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Case 8: Direct Address | Learn Sanskrit Online

Case 8: Direct Address

Also known as: vocative case, saṃbodhana ("awakening")

Introduction

In this lesson, we will study the case that is usually studied last. Since there are eight cases total, I will call this case case 8. We have skipped the other cases for three reasons:

Cases 1 and 2 define the subject and object of the action, and the other four cases define "accessories" to the action, such as how it was done (case 3). But case 8 steps beyond this action and defines the person for whose sake the sentence was created. We could also say that it defines the person we refer to with the word "you."

We can call this new case the address case because it describes the person we're addressing. But, I'll usually use "case 8" for convenience.

Inflection

The address case is at the bottom of the table. The only difference from the subject case (case 1) is in the singular.

-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 8 (address) गज
gaja
गजौ
gajau
गजाः
gajāḥ

Vowel Sandhi: Exclamations

Both English and Sanskrit have short words that are used to express an emotion. Some English examples are "hey!" or "oh!" Such words are called exclamations. These exclamations end in vowels, and they are all immune to sandhi.

But nouns in case 8 are not immune to sandhi.

Pronouns

Pronouns only occur in cases 1 through 7.

Devanagari

Consonants 11 - 15

Here are five more letters for you to learn.

देवनागरी
IAST
śa
ṣa
bha
ca
ṇa

Conjunct consonants: Consonant +

We have already seen that in front of a consonant is written almost like a vowel mark. after a consonant, meanwhile, is written much differently. It appears as a small mark that starts at the "stick" part of the letter and moves to the lower-left. Some examples are below. (Note the irregular form for tra).

देवनागरी
IAST
क्र
kra
द्र
dra
व्र
vra
त्र
tra

You do not need to spend time learning how to write these symbols; that ability will come with time. For now, just learn to recognize this sort of conjunct consonant when it appears.