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.

gati

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

-sāt

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

cvi

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