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"Not" and "With" | Learn Sanskrit Online

"Not" and "With"

The two prefixes below can both be used to make compounds.

a/an

Also known as: nañ-samāsa ("na compound")

The first of these two prefixes shows what something is not. It takes one of two forms:

Most words formed with this prefix are adjectives:

This prefix is associated with the tatpurusha.

Greek, Latin, and Old English all had a version of the a/an prefix. This prefix survives in English words like "a-political," "an-archy," "in-appropriate," "im-mortal," and "un-able."

sa

The second of these two prefixes is sa. This prefix shows what something is with. Unlike the a/an prefix, sa does not change; it is always sa, even in front of vowels. Most of the words formed by this prefix are adjectives.

A phrase like sagajo naraḥ means the same thing as a phrase like gajena naraḥ. By using a word like sagaja, however, certain ideas become easier to express. For example, compare the two sentences below:

This prefix is associated with a compound that we will study later on.