Case 8: Direct Address
Also known as: vocative case, saṃbodhana ("awakening")
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:
- Case 8 is easy to learn and understand.
- Case 8 is common.
- The endings of case 8 are almost identical to the endings of case 1.
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."
पुत्र त्वं नरः
putra tvaṃ naraḥ
Son, you are a man.
O man, he (somebody else) goes.
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.
The address case is at the bottom of the table. The only difference from the subject case (case 1) is in the singular.
|Case 1 (subject)||गजः
|Case 2 (object)||गजम्
|Case 8 (address)||गज
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.
अहो अहं गच्छामि
aho ahaṃ gacchāmi
Oh! I will go!
But nouns in case 8 are not immune to sandhi.
Son, you want the elephant.
Pronouns only occur in cases 1 through 7.
Consonants 11 - 15
Here are five more letters for you to learn.
Conjunct consonants: Consonant + र
We have already seen that र in front of a consonant is written almost like a vowel mark. र 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).
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.