Perfect Participles


The distant past tense is usually called the perfect tense. The word "perfect" comes from the Latin word perfectus, which means "finished" or "accomplished." The word "perfect" is thus used to show that an action has been completed.

The perfect tense is a common part of English, as you can see in the examples below. Here, the second example is a "perfect" verb:

This notion of "perfect" verbs does not often exist in Sanskrit, but it occasionally appears:

In the last example, the distant past tense has this "perfect" sense. In this lesson, we will study the perfect participles, which are formed from verbs in the distant past tense. Such participles have this "perfect" sense quite strongly.

Notice, though, that we can rewrite this sentence using the gerund or the past parasmaipada/ātamnepada participle:


The perfect participle is used rarely. The participles for verbs like kṛ, as, and bhū can be used with abstract nouns, just like regular perfect verbs.

Forming the participle stem

Perfect participles are formed with the weak stem of the distant past tense. The parasmaipada form uses vas, and the ātmanepada form uses āna. vas uses the connecting i vowel if the stem is one syllable long.

Feminine stems

Feminine suffixes are as follows:

Feminine Version

Feminine stems follow the pattern of nouns like nadī.


The ātmanepada participles follow the pattern of the -a stems and use for the feminine. The parasmaipada participle is a little different. As you might expect, it is a consonant noun with multiple stems. The stems differ slightly depending on whether the connecting i vowel is used.

EndingsStrong StemMiddle StemWeak StemSpecial Stem

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In parasmaipada, roots ending in a long reduplicate only after the suffix is added.