Almost all of chapter 3 of the Aṣṭādhyāyī focuses specifically on the pratyayas (suffixes) that we add directly to a dhātu. These pratyayas come in four main types.

The first type is the sanādi-pratyaya, which creates new dhātus:

  • गम् + सन् → जिगमिष
    gam + san → jigamiṣa
    want to go

  • कृ + णिच् → कारि
    kṛ + ṇic → kāri
    cause to do or make

The second type is the tiṅ-pratyaya, which creates tiṅantas (verbs):

  • गम् + तिप् → गच्छति
    gam + tip → gacchati
    (someone) goes

  • कृ + णल् → चकार
    kṛ + ṇal → cakāra
    (someone) did

The third type is the vikaraṇa, which we add between a dhātu and the pratyaya that follows it:

  • भू + शप् + ति → भवति
    bhū + śap + ti → bhavati
    (someone) becomes

  • क्री + श्ना + मि → क्रीणामि
    krī + śnā + mi → krīṇāmi
    I buy

And the fourth type, the kṛt-pratyaya, is any other pratyaya we can add. kṛt-pratyayas create prātipadikas (stems) that eventually become subantas:

  • युज् + घञ् → योगः
    yuj + ghañ → yogaḥ

  • बुध् + क्त्वा → बुद्ध्वा
    budh + ktvā → buddhvā
    after waking up

  • पच् + ण्वुल् → पाचकः
    pac + ṇvul → pācakaḥ

In this unit, we will learn about some of common kṛt-pratyayas and understand some of the sandhi changes they cause.

General rules for kṛt-pratyayas

All kṛt-pratyayas are declared within the scope of these four adhikāra rules:

  • प्रत्ययः। ३.१.१
    pratyayaḥ (3.1.1)
    … is a pratyaya (suffix).

  • परश्च। ३.१.२
    paraśca (3.1.2)
    paraḥ ca
    … and [it is inserted] after [the base].

  • धातोः। ३.१.९१
    dhātoḥ (3.1.91)
    After a dhātu, …

  • कृदतिङ्। ३.१.९३
    kṛdatiṅ (3.1.93)
    kṛt a-tiṅ
    … is called kṛt if it is not tiṅ.

Together, these four adhikāra rules mean “… is added as a kṛt-pratyaya after a dhātu, if it is not a tiṅ-pratyaya.”

Further, these two samjñā rules will add extra labels to any pratyaya we introduce within the scope of these rules:

  • तिङ्शित्सार्वधातुकम्। ३.४.११३
    tiṅśitsārvadhātukam (3.4.113)
    tiṅ-śit sārvadhātukam
    tiṅ and [kṛt-pratyayas that are] śit (i.e. with ś as an it) are called sārvadhātuka.

  • आर्धधातुकं शेषः। ३.४.११४
    ārdhadhātukaṃ śeṣaḥ (3.4.114)
    ārdhadhātukam śeṣaḥ
    All other [kṛt-pratyayas] are called ārdhadhātuka.

That is, kṛt-pratyayas are generally labeled ārdhadhātuka; but if they have ś as an it letter, they are labeled sārvadhātuka instead.

Sound changes

kṛt-pratyayas cause various sound changes. Generally, they cause guṇa changes by the following rules:

  • अङ्गस्य। ६.४.१
    aṅgasya (6.4.1)
    Of an aṅga (the base before a suffix), …

  • मिदेर्गुणः। ७.३.८२
    miderguṇaḥ (7.3.82)
    mideḥ guṇaḥ
    The i of mid [as an aṅga] becomes guṇa.

  • सार्वधातुकार्धधातुकयोः। ७.३.८४
    sārvadhātukārdhadhātukayoḥ (7.3.84)
    [The final of an aṅga is replaced with guṇa] when followed by a sārvadhātuka or ārdhadhātuka suffix.

  • पुगन्तलघूपधस्य च। ७.३.८६
    pugantalaghūpadhasya ca (7.3.86)
    pu̐k-anta-laghu-upadhasya ca
    A laghu (prosodically light) penultimate or a vowel followed by [the augment] pu̐k [in an aṅga is replaced with guṇa when followed by a sārvadhātuka or ārdhadhātuka suffix].

But if they have ñ or as it letters, they can cause vṛddhi changes instead:

  • मृजेर्वृद्धिः। ७.२.११४
    mṛjervṛddhiḥ (7.2.114)
    mṛjeḥ vṛddhiḥ
    The of mṛj [as an aṅga] becomes vṛddhi.

  • अचो ञ्णिति। ७.२.११५
    aco ñṇiti (7.2.115)
    acaḥ ñṇiti
    The ac [of an aṅga becomes vṛddhi] if followed by ñit or ṇit.

  • अत उपधायाः। ७.२.११६
    ata upadhāyāḥ (7.2.116)
    ataḥ upadhāyāḥ
    The penultimate at [of an aṅga becomes vṛddhi if followed by ñit or ṇit].

And as a reminder, guṇa and vṛddhi substitutions are defined only for specific vowels:

  • इको गुणवृद्धी। १.१.३
    iko guṇavṛddhī (1.1.3)
    ikaḥ guṇa-vṛddhī
    guṇa and vṛddhi replace the ik vowels,

And they are blocked if the pratyaya has k or as an it letter:

  • क्ङिति च। १.१.५
    kṅiti ca (1.1.5)
    k-ṅiti ca
    but [not] when followed by [terms that are] kit or ṅit.


Sometimes, an i vowel will be added between the dhātu and the pratyaya:

  • भू + तुम् → भवितुम्
    bhū + tum → bhavitum
    to become

This i vowel is called iṭ (not to be confused with it, which refers to the “tag” letters on a term in upadeśa). Certain roots use iṭ, certain roots don't, and some roots use it optionally.

The specific rules for using iṭ are complex and detailed, but two rules sum up the general idea. Generally, any ārdhadhātuka suffix that starts with a consonant other than y will use iṭ:

  • आर्धधातुकस्येड्वलादेः। ७.२.३५
    ārdhadhātukasyeḍvalādeḥ (7.2.35)
    ārdhadhātukasya iṭ val-ādeḥ
    [iṭ is added] to an ārdhadhātuka (pratyaya) that starts with val (any consonant other than y).

But if the dhātu has an anudātta accent in its upadeśa form, then iṭ is not used:

  • एकाच उपदेशेऽनुदात्तात्। ७.२.१०
    ekāca upadeśe'nudāttāt (7.2.10)
    eka-acaḥ upadeśe anudāttāt
    After [a dhātu] that has exactly one vowel and that has an anudātta accent in upadeśa, [iṭ is not used].