An Elementary Pali Course

Lesson I

A. Declension of Nouns ending in "a"

Nara*: m**. man
  SINGULAR PLURAL
Nominative naro*** narŒ
  a man, or the man men, or the men
Accusative nara nare
  a man, or the man men, or the men
     
Terminations
  SINGULAR PLURAL
Nominative o Œ
Accusative e

*In PŒi nouns are declined according to the terminated endings a, Œ, i, , u, , and o. There are no nouns ending in "e". All nouns ending in "a" are either in the masculine or in the neuter gender.

**There are three genders in PŒi. As a rule males and those things possessing male characteristics are in the masculine gender, e.g., nara, man; suriya, sun; gŒma, village. Females and those things possessing female characteristics are in the feminine gender, e.g., itthi, woman; gangŒ, river. Neutral nouns and most inanimate things are in the neuter gender, e.g., phala, fruit; citta, mind.

***Nara + o = naro. Nara + Œ = narŒ.

When two vowels come together either the preceding or the following vowel is dropped. In this case the preceding vowel is dropped.

Masculine Substantives:
Buddha   The Enlightened One
DŒraka   child
Dhamma   Doctrine, Truth, Law
GŒma   village
Ghaa   pot, jar
Janaka   father
Odana   rice, cooked rice
Putta   son
Sda   cook
YŒcaka   beggar

B. Conjugation of Verbs

PRESENT TENSE - ACTIVE VOICE

3rd Person Terminations
SINGULAR ti  
PLURAL anti  
     
paca: to cook
SINGULAR So pacati* he cooks, he is cooking
  SŒ pacati she cooks, she is cooking
PLURAL Te pacanti they cook, they are cooking

*The verbs are often used alone without the corresponding pronouns since the pronoun is implied by the termination.

Verbs:      
DhŒvati* (dhŒva)   runs
Dhovati (dhova)   washes
Vadati (vada)   speaks, declares
Vandati (vanda)   salutes
Rakkhati (rakkha)   protects

*As there are seven conjugations in PŒi which differ according to the conjugational signs, the present tense third person singulars of verbs are given. The roots are given in brackets.

Illustrations*:
1. Sdo pacati
  The cook is cooking
2. SdΠpacanti
  The cooks are cooking
3. Sdo odana pacati
  The cook rice is cooking
4. SdΠghae dhovanti
  The cooks pots are washing

*In PŒi sentences, in plain language, the subject is placed first, the verb last, and the object before the verb.


Exercise 1-A

Translate into English.

1. Buddho vadati.
2.
Dhammo rakkhati.
3.
SΠdhovati.
4.
YŒcako dhŒvati.
5.
SdΠpacanti.
6.
JanakΠvadanti.
7.
Te vandanti.
8.
NarΠrakkhanti.
9.
PuttŒ dhŒvanti.
10.
DŒrako vandati.
11.
Buddho dhamma rakkhati.
12.
DŒrakŒ Buddha vandanti.
13.
Sdo ghae dhovati.
14.
NarŒ gŒma rakkhanti.
15.
SΠodana pacati.
16.
BuddhΠdhamma vadanti.
17.
PuttΠjanake vandanti.
18.
YŒcakŒ ghae dhovanti.
19.
Te gŒme rakkhanti.
20.
Janako Buddha vandati.

Exercise 1-B

Translate into PŒi.

1. He protects.
2. The man salutes.
3. The child is washing.
4. The son speaks.
5. The beggar is cooking.
6. They are running.
7. The children are speaking.
8. The fathers are protecting.
9. The sons are saluting.
10. The cooks are washing.
11. The men are saluting the Buddha.
12. Fathers protect men.
13. The cook is washing rice.
14. The truth protects men.
15. She is saluting the father.
16. The Enlightened One is declaring the Doctrine.
17. The boys are washing the pots.
18. The men are protecting the villages.
19. The beggars are cooking rice.
20. The cook is washing the pot.