[Spellyans] Preterite and imperfect

Nicky Rowe nickyrowe at gmail.com
Tue Jun 12 23:45:12 IST 2012


I can understand when to use the imperfect and when to use the preterite
for most situations, but it gets tricky with certain verbs that describe a
state of mind and don't have a clear sense of beginning or end. I often
look to French grammar for assistance since it can help to explain certain
points that English and Cornish do not share, and the following page got me
thinking: http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/advpasttenses.htm

Do liking, loving, believing, hoping, thinking, seeming, feeling and
wanting all share the same preterite/imperfect distinctions in Cornish as
in French? Obviously some of them would be formed differently:

Da o genam / Da veu genam
Me a wre cara / Yth esen vy ow cara / Me a wrug cara
Me a wre crejy / Yth esen vy ow crejy / Me a wrug crejy
Me a wre predery / Yth esen vy ow predery / Me a wrug predery
Govenek a'm beu / Govenek a'm bo
Whans o dhybm / Whans veu dhybm

Certain other verbs fall under this:

Godhvos - Me a wodhya / Me a wodhva, wodhas
Gallos - Me a ylly / Me a allas
Mednes - Me a vedna / Me a vednas

Clearly some of these are very rare but I'd like to understand this so I
can explain it to others. Does anyone have any insights?

Thanks

Nicky
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