Cornish notes for beginners by Neil Kennedy

Sections 8 and 9
8.1 This thing, that thing, these things, those things.
9.1 What would you like to have? : Pandra venja why cowas?
9.2 Asking for things
9.3 To: dha, da
9.4 What have you got?>: Pandra ez dha why?
9.5 Illness.
9.6 Having things at your disposal - gen (with)
9.7 Possession: my, his, her, our, your, their
9.8 Dha bew ew hemma? or Pew a beaw hemma? : Who owns this?

8.1 This thing, that thing, these things, those things.

this: To say things like: this house, this child, this road etc., just put an (the) before the thing you are talking about and ma after it.

e.g. an vor'ma: this road an wedhan'ma: this tree an park'ma: this field

that: To talk about that, just substitute na for ma.

e.g. an venen'na: that woman an scudel'na: that plate an jyn'na: that engine

these & those: To say these & those, just use ma/na with a plural noun:

e.g. an skitchow'ma: these shoes an deez'na: those people

Note: the apostrophe is optional. It helps avoid confusion with the verb ma and negatives starting with na.

When you want to use an adjective, remember that it comes before the 'ma / 'na.

an venen heer'na: that tall woman an maw gucky'na: that silly boy

an eglos coath'ma: this old church an cota du'ma: this black coat

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9.1 What would you like to have? : Pandra venja why cowas?

Question: Pandra venja why cowas?

Answer: Me venja cowas... I'd like to have...
Me venja cowas bolla tay: Id like to have a cup of tea.

Me venja kens... I'd prefer...
Me venja kens cowas... I'd rather have...
Me venja eva... I'd like to drink...
Me venja debry... I'd like to eat...

Another way to indicate preference is: Gwell ew genam...
e.g. Gwell ew genam tettes: I prefer potatoes.

A few drinks:
coffy: coffee tay: tea chocklat tubm: hot chocolate leath: milk dowr: water sugan: juice cor: beer cydyr: cider dowr tubm Alban: whisky dowr tubm Frenk: brandy dowr tubm mollas: rum
(for these last three it is common to just say whisky, brandy and rum!)
gwyne: wine gwyne rooz: red wine gwyne gwidn: white wine gwedran a wyne: a glass of wine

You can also put badna: a drop of or bolla: a cup of before the name of your prefered drink:
Me venja cowas bolla tay! Me venja cowas badna gwyne!

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9.2 Asking for things

One of the simplest ways to ask for something is to say:

pedgy ry dhem...: Please give me...
pedgy ry dhem badna cor: Please give me a drop of beer
pedgy ry dhem an morthol'na: Please give me that hammer
pedgy ry dhem pemp pens: Please give me five pounds
pedgy ry dhem moy leath: Please give me more milk

Note 1: pedgy means pray or please and does all of the donkey work in the above examples, enabling us to use a following verb in its unchanged/infinitive form.

Note 2: dhem means to me all in one word. Alternatively you can say dha ve or da ve which places more emphasis on the me.

pedgy ry hedna dha ve: Please give that to me.

Alternatively you can use the command form of the verb ry: to give. This is ro.

Ro dhem goz cota: Give me your coat
Ro dhem aval: Give me an apple
Ro an hesken dhem: Give the saw to me
Ro dhem dha abm: Give me a kiss
Ro tabm tezan dhem: Give me a piece of cake

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9.3 To: dha, da

In the above section you will have seen dhem and dha ve / da ve. Now look at this lot:

dhem or dha ve: to me
dhez or dha che: to thee
dhodha or dha ev: to him
dhodhy or dha hy: to her
dhen(e) or dha ny: to us
dhewh or dha why: to you
dhodhans or dha angy / dhongy: to them

Note: You will also see variations of the above forms starting with d.
e.g. dem, dez, dodha, dewh, dodhans

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9.4 What have you got?>: Pandra ez dha why?

Pandr'ez dha why? > Ma quillan dhem.
What have you got? > Ive got a pen.

Start with ma: there is, name the thing which you have got and end with dhem / dha ve (see section 9.3)

Ma car noweth dhem: I've got a new car
Ma scath dhem: I've got a boat
Ma bike dha ve: I've got a bike
Ma looar broaz dhem: I've got a big garden
Ma moy vel deeg pens dhem: I've got more than ten pounds

Similarly you can ask:

Pandra ez dha ev?: What has he got?
Pandr'ez dha hy?: What has she got?
Pandr'ez dha'n flehas?: What have the children got?
Pandr'ez dha ny?: What have we got?
Pandr'ez dha why?: What have you got?
Pandr'ez dha angy?: What have they got?

You answer in the same way too:

Ma ...dha ev / dhodha
Ma ...dha hy / dhodhy
Ma ...dha ny / dhen(e)
Ma ...dha why / dhewh
Ma ...dha angy / dhodhans

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9.5 Illness.

You can ask:
Fatla gena why?: How are you?, Fatel era why a keel?: How are you doing?
Pandra whear dha why? / Pandra whear dhewh?: What's the matter with you?

You can talk about illnesses in the same way as you talk about physical possessions, i.e. by using the same kind of ma + dha constructions used in section 9.4. e.g. ma annes dha ve, literally there is a cold to me.

Fatla gana why? > Ma pedn droag dhem.

dans clav: a bad tooth, pauz: a cough, poan: a pain, annes: a cold

clevas an moar: sea sickness, galar: pain (especially a stomach ache)

clevas: an illness, girr: stomach ache

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9.6 Having things at your disposal - gen (with)

Gen means with.

If you don't really want to say that you own something but just want to say you've got it with you or that it's at your disposal, use genam or gena ve (with me) instead of dhem (to me):

Ma leath genam: I've got some milk

gen (with) has got personal forms, just like dha:

Ma ...gena ve / genam: with me
Ma ...gena che / genez: with you (informal)
Ma ...genz ev / gonja: with him
Ma ...genz hy / goshy: with her
Ma ...gena ny / genen: with us
Ma ...gena why / geno: with you
Ma ...genz angy / gonjans: with them

e.g. Ma cota stanch genam: I've got a water-proof coat with me

genam and gena ve both mean with me. You can use either but gena ve places more emphasis on me. Similarly, in the table above, the forms in the first column puts more stress on the subject (he, she, you etc.)


Pandr'ez gena why?: What have you got with you?
Ez gena why?: Have you got with you?

You can use these forms to talk about certain abstact ideas, such as surprise, shame, enthusiasm and sorrow:

Ma marth genam or Marth ew genam: I'm surpised
Ma edrak genam or Droag ew genam: I'm sorry
Mall ew genam cowz Kernuak: I'm keen to speak Cornish!

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9.7 Possession: my, his, her, our, your, their

The simplest way to indicate possession is to put one of the following after the possession in question:

ve: my, che: thy, ev: his, hy: her, ny: our, why: your, angy: their,

pedn ve: my head, tavas angy: their language, gwedran hy: her glass, lavrak why: your trousers, heves ev: his shirt, bleaw why: your hair, bargen-teer ny: our farm, gravar-rose coath ny: our old wheel barrow

You can start with an (the): an esgis ve: my shoe, an daama angy: their mother, an skitchow why: your shoes, an sah ev: his bag, an rowm ny: our room

Alternatively you can put one of the following in front of the possesssion in question:

a: my, dha: thy, e: his, e: her, gon: our, goz: your, go: their

Note: Be aware that a (my), e (his), e (her) and go (their) cause changes to some following letters. Be aware but don't worry about the details at this stage!

goz cader: your chair, e bord: her table, gon fose: our wall, goz cor: your beer

You can, for emphasis, use both of the above ways of indicating possession at the same time:
gon tereath ny: our area, goz darras why: your door, e vejeth ev: his face

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9.8 Dha bew ew hemma? or Pew a beaw hemma? : Who owns this?

There is more than one way to answer:

Peath ve ew: Something like It's my thing. Similarly, you can say: Peath why ew: It's yours, Peath ny ew: It's ours etc.

Peath translates thing, matter/subject, affair, concern, stuff and lots of other English words.

A more forceful way to say it is:
Thew peath ve: It's mine Thew peath hy/ev: It's hers/his Thew peath ny/why/angy: It's ours/yours/theirs.
In Late Cornish this is a common way of putting things.

A similarly forceful way of putting things is:
Me a beaw...: I own...
Similarly, you can say:
che/ev/hy/ny/why/angy a beaw: I/He/She/We/You/They own(s)

This is a bit over the top for talking about routine possession. Save it for when you want to make a point of saying who owns something.

The commonest way of talking about possession is to use the the verb boaz with dha or the variation da.

Dha ve ew: It's to me

We've already seen constructions like: Ma hedna dha ve: That's to me.

dhem, dem or dha ve: to me
dhez, dez or dha che: to thee
dhodha, or dha ev: to him
dhodhy, dodha or dha hy: to her
dhen(e), or dha ny: to us
dhewh, dewh or dha why: to you
dhodhans, dodhans, dha angy or dhongy: to them

Remember that we use gen instead of dha when we simply have something with us but it isn't necessarily ours. Ma quillan genam: There's a pen with me.

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