so also anghydweld, cyd-weld, ymw|eld.

-ell: cymell has the stem cymhell-: cymhellaf, cymhelli, cymell; cymhellwn, cymhellwch, cymhellant, &c.; so also argymell, dirgymell, ymgymell.

-en: crechwen, darllen, camddarllen, damsgen: the vn. is the stem, e.g. darllenaf, darlleni, darllen; darllenwn, darllenwch, darllenant, &c.;

gorffen has the stem gorffenn-: gorffennaf, gorffenni, gorffen; gorffennwn, gorffennwch, gorffennant, &c.

-er: adfer, arfer, camarfer, dadmer, ymarfer: the vn. is the stem, e.g. arferaf, arferi, arfer; arferwn, arferwch, arferant, &c.

-erch: annerch: stem anerch-: anerchaf, anerchi, annerch; anerchwn, anerchwch, anerchant, &c.; so also ymannerch.

-es: goddiwes, gorddiwes, ymoddiwes, ymorddiwes, archaic forms of goddiweddyd, goddiweddu, with stem go(r)ddiwedd-, e.g. go(r)ddiweddaf, go(r)ddiweddi, go(r)ddiwedd, &c.

-est: bloddest: the vn. is the stem, but even the vn. is rare.

-eud: dweud is a contracted form of the literary dywedyd; see under section on irregular verbs; so also croes-ddweud, gwrth-ddweud, ail-ddweud;

gwneud is a contracted form of the (now mainly literary) gwneuthur; so also ail-wn|eud, dadwn|eud, ymwn|eud; see under the section on irregular verbs.

-hau: mwynhau, &c.: see the section on verbs with contracted forms.

-i: in this large class, most verbs form their stem by dropping the -i, e.g. torri: torraf, torri, tyr; torrwn, torrwch, torrant, &c.; Imperfect: torrwn, &c.; Past: torrais, &c., torasom, torasoch, torasant; Pluperfect: toraswn, &c.;

rhoddi also has contracted forms: see in the section on contracted verb-forms; for verb-nouns in -oi see the same section;

erchi: stem arch-: archaf, erchi, eirch/arch; archwn, erchwch, archant; Past: erchais, erchaist, archodd, &c.;

tewi: stem taw-: tawaf, tewi, tau; tawn, tewch, tawant, &c.; so also: distewi: stem distaw-: distawaf, distewi, distawa; dist|awn, dist|ewch, distawant, &c.;

llenwi: stem llanw-: llanwaf, llenwi, lleinw; llanwn, llenwch, llanwant, &c.; so also: ail-lenwi, adlenwi, cyflenwi, gorlenwi, ymlenwi, trylenwi;

peri: stem par-: paraf, peri, pair; parwn, perwch, parant, &c.;

gweini: stem gweinydd-: gweinyddaf, gweinyddi, gweinydda, &c.; so also adweini, cofweini;

argoeli: stem argoeli-: argoeliaf, argoeli, argoelia, &c.; so also coelio;

gweiddi: stem gwaedd-: gwaeddaf, gweiddi, gwaedd; gwaeddwn, gwaeddwch, gwaeddant, &c.; so also crochweiddi;

deori: stem dehor-: dehoraf, dehori, deor; dehorwn, dehorwch, dehorant, &c.;

sengi: stem sang-: sangaf, sengi, sang(a); sangwn, sengwch, sangant, &c.;

pesgi: stem pasg-: pasgaf, pesgi, pasg(a); pasgwn, pesgwch, pasgant, &c.;

seci: stem sac-: sacaf, seci, saca; sacwn,, secwch, sacant, &c.;

geni has the stem gan- but is used only in the vn. and the impersonal forms: see under section on irregular verbs; so also adeni, ail-eni. As a transitive verb, to give birth, it can, especially in speech, be conjugated regularly like canu, e.g. fe anodd hi blentyn, she gave birth to a child.

-id: newid, amnewid, cyfnewid, erlid, ymlid: add -iaf, &c. to the vn.; e.g. newidiaf, newidi, newid; newidiwn, newidiwch, newidiant, &c.

-if: cyfrif, camgyfrif, amcangyfrif: add -af, &c. to the vn.: cyfrifaf, cyfrifi, cyfrif(a) &c.

-ig: aredig: stem ardd-: arddaf, erddi, ardd; arddwn, erddwch, arddant, impers: erddir; Imperfect: arddwn, &c.; Past: erddais, erddaist, arddiodd; arddasom, arddasoch, arddasant; Pluperfect: arddaswn, &c.; Subjunctive: arddwyf, erddych, arddo; arddom, arddoch, arddont;

cynnig: cynigiaf, cynigi, cynnig; cynigiwn, cynigiwch, cynigiant, &c.

-il: ymbil: ymbiliaf, ymbili, ymbil, ymbiliwn, ymbiliwch, ymbiliant, &c.

-in: trin, ymdr|in, add -iaf: triniaf, trini, trin; triniwn, triniwch, triniant; Impers. trinnir; Imperfect Impers. trinnid;

meithrin: add -af: meithrinaf, meithrini, meithrin, &c.;

chwerthin: stem chwardd- chwarddaf, chwerddi, chwardd; chwarddwn, chwerddwch, chwarddant, &c.; spoken forms: chwertha(f), chwerthi, chwerthiff/chwerthith; chwerthwn, chwerthwch, chwerthan’.

-is: dewis: add -af: dewisaf, dewisi, dewis, &c.

-iw: edliw, ymliw, cyfymliw add -iaf: edliwiaf, edliwi, edliw, &c.

-o: Nearly all verbs ending in -o, -io, simply drop the -o and are conjugated like gwenu.

Exceptions are:

1. verbs with a stem in -aw:

(a) addo: addawaf, addewi, eddy/addawa; add|awn, add|ewch, addawant, Impers.: addewir; Imperfect: add|awn, addawit, &c.; Past: addewais, addewaist, addawodd; addawsom, addawsoch, addawsant, Impers: addawyd; Pluperfect: addawswn, &c; gaddo is an incorrect form of the above;

(b) ymado is another form of ymadael, stem ymadaw-; see under -ael;

(c) taro, stem t(a)raw-:

Present: t(a)rawaf, t(a)rewi, tery, tar|awn, t(a)r|ewch, t(a)r|awant; Impers: t(a)rewid;

Past: t(a)rewais, t(a)rewaist, t(a)rawiodd; t(a)rawsom, t(a)rawsoch, t(a)rawsant, Impers: t(a)rawyd;

Pluperfect: t(a)rawswn, &c., Impers: t(a)rawsid;

Subjunctive: t(a)rawyf, t(a)rewych, t(a)rawo, &c.; Impers: t(a)rawer;

Imperative: 1. -, 2. taro/trawa, 3. t(a)rawed; pl. 1. t(a)r|awn 2. t(a)r|ewch 3. t(a)rawent;

so also ymdaro, cyd-daro;

2. (a) cyffro = cyffroi: stem cyffro-:

Present: cyffroaf, cyffr|oi, cyffry; cyffr|own; cyffr|owch, cyffrônt, Impers: cyffr|oir;

Imperfect: cyffr|own, cyffr|oit, cyffr|oi; cyffr|oem, cyffr|oech, cyffr|oent, Impers: cyffr|oid;

Past: cyffr|ois, cyffr|oist, cyffr|odd, cyffroesom, cyffroesoch, cyffroesant, Impers: cyffrowyd;

Pluperfect: cyffroeswn, &c., Impers: cyffroesid;

Subjunctive: cyffrowyf, cyffr|oech, cyffr|o; cyffrôm, cyffrôch, cyffrônt;

Imperative: 1. – 2. cyffro 3. cyffr|oed; pl. 1. cyffr|own 2. cyffr|owch 3. cyffroent;

(b) deffro, stem deffro-:

Present: deffroaf, deffr|oi, deffry; deffr|own, deffr|owch, deffrônt, Impers: deffr|oir;

Imperfect: deffr|own, deffr|oit, deffroai; deffr|oem, deffr|oech, deffr|oent, Impers: deffr|oid;

Past: deffr|ois, deffr|oist, deffr|oes/deffr|odd; deffroesom, deffroesoch, deffroesant, Impers: deffrowyd;

Pluperfect: deffroeswn, &c., Impers: deffroesid;

Subjunctive: deffrowyf, deffr|oych, deffrô; deffrôm, deffrôch, deffrônt, Impers: deffr|oer;

Imperative: 1. – 2. deffro 3. deffr|oed; pl. 1. deffr|own 2. deffr|owch 3. deffr|oent.

-od: for the forms of bod, adnabod, canfod, cydfod, cydnabod, cyfarfod, darfod, darganfod, dod, dyfod, gorfod, gwybod, hanfod, ymgydfod, ymgydnabod, ymgyfarfod, see the section on irregular verbs;

gosod: add -af: gosodaf, gosodi, gesyd, &c.; so also camosod, gwrthosod, isosod, ymosod;

datod: add -af: datodaf, datodi, detyd, &c.; so also ymddatod;

gwrthod: add -af: gwrthodaf, gwrthodi, gwrthyd, &c. so also ymwrthod;

trafod: add -af: trafodaf, trafodi, trafod(a), &c.; so also cyd-drafod;

darbod: add -af: darbodaf, darbodi, darbod(a), &c.; so also rhagddarbod;

dannod: stem danod-: danodaf, danodi, dannod; danodwn, danodwch, danodant, &c.;

dygymod: either dygymyddaf, dygymyddi, dygymydd; dygymyddwn, dygymyddwch, dygymyddant, &c. or dygymodaf, dygymodi, dygymod; dygymodwn, dygymodwch, dygymodant, &c.;

gwarchod: either (like cadw) gwarchadwaf, gwarchedwi, gwarcheidw; gwarchadwn, gwarchedwch, gwarchadwant, &c. or gwarchodaf, gwarchodi, gwerchyd; gwarchodwn, gwarchodwch, gwarchodant, &c.;

rhagod: add -af: rhagodaf, rhagodi, rhagod, &c.;

-odd: adrodd is conjugated like rhoddi: adroddaf, adroddi, edrydd, &c.; so also ailadrodd, cydadrodd;

diffodd: add -af: diffoddaf, diffoddi, diffydd, &c.;

gwahodd: add -af: gwahoddaf, gwahoddi, gwah|odd, &c.;

-og: annog: stem anog-: anogaf, anogi, ennyg; anogwn, anogwch, anogant, &c., so also ymannog;

ysgog, more usually ysgogi, with stem ysgog-: ysgogaf, ysgogi, ysgog(a), &c.

-oi: see section on verbs with contracted forms.

-ol: ethol: add -af: etholaf, etholi, ethol, &c.; so also adethol, cyfethol, dethol, didol, canmol, eiriol, ymeiriol;

deol has the stem dehol-: deholaf, deholi, deol; deholwn, deholwch, deholant, &c.; so also ymddeol;

ymorol has either the older paradigm like that of galw: ymoralwaf, ymorelwi, ymoreilw; ymoralwn, ymorelwch, ymoralwant, &c.; or the modern regular paradigm: ymorolaf, ymoreli, ymorol(a); ymorolwn, ymorolwch, ymorolant, &c.;

(h)ôl, nôl (as in mynd i (h)ôl/nôl rhth) are not verb-nouns.

-olch: ymolch = ymolchi is regularly conjugated like golchi: ymolchaf, ymolchi, but the 3rd person is ymolch/ymolcha.

-on: anfon: add -af: anfonaf, anfoni, enfyn, &c.; so also danfon;

sôn: add -iaf: soniaf, soni, sôn; soniwn, soniwch, soniant, &c.; so also ymson;

ymryson: add -af: ymrysonaf, ymrysoni, ymryson, &c.

-or: agor: add -af: agoraf, agori, egyr; agorwn, agorwch, agorant, &c.; so also ail-agor, cilagor, ymagor;

esgor: add -af: esgoraf, esgori, esgor, &c.; so also hepgor;

dygyfor: add -iaf: but is hardly used other than in the vn. and 3rd person dygyfor;

cogor has only the vn;

deor has the stem de(h)-: de(h)oraf, de(h)ori, deor; de(h)orwn, de(h)orwch, de(h)orant, &c.

-orth: cymorth: cymhorthaf, cymhorthi, cymorth; cymhorthwn, cymhorthwch, cymhorthant, &c.

-os: aros has the stem arhos-: arhosaf, arhosi, erys; arhoswn, arhoswch, arhosant, &c.; so also cyfaros, hirymaros, ymaros;

dangos: dangosaf, dangosi, dengys; dangoswn, dangoswch, dangosant, &c.; so also arddangos;

annos: anosaf, anosi, annos; anoswn, anoswch, anosant, &c.

-osg: diosg: diosgaf, diosgi, diosg, &c.; so also ymddiosg.

-ub: achub: achubaf, achubi, achub, &c.; so also ymachub.

-ud: symud: symudaf, symudi, symud, &c.; so also ymsymud;

machlud: machludaf, machludi, machlud, &c., but scarcely used other than in the 3rd pers. and vn;

For dweud and gwneud, see the section on irregular verbs.

-ull: cynull: cynullaf, cynulli, cynnull; cynullwn, cynullwch, cynullant, &c.; so also atgynnull, cydgynnull, ymgynnull.

-un: arofun: arofunaf, arofuni, arofun, &c.; so also darofun, gwarafun.

-ur: gwneuthur = gwneud; see the section on irregular verbs; so also dadwneuthur, ymwneuthur;

mesur: mesuraf, mesuri, mesur, &c.;

murmur: murmuraf, murmuri, murmur, &c.

-w: galw: galwaf, gelwi, geilw; galwn, galwch, galwant, &c.; so also dalw;

cadw: cadwaf, cedwi, ceidw; cadwn, cedwch, cadwant, &c.; so also ymgadw;

llanw: llanwaf, llenwi, lleinw; llanwn, llenwch, llanwant, &c. so also llenwi, gorlenwi, ymlenwi;

bwrw: stem bwri-: bwriaf, bwri, bwrw; bwriwn, bwriwch, bwriant, Impers: bwrir, &c. so also ymfwrw;

marw: no inflected forms in the literary language, but has some regularly inflected forms in speech: see under the section on irregular verbs.

-wch: peswch: stem pesych-: pesychaf, pesychi, peswch; pesychwn, pesychwch, pesychant, &c.;

diolwch: archaic form of diolch.

-wd: cwrcwd: stem cyrcyd-: cyrcydaf, cyrcydi, cwrcwd, cyrcydwn, &c.;

sibrwd: stem sibryd-: sibrydaf, sibrydi, sibrwd, sibrydwn, &c.;

siffrwd: stem siffryd-: siffrydaf, siffrydi, siffrwd, siffrydwn, &c.

-wng: gostwng: stem gostyng-: gostyngaf, gostyngi, gostwng, gostyngwn, &c.; so also ymollwng, ymollyngaf, &c.;

hebrwng: stem hebryng-: hebryngaf, hebryngi, hebrwng, hebryngwn, &c.; so also cynhebrwng.

-wl: timpwl, tinpwl: only the vn. is in use.

-wn: gogrwn: stem gogryn-: gogrynaf, gogryni, gogrwn, gogrynwn, &c.

-wrdd: cwrdd: stem cwrdd-: cwrddaf, cwrddi, cwrdd, &c.;

cyffwrdd: stem cyffyrdd-: cyffyrddaf, cyffyrddi, cyffwrdd, cyffyrddwn, &c.; so also gorgyffwrdd, ymgyffwrdd;

dadwrdd: stem dadyrdd-: dadyrddaf, dadyrddi, dadwrdd, dadyrddwn, &c., but only the vn. is in common use.

-wth: bygwth: stem bygythi-: bygythiaf, bygythi, bygwth, bygythiwn, &c.

-wy: dodwy: stem dodwy-: dodwyaf, dodwyi, dodwy, dodwywn, &c.;

tramwy: stem tramwy-: tramwyaf, tramwyi, tramwy, &c.

-wydd: digwydd: stem digwydd-: as an impersonal verb, = to befall, it has only third person forms (see section on irregular verbs); as a personal verb it has a full, regular paradigm, e.g. digwyddais fynd yno, I happened to go there.

-wyl: disgwyl: stem disgwyli-: disgwyliaf, disgwyli, disgwyl, &c.

-wyll: crybwyll, stem crybwyll-: crybwyllaf, crybwylli, crybwyll, &c.

-wyn: achwyn: stem achwyn-: achwynaf, achwyni, achwyn, &c.;

dirwyn: stem dirwyn-: dirwynaf, dirwyni, dirwyn, &c.;

dwyn has two paradigms:

1. in the literary sense to bear, bring, it has the stem dyg-: Present/Future: dygaf, dygi, dwg; dygwn, dygwch, dygant, Impers: dygir; Imperfect: dygwn, &c. Past: dygais, dygaist, dug, dygasom, &c., Impers: ducpwyd, dycpwyd, dugwyd; Pluperfect: dygaswn, &c., Impers: dygasid/dygesid; Subjunctive: dygwyf, dygech, dyco/dygo, &c., Impers: dyger; Imperative: 1. – 2. dwg 3. dyged; pl. 1. dygwn 2. dygwch 3. dygent; Impers: dyger;

2. In its common sense of to steal, it has a regular conjugation with the stem dwyn-: dwynaf, dwyni, dwyn/dwyniff/dwynith, &c.; Like dwyn are camymddwyn, cyd-ddwyn, cydymddwyn, cyfrddwyn, ymddwyn.

-wys: arllwys: stem arllwys-: arllwysaf, arllwysi, arllwys, &c.;

gorffwys: stem gorffwys-: gorffwysaf, gorffwysi, gorffwys, &c.;

cynnwys: stem cynhwys-: cynhwysaf, cynhwysi, cynnwys, cynhwyswn, &c.;

tywys: see -ys below.

-ych: edrych: stem edrych-: edrychaf, edrychi, edrych, &c.; so also cipedrych, ciledrych;

chwennych: stem chwenych-: chwenychaf, chwenychi, chwennych, chwenychwn, &c.

-yd: ysgwyd: stem ysgwydw-: ysgydwaf, ysgydwi, ysgwyd; ysgydwn, ysgydwch, ysgydwant, Impers: ysgydwir, &c., so also ymysgwyd;

All other verbs whose vns. end in -yd, drop it in their paradigms;

agoryd is another form of agor; see under -or;

cymryd, stem cymer-: cymeraf, cymeri, cymer, &c.; so also camgymryd, ymgymryd;

cwrddyd is another form of cwrdd; see under -wrdd;

cyrhaeddyd is another form of cyrraedd; see under -aedd;

diferyd is another form of diferu: diferaf, diferi, difera, &c.;

diffryd, stem differ-: differaf, differi, diffryd, differwn, &c.;

dihatryd or dihatru, stem dihatr-: dihatraf, dihetri, dihatra; dihatrwn, dihetrwch, dihatrant, &c.;

dihengyd: another form of dianc: see under -anc;

diwelyd: another form of diwel; see under -el;

dwgyd: a popular form of dwyn; see under -wyn;

dychwelyd: stem dychwel-: dychwelaf, dychweli, dychwel, &c.;

dymchwelyd: another form of dymchwel; see under -el;

dywedyd: a more literary form of dweud; so also gwrthddywedyd; see under -eud;

edfryd: a more literary form of adfer; see under -er;

edrychyd: a dialect form of edrych; see under -ych;

gafaelyd: another form of gafael; see under -ael;

glynyd: a dialect form of glynu: glynaf, glyni, glŷn, &c.;

gochelyd: another form of gochel; see under -el;

goddiweddyd: stem goddiwedd-: goddiweddaf, goddiweddi, goddiwedd, &c.;

helcyd: only vn. in use;

hercyd: stem herc-: hercaf, herci, herc(a), but only the vn. is in common use;

moelyd: dialect form of ymchwelyd;

syflyd: stem syfl-: syflaf, syfli, syfl, &c.;

taflyd: dialect form of taflu: taflaf, tefli, teifl; taflwn, teflwch, taflant;

ymaelyd, ymaflyd: correctly conjugated like gafael: ymafaelaf, ymafaeli, ymafael, &c. but has also forms with the stem ymafl- ymaflaf, ymefli, ymafla, &c.;

ymchwelyd: stem ymchwel-: ymchwelaf, ymchweli, ymchwel, &c.;

ymgymryd: like cymryd;

ymochelyd, ymog(e)lyd like ymochel;

ymyrryd stem ymyrr-: ymyrraf, ymyrri, ymyrra, &c., otherwise like gyrru;

ysgwyd: stem ysgydw-: ysgydwaf, ysgydwi, ysgwyd; ysgydwn, ysgydwch, ysgydwant, &c.; so also ymysgwyd;

-yf: deisyf, stem deisyf-: deisyfaf, deisyfi, deisyf, &c.

-yg: benthyg, another form of benthyca, with stem benthyc(i)- or benthyg(i)-: benthyc(i)af, benthyci, benthyg, benthyc(i)wn, benthyc(i)wch, benthycant;

benffyg is a dialect form of benthyg.

-yll: sefyll stem saf-: safaf, sefi, saif; safwn, sefwch, safant, &c.; Imperfect: safwn, &c. Past: sefais, sefaist, safodd; safasom, safasoch, safasant, &c.; Imperative: 1. – 2. saf, 3. safed; pl. 1. safwn, 2. safwch, 3. safent; so also camsefyll, cydsefyll, gwrthsefyll.

-yn: the vn. is the stem of some verbs:

1. canlyn: canlynaf, canlyni, canlyn, &c.; so also cydganlyn;

dilyn: dilynaf, dilyni, dilyn, &c., Impers: dilynir, dilynid;

dychryn: dychrynaf, dychryni, dychryn, &c., Impers: dychrynir;

erlyn: erlynaf, erlyni, erlyn, &c., Impers: erlynir;

gogryn: gogrynaf, gogryni, gogryn, &c.;

gwecryn: a dialect form of gogryn;

perthyn: perthynaf, perthyni, perthyn, &c.;

2. derbyn: stem derbyni- or derbynn-, derbyniaf/derbynnaf, derbyn(n)i, derbyn; derbyn(i)wn, derbyn(i)wch, derbyniant/derbynnant, Impers.: derbynnir. Imperfect: derbyniwn, &c., Impers: derbynnid; Past: derbyniais, &c., Impers: derbyniwyd. Pluperfect: derbyniaswn, &c.;

erfyn: stem erfyni- or erfynn- erfyniaf/erfynnaf, erfyn(n)i, erfyn; erfyniwn/erfynnwn, erfyniwch/erfynnwch, erfyniant/erfynnant, Impers: erfynnir; Imperf: erfyniwn, &c., Impers: erfynnid;

3. Others double the n after a stressed syllable:

cychwyn: cychwynnaf, cychwynni, cychwyn, cychwynnwn, &c.;

amddiffyn: amddiffynnaf, amddiffynni, amddiffyn, amddiffynnwn, &c.;

disgyn: disgynnaf, disgynni, disgyn, disgynnwn, &c.;

ennyn: enynnaf, enynni, ennyn, enynnwn, &c.;

esgyn: esgynnaf, esgynni, esgyn, esgynnwn, &c.; so also goresgyn;

estyn: estynnaf, estynni, estyn, estynnwn, &c.; so also ymestyn;

gofyn: gofynnaf, gofynni, gofyn, gofynnwn, &c.; so also ymofyn;

gorchymyn: gorchmynnaf, gorchmynni, gorchymyn, gorchmynnwn, &c.;

-ynd: mynd: see the section on irregular verbs.

-yng: hustyng: only the vn. of this archaic verb was in use.

-ys: ciprys: ciprysaf, ciprysi, ciprys, &c.; so also ymgiprys;

datrys: datrysaf, datrysi, detrys, datryswn, datryswch, &c.;

tywys: tywysaf, tywysi, tywys, &c.

-yw: byw has only the vn. in the literary language, its paradigm being supplied by bod. In the spoken language it has a full regular paradigm with the stem bywi-: see under the section on irregular verbs; so also ail-fyw, cyd-fyw.

The verbal system

A comprehensive treatment of the verbal system, including full conjugations of all irregular verbs, will be found in the indispensible, bilingual Y Llyfr Berfau, A Check-list of Welsh Verbs by D. Geraint Lewis (Llandysul, Gwasg Gomer, 1995).

As in many other languages, verbs in Welsh are conjugated or inflected to show person, number, tense and mood. Some are defective (dylwn, I ought) and others have no inflected forms at all e.g. byw, marw, pysgota (at least in the literary language). Most verbs are conjugated like gwenu, canu, glanhau or troi, whose paradigms are set out below, but many have minor irregularities. The inflected forms of verbs are in normal daily use and every learner will have to learn to recognize and eventually use them to avoid seeming an unnatural speaker. Fortunately, mastery of the word bod, to be, obviates any immediate need to master the paradigm of every single verb, since it is normally used to construct a periphrastic paradigm of every other verb. In all the paradigms listed below, for convenience only, radical forms are given, i.e. not prefixed by mi, fe, which mutate forms beginning with mutable consonants. A comprehensive discussion of the verb bod will be found in the article on be in the dictionary.


I. Indicative Mood

Present Tense.

sing. 1. (yr) wyf (i), (yr) ydwyf (i) pl. 1. (yr) ŷm, (yr) ydym (ni)

2. (yr) wyt (ti) 2. (yr) ŷch, (yr) ydych (chwi)

3. (y) mae (ef/hi) 3. (y) maent (hwy)

3rd person forms:

in some questions and

answers and in negative

statements: yw, ydyw ŷnt, ydynt

in some questions and

in relative clauses: sydd sydd

in indefinite questions

and answers: oes oes

in emphatic clauses: mai, S: taw mai, S: taw

Impersonal: ydys.

Habitual Present and Future Tense.

sing. 1. byddaf (i), I (usually) am, or I shall be pl. 1. byddwn (ni)

2. byddi (di) 2. byddwch (chwi)

3. bydd (ef/hi) 3. byddant (hwy)

Impersonal: byddir, byddys.

Imperfect Tense. (I was, I used to be &c.).

sing. 1. (yr) oeddwn (i) pl. 1. (yr) oeddem (ni)

2. (yr) oeddit (ti) 2. (yr) oeddech (chwi)

3. (yr) oedd (ef/hi), occ: ydoedd 3. (yr) oeddynt (hwy)

Impersonal: oeddid.

Habitual Imperfect Tense (I used to be, I would be) and Conditional Tense (I would be).

sing. 1. byddwn (i) pl. 1. byddem (ni)

2. byddit (ti) 2. byddech (chwi)

3. byddai (ef/hi) 3. byddent (hwy)

Impersonal: byddid.

Past Tense (I was, I have been).

sing. 1. bûm (i) pl. 1. buom (ni)

2. buost (ti) 2. buoch (chwi)

3. bu (ef/hi) 3. buont (hwy)

Impersonal: buwyd.

Pluperfect and Conditional Tense.

Sing. 1. buaswn (i) pl. 1. buasem (ni)

2. buasit (ti) 2. buasech (chwi)

3. buasai (ef/hi) 3. buasent (hwy)

Impersonal: buasid.

II. Subjunctive Mood

Present Tense:

sing. 1. bwyf/byddwyf (i) pl. 1. bôm/byddom (ni)

2. bych/byddych/byddech (di) 2. boch/byddoch (chwi)

3. bo/byddo (ef/hi) 3. bônt/byddont (hwy)

Impersonal: bydder.

Imperfect Tense.

Sing. 1. bawn/byddwn (i) pl. 1. baem/byddem (ni)

2. bait/byddit (ti) 2. baech/byddech (chwi)

3. bai/byddai (ef/hi) 3. baent/byddent (hwy)

Impersonal: byddid.

This tense is used mainly after pe = if, in hypothetical conditional clause of the type if I were the king of France, pe bawn i’n frenin Ffrainc; combined with pe, bod has the following forms:

sing. 1. petawn (i) pl. 1. petaem (ni)

2. petait (ti) 2. petaech (chwi)

3. petai (ef/hi) 3. petaent (hwy)

III. Imperative Mood

Sing. 1. pl. 1. byddwn (ni)

2. bydd (di) 2. byddwch (chwi)

3. bydded/boed/bid (ef/hi) 3. byddent (hwy)

Impersonal: bydder.


For oeddit, oeddynt, byddit, buasit, bait, petait, petai, one will often hear and see oeddet, oeddent, byddet, buaset, baet, petaet, petae, which are regarded as less correct.

The impersonal forms are used to form impersonal statements of the type buwyd yn gloddesta, there was feasting, comparable to English, one, French, on, German, man, Italian, si, Spanish, se.

As there is no Passive Voice in Welsh, the impersonal forms are also used to convey a passive sense, e.g. it will be seen, byddys yn ei weld, I am/shall be seen, gwelir fi; she used to be seen, gwelid hi; he was seen, gwelwyd ef. Although the past impersonal form (e.g. gwelwyd) is still used in speech, the other impersonal forms are now almost purely literary. The most usual method of conveying a passive sense is now by using the forms of the verb cael + possessive adjective + verb-noun, thus: I am being followed, ‘rwyf yn cael fy nilyn; she was seen, fe gafodd ei gweld; we’ll be caught, fe gawn ein dal; we won’t be paid, ni chawn ni mo’n talu; she won’t be believed, ni chaiff hi mo’i chredu (mo = dim o).

Bod is used to form the periphrastic paradigm of any other verb, thus e.g. canu.

A. With yn + verb-noun:

Present Tense: yr wyf &c. yn canu, I am singing.

Future Tense: byddaf &c. yn canu, I shall be singing.

Imperfect Tense: yr oeddwn &c. yn canu, I was singing.

Habitual Imperfect Tense and Conditional Tense: byddwn &c. yn canu, I used to sing, I would sing, I would be singing.

Past Continuative Tense: bûm &c. yn canu, I have been singing, I remained singing, I did sing, I sang once.

Pluperfect and Conditional Tense: buaswn &c. yn canu, I had been singing, I would be singing, I would sing.

Conditional Tense after pe: pe bawn &c. yn canu, if I were singing, if I were to sing.

Present Subjunctive: fel y bwyf &c. yn canu, so that I sing, so that I be singing.

B. With wedi + verb-noun.

Future Perfect Tense: byddaf &c. wedi canu, I shall have sung.

Present Perfect Tense: yr wyf &c. wedi canu, I have sung.

Pluperfect Tense: yr oeddwn &c. wedi canu, I had sung.

Habitual Pluperfect and Conditional Perfect Tense: byddwn &c. wedi canu, I used to have sung, I would have sung.

Pluperfect and Conditional Perfect Tense: buaswn &c. wedi canu, I had sung, I would have sung.

Present Subjunctive: fel y bwyf &c. wedi canu, so that I may have sung.

Imperfect Subjunctive: after pe: pe bawn &c. wedi canu, if I had sung.

C. With wedi bod yn + verb-noun:

e.g. yr wyf (&c.) wedi bod yn canu, I have been singing, and similarly using the other tenses.

D. With heb + verb-noun, an alternative way of expressing the negative:

e.g. yr wyf heb ganu ers tro, I have not sung for a while, and similarly using the other tenses.

E. With newydd + verb-noun, translating just, newly:

e.g. yr wyf &c. newydd ganu, I have just sung, and similarly using the other tenses.

F. With newydd fod yn + verb-noun:

e.g. yr wyf newydd fod yn canu, I have just been singing, and thus in the other tenses.

G. Bod may be constructed with ar + verb-noun, ar fin + verb-noun, am + verb-noun, ar fedr + verb-noun, and yn mynd i + verb-noun, to convey the sense about:

e.g. yr wyf ar fynd or yr wyf am fynd, I’m about to go; bu ar fedr llwyddo, he was about to succeed or he almost succeeded; yr oeddech ar fin cwympo, you were about to fall.

H. Forms of the verb gwneud (to do) are often used, especially in the North, to construct a Future Tense and a Past Definite Tense: e.g. mi wna ‘i fynd, I shall go; mi wnaeth dderbyn, he/she accepted; this is especially done in the case of verbs whose Past Tense forms are cumbersome or old-fashioned, e.g. mi wnaethon nhw aros, they did stay, instead of fe arosasant. Other tenses of gwneud are less often used.

I. The Past Tense of any verb may always be constructed by using bu i + subject + verb-noun:

e.g. bu imi edifarhau, I repented; bu iddynt ganiatáu’r cais, they permitted the application. Similarly, any Future Tense may be constructed with bydd i + subject + verb-noun, e.g. bydd iddo ailfeddwl, he’ll think again; gobeithio y bydd inni lwyddo, here’s hoping we succeed. In the literary language darfu i (it befell) + subject + verb-noun is used to construct a Past Tense: this construction is much used in Northern Welsh, e.g. mi ddaru ‘mi fynd, I went, I did go; mi ddaru nhw gytuno, they did agree.

Compounds of bod:

1. canfod, to perceive.

Present: canfyddaf, canfyddi, cenfydd; canfyddwn, canfyddwch, canfyddant;

Impers.: canfyddir.

Imperfect: canfyddwn, canfyddit, canfyddai; canfyddem, canfyddech, canfyddent;

Impers.: canfyddid.

Past: canfûm, canfuost, canfu; canfuom, canfuoch, canfuant;

Impers.: canfuwyd.

Pluperfect: canfuaswn, canfuasit, canfuasai; canfuasem, canfuasech, canfuasant;

Impers.: canfuesid.

Present Subjunctive: canfyddwyf, canfyddych, canfyddo; canfyddom, canfyddoch, canfyddont; Impers.: canfydder.

Imperative: 2. cenfydd. 3. canfydded. pl. 1. canfyddwn. 2. canfyddwch. 3. canfyddent;

Impers.: canfydder.

Like canfod, are darganfod, to discover, darganfyddaf &c.; cydfod, to coexist, cydfyddaf &c.; ymgydfod, to agree, ymgydfyddaf &c.

2. darfod. to finish, befall.

Present: darfyddaf, darfyddi, derfydd; darfyddwn, darfyddwch, darfyddant;

Impers.: darfyddir.

Imperfect & Conditional: darfyddwn &c.; Impers.: darfyddid.

Past: darfûm &c.; Impers.: darfuwyd. Pluperfect & Conditional Perfect. darfuaswn &c.; Impers.: darfuesid.

Present Subjunctive: darfyddwyf &c.; Impers.: darfydder.

Imperative: 1. 2. derfydd, 3. darfydded &c. Impers.: darfydder.

3. cyfarfod â, to meet.

Present: cyfarfyddaf, cyfarfyddi, cyferfydd; cyfarfyddwn, cyfarfyddwch, cyfarfyddant;

Impers.: cyfarfyddir.

Imperfect: cyfarfyddwn &c.; Impers.: cyfarfyddir.

Past: cyfarfûm &c.; Impers.: cyfarfuwyd.

Pluperfect: cyfarfuaswn &c.; Impers.: cyfarfuesid.

Present Subjunctive: cyfarfyddwyf &c.; Impers.: cyfarfydder.

Imperative: 1. 2. cyferfydd, 3. cyfarfydded &c.; Impers.: cyfarfydder;

Like cyfarfod, is ymgyfarfod.

4. gorfod

(a) to have to, to be obliged to (do not confuse with gorfodi, to oblige). Now used only in the 3rd person, mainly in the literary language:

Present & Future: gorfydd.

Imperfect: gorfyddai. Past: gorfu. Pluperfect: gorfuasai.

Present Subjunctive: gorfyddo.

(b) In the now rare literary sense, to prevail, overcome, gorfod ar is fully conjugated like canfod;

Present: gorfyddaf, gorfyddi, gorfydd &c.; Impers.: gorfyddir.

Imperfect: gorfyddwn &c.; Impers.: gorfyddid.

Past: gorfûm, &c.; Impers.: gorfuwyd.

Pluperfect: gorfuaswn &c.; Impers.: gorfuesid.

Imperative: 1. 2. gorfydd, 3. gorfydded &c.; Impers.: gorfydder.

Present Subjunctive: gorfyddwyf &c.; Impers.: gorfydder.

5. gwybod, to know (a thing)

Future: gwybyddaf, gwybyddi, gwybydd; gwybyddwn, gwybyddwch, gwybyddant;

Impers.: gwybyddir. Little used in speech, this tense is replaced by byddaf yn gwybod &c.

Present: gwn, gwyddost, gŵyr; gwyddom, gwyddoch, gwyddant; Impers.: gwyddys.

Imperfect: gwyddwn, gwyddit, gwyddai; gwyddem, gwyddech, gwyddent; Impers.: gwyddid.

Past: gwybûm, gwybuost, gwybu; gwybuom, gwybuoch, gwybuont/gwybuant; Impers.: gwybuwyd.

Pluperfect: gwybuaswn, gwybuasit, gwybuasai, gwybuasem, gwybuasech, gwybuasent;

Impers.: gwybuesid.

Present Subjunctive: either gwypwyf, gwypych, gwypo; gwypom, gwypoch, gwypont;

Impers.: gwyper

or gwybyddwyf, gwybyddych, gwybyddo; gwybyddom, gwybyddoch, gwybyddont;

Impers.: gwybydder.

Imperfect Subjunctive: either gwypwn, gwypit, gwypai, gwypem, gwypech, gwypent;

Impers.: gwypid

or gwybyddwn, gwybyddit, gwybyddai; gwybyddem, gwybyddech, gwybyddent;

Impers.: gwybyddid.

Imperative: 1. 2. gwybydd 3. gwyped, gwybydded pl. 1. gwybyddwn

2. gwybyddwch 3. gwypent, gwybyddent; Impers.: gwybydder.

6. adnabod, to know, recognize.

Present: 1. adwaen, adwen. 2. adwaenost, adweini 3. edwyn; pl. 1. adwaenom, adwaenwn, 2. adwaenoch, adwaenwch, 3. adwaenant

Impers.: adwaenir, adweinir.

Future: adnabyddaf, adnabyddi, adnebydd; adnabyddwn, adnabyddwch, adnabyddant;

Impers.: adnabyddir.

Imperfect: adwaenwn, adweinit, adwaenai; adwaenem, adwaenech, adwaenent;

Impers.: adwaenid, adweinid.

Past: adnabûm, adnabuost, adnabu, adnabuom, adnabuoch, adnabuont;

Impers.: adnabuwyd.

Pluperfect: adnabuaswn, adnabuasit, adnabuasai; adnabuasem, adnabuasech, adnabuasent; Impers.: adnabuasid.

Present Subjunctive: either adnapwyf, adnepych, adnapo; adnapom, adnapoch, adnapont;

Impers.: adnaper.

or adnabyddwyf, adnabyddych, adnabyddo; adnabyddom, adnabyddoch, adnabyddont;

Impers.: adnabydder.

Imperfect Subjunctive: either adnapwn, adnapit, adnapai; adnapem, adnapech, adnapent;

Impers.: adnapid

or adnabyddwn, adnabyddit, adnabyddai; adnabyddem, adnabyddech, adnabyddent;

Impers.: adnabyddid.

Imperative: 1. 2. adnebydd 3. adnabydded. pl. 1. adnabyddwn, 2. adnabyddwch, 3. adnabyddent;

Impers.: adnabydder.

These forms have largely fallen into disuse in speech and have there been replaced by periphrastic constructions using bod, e.g. yr oeddwn yn adnabod for adwaenwn, or by a ‘regular’ paradigm, following that of canu, constructed on the stem adnab thus:

Future: (ad)naba(i), (ad)nabi, (ad)nabith/(ad)nabiff; (ad)nabwn, (ad)nabwch, (ad)naban’ or ‘nabydda(f), ‘nabyddi, ‘nabyddiff/’nabyddith; ‘nabyddan, ‘nabyddwch, ‘nabyddan, or mi fydda ‘i’n ‘nabod, &c.

Present: ‘rwy’n (ad)nabod &c.

Imperfect: ‘roeddwn/byddwn &c. yn (ad)nabod;

Imperfect & Conditional: (ad)nabwn, (ad)nabet, (ad)nabai; (ad)nabem, (ad)nabech, (ad)naben(t) or byddwn/buaswn &c. yn (ad)nabod

or ‘nabyddwn, ‘nabyddet, ‘nabyddai; ‘nabyddem, ‘nabyddech, ‘nabydden.

Past: ‘nabyddais, ‘nabyddaist, ‘nabyddodd; ‘nabyddsom, ‘nabyddsoch, ‘nabyddson

or ‘nabais, ‘nabaist, ‘nabodd, ‘nabsom, ‘nabsoch, ‘nabson.

Pluperfect: ‘roeddwn/’rown i wedi (ad)nabod &c.

The periphrastic forms are acceptable in speech and writing; the others are not regarded as correct.

7. cydnabod, to recognize

Present: cydnabyddaf, cydnabyddi, cydnebydd; cydnabyddwn, cydnabyddwch, cydnabyddant; Impers.: cydnabyddir.

Imperfect: cydnabyddwn &c.; Impers.: cydnabyddid.

Past: cydnabûm &c.; Impers.: cydnabuwyd.

Pluperfect: cydnabuaswn &c.; Impers.: cydnabuesid.

Present Subjunctive: cydnabyddwyf &c.; Impers.: cydnabydder.

Imperative: 1. 2. cydnebydd, 3. cydnabydded pl. cydnabyddwn,

cydnabyddwch, cydnabyddent; Impers.: cydnabydder.

Like cydnabod: ymgydnabod.

8. hanfod, to originate, now has only the verb-noun, the 3rd person Past, hanfu, and the 3rd person Imperfect, hanoedd, having been replaced by a regularly inflected verb hanu.

Other irregular verbs

1. mynd, to go

Present: af, ei, â/aiff; awn, ewch, ânt; Impers.: eir.

Imperfect: awn, ait, âi; aem, aech, aent; Impers.: eid.

Past: euthum, aethost, aeth; aethom, aethoch, aethant; Impers.: aethpwyd, aed;

(in spoken Welsh euthum has been replaced by es, eis; etho’i occurs in the South).

Pluperfect and conditional: aethwn, aethit, aethai; aethem, aethech, aethent; or elswn, elsit, elsai; elsem, elsech, elsent; Impers.: aethid, elsid.

Present Subjunctive: elwyf, elych, êl/elo; elom, elech, elent; Impers.: eler.

Imperfect Subjunctive: elwn, elit, elai; elem, elech, elent; Impers.: elid.

Imperative: 1. -, 2. dos. 3. aed, eled. pl. 1. awn, ewch, aent/elent; Impers.: aer, eler.

(In the second person, cer’, cer’wch are forms widely used in popular speech, and in the North doswch occurs as well as ewch). Like mynd is cyd-fynd, to agree.

2. gwneud, gwneuthur, to do, make.

Though conjugated almost exactly like mynd, the forms of gwneud are given in full for the sake of convenience:

Present: gwnaf, gwnei, gwna/gwnaiff; gwnawn, gwnewch, gwnânt;

Impers.: gwneir.

Imperfect: gwnawn, gwnait, gwnâi; gwnaem, gwnaech, gwnaent;

Impers.: gwneid.

Past: gwneuthum, gwnaethost, gwnaeth; gwnaethom, gwnaethoch, gwnaethant;

Impers.: gwnaethpwyd, gwnawd.

(In popular speech gwneuthum has been replaced by gwnes, gwneis; gwnetho’i occurs in the South: for gwnaethost, gwnêst is often heard).

Pluperfect: gwnaethwn, gwnaethit, gwnaethai; gwnaethem, gwnaethech, gwnaethent

or gwnelswn, gwnelsit, gwnelsai; gwnelsem, gwnelsech, gwnelsent;

Impers.: gwnaethid, gwnelsid.

Present Subjunctive: gwnelwyf, gwnelych, gwnêl/gwnelo; gwnelom, gwneloch, gwnelont

Impers.: gwneler.

Imperfect Subjunctive: gwnelwn, gwnelit, gwnelai; gwnelem, gwnelech, gwnelent;

Impers.: gwnelid.

Imperative: 1. -, 2. gwna. 3. gwnaed/gwneled; pl. gwnawn, gwnewch, gwnaent/gwnelent;

Impers.: gwnaer, gwneler.

N.B. gwn- is pronounced gn- with lip-rounding: gwneud, gwnewch, gwneir &c. are monosyllables, there being no stress on gwn-.

Like gwneud are its compounds ailwneud, to repeat; gorwneud, to overdo; ymwneud, to concern; dadwneud, to undo.

N.B. dweud, to say, is conjugated regularly like canu, with the stem dywed-: dywedaf, dywedi, dywaid/dywed; dywedwn, dywedwch, dywedant, &c.; so also croes-ddweud, gwrth-ddweud, ail-ddweud.

2. dod, dyfod, to come. Its form resembles most of mynd, but it has some contracted forms, more usual in speech:

Present: deuaf, deui, daw; deuwn, deuwch, deuant; Impers.: deuir;

or dof, doi, daw; down, dewch/dowch, dônt; Impers.: doir.

Imperfect: deuwn, deuit, deuai; deuem, deuech, deuent; Impers.: deuid

or down, doit, doi; doem, doech, doent; Impers.: doid.

Past: deuthum, daethost, daeth; daethom, daethoch, daethant/daethont;

Impers.: daethpwyd, deuwyd, doed.

In more popular speech deuthum has been replaced by des, deis, dois, and daethost by dêst.

Pluperfect: daethwn, daethit, daethai; daethem, daethech, daethent;

Impers.: daethid.

Present Subjunctive: delwyf, delych, dêl/delo; delom, deloch, delont;

Impers.: deler.

Imperfect Subjunctive: delwn, delit, delai; delem, delech, delent;

Impers.: delid.

Imperative: 1. -, . 2. N: tyrd, S: dere 3. deued/doed/deled; pl. deuwn/down, deuwch/dowch/dewch. 3. deuent, doent, delent; Impers.: deuer, doer, deler.

3. cael, to get, be allowed;

Present: caf, cei, caiff; cawn, cewch, cânt; Impers.: ceir.

Imperfect: cawn, cait, câi; caem, caech, caent; Impers.: caed.

Past: cefais, cefaist, cafodd; cawsom, cawsoch, cawsant; Impers.: cafwyd, caed.

(In popular speech 1. ces 2. cêst 3. cadd, cath, S: cas).

Pluperfect: cawswn, cawsit, cawsai; cawsem, cawsech, cawsent; Impers.: cawsid.

Present Subjunctive: caffwyf, ceffych, caffo; caffom, caffoch, caffont; Impers.: caffer, caer.

Imperfect Subjunctive: caffwn, caffit, caffai; caffem, caffech, caffent; or cawn &c. as in the Imperfect Indicative; Impers.; ceffid;

Imperative: 1. – 2. – 3. caffed, caed pl. 1. – 2. – 3. caffent, caent; Impers.: caffer, caer.

N.B. cael has no second person imperative: to fill this gap, mynna, mynnwch (from mynnu, insist on) or estyn, estynnwch (from estyn, to pass, extend) or dos/ewch i nôl or dôs/ewch i moyn (go to fetch) are used. See under get in the dictionary. This verb is commonly used to express the passive voice in the construction cael + possessive adjective + verb-noun, e.g. cael eich caru, to be loved; cafodd ei ddilyn, he was followed; pe cawsai ei ladd, if he had been killed; distinguish carefully between this and the other construction without the possessive adjective: cafodd ddilyn, he was allowed to follow: pe cawsai ladd, if he had been allowed to kill.

Defective verbs

1. dichon, it is possible, it may be; has only this, the 3rd person sing. of the Present Indicative; e.g. dichon ei bod hi’n gywir, it may be that she is right; dichon iddo lwyddo, it may be he succeeded.

2. dylwn, I ought, has no verb-noun. It has two tenses: Imperfect: dylwn, dylit, dylai; dylem, dylech, dylent, with a present sense; Impers; dylid.

Pluperfect: dylaswn, dylasit, dylasai; dylasem, dylasech, dylasent;

Impers.: dylesid, with the sense I ought to have &c.

In popular speech the tenses are used interchangeably.

3. ebr, ebe, eb, says, quoth: these 3rd person forms are the only forms, used to introduce quoted words of a speaker.

4. meddaf, I say, say I, has no verb-noun. It has two tenses:

Present: meddaf, meddi, medd; meddwn, meddwch, meddant; Impers.: meddir.

Imperfect: meddwn, meddit, meddai; meddem, meddech, meddent: Impers.: meddid.

These are used to introduce quoted words of a speaker.

5. hwde, pl. hwdiwch, here you are, take this, in the South hwre, hwriwch; there are no other forms.

6. moes, moeswch, give me, occurring only in the literary language. There are no other forms.

7. geni, to be born, has only the verb-noun and the impersonal forms:

Present: genir, Imperfect: genid; Past: ganwyd/ganed; Pluperfect: ganesid/ganasid;

Present Subjunctive: ganer; Imperfect Subjunctive: genid.

8. marw, to die, has only the verb-noun in the literary language, its tenses being supplied by bod + yn, e.g. Present: yr wyf yn marw &c., Imperfect: yr oeddwn yn marw &c. Future: byddaf farw &c.; Past: bûm farw &c.; Pluperfect: buaswn farw &c.; Conditional: byddwn farw &c.; note that yn is omitted after forms of bod beginning with b. However, in speech marw has the following paradigm:

Future: marwa(f), marwi, marwiff/marwith; marwn, marwch, marwan(t);

Present: ‘rwy’n marw &c.; Imperfect: ‘roeddwn i’n marw &c.

Conditional: marwn, marwet, marwai; marwem, marwech, marwen’

Past: (occ. marwais), (occ. marwaist), marwodd; buom farw, buoch farw, marwon’

Pluperfect: ‘roeddwn i wedi marw &c. The periphrastic forms are acceptable, the other forms are not regarded as correct.

9. byw, to live, has only the verb-noun in the literary language, its other tenses being supplied by bod + fyw:

Future: byddaf fyw or byddaf yn byw &c.

Present: yr wyf yn byw;

Imperfect: yr oeddwn yn byw;

Conditional and Habitual: byddwn yn byw.

Past: bûm yn byw &c.

Pluperfect, and Conditional: buaswn yn byw &c.

Imperative: 1. 2. bydd fyw. 3. bydded fyw, pl. 1. byddwn fyw 2. byddwch fyw 3. byddent fyw. However, in speech byw has a regular paradigm.

Future: bywiaf, bywi, bywith/bywiff; bywiwn, bywiwch, bywian

Present: ‘rwy’n byw &c.

Imperfect: ‘roeddwn i’n byw &c.

Habitual Imperfect: byddwn yn byw &c.

Conditional: bywiwn, bywiet, bywiai; bywiem, bywiech, bywien’.

Pluperfect: ‘roeddwn wedi byw &c.

Imperative: 1. -, 2. byw/bywia. 3. bywied, pl. 1. bywiwn 2. bywiwch 3. bywien(t).

The periphrastic forms are standard; the others are not regarded as correct.

10. piau, own, owns, has only Present and Future 3rd person piau (always pron. pia).

Imperfect 3rd person: pioedd.

Other forms are supplied by 3rd person forms of bod + piau/biau: they are not regarded as correct.

Future: bydd piau fi or fi fydd piau/biau, bydd piau di or ti fydd piau/biau.

Present: fi piau/biau or piau fi, less correctly fi sydd piau/biau &c.

Imperfect: oedd piau/biau fi or fi oedd piau &c. or fi biodd &c.

Conditional: fi fyddai piau/biau or byddai piau/biau fi &c.

Past: fi fu piau/biau or bu piau/biau fi &c.

Pluperfect: fi oedd wedi piau.

Conditional: fi fuasai wedi piau &c.

11. darfod i, to befall: in this sense, darfod is used only in the 3rd person:

Future: derfydd; Imperfect and Conditional: darfyddai;

Past: darfu; Pluperfect: darfuasai. The only form in common use is darfu, used as an auxiliary of verbs whose Past forms are cumbersome or little-used: a ddarfu iddynt hwy aros?

F: ddaru nhw aros? for the literary a arosasant?

12. digwydd i, to befall; only used in the 3rd person:

Present and Future: digwydd; Imperfect & Conditional: digwyddai;

Past: digwyddodd; Pluperfect & Conditional: digwyddasai;

Present Subjunctive: digwyddo. Used thus: digwyddodd imi ei weld, I happened to see him.

13. tycio, to avail, has only the verb-noun and 3rd person forms:

Present and Future: tycia; Imperfect & Conditional: tyciai;

Past: tyciodd; Pluperfect & Conditional: tyciasai.

Present Subjunctive: tycio.

The verb is mainly used in negative statements and in questions: ni thyciai imi achwyn, it was vain for me to complain; a dycia ei gyfoeth iddo? will his wealth be of avail to him?

14. gweddu i, to befit; in this sense, has only the verb-noun and the 3rd person forms:

Present & Future: gwedda;

Imperfect & Conditional: gweddai; Present Subjunctive: gweddo.

The Past: gweddodd and Pluperfect & Conditional: gweddasai are rare.

The regular verb

Here we give model paradigms of gwenu, to smile, whose stem, gwen-, does not alter and of canu, to sing, whose stem, can-, alters to cen- like all verbs with -a- in the stem; see observation 5.

I. Indicative gwenu, to smile, stem gwen-
Present & Future: gwenaf, gweni, gwena; gwenwn, gwenwch, gwenant; Impers.: gwenir
Imperfect & Conditional: gwenwn, gwenit, gwenai; gwenem, gwenech, gwenent; Impers.: gwenid.
Past: gwenais, gwenaist, gwenodd; gwenasom, gwenasoch, gwenasant; Impers.: gwenwyd.
Pluperfect & Conditional Perfect: gwenaswn, gwenasit, gwenasai; gwenasem, gwenasech, gwenasent; Impers.: gwenasid.
II. Subjunctive:
Present: gwenwyf, gwenych, gweno; gwenom, gwenoch, gwenont; Impers.: gwener.
Imperfect: gwenwn, gwenit, gwenai; gwenem, gwenech, gwenent; Impers.: gwenid.
III. Imperative: 1. -, 2. gwena, 3. gwened pl. 1. gwenwn 2. gwenwch 3. gwenent; Impers.: gwener.

I. Indicative canu, to sing, stem can-
Present & Future: canaf, ceni, cân; canwn, cenwch, canant; Impers.: cenir
Imperfect & Conditional: canwn, canit, canai; canem, canech, canent; Impers.: cenid.
Past: cenais, cenaist, canodd; canasom, canasoch, canasant; Impers.: canwyd.
Pluperfect & Conditional Perfect: canaswn, canasit, canasai; canasem, canasech, canasent;
Impers.: canasid, canesid.
II. Subjunctive:

Present: canwyf, cenych, cano; canom, canoch, canont; Impers.: caner.
Imperfect: canwn, canit, canai; canem, canech, canent; Impers.: cenid.
Imperative: 1. -, . 2. cân, F: cana 3. caned; pl. 1. canwn, cenwch,
F: canwch. 3. canent; Impers.: caner.

[ … ]


Most verbs follow either of these paradigms, adding the appropriate endings to the stem, usually found by dropping the ending of the verb-noun. The stem of verbs ending in -io, -ian, -ial, retain the -i- as part of the stem, e.g. hwylio, hwyliaf &c.; so do dal: daliaf and hel: heliaf, atal: ataliaf, and son: soniaf. Some verbs have stems not ascertainable from the verb-noun. Many verbs are irregular in the 3rd person singular of the Present and Future Tense; a regular ending in this person is -a, e.g. hwylia, but many such forms are bogus, found only in the written language, never having existed in speech. There, the inflected Present Tense has been almost wholly replaced by the periphrastic tense formed with bod; ‘rwyf yn canu & and mi fyddai’n canu have replaced canaf &c., forms now used, in speech, mainly as a Future Tense. The 3rd person singular of this Future Tense, in speech, ends regularly in -iff (S.) & in -ith (N.), forms often used in novels and plays. The Subjunctive is now little used.

1. The 3rd person plural ending in -nt, though still so written, has long lost the final -t, never pronounced in normal speech; to the literary forms, gwenant hwy, canant hwy correspond the spoken fe/mi wenan nhw, fe/mi ganan nhw.

2. The ending -it in the Imperfect and Pluperfect tenses is now purely literary, in speech replaced by -et; mi/fe wenet, mi/fe ganet for the literary gwenit, canit.

3. In verbs whose stem ends in -aw, -ew, -el, -oe, -yw, the plural endings -asom, -asoch, asant are reduced to -som, -soch, -sant, e.g. gadael: gadawsom &c.; taro: t(a)rawsom &c.; cael: cawsom &c.; rhewi: rhewsant &c.; gweld: gwelsom &c.; dychwelyd: dychwel(a)sant &c.; talu: tal(a)sant &c.; clywed: clywsoch &c.; troi: troesom &c.; rhoi: rhoesom &c.; cloi: cloesant &c. So also in the Pluperfect -asem, -asech, -asent.

4. For the 3rd person singular Past ending -odd, many Southern speakers use -ws: gwelws for gwelodd, collws for collodd &c.

5. The paradigm of canu shows its stem varying between can- and cen- depending on the ending. Stems containing -a- change it to -e- when the ending is -i, -wch, -ir, -id, -ais, -aist, -ych, e.g. caru: caraf, ceri, câr, carwn, cerwch, carant; rhannu: rhennir, rhennid; talu: talaf, teli, tâl, talwn, telwch, talant; gwrando: gwrandawaf, gwrandewi, &c.; gadael: gadawaf, gadewi &c. The same change is seen in the Pluperfect impersonal ending: canu: canesid; gallu: gallesid. In familiar speech the tendency is to keep the -a- unaltered throughout.

6. Present indicative: forms of the 3rd person singular.
The forms listed as those of the Present and Future Tense are, in speech, used mainly as future forms. There the ending of the 3rd person is regularly formed by adding the endings -iff (in the South) or -ith (in the North), thus caniff/canith. In speech and often in writing, the Present Tense is the periphrastic tense composed of the present tense of bod + yn + verb-noun: mae hi’n canu. The forms in -iff, -ith, though regarded with disfavour by grammarians, will often be found in plays and novels. In the literary language the 3rd person is variously formed.

(a) In many verbs it is of the same form as the stem; canu: cân; caru: câr; credu: cred; gweled: gwêl; rhedeg: rhed; cwympo: cwymp; gwadu: gwad; malu: mâl; deall: deall; brathu: brath;

(b) verbs formed from a noun or adjective, add -a- to the stem as in:

noun or adjective


3rd person

addurn, ornament

addurno, to adorn


bach, hook

bachu, to hook


coch, red

cochi, to redden


du, black

duo, to blacken


and very many other verbs, probably the majority, as it has spread to verbs not formed from a noun or adjective. Often, in the literary language, it has supplanted older forms, and is the ending used in newly-formed verbs. Nevertheless, most of these more recent forms are bogus, never having had any genuine existence in spoken Welsh.

(c) Verbs like glanh|au accented on the final syllable, form the 3rd person ending in -ha, accented on the final syllable: glanhau: glanha (F: glanheuiff, glanheuith); mwynhau: mwynha (F. mwynheuiff, mwynheuith) &c.

(d) Verbs like nesáu, iacháu, agosáu, &c. accented on the final syllable, form a 3rd person accented on the final syllable: nesáu: nesâ; iacháu: iachâ; caniatáu: caniatâ &c. Exceptions are bwyta: bwyty; para, parhau: pery.

Again, these endings have been replaced in familiar speech replaced by remodelled forms in -iff, -ith: neseiff, neseuith; bwytiff, bwytith; caniateiff, caniateith &c.

(e) Especially in the literary language, a limited number of verbs preserve a 3rd person form in which the vowel of the stem is changed:

verb-noun singular forms of 1st, 2nd, 3rd persons

peri, to cause

paraf, peri, pair

sefyll, to stand

safaf, sefi, saif

cael, to get

caf, cei, caiff

mynd, to go

af, ei, aiff

dyrchafu, to raise

dyrchafaf, dyrchefi, dyrchaif

taflu, to throw

taflaf, tefli, teifl

dal/dala, to catch

daliaf, deli, deil

galw, to call

galwaf, gelwi, geilw

archu, to order

archaf, erchi, eirch

gallu, to be able

gallaf, gelli, geill/gall

ymaflyd, to wrestle

ymaflaf, ymefli, ymeifl

cadw, to keep

cadwaf, cedwi, ceidw

llanw/llenwi, to fill

llanwaf, llenwi, lleinw

gwasgaru, to scatter

gwasgaraf, gwasgeri, gwesgyr

bwyta, to eat

bwytâf, bwytëi, bwyty

para/parhau, to last

parhaf, parheui, pery

chwarae, to play

chwaraeaf, chwareui, chwery

cwnnu, to rise

cwnnaf, cwnni, cwnn

ateb, to answer

atebaf, atebi, etyb

hollti, to split

holltaf, hollti, hyllt

colli, to lose

collaf, colli, cyll

dodi, to set, put

dodaf, dodi, dyd

rhoddi, to give

rhoddaf, rhoddi, rhydd

rhoi, to give

rhôf, rhôi, rhy or dyry

ffoi, to flee

ffoaf, ffoi, ffy

troi, to turn

troaf, troi, try

deffro, to awaken

deffroaf, deffroi, deffry

golchi, to wash

golchaf, golchi, gylch

torri, to cut, break

torraf, torri, tyr

codi, to arise

codaf, codi, cwyd

cyfodi, to arise

cyfodaf, cyfodi, cyfyd

cyffr|oi, to arouse

cyffroaf, cyffroi, cyffry

cloi, to lock

cloaf, cloi, cly

agor, to open

agoraf, agori, egyr

dangos, to show

dangosaf, dangosi, dengys

adrodd, to recite

adroddaf, adroddi, edrydd

diffodd, to extinguish

diffoddaf, diffoddi, diffydd

datr|oi, to avert

datroaf, datr|oi, detry

atal, to restrain

ataliaf, ateli, etyl/eteil

gosod, to set

gosodaf, gosodi, gesyd

ymosod, to attack

ymosodaf, ymosodi, ymesyd

anfon, to send

anfonaf, anfoni, enfyn

danfon, to deliver

danfonaf, danfoni, denfyn

aros, to stay

arhosaf, arhosi, erys

datod, to untie

datodaf, datodi, detyd

gadael, to leave

gadawaf, gadewi, gedy

ymadael, to leave

ymadawaf, ymadewi, ymedy

taro, to strike

t(a)arawaf, t(a)rewi, tery

gwrando, to listen

gwrandawaf, gwrandewi, gwrendy

tewi, to fall silent

tawaf, tewi, tau

gwaredu, to rescue

gwaredaf, gwaredi, gweryd

peidio, to cease

peidiaf, peidi, paid

neidio, to leap

neidiaf, neidi, naid

treiddio, to penetrate

treiddiaf, treiddi, traidd

ymdreiddio, to penetrate

ymdreiddiaf, ymdreiddi, ymdr|aidd

ceisio, to seek

ceisiaf, ceisi, cais

meiddio/beiddio, to dare

meiddiaf, meiddi, maidd; beiddiaf, beiddi, baidd

llusgo, to drag

llusgaf, llusgi, llusg

cysgu, to sleep

cysgaf, cysgi, cwsg

llosgi, to burn

llosgaf, llosgi, llysg

llyncu, to swallow

llyncaf, llynci, llwnc

dwyn, to bring; take

dygaf, dygi, dwg

tyngu, to swear

tyngaf, tyngi, twng

boddi, to drown

boddaf, boddi, bawdd

holi, to ask

holaf, holi, hawl

nofio, to swim

nofiaf, nofi, nawf

soddi, to sink

soddaf, soddi, sawdd

pori, to graze

poraf, pori, pawr

moli, to praise

molaf, moli, mawl

profi, to test

profaf, profi, prawf

toddi, to melt

toddaf, toddi, tawdd

tolio, to stint

tolaf, toli, tawl

In the following examples, the pronunciation of y changes from the ‘obscure’ sound [ə] to the ‘clear’ [ɨ or I] sound in the 3rd person:

crynu, to tremble

crynaf, cryni, crŷn

cyrchu, to seek

cyrchaf, cyrchi, cyrch

dysgu, to learn, teach

dysgaf, dysgi, dysg

dilyn, to follow

dilynaf, dilyni, dilyn

dyrnu, to thrash

dyrnaf, dyrni, dyrn

edrych, to look

edrychaf, edrychi, edrych

esgyn, to ascend

esgynnaf, esgynni, esgyn

derbyn, to accept

derbyniaf, derbyni, derbyn

disgyn, to descend

disgynnaf, disgynni, disgyn

glynu, to stick

glynaf, glyni, glŷn

ymlynu, to adhere

ymlynaf, ymlyni, ymlŷn

gwlychu, to wet

gwlychaf, gwlychi, gwlych

gofyn, to ask

gofynnaf, gofynni, gofyn

mynnu, to insist

mynnaf, mynni, myn

llyfu, to lick

llyfaf, llyfi, llyf

plygu, to bend

plygaf, plygi, plyg

prynu, to buy

prynaf, pryni, prŷn

syflyd, to budge

syflaf, syfli, syfl

sychu, to dry

sychaf, sychi, sych

syrthio, to fall

syrthiaf, syrthi, syrth

tynnu, to draw

tynnaf, tynni, tyn(n)

tybio, to suppose

tybiaf, tybi, tyb

yfed, to drink

yfaf, yfi, yf

chwenychu, to desire

chwenychaf, chwenychi, chwennych

cynnu, to light

cynnaf, cynni, cynn

Few of the above forms have any currency; geill/gall is still used as a true Present/Future in both the spoken and written language: deil, saif, pery, aiff, caiff are used in a Future sense in speech. The others have been replaced by the periphrastic Present, and by regular forms in -iff, -ith for the Future, e.g. atebiff/atebith for etyb, arhosiff/arhosith for erys, &c.

Formation of the imperative

(a) The 2nd sing. Imperative is often the same as the 3rd sing. Present Indicative, e.g. dysg, cred, cân, gad, gwel, dychwel, gwerth &c.;

(b) If the 3rd sing. of the Present Indicative ends in -a, then so does the 2nd sing. Imperative: gwena, gweddïa, gwaedda &c.;

(c) If the 3rd sing. Present Indicative shows the vowel-change called affection, then the 2nd sing. Imperative keeps the stem-vowel unchanged.

3rd sing. Indicative 2nd sing. Imperative



















(d) if the 3rd sing. Indicative shows the vowel-change called mutation, then so does the 2nd sing. Imperative, e.g. paid, cais, prawf, dysg, plyg, yf, tyn, pryn, myn, dilyn, gofyn &c.;

(e) in the familiar style the 2nd sing. Imperative has been remodelled with a regular stem and ending in ia: peidia, ceisia, profa, dysga, plyga, yfa, tynna, pryna, mynna, dilyna, gofynna &c. but paid, yf, tyn, gofyn are still in use.

Verbs with contracted forms

Verbs whose stems end in -o- or -a- have some contracted forms, e.g. trof, for troaf, mwynhaf, for mwynhaaf; in the case of verbs like troi, the uncontracted forms often still subsist alongside the contracted forms.

1. troi, to turn
I. Indicative.
Present: trof, troi, try; trown, trowch, trônt; Impers.: troir
Imperfect: trown, troit, trôi; troem, troech, troent; Impers.: troid
Past: trois, troist, troes/trodd; troesom, troesoch, troesant; Impers.: trowyd/troed.
Pluperfect: troeswn, troesit, troesai; troesem, troesech, troesent; Impers.: troesid.
II. Subjunctive
Present: trowyf, troech, tro; trôm, troch, trônt; Impers.: troer.
Imperfect: as in the Indicative.
III. Imperative: 1. – , 2. tro 3. troed; pl. 1. trown, trowch, troent; Impers.: troer.

Verbs like troi: amdr|oi, datr|oi, camdr|oi, cildr|oi, cogrdr|oi, cyfrdr|oi, cylchdr|oi, chwyldr|oi, datr|oi, geirdr|oi, gwrthdr|oi, gwyrdr|oi, nydd-dr|oi, tindr|oi, tyndr|oi, ymdr|oi.

rhoi, to give, is conjugated throughout like troi, but there is also a paradigm of uncontracted regular forms of rhoddi; the 3rd sing. pres. indic. is rhydd, rhy or dyry; the 3rd sing. past: rhoes/rhoddes/rhoddodd; the 2nd sing. imper. is rho or dyro.

Like rhoi: ymr|oi; like rhoddi: adrodd and ail-adrodd; with 3rd sing. present indic. edrydd; 2nd sing. imper. adrodd.

Other contracted verbs: cnoi (cnoaf or cnof), amgn|oi, atgn|oi, cilgn|oi, crasgn|oi, ailgnoi; cloi (cloaf or clof), datgl|oi; ffoi (ffoaf; 3rd sing. past: ffoes/ffodd), deffro (deffroaf), cyffr|oi (cyffroaf), parat|oi (paratoaf, paratôf), crynhoi (crynhoaf, crynhôf), cydgrynh|oi (cydgrynhoaf), ymgrynh|oi (ymgrynhoaf), ymbarat|oi (ymbaratoaf), osg|oi (osgoaf).

The stress is on the final syllable of the verb-noun, of the Present and Imperfect Indicative forms, the sing. forms of the Past tense, the 2nd and 3rd sing. and all plural forms of the Present Subjunctive, and the Imperative.

2. verbs whose sterm ends in -ha, e.g. mwynhau, to enjoy

I. Indicative Present: mwynhaf, mwynhei, mwynha; mwynhawn, mwynhewch, mwynhânt;
Impers mwynheir.
Imperfect: mwynhawn, mwynhait, mwynhâi; mwynhaem, mwynhaech, mwynhaent;
Impers.: mwynheid.
Past: mwynheais, mwynheaist, mwynhaodd; mwynhasom, mwynhasoch, mwynhasant;
Impers.: mwynhawyd.
Pluperfect: mwynhaswn, mwynhasit, mwynhasai; mwynhasem, mwynhasech, mwynhasent; Impers.: mwynhasid.
II. Subjunctive Present: mwynhawyf, mwynheych, mwynhao; mwynhaom, mwynhaoch, mwynhaont; Impers.: mwynhaer.
Imperfect: as in the Indicative.
III. Imperative: 1. -, 2. mwynha, 3. mwynhaed; pl. 1. mwynhawn 2. mwynhewch 3. mwynhaent; Impers.: mwynhaer.

Like mwynhau: all verbs in -hau (except hau, to sow, stem he(u)-), e.g. cryfhau, cwblhau, lleihau, ufuddhau, glanhau, pellhau, gwanhau &c.; also gwella (stem gwellha-), para (stem parha-).

3. all verbs ending in stressed -au, e.g. nesáu, whose paradigm is given for convenience:

nesáu, to draw near:

I. Indicative Present:
nesâf, nes|ei, nesâ; nes|awn, nes|ewch, nesânt; Impers.: nes|eir
Imperfect: nes|awn, nes|ait, nesâi; nes|aem, nes|aech, nes|aent; Impers.: nes|eid.
Past: neseais, neseaist, nesaodd; nesasom, nesasoch, nesasant; Impers.: nesawyd.
Pluperfect: nesaswn, nesasit, nesasai; nesasem, nesasech, nesasent; Impers.: nesasid.
II. Subjunctive Present: nesawyf, nes|eych, nesao; nesaom, nesaoch, nesaont; Impers.: nes|aer. Imperfect: as in the Indicative.
III. Imperative: 1. -, 2. nesâ, 3. nes|aed pl. 1. nes|awn 2. nes|ewch 3. nes|aent; Impers.: nes|aer.

(N.B. there is also nesu, to draw near, conjugated like canu).

Like nesáu are all verbs in accented -áu: agosáu, arwyddocáu, brasáu, bywiocáu, caniatáu, casáu, coffáu, cwpláu/cwpla, dwysáu, esmwytháu, gwacáu, gwastatáu, iacháu, llacáu, llesáu, llesgáu, nacáu, tecáu, tristáu, ymdecáu, ymfrasáu, ymnesáu, ymwacáu.;

(N.B. cau (stem cae-), amgáu (stem amgae-), cynnau (stem cynneu-), dadlau (stem dadleu-), dechrau (stem dechreu-), gwrthddadlau (stem gwrthddadleu-), hau (stem heu-), gwau/gweu (stem gwe-), maddau (stem maddeu-) do not come into this sub-class, being conjugated like canu.)

Of paratoi the 3rd person sing. of the indicative & 2nd pers. Imperative is paratoa; of crynhoi, crynhoa. For the forms of bwyta, difa, para, gwella, see ‘Verb-nouns classified by ending, -a’.

4. verbs whose stem ends in -aw, -ew, -yw contract the endings -wn, -wch of e.g. gadael, stem gadaw-, the form gadaw-wn contracts to gad|awn, gadew-wch contracts to gad|ewch; of tewi, stem taw-, the form tew-wch contracts to tewch; of clywed, stem clyw-, the forms clyw-wn, clyw-wch contract to clywn, clywch; like tewi, are rhewi, sylwi, berwi, gloywi, gwelwi, chwerwi, llenwi, delwi, enwi, cyflenwi, meddwi &c.

The verb-nouns dil|eu (stem dile-), cyfl|eu (stem cyfle-), dyh|eu (stem dyhe-) being contracted forms, are accented on the final syllable.

5. gadael, to quit, to leave behind, is regularly conjugated like canu, with some contracted forms:

I. Present Indicative: gadawaf, gadewi, gedy; gad|awn, gad|ewch, gadawant; Impers.: gadewir.
Imperfect: gad|awn, gadawit, gadawai, gadawem, gadawech, gadawent; Impers.: gadewid.
Past: gadewais, gadewaist, gadawodd, gadawsom, gadawsoch, gadawsant; Impers.: gadawyd.
Pluperfect: gadawswn, gadawsit, gadawsai; gadawsem, gadawsech, gadawsent; Impers.: gadawsid.
II. Present Subjunctive: gadawyf, gadewych, gadawo; gadawom, gadawoch, gadawont;
Impers.: gadawer.
Imperfect: as in the Indicative.
III. Imperative: 1.-, 2. gad, 3. Gadawed; pl. 1. gad|awn 2. gadewch 3. Gadawent; Impers.: gadawer.

The forms of gadael have been confused with those of another regular verb gadu, gad(a)el, to let, allow. Standard grammars erroneously state or imply that the forms of gadel are rare or obsolete, but they are in fact in common use, often wrongly felt to be “incorrect” forms of gadael.

gad(a)el, to allow.

I. Indicative:
Present: gadaf, gedi, gad; gadwn, gadwch/gedwch, gadant; Impers.: gedir.
Imperfect: gadwn, gadit, gadai; gadem, gadech, gadent; Impers.: gedid.
Past: gedais, gedaist, gadodd; gadasom, gadasoch, gadasant; Impers.: gadwyd.
Pluperfect: gadaswn, gadasit, gadasai; gadasem, gadasech, gadasent;
Impers.: gadesid.
II. Subjunctive: Present: gadwyf, gedych, gado; gadom, gadoch, gadont; Impers.: gader.
Imperfect: as in the Indicative.
Imperative: 1. -, 2. gad, 3. gaded; pl. 1. gadwn. 2. gedwch/gadwch 3. gadent; Impers.: gader.

Spoken Welsh has maintained the distinction between the two verbs, and it is more correct to write, as well as to say, gedwch/gadwch iddi fynd, let her go, than the literary gad|ewch iddi fynd; gedwch/gadwch lonydd iddo, leave him/it alone is more correct than the literary gad|ewch lonydd iddo. In exhortations such as let’s go,gadwch/gedwch inni fynd, let them wait, gadwch iddynt aros, let’s let them go, gadwn iddynt fynd, not gadawn iddynt fynd.

gadu, gad(a)el, to allow, has a negative nadu, to refuse, deny permission, also in common use in the North, conjugated like gad(a)el, thus nadaf, nedi, nad; nadwn, nadwch, nadant &c.