Other prefixes

The upasarga is the most common type of verb prefix. But there are other verb prefixes that we can use with a verb, too. In this lesson, we will learn about some of these prefixes.


There is a miscellaneous group of prefixes called gati. Usually, these prefixes are used only with specific roots. Here are some common gati prefixes:

  • करोति → अलंकरोति
    karoti → alaṃkaroti
    does, makes → decorates, adorns

  • करोति → सत्करोति
    karoti → satkaroti
    does, makes → honors, respects

  • करोति → नमस्करोति
    karoti → namaskaroti
    does, makes → honors, venerates

  • गच्छति → अन्तर्गच्छति
    gacchati → antargacchati
    goes → “goes within”; disappears

  • भवति → आविर्भवति
    bhavati → āvirbhavati
    becomes → becomes apparent or manifest


In addition to the prefixes we have seen so far, we can also turn nominals into verb prefixes.

We can create one type of nominal prefix by adding -sāt to the end of the nominal stem. Usually, we use this prefix with the words kṛ (“do, make”) or bhū (“become”).

  • करोति → भस्मसात्करोति
    karoti → bhasmasātkaroti
    does, makes → turns (something else) to ash

  • भवति → भस्मसाद्भवति
    bhavati → bhasmasādbhavati
    is, becomes → becomes ash


There is one more type of nominal prefix worth knowing. This type is quite common:

  • कृष्ण → कृष्णीकरोति
    kṛṣṇa → kṛṣṇīkaroti
    black → (someone) makes black

  • कृष्ण → कृष्णीभवति
    kṛṣṇa → kṛṣṇībhavati
    black → (someone) becomes black

In traditional grammar, these prefixes are called cvi. (The word cvi has a complex technical meaning that is difficult to explain.)

Roughly, here is how we create a cvi prefix. The last a or i of the nominal stem becomes ī:

  • कृष्ण → कृष्णीकरोति
    kṛṣṇa → kṛṣṇīkaroti
    black → (someone) makes black

  • शुचि → शुचीकरोति
    śuci → śucīkaroti
    clear, bright → (someone) makes clear

The last u becomes ū:

  • पशु → पशूकरोति
    paśu → paśūkaroti
    beast, animal → (someone) makes (someone else) a beast or animal

And the last becomes :

  • मातृ → मात्रीकरोति
    mātṛ → mātrīkaroti
    mother → (someone) makes (someone else their) mother