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Case 4: "for" | Learn Sanskrit Online

Case 4: "for"

Also known as: dative case, caturthī vibhakti ("fourth case")

Introduction

Case 3 is different from case 1 and case 2 because it contains the idea of a familiar word: "with." Likewise, case 4 contains the idea of "for," in two main senses of the word. The two senses are purpose, as in "I broke the coconut for some water," and benefactor, as in "I broke the coconut for a friend."

Don't forget these two distinct meanings. (Otherwise, your friend might have something to say about it!) But if you're concerned that you might, take a look at the two example sentences below. Together, these sentences emphasize the twin meanings of this new case:

Note that case 4 doesn't capture the sense of "for" in I bought the lamp for one week's wages. Here, "for" specifies the means of buying the lamp. If we wanted to express this sense of "for" in Sanskrit, we would use the "with" case, as in I bought the lamp by means of ("with") 3 dollars. Further, case 4 doesn't capture the sense of "for" in "For me, that lamp is very cheap." In this situation, another case would be used; we'll learn which one later on in the guide.

Inflection

The endings for case 4 are in the table below. Note that the case 4 dual is identical to the case 3 dual.

-a (masculine)
गज Singular Dual Plural
Case 1 (subject) गजः
gajaḥ
गजौ
gajau
गजाः
gajāḥ
Case 2 (object) गजम्
gajam
गजौ
gajau
गजान्
gajān
Case 3 ("with") गजेन
gajena
गजाभ्याम्
gajābhyām
गजैः
gajaiḥ
Case 4 ("for") गजाय
gajāya
गजाभ्याम्
gajābhyām
गजेभ्यः
gajebhyaḥ
Case 5 ("from") गजात्
gajāt
Case 6 ("of") गजस्य
gajasya
गजयोः
gajayoḥ
गजानाम्
gajānām
Case 7 ("in") गजे
gaje
Case 8 (address) गज
gaja
गजौ
gajau
गजाः
gajāḥ

Pronouns

Note the short a in the case 4 plural of mad and tvad.

mad (no gender)
मद् Singular Dual Plural
Case 1 (subject) अहम्
aham
आवाम्
āvām
वयम्
vayam
Case 2 (object) माम्
mām
आवाम्
āvām
अस्मान्
asmān
Case 3 ("with") मया
mayā
आवाभ्याम्
āvābhyām
अस्माभिः
asmābhiḥ
Case 4 ("for") मह्यम्
mahyam, me
आवाभ्याम्
āvābhyām
अस्मभ्य्म्
asmabhyam
Case 6 ("of") मम
mama
आवयोः
āvayoḥ
अस्माकम्
asmākam
tvad (no gender)
त्वद् Singular Dual Plural
Case 1 (subject) त्वम्
tvam
युवाम्
yuvām
यूयम्
yūyam
Case 2 (object) त्वाम्
tvām
युवाम्
yuvām
युष्मान्
yuṣmān
Case 3 ("with") त्वया
tvayā
युवाभ्याम्
yuvābhyām
युष्माभिः
yuṣmābhiḥ
Case 4 ("for") तुभ्यम्
tubhyam
युवाभ्याम्
yuvābhyām
युष्मभ्यम्
yuṣmabhyam
Case 6 ("of") तव
tava
युवयोः
yuvayoḥ
युष्माकम्
yuṣmākam
tad (masculine)
तद् Singular Dual Plural
Case 1 (subject) सः
saḥ
तौ
tau
ते
te
Case 2 (object) तम्
tam
तौ
tau
तान्
tān
Case 3 ("with") तेन
tena
ताभ्याम्
tābhyām
तैः
taiḥ
Case 4 ("for") तस्मै
tasmai
ताभ्याम्
tābhyām
तेभ्यः
tebhyaḥ
Case 6 ("of") तस्य
tasya
तयोः
tayoḥ
तेषाम्
teṣām

Remember: the neuter version of tad differs from the masculine version only in cases 1 and 2. Otherwise, it is identical.

The "for" case in later Sanskrit

Case 4 has a much more particular role than the other grammatical cases. For that reason, it's also quite uncommon. The other cases, especially case 6, started to express the same ideas as case 4. And, some other methods of expressing the same idea started to become more popular.

One of these methods is to compound the word artha after another word and use the result as an adverb. Since artha has the general meaning of "reason," the compound expresses the notion of acting "for" something. So, grāmāya and grāmārtham mean essentially the same thing. But, note that grāmārtham has no number; it can also mean the same thing as grāmābhyām or grāmebhyaḥ.