Gerlyver Kescows 2nd Edition Key Verb Tables


Publication of the second edition of Gerlyver Kescows in printed form is expected in 2022. Meanwhile the full text of the Key Verb Tables section appears below. This may be modified from time to time in the light of comments. So if you are supportive of revived traditional Cornish and the Kernowek Standard spelling system, please let us know if you find any errors or think something might be improved. Go to Contact Us.

This text: 16 May 2021 (08:00)


KEY VERB TABLES

There is quite a lot of variation in the forms of common inflected verbs, as spoken and as represented in writing. The forms given here are a starting-point, and are suitable for careful speech consistent with the vocabulary of this dictionary. Personal pronouns may always be omitted where the context is clear; they are rarely used with subjunctive forms. -ma can be clipped to -m where that does not result in a one-syllable word.


BOS  

Imperative bëdh, bedhowgh  


Present tense: forms to link to nouns / adjectives

ov vy or oma

os or osta

yw ev or yw va

yw hy

yw with noun subject

on ny

ow’why

yns y


Present tense: forms to express place and to use with ‘present participle’

yth esof vy or yth esoma

yth esos or yth esta

yma ev or yma va

yma hy

yma with noun subject

yth eson ny

yth eso’why

ymowns y

Particle yth drops as grammar requires.

Interrogative, relative, after particle, subordinating conjunction:

yma becomes eus or (if definite subject) usy (ujy)

ymowns becomes usons (ujons)


Imperfect tense: forms to link to nouns / adjectives

en vy

es jy

o ev or o va

o with noun subject

en ny

ew’why

êns y   


Imperfect tense: forms to express place and to use with ‘present participle’

yth esen vy

yth eses jy

yth esa ev or yth esa va

yth esa hy

yth esa with noun subject

yth esen ny

yth ese’why

yth esens y

Particle yth drops as grammar requires.


Future tense (also habitual present)

y fedhaf vy or y fedhama

y fedhys jy

y fëdh ev

y fëdh hy

y fëdh with noun subject

y fedhyn ny

y fedho’why

y fedhons y

Particle y drops as grammar requires.

The underlying initial consonant is b, so these forms begin with v after any word triggering 2nd State mutation: e.g. a vedhaf vy.


Habitual imperfect habitual / future in the past

y fedhen vy

y fedhes jy

y fedha ev

y fedha hy

y fedha with noun subject

y fedhen ny

y fedhe’why

y fedhens y

Particle y drops as grammar requires.

The underlying initial consonant is b, so these forms begin with v after any word triggering 2nd State mutation: e.g. a vedhen vy.


Preterite tense

y feuv vy or y feuma

y feus jy or y feusta

y feu ev or y feuva

y feu hy

y feu with noun subject

y feun ny

y few’why

y fowns y

Particle y drops as grammar requires.

The underlying initial consonant is b, so these forms begin with v after any word triggering 2nd State mutation: e.g. a veuv vy.


Conditional tense

y fien vy

y fies jy

y fia ev

y fia hy

y fia with noun subject

y fien ny

y fie’why

y fiens y

Particle y drops as grammar requires.

The underlying initial consonant is b, so these forms begin with v after any word triggering 2nd State mutation: e.g. a vien vy.


Present subjunctive

y fiv or y foma

y fy or y fosta

y fo

y fon

y fowgh

y fowns

Particle y drops as grammar requires.

The underlying initial consonant is b, so these forms begin with v after any word triggering 2nd State mutation: e.g. a viv.


Imperfect subjunctive

y fen

y fes or y festa

y fe

y fen

y fewgh

y fêns

Particle y drops as grammar requires.

The underlying initial consonant is b, so these forms begin with v after any word triggering 2nd State mutation: e.g. a ven.


BOS IN SENSE OF ‘HAVE’

Literary Cornish has a full set of tenses. Those given here are the only ones encountered in ordinary speech.


Present tense

y’m beus

y’th eus

y’n jeves

y’s teves

y’gan beus

y’gas beus

y’s teves

Particle y is replaced by particle a as grammar requires.


Future tense

y’m bÿdh

y’fÿdh

y’n jevyth

y’s tevyth

y’gan bÿdh

y’gas bÿdh

y’s tevyth

Particle y is replaced by particle a as grammar requires; note second person singular a’fÿdh – 5th State mutation is retained because of elided ’th.


Imperfect tense

y’m bo

y’th o

y’n jeva

y’s teva

y’gan bo

y’gas bo

y’s teva

Particle y is replaced by particle a as grammar requires.


MYDNAS followed by verb-noun

The underlying initial consonant is m, but 2nd State forms are given here because in speech they are the ones most frequently heard.


Present tense

Except in fixed expressions this tense has auxiliary force only, expressing a future tense of the verb that is used with it.

vadnaf vy or vydnaf vy or vadnama or vydnama

vydnys jy or vynta

vydn ev

vydn hy

vydn with noun subject

vydnyn ny

vydno’why

vydnons y

For some speakers the first vowel is e rather than y.


Imperfect tense

This tense may be used with original desiderative sense; it also expresses a future in the past of the verb that is used with it.

vydnen vy

vydnes jy

vydna ev

vydna hy

vydna with noun subject

vydnen ny

vydne’why

vydnens y

For some speakers the first vowel is e rather than y.


Preterite tense

This tense retains original desiderative sense, and is one way to say ‘decided to’ in Cornish.

vydnys vy

vynsys jy

vydnas ev

vydnas hy

vydnas with noun subject

vynsyn ny

vynso’why

vynsons y


Conditional tense

Except in fixed expressions this tense has auxiliary force only, expressing a conditional tense (or in Late Cornish a future tense) of the verb that is used with it.

vensen vy

venses jy

vensa ev

vensa hy

vensa with noun subject

vensen ny

vense’why

vensens y

There are alternative forms venjen vy etc.


Subjunctive

This is a merger of earlier present and imperfect subjunctives.

vednen or vydnyf

vednes or vynhy

vydna or vynha

vednyn

vednowgh

vednons


GWIL + verb-noun when used as auxiliary

The underlying initial consonants are gw, but 2nd State forms are given here (except for the imperative) because in speech they are the ones most frequently heard.


Imperative

The imperative retains its sense of ‘make / do’, but as an auxiliary it also forms the imperative of the verb that is used with it.

gwra, gwrewgh


Present / future tense

Except in fixed expressions this tense has auxiliary force only, expressing a future tense of the verb that is used with it.

wrav vy or wrama

wres jy or wrêta

wra ev or wra va

wra hy

wra with noun subject

wren ny

wrew’why

wrowns y

For most speakers the initial w in these forms is silent.


The imperfect tense is not common in speech.


Preterite tense

This tense retains its sense of ‘make / do’, but as an auxiliary it also forms the preterite tense of the verb that is used with it.

wrug vy or wrug avy or wrugama

wrussys jy or wrusta

wrug ev

wrug hy

wrug with noun subject

wrussyn ny

wrusso’why

wrussons y

For most speakers the initial w in these forms is silent. When wrug (4th State qwrug, 5th State whrug) is used as an auxiliary the vowel is shortened.

Conditional tense

wrussen vy

wrusses jy

wrussa ev

wrussa hy

wrussa with noun subject

wrussen ny

wrusse’why

wrussens y

For most speakers the initial w in these forms is silent.


Subjunctive

This is a merger of earlier present and imperfect subjunctives. 

wrellen

wrelles

wrella

wrellen

wrellowgh

wrellons

For some speakers the middle consonant in these forms is voiceless, and it is occasionally written lh instead of ll.


DOS

‘if I were to [do sth]’ or ‘if I had [done sth]’ etc

mar teffen ha

mar teffes ha

mar teffa ha

mar teffa + noun subject ha

mar teffen ha

mar teffowgh ha

mar teffons ha

Followed by verb-noun


GALLOS + verb-noun

The underlying initial consonant is g, but 2nd State forms are given here because in speech they are the ones most frequently heard.


Present / future tense

allaf vy or allama

yllyth jy or yllysta or ylta

yll ev

yll hy

yll with noun subject

yllyn ny

yllo’why

yllons y


Specifically future tense

ylvyth ev

ylvyth hy

ylvyth with noun subject


Imperfect tense

yllyn vy

yllys jy

ylly ev

ylly hy

ylly with noun subject

yllyn ny

ylle’why

yllens y


Conditional tense

alsen vy

alses jy

alsa ev

alsa hy

alsa with noun subject

alsen ny

alse’why

alsens y

There are alternative forms aljen vy etc.


Subjunctive

This is a merger of earlier present and imperfect subjunctives.

allen

alles

alla

allon

allowgh

allons 


GODHVOS + verb-noun when used as auxiliary

The underlying initial consonant is g, but 2nd State forms are given here because in speech they are the ones most frequently heard.


The imperative is not common in speech.


Present tense

wòn vy or worama

wodhes jy or wosta

wor ev

wor hy

wor with noun subject

wodhyn ny or woryn ny

wodho’why or woro’why

wodhons y


Future tense

wodhvedhys jy

wodhvyth ev

wodhvyth hy

wodhvyth with noun subject


Imperfect tense

wodhyen vy

wodhyes jy

wodhya ev

wodhya hy

wodhya with noun subject

wodhyen ny

wodhyowgh why

wodhyens y


The conditional tense is not common in speech.


Subjunctive

This is a merger of earlier present and imperfect subjunctives.

wothfen

wothfes

wothfa

wothfen

wothfowgh

wothfons 


CARA

The underlying initial consonant is c, but 2nd State forms are given here because in speech they are the ones most frequently heard.


Conditional + verb-noun

‘would like to’

garsen vy

garses jy

garsa ev

garsa hy

garsa with noun subject

garsen ny

garso’why

garsens y

The underlying initial consonant is g, but 2nd State forms are given here because in speech they are the ones most frequently heard. Note that negative forms mean ‘would hate to’ rather than merely ‘would not like to’.


MEDHES ‘to say’

This old verb is rarely heard in speech, but it is very common in written story-telling. The forms are present tense, but they also correspond to English past tense forms: the effect in Cornish is more vivid.

yn medhaf ‘I say’, ‘I said’

yn medh ‘he says’, ‘she says’, 'it says', ‘he said’, ‘she said’, 'it said'

yn medhans ‘they say’, ‘they said’

Personal pronouns are not used with yn medhaf or yn medhans. Personal pronouns are only used with yn medh when the sense requires it to distinguish different speakers.