Congratulations! You have completed the core lessons. Take a moment to celebrate your hard work and review what you have learned.

We encourage you to set grammar aside for now and focus on finding interesting content. (See our resources page for details.) But if you want to continue, you can explore the other topics of this guide in whatever order you like. Go wherever your interests take you.

Sounds and sandhi

We started by learning about the Sanskrit sounds and their traditional order:

  • a

  • ā

  • i

  • ī

  • u

  • ū

  • e

  • ai

  • o

  • au
  • अं
  • अः

  • ka

  • kha

  • ga

  • gha

  • ṅa

  • ca

  • cha

  • ja

  • jha

  • ña

  • ṭa

  • ṭha

  • ḍa

  • ḍha

  • ṇa

  • ta

  • tha

  • da

  • dha

  • na

  • pa

  • pha

  • ba

  • bha

  • ma

  • ya

  • ra

  • la

  • va

  • śa

  • ṣa

  • sa

  • ha

We then learned how to split these sounds into syllables:

  • धर्मक्षेत्रे कुरुक्षेत्रे → ध र्म क्षे त्रे कु रु क्षे त्रे
    dharmakṣetre kurukṣetre → dha rma kṣe tre ku ru kṣe tre

Then, we studied some simple sandhi rules and learned how these sounds combine with each other.

Words and sentences

After studying sounds and sandhi, we moved to sentences and words. We learned what Sanskrit sentences are like and how they behave. We also learned about the three basic types of Sanskrit words: nominals, verbs, and uninflected words.

We learned that nominals express information like gender:

  • गजः पश्यति।
    gajaḥ paśyati.
    The (male) elephant sees.

  • गजा पश्यति।
    gajā paśyati.
    The (female) elephant sees.


  • गजश् चरति।
    gajaś carati.
    The elephant walks.

  • रामो गजं चरति।
    rāmo gajaṃ carati.
    Rama walks to the elephant.

and number:

  • गजः पश्यति।
    gajaḥ paśyati.
    The elephant sees.

  • गजौ पश्यतः।
    gajau paśyataḥ.
    The two elephants see.

  • गजाः पश्यन्ति।
    gajāḥ paśyanti.
    The (many) elephants see.

We also learned that verbs express information like person:

  • नयति
    (Someone) leads.

  • नयसि
    You lead.

  • नयामि
    I lead.


  • नयति
    (Someone) leads.

  • नयतः
    The two of them lead.

  • नयन्ति
    All of them lead.


  • नयामि
    I lead.

  • नेष्यामि
    I will lead.

  • नयेयम्
    I might lead.


  • नयसि
    You lead.

  • नीयसे
    You are led.

and pada, which we will discuss in a later lesson.

Prefixes, suffixes, and compounds

Finally, we learned about how to create new words using prefixes:

  • गच्छन्ति → आगच्छन्ति
    gacchanti → āgacchanti
    They go. → They come.

  • हिंसा → अहिंसा
    hiṃsā → ahiṃsā
    violence → non-violence


  • युज् → योग
    yuj → yoga
    yoke, join, unite → yoking, junction, union; yoga

  • योग → योगिन्
    yoga → yogin
    yoga → yogi

and compounds:

  • रामः सीता च → रामसीते
    rāmaḥ sītā ca → rāmasīte
    Rama and Sita

  • रामस्य माता → राममाता
    rāmasya mātā → rāmamātā
    Rama's mother


Together, these core lessons are a complete high-level summary of Sanskrit grammar. What remain, of course, are the details.

  1. What are the five points of pronunciation?

  2. Which vowels are compound vowels?

  3. What is the basic principle that most sandhi changes follow?

  4. Why can we reorder the words in a Sanskrit sentence?

  5. What are the basic parts of a verb?

  6. What are the basic parts of a noun?

  7. Describe one of the Sanskrit compounds we learned about.

Continue to Part II