Saturday, 28 February 2015

Learn Late Cornish Bit by Bit 56 (Asking questions about the past)

Asking Questions About The Past.

We have seen two ways of making poasitive statements about the past – the preterite (simple past tense) and the compound preterite, e.g.:

Nei eth tre.                        We went home.
Nei ’wrüg moas tre.         We did go home. We went home.

However, for asking questions and making negative statements you must use the compound preterite. This is a slightly simplified version[1] (which also misses out the verbal particle a):

wrüga vy?                         did I?
wress’tajy?                       did you? (familiar)
wrüg ev?                          did he?
wrüg hei?                         did she?
wrüssa nei?                     did we?
wrüssa whei?                  did you? (formal and plural)
wrüg anjei?                     did they?

na wrüga vy                     I did not
na wress’tajy                   you did not (familiar)
na wrüg ev                       he did not
na wrüg hei                     she did not
na wrüssa nei                 we did not
na wrüssa whei               you did not (formal and plural)
na wrüg anjei                  they did not

Making some of our previous sentences into questions or negative statements:

Wrüssa nei golhy an lestry?                   
                                        Did we wash the dishes?
Na wrüssa nei golhy an lestry.                
                                        We did not wash the dishes.
Wrüg hei omwisca e’n mettin?               
                                        Did she get dressed in the morning?
Na wrüg hei omwisca e’n mettin.            
                                        She did not get dressed in the morning.
Wrüga vy omjersya war bluvek?            
                                        Did I make myself comfortable on a cushion?
Na wrüga vy omjersya war bluvek?     

                                        I did not make myself comfortable on a cushion.

[1]  There are also other forms which have a pronoun incorporated with the verb, which we will deal with later.

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