Lesson 27 – The future tenses and the conditional

A short YouTube version is available here. [Expand to the full article to be able to click on the link].

In the previous lesson, lesson 26, we looked at the passive voice.

The passive voice conjugation the passive sign “ya य”, which is added to a modified root. The verb is then conjugated like a thematic verb  (for example “labh”), but only with the middle voice endings. And using this stem, all the tenses and modes can be conjugated – the present indicative, the imperfect, the optative and the imperative. Regular present participles in “māna मान” can also be formed.

In this lesson, we will look at the simple future, the periphrastic future and the conditional.

The simple future is called lr̥ṭ लृट्, the periphrastic future is called luṭ लुट् and the conditional is called lr̥ṅ लृङ् by the Sanskrit grammarians.

The simple future (lr̥ṭ लृट्)

The simple future stem is formed by adding sya स्य or iṣya इष्य to the guṇa-strengthened root.   This is true for both thematic and athematic verbs.

Thus from the root √bhū √भू “be”, we get bhaviṣya भविष्य;

from √labh √लभ्, we get labhiṣya लभिष्य;

from √dā √दा “give”, we get dāsya दास्य;

from √i √इ “go”, we get eṣya एष्य;

from √duh √दुह् “milk”, we get dhokṣya धोक्ष्य (see Grassman’s Law at work here);

from √r̥dh √ऋध् “thrive”, we get ardhiṣya अर्धिष्य etc.

Once the stem is formed, it takes the thematic endings to form the conjugation.

Simple future active (परस्मै पदम् parasmai padam) of root √bhū √भू

bhaviṣyati भविष्यति bhaviṣyataḥ भविष्यतः bhaviṣyanti भविष्यन्ति
bhaviṣyasi भविष्यसि bhaviṣyathaḥ भविष्यथः bhaviṣyatha भविष्यथ
bhaviṣyāmi भविष्यामि bhaviṣyāvaḥ भविष्यावः bhaviṣyāmaḥ भविष्यामः

Simple future middle (अत्मने पदम् ātmane padam) of root √labh √लभ्

labhiṣyate लभिष्यते labhiṣyete लभिष्येते labhiṣyante लभिष्यन्ते
labhiṣyase लभिष्यसे labhiṣyethe लभिष्येथे labhiṣyadhve लभिष्यध्वे
labhiṣye लभिष्ये labhiṣyāvahe लभिष्यावहे labhiṣyāmahe लभिष्यामहे

Similarly from the root √dā √दा “give”, we get dāsyati, dāsyataḥ, dāsyanti etc. and dāsyate, dāsyete, dāsyante etc.

Note: Even if the root is an athematic one (in the present), it still uses the thematic endings in the future, like we saw for √dā √दा “give” above.

Participles can also be formed from the future stem just like for the present-stem – by adding nt न्त् to the active stem and māna मान to the middle stem. So bhaviṣyant भविष्यन्त् (“which will be”)  and labhiṣyamāna लभिष्यमान (“which will obtain”).

Note: The passive of the simple future is identical to the middle form. So labhiṣye लभिष्ये could mean “I will obtain” or “will be obtained by me”

[Using the same stem and by adding the optative and imperative endings, the optative and imperative futures can be formed, but these are very rare and so need not be learned]

Use of the simple future

The simple future is used to indicate indefinite future time (including future continuous).


  1. rāmo rāvaṇaṃ haniṣyati रामो रावणं हनिष्यति – Rama will kill Ravana
  2. rāmeṇa rāvaṇo haniṣyate रामेण रावणो हनिष्यते – Ravana will be killed by Rama
  3. haniṣyan rāmo rāvaṇaṃ paśyati हनिष्यन् रामो रावणं पश्यति – Rama, who will kill, sees Ravana
  4. rāvaṇo haniṣyaṃ rāmaṃ paśyati रावणो हनिष्यं रामं पश्यति – Ravana sees Rama, who will kill

The periphrastic future luṭ लुट्

This paradigm has a single active tense. [The middle tense is very rare and so we need not learn it].

There are no modes or participles. There is no passive.

The paradigm consists of derivations from an agent noun (nomen agentis).

The appropriate conjugational form of the verb “as” “to be” is added to the nominative form of the agent noun.

The form rāmo hantāsti रामो हन्तास्ति “Rama is a killer” came to mean “Rama will kill”.

ahaṃ hantāsmi अहं हन्तास्मि “I am a killer” came to mean “I will kill”

In the third person, the form of the verb “as” is dropped and the agent noun takes the nominative singular, dual and plural appropriately.

So, rāmo hantā रामो हन्ता “Rama will kill”; rāmau hantārau रामौ हन्तारौ “Two Ramas will kill”; and rāmā hantāraḥ रामा हन्तारः “Ramas (more than two) will kill”

In the first and the second person, the agent noun is always in the nominative singular. The number is indicated by the form of the verb “as”.

So, (tvaṃ) hantāsi (त्वं) हन्तासि; “You will kill”  (ahaṃ) hantāsmi (अहं)हन्तास्मि “I will kill” (vayaṃ) hantāsmaḥ वयं हन्तास्मः “we will kill” etc.

Uses of the periphrastic future

The usage of the periphrastic future is similar to the simple future. The periphrastic future is normally used to indicate a more distant future than the simple future.

It is commonly used with the word “śvaḥ श्वः” meaning tomorrow.

The conditional lr̥ṅ लृङ्

The augment preterit of the simple future, equivalent to the imperfect can be formed and is called the conditional. The conditional is formed exactly as the imperfect is made corresponding to the thematic present stem.

So, abhaviṣyat abhaviṣyatām abhaviṣyan अभविष्यत् अभविष्यताम् अभविष्यन् etc.

Example: “If Ravana had gone to Lanka, Rama would not have killed him.” yadi rāvaṇo laṅkam agamiṣyat tadā rāmaḥ taṃ nāhaniṣyat यदि रावणो लङ्कम् अगमिष्यत् तदा रामः तं नाहनिष्यत्

[Note that both the verbs are in the conditional]

This is the end of lesson 27. In this lesson, we looked at the future tenses and the conditional.


Translate into Sanskrit

  1. He is going to the city [in both futures]
  2. We two will come tomorrow to the forest
  3. If I had come to the forest, I would have seen Sita.





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