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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

Classification of Nouns

45. Nouns are divided into 5 classes, viz:-

  1. Naamanaama = substantives and proper nouns
  2. Sabbanaama = pronouns
  3. Samaasanaama = compound nouns
  4. Taddhitanaama = derivatives from nouns or substantives
  5. Kitakanaama = verbal derivatives

[3] Compound nouns are formed by the combination of two or more words, e.g.,

[4] Verbal derivatives, otherwise called Primary Derivatives, are formed from the verbal root itself by adding suffixes, e.g.,

[5] Taddhita nouns or Secondary Derivatives are formed from a substantive or primary derivative by adding another suffix to it, e.g.,

[1] The first group of this classification includes concrete, common, proper, and abstract nouns other than that of Primary and Secondary Derivatives.


46. Pronouns admit of all genders as they stand for every person or thing which are in different genders. They become adjectives when they qualify other nouns. They have no vocative forms.

Declension of relative pronoun ya (which, who)


Case Singular Plural
Nom. yo ye
Acc. ya.m ye
Ins. yena yebhi, yehi
Dat., Gen. yassa yesa.m, yesaana.m
Abl. yamhaa, yasmaa yebhi, yehi
Loc. yamhi, yasmi.m yesu


Case Singular Plural
Nom. yaa yaa, yaayo
Acc. ya.m yaa, yaayo
Ins., Abl. yaaya yaabhi, yaahi
Dat., Gen. yassaa, yaaya yaasa.m, yaasaanaa.m
Loc. yassa.m, yaaya.m yaasu


Case Singular Plural
Nom. ya.m ye, yaani
Acc. ya.m ye, yaani

The rest is similar to that of masculine.

Similarly declined are:

Adjectives (Pronominal)

47. Adjectives in Pali are not treated separately from nouns, as they take all the inflections of the nouns. Almost all pronouns become adjectives when they are used before a substantive of the same gender, number and case. They are pronouns when they stand alone in a sentence. This difference will become clear from the following exercise.

Exercise 16

Translate into English

  1. Sabbesa.m nattaaro pa~n~navanto na bhavanti.
  2. Sabbaa itthiyo vaapiya.m nahaatvaa padumaani pi.landhitvaa aagacchi.msu.
  3. A~n~no vaa.nijo sabba.m dhana.m yaacakaana.m datvaa geha.m pahaaya pabbaji*.
  4. Maataa ubhayaasa.m pi dhiitaraana.m vatthaani ki.nitvaa dadissati.
  5. Ko nadiyaa vaapiyaa ca antaraa dhenu.m harati?
  6. Kassa putto dakkhi.na.m disa.m gantvaa viihi.m aaharissati?
  7. Ye paapaani karonti te niraye** nibbattitvaa dukkha.m labhissanti.
  8. Kaasa.m dhiitaro vanamhaa daaruuni aaharitvaa odana.m pacissanti?
  9. Katarena maggena so puriso nagara.m gantvaa bha.n.daani** ki.ni?
  10. Itaraa daarikaa vanitaaya hatthaa pupphaani gahetvaa cetiya.m puujesi.
  11. Paresa.m dhana.m dha~n~na.m vaa ga.nhitu.m maa cintetha.
  12. Aparo a~n~nissa.m vaapiya.m nahaatvaa pubbaaya disaaya nagara.m paavisi***.

* Left the household life; became a monk.
** Bha.n.da = (n) goods.
*** Entered.

Translate into Pali

  1. All entered the city (in order) to see gardens, houses and streets.
  2. The daughters of all the women in the village walked along the path to the shrine.
  3. Another maiden took a lotus and gave (it) to the farmer.
  4. Which man will bring some milk for me?
  5. Who stands on the bank of the river and looks in the southern direction?
  6. Sons of all rich men do not always become wealthy.
  7. Whose grandsons brought the cows here and gave (them) grass to eat?
  8. Tomorrow, all women in the city will come out from there and wander in the forest.
  9. The other woman, having seen a leopard on the street, ran across the garden.
  10. Whosoever* acquires merit through charity will be born in heaven.
  11. A certain man brought lotuses from the pond, another man carried (them) to the market to sell.
  12. My brother's son broke the branches of the other tree (in order) to gather flowers, leaves and fruits.

* Yo koci.

48. Declension of demonstrative pronoun ta (that)


Case Singular Plural
Nom. so (he) te (they)
Acc. ta.m, na.m (him) te, ne (them)
Ins. tena (by, with or through him) tebhi, tehi (by, with or through them)
Dat., Gen. tassa (to him, his) tesa.m, tesaana.m
Abl. tamhaa, tasmaa tebhi, tehi
Loc. tamhi, tasmi.m tesu


Case Singular Plural
Nom. saa (she) taa, taayo (those women)
Acc. ta.m, na.m (her) taa, taayo (them)
Ins., Abl. taaya taabhi, taahi
Dat., Gen. tassaa, taayo taasa.m, taasaana.m
Loc. tassa.m, taaya.m taasu


Case Singular Plural
Nom. ta.m (it) te, taani (those things)
Acc. ta.m (it) te, taani (those things)

The rest is similar to that of the masculine.

Eta (that or this) is declined like ta. One has only to prefix an "e" to the forms of ta, e.g. eso, ete, eta.m, ena.m, and so on.

49. Declension of demonstrative pronoun ima (this)


Case Singular Plural
Nom. aya.m = this (man) ime = these (men)
Acc. ima.m ime
Ins. anena, iminaa ebhi, ehi, imebhi, imehi
Dat., Gen. assa, imassa esa.m, esaana.m, imesa.m, imesaana.m
Abl. asmaa, imamhaa, imasmaa ebhi, ehi, imebhi, imehi
Loc. asmi.m, imamhi, imasmi.m esu, imesu


Case Singular Plural
Nom. aya.m = this (woman) imaa, imaayo = these (women)
Acc. ima.m imaa, imaayo
Ins., Abl. imaaya imaabhi, imaahi
Dat., Gen. assaa, assaaya, imissaa, imissaaya, imaaya imaasa.m, imaasaana.m
Loc. assa.m, imissa.m, imaaya.m imaasu


Case Singular Plural
Nom. ida.m, ima.m = this (thing) ime, imaani = these (things)
Acc. ida.m, ima.m ime, imaani

The rest is similar to that of the masculine.

Exercise 17

Translate into English

  1. Aya.m siiho tamhaa vanamhaa nikkhamma imasmi.m magge .thatvaa eka.m itthi.m maaresi.
  2. So taasa.m yuvatiina.m taani vatthaani vikki.nitvaa taasa.m santikaa* muula.m labhissati.
  3. Imissaa dhiitaro tamhaa vanamhaa imaani phalaani aahari.msu, a~n~naa naariyo taani khaaditu.m ga.nhi.msu.
  4. Imaa sabbaa yuvatiyo ta.m aaraama.m gantvaa dhamma.m sutvaa Buddha.m padumehi puujessanti.
  5. Ime manussaa yaani pu~n~nani vaa paapaani vaa karonti taani te anugacchanti***.
  6. Tassaa ka~n~naaya maataa dakkhi.naaya disaaya ima.m gaama.m aagantvaa idha cira.m**** vasissati.
  7. Tassa nattaa imassa bhaataraa saddhi.m Ko.lambanagara.m***** gantvaa taani bhan.daani vikki.nissati.
  8. Taa naariyo etaasa.m sabbaasa.m kumaariina.m hatthesu padumaani .thapesu.m******, taa taani haritvaa cetiya.m puujesu.m.
  9. Tassaa raajiniyaa etaa daasiyo imehi rukkhehi pupphaani ocinitvaa imaa maalaayo kari.msu.
  10. Kesa.m so ima.m dhana.m datvaa sukha.m labhissati?
  11. Yo magge gacchati, tassa putto sura.m pivitvaa ettha sayati.
  12. Ke ta.m khetta.m******* gantvaa ti.na.m aaharitvaa imaasa.m gaaviina.m datvaa khiira.m labhitu.m icchanti?

* Santika = near (but here: taasa.m santikaa = from them).
** Muula (n) money, cash.
*** Anugacchati = follows.
**** Cira.m (m) for a long time.
***** Ko.lambanagara = Colombo.
****** 3rd person plural of the Past Tense.
******* Khetta (n) field.

Translate into Pali

  1. A certain man having gone to that cemetery gathered those flowers and brought them here.
  2. This lioness having come out from those forest killed a cow in this place*.
  3. The husband of that woman bought these clothes from that market and gave them to his grandsons.
  4. Whose servants will go to Colombo to buy goods for you and me?
  5. Tomorrow his brothers will go to that forest and collect honey and fruits.
  6. Her sisters went to that field (in order) to bring grass for these cows.
  7. I got these lotuses and flowers from a certain woman of that village.
  8. Today all maidens of this city will go to that river and will bathe in it.
  9. They brought those goods to a merchant in that market.
  10. Having sold those cows to the merchants, they bought clothes, garlands and umbrellas with that money.
  11. Who are those men that** killed a lion yesterday in this forest?
  12. Which woman stole her garland and ran through this street?

* Place = .thaana (n).
** Use the relative pronoun "ya".

The Verbal Adjectives or Participles

50. Participles are a kind of adjectives formed from the verbal bases. Like verbs they are divided into Present, Past and Future; and each group is again divided into Active and Passive. Being adjectives they are declined in all the genders.

The Present Active Participles are formed by adding "nta" or "maana" to the verbal base, e.g.,

51. Declension of the Present Participle

Gacchanta (going)


Case Singular Plural
Nom. gaccha.m, gacchanto gacchanto, gacchantaa
Acc. gacchanta.m gacchante
Ins. gacchataa, gacchantena gacchantebhi, gacchantehi
Dat., Gen. gacchato, gacchantassa gacchata.m, gacchataana.m
Abl. gacchataa, gacchantamhaa, gacchantasmaa gacchantebhi, gacchantehi
Loc. gacchati, gacchante, gacchantamhi, gacchantasmi.m gacchantesu
Voc. gaccha.m, gaccha, gacchaa gacchanto, gacchantaa


Case Singular Plural
Nom., Voc. gacchantii gacchantii, gacchantiyo
Acc. gacchanti.m gacchantii, gacchantiyo
Ins., Abl. gacchantiyaa gacchantiibhi, gacchantiihi

and so on like kumaarii.


Case Singular Plural
Nom. gaccha.m gacchantaa, gacchantaani
Acc. gacchanta.m gacchante, gacchantaani

The rest is similar to that of the masculine.

Remark: Here one should note that these participles change their endings in the feminine.

The following are declined similarly:-

52. A. All of these have another form ending in -maana, like gacchamaana. In that form, they are declined like nara in the masculine, vanitaa in the feminine, and nayana in the neuter.

B. These participles take the gender, number and case of the substantive in forming sentences, e.g.

C. Active Participles formed from the transitive bases often take an object, e.g.

Bhatta.m bhu~njanto = eating rice.

Exercise 18

Translate into English

  1. Gaama.m gacchanto daarako eka.m go.na.m disvaa bhaayi.
  2. Daarikaa rodantii ammaaya santika.m gantvaa pii.the nisiidati.
  3. Vaa.nijaa bha.n.daani vikki.nantaa nadiya.m nahaayante manusse passi.msu.
  4. Kaa~n~naayo hasamaanaa nahaayantiyo gacchanti.m vanita.m akkosi.msu.
  5. Puriso hasanto rukkha.m aaruhitvaa phalaani khaadanto* saakhaaya.m nisiidi.
  6. Bhagavaa Saavatthiya.m** viharanto devaana.m manussaana.m ca dhamma.m desesi.
  7. Saa sayanti.m itthi.m u.t.thaapetvaa*** hasamaanaa tamhaa .thaanaa apagacchi****.
  8. Tumhe bhuumiya.m kii.lamaana.m ima.m daaraka.m ukkhipitvaa***** ma~nce .thapetha.
  9. Siiha.m disvaa bhaayitvaa dhaavamaanaa te migaa asmi.m vane aavaa.tesu pati.msu.
  10. Imasmi.m gaame vasantaana.m purisaana.m eko pharasu.m aadaaya vana.m gacchanto ekaaya kaasuya.m pati.
  11. Nisiidantiyaa naariyaa putto rodamaano tassaa santika.m gamissati.
  12. Yaacakaa bhatta.m pacanti.m itthi.m disvaa ta.m aahaara.m yaacantaa****** tattha nisiidi.msu.
  13. Vanamhaa daaruunii aaharantii ka~n~naa ekasmi.m paasaa.ne udaka.m pivamaanaa******* niisiidi.
  14. Vaa.nijaa bha.n.daani ki.nantaa vikki.nantaa ca gaamesu nagaresu ca aahi.n.danti.
  15. Daana.m dadanto so dhanavaa siilavante gavesati********.

* Khaada = to eat hard food. "Bhu~nja" is used in eating soft food.
** In the city of Saavatthi.
*** Having awakened or raised.
**** Went away, moved aside.
***** Having raised up.
****** Begging.
******* Drinking.
******** Seeks.

Translate into Pali

  1. Going to the river the slave sat at the foot of a tree, eating (some) fruits.
  2. The mother, having raised the crying girl, gave her (some) milk.
  3. Walking on the river-bank we saw (some) people bathing in the river.
  4. Seeing us there a deer began to run and fell in a pit.
  5. Coming out of the forest the lion saw a cow eating grass on that field.
  6. Bringing firewood from this forest the maiden drank water from that tank.
  7. A certain man living in this village saw a leopard running to that mountain.
  8. Our fathers and brothers will wander through villages and towns, (while) selling and buying goods.
  9. Standing on the mountain that day, I saw a lioness sleeping in a cave.
  10. The boy came to see me, laughing and running.
  11. Carrying a drum for his aunt, the farmer sat on this rock, looking at these trees and fields.
  12. The Buddha, living in Saavatthi for a long time, preached His doctrine to the people of that city.
  13. While cooking (some) rice, his sister sat singing* on a chair.
  14. Giving alms to the beggars the millionaire spent** all his wealth.
  15. Playing on the road the boys saw a man running from there.

* (Giita.m) gaayantii.
** Vissajjesi.