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Pronoun Bits: idam | Learn Sanskrit Online

Pronoun Bits: idam


In the chapter on noun cases, we discussed small portions of larger topics in Sanskrit so that we could reap their benefits without spending much time in their details. Here, we'll do something similar for the Sanskrit pronouns.

As we've seen by now, the Sanskrit pronoun system is extensive, and with it we can refer to things both close at hand and far away. Here, we will study some common forms of idam, which is used to discuss things that are close by.

Unlike the pronouns we've already studied, idam is highly irregular, probably because it is a blend of two older pronouns. Here are some common forms that you should know:


ayam (masculine)
अयम् Singular Dual Plural
Case 1 (subject) अयम्
Case 2 (object) इयम्
Case 3 ("with") अनेन
Case 5 ("from") अस्मात्
Case 6 ("of") अस्य
Case 7 ("in") अस्मिन्

Note the a element that appears at the beginning of most of these forms. We can use this a to form many other words. For example, we can use it to form the word atra, meaning "here," much as we formed tatra and the others.


As usual, the neuter pronoun has the same forms in case 1 and case 2.

idam (neuter)
इदम् Singular Dual Plural
Case 1 (subject) इदम्
Case 2 (object) इदम्

Note the i element at the beginning of each form. This i, too, will appear again in several different forms.