0915 Gwefan Cymru-Catalonia (Wales-Catalonia Website). Welsh Course. Time-when adverbials answer the question WHEN? There are two groups of "time when" adverbials - a) one refers directly to a point in time or period of time, b) whereas the other identifies the point or period by contrasting it with another point of time



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1273e An Elementary Welsh Grammar by John Morris-Jones (1864-1929), professor of Welsh at Coleg y Brifysgol (University College), Bangor. Published in 1921 (when he was aged 56 / 57). This grammar deals with Modern Literary Welsh only. It follows the lines of my Welsh Grammar Historical and Compararive, 1913, so far as that treats of the modern language; but the matter has been largely re-written, and is in some respects more detailed.

Time may be expressed by
the tense of the verb (past, present or future),
aspect (continuing action or completed action),
and the use of an adverbial (1 time when, 2 duration, 3 frequency)
Time-when adverbials answer the question WHEN?
 There are two groups of "time when" adverbials -
a) one refers directly to a point in time or period of time,
b) whereas the other identifies the point or period by contrasting it with another point of time
The adverbials can be of various types:
1 ADVERB: ddoe = yesterday
2 PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE: ar y penwythnos = at the weekend
3 NOUN PHRASE: yr wthnos nesa' = next week
4 NOUN PHRASE + yn l: dair blynedd yn l = three years ago
5 ADVERBIAL CLAUSE: pan ddaeth ei wraig = when his wife came

1) TIME WHEN - Adverbs
ddoe yesterday
drannoeth the following day
echdoe the day before yesterday
echnos the night before last
eleni this year
eried never
gynnau a moment ago
heddiw today
heno tonight
nawr now
neithiwr last night
rwan now
yfor tomorrow
yno then ('at that time')
Pronunciation: [bith, dhoi, dra-noith, kh-doi, kh-nos, e-l-ni, er-i-id, g-ne, h-dhiu, h-no, naur, nith-yur, ru-an, -v-ri, -no]

Observations: Colloquial forms may differ slightly
eleni > 'leni [le-ni]
yfor > 'for [vo-ri]
heddiw is heddi [he-dhi] in the South, heiddiw [heidh-yu] in the North
echdoe > echdo' in the South [kh-do]
ddoe > ddo' in the South [dhoo]
drannoeth > dranno'th in the South [dra-noth]
erioed > arid or 'rid in the South [a-ri-ood, ri-ood]
nawr is generally Southern (it is a contraction of yn awr, Old Welsh for 'the hour') and the Northern form is rwan, often shortened to wan [u-an]. This is from 'yr awr hon' - this hour. An 'o' in a final syllable can become an 'a' (and vice versa!) and a number of words show this change. The fact that nawr yields rwan if spelt backwards is completely coincidental.
Some of these adverbs refer to the past:
byth / ddoe / echdoe / echnos / eleni / eried / heddiw / heno / gynnau / neithiwr / yno
Some refer to the present:
eleni / heddiw / heno / nawr / rwan
Some refer to the future:
byth / eleni / heddiw / heno / nawr / rwan / yfor
2) TIME WHEN - Prepositional Phrases:
the following prepositions are to be found in such constructions:
am / ar / ar ddechrau / ar ddiwedd / ar ganol / ar l / at / cyn / erbn / mewn / rhwng /
a) AM (= around, for, at)
refers to clock time
am chwech o'r gloch = at six o'clock
am hanner ddd = at midday
b) AR (= on)
used with dates
ar y cyntaf o Fai = on the first of May
though it is also possible without the preposition
y cyntaf o Fai = on the first of May
Also with days
ar dddd Llun = on Monday (= last Monday, next Monday)
though it is also possible without the preposition
dddd Llun = on the first of May
c) AR DDECHRAU = at the beginning of, AR DDIWEDD = at the end of
ar ddechrau Mai = at the beginning of May
d) AR GANOL = in the middle of
ar ganol yr wthnos = in the middle of the week
e) AR L = after
ar l ddd Mawrth = after Tuesday
f) CYN = before
cn ddd Iau = before Thursday
cn pen blwddn (i'w farw) = within a year (of his death)
g) ERBYN = by
Bdd yn barod erbn ddd Mercher = it'll be ready by Tuesday
3) TIME WHEN - Noun Phrases:
a) One construction is made up of (definite article + noun + modifier)
The modifier may be an adjective such as
HWN (= this, after masculine singular noun),
HON (= this, after feminine singular noun),
or HYN (= these, after plural nouns).
In colloquial southern Welsh, HYN is used instead of HWN and HON.
In both the north and the south, 'MA (from YMA = here) is used in colloquial speech instead of HWN / HON / HYN.
Other adjectives are NESAF = next (colloquial form with loss of final F = NESA');
DIWETHAF = last (colloquial form with loss of final F = DIWETHA', also DWETHA')
yr wythnos diwethaf [r uith-nos di-we-tha] = last week (the mutated form DDIWETHAF would be expected since WYTHNOS is a feminine noun,but this is one of a few phrases where the mutation is neutralised by the preceding -S)
colloquial form: 'r wthnos dwetha' [ruth-nos dwe-tha]
y mis nesaf = next month
y llynedd = last year
y tro diwethaf = last time
In colloquial usage, the definite article Y may be omitted:
mis nesa' (in the South, mish nesa')
tro dwetha'
b) Another construction is a noun phrase with the soft mutation
ddd Sadwrn = Saturday
dddd Sadwrn = on Saturday (nest Saturday or last Saturday)
There is a tendency in colloquial Welsh to ignore this mutation.
ddd Sadwrn = on Saturday (nest Saturday or last Saturday)
At the beginning of a sentence in literary Welsh it is also correct not to use the mutation, but there is a tendency to use the soft mutation always in literary Welsh
Sin a ddaeth yma dddd Sadwrn - Sin came here last Saturday
Ddd Sadwrn daeth Sin yma - Sin came here last Saturday
Dddd Sadwrn daeth Sin yma
- Sin came here last Saturday
c) Use of HEDDIW, YFOR and DDOE as modifiers
bore ddoe = yesterday morning (the) morning (of) yesterday
bore heddiw = this morning
bore yfor = tomorrow morning
ben bore yfor= first thing tomorrow morning '(at) (the) head (of) (the) morning (of) tomorrow'
4) TIME WHEN - Noun Phrase + yn l ('ago')
YN L after a noun phrase of time indicates a point in the past seen from the present moment.
The noun phrase of time undergoes soft mutation where possible.
In spoken Welsh yn l > nl
tair blynedd
= three years
dair blynedd yn l - three years ago
Again, at the beginning of a sentence in literary Welsh it is also correct not to use the mutation, but there is a tendency to use the soft mutation always in literary Welsh.
In spoken Welsh it is generally omitted
tair blynedd nl - three years ago
mis = month
fis yn l = a month ago
4) TIME WHEN - Adverbial Phrase
These are formed with time-when conjunctions.
The main time-when conjunctions are:
PAN = when
CYN = before
AR L = after
WRTH = while
They may introduce
finite clauses - that is, one which contains a subject, or
non-finite clauses, which have no subject
a) finite clause:
conjunction + conjugated verb
aeth allan i'r heol pan glywodd y sgrech
he went out onto the street when he heard the scream
b) finite clause:
conjunction + preposition i + noun or pronoun + verbnoun
wedi iddi glywed y newdd, lladdodd ei gi
after he had heard the news, he killed his dog
c) non-finite clause:
conjunction + verbnoun
Cn mnd i'r gwel, yfodd lasaid o laeth twm
Before going to bed, he drank a glass of warm milk


(ffeil gr020505)

The suffix -AID:

This is used in the same way as the English suffix -ful


bocs [boks] box

bocsaid [bok-said] boxful.


In colloquial Welsh ai in a final syllable is usually pronounced as [ed] or [ad], and the suffix is sometimes seen spelt as -ed / -ad. (If we picture Wales as a square, the e zone is a broad diagonal band from the bottom left-hand corner to the top tight-hand corner. The a areas are in the top right-hand corner (counties of Gwynedd, Mn, Conw) and the bottom right-hand corner (the old territories of Gwent and Morgannwg, or the southern valleys and coastal lowland).


The resulting noun has the same gender as the original noun

ty^ (masculine) = house, tyaid (masculine) = houseful

potel (feminine) = bottle, potelaid (feminine) = bottleful


The plural of -aid is eidiau [eid-yai]

sach [saakh] = sack

sachaid [sa-khaid] = sackful

sacheidiau o wenith = sacks of wheat, sackfuls of wheat


Some examples:

bagaid o hadau a bagful of seeds

barilaid o gwrw a barrelful of beer
basgedaid o flodau a basketful of flowers
llwaid o halen a spoonful of salt
potelaid o ddw^r a bottle of water
sosbanaid o gawl a saucepanful of broth

taid o blant a houseful of children (an expression use dmore in the past in times of large families with many children)



A well-known word with -aid is cwpanaid / paned / panad = cupful;

cwpan [ku-pan] cup,

cwpanaid [ku-pa-naid] cupful.


A cup of tea in Welsh is in fact a cupful of tea cwpanaid o de.

In colloquial Welsh it is not uncommon for a first syllable before an accented syllable to drop away.


Thus paned o de, panad o de = cup o tea.

Often this is simply paned, panad = cup (of tea), rather as some English people say cuppa since cup of tea is clearly meant.


Leicet ti gael paned? Would you like a cup of tea? (would you like a cupful).


In the south-east, the expression used is (or was it seems to be yielding to cwpaniad) dysglaid o de, pronounced as dishglad o de.

(From Welsh dsgl = plate, ultimately taken from Latin discus = disk. In the south-east this became dishgil. Although I have never seen any explanation of this, it may originally have been used in the sence of a saucerful of tea, since it tea was at one time supped out of saucers.)


Not many nouns can have the suffix -aid added.

Usaually to indicate -ful the word llond is place before the noun

(This is a reduced form of llonaid = a full measure, from lawn = full, and the suffix -aid)


llond plt o ffa a plateful of beans (full-measure (of) plate (of) beans)
llond llaw o bryfed cantroed a handful of centipedes
llond dw fan o heddlu = two vansful of police, two vans of police

Adolygiad diweddaraf - latest update 20 01 2000

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