Practical Grammar of the Pli Language
587. Syntax, in Pli, does not offer any difficulty for nearly all the relations of the substantives, adjectives and pronouns which will be explained in this chapter are very often obviated by compounding them as has already been explained in the chapter on Compounds. The student who has carefully read and mastered the Compounds has therefore done much and will understand ordinary prose without too much difficulty. However, there are peculiar uses of the Cases, without a knowledge of which a thorough mastery of the language would be impossible; we therefore invite the learner to read attentively the present chapter.
(i) Order of Sentences
588. The order of the Pli sentence is very simple in character, compound sentences being rather the exception than the rule:
(1) Whether the sentence be Simple, Compound or Complex, the predicate must always come last.
(2) In a simple sentence containing an object, the order is: (i) Subject; (ii) object and (iii) predicate, as: dso kammaµ karoti, the slave does the work.
(3) Words qualifying the subject or the
object come before the subject and the object respectively, and
adverbs before the verb: etetayo puris mahantaµ siriµ s“ghaµ
ppuöiµsu, these three men quickly attained to great
Remark. Adverbs of time always come first in the sentence.
(4) The conjunctions, pana, but; udhu, or, are used to form compound sentences; ce, yadi and sace, if, complex sentences.
(ii) The Article
589. There are no words in Pli corresponding to the English articles; the words eko, ekacce, one, a certain are often used in the sense of the indefinite article (253); and so, eso, that, this, do the function of the definite article: so puriso, the man; s itth“, the woman.
Remark. Substantives not preceded by the above words may, according to the context, be translated as if preceded by the articles: puriso=a man, or, the man.
590. Concord of subject and predicate.
(1) The predicate may be:
(i) a finite verb: bhikkhu gahapatiµ ovdi, the monk admonished the householder;
(ii) a substantive with the verb "hoti" understood after it: yadi ete guö, if these (are=honti) virtues;
(iii)An adjective with "hoti" also understood: tvaµ atiblo, thou (art=asi) very foolish;
(iv) A P.P.P.used as a finite verb; so pi gato, he too went, lit. he too gone.
(2) When a finite verb is used as predicate, it must agree with the subject in number and person. When there are several subjects of different persons, the verb is put in the first person plural: so ca tvaµ ahaµ gacchatha, he thou, and I go. Should there be no subject of the first person, the verb is put in the 2nd person plural: so ca tvaµ gacchatha, he and thou go.
(3) In the case of an adjective or a P.P.P. taking the place of the predicate, the adj. and the P.P.P. must agree with the subject in gender and number: so gato, he went; s gat, she went; taµ gataµ, it went; so taruöo, he is young; s taruö, she is young; taµ taruöaµ, it is young.
(4) But if a substantive stands in the place of a verb, no such concord of gender or number needs take place; appamado nibbanapadaµ (=nibbnassa padaµo), vigilance is the path to Nirvana.
Concord of Adjective and Substantive
591. An adjective, or participle (which is of the nature of an adj.) when not compounded with the noun it qualifies, must agree with it in gender, number and case.
Concord of the Relative and its Antecedent
592. The relative must agree with its antecedent in gender, number and person.
(1) The relative may be used by itself, without the noun: yo janti so imaµ gaöhtu, he who knows let him take this. Note, that in the above the demonstrative pronoun so is used as a correlative.
(2) The relative is used instead of a preceding noun: ahaµ ekaµ upyaµ janmi, yena amhe gaöhituµ no sakkissati, I know an expedient by which he will not able to seize us.
(3) With the noun expressed: yassa purisassa buddhi hoti so mahaddhano ti vuccati, to whom there is wisdom, he is called very wealthy, he who has wisdom is said to be very wealthy.
(4) Note that the clause containing the relative is put first; sometimes the clause containing the correlative is placed first for the sake of emphasis: na so pityena putto na sikkhpiyati, he is no father by whom the son is not made to learn.
(iv) Syntax of Substantives
593. This is properly government, for the term "kraka" expresses the relation between the noun and the verb; so that any relation existing between words not connected with a verb cannot be called a kraka, consequently the Genitive and the Vocative are not considered as cases, for they have no relation whatever with the verb; they are therefore called akraka, non-cases.
1. The Nominative
594. The Nominative is used very much in the same way as in English; it is the subject of the verb and the latter must agree with it in number and person; see Concord of subject and predicate (590).
(i) The Nominative is used in apposition: malliko kosalarj, Mallika, king of Kosala.
(ii) It is used absolutely in titles of books, that is, it does not take the termination proper to the nominative; mhajnakajtaka, the birth.story of Mahajanaka.
595. The true force of the genitive is -of and -'s expressing possession.
(i) The genitive therefore is used primarily to denote possession: suvaööassa rsi, a heap of gold; rukkhassa skh, the branch of the tree.
(ii) In such examples as the above, the genitive is often compounded with the noun it qualifies: suvaööarsi.
(iii) It denotes the whole of which a part only is taken; this is called "partitive genitive": brhmöaµ so paö¶ito, he is clever among brahmins; sabbayodhnaµ atisčro, the bravest of all warriors; tumhkaµ pana eken, but even not one of you.
(iv) The genitive is used also with
words expressing, difference, equality, inequality: tassa antaraµ na passiµsu, they
did not see the (its) difference; sadiso pitu, the same as (his)
father; tulyo pitu equal to his father.
Remark. In these examples the ablative may also be used: sadiso pitar.
(v) Words meaning. dear or the reverse, take a genitive: s brhmaöassa manp, she (was) dear to the brahmin.
(vi) Likewise words denoting: honour,
veneration etc.: gmassa pčjito honoured of the village;
rao mnito, revered by (of) the king.
Remark. In these examples the Inst. may also be used: gmena pčjito.
(vii) Words of: skill, proficiency, etc., and their opposites, govern the genitive: kusal naccag“tassa, clever in dancing and singing.
(viii) It is used with words indicating: locality, time, distance: amhkaµ buddhassa pubbe, before our Buddha; gmassa avidure, not far from the village; upari tesaµ, above them.
(ix) Believing in or well disposed
towards: budhassa pasanno, he has faith in the Buddha.
Remark. Here the Loc. may also be used: buddhe pasanno.
(x) It is used also with words of remembering or thinking of (with sorrow), pitying, wishing for, giving or apportioning, honouring, cleaning, filling, fearing and a few others: mtussa sarati, he remembers his mother (with sorrow); na tesa koci sarati, nobody remembers them; telassa davati, he gives oil; pčrati blo ppassa, the fool is full of evil; sabbe tasanti daö¶assa, all fear punishment.
In these examples the Acc. may be used:
Remark. Words of fearing also govern the Abl.: kin nu kho ahaµ sunakh bhyami? Why should I fear the dog?
(xi) A genitive with a participle in
agreement is called a Gen. Absolute. It generally denotes some
tassa bhattaµ bhuttassa udakaµ aharanti, when he had finished his meal they fetched him water.
(xii) Some other relations of the genitive will present no difficulty, as they have their exact parallel in English.
596. It will be seen from the remarks above that the genitive is often used instead of the Accusative, the Ablative, the Instrumentive and the Locative. It is also used adverbially, as kissa, why? It will also be remarked that whenever the genitive is dependent on a verb, it is so on account of its being used instead of another case, as in: mtussa sarati.
3. The Dative
597. The person or object to or for whom, something is given or done, is put in the Dative case. The Dat. is consequently used also as indirect object with transitive verbs having an Acc. as direct object.
(i) The Dat., then, expresses the relations which, in English, are usually denoted by the words to, for: bhikkhussa civaraµ deti, he gives a robe to the priest; yuddhya paccuggacchmi; I will set out for battle.
(ii) The Dat. is governed by verbs expressing praise or blame, anger, believing, disbelieving, assent, envy, pleasure or displeasure, injury, benefit, approval, forgiveness, salutation, blessing, hatred, abuse, concealing, worshipping, carrying.
Examples: Buddhassa silghate, he praises the Buddha; yadi'haµ tassa kuppeyya, if I should be angry with him; duhayati disnaµ ogho, the flood has injured the country; tuyhaµ saddahmi, I believe thee; svgataµ te, hail to thee! sotthi tuyhaµ hotu, fare thee well! khama me, forgive me! mayhaµ sapate he swears at or, reviles me; tassa sampaŹicchi, he assented to it; ussuyanti dujjan guöav antnaµ wicked people envy the virtuous; tassa at“taµ hari, he told him a story; dev pi tesaµ pihayanti, even the gods desire them, envy them; samaöassa rocate saccaµ: truth pleases a monk.
(iii) The Dat. is commonly used with the
verb "to be" to express possession: putt me
n'atthi, no sons are to me, I have no sons.
Remark. When the verb "hoti" is used with the Dat. to express possession, it is generally put in the singular, even when, as in the above example what is possessed is plural.
(iv) The word, alaµ, enough, fit, governs the Dat.: alaµ kukkuccya, enough of doubt! alaµ mallo mallassa, sufficient is a warrior for a warrior! A warrior is match for a warrior.
(v) The words, attha, object, purpose; hita, benefit, blessing; and sukha, happiness, are used in the Dat. with the meaning respectively of: for the purpose of, for; for the benefit of; for the happiness of; and they govern a Gen.: ropanassa atthya, or, ropanatthya, for the purpose of sowing; devamanussnaµ hitya, for the benefit of gods and men; tassa sukhya, for his hapiness.
(vi) The Dat. may denote the purpose for
which, and then governs a Gen: drassa bharaöya for
the purpose of maintaining a wife, for the maintenance of a wife,
to maintain a wife.
Remark. It will be seen from this example that the Dat. in ya has the force of an Infinitive.
(vii) The Dat. is also used with the
verb maati, to consider, esteem, when contempt is
kaliŗgarassa tuyhaµ mae, I consider thee as chaff, a fig for you! j“vitaµ tiöaya na mae, I do
not consider life (so much) as grass, I do not care in the least for life.
(viii) The place to which motion is directed is sometimes put in the Dat: appo saggya gacchati, (only) the few go to heaven; nirayya upaka¶¶hati, drags down to hell; so maµ udakya neti, he takes me to the water.
(ix) The Dat. is often used instead of the Accusative, and also of the Locative.
598. 4. The Accusative
(i) The Accusative Case is generally governed by transitive verbs: rathaµ karoti, he makes a carriage; hro balaµ janeti, food produces (=gives strength).
(ii) All verbs implying motion govern the Acc.: nagaraµ gacchati; he goes to town; bhagavantaµ upasaŗkamitv, having approached the Blessed One.
(iii) Verbs having the meaning of, to choose to name, to call, to appoint, to ask, to make, to know, to consider, etc. take two accusatives, one a direct object and the other a factitive or indirect object: puriso bhraµ gamaµ vahati, the man carries the load to the village; purisaµ gacchantaµ passati, he sees the man going; here gmaµ and gacchantaµ are the factitive objects.
(iv) Causative Verbs likewise govern two
Accusatives: puriso purisaµ gmaµ gamyati: the man causes the man to go to
the village; cariyo sisaµ dhammaµ
ptheti, the preceptor causes the disciple to read the
Remark. In such examples the Instrumentive may be used instead of the factitive object: smiko dsena (or dsaµ) khajjaµ khdpeti. The master causes the slave to eat the food; purisena (or purisaµ) kammaµ kreti, he causes the slave to do the work.
(v) When thc roots: Ćvas, to live; Ćth, to stand; Ćsi, to lie down; Ćpad to go step; and Ćvis to enter; are preceded by the verbal prefixes: anu, upa, abhi, adhi, and ni, they govern the Acc: gmaµ upavasati, he lives near the village; nagaraµ adhivasanti, they dwell in the village; ma caµ abhins“deyya; he ought to sit on the cot; sakkassa sahabyataµ upapajjati, got into companionship with Sakka, she went to Sakka's heaven.
(vi) The Acc. is used for the Loc.: nadiµ pivati=nadiyaµ pivati, he drinks in the river; gmaµ carati=gme carati he roams in the village.
(vii) The indeclinables: abhito, near, in the presence of, on both sides; dhi, dh“, Woe! Fie! Shame! as well as the expression: dhi-r-atthu, Woe, shame be to! antar, between, on the way; parito, around, everywhere, on every side; anu by the side of, inferior; pati, to, towards, for, near; pari, around; upa, inferior to; antarena, except, without; abhi, before, govern the Accusative: abhito gma vasati, he lives near the village; dh“ brhmaöassa hantraµ, woe to whom strikes a brahmin! dh“-ratthu maµ pčtikayaµ, shame on that foul body of mine! upyaµ antarena, without expedient; maµ antarena excepting me; antar ca rjagahaµ, and on the way to Rajagaha; parito nagaraµ, around the village; sadhu devadatto mtaraµ anu, Devadatta is kind to his mother; anu sriputtaµ, inferior to Sariputta; pabbattaµ anu, by the side of the mountain; sdhu devadatto mtaraµ pati, Devadatta is kind to his mother; nadiµ nerajaraµ pati, near the river Nerajara; upa sriputtaµ, inferior to Sariputta.
(viii) Duration of time is put in the Acc.: divasaµ, the whole day; taµ khaöaµ, at that moment; ekaµ samayaµ, once upon a time.
(ix) Ordinals in the Acc., denote ŗumber of times" dutiyaµ, for the second time; tatiyaµ, for the 3rd time.
(x) Distance is also expressed by the Acc.: yojanaµ gacchati, he goes one league.
(xi) The Acc. is very often used
adverbially: khippaµ gacchati he goes quickly; hatthanillehakaµ
bhujati, he eats "licking his hands."
Remark. This is called the adverbial accusative.
599. 5. The Instrumentative
(i) The agent by whom or the insutrument with which .an action is performed is put in the Inst.: cakkhun rupaµ passati, (one) sees forms with the eye; hatthena kammaµ karoti (one) does work with the hands; dsena kato, done by the slave.
(ii) The Inst. shows cause or reason: rukkho vtena oöamati, the tree bends down on account of the wind; kammuna vasalo hoti, he is a pariah by reason of his work. The Inst. can therefore be translated by such expressions as: by means of; on account of; through; by reason of; owing to.
(iii) The conveyance in or on which one goes is put in the Inst.: ynena gacchati, he goes in a cart; vimnena, gacchiµsu they went in a flying mansion; hatthina upasaŗkamati, he approached on his elephant.
(iv) The price at which a thing is bought or sold is put in the Inst. kahpaöena no detha, give it to us for a kahpaöa (a small piece of money); satasahassena kiöitv having bought it for 100,000 (pieces of money).
(v) The direction or route, or the way by which one goes is shown by the Inst.: t sladvrena gacchanti, they went by the gate of the hall; kena maggena so gato, (by) which way did he go?
(vi) It is used to denote infirmity or bodily defects, the member or organ affected being in the Inst.: akkhin so köo, he is blind of one eye; hatthena kuöi, having a crooked hand.
(vii) Words expressing, birth, lineage, origin, nature are put in the Inst.: jtiy khattiyo buddho, Buddha is a k·atriya by birth: pakatiy bhaddako, good by nature.
(viii) The Inst. expreses the time in which: divasena patto, arrived in one day; ekena msena nagaraµ gacchi, he went to the city in a month.
(ix) Also the time at which: tena samayena, at that time...
(x) It expresses companionship, and is then generally used with the indeclinables, saha or saddhiµ, with, together with: nis“di bhagav saddhiµ bhikkhusaŗghena, the Blessed One sat together with the assembly of the monks.
(xi) The expressions "what is the use of," "what use to ..."," what benefit by ...", etc., are expressed in Pli by the Inst. of the thing and the Dat. of the person: kin te jathi dummedha, what good to thee, O fool, by matted hair? kin nu me buddhena, what need have I of Buddha? What do I care for a Buddha?
(xii) The word attho, desire, need, want, takes an Inst. of the object desired or wanted and a Dat. of the person: maöin me attho, I want a jewel (lit., to me is need of, or desire for, a jewel).
(xiii) alaµ, enough, governs also this case: alaµ idha vsena enough of living here: alaµ buddhena, Buddha is sufficient for me.
(xiv) Words denoting "separation" are generally construed with the Inst.: piyehi vippayogo dukkho, separation from those we love is painful.
(xv) The indeclinables, saha, saddhiµ, samaµ, with
at: vin, without, except, govern the Inst.:
vindosena, without fault.
Remark. saha, sometimes expresses "equality": puttena saha dhanav pit, a father as rich as his son.
(xvi) Verbs meaning "to convey, to
carry, to fetch" etc., take the Inst. of the place of
sisena drukalpaµ ucchaŗgena paööam dya, taking a bunch of firewood on her head and greens at her hips...
(xvii) The Inst. is often used adverbially (see above).
(xviii) It is also governed by many prepositions.
600. 6. The Ablative
(i) The primary meaning of the Ablative is that expressed by the word "from"; that is, it expresses separation; it expresses also many other relations, in which the principal idea of separation is more or less discernible.
(ii) Separation: gm apenti, they left the village; so ass patati, he fell from the horse.
(iii) Direction from: av“cito upari above the Avici Hell; uddhaµ padatala, (from) above the sole of the foot.
(iv) The place "wherein" an action is performed is put in the Abl.; in such cases a gerund is sometimes understood according to native grammarians, but the student will remark that these expressions have their exact parallel in English: psd oloketi, he looks from the palace, is said to be equivalent to: psdaµ abhiruhitv psd oloketi, having ascended the palace he looks from the palace.
(v) Measure of length, breadth or
distance is put in the Abl: d“ghaso navavidatthiyo nine spans
long , yojanaµ ymato, a league in length; yojanaµ
vittharato, a league in breadth.
Remark. In these examples the Inst. may also be used: yojanaµ ymena, yojanaµ vitthrena.
(vi) That from which a person or animal is warded or kept off is put in the Abl: yavehi gvo rakkhati, he keeps off the cows from the barley; taö¶ul kke vreti, he wards off the crows from the rice.
(vii) With verbs meaning to hide,
conceal, "the person from whom one wishes to hide is in the
Abl: upajjhya antaradhyati sisso, the pupil hides
himself from his preceptor.
Remark. In such expressions, the Gen. may also be used: antaradhyissmi samaöassa gotamasssa, I will hide myself from the samana Gotama.
(viii) When the verb "antaradhyati" means, to vanish, to disappear, the place from which one vanishes is put in the Locative: jetavane antaradhyitv, having disappeared from the Jetavana Monastery.
(ix) But when ŗatural phenomena" are referred to, the Nom. is used: andhakro antaradhyati, darkness disappears.
(x) Verbs meaning "to abstain, to avoid, to release, to fear, to abhor", also govern the Abl.: ppadhammmato viramati, he refrains from sin; so parimuccati jtiy he is released from existence: corehi bhymi, I am afraid of thieves.
(xi) The Abl. also shows µotive, cause,
reason" and can be translated by for, on account of, by
reason of, through , etc.: vcya marati, he died on
account of his speech: s“lato naµ pasaµsanti,
they praise him for his virtue.
Remark. In these examples, the Inst. may be used as well: s“lena pasaµsanti.
(xii) It is used with words showing
proximity, gm sam“paµ, near the
Remark. in these examples, the Gen. may also be used.
(xiii) Verbs meaning "to be born, to originate from" etc. govern the Abl.: cor jyati bhayaµ, from a thief fear arises.
(xiv) The following indeclinables govern the Abl.: araka, far from, afar, rak tehi bhagav, far from them is the Blessed One; upari, above, over: upari pabbat, over the mountain; So: pati, against, instead, in return; rite, except, without; aatra, vin, without, except; nn, different, away from; puthu and, before a vowel, puthag, separately, without, except; , till, as far as; yava, till, as far as; saha, with; buddhasm pati sriputto, Sariputta takes the place of the Buddha; rite saddhamma, without the true Doctrine, etc.
(xv) It should be noted that the Abl. is very frequently used, instead of the Inst., Accus., the Gen. and the Loc., e.g. vinsaddhamm, or vin saddhammaµ or vin saddhammena.
601. 7. The Locative
(i) The Locative shows the place in or on which a thing or person is, or an action performed; it is therefore expressed in English by "in, on, upon, at." kate nis“dati puriso, the man is sitting on the mat; thaliyaµ odanaµ pacati; he cooks the food in a cooking-pot.
(ii) The Loc. shows the "cause, reason, or motive" of an action: d“p“cammesu haante, the panther is killed for its skin; kujaro dantesu haate, the elephant is killed for his tusks.
(iii) It denotes time when an action takes place; syaöhasamaye gato, he came in the evening.
(iv) When the pre-eminence of an individual (thing or person) over the whole class to which he belongs is implied, as well as with adjectives in the superlative degree, the noun with respect to which such pre-eminence or such superlative degree of excellence is shown is put in the Loc. or in the Gen.: manussesu khattiyo sčratamo, the k·atriya is the most valiant of men; manussnaµ khattiyo sčratamo; kaöh gvisu sampannakh“ratam, of cows, the black one abounds most in milk, or, kaöh gvinaµ sampannakh“ratam.
(v) The following words govern the Loc. and the Gen. as well: sm“, an owner, master; issaro, king, lord; adhipati, chief, lord; dydo, an heir; patibhč, substitute, surety; pasčto, offspring, child; kusalo, clever, expert; gonesu sm“, an owner of oxen, or gonnaµ sm“, etc.
(vi) Words signifying "to be happy,
contented, eager", govern the Loc., as well as the Inst.:
öasmiµ ussuko, eager for wisdom, or öena ussako; öasmiµ pas“dito, contented with wisdom, öena pas“dito.
(vii) Words signifying "reverence, respect, love, delighting in, saluting, taking, seizing, striking, kissing, fond of, adoring," govern the Loc.: ppasmiµ ramati mano, the mind delights in evil; bhikkhčsu abhivdenti, they salute the monks; pde gahetv papte khipati, took him by the feet and threw him in the precipice; purisaµ s“se paharati, struck the man on the head.
(viii) The Loc. is used sometimes to show that one does not take any account of something or person: rudantasmiµ drake pabbaji, he left the world in spite of his son weeping. The Genitive also may be used: rudantassa rakassa pabbaji (See: Locative and Genitive Absolute).
(ix) The Loc. is employed to denote superiority or inferiority, with the words "upa" and "adhi" respectively. upa khriyaµ doöo, a doöa is inferior to a khri; adhi brahmadatte pacal, the Pancalas are under Brahmadatta's supremacy; adhi devesu buddho, the Buddha is above the gods.
(x) It is used to denote "proximity": nadiyaµ sassaµ, corn near the river; tassa paööaslya hatthimaggo hoti, near his leaf hut there is an elephant-track.
(xi) The Loc. is used absolutely with a participle in the same case as itself (see, Absolute Construction).
(xii) In lexicons, the Loc. is used to signify "in the sense of" ru sadde, (the root) ru, is used in the sense of making noise."
(xiii) Words denoting "fitness, suitability" govern the Loc.: tayi na yuttaµ, not fit for thee; the Gen. is used in the same sense: tava na yuttaµ.
(xiv) The Loc. is extensively used
instead of other Cases, and the students must be prepared to meet
the Loc. where very often he would expect to find some other
Let him note that in almost all instances, the Case for which the Loc. stands may be and is, used.
(xv) The Loc. in used for the Gen, (see, above, v).
(xvi) It is used for the Inst.: pattesu piö¶ya carnti, they go about with bowls for their food.
(xvii) It is also used instead of the Dat.: saŗghe dinnaµ mahapphalaµ, offering to the Clergy are very meritorious.
(xviii) The Loc. is used for the Ablative: kadal“desu gaje rakkhanti, they keep off the elephants from the plantain-trees.
(xix) The Loc. is frequently used adverbially; at“te, formerly.
8. The Vocatives
602. The Vocative Case does not require any explanations: it is used exactly as in English.
603. The Genitive and Locative Absolute
(i) When a noun or a pronoun in the Locative or Genitive is used with a participle in the same case as itself, the construction is called, Locative Absolute and Genitive Absolute respectively. The Locative Absolute construction is met with much more often than the Genitive absolute. There is also found, now and then, a Nominative Absolute construction, but far less common than the other two.
(ii) The Locative, Genitive and (sometimes) the Nominative Absolute, may often be translated by "when, while, since" and sometimes by "although": tesu vivadantesu bodhisatto cintesi, while they were disputing, the Future Buddha thought; suriye atthaŗgate, when the sun had set, after sunset; gavisu duyhamnsu gato, he went when the cows were being milked; asaniy pi s“se patantiy, although the thunderbolt was falling on their head.
(iii) sati, the Locative singular of santo, Pres. part of the verb atthi, to be, besides having the above meanings may also often be translated by "if, such being the case": atthe sati, if there be need: evaµ sati, such being the case; payoge sati, when there is occasion. With Feminine words, sati is also used, although it should be, satiy (Fem.): pucchya sati, if the question be asked; ruciy sati, had he the desire, if he had the wish.
(iv) The Genitive Absolute is not quite so frequently used as the Loc. Absolute although found often enough: skuöakassa gumbato jlaµ mocentass'eva, even while the fowler was disengaging the net from the bush; tesaµkiĀantnaµ yeva suriyatthaŗigatavel jt, while even they were sporting, it became dusk.
(v) There is also mentioned a so-called
Nominative Absolute; gacchanto bhradvjo so,
addas ajjhutaµ isiµ, Bharadvaja having gone he .. etc.,
yymno mahrj, adds“ tantarena
ge, as the king was going, he. . . ., etc,
Remark. The Gen. Absolute is frequently used to show "disregard, contempt", it can then be translated by "in spite of, notwithstanding". For example see above (601, v“i).
604. Syntax of the Adjective
(i) As has already been said, whenever an adjective is not in composition with another word, it must agree with the word it qualifies in number, gender and case.
(ii) Adjectives in the comparative degree require an Ablative: s“laµ eva sut seyyo, virtue is better than learning.
(iii) Comparison is also expressed by an
Abl. followed by an adjective in the positive degree:
mdhur pŹaliputtakehi abhirup, the people of Madhura are more handsome than those of PŹaliputta.
(iv) It is also expressed by the indeclinable varaµ, better, with an Abl.: tato varaµ; better than that.
(v) When "the better of two"
is to be expressed, a Gen. is used with the positive degree:
tumhakaµ dvinnaµ ko bhaddako of you two who is the better?
(vi) Superlative adjectives are used with the Gen. or the Loc, for examples see above (601, iv).
(vi) Syntax of Pronouns
605. 1. Personal Pronouns
(i) The personal pronouns are used much in the same way as in English, and do not call for particular remarks, except, perhaps, the enclitic forms of ahaµ and tvaµ; (289-b, c; 290, c).
(ii) The enclitic forms of ahaµ: me and no, and those of tvaµ: te and vo, are never used at the beginning of a sentence nor immediately before the particles ca, t and eva: detu me, let him give to me; tava v me hotu, be it thine or mine; kammaµ no niŹŹhitaµ, our task is finished; ko te doso, what is thy fault? kahaµ vo rj, where is your king?
(iii) With verbs, the personal pronouns are frequently understood, as the endings of the tenses clearly indicate also the person as: gacchati (he) goes=so gacchati; gaccheyymi, (I) should go=ahaµ gaccheyymi etc.
(iv) The personal pronoun so, s, taµ is also used as a demonstrative and as an article. See Concord (589). Therefore, so puriso may mean according to the context: the man, or, that man.
(v) Tasm (abl ), is used adverbially in the sense of "therefore accordingly, thereby": with the same meanings it is also followed by hi and ti ha (=iti ha): tasm hi pa ca dhanena seyyo, and therefore is wisdom better than riches; tasm ti ha bhikkhave, accordingly, O monks!
(vi) The Inst. tena is used with the same meanings as tasm: tena taµ madhuraµ, therefore, on that account, it is sweet. Tena followed by hi means "well! very well! all right! well then!" tena hi khdpessmi nan ti, very well, then, I'll make you devour him.
(vii) Naµ and enaµ (295, 300), are used when something or someone already mentioned is referred to. See (296).
606. 2. Demonstrative Pronouns
(i) eso, es, etaµ (298), refer to what is near, and mean: this; es itth“, this woman; nirupakro es, this (fellow) is useless.
The same remarks apply to ayaµ and asu,
Remark. esa is often used for eso, sa for so.
(ii) The neuter etad (=etaµ, 302), is used with the verb hoti and the Gen. of the person, and the expression is then equivalent to "to think": tassa etad ahosi, he thought... (lit=of his this was).
607. 3. The Relative
(i) We have already explained the Relative (592); only a few of its most important peculiar uses need be mentioned here:
(ii) Yo (311) is used with the Indefinite koci (319): yo koci, whoever, anyone; yaµ kici, whatsoever, anything. See (314-a, b).
(iii) The Neut. Sing. yaµ is frequently used adverbially in the sense of "as; that, because, since, seeing that, If, when "taµ bahuµ yaµ pi j“vasi, it is much that thou livest.
(iv) The Inst. yena is used as an adverb, meaning "whereby, by which, for which, because": yena naµ gaöhissmi, by which I shall catch him.
(v) When motion to a definite place is expressed, yena, where, is used with tena, there: yena bhagav, ten'upasaŗkati, he went to Buddha (lit. where was Buddha there he approached).
(vi) Yasm (Abl.), is used in the sense of "because" and is then generally followed by tasm, therefore; yasm tvaµ na jnsi tasm blo's“ ti, because thou doth not understand, therefore art thou a fool.
608. 4. The Interrogative
(i) The interrogative pronoun ko (316), may be used by itself or with a noun or pronoun: ko pana tvaµ, who art thou? ke ete, who are these? k drik, which girl?
(ii) kena (Inst.) used with attho and the Dat. of the person, forms such expressions as "what do you want?" etc,: kena te attho, what are you in need of?
(iii) kena (Inst.) kasm (Abl.) and kissa (Gen.) are used adverbially with the meaning of "why? wherefore?"
(iv) kiµ is much used with the Inst. to express "what is the use of?" kiµ me j“vitena, what is the use to me of life?
5. The Indefinite
609. The indefinite pronoun (319), does not present any peculiarity: m idha koci pvisi, let nobody enter here; kici bhayaµ, any danger.
610. To express "plurality, totality, distribution, variety, multiplicity," etc., words are sometimes repeated: tesu tesu Źhnesu in various places; taµ taµ kathaya mn, saying this and this. yo, thus repeated means "whoever, whatever, whichever": yaµ yaµ gmaµ, whatever village; itar ten'eva niymena y y. kici katheti tassa tassa upari kacavaraµ cha¶¶esi, and in this way the other (woman) threw the refuse on whomsoever said anything; so diŹŹhadiŹŹhamanusse j“vitakkhayaµ ppeti, he kills all whom he sees; gatagataŹŹhne, in every place, yena kena, by whatever...; ubbah“yati so so, every one is put to flight.
611. (viii) Syntax of Verbs
(i) The Concord of the verb with its subject has already been noticed (590, 1st).
(ii) The Present Tense denotes an action taking place now, a fact existing at the present time so bhyati, he is afraid; s pacati, she cooks.
(iii) The present tense often expresses the continuance of an action and is equivalent to the present progressive: s gabbhe nis“dati, she is sitting in her private room.
(iv) Habit, custom and general truths are expressed by the present tense sabbe maranti, all (men) die; bhikkhu s“laµ carati: a monk practises virtue.
(v) The present is sometimes used with a future signification: kiµ karomi, what shall I do?
(vi) The present is extremely frequent in narrations when recounting past events as if they were actually happening, this is called the Historical Present: so pacamöavakasatni sippaµ uggaöhpeti, he taught five hundred young men (lit. he teaches).
(vii) When no interrogative particle is used, interrogation is sometimes expressed by placing the present tense at the beginning of the sentence: socasi tvaµ upsaka, grievest thou, O layman? Remark. Other tenses may also be used in the same way to mark interrogation.
612. The Past Tense
Perfect, Imperfect and Aorist.
(i) The Perfect and the Imperfect tenses present no difficulty, they are as a rule used in the sense of a general past, and they do not require any notice. Let it be borne in mind, however, that the Perfect is but seldom used; that the Imperfect, though more frequent than the Perfect, does seldom differ from it in meaning and last, that the Aorist has generally displaced these two tenses and superseded them.
(ii) The Aorist is the principal past tense in Pli and is therefore extensively used; it expresses indefinite past time, but also includes the Present day. The Aorist may be translated by the Present Perfect or the Past Indefinite (See 405): catuppdč pi ekaµ s“haµ rjnaµ akaµsu, the quadrupeds made a lion king; mukhe pahari, struck him on the mouth; kena kraöena rodi, why did you cry? brhmaöo eĀakena saddhiµ vicari, the brahmin walked about with the goat.
(iii) The indeclinable m is used
with the Aorist to express prohibition:
eĀaka, m bhyi, O! goat, fear not! m puna evarčpaµ aksi, do not do so again; tta, m gami, dear son, do not go.
613. Future Tense
(i) The Future expresses simple futurity: ahaµ gacchissmi, I shall go; te marissanti, they will die.
(ii) The future is also used as a mild form of the Imperative, when courteously giving a command: tvaµ tassa bandhanaµ dantehi khdissasi, cut his bonds with thy teeth.
(iii) The future is used to express simple condition, with the particles ce, sace and yadi: yadi tvaµ yguµ pacissasi ahaµ pivissmi, if thou wilt cook the gruel, I shall drink it; so ta ce labhissati, tena saddhiµ gaccha, if he gets it, go with him.
(iv) bhavissati, the 3rd. pers. sing. of bhavati, to be, is often used in the sense of "it must be that...: cor pathamaµ eva bherisaddaµ sutv issarabheri bhavissat“ ti palyitv, the theives on first hearing the beating of the drum, (said) "It must be the drum of an official" and fled; ayaµ me putto bhavissati, he must be my son.
(v) bhavissati preceded by the negative particle na may be translated by "it cannot be" nyaµ issarabheri bhavissati. This cannot be an official's drum.
(vi) jnissmi, the 3rd. pers sing of jnti, to know, is often used idiomatically in the sense of "I'll see": hotu, pacch jnissmi, let it be, I'll see (to it) afterwards.
614. The Optative
(i) The Optative expresses "probability, capability, fitness, assent or permission, command, wish, condition" and is also used in laying down rules and precepts.
(ii) Fitness: tvaµ tattha gaccheyysi, you should go there.
(iii) Wish: ahaµ imaµ tumhkaµ bhjetv dadeyyaµ, I would divide and give it to you, but...
(iv) Command: tvaµ pana ito paŹŹhya ovdnussaniyaµ dadeyysi, but thou hence forward, give us instructions and admonitions; udarena nipajjeyysi, lie on thy belly.
(v) Probability: api ca nma gaccheyymi, I may go.
(vi) When expressing condition, it is usually preceded by ce, sace or yadi, if: smi, sace imya velya tava sapattaµ passeyysi kin ti taµ kareyysi? Lord, if, at this time thou should see thy enemy, what would thou do to him?
(vii) To express supposition, the word yath is sometimes used with the Optative: yath mahrja kocideva puriso pad“paµ pad“peyya, were, maharaja, a man to light a lamp...
(viii) Assent: tvaµ idni gaccheyysi, thou may now go.
615. The Conditional expresses an action unable to be performed on account of some impediment in the way of its execution: so ce taµ ynaµ alabhissa agacchiss, he would go if he could get that vehicle; bho satthavsino, sace esa rukkhamčle caŗkamanatpaso ajja nbhaviss, sabbe mahvilopaµ patta abhavissatha, O! merchants, had not today this ascetic been walking to and fro at the foot of this tree you should all have been completely pillaged.
616. The Imperative
(i) The Imperative is used in giving commands: tena hi, gaccha, very well, go!
(ii) It expresses entreaty: bhante bhagav apposukko viharatu, Lord, let the Blessed One now live free from cares.
(iii) Benedictions, blessings: vassasataµ, j“va, may you live a hundred years!
(iv) With m prefixed, the Imperative 2nd person expresses simple prohibition (see Aorist 612, iii) m evaµ karotha, do not do so!
(v) The Imperative 3rd person sing. of bhavati, to be, is often used idiomatically, with the meaning of "very well": hotu, ahaµ jaöissmi, very well I'll see (to it).
617. The Infinitive
(i) The Infinitive shows "purpose,
motive intention". It is used actively as well as passively.
čyynaplo cha¶¶etuµ upyaµ na passati, the gardener saw no means of throwing (them) away;
taµ gantuµ, na dassmi, I will not let him go.
(ii) The Infinitive is used with verbs meaning "to wish to try or strive, to begin, to be able": s rodituµ, rabhi, she began to cry; na koci may saddhiµ sallapituµ sakkoti, no one can converse with me; s pavisituµ na icchati, she did not wish to enter; so taµ ukkhipituµ ussahati, he endeavoured to lift it.
(iii) The verb dadti to give, after an Inf. means "to let, to allow" and the verb labhati, to obtain, means "to be allowed": taµ paharituµ na dassmi, I will not allow him to be struck; gehabahi nikkhamituµ alabhanto, not being allowed to go out of the house.
(iv) Verbs like vaŹŹati, to behove, to be fit, proper, and adjectives like yuŹŹo, having the same meaning, are much used with the Inf.; in the case of vaŹŹati, the Instrumentive is used of the person who ought to do the act: ettha dni may vasituµ vattati, it now behoves me to live; it is used also impersonally: taµ harituµ vaŹŹati, the best is to kill him, it is proper, fit, to kill him. evaµ kathetuµ na yuŹŹaµ, it is not proper to speak thus.
(v) The indeclinable labbha, possible, allowable and sakk, possible, able, are used wih the Inf.: sakk is used much in the same way as vaŹŹati, that is, actively or passively, and often with the Inst. of the person; the verb hoti frequently follows sakk: sakk hoti methunaµ dhammaµ paŹisevituµ, it is possible to practise fornication; etasmiµ Źhne na sakk vasituµ, it is impossible to live in this place; idaµ na labbhh evaµ katuµ, it is not possible to do it in this way.
(vi) When kmo, willing, desirous,
is compounded with an Inf., final µ of the Inf. is
devatya balikammaµ kretukmo, wishing to make an offering to the god.
618. The Gerund
(i) The Gerund always denotes an action completed before another; it may be translated by the word "having" followed by a past participle as: gantv, having gone; or by the past tense followed by the conjunction "and" : gantv, he went and... The gerund, therefore, being very extensively used, is the most common connective in Pli , and practically does away with the Pli conjunction equivalent to the English "and" connecting two sentences. so taµ ukkhipitv gharaµ netv catudh vibhajitv dnd“ni puni katv yathkammaµ gato, He lifted it up, took it home, divided into four parts and, practising alms-giving and other good deeds, went according to his deeds.
(ii) The word va (=eva) following a gerund, may be translated by "as soon as": taµ vacanaµ sutv va, as soon as he heard these words...; so vndro attano puttaµ disv va, the monkey, as soon as he saw his offspring...
(iii) The particle "api" coming after a gerund, may be translated by "although": akatač puggalo cakkavattirajjaµ datv pi tosetuµ na sakk, an ungrateful man cannot be satisfied although he be given universal sovereignty.
(iv) Before a gerund, a may be translated by "without": papacaµ akatv, without making delays, without any delay; ekaµ pi akilametv, without harming even one person.
(v) Some gerunds are used prepositionally; the principal of them are: patthya since, beginning from, from, after; sandhya, with reference to, concerning; rabbha concerning, with reference to; sacicca intentionally; asallakkhetv, inadvertently, unawares: nissya, upanissya, on account of, through, near; dya, with; paticca by, through, on account of; Źhapetv, except, excepting.
(vi) The Gerund may sometimes be translated by the present participle; idha gantv ahaµ coraµ passiµ, coming here I saw the thief.
(vii) The Gerund may have a passive signification: corajeŹŹhakena gahetv, having been seized by the robber chief.
619. The Present Participle
(i) The Present Participle may generally be translated by "while, whilst," which sense is inherent in it; this participle always expresses contemporaneity of action: attano gmaµ gacchanto corŹaviµ patv, while going to his village he came upon a forest inhabited by thieves; tattha gantv mtaraµ paŹijagganto vsaµ kappesi, he went and, taking care of his mother, took up his abode there.
(ii) It must be remembered that participles are of the nature of adjectives (439) and must agree with the word they qualify in the same way as adjectives: av“cinirayaµ gacchant satt..., persons going to the Avici Hell; gacchantaµ taµ disv pi, although he saw him coming.
(iii) The present participle is sometimes used substantively, and may be translated by "he who" (does the action expressed by the verb): idaµ pana paralokaµ gacchantassa patheyyaµ bhavissati, but this will be provisions for him who goes to the other world: paralokaµ gacchanto ekaµ kahpaöaµ pi gahetv na gacchati he who goes to the other world does not take even one cent with him.
(iv) The present participle may also sometimes be translated by a conditional clause: taµ labhanto j“vissami alabhanto idh' eva marissmi, if I obtain her I shall live; if not, in this very spot shall I die; addhamse sahassaµ labhanto upaŹŹhahissmi deva, if I get a thousand every fortnight, I'll serve thee, Lord; evaµ karonto lacchasi akaronto na lacchasi, if you do so you'll get it, if not, you will not get it.
(v) The particle pi (=api) following a pres. part. may be rendered by "although": pitar vriyamno pi, although prevented by his father; taµ apassanto pi; although not seeing him.
620. 2. The Past Participles
(i) There are two past participles, the Perfect Active (231, 465) and the Passive Perfect (450).
(ii) The perfect active participle presents no difficulty whatever: so s“haµ dinnav, he having captured the lion; bhattaµ bhuttv“, having taken his meal.
(iii) The passive perfect participle is very often used as a predicate instead of a finite verb (See Concord of Subject and Predicate 590); it can then be translated by a past tense.
(iv) The P.P.P. of roots implying motion, and of transitive roots, takes an accusative; sakanivsaµ eva gato, he went to his own place.
(v) When the P.P.P; is thus used predicatively, the verb "hoti," to be, is generally understood after it.
(vi) The agent of a P.P.P. is as a rule put in the Instrumentive case: tay pahaµ puŹŹhaµ, by her the question was asked, she asked the question; ssanaµ may likkhitaµ, a letter has been written by me, I have etc.
(vii) Not seldom the P.P.P. may be translated by a pres. participle: tato uppatito vijjullata viya vijjotamno parat“re aŹŹhsi, springing from there, he reached the other shore as a lightning flash.
621. 3. The Future Participle
(i) The future Participle (449) denotes that the agent is about to perform the action or undergo the state expressed by the root: raŹŹh raŹŹhaµ vicarissaµ, I am going (= I am about to go) from kingdom to kingdom; taµ ganthaµ racissaµ ahaµ; I am about to compose that book.
(ii) It also shows purpose, intention, as may be seen by the 2nd example in (i) above.
(iii) It shows simple futurity: nhaµ puna upessaµ gabbhaseyyaµ, I shall not be reborn again.
622. 4. The Future Passive Participle
(i) The Future Passive Participle conveys the idea of "fitness, necessity, obligation;" it denotes that what is expressed by the root is to be, or ought to be, or is fit to be or must be done or undergone: may kattabbaµ kammaµ niŹŹhitaµ the work which was to be done by me is finished; sace so deso uklpo hoti so deso sammajjitabbo, if the place be dirty it ought to be swept; na nav bhikkhč sanena paŹibhetabb, young monks should not be ousted from their seat.
(ii) From the above examples, it will be seen that the F.P.P. must agree with the subject in gender, case and number.
(iii) It is much used impersonally: kinnu kattabbaµ, what is to be done? ettha ca imni suttni dassetabbni, and in this connection these passages (from the Scriptures) should be pointed out; imin nayena veditabbo, it must be understood in this way.
(iv) It will be, from the above examples, remarked, that the agent is put in the Instrumentive.
(v) bhavitabbaµ, used with the Inst. of the thing or person, is frequently used in the sense of "it must be that, one should or ought to'': majjhatten'eva bhavitabbaµ, one should be indifferent to...; visayojitya etya bhavitabbaµ, this must have been mixed with poison.
623. (ix) Syntax of lndeclinables
(i) The following are used
yath, as.. ath, so; yav, so long... tav that long, as long as: yad, when.. tad, then; yattha, where; attha, there.
(ii) ca...ca..., both...and, so ca
aha ca, both he and I.
v...v.. whether...or: bhsati v karoti v, whether he speaks or acts.
pi..pi..., both...and sicati pi sicpeti pi, both sprinkles and causes to sprinkle.
(iii) ca....ca...., and v...v...when in a negative sentence, are equivalent to: neither...nor.
(iv) ca and v used singly, never come at the beginning of a sentence.
(v) eva, and, before a vowel yeva is used to emphasize the idea expressed by a word, and may be translated by "very, just, quite, exactly, as soon as": idni eva, just now; attano yeva, one's very own. yeva, coming after a verb, is not always easy to translate into English, but in the majority of cases, it may be rendered by "on, to go on, continue," etc.: kathenti yeva, they went on talking.
(vi) yadi if, is used in conditional
sentences with the Present., the Future, the Optative and the
Conditional. yadi evaµ, yajj' evaµ, if so, in that case; v...yadi v...,
whether...or ; gme v yadi v'rae,
whether in the village or in the forest.
Remark. The syntax of the most important indeclinables has been given in "Syntax of Substantives."
624. Direct and Indirect Narration
(i) The oblique construction in Pli is expressed by placing the particle iti, so, thus, after the words in the direct construction as they would stand in English, that is, at the end of the words quoted: kahaµ so etarahi ti pucchi, he asked, "Where is he now?"
(ii) iti is generally abbreviated to: ti, and the last vowel of the quotation, if short, is lengthened before it: sdhč ti, he said "very well!"
(iii) Verbs of "saying, telling,
asking, naming, knowing, thinking," are generally used with
iti; those verbs may be:
(1) Placed after the particle iti: te "sdhč" ti vatv, they said "Very well."
(2) Before the words quoted: so pucchi "kiµ jnsi tvan" ti, he asked "What do you know?"
(3) The verb is frequently omitted altogether: mressmi nan" ti, (he thought, or said) "I'll kill him!"
(4) When iti or ti, is followed by a vowel, sandhi takes place regularly: iti+evaµ=iccevaµ; kvaci+iti=kvac“ti.
(5) Often, iti has the sense of "because, with the intention of "showing "cause, motive, intention, purpose:" "j“vituµ asakkont" ti because (we) are unable to make a living; µakasaµ paharissmi" ti pitu matthakaµ dvidh bhindi, intending to kill the mosquito he broke his father's head in two.
625. Interrogation and Negation
(i) The negative particle is na: imasmiµ sare sudakaµ n'atthi, there is no water in this lake; na asi, did not thou know? seŹŹhin saddhiµ kathetuµ na sakkomi, I am unable to speak with the banker.
(ii) With an Optative, na is used in prohibition: na hatthislaµ gaccheyya, let him not go to the elephant-shed.
(iii) na may form the first part of a compound: ngamanaµ (=na+gamanam), non-arrival: na bhikkhu, a non-monk, a layman.
(iv) Two negatives make an affirmative: bheriµ na na vdeyy, not that he may not beat the drum (he may therefore beat it).
(v) no, is also used in negation in the same way as na: no janti, he does not know.
(vi) no, followed by na, expresses a strong affirmative: no na dhameyya, he should surely blow (the conch); no nappahoti, he is most certainly able.
(vii) Interrogation is expressed by using interrogative adverbs or pronouns as kasm, why? wherefore? kissa, kena, why? ko, who? etc.
(viii) Also by means of interrogative particles.
(ix) api, when used in interrogation, is always placed first in the sentence: ap'avuso, amhkam satthraµ jnsi, do you, Sir, know our Teacher?
(x) followed by nu kho, it expresses a very emphatic interrogation: api nu kho koci upaddavo hoti, well, have you any cause of distress?
(xi) nu, I wonder! Pray? nu, is often followed by kho: k“diso nu kho paraloko, I wonder what the next world is like? cor nu atthi, are there thieves?
(xii) Preceded by na, it expresses emphatic interrogation: na nu'haµ yodho, am I not a warrior?
(xiii) Interrogation is also expressed by placing the verb first in the sentence: socasi upsaka, grievest thou layman?
(xiv) Sometimes the mere tone of voice is sufficient to express interrogation: supaµ labhi, did thou get broth?
(i) The principal interjections are: h, alas! ah! handa, come! aŗga, indeed! oh! bho, friend! Sir! I say! hare, sirrah! am, yes! truly! indeed! aho, alas! oh! (538).
(ii) bhaöe, first pers. sing. Reflective of bhaöati, to say, is used as an interjection with the meaning of "to be sure! I say there!"
(iii) mae, 1st. pers. sing. Reflective of maati, to think, is also used as an interjection in the sense of µethinks! I dare say! I suppose!"