Review: Nouns

Starting from an understanding of the basic parts of Sanskrit — verbs, nouns, uninflected words, and word formation — we built up our understanding and learned a significant part of the Sanskrit noun system. To accelerate our understanding, we studied some features of Sanskrit only by fragments; but with these fragments, we were able to read many different parts of Sanskrit literature.

In the next unit of the guide, we will complete our understanding of these partially treated features and study much more of the Sanskrit verb. For now, review the concepts and features we learned in this chapter.



After studying a bit more grammar, we finished our study of the Sanskrit compound system. Having already learned the dvandva, we learned how to use the tatpurusha, the avyayibhava and the bahuvrihi. Each of these compounds differs from the others in one respect: whether its words are ideas or qualifiers.

 Word 2: IdeaWord 2: Qualifier
Word 1: Ideadvandvaavyayibhava
Word 1: Qualifiertatpurushabahuvrihi

An example of each of these compounds is below:

 Word 2: IdeaWord 2: Qualifier
Word 1: Ideaphalapattreyathoktam
Word 1: Qualifiervanagajaḥmahārathaḥ


We finished our study of the eight noun cases with a focus on the -a nouns. We can summarize these eight cases as follows:

(1) gajaḥ
(2) gajam
object, destination
(3) gajena
means, accompaniment ("with")
(4) gajāya
purpose, benefactor ("for")
(5) gajāt
removal, comparison, cause ("from","than","because")
(6) gajasya
connection with another noun ("of")
(7) gaje
location, context ("in")
(8) gaja
direct address

Additionally, we studied the consonant nouns in detail, including consonant nouns with multiple stems. Finally, we studied a few pieces of the vowel nouns. We will study the vowel nouns in more detail in the next chapter.


With compounds and noun cases completely studied, we turned to more complex and interesting parts of the Sanskrit verb system. We studied the passive verbs, which use the atmanepada endings. But the passive verbs are distinct from the verbs we've studied so far because they emphasize the object more than the subject. Next, we turned to the ordinary future tense, which uses the simple suffix sa to form its stem. With these stems, we can talk about events in the future tense; that is, we can talk about events that have not yet happened. Our discussion of these verbs also led to a brief discussion about the connecting i that is used by many parts of the Sanskrit verb system.


After studying more of the complexities of the Sanskrit verb system, we started our study of Sanskrit's participle system. As luck would have it, we only studied a single form! The PPP is certainly the most useful and common of the various participles, but there are several more to learn and study. We'll start our study of the other participles in the next chapter.


In addition to all of this more complex material, we also studies the simple pronoun, which has many specialized roles. We first talked about relative pronouns when we discussed the compound system. These pronouns allow us to relate two sentences to each other, and they are often used with the correlative pronouns that we had already been using. We learned how to ask questions with a third set of pronouns, and we learned about some short and alternate forms of some of the pronouns we had already seen.

And then …

Back in Starting Out, we were making crude sentences with 4 cases, 2 genders, and a basic compound. Now our Sanskrit has tremendously grown; now we are deep in its power and intricacy. But even though the complexities of the languages have unfolded, there is still more to read and more to learn.

You're done!

You're done with Nouns, the third unit of this guide! Please let us know what you thought of the unit by using the site's contact form.