Auxiliary / Helper verbs

Auxiliary / Helper verbs

being “Gwil, Mydnas, Gallos” and of course “Bos”.

Bos – to be

Gwil – to do or to make

Mydnas – to wish

Gallos – to be able

These verbs are very useful when making sentences or asking questions.

They can be used in two ways;

  • In conjunction with personal pronouns (me, te, ev, hy, ny, why, y)
  • Each verb has verbal paradigms to cover the different tenses (see below)

Often  it is easier for you to use these verbs with personal pronouns as these are used with the third person singular of the verb only and do not require you to know all the paradigms for the specific verb you wish to use.

It should be remembered that “Bos” has significantly more tenses than the other verbs, so we will concentrate on “Gwil, Mydnas and Gallos”,

Verbal Paradigms:

Gwil – present/future

Gwrav vy – I do/make

Gwres ta / Gwreta – you do/make

Gwra ev – he does/makes

Gwra hy – she does/makes

Gwren ny – we do/make

Gwrewgh why – you do/make

Gwrowns y – they do/make

Gwil – using personal pronouns

Me a wra – I do/make

Te a wra – you do/make

Ev a wra – he does/makes

Hy a wra – she does/makes

Ny a wra – we do/make

Why a wra – you do/make

Y a wra – they do/make

Note: the “a” particle creates a second/soft mutation and therefore the “g” is removed

Mydnas – present/future

Mydnaf vy – I wish to

Mydnys ta / Mynta – you wish to

Mydn ev – he wishes to

Mydn hy – she wishes to

Mydnyn ny – we wish to

Mydnowgh why – you wish to

Mydnons y – they wish to

Mydnas – using personal pronouns

Me a vydn – I wish to

Te a vydn – you wish to

Ev a vydn – he wishes to

Hy a vydn – she wishes to

Ny a vydn – we wish to

Why a vydn – you wish to

Y a vydn – they wish to

Note: the “a” particle creates a second/soft mutation and changes the “m” to “v”


Gallos – present/future

Gallaf vy – I can

Gyllyth ta / Gylta – you can

Gyll ev – he can

Gyll hy – she can

Gyllyn ny – we can

Gyllowgh why – you can

Gyllons y – they can

Gallos – using personal pronouns

Me a yll – I can

Te a yll – you can

Ev a yll – he can

Hy a yll – she can

Ny a yll – we can

Why a yll – you can

Y a yll – they can

Note: the “a” particle creates a second/soft mutation and the “g” is removed

When using the verbs in question form the paradigm of the verb is used e.g.

A wrav vy – do I?

A vydnys ta – do you want/wish?

A yllyn ny – can we

Note; the 2nd mutation is still applied after “A”

In this case Yes and No are:

Gwra – Yes

Na wra – no

Gyll – Yes

Na yll - No



It is important to remember that the present/future tense of “Gwil and Mydnas” is usually used with a future meaning and therefore in most cases the following meanings apply:

Me a wra kerdhes – I will walk ( I will do)

Te a wra neyja – you will swim (You will do)

Me a vydn kerdhes – I will walk (I will want to)

Te a vydn neyja – I will swim (I will want)

So if you wish to use “Gwil or Mydnas” in the present tense, it is in the form of a statement for example:

“I do walk” is actually expressed as “I be walking (I am walking)” as in Sawsnek, and therefore as it is “continuous” you use the long form present tense of “Bos” plus adding “ow or owth (if before a vowel or Y) before a verb to create the “ing” sound.

Bos – longform

Esof vy – I be

Esos ta/Esta – you be

Eus ev – he be

Eus hy – she be

Eson ny – we be

Esowgh why – you be

Usons y – they be

Remember when using a statement “Yth / Yma” comes before the helper verb, so I am walking would be;

Yth esof vy ow kerdhes

Another important point to remember is that “ow or owth” creates a 4th mutation which changes the intial letter/letters of the following verb as follows

B > P

D > T

G > C or K


So to say “I am eating” would be:

Yth esof vy ow tebry  (I be eating)

Note the change from “d” to “t” in the use of “debry – to eat” following “ow” to create eating in the present tense

However, “I will eat” would be:

Me a wra debry – I will (do) eat

Me a vydn debry – I will (wish to) eat


Here are some examples of how verbs are affected by the use of “ow”

Debry (to eat) – ow tebry (eating)

Dos (to come) – ow tos (coming)

Gweles (to see) – ow qweles (seeing)

Redya (to read) – ow redya (reading)

Scrifa (to right) – ow scrifa (writing)

Ola (to cry) – owth ola (crying)

Sedha (to sit) – ow sedha (sitting)

Bewa (to live) – ow pewa (living)

Trega (to dwell) – ow trega (dwelling)

Godra (to milk) – ow codra (milking)

Desky (to learn) – ow tesky (learning)


How to say “to want to”

In Kernowek to say “I want to” you can use “garsa” which is a form of “cara – to love or to like” to make the sentence, along with personal pronouns, for example “I want to eat” would be;

Me a garsa debry

Note; this is 3rd person conditional singular of “cara” which is “carsa” but the “a” particle creates a 2nd mutation from “c > g”

Me a garsa debry – I want to eat

Te a garsa neyja – You want to swim

Ev a garsa marhogeth – He wants to ride

Hy a garsa redya – She wants to read

Ny a garsa mos – We want to go

Why a garsa dos – You want to come

Y a garsa eva – They want to drink