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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 16

1. The Imperative

The imperative mood expresses a command, benediction, prayer or wish.

Base paca - to cook

  Singular Plural
3rd (So) pacatu = Let him cook (Te) pacantu = Let them cook
2nd (Tva.m) paca, pacaahi = You cook (Tumhe) pacatha = You cook
1st (Aha.m) pacaami = Let me cook (Maya.m) pacaama = Let us cook

It should be observed that the second person plural and first person singular and plural have the same forms as in the present tense. The prohibitive particle maa is also used with the imperative.

2. Examples in sentence formation


  1. So vaa.nijaana.m bhatta.m pacatu.
    Let him cook rice for the merchants.
  2. Tva.m rathena nagara.m gaccha/gacchaahi.
    You go to the city in the vehicle.
  3. Aha.m dhamma.m ugga.nhaami.
    Let me learn the dhamma.


  1. Te vaa.nijaana.m bhatta.m pacantu.
    Let them cook rice for the merchants.
  2. Tumhe rathena nagara.m gacchatha.
    You go to the city in the vehicle.
  3. Maya.m dhamma.m ugga.nhaama.
    Let us learn the dhamma.

The prohibitive particle maa

  1. Maa tumhe sacca.m parivajjetha.
    You do not avoid the truth.
  2. Maa te uyyaanamhi pupphaani ocinantu.
    Let them not pick flowers in the park.

Exercise 16

Translate into English

  1. Bhuupaalaa dhammena diipa.m paalentu.
  2. Maa manusso bhaayatu, sace so sacca.m jaanaati, bhaasatu.
  3. Tumhe paapa.m karonte putte ovadatha.
  4. Sugato dhamma.m desetu, saavakaa ca upaasakaa ca vihaarasmi.m nisiidanti.
  5. Maa te paapakammaani katvaa manussalokamhaa cavitvaa narake (in purgatory) uppajjantu.
  6. Maa coraa kassakaana.m go.ne maarentu.
  7. Maa tva.m sunakha.m aamasaahi, so ta.m (you) .daseyya.
  8. Tumhe diipe jaaletvaa vihaarasmi.m ruupaani oloketha.
  9. Tumhe asappurise aamantetvaa dhammena jiivitu.m anusaasatha.
  10. Putta, maa tva.m paapamitte upasa`nkama.
  11. Sace tumhe saccam bhaasitu.m ussaheyyaatha, tumhe sappurisaa bhaveyyaatha.
  12. Sace tva.m paasaa.ne khipeyyaasi, kaakaa ca saku.naa ca aakaasa.m uppateyyu.m.
  13. Maa daaraka paaniiya.m pivitvaa patta.m bhinda.
  14. Maa suva.n.na.m coretvaa gacchantaa coraa samudda.m tarantu.
  15. Upaasaka, maa putte akkosaahi, sama.nehi saddhi.m mantetvaa putte anusaasaahi.

Translate into Paali

  1. May the king ruling the island protect the people righteously.
  2. Let the children playing in the park collect falling leaves.
  3. Let the farmers and merchants assemble in the king's park.
  4. Let the sons climb the mountain to see lions, deer and birds.
  5. Do not cut trees in forests if you wish to protect deer.
  6. Let the child not come down the stairway, he will fall.
  7. Let the farmer plough the fields and sow seeds, let him not kill goats.
  8. Let the parrots fly taking fruits with their beaks.
  9. Sons, do not commit sins, live righteously.
  10. May the disciples of the Buddha get alms and robes.
  11. Let the children come out of the house and see the moon rising from the mountain.
  12. Boys, do not go and kill deer in the forest with the hunter.
  13. You (pl.) run home and bring water for the farmers ploughing the field.
  14. Do not ask questions from the king's messenger.
  15. You lay devotees should try to avoid evil and do good deeds.