Gero nei desky Kernuak

The Lessons and Exercices
We start with the first lesson, introducing you to the verb ‘boaz’ - ‘to be’, the most common verb in any language.  Be sure that you master this completely before you move on - it will make life so much easier as you progress.

Where you are;  what you are doing.


theram      =  I am
a (1)   poonia     =  running
thesta     =  you are [sing.]
a  tebry     =  eating
ma e [or]
a  eva     =  drinking
mava     =  he is
a  omdhal     =  fighting
ma hei     =  she is
a  kîl     =  making, doing
ma’n dean     the man is
a  kerraz     =  walking
ma Jowan     John is
a  gwary     =  playing
ma’n flehaz     the children are
a  moaz     =  going
thera nei     we are
a  toaz     =  coming
thera whei     you are [plur.]
a  redia     =  reading
mownz     =  they are
a  cana     =  singing


en (2)     =  in
an chy     =  the house
et (2)     =  in
an gegen     =  the kitchen
war     =  on
an looar     =  the garden
dadn     =  under
an drea     =  the town
reb     =  beside
an darraz     =  the door
dha / da (3)    = to
an kea     =  the hedge
obma     =  here
an bord     =  the table
enna     =  there 
an treath     =  the beach
drez     =  over
an leath     =  the milk
tewa     =  towards
an dezan     =  the cake

1. The verbal particle a’ is often left out, or in the case of ‘theram’, joined on to the end of it - [see example below].
2. ‘en is used before consonants; et is used before vowels of possessive adjectives and of pronouns, but rarely before an
3. When followed by an, the ‘a’ of an can be replaced by an apostrophe [’] though this is not obligatory:  dha + n  >  dha'n  or  dhan

Note!  There is no word in Cornish for ‘a’; i.e., a house’ is simply ‘chy’.

Note!  Nouns in Cornish are either masculine or feminine, but don’t worry about this yet.

Now from the above boxes make as many easy sentences as you can, using the following combinations:
1+2;  1+2+3+4;  1+3+4.    

For example:
1+2            ‘Theram a moaz’ = I am going’ [or, as described above, ‘therama moaz].

1+2+3+4   ‘Ma’n dean a tebry en gegen’ - ‘the man is eating in the kitchen’.
1+3+4  ‘Ma Jowan a moaz dha'n drea’ = ‘John is going to the town’ (and as in Note 3 above, the ‘dha'ncould be written ‘dhan’.)

* Group 2 on the previous page can be followed by a noun object before continuing with Groups 3 and 4 in the lower box,  e.g.,

‘Therama keel bord en gegen’ — ‘I am making a table in the kitchen’

Here are same more words for you to construct simple sentences.

an lever     the book
an booz     =  the food
an levrow     =  the books
an bolla     =  the cup
moes / moze     =  a girl
an gwily     =  the bed
an muzzy     =  the girls
an forh     =  the fork
benen   =  a woman
colhel     =  a knife
an venen     =  the woman
an golhel     =  the knife
an benenaz     =  the women
an lo     =  the spoon
a gwerha     =  selling
a hoola     =  crying
a perna     =  buying
a pobaz     =  baking
a crambla     =  climbing
a codha     =  falling
a carma     =  shouting
a toan     =  carrying
a wherhin     =  laughing
a cuska     =  sleeping
a lebmal     =  jumping
a screffa     =  writing
*  Don’t forget - You can omit the partical ‘a’ or join it to theram



These are very easy for you now that you have learnt the basic pattern. Simply alter Group 1 in the Box on the previous page to the following:

Nag eram     I am not    Nag idge Jowan     John is not
Nag esta     you are not [s]     Nag idge an flehaz     The children are not
Nag idgeva     he is not     Nag era nei     We are not
Nag idge hei she is not     Nag era whei     You are not [plur.]
Nag idge an dean     the man is not     Nag idge anjei   They are not

     Note: The final e is pronounced like English ee.    idge may be written igge.

Now join up boxes as you did before to make fresh sentences, e.g.,
‘Nag erama pobaz en gegen’  -  ‘I am not baking in the kitchen’
‘Nag idge an flehaz a carma’  -  ‘The children are not shouting’.

* ‘Nag idge....’  is used when there is a definite subject, i.e., ‘He is not...’, ‘John is not...’, ‘They are not...’ etc.

When an indefinite subject is governing the clause, then ‘Nag idge’ is replaced by ‘Nag ez  [also spelt eze ]

e.g., ‘a boy is not..... [really, ‘there isn’t a boy’].

     This will be more obvious when we look at questions below. 



Again this is very easy for you.  This time all you have to do is to knock off the ‘Nag’ in the negative statement!   Thus Group 1 becomes:

eram....?     am I...?  idge Jowan...?     Is John...?
esta.......?     are you...? [s]  idge an flehaz...?     Are the children...?
idgeva...?     Is he...? era nei...?     Are we...?
idge hei...?     Is she...? era whei...?     Are you...? [plur.]
idge an dean...?     is the man...? idge anjei...?     Are they...?


‘Yes’ is translated into Cornish by ‘Ea’, and ‘No’ by ‘Na’, often followed by a repetition of the question,  e.g. 
‘Era whei moaz dha Redruth? - ‘Are you going to Redruth?’
‘Ea, thera nei moaz hedhow’ - ‘Yes, we are going today’
‘Na, nag era nei moaz’ - ‘No, we are not going’.
Occasionally, following the practice of Mediaeval Cornish, both the affirmative and the negative answers to questions leave out the ‘ Ea’ and ‘Na’, and become straightforward repetitions of the question itself, thus:
‘Era whei a moaz?’ - ‘Are you going?’   ‘Thera nei a moaz’ - ‘We are going’.
‘Nag era nei a moaz’ - ‘We are not going’.
Although this old form is occasionally used, the normal method employed in Modern Cornish is to utilise ‘Ea’ and ‘Na’.

Negative Questions
No problem!  Just use the negative statement already learnt on page 6 and simply alter the tone of the voice.
‘Nag idge Jowan a toaz?- ‘Isn’t John coming?’
(Formerly the particle ‘a’ was used to introduce the question, and although not incorrect in Modern Cornish, it is rarely used.)

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