Wnes, wnesti

Hello folks,
I’m struggling to remember to use Wnes and Wnesti in level 1. I don’t really understand what it means. It seems to be a past tense like “on i…whatever”. Can someone help please?

yes, wnes i and o’n i are both versions of past tense. Basically wnes i is the simple past where the action is complete whereas o’n i is the progressive past where the action was ongoing.

wnes i fwyta’r afal = I ate the apple (lit. I did eat the apple)
o’n i’n bwyta’r afal = I was eating the apple


You may find this short video helpful, which Nicky made to clarify the three basic forms of past tense:


Brilliant, thanks Siaron and Alan with your description and watching Nicky’s video it’s a whole lot clearer know.


I agree, this video is very useful

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Yes thanks @AlanP for sharing and @Nicky for this great video. So helpful. I hadn’t actually noticed the differences in English, so it’s no wonder I was struggling with the Welsh!


Thanks for the kind comments.

I generally find that most confusion with tenses comes the fact that we, as first language English speakers, seem to know the rules without having really learned the rules - if that makes any sense.

We understand when we “did something” and we know when we “were doing something” - but often that happens inside our heads automatically without even thinking about it. If you think about why or how you do it in English, for most cases you’ll crack it in Welsh too :smiley:


It is a sobering thought that there are probably 5-year-olds out there in 1st-language-Welsh-speaking communities, who know every single rule of Welsh mutation far better than any one of us learners here will ever know them, but that they don’t yet know that they know them…


I refer you to this post… Memory aid for mutations

Does Wnes etc come from gwneud as a mutation and past form?
Is it similar to the big problem English learners have between “I did …/do something” and “I made/make something” ? E,g I made a noise, but I do the washing up ?

Yes except its not a true mutation , i dont think, just normal to miss off the gw. Yes its to do or make. In English think of emphatic or negative eg I do/do not like that.

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I am an ESOL teacher and can see that other speakers have a real problem with do/make. As a general rule make is used for things that you have a result - make a noise, make a fuss, make a cake even make love! “Do” is used for jobs I do the washing or ironing.

In other languages not so; e.g French: Il fait pleut/beau - (lit) it makes rain/nice weather.

Does this use of gwneud correspond to the English usage (probably not) or is it something that will just have to be learnt as I go along?

There is a fair amount of overlap, but in the long term it’s more the latter, I’d say… :slight_smile: Let it wash over you, and the instances you’ll need most often will bed down before too long… :slight_smile: