LB Introduction to Verbs

A dhatu (indicated with a surd or root symbol 'y" before it) develops to form a stem (anga), and to the stem is added a personal ending (tin-vibhakti) to form a complete verb (kriya). For example:



yj stha

sense of 'cessation or absence of movement




to stand




he/she/it stands

As in English, there are three persons (purusa): the first person (prathama-purusa), middle person (madhyama-purusa), last person (uttama-purusa). The word uttama derives from ud- (up) and -tama (superlative suffix) to mean best, uppermost, or highest, so that uttama-purusa can also mean Supreme Spirit; however, in a series of place or time or order, as we have here, it means 'last'. In Sanskrit the personal ending of the verb changes according to purusa, to give the singular (eka-vacana) forms:

prathama-purusa tisthati he/she/it stands madhyama-purusa tisthasi you stand uttama-purusa tisthami I stand

Note that the order is the reverse of that used in English.

In forming the stem (anga), the dhatu does not necessarily undergo as great a change as with y/ stha, for example y/ vad remains clearly recognizable in the form vadati 'he/she/it speaks'.

Some words, such as adverbs and conjunctions, do not have endings; these are called indeclinables (avyaya). An example of this is ca ('and') which is placed after the last word of the series it links (or after each word in the series).

With this limited vocabulary, simple sentences may be constructed:

vadami I speak OR I am speaking, tisthati vadami ca He stands and I speak.

tisthasi vadasi ca You stand and you speak, OR You stand and speak.

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