Helo! I am a bit stuck on short forms of tenses and wondered if anyone could help?
How/why is the short form of the present and future tenses the same?
I am confused on what all the tenses are now :frowning:

This is a (probably old) version of Gareth King’s “Modern Welsh”:


Sections 309-311 talk about situations where the short form future is used in preference to the long form with “bod” (“bydd”).

Elsewhere in that book he talks about the short form (“inflected”) “future” as actually a “non-past”, i.e. it can mean both present and future. A bit confusing, I must admit.

I get the impression it’s used more as a future than a present, but there may well be situations when it is used as a present, but hopefully someone more expert can elaborate.

BTW, this BBC grammar crib sheet only refers to it as a “future” tense … perhaps slightly over-simplifying the situation, whereas GK is possibly being more technically correct.

…Just had a look at GK’s “Intermediate Welsh” Grammar and Workbook, and he only calls it a “future tense” there, so maybe that’s the best way to think about it for now and don’t worry about the present tense aspect of it.

…hmm…looking again at “Modern Welsh”, he says that for gallu/medru, the “non-past” tense is only used for the present (“I can”), and not the future (“I will be able”), for which you have to use the long form with “bod”.

1 Like

It just is… :sunny:

Think of it as two for the price of one, and don’t worry about it!..:wink:

1 Like

Thanks, will try not to think about it

1 Like

Yah, all shortened tenses WHOLE CONFUSION to me! I don’t understand a bit anymore neither I know where to use them why bod is somewhere and where should be not … I’m so cofused I can’t remember even long forms anymore. I’m so confused that I feel like I can’t speak Cymraeg even a bit anymore.

But … I already know an answer … “Don’t worry.” … but when you’re as confused as I am right now I don’t know if this is the right one though.

1 Like

There again, some English present forms can mean future, imagine walking into a room with someone, you walk towards a chair you like the look of and your companion says ‘I’m sitting there’. Now that is just like saying ‘I am sitting there’, which is a present tense, but clearly they are not sitting there as they are like you, still walking across the room. And we all do it, I am going to Spain, or I am walking the West Highland Way, there can be some kind of implied future. So once I thought about that I relaxed a bit with the short form in Welsh.


If I’d only see the difference. They’re all same to me, all sound like to me …

Thank you Polly - that helps a bit

I am still struggling with the tenses and wondered if someone kind could explain things in words of one syllable :smile:
Past tense - I am reasonably happy with the short forms -ais i, -aist ti etc. Also with using gwnes i … instead. But is there a ‘long’ form of the past tense?
Future tense - I think I understand the endings -a i, -i di etc. Also the gwna i option. But where does the bydda i, bydda di fit in. What is the equivalent of this in the past tense?

PS - have requested the Gareth King book from the library as suggested before. However they seem to have lost both of their copies…

Actually, thinking about it, is the equivalent to bydda i in the future bues i in the past? As both are forms of bod

Hello Jenny.
the “long form” of the past tense means, you use a verb like “wnes i, wnest ti” and so on, instead of the short form.
so “wnes i fynd” instead of “es i” ( = “I did go” instead of “I went”) or “wnes i weld” instead of " weles i". ( I did see/ I saw)
The “long form” is easier, because you need to know only the correct form of “gwneud”, but you don’t have to change the following verb.


Ah, that makes sense. So the long future tense is gwna i?

1 Like

Well figured out!
Or just “na i”.

Edit: Well, the future formed with “bydd” is also a “long” form of the future.
A long form just means it’s formed wiith an auxiliary verb, and both “bod” (as in “bydd”), or “gwneud” can be used as auxiliaries.

(There may be cases in which one is preferable to another, but if so, I don’t know what they are).

As far as concerns me “LONG LIVE THE LONG FORMS!” Course 3 (old) is (sorry @aran, @iestyn and the company) nightmare in deed. This goes beyond both Lessons 6 and bonus lesson 6 in total. However … I’ll have to teach myself long forms again as short ones confuse me so much I forgot all the long ones in total. I already lost hope I’ll ever learn what short forms are all about and from what they consist …

But … yah … this is kind of my problem probably (and obviously).

Well @mikeellwood
In the first instance i can say i’m sure what you wrote is very good but it’s another of those grammar explanations that i just don’t understand (now i feel like a vegetable).

In the second instance just maybe a light bulb moment. Where you put (bod as bydd) is an auxiliary, then i guess this is saying the short form is not the long compressed but a form without bod, (if so, no wonder i have been wandering and thinking, and confusing myself). John does grammar - that would be an SSIW success. so thanks for your input - must of been good timing.

On a positive note i can now spell some long words (anifeiliaid) without the dictionary.

Cheers J.P.

1 Like

Careful, John, you don’t need grammar or spelling in order to hold a conversation.
(I think I would rather be a vegetable than a light bulb anyway!)
We only want to know these rules because our memories are failing and we have to work out how to say things.


Precisely!! Exactly!! And you are nothing like a vegetable of any variety!!! :green_apple: or a fruit either!! :sunny:

1 Like

So is the long form of the past tense with bod bues i?

Nope, not really - although you’re better off (I think) getting to grips with this stuff on a case by case basis, broadly speaking the long forms for the the past are either ‘wnes i [verb]’ or ‘roeddwn i [verb]’.

Bues i is a form of bod that you’re likely to use just on its own if you’re talking about having been somewhere. :sunny:

1 Like