To Be

The verb to be in Celtic languages.

Proto-Celtic *butā = to be
Old Irish (Goídelc) both = to be
Irish (Gaeilge) = to be, to exist
Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) [bi] = to be, to exist
Manx (Gaelg) ve = to be
Welsh (Cymraeg) bod [boːd] = to be
Cornish (Kernewek) boz [bɔ:z] = to be, to become, to exist
Breton (Brezhoneg) bezañ = to be

Note: this verb is irregular in all the Celtic languages, and some of the different conjugations come from different roots.

Etymology: from Proto-Indo-European *bʰuh₂- (to become, grow, appear) [source].

Words marked with a * are reconstructions.

Sources: Wiktionary, Am Faclair Beag, Online Manx Dictionary,, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, Gerlyver Kernewek, Dictionnaire Favereau

One thought on “To Be

  1. Strictly speaking, in Gaelg (Manx), bee is either the imperative be! or the future tense will be. “To be” is dy ve and the present participle form is simply ve.

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