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The New Pāli Course Book 1
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Vocabulary: Pali-English
Vocabulary: English-Pali
For free distribution, as a gift of Dhamma.

The New Pali Course Book 1

Different Conjugations

14. There are seven different conjugations in Pali; they are called dhaatuga.nas (= groups of roots). The Pali grammarians represent roots with a final vowel, but it is often dropped or changed before the conjugational sign. Each dhaatuga.na has one or more different conjugational signs, which come between the root and the verbal termination.

The seven conjugations and their signs are:

  1. 1st Conjugation = Bhuvaadiga.na: a
  2. 2nd Conjugation = Rudhaadiga.na: `m-a
  3. 3rd Conjugation = Divaadiga.na: ya
  4. 4th Conjugation = Svaadiga.na: .no, .nu, u.naa
  5. 5th Conjugation = Kiyaadiga.na: .naa
  6. 6th Conjugation = Tanaadiga.na: o, yira
  7. 7th Conjugation = Curaadiga.na: e, aya

A great number of roots are included in the first and the seventh group. The roots paca and bhuu, given above, belong to the first conjugation. The last vowel of "paca" is dropped before the conjugation sign a.

The monosyllabic roots like bhuu do not drop their vowel. It is gu.nated or strengthened before the conjugational sign:

e.g. Nii + a becomes Ne + a;
Bhuu + a becomes Bho + a

Then e followed by a is changed into ay
and o followed by a is changed into av

e.g. Ne + a becomes naya;
Bho + a becomes bhava

It is not necessary for a beginner to learn how these bases are formed. But the bases will be given very often for the convenience of the students. The base is the root with its conjugational sign combined.

The Seventh Conjugation

15. The special feature of the first conjugation is that the last vowel of the base is strengthened before the First Personal endings.

The same rule is applied for the bases ending with a of the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th conjugations, in addition to their special features.

The bases of the seventh conjugation are of two kinds as it has two conjugational signs, e.g. from the root paala two bases paale and paalaya are formed.

Conjugation of Paala (to protect or govern)

Indicative, Present, Active Voice

Base: Paale

Person Singular Plural
Third paaleti paalenti
Second paalesi paaletha
First paalemi paalema

Base: Palaya

Person Singular Plural
Third paalayati paalayanti
Second paalayasi paalayatha
First paalayaami paalayaama

Some of the similarly conjugated are:

16. The conjugational sign .naa of the fifth group is shortened in the Third Person plural.

Base: Vikkina = To sell

Person Singular Plural
Third vikki.naati vikki.nanti
Second vikki.naasi vikki.naatha
First vikki.naami vikki.naama

The following are similarly conjugated:-

Exercise 4

Translate into English

  1. Puttaa dhamma.m ugga.nhanti.
  2. Siiho miga.m maareti.
  3. Vaa.nijassa putto go.ne vikki.naati.
  4. Maya.m vaa.nijamhaa ma~nce ki.naama.
  5. Lekhako mittena magge gacchati.
  6. Daasaa mittaana.m sunakhe haranti.
  7. Kassako go.ne ki.naati.
  8. Kaakaa aakaase u.d.denti.
  9. Vaa.nijaa Buddhassa dhamma.m su.nanti.
  10. Coraa mayuure* corenti.
  11. Aha.m Buddha.m puujemi.
  12. Tva.m diipa.m jaalehi.
  13. Daaso gona.m pii.leti.
  14. Tumhe magge kassaka.m oloketha.
  15. Maya.m dhamma.m jaanaama.

Translate into Pali

  1. The robber steals an ox.
  2. The clerk's son buys a horse.
  3. Merchants sell lamps.
  4. He knows the friend's son.
  5. Boys learn in the village.
  6. Peacocks are on the road.
  7. The slave lights a lamp.
  8. Lions kill deer.
  9. The king governs the island.
  10. Birds fly in the sky.
  11. We see the sons of the merchant.
  12. Look at the hands of the man.
  13. You hear the doctrine of the Buddha.
  14. They respect (or make offerings to) the community.
  15. The monkey teases (or oppresses) the birds.

* Mayuura = peacock.

17. Masculine stems ending in i

Declension of Aggi (Fire)

Case Singular Plural
Nominative, Vocative aggi aggi, aggayo
Accusative aggi.m aggii, aggayo
Instrumental agginaa aggiibhi, aggiihi
Dative, Genitive aggino, aggissa aggiina.m
Ablative agginaa, aggimhaa, aggismaa aggiibhi; aggiihii
Locative aggimhi, aggismi.m aggiisu

The following are similarly declined:-

More verbs conjugated like pacati:

Exercise 5

Translate into English

  1. Muni dhamma.m bhaasati.
  2. Gahapatayo viihi.m mi.nanti.
  3. Ahi adhipatino hatta.m .dasati.
  4. Isi paa.ninaa ma.ni.m ga.nhaati.
  5. Diipayo girimhi vasanti.
  6. Ari asinaa pati.m paharati.
  7. Kavayo diipamhi nidhi.m kha.nanti.
  8. Tva.m atithiina.m aahaara.m desi.
  9. Tumhe udadhimhi kii.latha.
  10. Vyaadhayo loke manusse piilenti.
  11. Kapi ahino kucchi.m paharati.
  12. Kavino mu.t.thimhi ma.nayo bhavanti.
  13. Ravi girimhaa udeti.
  14. Aha.m viihiina.m raasi.m passaami.
  15. Maya.m gaame aahi.n.daama.

Translate into Pali

  1. Leopards kill deer.
  2. The sage comes from the mountain.
  3. There is* a sword in the enemy's hand.
  4. There are** gems in the householder's fist.
  5. We give food to the guest.
  6. The farmer's sons measure a heap of paddy.
  7. The serpent gets food from the poet.
  8. The monks kindle a fire.
  9. The householder gets a gem from the leader.
  10. The monkeys on the tree strike the leopard.
  11. The leader strikes the enemy with a sword.
  12. The sages look at the sun.
  13. We get paddy from the husband.
  14. The sickness oppresses the sons of the guest.
  15. I see the sun upon the sea.

* There is = bhavati.
** There are = bhavanti.

Past Tense

18. Conjugation of Paca (to cook)

Past Indefinite, Active

Person Singular Plural
Third (So) apacii, pacii, apaci, paci = he cooked (Te) apaci.msu, paci.msu, apacu.m, pacu.m = they cooked
Second (Tva.m) apaco, paco = thou didst cook (Tumhe) apacittha, pacittha = you cooked
First (Aha.m) apaci.m, paci.m = I cooked (Maya.m) apacimha, pacimha, apacimhaa, pacimhaa = we cooked

The following are similarly conjugated:-

The prefix a is not to be added to the bases beginning with a vowel.

19. The verbs of the seventh group are differently conjugated:

Past Indefinite, Active

Paala (to protect)

Person Singular Plural
Third paalesi, paalayi paalesu.m, paalayu.m, paalayi.msu
Second paalayo paalayittha
First paalesi.m, paalayi.m paalayimha, paalayimhaa

The following are similarly conjugated:-

Exercise 6

Translate into English

  1. Munayo ma~ncesu nisiidi.msu.
  2. Aha.m diipamhi acari.m.
  3. Coraa gahapatino nidhi.m coresu.m.
  4. Maya.m bhuupatino asi.m olokayimha.
  5. Tva.m atithino odana.m adado.
  6. Adhipati vaa.nijamhaa ma.nayo ki.ni.
  7. Pati kassaka.m viihii.m yaaci.
  8. Isayo kaviina.m dhamma.m desesu.m.
  9. Kapayo girimhaa rukkha.m dhaavi.msu.
  10. Vaa.nijaa udadhimhi gacchi.msu.
  11. Maya.m maggena gaama.m gacchimha.
  12. Diipi kapi.m maaresi.
  13. Tumhe patino padiipe ga.nhittha.
  14. Aha.m Buddhassa paade puujesi.m.
  15. Kavayo kapiina.m odana.m dadi.msu.
  16. Arayo asii aanesu.m.
  17. Ahi kapino paa.ni.m dasi.
  18. Maya.m girimhaa canda.m passimha.
  19. Tumhe muniina.m aahaara.m adadittha.
  20. Bhuupati nidhayo paalesi.

Translate into Pali

  1. The slave struck the enemy with a sword.
  2. We got food from the householder.
  3. He carried a monkey to the mountain.
  4. The merchants went to the village by the road.
  5. Birds flew to the sky from the tree.
  6. The thieves stole the gems of the king.
  7. I gave food to the sages.
  8. The sons of the poet heard the doctrine from the monk.
  9. I saw the leopard on the road.
  10. The lion killed the deer on the rock.
  11. They saw the mountain on the island.
  12. The boy went to the sea.
  13. The dogs ran to the village.
  14. The merchant bought a horse from the leader.
  15. The guest brought a gem in (his) fist.
  16. The monkey caught the serpent by (its) belly.
  17. The householder slept on a bed.
  18. We dwelt in an island.
  19. The boy struck the monkey with (his) hands.
  20. I saw the king's sword.

N.B. -- The verbs implying motion govern the Accusative; therefore "to the mountain" in the 3rd, and "to the village" in the 13th must be translated with the Accusative as: giri.m, gaama.m.

But "to the sages" in the 7th must be in the Dative, because the person to whom some thing is given is put in the Dative.