Kernuak rag Dallathorian
Cornish Notes for Beginners
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
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
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:
Knock off the ending of the verb to leave the "stem "
There are various types of verb ending:
-ia (occasionally spelt-ya) endings: sewia: follow; redia: read; revia: row; clappia: speak; squatchia: break
-a endings: cana: sing; screfa: write; leua: lead, gweska: dress; eva: 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
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
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.
an flehaz a screfaz war an fose: The children wrote on the
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
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
desky > dheskaz
ev a vrowaz e bedn: He hurt his head
browy > vrowaz
hei brederaz dro dha'n calatter:She thought about the
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.