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A Practical Grammar of the Pāli Language
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
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A Practical Grammar of the Paali Language

Chapter IX

Pronouns, Pronominal Adjectives, and Pronominal Derivatives

288. (I) Personal Pronouns

289. Declension of aha.m, I

Of all genders.

  Singular Plural
Nom. aha.m: I maya.m, amhe, vaya.m: we
Gen. mama, mayha.m, mama.m, amha.m: my, mine amhaaka.m, amha.m, asmaaka.m, no: our, ours
Dat. mama, mayha.m, mama.m, amha.m, me: to me, for me amhaaka.m, amha.m, asmaaka.m, no: to us, for us
Acc. ma.m, mama.m: me amhe, amhaaka.m, asme, amhe, no: us
Ins. mayaa, me: by me amhehi, amhebhi, no: by us
Abl. mayaa, me: from me amhehi, amhebhi, no: from us
Loc. mayi: in, on, upon me amhesu, asmaasu, asmesu: in, on, upon us

Remarks. (a) The singular base of aha.m is mad according to Sanskrit commentators; it is properly ma and mam. Pronominal derivatives are, however, formed from the three bases: mad, mam and ma, the latter sometimes with the a lengthened: maa (See Pronominal Derivation at the end of the present chapter.)
(b) The form me, of the Gen., Dat., Ins., Abl., sing., is enclitic; it is never used at the beginning of a sentence.
(c) The form no, of the same cases in the plural is also enclitic, and never used at the beginning of a sentence.
(d) The plural base is amha, or amhad.

290. Declension of tva.m, thou

Of all genders.

  Singular Plural
Nom. tva.m, tuva.m, ta.m: thou tumhe: you
Gen. tava, tava.m, tuyha.m, tumha.m, te: thy, thine tumhaaka.m, tumha.m, vo: your, yours
Dat. tava, tava.m, tuyha.m, tumha.m, te: to thee, for thee tumhaaka.m, tumha.m, vo: to you, for you
Acc. tava.m, ta.m, tuva.m, tva.m, tya.m: thee tumhe, tumhaaka.m, vo: you
Ins. tvayaa, tayaa, te: by thee tumhehi, tumhebhi, vo: by you
Abl. tvayaa, tayaa, tvamhaa, te: from thee tumhehi, tumhebhi, vo: from you
Loc. tvayi, tayi, in, on, upon thee tumhesu, in, on, upon you

Remarks. (a) The bases are tad and ta (sometimes lengthened to taa, in the singular).
(b) tumha (tumhad), is the plural base.
(c) te like me of aha.m, is an enclitic form and never begins a sentence; so is vo for the plural.
(d) vo is also found in the Nom. plural.
(e) lt will be remarked that pronouns have no forms for the Vocative case.

291. (II) Demonstrative Personal Pronouns

Declension of so, saa, ta.m: this, that, he, she, it

292. Masculine: so, he, this, that

  Singular Plural
Nom. so, sa te
Gen. tassa tesa.m, tesaana.m
Dat. tassa tesa.m, tesaana.m
Acc. ta.m te
Ins. tena tehi, tebhi
Abl. tasmaa, tamhaa tehi, tebhi
Loc. tasmi.m, tamhi tesu

293. Feminine: saa, she, this, that

  Singular Plural
Nom. saa taa, taayo
Gen. tassaa, tassaaya, tissaa, tissaaya, taaya taasa.m, taasaanam
Dat. tassaa, tassaaya, tissaa, tissaaya, taaya taasa.m, taasaanam
Acc. ta.m taa, taayo
Ins. taaya taahi, taabhi
Abl. taaya taahi, taabhi
Loc. tassa.m, tissa.m, taaya.m taasu

294. Neuter: ta.m, it, this, that

  Singular Plural
Nom. ta.m, tad taani
Gen. tassa tesa.m, tesaana.m
Dat. tassa tesa.m, tesaana.m
Acc. ta.m, tad taani
Ins. tena tehi, tebhi
Abl. tasmaa, tamhaa tehi, tebhi
Loc. tasmi.m, tamhi tesu

Remarks. (a) In the Gen., Dat., Abl., and Loc. singular for the masc. and neut., a form from pronominal stem: a, is also used: assa, asmaa, asmi.m in the feminine too, for the Gen., Dat. and Loc. singular: assaa, assa.m (Loc.).
(b) ln the neuter, the form tad is used mostly in compound words, as: tad (=ta.m) karo=takkaro, "doing this", and also before a vowel.
(c) It will have been remarked that the stem ta, 3rd personal pronoun (so, saa, ta.m), is also used as a demonstrative.
(d) ta is the base or stem of so, saa, ta.m; as above said (Note b), the form tad of the base is also used.
(e) Very often, the above pronoun may be translated as the definite pronoun.
(f) It is, too, often used pleonastically with the pronouns aha.m and tva.m, as are, in fact, most demonstrative pronouns; for instance: so'ha.m = this I, viz., I. tassa me (Dat.) = to this me, viz., to me. saa'yam (=saa aya.m) ta.nhaa = this longing.
(g) attaa self; own (154), is, in its oblique cases, very much used in a reflexive sense, instead of the three personal pronouns.

295. There is a common substitute of so, saa, ta.m, obtained by replacing t wherever it occurs, by n, for the three genders. Thus we have:

Masculine Feminine Neuter
nassa=tassa naaya=taaya na.m=ta.m
nena=tena nassaa=tassaa nena=tena
na.m=ta.m nassaaya=tassaaya na.m=ta.m
nasmaa=tasmaa nassa.m=tassa.m nasmaa=tasmaa
nasmi.m=tasmi.m naaya.m=taaya.m nasmi.m=tasmi.m
ne=te naa=taa, taayo ne=te
nehi=tehi naahi=taahi nehi=tehi
nesa.m=tesa.m naasa.m=taasa.m nesa.m=tesa.m
nesu=tesu naasu=taasu nesu=tesu

296. The forms with n as above given are generally used when a noun which has been already mentioned, is referred to; as, ta.m khaadaapessaami nan 'ti, I'll make you eat him (viz., a monkey previously mentioned).

297. Demonstrative Pronouns

298. Declension of eso, esaa, eta.m: this

299. The student will readily perceive that the above Demonstratives are formed simply by prefixing e to so, saa and ta.m. They are declined exactly like so, saa, ta.m.

300. As in the case of so, saa and ta.m, so also with eso, esaa and eta.m, the t may be replaced all through by n, so that we obtain the forms: enena, ena.m, enaaya, etc., whose declension presents no difficulty whatever. These forms are also used in referring to a noun already mentioned.

301. eso, esaa, eta.m may be translated by "that" sometimes.

302. The neuter etad (=eta.m) is used in composition before a vowel.

303. This pronoun is also used pleonastically with a personal pronoun (294, f).

304. e, is considered as the base of pronouns ena, eta, etc. It is much used in derivation.

Declension of aya.m: this; this here

305. Masculine:

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

306. Feminine:

  Singular Plural
Nom. aya.m imaa, imaayo
Gen. assaaya, assaa, imissaaya, imissaa, imaaya imaasaana.m, imaasa.m
Dat. assaaya, assaa, imissaaya, imissaa, imaaya imaasaana.m, imaasa.m
Acc. ima.m imaa, imaayo
Ins. imaaya, assaa, imissaa imaahi, imaabhi
Abl. imaaya, assaa, imissaa imaahi, imaabhi
Loc. assa.m, imissa.m, assaa, imissaa, imaaya.m, imaaya imaasu

307. Neuter:

  Singular Plural
Nom. ida.m, ima.m imaani
Gen. imassa, assa imesa.m, imesaana.m, esaana.m, esa.m
Dat. imassa, assa imesa.m, imesaana.m, esaana.m, esa.m
Acc. ida.m, ima.m imaani
Ins. iminaa, anena imehi, imebhi, ehi, ebhi
Abl. imasmaa, amhaa, asmaa imehi, imebhi, ehi, ebhi
Loc. imasmi.m, asmi.m, imamhi imesu, esu

Remarks. (a) The student will remark that the declension of aya.m is based on two stems: a and i.
(b) Aya.m is used substantively as well as pronominally.

Declension of asu, that

308. Masculine:

  Singular Plural
Nom. asu amuu, amuyo
Gen. amussa, adussa, amuno amuusa.m, amuusaana.m
Dat. amussa, adussa, amuno amuusa.m, amuusaana.m
Acc. amu.m amuu, amuyo
Ins. amunaa amuuhi, amuubhi
Abl. amusmaa, amumhaa, amunaa amuuhi, amuubhi
Loc. amusmi.m, amumhi amuusu

309. Feminine:

  Singular Plural
Nom. asu amuu, amuyo
Gen. amussaa, amuyaa amuusa.m, amuusaana.m
Dat. amussaa, amuyaa amuusa.m, amuusaana.m
Acc. amu.m amuu, amuyo
Ins. amuyaa amuuhi, amuubhi
Abl. amuyaa amuuhi, amuubhi
Loc. amussa.m, amuya.m amuusu

310. Neuter:

  Singular Plural
Nom. adu.m, amu.m amuuni, amuu
Gen. amussa, adussa amuusa.m, amuusaana.m
Dat. amussa, adussa amuusa.m, amuusaana.m
Acc. adu.m, amu.m amuuni, amuu
Ins. amunaa amuuhi, amuubhi
Abl. amusmaa, amumhaa, amunaa amuuhi, amuubhi
Loc. amusmi.m, amumhi amuusu

Remarks. (a) Some native grammarians also give amu for the Nom. sing. in the masculine and feminine.
(b) It will be noticed that the stem is amu; in the neuter, there are a few forms on the stem adu.
(c) To express: such, so and so ka is added to the stem, as, asuka, amuka.
(d) The forms asuka and amuka are often used to express some contempt.
(e) These two forms have in the plural masc. and neut. Acc. asuke, amuke.

311. Relative Pronouns

Declensions of yo, yaa, ya.m

312. Masculine: yo, who; he who; whoever; what

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

313. Feminine: yaa, she; she who; whoever; what

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

314. Neuter: ya.m, it; which; that which

  Singular Plural
Nom. ya.m, yad yaani
Gen. yassa yesa.m
Dat. yassa yesa.m
Acc. ya.m, yad yaani
Ins. yena yehi, yebhi
Abl. yasmaa, yamhaa yehi, yebhi
Loc. yasmi.m, yamhi yesu

Remarks. (a) For the sake of greater emphasis, the personal pronouns, and so also aya.m and eso are used pleonastically with yo.
(b) Yo is used with koci (323), in the three Genders as yo koci, yena kenaci, ya.m ki~nci, etc., both pronouns together meaning: whosoever, whoever, whatever, anyone, anything, etc.
(c) The form yad of the neuter singular, is used before vowels and in composition.
(d) The base of yo is ya.

315. Interrogative Pronouns

Declension of ko, kaa, ki.m

316. Masculine: ko, who? what?

  Singular Plural
Nom. ko ke
Gen. kassa, kissa kesa.m, kesaana.m
Dat. kassa, kissa kesa.m, kesaana.m
Acc. ka.m ke
Ins. kena kehi, kebhi
Abl. kasmaa, kamhaa kehi, kebhi
Loc. kasmi.m, kamhi, kismi.m, kimhi kesu

317. Feminine: kaa, who? what?

  Singular Plural
Nom. kaa kaa, kaayo
Gen. kaaya, kassaa kaasa.m, kasaana.m
Dat. kaaya, kassaa kaasa.m, kasaana.m
Acc. ka.m kaa, kaayo
Ins. kaaya kaahi, kaabhi
Abl. kaaya kaahi, kaabhi
Loc. kaaya, kassaa, kaaya.m, kassa.m kaasu

318. Neuter: ki.m, what?

  Singular Plural
Nom. ki.m kaani
Gen. kissa, kassa kesa.m, kesaana.m
Dat. kissa, kassa kesa.m, kesaana.m
Acc. ki.m kaani
Ins. kena kehi, kebhi
Abl. kasmaa, kamhaa kehi, kebhi
Loc. kasmi.m, kamhi, kismi.m, kimhi kesu

Remarks. (a) The base of ko assumes several forms: ka, ku (kud), ki (kid).
(b) kud and kid are used before vowels and in composition.

319. Indefinite Pronouns

320. The indefinite pronouns are formed by adding ci (cid), api and cana, to the interrogative pronouns.

321. ci, or, before a vowel cid is the suffix most commonly used to form these pronouns.

322. cana.m=cana, is also found; both are sometimes shortened to ca.

Declension of koci, kaaci and ki~nci

323. Masculine: koci, any, some, anyone

  Singular Plural
Nom. koci keci
Gen. kassaci kesa~nci
Dat. kassaci kesa~nci
Acc. ka~nci, ki~nci keci
Ins. kenaci kehici
Abl. kasmaaci kehici
Loc. kasmi~nci, kamhici, kismi~nci, kimhici kesuci

324. Feminine: kaaci, any, some, anyone

  Singular Plural
Nom. kaaci kaaci, kaayoci
Gen. kaayaci, kassaaci kaasa~nci
Dat. kaayaci, kassaaci kaasa~nci
Acc. ka~nci kaaci, kaayoci
Ins. kaayaci kaahici
Abl. kaayaci kaahici
Loc. kaayaci, kaaya~nci, kassa~nci kaasuci

325. Neuter: ki~nci, any, some, anything

The neuter is declined like the masculine, except:

  Singular Plural
Nom.& Acc. ki~nci kaanici

326. By placing na, not, before the indefinite pronouns we get the meanings: none, no one, nothing, etc.

327. ci, cana may also be placed after adverbs, to give them an indefinite sense, as: kuhi.m, where? kuhi~nci, kuhi~ncana.m, anywhere. kudaa, when? kudaacana.m, ever, sometimes. kadaa, when? kadaaci, sometimes.

Other Pronouns

328. attaa, self, own, oneself (154), is very much used as a reflexive pronoun; so also are: aatumaa, self, own, etc., which is but another form of attaa, and very rarely used in Buddhist writings: tuma, having the same meaning, is still less frequent.

329. In composition the bases are: atto, atuma and tuma.

330. saya.m, oneself, by oneself and saama.m, self, both indeclinable, are often used as Reflexive Emphatic Pronouns.

331. attaa, aatumaa and tuma are properly nouns used pronominally.

332. A few other nouns are thus used pronominally; the following are the most usual.

333. bhava.m, lord, sir, (166). It is a very respectful term of address, used for the second pers. pronoun; the verb is put in the third person.

334. Ayya, lord, master; a Buddhist monk; it is used chiefly in addressing Buddhist monks, and is then often used with bhante (166).

335. aavuso, friend, brother; is also used as a pronoun sometimes. It is used mostly by senior monks to junior monks, aavuso is indeclinable.

Pronominal Derivatives

Possessive Pronouns

336. A few possessive pronouns are formed from the bases of the first and second personal pronouns by means of suffixes: iiya and aka, the vowel of the bases being sometimes lengthened before aka. Base possessive pronoun mad (289, a) madiiya, mine, my, my own. mam (289, a) maamaka, mamaka, mine, my, my own. amhad (289, d) amhadiya, ours, our own. tad (290, a) tadiya, thine, thy, thy own. tava (Gen.) taavaka, thine, thy, thy own.

Remarks. (a) aamaka, mamaka, as well as taavaka, may be derived from the singular genitive form by the addition of ka.
(b) The above pronouns are declined like deva, ka~n~naa and ruupa.m.

337. A great number of adjectives and adverbs are derived from pronominal bases by means of suffixes, the principal of which are the following:

(a) di (dii), disa, disaka, risa, tara, tama, ka.
(b) daa, daani, tra, tha, thaa, tha.m, ti, to, va (vat), rahi, ha.m, ha, hi.m, va, va.m, di.

The former (a) are used to form adjectives, and the latter, (b), adverbs.

The following are the principal derivatives by means of the above suffixes.

338. (a) Adjectives

339. di (dii), disa, disaka and risa, express likeness, resemblance; the vowel of the stem being lengthened before them.

Pronominal base Adjective
ma (289, a) maadii, maadisa, maarisa, like me, such as I
ta (290, a) taadi, taadisa, taadisaka, like him, like that, such
amha (289, d) amhaadisa, like us
tumha (290, b) tumhaadisa, like you
i (307, a) iidii, iidisa, iirisa, iidisako, like this, such as this
e (304) edii, edisa, erisa, like this, such as this
eta (298, 302) etaadisa, etaarisa, such as this or that, such
ki (318, a, b) kiidii, kiidisa, kiirisa, like what? of what kind?

340. The suffix dikkha, has the same meaning as disa, etc. It is obtained by assimilation from the Sanskrit d.rk.sa. Hence we have also the forms:

taadikkha = taadisa,
kiidikkha = kiidisa,
edikkha = edisa,
iidikkha = iidisa, etc.

341. In edi, edisa, etc., the stem i is strengthened (105), in iidisa, etc., it is merely lengthened (19).

342. Tara and tama, which are used for the comparison of adjectives (238), are also added to the interogative stem to form pronominal adjectives which, in meaning, differ but little from the single stem. Hence we have:

katara, which? what?
katama, which? what?

343. Some adjectives assume a rather anomalous form; such are, for instance: kittaka, tattaka, yattaka, ettaka, etc. A glance will suffice to show that they are formed on pronominal bases: ya, eta, ki, (ka), etc. The difficulty is to account (for most of them) for the double tt. It is obvious these adjectives were formed by adding the adjectival suffix ka to the adverbial instrumentive in taa (from vat, vant: cf., Sansk. taavaataa from taavat; yaavataa from yaavat). The Paali forms are simply contractions from the Sanskrit forms; as: taavataa + ka = taavataaka: the loss of medial va being compensated by the doubling of the last taa; the aa being shortened before ka, and the aa of the first taa as well, according to euphonic laws. So that:

kittaka, how much? How many? How great?
kittaka = kiivataaka.

ettako, so great, so much, so many.
ettako = etaavataaka.

yattaka, however much; however big or large.
yattaka = yaavataaka.

tattaka, as many, as great, as big or large.
tattaka = taavataaka.

But see also such Sansk. forms as: iyattaka (i-yad-ta-ka); kiyattaka (ki-yad-ta-ka).

The form etta=ettaka, may be accounted for by the further dropping of final ka, the adverb etto, thence, is probably a contracted form etato (Abl. of eta.m); in ettavataa=etaavat, the consonant of the base is doubled.

344. (b) Adverbial Derivatives

Adverbial derivatives from pronominal bases constitute a large and useful class of words.

The principal suffixes used to form these adverbs have been given above (337, b). We will give here a few examples of such formation.

345. daa, daani, rahi express time.

Pronominal base Adverb
ka (318, a) karahi, kadaa, when
i (307, a) idaani, now; at this time
ta (290, a) tarahi, tadaa, tadaani, then; at that time
eta (298, 302) etarahi, now

346. to, tra, tha, dha, ha, ha.m, hi.m, form adverbs of place. Before a short vowel the t of tha is doubled.

Pronominal base Adverb
ka, ku (318, a) kattha, kutra, kuttha, kaha.m, kuha.m, kuhi.m, where? whither? wherein? in what place?
ya (314, d) yatra, yattha, where, wherein, whither. ya yato, from what?
e (304) ettha, here, herein
a (307, a) atra, attha, here
ta (290, a) tattha, tatra, taha.m, tahi.m, there, thither. ta tato, thence, from that place
i (307, a) iha, idha, here in this place
i ito, hence, from this place
eta (298, 302) etto, through. etato (343), hence

347. thaa, va, va.m, tha.m, ti, form adverbs of manner

Pronominal base Adverb
ta tathaa, thus, so, like that
ka katha.m, how?
i ittha.m, thus, in this manner
i iva, like this, as, as it were
i iti, thus, in this manner
e eva, eva.m, so, just so
ya yathaa, as, like

348. Another suffix va, from vat, (=Sansk. vat), forms adverbs of time and cause from the pronominal bases ta, ya, ki. The final t of vat is dropped according to the phonetic laws obtaining, in Paali, which do not suffer any consonant to remain at the end of a word, except .m; before a vowel however, the final t is revived in the form of a d; as for instance: taava; but; taavad eva.

Pronominal base Adverb
ya yaava, until; as long as; in order that
ta taava, so long, still, yet

Remarks. Final a of the base is lengthened before va (vat), which, as we have seen already, (219), forms adjectives from nouns. The Abl. sing. suffix taa, is also added to such forms as the above.


yaavataa, as far as, because.
taavataa, so far, to that extent, on that account.

From other pronominal bases we have:

Pronominal base Adverb
eta (298) ettaavataa, to that extent, so far, thus
ki (318, a) kittaavataa, to what extent? how far?

349. It has been seen that by adding ka to these forms we obtain adjectives of cognate meaning.

350. The suffix di, expressing condition, is found only in yadi, if.

351. The suffix ti, is found in: kati, how many? yati, as many, and tati, so many.

Adjectives Declined Pronominally

353. A few adjectives take the pronominal declension. They are: