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From Old Breton bout, bud, but, from Proto-Celtic *butā, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰuH- (to be, become). Cognate with Cornish bos and Welsh bod.



  1. to be


Personal forms
Indicative Conditional Imperative
Present Present
Future Imperfect Imperfect
Preterite Present (habitual) Imperfect (habitual) Present Imperfect
1s on emaon bin, bezin oan edon boen bezan bezen befen, ben bijen -
2s out emaout bi, bezi oas edos boes bezez bezes befes, bes bijes bez
3s zo, eo, eus* emañ bo, bezo oa edo boe bez beze befe, be bije bezet
1p omp emaomp bimp, bezimp oamp edomp boemp bezomp bezemp befemp, bemp bijemp bezomp
2p oc'h emaoc'h biot oac'h edoc'h boec'h bezit bezec'h befec'h, bec'h bijec'h bezit
3p int emaint bent, bezint oant edont boent bezont bezent befent, bent bijent bezent
0 oar, eur emeur bior oad edod boed bezer bezed befed bijed -
Impersonal forms Mutated forms
Infinitive: bezañ, (older) bout, bezout
Present participle: o vezañ
Past participle: bet (auxiliary verb: bezañ)
Soft mutation after a: a vez-
Mixed mutation after e: e vez- (e usually becomes ez before vowels)
Soft mutation after ne/na: ne/na vez- (n' before vowels)


Three different forms are used in the 3rd person indicative present:

  • The form zo is used when the subject is placed directly before it, and it is always preceded by the particle a (ex: an den a zo bras = the man is big).
  • The form eo is used when the subject is anywhere but not before it. It is never preceded by any particle (ex: bras eo an den = big is the man).
  • The form eus is usually preceded by the particle ez and means there is (ex: un den ez eus = there is a man).