Exercise 54

A client, Ray Scott, is meeting solicitor Powl Tonkin. Mr Scott wishes to give instructions for the preparation of a new Will.

Powl Tonkin:

I’m obliged to you for sending a summary of your assets in advance. I see you're joint owner of a freehold house, with the other owner being your wife. There are bank accounts in your sole name: one current account, one investment account; there are tax-free savings accounts – that is, two ISA’s in your name; and you have shares in four companies listed on the Stock Exchange. There’s a car registered in your name. And household goods that are owned jointly with your wife. And some personal effects.

Ray Scott:

Will there be any problem?

Powl Tonkin:

Problem? Not at all. We just need to clarify a couple of things. Now, who will be the executors?

Ray Scott:

My sons. Adults, both of them. I’ve spoken to them about it, and they’ve agreed.

Powl Tonkin:

Fine. Your wife will inherit the whole house by operation of law, outside the Will, because she’s a co-owner. But what happens if she dies before you.

Ray Scott:

Sell the house and the two lads to divide the proceeds fifty-fifty.

Powl Tonkin:

And the one son to get all the proceeds if the other is pre-deceased? I’m sorry: I'm sure it’s not likely to happen! We have to provide for the possibility.

Ray Scott:

I quite understand. Yes, just as you said. There are no grandchildren yet.

Powl Tonkin:

And the shares? Transfer them to your wife?

Ray Scott:

No, investments of that sort won’t interest my wife, nor my sons either. It would be better to sell the shares. My wife can get all the household goods. And the car. My personal effects too. Except my Rolex watch, which is earmarked for my brother Jim. The cash – that is, the accounts and the proceeds of the shares – I’d like all that to go to my wife. Save for three legacies to charity. One to the local hospice society. One to dementia research. And one to overseas famine relief. Here’s the address and the amount for each of these gifts.

Powl Tonkin:

And the residue to go to your sons in the same way if your wife has already died?

Ray Scott:

Exactly. Is that enough detail? So you can prepare a document? In English please. To keep everything simple.

Powl Tonkin:

It’s plenty. Thank you for providing neat and clear instructions. I’ll send you a draft as soon as it’s ready.

Exercise 55

Ny a wre goslowes dour.

We were listening carefully.

Y a wre viajya scryp only.

They were travelling hand-baggage only.

A wres sùffra pain?

Were you in pain?

Ny wre hy dyghtya an dra yn sad.

She wasn’t taking the matter seriously.

Pùb nos ny a wre clôwes sonyow coynt.

In practice we cannot employ y whren ny here because that might equally be understood as forming a future tense

Every night we used to hear weird noises.

Exercise 56

Eses jy ow cortos termyn pell?

Were you waiting long?

Yth esa ev ow tianowy sqwith oll an jëdh.

He was yawning all day long.

I was walking for hours.

Why didn’t they agree?

Nyns esen ow kemeres own vëth.

I wasn’t or we weren’t afraid at all.

Exercise 57

Y fedha an prownter ow tysqwedhes an gladhgell dhe bùb touryst.

The priest used to show the crypt to every tourist.

A vedhes ow chaunjya train in Keresk pùb treveth?

Did you use to change at Exeter every time?

Y fedhen vy orth hy (or aga) gweles de Sadorn yn fenowgh.

I often used to see her (or them) on Saturdays.

Dar, ny vedhes ow megy pib kyns?

You used to smoke a pipe once, didn’t you?

Y fedha esely an Seneth owth arethya meur dhe well i’n dedhyow coth.

MPs used to make much better speeches in the old days.  

Exercise 58

It is common in conversation nowadays to disregard the rule of sequence of tenses. In that case the verb forms will be as given in brackets for information.

An BBC a dherivys fatell vydna (vydn) an Mytern vysytya ‘Kresen Kernow’ pàn ve (vo) in Ewny Redrudh nessa mis.

The BBC reported that the King would (will) visit ‘Kresen Kernow’ when he was (is) in Redruth next month.

An BBC a dherivys an fordh dell vedha (vëdh) degës mar teu an ryver ha fedna.

The BBC reported that the road would (will) be closed if the river flooded (floods).

The inflected imperfect tense of dos is not in regular use.

An BBC a dherivys re beu còst an kevambos encressys kynth o (yw) an servys lehës.

The BBC reported that the cost of the contract had (has) increased though the service had (has) been reduced.

An BBC a dherivys y fensa an kesudnyans lavur declarya astel ober mar na ve acord nowyth rag gwelhe an gober ha’n condycyons.

The BBC reported that the union would have declared a strike if there had not been a fresh agreement to improve pay and conditions.


An BBC a dherivys an Mentênours y’s (or a's) teva (teves) moyhariv in Consel Kernow abàn veu an dôwysyans agensow.

But better

An BBC a dherivys bos dhe'n Mentênours moyhariv in Consel Kernow abàn veu an dôwysyans agensow.

The BBC reported that the Tories had (have) a majority on Cornwall Council after the recent election.

Exercise 59

Elen Tonkin is entertained one evening at the flat of her cousin Jana Bligh in Falmouth. Zoe Eustice, Jana’s spouse, has cooked supper for the three of them.


The food’s on the table. Come and get it.


It smells lovely! What have you made?


It’s just minced beef. A spicy version. With penne. Everything’s very straightforward as there's not a lot of time after getting home.


Zoe’s really modest about her cooking. She works all day in her shop, Monday to Saturday, then manages to make us a quick and splendid supper. Look! There’s a salad with it. And sourdough bread, home baked. A bottle of Burgundy too. Dessert's going to be fruit. With coffee after that.


The beef's delicious, Zoe. How did you cook it?


First, I fried the meat with onion and garlic. But cumin is the key. Two teaspoons of it. Cayenne pepper to give it some umph. A teaspoon of golden syrup, two spoonfuls of balsamic vinegar, a generous shake of the Worcester sauce, a squish of tomato purée. Handful of cranberries too. Plus a drop of water, and let it simmer gently until the pasta’s done.


Well, I certainly much prefer this to the Bolognese that Demelsa often used to make for supper. Till I begged her to stop! She would blanket it in a thick layer of Parmesan. Way too much fat. It was so rich! I must admit she doesn’t have a great talent for cooking, even though she specializes in chemistry.


Er, well, if we visit you at some point, maybe we’ll eat in a restaurant or a pub?


Absolutely not! You’re very very welcome. I’ll prepare the meal for you myself when the time comes. Ban Demelsa from coming anywhere near it!