SSi Forum

Gareth King's Grammar and Workbooks


As I am unable to go to a bookshop and browse the contents, I wondered if any of you lovely people could help me decide - do I buy the basic or the intermediate Grammar and Workbook by Gareth King?
I haven’t been to any classes and have learned all I know from ssiw to level three and I am now reading stories, but I feel some formal learning now will do me good. The books aren’t cheap, so I need to choose carefully, but I haven’t seen inside one and it is difficult from the description alone to get an idea of the practical content and whether it will be self-motivating enough to use properly!
I know in general people recommend them, but I would really, really like to have an idea of what they look like inside the cover.


Do you have a kindle/tablet with a kindle apps? You can download the first 2 chapters if i remember rightly, which would give you contents and an idea of how the chapters are laid out. They are both very useful, but I would say that the course covers things from both, and not at all in order! I’m the same as you, never having been to classes, and I’d say that I learned more new things from the intermediate book, although I did learn loads from the basic one too x


Go to Amazon, type in Gareth King and all his books will be shown. Above the book image, many of them will say ‘Take a look inside’, so you’re able to preview a few chapters to see if any particular book is right for you. .


Well, I couldn’t resist and have bought @garethrking 's new book. I am quite pleased with myself that I understand much of what is written in it but have found something that could mean I have been using the wrong grammatical construction since I started learning Welsh.
So, if I say that ‘the book was written in Welsh’ I have been saying this as ‘cafodd y llyfr ei sgwennu yng Cymraeg’ (ignore any incorrect spelling or mutation!). Or ‘have all the documents been signed’ I would say ‘ydy’r dogfenni i gyd wedi cael eu arwyddo’. However, in the book at 172 Gareth doesn’t use cael or mention it at all. Am I wrong and, if so, anyone got any ideas where I got the idea that the verb cael is needed?


Using cael is a way of making passive constructions, but not all passive constructions use it.
Do you have Gareth’s Modern Welsh A Comprehensive Grammar? If so, have a peek at the section on ‘Passive’ 361-376 and that should help. (If not, hopefully @garethrking can pop along to paraphrase it better than I can :wink: )


Hi Peter, and thank you for buying the book!

With the wedi’i construction that you have been looking at in section 172, this is used for states, while the cael is used for actions:

The book was written in Welsh (so when I looked at iit I couldn’t read it - state)
Roedd y llyfr wedi’i sgwennu yn Gymraeg
The book was written in Welsh (over a period of ten months - action)
Cafodd y llyfr ei sgwennu yn Gymraeg

The city was destroyed (as we found out when we got there and saw it - state)
Roedd y ddinas wedi’i dinistrio
The city was destroyed (by enemy bombers - action)
Cafodd y ddinas ei dinistrio

So really wedi’i + VN is a sort of verb-based adjective (participle in grammatical terms) - like in English things like broken windows ffenestri wedi’u torri, frozen foods bwydydd wedi’u rhewi.
But the windows were broken during the night* will be cafodd y ffenestri eu torri yn ystod y nos

Does this help? :slight_smile:


@RobMorgan - not sure how I missed that! I have bought the basic book, as I decided I was better starting basic and if I surprise myself by knowing most of it I will feel chuffed with myself and be happy to move up. If (as I suspect) I don’t know as much as I hope it will be money well spent. Either way a win-win. (I hope!)


Yes, I understand that now but I need to work on it. In the example in your book, ‘cylchgrawn wedi’i gynhyrchu’n lleol’ (a locally produced magazine) is a state. Does that mean an action would be ‘mae’r cylchgrawn wedi cael ei gynyrchu yn lleol’ (the book was produced locally) or is there a better example or is this not correct at all?


That is the correct construction, though your translation is slightly out:

Mae’r cylchgrawn wedi cael ei gynhyrchu’n lleol
The magazine has been produced locally
Cafodd y cylchgrawn ei gynhyrchu’n lleol
The magazine was produced locally


WEll, good job I bought the basic - I am a lot thicker than even I knew! On exercise 16 and (slowly) learning a lot. A couple of basic things I am not sure of.
Why Lle maen nhw? and not Ble maen nhw?
Also, ‘fan’ma’. I have only noticed/used ‘yma’. Is there a subtle difference - or even an unsubtle one?


Lle maen nhw and ble maen nhw are exactly the same - just personal/regional preference what you use.

Fan 'ma = Fan yma = yma. Again, useage varies according to preference, but they all mean the same.


@siaronjames thank you. (note to self - don’t panic! )


Absolutely don’t panic! You’re doing fine! :slight_smile:


Don’t be hard on yourself, you’re not thick! There’s tonnes to digest and understand in those books. Also, don’t forget that the ssiw course doesn’t follow a very traditional pattern from basic to intermediate, so in the Gareth king workbooks there will be some things from the intermediate book that you already know even though there is lots to learn from the basic book. No panicking allowed!


As Aran says: every mistake is a synapse being made.

I’m familiar with a lot of the grammar from duolingo but can I get those &*#?! exercises right? No, I cannot. Which is why they’re good for me as part of a balanced diet of group chats and radio Cymru. It will go in eventually. Don’t panic.


And I would add, @franhunni, that in speech probably the fan-type is a bit more common. So learn fan hyn (S) or famma (N) for here, fanna for there, and fancw for there (way yonder!).


@franhunni If you’re “thick”, then so are most of us in SSiW! If you’ve lasted until exercise 16 you’re already doing a lot - well done.


@garethrking fancw is a new one. Feel the need to go out on a lonely moor and point into the distant yonder and declare “fancw, Heathcliffe!”


@Baruch. I am doing a lot. Badly, unfortunately! But ‘fancw’ is the prize of some kind of fluecy, I hope!


Cathy (and Kate!) would be proud of you!