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Devavpraveik Lesson 4 (3rd ed., pp.

Parts of Speech & the Sanskrit Sentence
Includes 7 paradigms to memorize: present tense of verbs bh, vad, as;
declension of nouns purua, pustakam and of pronouns aham, tvam
Preliminary Remarks
1. Weve now covered the three introductory topics: phonology, scripts and sandhi.
2. Now that we know these basic tools, we begin studying the language itself.
3. Pattern for remainder of course: (a) I introduce topics in lectures; (2) you work
through corresponding sections in textbook with great care; (c) you complete assigned
exercises; (d) we go over these in class; (e) cycle begins again.
4. Each lesson will include nominal or verbal paradigms to be memorized and in many
cases, other grammatical rules or patterns. This is not optional: you must memorize
the paradigms from a given lesson before we begin the next lesson, as that lesson will
have more paradigms. This where the course gets intense. Start your index card le if
you havent already. Practise your paradigms daily by writing and reciting them.
Guideline: when you can write out a paradigm three times, quickly, with zero errors,
youve got it memorized, though youll need to reinforce that knowledge regularly.
5. I will not specically require you to memorize vocabulary, though the more you learn
the faster you will be able to complete the exercises and the more quickly you will be
able to read. Each lesson has a Sanskrit-English glossary of new words introduced in
that lesson. For the English-Sanskrit translations, there is a glossary at the back of the
Overview of Topics in Lesson 4 (paragraph numbers below refer to DVP 3rd ed.)
4.0-4.3. Conjugation and declension; denitions of nite verb, nominal, adverbial.
4.4-4.18. The Sanskrit verbal system; nite verb and its role in the Skt. sentence;
person, number, tense, mode, voice (including Ubhayapada-dhtus); cf. active/
passive to active/middle.
4.19-20. Introduction to vartamne la/present indicative: verbal endings P and ,
paradigm patterns.
4.21-22. Paradigms to memorize: representative regular la verbs: roots vad (P),
bh (), speak, with notes on morphological patterns.
4.23-24. Paradigm to memorize: la of irregular root as, be.
4.25-32. The Sanskrit noun: gender, number, case (liga, vacana, vibhakti); citation
forms for a-stem (1-1) and non-a-stem nouns (stem-form and 1-1).
4.33-36. Nominal paradigms to memorize: purua (masc.), pustakam (neut.)
4.37-38. Parts of Speech: kriypada/action word & kart/agent, sakarmaka &
akarmaka/ transitive & intransitive roots, karman/direct object.
4.39-43. Declension/vibhakti: the 7 + 1 cases/vibhaktis and their functions;
nominative, accusative, instrumental, genitive cases.
4.44 Flexibility of Word Order due to highly inected nature of language; nominal prose
word order: kart/agent > object > verb vs. English agent > verb > object; free word
order of metrical texts.
4.45-46. Personal pronouns: memorize paradigms for aham/I and tvam/you.
4.47. Particles: sma, makes la past tense; iti, marker for direct speech.
Detailed Treatment of Topics in Lesson 4
1. Three main categories of words: nominal (nouns, adjectives), verbal (conjugated
forms of verbal roots/dhtus) and adverbial (indedlinables).
These categories are formal rather than functional. For example, grammatically,
participles, i.e., verbal adjectives, are treated as nominals, but function as verbals.
2. Finite verb/tianta: varies according to person, number, tense, mode, voice.
Nominal/subanta: varies according to case, number, gender.
Adverbial/avyayapada: invariable, except in accordance with the rules of sandhi.
3. Finite verbs: generated from several hundred, mostly monosyllabic roots/dhtus.
Ten classes or conjugations of such roots, classied on the basis of the rules that
govern generating the nite forms from the roots. Classes 1, 4, 6, 10 follow very similar
4. Finite verb, expressed or implied, constitutes heart of the Sanskrit sentence. All other
words, except nominals in the genitive case/ahi-vibhakti, can be understood in
relation to the nite verb. As in English, a single nite verb can constitute a full
Examples from 4.5:
: ' '' ''" ' ll'
' *
In order: we see; she, he it is killed ; I am; he, she it should abandon; they cut;
he, she, it will do; let it be; he, she it went; he, she, it went.
5. Each such nal verbal form encodes six categories of information:
a. the action, i.e., go, speak, do, cut, etc.this is simply the meaning of the root.
b. the person, i.e., 1st, 2nd, 3rd but in Skt. we learn conjugations in reverse
c. number of actors or agents, i.e., singular, dual, plural
d. mode or way speaker intends/presents the action, i.e., description/narration,
prescription, command, wish, etc.
e. tense, i.e., past, present, future in relation to position in time of speaker.
f. voice, i.e., active or passive, e.g., Rma kills the demon vs. The demon is
killed by Rma.
6. Person is used as in English or French, except (1) Skt. has singular, dual and
plural; (2) prathama-purua = 3rd person; madhyama-purua = 2nd person;
uttama-purua = 1st person.
Note: we memorize and refer to verbal paradigms (conjugations) in the traditional
Indian manner: prathama-purua, madhyama-purua, uttama-purua = in English
order, 3rd person, 2nd person, 1st person.
7. Number: singular, dual, plural = eka-vacana, dvi-vacana, bahu-vacana, i.e.,
speech for one, speech for two, speech for many.
Number indicates the number of agents of a given nite verb (or in the case of a
passive verb, the number of objects; more on this when we do the passive).
Examples: '''' l ' '''' ''''''''''''
' ' The parrot speaks. The two parrots speak. The parrots speak.
8. Tense indicates the time of the action of state expressed by the verb relative
to the position in time of the speaker: as in English, past, present, future = bhta-
kla, vartamna-kla, bhaviyat-kla. There are three Skt. tenses that refer to
past events (imperfect, perfect, aorist). However, in classical Sanskrit, these all
mean simply past, in contrast to Vedic and English, where the different past
tenses have clearly distinguishable meanings.
Examples using the root/dhtu gam: *l gacchati, he goes; *
agacchat, she went; l gamiyati, he will go; she went.
9. Mode species how a nite verb is to be used or how the agent/subject is
related to the action. Principle modes of the Skt. nite verb: indicative
description, narration; imperativeinjunction, command; optative: exhortation,
prescription; conditionalas in English if clauses. Examples:
Indicative: *l rmo vana gacchati, R. goes to the forest.
Imperative: z * he rma vana gaccha. Rma! Go to the
Optative: * rmo vana gacchet. R. should go to the forest.
Conditional (rare): l l rma
cet tatrbhaviyad rvaa st naivhariyat. If R. had been there, Rvaa
would not have abducted St.
10. Voice: In Vedic, the earliest extant form of Sanskrit, voice was both a formal
(grammatical) and a semantic (meaningful) feature of the language. Classical
Sanskrit has largely lost the semantic distinction, but has kept the formal
distinction throughout the verbal system, according to which a verb is conjugated
either as Parasmaipada, word for another or as tmanepada, word for ones
self. Western grammars use the terms active for P. and middle for ., but we
shall use the Indian terms to avoid confusion with active and passive forms of
verbs, which are common to both Sanskrit and English.
Many verbs are conjugated as both P. and .ubhayapada, word for both, but
our textbook presents verbs only in the pada in which they most commonly occur.
Of the hundreds of roots and the thousands of possible verb forms they could
theoretically generate, only a small portion are very common and need to be
mastered in the rst year.
In addition, over time, classical Sanskrit used more and more nominal forms
(participles) to denote actions and fewer and fewer nite forms, which further
reduces the number of nite verb forms in common usage.
11. Present Indicative or Vartamne la #&
This is the simple present use for description, narration of actions, states or
events occurring in the present or, at times, in the immediate past or future. It
also serves as the present continuous (-ing forms), since like French and unlike
English, Sanskrit does not have a separate construction corresponding to I am
going, He is speaking, etc.
The la is formed by adding the la terminations to the present stem, which is
formed in various ways from the verbal root/dhtu, e.g., root bh, speak >
present stem bha-. The different classes of root have different rules for
forming the present stem.
H Parasmaipada Terminations for Vartamne La -

l( Dual _ Plural
3rd -l / -ti - / -ta - / -anti
2nd -l / -si - / -tha - / -tha
1st - / -mi - / -va - / -ma

- tmanepada Terminations for Vartamne La -

l( Dual _ Plural
3rd - / -te / te - / -ante
2nd -U / -se ^ / the - / -dhve
1st - / -e -z / -vahe -z / -mahe
*l rmo vana gacchati (p-e la P. / 3rd sg. pres. P. of root
gam), R. goes to the forest.
l * stlakmav api vana gacchata (p-d la
P. / 3rd dual pres. P. of root gam), St and Lakmaa also go to the forest.
l U ste ki bhase (m-e la / 2nd sg. pres. of root bh),
St, what are you saying?
* l * yatra gacchanti vrs tatrpi
gacchmy aham (p-b la P. and u-e la P. / 3rd pl. P. pres. & 1st sg. pres. P. of
root gam), Wherever the heroes go, there, too, I go.
l * sdhu vayam api gacchma (u-b P. la / 1st pl. pres.
P. of root gam), Good! We, too, are going.
Patterns worth noting: Note the short i ending for all singular P. forms; the e
ending for all forms; the penultimate t in 3rd pl. / p-b forms, both P. and ; the
penultimate s in m-e / 2nd sg., both P. and .
12. Present indicative / la paradigms to memorize: vad (P) and bh ():
Vartamne la of
root vad (P), say,

l( Dual _ Plural
3rd l
2nd l
Vartamne la of
root bh (),
say, speak

l( Dual _ Plural
2nd U ^
1st z z
Important Rules for forming the Present Indicative / la
1. Vowel a becomes when followed by m- or v-initial endings, i.e., u-d and
u-b P and .
2. Before p-b endings, nal vowel a of present stem is dropped: gaccha +
anti > gacchanti, They go; bha + ante > bhante, They speak.
3. Before u-e ending the nal a of the present stem is dropped: manya +
e > manye, I think; bha + e > bhe, I speak.
4. The initial of the p-d and m-d ending becomes e and the nal a of the
present stem is dropped: bha + te > bh + ete > bhete; bha +
the > bh + ethe > bhethe.
5. After any letter but a, the nasal n of the p-b ending -ante is lost. For
example the P. form of the root yuj, join, unite, yoke: pres. stem yuj + 3rd
pl. ending -anti > yujanti, but for of same root, pres. stem yuj + 3rd pl.
ending -ante > yujate.
13. The Verbal Root (), to be
This is Sanskrits copula, used, much as in English, to state A is/are B.
Sanskrit does not require this verb to actually appear in the sentence, so
often it is implied. When a sentence has no explicit nite verb or substitute
for a nite verb (participle), then you should suspect an implied form of the
root as. As in many languages, the verb to be is an irregular conjugation;
nevertheless, the characteristic la endings are apparent.
La / pres. indic. paradigm for verbal root as (P). Memorize immediately.
Vartamne la of
root as (P), to be

l( Dual _ Plural
2nd l
Note: Because the copula is optional, at times only the context can tell us
whether a sequence like daaratho npa means (a) D. is king or (b) D. the
" asty asmin dee npa. There is, in this country, a
svarge santi dev. The gods are in heaven.
rmo npa. R. is king or R. the king. . .
: kk k. Crows are black or The black crows. . .
, vnaro smi and vnaro ham both mean I am
a monkey.
14. The Sanskrit Noun: Declension / -0 / Vibhakti
We have seen that nite verbs encode information for person, number,
tense, mode and voice and that a verbal paradigm contains nine forms: 3
persons x 3 numbers.
Nominalsnouns and adjectivesencode case, number and gender: 8
cases, 3 numbers (as with verbs) and 3 genders (masc., fem., neut.). Thus
a nominal paradigm contains 24 forms: 8 cases x 3 numbers.
Liga 1 Gender
As in German and Old English, three genders: masculine, feminine, neuter;
or, in Sanskrit, puliga, strliga, napusakaliga. Typically, people and
animals take the gender appropriate to their sex, but otherwise gender in
Sanskrit is purely grammatical, i.e., arbitrary. Therefore, when you learn
a noun, you must also learn its gender. Adjectives have no inherent
gender: they duplicate the case, number and gender of the nouns they
Examples showing both natural and arbitrary gender10:
( ); (O); (O); (O); (); V ( );
( ) English translations In order: man/person; goddess/queen;
wife; girl/daughter; friend; book; book.
/ Number
Nouns, like verbs, encode information for number: singular, dual, plural.
Example: aja (1-1m), goat; ajau (1-2m), 2 goats; aj (1-3m), goats (3 or
Verbs and their subjects (in an active sentence) or objects (in a passive
sentence: Lesson 9) must always agree in number. Examples:
puruo gacchati, the man goes;
puruau gacchata, the two men go;
puru gacchanti, the men go.
-0 / Vibhakti / Case
Cases, or more specically, case endings, are sufxes afxed to nouns and
adjectives that dene their function in a sentence, that dene the relation of
that noun or adjective to the verb or to another noun.
In terms of their function, case endings in Sanskrit are comparable to word
order and prepositions in English.
See list, denitions and examples of case at 4.29, pp. 6061.
Pratham/Nominative: indicates word is the grammatical subject of the
verb; agent or logical subject in an active sentence, direct object in a
passive sentence.
Dvity/Accusative: indicates word is direct object of a verb.
Tty/Instrumental: indicates word is the instrument of an action;
includes sense of English words by, with, through, due to, because of; can
also have sense of accompany: rmo lakaena vana gacchati, Rma
goes to the forest with Lakmaa.
Caturth/Dative: indicates word is an indirect object; corresponds to
English to, for; also used for objects of reverence, e.g., ivya nama,
Reverence to iva!
Pacam/Ablative: indicates source, origin, cause; some overlap with
instrumental; corresponds to English words from, due to, because of.
Sahi/Genitive: indicates possession; corresponds to s, of; used together
with forms of verbal roots as and bh, corresponds to English verb have,
e.g. mrkhasya praj nsti, literally, Of the fool there is not wisdom, or in
normal English, A fool has no wisdom. Note: unique among the cases,
the genitive relates to another nominal item, not to the verb.
Saptam/Locative: indicates location in time or space; corresponds to
English on, in, at, among; can also mean with respect to, with reference
Sabodhana/Vocative: Not properly a case, since it does not participate
in the grammar of the sentence, but it is part of most nominal paradigms
and for practical purposes, we memorize it as the eighth casealthough it
only differs from the nominative in the singular. Vocative is used to indicate
direct address, e.g., ~ l vara m trhi, Lord, rescue me! or z
* he rma vana gaccha, O Rma, go to the forest.
Example of use of cases in a sentence (from p. 61, 4.29 of textbook):
With sandhi:
" z -
Without sandhi:
" l
- l
Showing noun case forms:
daarathasya (6-1m) vacana (2-1n) rutv, nagarn (5-1n) nistya, lakmaena
(3-1m) sahehgatya, dharmya (4-1m) vane (7-1n) vasati rma (1-1m).
Having heard Daarathas (6-1m) speech (2-1n), having come out from the city (5-1n),
and having come here with Lakmaa (3-1m), Rma (1-1m) lives in the forest (7-1n) for
the sake of righteousness. (4-1m).
4.30. Hare Ka mantra as illustration of vocative/sabodhana. For our
purposes, it is best to regard the voc. as the eighth case.
4.31-32. There are several declensions in Skt. These are classied based
upon their predeclension stem nal and gender.
In this course, nouns are cited as follows:
1. For a-stem nouns, learn and refer to the noun in its nominative singular
form (pratham vibhakti, bahuvacana) in absolute nal position. Knowing
this form, you will also know the gender of the noun. Examples: purua,
pustakam / ,
Nouns ending in other vowels or consonants should be learned and cited
both in the stem-form and in the nominative singular: Examples:
l /l, pit/pit (masc., father); /, rjan/rj (masc., king), j /
j, brahman/brahma (neut., brahman); j /j, brahman/brahm (mac.,
4.33. Memorize the declensions of 56 purua (masc.) and 59
pustakam (neut.). Important: memorize case-by-case across, i.e.,
purua, puruau, puru; puruam, puruau, purun, etc.
Abbreviations: once you start translating Sanskrit sentences, you will
need to label each word in order to help you understand the functions of
the individual words and how these functions relate to once another.
Use the following system for nominals: e.g., for purua, 1-1m = nom.
sg. masc.; for pustakai, 3-3n = instr. pl. neut., etc.
For nite verbs, use the following notation: e.g., for gacchati, 3rd sg. pres.
P. = 3rd person singular present indicative Parasmaipada; for bhmahe
1st pl. pres. = 1st person plural present indicative tmanepada.
As you can see from the paradigms in the textbook, each Sanskrit nominal
has, potentially, 24 forms (8 cases x 3 numbers).
Note, however, that:
1. masculine and neuter nouns with the same stem nal differ only in the
nominative and accusative cases.
2. the vocative or sabodhana differs from the nominative only in the
3. for most nouns, the instrumental, dative and ablative dual are the same,
as are the genitive and locative dual, and the dative and ablative plural.
4.37. Parts of speech: kriypada and kart
The Skt. term for the role the nite verb plays in a sentence is kriypada or
action word. This word expresses the action or state indicated by the
given dhtu or verbal root.
The kart or agent or subject denotes the person, thing, place, concept that
carries out the action or experiences the condition expressed by the verbal
The kart is always the agent of the action of the verbal root in active and
passive sentences alike. We can say, in active construction, rma st
vadati, Rma speaks to St, or in passive construction, st rmea
udyate, St is spoken to by Rma. But Rma remains the kart or logical
subject or agent in both cases. This is because although the grammar of
the two sentences are differentthe nominals are in different cases and
the form of the verb is differentbut the same action is described: Rma is
performing the action of speaking to St in both versions.
4.38. Sakarmaka (transitive) and Akarmaka (intransitive) roots and
the Karman (direct object)
Dhtus are distinguished according to whether or not they take a karman or
direct object. If they do they are transitive/sakarmaka; if not, intransitive/
akarmaka. In an active sentence, this karman is placed in the accusative
Sakarmaka example: rmo npa payati, R. sees the king. King is the
direct object or karman of the verb payati.
Somewhat irregularly, compared to the practise in English, the goals or
destinations of verbs of motion (like the verb gam, gacchati) are also
placed in the acc. case: rmo vana gacchati.
4.40-43. Further explanations of nom., acc. and genitive cases.
4.40. Nominative case denotes the grammatical subject of a nite verb in
a clause or sentence. It is also uses as the citation case for the noun.
See examples in this paragraph: l j l

4.41. Accusative case used for direct object of a transitive/sakarmaka
verb or the goal of a verb of motion:
j l *l
Accusative can also be used with words meaning units of time to indicate
- l, Rma lives for a year in the forest.
Accusative singular as adverb (avyayapada or indeclinable):
There is a king, Daaratha by name.
5< l Daaratha lives happily.
4.42 Instrumental Case/Tty Vibhakti
1. Agency (by, through, using): He kills the boy with an
arrow. area hanti blakam.
2. Accompaniment (frequently with avyayapadas saha, samam, skam).
@ l j daarathena saha savadati brhmaa.
The Brahmin converses with Daaratha.
BD *l rmo lakmaena saha vana gacchati.
Rma, accompanied by Lakmaa, goes to the forest.
3. Denotes agent/kart in passive constructions (covered in Lesson 9).
4. Avyayapada vin + instrumental (or accusative or ablative) = without,
F - *l j
blakena vin vana gacchati brhmaa. The Brahmin goes to the
forest without the boy.
5. Avyayapada alam + instrumental = Enough of X in a dismissive or
contemptuous sense.
- - alam anena mrkhavacanena! Enough of this
fools talk!
6. Interrogative pronoun kim + instrumental = Whats the use of X?
l- + kim anena pustakena. Whats the use of this book?
4.43. The Genitive Case / ah Vibhakti /
1. Primary sense: possession: of or apostrophe s. Usually placed before
the noun it modies. Unlike other cases, the genitive relates directly to
another noun, not, like the other cases, to the verb.
l daaratho rmasya pit.
Daaratha [is] Rmas father.
j brhmaasya putrasya mitram.
The friend of the son of the Brahmin or the Brahmins sons friend.
2. Genitive + nominative + verb to be = English verb have.
j brhmaasya putro nsti. Literally, Of the
Brahmin no son there is = The Brahmin has no son or The Brahmin
does not have a son.
Note: Possessor placed in genitive case, that which is possessed in the
nominative as the subject of the verb to be.
daarathasya dve pustake [implied 3rd du. pres. of root as: sta]. D. has
two books.
; l buddhasya mahvidysti. Of the Buddha, great
knowledge there is = The Buddha possesses great knowledge.
4.44. Word Order: Subject-Object-Verb, but very exible.
The following all mean Rma sees the deer.
l l l
rmo mga payati. mga payati rma. payati rmo m1gam.
Note necessary differences in sandhi.
1. SOV is the basic prose word ordercf. English SVObut because the
case endings specify the function of each declined word in relation
especially to the verb, word order can be almost whatever the writer or
speaker wants, for stylistic or rhetorical or metrical reasons.
When translating, keep all modiers of a given noun near that noun.
Place genitives before the noun they modify.
Place nouns and adjectives in oblique cases (those other than nom. or
acc.) before the accusative/direct object.
rkasn npo (agent, 1-1m) daarathasya putra rma (direct
objects, 2-1m) saroa (adverb/avyayapada) payati (verb, 3rd sg. pres.
P. of root d).
The king of the demons views Daarathas son Rma with anger.
2. Exception: forms of the root as (P.) as rst word in a narrative, along the
lines of Once upon a time there was. . .
asti npo daaratho nma. There is a king
named Daaratha.
4.45-46. Personal Pronouns: 1st person aham, 2nd person tvam
As in English, personal pronouns are pervasive in Sanskrit.
Memorize the paradigms of aham and tvam immediately.
Note 1: 1st and 2nd person pronouns do not distinguish gender.
Note 2: in contrast to nouns, pronouns, including aham and tvam, do not
have a separate vocative case.
Note 3: The enclitic or abbreviated forms in the acc., dat. and gen., sg.
and pl., have the same meaning as the full forms, but cannot be used as
the rst word in a sentence or when the pronoun is used emphatically.
Note 4: There are only three different dual forms, though 7 cases.
Note 5: Be careful to distinguish, at least in reading and writing, long and
short vowels, aspirated and unaspirated consonants.

yya devn vadatha. You [plural] speak to the gods.
aham eva satya paymi. I alone see the truth.
l pustaka na pahati. He reads our book.
4.47. Particles/Nipta
Although the vast majority of Sanskrit words are declined nominals or
conjugated verbals, the language also employs many avyayapadas that are
called particles or nipta. Heres two:
1. Present Indicative (la) + sma = simple past tense.
*l = R. goes to the forest, but *l = R.
went to the forest.
Not used a great deal, but common in the introduction to Buddhist stras:
; z ll
ekasmin bhagavn buddho rjaghe viharati sma. On one occasion the
Lord Buddha was staying in Kingston.
2. Iti / thus, so / - as marker for direct speech
Functions as quotation mark after direct speech.
Used pervasively, since Sanskrit seldom uses indirect speech.
Sets off independent sentences-within-sentences.
Note: When theres an iti in a sentence, youll know you have two
independent sentences making up the larger sentence, each with its own
independent grammatical structure of agent, object and verb.
l l Literally, The king am I. Thus spoke
Daaratha. More idiomatically, D. said, I am the king.