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Paali Primer
Lesson 1
Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Lesson 4
Lesson 5
Lesson 6
Lesson 7
Lesson 8
Lesson 9
Lesson 10
Lesson 11
Lesson 12
Lesson 13
Lesson 14
Lesson 15
Lesson 16
Lesson 17
Lesson 18
Lesson 19
Lesson 20
Lesson 21
Lesson 22
Lesson 23
Lesson 24
Lesson 25
Lesson 26
Lesson 27
Lesson 28
Lesson 29
Lesson 30
Lesson 31
Lesson 32
For free distribution, as a gift of Dhamma.

Paali Primer

Lesson 15

1. The Optative or the Potential Mood

The optative expresses mainly probability and advice, and ideas such as those conveyed by if, might, would, etc. It is formed by adding -eyya to the verbal base before terminations.

Base: paca = to cook

  Singular Plural
3rd (So) paceyya = If he would cook (Te) paceyyu.m = If they would cook
2nd (Tva.m) paceyyaasi = If you would cook (Tumhe) paceyyaatha = If you would cook
1st (Aha.m) paceyyaami = If I would cook (Maya.m) paceyyaama = If we would cook

It should be observed that the terminations of the second and first persons are similar to those of the present tense.

2. Particle

The following particles are useful for construction of sentences.

3. Examples in sentence formation


  1. Sace so bhatta.m paceyya, aham bhu~njeyyaami.
    If he would cook rice I will eat.
  2. Sace tva.m iccheyyaasi, aha.m cora.m puccheyyaami.
    If you would like, I will question the thief.
  3. Yadi aha.m nagare vihareyyaami, so pi nagara.m aagaccheyya.
    If I dwell in the city, he too would come to the city.


  1. Sace te bhatta.m paceyyu.m, maya.m bhu~njeyyaama.
    If they cook rice we will eat.
  2. Sace tumhe iccheyyaatha, maya.m core puccheyyaama.
    If you so wish, we will question the thieves.
  3. Yadi maya.m nagare vihareyyaama, te pi nagara.m aagaccheyyu.m.
    If we dwell in the city, they too will come to the city.

Exercise 15

Translate into English

  1. Sace tva.m dhamma.m su.neyyaasi, addhaa (certainly) tva.m Buddhassa saavako bhaveyyaasi.
  2. Yadi te giitaani gaayitu.m ugga.nheyyu.m, aha.m pi ugga.nheyyaami.
  3. Sace tva.m biijaani pahi.neyyaasi, kassako taani (them) khette vapeyya.
  4. Sace tumhe padumaani ocineyyaatha, kumaaraa taani Buddhassa puujeyyu.m.
  5. Sace tva.m muula.m ga.nheyyaasi, aha.m dussa.m aadadeyyaami.
  6. Yadi maya.m bhuupaalena saha manteyyaama amaccaa na aagaccheyyu.m.
  7. Sace tumhe rukkhe ropeyyaatha daarakaa phalaani bhu~njeyyu.m.
  8. Sace maya.m sappurisaa bhaveyyaama, puttaa pi sappurisaa bhaveyyu.m.
  9. Sace bhuupaalaa dhammena diipe paaleyyu.m, maya.m bhuupaalesu pasiideyyaama.
  10. Sace kassako go.na.m vikki.neyya, vaa.nijo ta.m ki.neyya.
  11. Sace manusse pii.lentaa asappurisaa gaama.m aagaccheyyu.m aha.m te ovadeyyaami.
  12. Yadi amaccaa paapa.m parivajeyyu.m, manussaa paapa.m na kareyyu.m.
  13. Sace tumhe pabbata.m aaruheyyaatha, aahi.n.dante mige ca rukkhesu carante makka.te ca u.d.dente saku.ne ca passeyyaatha.
  14. Sace tva.m pattena paaniiya.m aaneyyaasi pipaasito (thirsty) so piveyya.
  15. Kusalakammaani katvaa tumhe manussaloke uppajitu.m ussaheyyaatha.
  16. Sace so vejjo bhaveyya, aha.m ta.m (him) rodanta.m daaraka.m passitu.m aaneyyaami.
  17. Yadi putto paapa.m kareyya aha.m ta.m (him) ovadeyyaami.
  18. Sace amacco pa.n.dita.m aacariya.m aaneyya maya.m dhamma.m ugga.nheyyaama.
  19. Sace aha.m hatthena suva.m phusitu.m ussaheyyaami so gehaa uppateyya.
  20. Yadi so vejja.m pakkositu.m iccheyya aha.m ta.m (him) aaneyyaami.

Translate into Paali

  1. If you cover the evil deeds your sons do, they will become thieves.
  2. If you (pl.) want to become virtuous men avoid evil.
  3. If we look with our eyes we will see objects in the world, if we look with our minds we will see good and evil.
  4. If you (sg.) start singing a song, the children will start dancing.
  5. If we depart from the human world we will not fear to be born in the human world.
  6. If gods are born in the human world they will do meritorious deeds.
  7. If you search for the truth you will approach the Buddha living in the monastery.
  8. If you admonish the merchant he will become a virtuous man.
  9. If I invite the monk he will come home to preach the dhamma.
  10. If you are a good man you will not kill oxen roaming in the forest.
  11. If you do work in the field you will get wealth and corn.
  12. If the king wishes to govern the island righteously he will discuss with wise men and ministers.
  13. If you work in the field you will see farmers ploughing.
  14. I see boys playing in the park with a monkey.
  15. If they want to see birds singing they will go to the park.
  16. If you listen to the dhamma you will be able to live righteously.
  17. If you avoid evil friends (paapamitte) you will become a good man.
  18. If the minister is not a good man we will not approach him.
  19. If there are fruits on the tree I will climb to pick them (taani).
  20. If I pick fruits you will eat them with friends.