Notianjow Kernuak rag Dallathorian
Cornish Notes for Beginners
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Sections 6

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Peleah wriga whei moaz?

1 and 2



Come > Came




rîg: did


8 and 9


Past Events




Personal Pronouns (I, he, she, we, you, they)


6.1  Peleah wriga whei moaz?.........back
wriga is also spelt riga

eath or geath = went    da or dha = to

Peleah riga whei moaz? > Me eath da Resruth.
Where did you go? > I went to Redruth

Peleah wriga whei moaz de? Where did you go yesterday?
Me eath dha'n gwary treeth Camburn ha Resruth.I went to the game between Camborne and Redruth

Peleah rîg e/hei moaz?:     Where did he/she go?

Peleah rîg hei moaz? > hei eath dha'n gwary
Where did she go? > She went to the game

Pana prêz wriga whei moaz?:  When did you go?

Pana prêz wriga whei moaz dha'n drea?  ....... to the town?
Me eath enna en metten:  I went there in the morning

Pana prêz rîg e moaz da moar? : When did he go to sea?
Ev eath da moar dro dha hanter ouja pemp en metten: He went to sea at about hlf past five in the morning.

Pana prêz rîg hei moaz da Loundres? : What time did she go to London?
hei eath degenzete:  She went yesterday.


6.2   Come > Came.........back

Just as we say moaz: to go and eath: went, so we say doaz: to come and dheath: came

Pana prêz rîg hei doaz obma?: When did she come here?
hei dheath obma de Gwenar: She came on Friday.

Fatel wriga whei doaz obma?: How did you come here?
Me dheath war an train/ keibal/ ayrplayn
train: train;   keibal: ferry;   ayrplayn: aeroplane

Fatel rîg hei/e doaz obma? : How did she/he/it come here?

hei/e dheath en car/fardel
car: car; fardel: parcel


6.3  rig: did   (spelt rîg in older books) .........back

In the above examples you will see wriga whei:
did you/you did and rîg hy/e: did she/he /
she/he did. These are part of the verb: gwîl: to do or make:

wriga ve or wrigam: I did / did I   rîg hei: she did / did she
rîg e: he did / did he                   wriga nei : we did / did we
wriga whei: you did / did you         rîg anjei : they did / did they

You can use the forms above in questions:

wriga whei gwelaz an telly nehuer? : Did you see the telly last night?

rîg anjei doaz avar? : Did they come early?

rîg an gath eva an leath?: Did thecat drink the milk?

rîg e perna keaz? : Did he buy any cheese?

wriga ve danen foto dha whei?: Did I send you a photo?


You can use them after na to say did not:

Na wriga whei debry goz bara: You havn't eaten your bread

Na rîg an car dallath: The car didn't start

Na rîg anjei moaz hedhow: They didn't go today

Na rîg hei redia an papar-nawodhow: She didn't read the news paper

Na rîg e kerraz dha'n cooz: He didn't walk to the wood

Na rîg hei gwelaz an ladern, soweth: She didn't see the theives, unfortunately

Na wriga ve squatchia an hanath: I didn't break the mug.


All of the negative statements above can be turned into questions by changing the intonation of your voice:

Na wriga whei gwelaz an zart en for?: Didn't you see the hedgehog in the road?

Na wriga whei owna an veisder?: Havn't you mended the window?

Na rîg an jyn dallath?: Didn't the engine start?

Na wriga whei gonez an tettez whath?: Haven't you planted the potatoes yet?

Na rîg goz daama fonia dhewh?: Didn't your mother phone you?

Na rîg anjei perna leath?: Didn't they buy any milk?

Na wriga ve rei an muna dha whei?: Didn't I give the money to you?

Na wriga whei perna tay?!: Didn’t you buy any tea?!

Na! Na wriga ve perna travith: No I didn’t buy anything


6.4  Past Events..........back

We know how to say did (rîg), went (eath) and came (dheath).Here are a few more:

wraz: made   ev a wraz tezan hedhow: He made a cake today

roze: gave    hei a roze an muna dhem: She gave the money to me

dhroze/droze: brought      anjei a dhroze booz : they brought some food

[The final e of wraze, roze and dhroze is silent and serves to show that the vowel is long.]

oya: knew/knew how to     Me oya hedna kens : I knew that before

wonedhaz: worked       Me wonedhaz en looar: I worked in the garden

All of the above examples are irregular, i.e. they do not follow the usual pattern for forming the past tense.    Most verbs, however, are regular.  They follow the rules to a greater extent than English verbs.

To form the past tense of most verbs, follow these steps:

Step 1.

Knock off the ending of the verb to leave the "stem "

There are various types of verb ending:

-ia (occasionally spelt-ya) endings: sewia: followredia: readrevia: rowclappia: speak;  squatchia: break

-a endings:  cana: singscrefa: writeleua: leadgweska: dresseva: drink

-az endings:   gwelaz: see;   clowaz: hear;   kerraz: walk;   meraz: look

-y endings:   debry: eat;   desky: learn;     predery: think;     gully / gulhy: wash

-al endings:   lavaral: say;    saval: get up, rise;    derheval: raise, build gweskal: hit, strike


Step 2.

Replace the ending with -az.  This is just like adding -ed to a verb in English (walked, talked etc.).

lavaral > lavaraz        screfa > screfaz       saval > savaz

Note: Some -ia verbs may keep the i of the ending: redia > rediaz

Note: Some verbs do not have an ending  e.g. dallath: start.  In these cases, simply add the -az to the whole verb:
dallath > + az > dallathaz

In some cases this requires an internal spelling change:  cowz  +az > cowsaz

Step 3

The first letter of some verbs undergoes soft mutation i.e. those that start with:    b, c, d, gw, k, m, p, t

These are the rules for soft mutation  ( > means becomes):

b & m > v,    c & k > g  (often ignored when words start with co-),   d > dh,      
g > nothing     gw > w or nothing  (nothing means that the g simply disappears.)
p > b,   t > d or dh

gwelaz >  (stem) gwell- > (add -az) gwelaz > (soft mutation) wellaz

debry > (stem) debr- > (add -az) debraz > (soft mutation) dhebraz

crejy > (stem) crej- > (add -az) crejaz > (soft mutation) grejaz


an venen a rediaz lever: The woman read a book
an dean a rediaz papar-nawodhow: The man read a news-paper.
          redia >rediaz

an flehaz a screfaz war an fose: The children wrote on the wall.
          screfa > screfaz

anjei a wellaz train: They saw a train
          gwelaz > wellaz

an sim a dhebraz banana: The monkey ate a banana
          debry > dhebraz

an vampire a evaz gooj: The vampire drank some blood
          eva > evaz

nei bernaz chei war an treath: We bought a house on the sand
          perna > bernaz

an scath araz an por: The boat left the harbour
          gara > araz

anjei ganaz en eglos: They sang in church
          cana > ganaz

nei a dheskaz liaz tra enna: We learnt lots of things there
          desky > dheskaz

ev a vrowaz e bedn: He hurt his head
          browy > vrowaz

hei brederaz dro dha'n calatter:She thought about the problem
          predery > brederaz

An marth a dednaz an kert: The horse pulled the cart
          tedna > dednaz

Note 1: In the above examples some verbs have an a in front of them. This a  is more often left out in speech, as well as in writing but it is the cause of the soft mutation described at Step 3 above.  Even when it isn't said or written its assumed presence still causes the softening.

Note 2: If you have a sentence with two verbs in it, such as:
The man went to the town and bought some apples, you only need to put the first verb into the past tense. Once the tense has been established by the first verb the second verb can remain unchanged (infinitive):

An dean eath dha'n drea ha perna lavallow.


 6.5 Personal Pronouns (I, he, she, we, you, they). .........back

By now you will have seen all of the following:

me : I      che : thou   ev or e : he, him      hei : she, her

nei : we, us      whei : you       anjei or angei : they, them


che (translated by thou in this book) is a way of saying you which is reserved for very intimate or informal conversation so it is best to concentrate on ways of saying things with whei. You can use che as an informal or intimate form of address if you wish but whei can be used in most circumstances, even close friends.  Speakers of Unified and Kemmyn use che more often and they pronounce it like tee.

me becomes ve after verbs, after dha (to) and in other circumstances which you will encounter.