Update: 2007-02-11 02:01 PM -0500


Simple sentences

by U Kyaw Tun, M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.). Not for sale. Prepared for students of TIL Computing and Language Center, Yangon, MYANMAR. See referencesused.
note for HTML editing

based on An Elementary Pali Course, by Ven. Narada Thera
See other sources.

This covers Lessons 1 - 5.

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Word order

Word order in Pali is SOV (Subject-Object-Verb), whereas in English it is SVO. This must be borne in mind in translation, e.g.:

[sūdo adanam pacati] -- Pali SOV
*The cook rice is cooking. -- direct translation (* indicates incorrect usage)
<The cook is cooking rice.> -- English SVO

[sūdā ghate dhovanti] -- Pali SOV
* The cooks pots are washing. -- direct translation (* indicates incorrect usage)
<The cooks are washing pots.> -- English SVO.

Notice the absence of article (corresponding to the English <the> is missing in Pali.
M-Pali and Myanmar do not use capital letters.
Unlike English, M-Pali and Myanmar sentences do not start with capital letters.
Verbs are often used alone without the corresponding pronouns since the pronoun is implied by the termination.

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There are seven conjugations in Pali which differ according to the conjugational signs.


Illustrations from Lesson 01

In these illustrations the verb root (bold letters) and 1st person-singular (within [ ])are given.
(note to myself -- Check further)


paca [pacati] <to cook>

[aham pacāmi]
   <I cook, I am cooking>
[tvam pacasi] (sing)
   <you cook, you are cooking>
[so pacati]
   <he cooks, he is cooking>
[sā pacati]
   <she cooks, she is cooking>

[mayam pacāma]
   <we cook, we are cooking>
[tumhe pacatha] (plu)
   <you cook, you are cooking>
[te pacanti]
   <they cook, they are cooking>
[sūdo pacati]
   <The cook is cooking.>
[sūdā pacanti]
   <The cooks are cooking.>
[sūdo odanam pacati]
   * cook rice is cooking
   <The cook is cooking rice.>
[sūdā ghate dhovanti]
    cooks pots are washing
   <The cooks are washing pots.>


Illustrations from Lesson 02

, n, pa, etc. are Prefixes (upasagga) which when attached to nouns and verbs, modify their original sense.

gamu [gacchati] <to go>
[dāsena (instr.sing.) gacchati]
   * with the slave he goes

labha [labhati] <to get, to receive>
[vejjebhi (instr.plu.) labhasi]
   * by means of doctors you obtain

[deti] <to give>
[sunakhassa (dat.sing.) desi]
   * to the dog you give

pesa [peseti] <to send>
[samanānam (dat.plu.) pesetha]
   * to the ascetics you send


Illustrations from Lesson 03

pata [patati] <to fall>
[ambā rukkhasmā (abl.sing.) patanti]
   * mangoes from the tree fall
[rukkhehi (abl.plu.) patāma]
   * from trees we fall

ki [kināti] <to buy>
[āpanehi (abl.plu.) kināmi]
   * from the markets I buy


Illustrations from Lesson 03


1. Mace (loc. s.) supati
  on the bed he sleeps
2. Nar gmesu (loc. pl) vasanti
  Men in the villages live
3. Draka (voc. s.) kuhi tva gacchasi?
  child, where are you going?
4. Janaka, aha na gacchmi.
  father, I am not going.


Kati (ka)   plays
Uppajjati (pada with u)   is born
Passati* (disa)   sees
Vasati (vasa)   dwells
Supati (supa)   sleeps
Vicarati (cara with vi)   wanders, goes about

*"Passa" is a substitute for "disa".


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