The Intensive

Also known as: the frequentative


As we saw in the last lesson, Sanskrit gives us a way to express that we want to do something. Sanskrit also gives us a way to express something that we do frequently. This same verb also lets us express that we do something intensely. For that reason, it is called the intensive.

Intensive verbs are uncommon in later Sanskrit, but they are easy to form and understand.

Forming the intensive root

The intensive uses a special root. Let's call this root the intensive root. To form the intensive root, we perform doubling on the verb root. But unlike the other verb forms that use doubling, the intensive strengthens the vowel in the doubled portion.

Special doubling rules for the intensive

Vowels are strengthened to the medium level. a becomes ā. But if the root ends in am, then aṃ replaces the vowel.

But, roots ending in (not ) use the root itself as the doubled sound. Both "roots" are doubled, and they are separated from each other by ī.

Using the intensive root

The root is used like a passive verb. That is, the verb is treated like a -ya class atmanepada verb, and the end of the root changes like most passive roots do:

Special meanings

For some verbs, the intensive adds the meaning of "with difficulty"

With rare exception, roots that start with vowels and -aya class verbs form no intensive verbs.