"Ro'n i'n arddwr."
Translation:I was a gardener.
Why is the word-order not arddwr ro'n i? Earlier in the course we were told that in the pattern 'pronoun/form of bod/noun [name, profession etc.]' the noun came first in Welsh (e.g. meddwg dw i for 'I am a doctor''). Does that rule only apply when the verb is in the present tense?
In a simple statement of a job/role/name, the job etc normally comes first in the sentence:
- Athro o'n i - I used to be a teacher
- Garddwr o'n i - I used to be a gardener
- Arddwr o'n i - I used to be a ploughman (yes, easily confused with a gardener once a mutation is used!)
If you want to emphasise 'I used to be a teacher' (but now I'm a gardener, say) then you can put the verb at the beginning:
- Ro'n i'n athro, ond garddwr dw i bellach - I used to be a teacher, but I'm a gardener now
Why is there a 'n before arddwr? I thought the link-yn was only used for verbnouns and adjectives.
Because "yn" is used before nouns, along with the others you mentioned.(Also just note that "Garddwr" is the base form which has undergone soft mutation here).
I think of a sentence like 'Gwelais i arddwr'. No 'n. Why is there a difference between 'I saw a gardener' and 'I was a gardener'? Is it because it is the verb 'Bod'?
Yes, 'n/yn is needed in this kind of pattern to make the link between forms of bod and following verb-nouns, nouns and adjectives:
- Dw i'n bwyta
- Ro'ch chi'ch oer
- Dw i'n meddwl bydd hi'n arrdwr
It is also used with other verbs or verb-nouns to give particular meanings, but not in the same way:
- Mae hi'n gobeithio dod yn arrdwr - She hopes to become a gardener
- Ro'n i'n gafael yn ochr y cwch - I was holding (onto) the side of the boat.
Diolch. Feels very Celtic. :) Or maybe not.. Came to think of "I saw him" and "I am he." I guess the latter is correct albeit a bit oldfashion. "I am him" seems to be more common.. anyhow; in Swedish we differentiate between the direct object and a predicative pronoun. I'll use that as a mnemonic.