A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Notice

Message: Only variable references should be returned by reference

Filename: core/Common.php

Line Number: 243

Complex Classes | Learn Sanskrit Online

Complex Classes

This lesson is very long, but it won't take much time. A summary of all of the material here will appear at the very bottom of the page.

Introduction

For simplicity, let's refer to the four verb classes that we've studied so far as the simple verb classes. Let's call the other six classes the complex verb classes. As you might be able to tell, the "complex" verb classes are more difficult. They differ from the simple verb classes in three main ways:

Overview of the lesson

Here, we will study five of the six complex verb classes. First, we'll learn how each of these five classes behaves. Then, we'll study some common and irregular verbs from these classes. Finally, we'll study the ātmanepada endings that these classes use.

Verbs with consonant stems

These two classes form stems that end in consonants.

Verb classStrong stemWeak stem
rootmedium-strengthened rootroot
nasalroot with inserted naroot with inserted n

The verb that is usually used to demonstrate the root-class verbs is ad, which means "eat" or "consume." But although ad is a good example of some internal sandhi rules, it does not do a good job of showing the difference between strong and weak stems. For that reason, I've used dviṣ, meaning "despise" or "hate," below. In this chart, the strong forms are larger than the weak forms.

dviṣ (consonant, P, present tense)
द्विष् Singular Dual Plural
Third Person द्वेष्टि
dveṣṭi
द्विष्टः
dviṣṭaḥ
द्विषन्ति
dviṣanti
Second Person द्वेक्षि
dvekṣi
द्विष्ठः
dviṣṭhaḥ
द्विष्ठ
dviṣṭha
First Person द्वेष्मि
dveṣmi
द्विष्वः
dviṣvaḥ
द्विष्मः
dviṣmaḥ

This verb follows sandhi rules that we've already studied.

Now for the nasal-class verbs. The nasal sound is inserted right before the final consonant.

rudh (nasal, P/A, present tense (P))
रुध् Singular Dual Plural
Third Person रुणद्धि
ruṇaddhi
रुन्द्धः
runddhaḥ
रुन्धन्ति
rundhanti
Second Person रुणत्सि
ruṇatsi
रुन्द्धः
runddhaḥ
रुन्द्ध
runddha
First Person रुणध्मि
ruṇadhmi
रुन्ध्वः
rundhvaḥ
रुन्ध्मः
rundhmaḥ

All of the roots in the nasal class have a final consonant. So, you will always know where the nasal sound should be inserted.

Verbs with -o stems

Verb classStrong stemWeak stem
noroot + noroot + nu
oroot + oroot + u

These two classes are essentially identical. The -o class only has ten verb roots.

su (no, P, present tense)
सु Singular Dual Plural
Third Person सुनोति
sunoti
सुनुतः
sunutaḥ
सुन्वन्ति
sunvanti
Second Person सुनोषि
sunoṣi
सुनुथः
sunuthaḥ
सुनुथ
sunutha
First Person सुनोमि
sunomi
सुनुवः
sunuvaḥ
सुनुमः
sunumaḥ
tan (o, U, present tense (P))
तन् Singular Dual Plural
Third Person तनोति
tanoti
तनुतः
tanutaḥ
तन्वन्ति
tanvanti
Second Person तनोसि
tanosi
तनुथः
tanuthaḥ
तनुथ
tanutha
First Person तनोमि
tanomi
तनुवः
tanuvaḥ
तनुमः
tanumaḥ

class

Verb classStrong stemWeak stem
root + root +

The -nā-class verbs are quite simple. They are similar to the verbs from the -no and -o classes. But, note that the 3rd-person plural form uses n instead of .

krī (, U, present tense (P))
क्री Singular Dual Plural
Third Person क्रीणाति
krīṇāti
क्रीणीतः
krīṇītaḥ
क्रीणन्ति
krīṇanti
Second Person क्रीणासि
krīṇāsi
क्रीणीथः
krīṇīthaḥ
क्रीणीथ
krīṇītha
First Person क्रीणामि
krīṇāmi
क्रीणीवः
krīṇīvaḥ
क्रीणीमः
krīṇīmaḥ

Irregular verbs

The complex verb classes contain many irregular verbs, and the irregular verbs are among the most common.

Root class

One of the most common irregular verbs is the P verb as, meaning "be." as is so important that many grammar books introduce it before all other verbs. Its strong stem is as and its weak stem is s, but the 2nd-person singular is asi, not assi.

as (consonant, P, present tense)
अस् Singular Dual Plural
Third Person अस्ति
asti
स्तः
staḥ
सन्ति
santi
Second Person असि
asi
स्थः
sthaḥ
स्थ
stha
First Person अस्मि
asmi
स्वः
svaḥ
स्मः
smaḥ

Another is han, a P verb meaning "kill" or "slay." Its strong stem is han and its weak stem takes one of three forms:

han (consonant, P, present tense)
हन् Singular Dual Plural
Third Person हन्ति
hanti
हतः
hataḥ
घ्नन्ति
ghnanti
Second Person हन्सि
hansi
हथः
hathaḥ
हथ
hatha
First Person हन्मि
hanmi
हन्वः
hanvaḥ
हन्मः
hanmaḥ

Another important irregular verb is brū, which means "speak," "say," or "tell." When strong, his verb has an ī added to the end of the stem. So, we get bravīmi instead of bromi. However, the 3rd-person plural is bruvanti, not brvanti. This is a product of an internal sandhi rule, which is below.

A vowel, when after a consonant cluster and followed by another vowel, usually changes like this:

This sandhi rule exists to make the result easier to say. Here, brvanti is hard to say because the brv at the front is a consonant cluster with 3 consonants in a row. So, the rule breaks the word into bruvanti, which is not so difficult.

Due to internal sandhi, the second person singular of brū is bravīṣi and not bravīsi.

o and

The most important verb from the o class is kṛ, which means "do" or "make." Its strong form is karo, and its weak form is kuru.

One of the most important verbs from the class is jñā, meaning "know." It forms regularly, but we remove the ñ sound. So, we get conjugations like jānāti and jānīmaḥ.

The ātmanepada endings

The verbs in the complex classes use only the weak stem when they're in ātmanepada. Take a look at the endings below.

su (no, A, present tense)
सु Singular Dual Plural
Third Person सुनुते
sunute
सुन्वाते
sunvāte
सुन्वते
sunvate
Second Person सुनुषे
sunuṣe
सुन्वाथे
sunvāthe
सुनुध्वे
sunudhve
First Person सुन्वे
sunve
सुनुवहे
sunuvahe
सुनुमहे
sunumahe

Do they look familiar? The complex verb classes use the same endings as the simple verb classes, with some small changes. If you've forgotten the other endings, they're featured below:

labh (a+, A, present tense)
लभ् Singular Dual Plural
Third Person लभते
labhate
लभेते
labhete
लभन्ते
labhante
Second Person लभसे
labhase
लभेथे
labhethe
लभध्वे
labhadhve
First Person लभे
labhe
लभावहे
labhāvahe
लभामहे
labhāmahe

The changes are listed below:

Do you remember the explanation we used to show why gam becomes gata?

gam weakens to gm to produce gmtvā. This can't be pronounced; but instead of gm becoming gam, it becomes ga instead. So, we get gatvā.

This behavior appears here as well. Consider a nasal-class verb like rudh, which becomes rundh in its weak form. The normal -nte is used in the 3rd-person plural, producing *rundhnte. This cannot be pronounced; so, just as the *gmta becomes gata, *rundhnte becomes rundhate. This -ate is thus used for all of the complex verb classes.

Summary

Verb classes

Verb classStrong stemWeak stem
rootmedium-strengthened rootroot
nasalroot with inserted naroot with inserted n
noroot + noroot + nu
oroot + oroot + u
root + root +

Irregular Verbs

Verb rootVerb classStrong stemWeak stem
asrootass
hanroothanhan, ha, ghn
brūrootbravībrū, bruv
kṛokarokuru
jñājānājānī

Sandhi

Review the sandhi for dviṣ and rudh.