The conditional mood

Also known as: saṃketaḥ (“condition”), lṛṅ

The conditional mood describes situations that would happen or would have happened. In other words, it is used for hypothetical situations. Here is a classic example:

  • दक्षिणेन चेद् आयास्यन् न शकटं पर्याभविष्यत्
    dakṣiṇena ced āyāsyan na śakaṭaṃ paryābhaviṣyat
    If he would come by the southern road, the cart would not overturn.

To form the conditional, we start with the stem from the simple future:

  • नी → नेष्य
    nī → neṣya
    lead → will lead

Then we use this stem as if we were using the ordinary past tense:

  • अनेष्यत्
    aneṣyat
    would lead, would have led

You can compare the conditional and the ordinary past in teh examples below. In each example, the right side has two results. The first result uses the ordinary past and the second uses the conditional:

  • नी → अनयत्, अनेष्यत्
    nī → anayat, aneṣyat
    lead → led, would do

  • कृ → अकरोत्, अकरिष्यत्
    kṛ → akarot, akariṣyat
    do → did, would do
    (parasmaipada)

  • कृ → अकुरुत, अकरिष्यत
    kṛ → akuruta, akariṣyata
    do → did, would do
    (ātmanepada)

The conditional mood is rare. So why are we studying it now? We are studying it now because it is so similar to the tense-moods we have studied already.

Review

  1. What does the conditional mean?