Only Four Parts of Speech – Part 3



Having discussed सुबन्तशब्द-s in Part 2, here in part 3, the discussion would be on तिङन्तशब्द-s.


In a sentence, तिङन्तशब्द-s make the verbs क्रियापद-s. As in the language of any grammar, verb-words would be either

  • in any of three tenses – Past भूतकाल, Present वर्तमानकाल or Future भविष्यत्काल
  • In English grammar there are sub-types of all the three tenses viz.
    • Simple Present . Similarly Simple Past and Simple Future e.g. I go, I went, I shall go
    • Present (also Past and Future) Continuous e.g. I am going, I was going, I shall be going
    • Present (also Past and Future) Perfect e.g. I have gone, I had gone, I shall be gone
    • Present (also Past and Future) Perfect Continuous e.g. I have been going, I had been going, I shall have been going

or in any of the moods अर्थ-s –

  • Imperative mood आज्ञार्थ, e.g (You) go
  • potential mood विध्यर्थ e.g. You may go
  • benedictine mood आशीर्वादार्थ or आशीरर्थ e.g. May God bless you
  • In English grammar we also have other moods as implied by verbal auxiliaries as in sentences such as You should go, You must go, You can go, You would go, You might go.
  • Constructs of Continuous, Perfect and Perfect continuous would apply to verbal auxiliaries also e.g. I may be going, I may have gone, I may have been going, etc.


As if as many aspects as above are not enough, in most languages there is the style of using Passive Voice instead of the most common Active Voice. In English, change of voice is possible only if a verb can take an object i.e. only if the verb is transitive सकर्मक. Change of voice is not possible, if the verb is intransitive अकर्मक.


Nevertheless, Change of voice will apply for all tenses and moods.


Also, an action may be obtained done by someone else, which is known as the causative mode. Again causative mode can be in all tenses and moods.


Also, sentences can be transformed into interrogatives and negatives.


In English all these varieties of sentences involve playing around with verbs and may involve use of auxiliary verbs and use also of verbal auxiliaries.


A person wanting to do exact translation of an English sentence into Sanskrit would be anxious to understand how all these tenses and moods and constructs with change of voice, causative mode, interrogation, negation, etc. can be expressed in Sanskrit.


To discuss and explain all these varieties, a book of grammar for any language will need to have many chapters. Let me see how much I can discuss in a single chapter here in this Part 3.


To begin with, let me take an example of how a dialogue happens colloquially. Let us say a mother orders her son, “Tom, go, get me some fruits from the market”. Tom is engrossed in something, which he has in mind or he is busy with. Because of which he would just say, “Going mom” Actually Tom may go somewhat later. Should not Tom’s reply be in future tense ? say, “I shall go, mom”. Instead colloquially Tom is responding using the gerund “going”. In Sanskrit it has been recognized by Sanskrit grammar itself that tenses and moods would be loosely used in colloquial interactions. So instead of designating tenses and moods by specific names as present tense, past tense, imperative mood, potential mood, etc., in Sanskrit grammar they are named by 10 लकार-s, which are summarized in a verse –


लट् वर्तमाने लेट् वेदे भूते लङ्ग् लुङ्ग् लिटस्तथा |

विध्याशिषौ लिङ्लोटौ लुट् लृट् लृङ् च भविष्यति ||


As is mentioned here,

  1. लट्-लकार for वर्तमान i.e. Present tense,
  2. लङ्ग् लुङ्ग् लिट्-लकार-s for भूत i.e. Past tense,
    • There are three types of past tense –
    • लङ्ग्-लकार is also called as अनद्यतनभूतकालः (Past tense, which is not of just today). This Past tense is in most common use, especially when no specific time of the event is mentioned. For example They all ran very fast = ते सर्वे वेगेन अधावन्त
    • लुङ्ग्-लकार is called as Aorist Past tense by English grammarians. It seems that it is to be used, when the time of happening of an event is well-known or specific. For example, The sky was cloudy in the morning प्रातः गगनं मेघाच्छादितम् अभूत्
    • लिट्-लकार is also called as परोक्षभूतकालः (परोक्ष means out of sight. This is used referring to an event, which has happened in such past, as has not been personally witnessed) उवाच (= said, in such past, which was out of sight) is a क्रियापदम् which one comes across so many times in गीता
  3. लुट् लृट् लृङ्-लकार-s for भविष्यत्काल i.e. Future Tense, This is also of three types
    • लुट्-लकार This is also called as अनद्यतनभविष्यत्कालः e.g.
    • लृट्-लकार This Future tense is in most common use. For example I shall read the lesson अहं पाठं पठिष्यामि |
    • लृङ्-लकार This Future tense is used to hint what may happen in future. By this token, this लकार is as much a mood अर्थः as a tense कालः. The Sanskrit word to explain its usage is सङ्केतार्थः
  4. Including सङ्केतार्थः there are four moods अर्थ-s –
    • लोट् – Imperative mood आज्ञार्थः
      • There are many example in गीता – पश्यैतां पाण्डुपुत्राणाम् आचार्य महतीं चमूम् (1-3)
      • रथं स्थापय मेऽच्युत (1-21)
      • तदेव मे दर्शय देव रूपम् (11-45)
    • विधिलिङ् – Potential mood विध्यर्थः This would translate English sentences containing verbal auxiliaries ‘may’, ‘should’. Some common examples would be –
      • शुभं भवेत्
      • येऽपि स्युः पापयोनयः (गीता 9-32)
      • अजापुत्रं बलिं दद्यात्
    • आशीर्लिङ् – Benedictine mood आशीरर्थः This again would translate English sentences containing verbal auxiliary ‘may, but only of the type “May God Bless you”’ Some common examples would be –
      • कुर्यात् सदा मङ्गलम्
      • सत्यं ब्रूयात् प्रियं ब्रूयात्
      • शुभं भूयात्
    • लृङ् – As mentioned above, this लकार is used to hint what may happen in future. सङ्केतार्थः
      • An example from गीता is भविता न च मे तस्मादन्यः प्रियतरो भुवि (18-69)


Usages indicated above are not to be taken as strictly defined and only accordingly permissible usages of these लकार-s. The usages mentioned in the verse and as explained above are generally okay. But that does not mean that a particular लकार can be used only for a particular tense or mood. In a book of Sanskrit grammar one would very well find a chapter on meanings and significance of different लकार-s, a chapter with a title लकारार्थप्रकरणम्. In सिद्धान्तकौमुदी by भट्टोजी दीक्षित there is such specific chapter.


We can leave aside for a while the thought of which लकार to be used when, or in what sense of which tense or mood.


To focus on तिङन्तशब्दाः and लकार-s, the relationship is very simple. All word-formations by affixing तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s are word-formations in different लकार-s, In a sentence, the words we get by affixing तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s are verbs क्रियापद-s. The seeds to which we affix तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s are called as धातु-s. Just to recapitulate, the seeds to which affix सुप्-प्रत्यय-s are प्रातिपदिक-s. So in Sanskrit, धातु-s and प्रातिपदिक-s are two important categories of seeds. Here for discussing तिङन्तशब्दाः we are concerned with धातु-s.


It is important to also bear in mind that धातु-s are not verbs. English grammarians call धातु-s as verbal roots. I would prefer to call them as seeds. धातु-s are the seeds to get verbs, the क्रियापद-s. In Sanskrit we get क्रियापद-s, as formatted words, formatted from धातु-s by affixing तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s. As has been mentioned earlier also, in Sanskrit, word to be used in a sentence has to be a formatted word. It has to be a dressed up seed. Word-formation is a process प्रक्रिया.


All प्रक्रिया-s to get क्रियापद-s from धातु-s involve affixing तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s to धातु-s. Basic तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s are eighteen. They are in 2 groups of 9 each, according to a concept of पदम् of a धातु.


In Sanskrit grammar this term पदम् has different connotations.

  • A word appropriately formatted and made fit to be used in a sentence is a पदम्
  • There is a concept of पदम् in the context of धातु-s also.


In the context of धातु-s, the concept of पदम् is somewhat related to the orientation of the meaning of the धातु, whether unto oneself आत्मने-(पदम्) or unto others परस्मै-(पदम्). This is rather too technical. Let us just take it that there is this concept of पदम् associated with धातु-s.


PaNini compiled a list of some 2000odd धातु-s in his compilation known as धातुपाठः

  • पदम् of majority of धातु-s is परस्मैपदम्
  • पदम् of rest of धातु-s is आत्मनेपदम्
  • पदम् of some धातु-s is both, either परस्मैपदम् or आत्मनेपदम्. Such धातु-s are called as उभयपदी धातु-s
  • Nine तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s to be affixed to परस्मैपदी धातु-s are तिप्-तस्-झि, सिप्-थस्-थ, मिप्-वस्-मस्
  • Nine तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s to be affixed to आत्मनेपदी धातु-s are त-आताम्-झ, थास्-आथाम्-ध्वम्, इट्-वहि-महिङ्


There is a pattern as to how both the परस्मैपदी and आत्मनेपदी sets of तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s are listed.


In English grammar also, the verbal root ‘to go’ takes six forms in the present tense. The six forms depend upon whether the subject is of first, second or third person and whether singular or plural.

  • Two forms when subject is of first person, singular and plural, e.g. I go, We go
  • Two forms when subject is of second person, singular and plural, e.g. You go (singular) You go (Plural)
  • Two forms when subject is of Third person, singular and plural, e.g. (He / She / It) goes (singular) They go (Plural).


The Sanskrit pattern of तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s has same logic, except that in Sanskrit we have singular, dual and plural. That is why there are nine तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s.


Although I said that In English the verbal root ‘to go’ takes six forms in the present tense, actual forms are only two ‘go’ and ‘goes’. The form ‘goes’ is only if the subject is third person singular.


In Sanskrit every form is different. The forms being different gives the tremendous facility of framing a sentence even without having any subject-word in the sentence ! Different and distinct form also means clear identity, an identifiable dress of the word. This gives another important and great facility that a word with such distinct identity can be placed anywhere in the sentence, because it gets total freedom from rules of syntax.


It would be easy to understand तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s for परस्मैपदी धातु-s by the following pattern –


एकवचनम् Singular द्विवचनम् Dual बहुवचनम् Plural
उत्तमपुरुषः First Person मिप् वस् मस्
मध्यमपुरुषः Second Person सिप् थस्
प्रथमपुरुषः Third Person तिप् तस् झि


Likewise, it would be easy to understand तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s for आत्मनेपदी धातु-s by the following pattern –


एकवचनम् Singular द्विवचनम् Dual बहुवचनम् Plural
उत्तमपुरुषः First Person इट् वहि महि
मध्यमपुरुषः Second Person थास् आथाम् ध्वम्
प्रथमपुरुषः Third Person आताम्


But the process प्रक्रिया of affixing तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s is not so simple, One may say, that the process is – take the धातु, affix the appropriate प्रत्यय and get the formatted word, the क्रियापदम्. It is not simple, because we have to get the क्रियापदम् in different लकार-s also.


Before that, it is also important to note that a धातु, the seed has some growth, becoming, let us say, a root, before it fertilizes. The growth of a seed to become a root is also a process, involving a विकरण. The विकरण-s are of ten types. So, there are ten lists of धातु-s. The ten lists are called as गण-s – First list प्रथमगण, second list द्वितीयगण, ….. tenth list दशमगण. Out of 2000-odd धातु-s, majority of them belong to the first list प्रथमगण.


Connecting this with the previous mention that majority of धातु-s are परस्मैपदी, we can say that majority of धातु-s are of प्रथमगण and परस्मैपदी.


When we spot a क्रियापदम् in a sentence the grammar of the क्रियापदम् can be detailed by mentioning

  1. धातु, the seed
  2. गण, the list-number
  3. पद – परस्मै or आत्मने or उभय
  4. लकार – लट् or लिट् or लुट् or लृट् or लोट् or लङ् or विधिलिङ् or आशीर्लिङ् or लुङ् or लृङ्
    • Note that in the verse quoted earlier, there is a mention of a लकार, called as लेट्. I have not included that here, because in the verse it is clear that one finds लेट् वेदे i.e. primarily in Vedic usage.
    • Even with the omission of लेट्, we still have ten लकार-s, because we have लिङ् of two types विधिलिङ् or आशीर्लिङ्.
  5. पुरुष person – उत्तमपुरुषः First Person, मध्यमपुरुषः Second Person, प्रथमपुरुषः Third Person
    • It ought to be noted that, what is third person in English, is called as प्रथमपुरुष in Sanskrit, whereas, what is First Person in English, is called as उत्तमपुरुष in Sanskrit.
    • I guess that there is some cultural thought behind this. Sanskrit culture seems to advocate that one should not be talking much in उत्तमपुरुष or should be talking, using उत्तमपुरुष, when one is clear in conscience about having attained the stage of उत्तमपुरुष “सोऽहमस्मि” (I am He or He is me)
    • Actually in English the third rank is given to those pronouns, which are maximum in number. Is it not clear that among pronouns, (I, We), (You, You), (He, She, It, They) pronouns of third person are maximum in number ? Why should their rank be third ? In Sanskrit, their rank is first प्रथमपुरुष.
  6. वचन. – एकवचनम् Singular, द्विवचनम् Dual or बहुवचनम् Plural


Being able to detail grammar of a क्रियापदम् in such sixfold detail demonstrates, that one has understood the क्रियापदम् as much thoroughly.


Even in a single-word sentence like “Go” गच्छ the क्रियापदम् is गच्छ. Its grammatical detail would be –

गच्छ – गम्-धातुः (१ प.) | लोटि मध्यमपुरुषे एकवचनम् |

Note –

१ प. is abbreviation for प्रथमगणः, परस्मैपदम्

लोटि = in लोट्-लकार, which is imperative mood आज्ञार्थ.


Change of voice in Sanskrit is identical to change of voice in English. For example –

Teacher gives me knowledge.

In this sentence there are two objects – me and knowledge. So change of voice can be effected in two ways –

  1. I am given knowledge by teacher
  2. Knowledge is given to me by teacher.

In Sanskrit, “Teacher gives me knowledge” = आचार्यः मह्यं ज्ञानं ददाति | Note, that when a verb takes two objects, the personal object पुरुषवाचकं कर्म is in fourth case चतुर्थी विभक्ति. The impersonal object वस्तुवाचकं कर्मपदं वा भाववाचकं कर्मपदम् is in usual second case द्वितीया विभक्ति.


Now two ways of change of voice in Sanskrit would be –

  1. I am given knowledge by teacher अहं आचार्येण ज्ञानं दीये |
  2. Knowledge is given to me by teacher. आचार्येण मह्यं ज्ञानं दीयते |


Note that subject-word in Active voice कर्तरिप्रयोग is Teacher आचार्यः

  • In Passive voice कर्मणिप्रयोग it is changed to have the preposition ‘by’,
  • In Sanskrit, equivalent विभक्ति is तृतीया. Hence, आचार्येण


To transform  to Passive voice, there are two options, because there are two objects कर्मपद-s, –

  • first by changing the personal object पुरुषवाचकं कर्म ‘me’ to be the subject. Hence I am given. अहं दीये |
  • In the second option, the impersonal object वस्तुवाचकं कर्मपदं वा भाववाचकं कर्मपदम् ‘knowledge’ is made the subject. Hence Knowledge is given. ज्ञानं दीयते


Note that in both cases the verb क्रियापदम् conforms to the subject-word कर्तृपदम्.

  • In the first option, the subject-word ‘I’ अहम् is of first person उत्तमपुरुष. So, verb is ‘am given’ क्रियापदम् दीये
  • In the second option, the subject-word ज्ञानम् is of third person प्रथमपुरुष. So the verb is ‘is given’ क्रियापदम्  दीयते.


Concept of word-formation is so strong in Sanskrit, that even for change of voice, there is no need of any auxiliary verb. In English, we have to use an auxiliary verb ‘to be’ and the main verb ‘gives’ is given the form of a participle ‘given’.


English grammarians have been so accustomed to the concept of a participle, that even when speaking of Sanskrit grammar, they call many word-formations in Sanskrit as participles. There are no participles in Sanskrit. By my line of thinking. forming a participle is a half-hearted process of word-formation. In Sanskrit word-formation process is never half-hearted.

It ought to be also noted that when changing voice, there are two changes being made to the धातु.

  • It gets विकरणम् ‘य’. This is also the विकरणम् for धातु-s of the fourth list चतुर्थगण
  • Furthermore, in Passive Voice धातु will always take आत्मनेपदी तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s.

In the above example also

  • In active voice, the क्रियापदम् ददाति has no विकरणम् ‘य’ in it. In दीये and दीयते, it is there.
  • In active voice, the क्रियापदम् ददाति has परस्मैपदी तिङ्-प्रत्यय. In Passive voice the क्रियापद-s दीये and दीयते have आत्मनेपदी तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s.


Most interesting aspect of Change of voice concept in Sanskrit is that in Sanskrit, voice can be changed, even if verb in active voice is intransitive अकर्मक, In English you cannot do change of voice of a sentence such as “I go”, because the verb “to go” is intransitive. In sentences with intransitive verb there is no object.


But in Sanskrit you can do change of voice even of a sentence having an intransitive verb. For example I go = अहं गच्छामि. By change of voice it will be मया गम्यते. Note how the change of voice is obtained.

  • Subject-word कर्तृपदम् in active voice is अहम्. It is changed to its तृतीया विभक्ति मया.
  • क्रियापदम् in कर्तरिप्रयोग is गच्छामि. It undergoes its two changes –
    • the धातु गम् gets विकरण य
    • क्रियापदम् गम्यते has आत्मनेपदी तिङ्-प्रत्यय in it.


When verb is intransitive अकर्मक and change of voice is effected, the changed voice is called as भावेप्रयोग.


Since sentences in active voice कर्तरिप्रयोग can be in all लकार-s, their transformations into कर्मणिप्रयोग or भावेप्रयोग can also be in all लकार-s.


Another important and interesting form of  is in causative प्रयोजक-usage. For example “He does” → “He gets done”. सः करोति → सः कारयति In Sanskrit grammar, causative usage is also called as णिच्.


Again sentences in causative usage would mostly be in active voice. But they also can be transformed into कर्मणिप्रयोग or भावेप्रयोग. In turn  they can be in all लकार-s both when in active voice or कर्मणिप्रयोग or भावेप्रयोग.


To explain this by carrying the above example forward –

  • सः करोति = He does
  • सः कारयति = He gets done
  • तेन क्रियते = Is done by him
  • तेन कार्यते = Is got done by him


Above examples also show how word-formation, especially from धातु-s, makes the sentences short and sweet. Where English statement “Is got done by him” needs five words, in Sanskrit, it is just two words तेन कार्यते.


Yet another interesting and important form of क्रियापद-s is in desiderative usage. This is called as सन्नन्तक्रिया For example सः चिकीर्षति = He wishes to do.


There are also यङ्न्तक्रिया यङ्लुगन्तक्रिया, which are not in common usage. I have come across single usage of यङ्न्तक्रिया (for repetitive action) in this श्लोकः –

पाराशर्यवचस्सरोजममलं गीतार्थगन्धोत्कटम् |

नानाख्यानककेसरं हरिकथासंबोधनाबोधितम् |

लोके सज्जनषट्पदैरहरहः पेपीयमानं मुदा |

भूयाद्भारतपङ्कजं कलिनलप्रध्वंसि नः श्रेयसे ||


Here the word पेपीयमानं (= being drunk again and again) has यङ्न्तक्रिया in it, that too in passive voice.


In Sanskrit there are also नामधातु-s, i.e. धातु-s obtained from नाम-s. The word नाम is to be taken in a broader sense to include adjectives and pronouns also.

  • One interesting example is बुद्बुदायते (= is or becomes effervescent, bubblifies) formed from बुद्बुद (= a bubble).
  • Another interesting example is in a सुभाषितम् – यत्र विद्वज्जनो नास्ति श्लाघ्यस्तत्राल्पधीरपि । निरस्तपादपे देशे एरण्डोऽपि द्रुमायते ।। Meaning “Where there are no learned men, a person with little knowledge is also listened to. In a desert, a eucalyptus plant would also be called a tree.” Note the verb द्रुमायते obtained from the noun द्रुम (= tree).
  • There is another interesting सुभाषितम् – दुर्जनेन समं सख्यं प्रीतिं चापि न कारयेत्। ऊष्णो दहति चांगारः शीतः कृष्णायते करम् ॥ One should not indulge in friendship or affection towards a bad person. A hot embre causes burns, cold one blackens hand. Note the verb कृष्णायते (= blackens).


Although पाणिनि has detailed 2000-odd धातु-s in धातुपाठ, number of धातु-s would become innumerable if we add नामधातु-s obtainable from nouns-pronouns adjectives. From each धातु one can obtain so many क्रियापद-s, when one takes into account not only कर्तरिप्रयोग in all लकार-s, but also भावकर्मणि and क्रिया-s such as णिच्, सन्नन्त, यङ्/यङ्लुक् etc.


Actually there would be prefixes उपसर्गाः which add more shades of meaning to the basic meaning(s) of a धातु. It is rightly said so in a verse –

उपसर्गेण धात्वर्थो बलादन्यत्र नीयते |

प्रहाराहारसंहारविहारपरिहारवत् ||

Meaning, meaning of a धातु is forcibly carried somewhere else, as happens in the case of प्रहार (hitting), आहार (eating), संहार (destruction), विहार (joy-ride), परिहार (relief).

उपसर्ग-s are 22 viz. प्र परा अप सम् अनु अव निस् निर् दुस् दुर् वि आ नि अधि अपि अति सु उत् अभि प्रति परि उप.


It is not uncommon that more than one उपसर्ग-s would be used together. For example, the word अध्यायः(अधि + आ + अयः) has in it two उपसर्ग-s अधि and आ.


Important point to be noted is that when forming क्रियापद-s, when there is/are उपसर्ग-s, one first forms क्रियापदम् of the bare धातु and the उपसर्ग(s) are prefixed to the क्रियापदम् as formatted.


For example अभवत् – भू-धातुः (१ प.) | लङि अनद्यतनभूते प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनम् |


For लङि अनद्यतनभूते प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनम् of अनु + भू it would be अनु + अभवत् = अन्वभवत् | Here we have अन्वभवत् which is actually a संधि i.e. joint pronunciation of अनु + अभवत्.


The two pairs of उपसर्ग-s, निस् निर् and दुस् दुर् should better be understood as being विसर्ग-ending निः and दुः When doing joint pronunciation, they would become निस् निश् निष् निर् or दुस् दुश् दुष् दुर् as in निस्सीम, निश्चय निष्कास, निर्मोह or दुस्सह, दुश्चित्त, दुष्कर, दुर्धर or the विसर्ग would stay unchanged as in दुःखित


Certain times, some उपसर्ग-s would cause an otherwise परस्मैपदी धातु to get आत्मनेपदी प्रत्यय-s. For example धातु स्था is basically परस्मैपदी. But with उपसर्ग अनु it gets आत्मनेपदी प्रत्यय-s. Basically लटि प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनम् of स्था is तिष्ठति But with अनु it becomes अनुतिष्ठते.


Converse also happens. धातु रम् is basically आत्मनेपदी. So its लटि प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनम् is रमते But with उपसर्ग उप it gets परस्मैपदी प्रत्यय and would be उपरमति.


Certain times उपसर्ग-s also cause an intransitive verb अकर्मकधातुः to become transitive सकर्मकधातुः. For example धातुः भू is as such अकर्मक. But with अनु it becomes transitive सकर्मक.


For example

  • सः सुखम् अनुभवति He experiences happiness.
  • धातुः भू becomes transitive also with उपसर्ग-s प्र, अभि, परा
    • सः मां प्रभवति He influences me
    • तन्माम् अभिभवति It overwhelms me OR it impresses me
    • सः मया पराभूतः He was defeated by me.OR I defeated him


Sentences in all tenses and moods and in all voices and all modes can also be transformed into interrogation and negation. Sanskrit process is much simpler than English process. English process requires use of an auxiliary verb. For example in the interrogative sentence “Did you do that ?”, there are two forms of the verbal root “to do” – one is auxiliary and other is main.


Even when making negative of an affirmative sentence, in English one needs using an auxiliary verb. For example if affirmative sentence is “I went” its negative would be “I did not go”.


In Sanskrit, for interrogation one may use an interrogative pronoun. For example in the first verse of eighth chapter in Geetaa, there are so many questions – किं तद्ब्रह्म किमध्यात्मं किं कर्म पुरुषोत्तम | अधिभूतं च किं प्रोक्तम् अधिदैवं किमुच्यते || Even when there are so many questions, there is no question-mark anywhere. The pronunciation makes it clear that these are questions. Much of Sanskrit text is devoid of punctuation marks !


In fact there would be interrogative sentences in Sanskrit without any interrogative pronoun also. For example गच्छसि can be just pronounced in a questioning tone and that would be interrogative of गच्छसि (affirmative). For more clarity for the reader one when writing one may write गच्छसि ? Or one may use the interrogative गच्छसि किम् ? When one wants to check the consent, one may use an interrogative auxiliary – अपि गच्छसि ?


In Sanskrit transformation into negative is also quite simple. One just uses the negational auxiliary न. One does not have to use any auxiliary verb. For example if affirmative sentence is गच्छसि its negative would be न गच्छसि. In Sanskrit there is one more negational auxiliary, mostly used for imperative mood. For example मा गच्छ (= don’t go).

It would be good to recapitulate and make a summary note of main points discussed about तिङन्तशब्दाः

  1. In sentences तिङन्तशब्दाः are verbs क्रियापद-s.
  2. The seed from which तिङन्तशब्दाः are obtained are धातु-s
  3. There are some 2000-odd धातु-s listed in धातुपाठ by पाणिनि.
  4. In धातुपाठ, पाणिनि listed धातु-s in ten lists called as गण-s
  • The ten गण-s have different विकरण-s, which afflict the धातु-s, before affixing तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s
  1. तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s are of two types परस्मैपदी and आत्मनेपदी
  2. धातु-s get तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s depending upon whether it is परस्मैपदी or आत्मनेपदी.
  • With उभयपदी धातु-s क्रियापद-s can be obtained with both परस्मैपदी and आत्मनेपदी प्रत्यय-s.
  1. In both परस्मैपदी and आत्मनेपदी types तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s are 9 each which gets क्रियापद-s
  • in उत्तमपुरुष (First person), मध्यमपुरुष (second person) प्रथमपुरुष (third person)
  • in singular एकवचनम् dual द्विवचनम् plural बहुवचनम्
  1. The processes of affixing तिङ्-प्रत्यय-s are different according to 10 लकार-s which help to frame क्रियापद-s in different tenses and moods
  • Present tense वर्तमानकालः is called as लट्-लकार
  • Past tense भूतकालः is of three types – लङ् (अनद्यतनभूतकालः) लुङ् (सामान्यभूतकालः) लिट् (परोक्षभूतकालः)
  • Future tense is also of three types – लुट् (अनद्यतनभविष्यत्कालः) लृट् (द्वितीयभविष्यत्कालः) लृङ् (is also a mood सङ्केतार्थः)
  • There are also three other moods – लोट् (Imperative mood आज्ञार्थः) विधिलिङ् (Potential mood विध्यर्थः) आशीर्लिङ् (Benedictine Mood)
  1. In Sanskrit change of voice can be done not only of sentences with transitive verbs, but even of sentences with intransitive verbs.
  2. In Sanskrit, there are more variations of धातु-s with णिच्-क्रिया (causative), सन्नन्तक्रिया (desiderative), यङ्-क्रिया (repetitive). Change of voice would be applicable for these variations also.
  3. In Sanskrit, transforming affirmative sentences into interrogative and negative does not require use of auxiliary verb. In English one needs to use auxiliary verb ‘to do’.
  4. Concept of नामधातु-s would add numerous more धातु-s
  5. Prefixes उपसर्ग-s would bring variety of shades of meaning, often very much different from the meaning(s) of धातु-s themselves.


Having discussed so many aspects of तिङन्तशब्दाः, it must be noted that I have not detailed, even as a specimen example any single धातु in all aspects. But I did not do that even for सुबन्तशब्दाः There I suggested that one could download from website of Mr. GSS Murthy शब्दरूपाणि of good number of specimen प्रातिपदिक-s. He has done that for धातु-s also. See There are books available with such titles as शब्दधातुरूपावली. There is a book बृहद्धातुरूपावलिः wherein one bookseller Mr. R. R. Krishnachar compiled धातुरूप-s of some 629 धातु-s. In a Pocket book रूपचन्द्रिका by ब्रह्मानन्द त्रिपाठी धातुरूप-s of some 279 धातु-s in all ten लकार-s are given. But the pocket book could not have detailed भावकर्मणिरूपाणि, णिजन्तरूपाणि etc. for all as many धातु-s, again in all लकार-s.


It ought to be noted that one cannot find in the dictionary each and every तिङन्तशब्द of every धातु. What one can expect to find is the धातु. So, it becomes important to know the धातु-s and what तिङन्तशब्द-s can be obtained from which धातु. This becomes somewhat challenging, when a धातु has तिङन्तशब्द-s in different lists i.e. in different धातुगण-s. For example –

  • धातु दा in प्रथमगण has तिङन्तशब्द यच्छति Same धातु in तृतीयगण has तिङन्तशब्द ददाति
  • धातु पा in प्रथमगण has तिङन्तशब्द पिबति Same धातु in द्वितीयगण has तिङन्तशब्द पाति


Although पाणिनि put धातु-s in ten lists i.e. in धातुगण-s, according to विकरण-s, that alone would not explain, why, for example, धातु-s वद् and गम्, both of प्रथमगण, have their तिङन्तशब्द-s in present tense as वदति and गच्छति respectively. Thought behind this mention is that one needs to study and practice a great lot with धातु-s.


It comes to mind that the best practice and study of तिङन्तशब्दाः would happen by continued practice of composing sentences in Sanskrit. Since sentences would have सुबन्तशब्दाः also, practising with sentences will give practice with both तिङन्तशब्दाः and सुबन्तशब्दाः.


Actually तिङन्तशब्दाः are not all, what one gets from धातु-s. Yet another Part of Speech कृदन्त-s are also obtained from धातु-s only. Those will be discussed in the next Part.


शुभमस्तु |



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