Questions


READY-REFERENCE GUIDE

HOW TO ASK QUESTIONS

 

CLOSED ‘YES / NO’ QUESTIONS

A closed question expects a straightforward yes or no. These questions begin with particle A2.


OPEN QUESTIONS

An open question asks for new information: who, what, where, when, why, how etc. In Cornish the question word / phrase comes first, as in English.


SUBJECT OR OBJECT

The question word / phrase is followed by particle A2 when it is the grammatical subject or grammatical object.


NOT SUBJECT OR OBJECT

It is followed by particle Y5 when it is not the grammatical subject or object.


OMISSION OF PARTICLE A2

Idiomatically you may clip particle A2 off the start of a sentence. But leave the mutation! Particle A2 is always omitted before parts of bos and mos beginning with a vowel.


QUESTION WORDS / PHRASES WITH THEIR OWN MUTATION INSTEAD OF PARTICLE

PANDRA2 ‘what’, FATELL2 ‘how’, PANA DERMYN2 ‘when’, PLE5 ‘where’, PEUR5 ‘when’ do not take any particle. They themselves cause mutation of the verb.


PREPOSITIONS

You cannot use a preposition in a question phrase. The preposition comes later in the sentence. There are three exceptions: DHE BYW ‘to whom’, GANS PYW ‘by whom’ (not ‘with whom’), A BLE5 ‘from where’.

 

ECHOING POSSESSIVE PRONOUN WHEN QUESTION WORD IS THE OBJECT

If the question word is the grammatical object and you are using BOS + OW4 / OWTH + verb-noun, you should change OW4 / OWTH to ORTH Y2 (masculine) or ORTH HY3 (feminine) or ORTH AGA3 (plural).

If you are using GALLOS ‘be able to’ or GODHVOS ‘know how to’ or MYDNAS with its original force of ‘wish to / be willing to’, you should insert Y2 (masculine) or HY3 (feminine) or AGA3 (plural) before the following verb-noun.

In very formal style you can do the same when using GWIL and MYDNAS as auxiliaries to make tenses of other verbs. In practice this usage is confined to literature.

 

EXAMPLES

A wrussys ùnderstondya? (or clipped Wrussys ùnderstondya?)

Did you understand? Answer: Gwrug ‘yes’ / Na wrug ‘no’

Esta ow convedhes?

Do you understand? Answer: Esof ‘yes’ / Nag esof ‘no’

A nyns yw spladn?

Isn’t it splendid? Answer: Yw ‘yes’ / Nag yw ‘no’

Pyw a vydn gwary Scrabble® haneth?

Who’s going to play Scrabble this evening?

Pyw a wrusta gweles ena?

Who did you see there?

Eseth pyw yw hobma?

Who’s sitting here? (literally Whose seat is this?)

Pëth a wrussys leverel dhedhy?

What did you tell her?

Py coref a wrusta kemeres?

Which beer did you choose?

Prag y whrussys desky Kernowek?

Why did you learn Cornish?

Pes termyn (or pana bellder) yth eses ow cortos?

How long were you waiting?

Pyw vëdh agan ost?

Who will be our host?

Pandra wreth debry?

What would you like to eat? (literally What will you eat?)

Fatell wosta?

How do you know?

Pana dermyn wren ny omvetya?

When shall we meet?

Ple whrussys prena hedna?

Where did you buy that?

Peur whrêta dyberth?

When are you leaving? (literally When will you separate?)

Py bosty y whrusta debry ino?

In which restaurant did you eat? (or Celtic-in-English What restaurant did you eat in?)

Pana barty esta orth y scodhya?

What party do you support?

Py tavosow erel a wosta aga hôwsel?

What other languages do you (literally know how to) speak?