Lesson 29 – The Perfect Tense – 2

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 28, we started looking at the perfect tense, called liṭ लिट् by the Sanskrit grammarians.

We said that in Sanskrit there are three tenses to indicate past action, the imperfect, laṅ लङ्, the aorist, luṅ लुङ् and the perfect, liṭ लिट् . We said that, in classical Sanskrit, in practice, these three tenses seem to be used interchangeably for any past action.

In this lesson we will look at some more paradigms of the perfect tense.

Paradigm 1

Let us take the root √nī √नी “lead” as an example of a conjugation of a root ending in vowels of i or u type. The strong stem is ninay निनय् or nināy निनाय् and the weak stem is ninī निनी.


nināya निनाय ninyatuḥ निन्यतुः ninyuḥ निन्युः
ninayitha निनयिथ OR

ninetha निनेथ

ninyathuḥ निन्यथुः ninya निन्य
ninaya निनय OR

nināya  निनाय

ninyiva निन्यिव ninyima निन्यिम


ninye निन्ये ninyāte निन्याते ninyire निन्यिरे
ninyiṣe निन्यिषे ninyāthe निन्याथे ninyidhve निन्यिध्वे
ninye निन्ये ninyivahe निन्यिवहे ninyimahe निन्यिमहे

Paradigm 2

Let us take the very common root √bhū √भू “be”. Only active forms are seen in practice. There is only one stem babhū बभू.


babhūva बभूव babhūvatuḥ बभूवतुः babhūvuḥ बभूवुः
babhūtha बभूथ OR

babhūvitha  बभूविथ

bahbūvathuḥ बह्बूवथुः babhūva बभूव
babhūva बभूव babhūviva बभूविव babhūvima बभूविम

Paradigm 3

Let us take the root √dā √दा “give” as an example of a conjugation of a root ending in ā आ. The stem forms are dadā ददा and dad दद्. Note the au औ ending of 1st and 3rd person singular in the active.


dadau ददौ dadatuḥ ददतुः daduḥ ददुः
dadātha ददाथ OR

daditha ददिथ

dadathuḥ ददथुः dada दद
dadau ददौ dadiva ददिव dadima ददिम


dade ददे dadāte ददाते dadire ददिरे
dadiṣe ददिषे dadāthe ददाथे dadidhve ददिध्वे
dade ददे dadivahe ददिवहे dadimahe ददिमहे

Paradigm 4

Let us take the root √tan √तन् “stretch” as an example of a conjugation of a root with medial a अ, showing fusion of the root and reduplication, resulting in a medial e ए in the weak forms. The strong stem is tatan ततन् or tatān ततान् and the weak stem is ten तेन्.


tatāna ततान tenatuḥ तेनतुः tenuḥ तेनुः
tatantha ततन्थ OR

tenitha  तेनिथ

tenathuḥ तेनथुः tena तेन
tatana ततन OR

tatāna  ततान

teniva तेनिव tenima तेनिम


tene तेने tenāte तेनाते tenire तेनिरे
teniṣe तेनिषे tenāthe तेनाथे tenidhve तेनिध्वे
tene तेने tenivahe तेनिवहे tenimahe तेनिमहे

Paradigm 5

Let us take the root √vac √वच् “speak” as an example of a conjugation of a root that undergoes “samprasāraṇam” (ie. semivowels change to the corresponding vowels) with the initial  va व contracted to u उ in the reduplication. In the strong forms only the reduplicated syllable is contracted, while in the weak forms the radical va व  is also contracted to u उ, giving ū ऊ. The strong stem is thus uvac उवच् or uvāc उवाच् and the weak stem is ūc ऊच्.


uvāca उवाच ūcatuḥ ऊचतुः ūcuḥ ऊचुः
uvaktha उवक्थ OR

uvacitha  उवचिथ

ūcathuḥ ऊचथुः ūca ऊच
uvaca उवच OR

uvāca  उवाच

ūciva ऊचिव ūcima ऊचिम


ūce ऊचे ūcāte ऊचाते ūcire ऊचिरे
ūciṣe ऊचिषे ūcāthe ऊचाथे ūcidhve ऊचिध्वे
ūce ऊचे ūcivahe ऊचिवहे ūcimahe ऊचिमहे


Four roots ending in r̥ ऋ do not take the union vowel i इ in the first persons dual and plural. These roots are √kr̥  (make) √bhr̥ (bear)  √sr̥ (go) √vr̥ (choose) √कृ √भृ √सृ √वृ. For example, the first persons of √कृ √kr̥ are cakara or cakāra; cakr̥va; cakr̥ma चकर or चकार; चकृव;  चकृम in the active and cakre cakr̥vahe cakr̥mahe चक्रे चकृवहे चकृमहे in the middle. As an example of a normal r̥ ऋ ending root let us take √dhr̥ √धृ “hold”. Its first persons would be dadhara or dadhāra; dadhriva; dadhrima दधर or दधार; दध्रिव; दध्रिम in the active and dadhre; dadhrivahe; dadhrimahe दध्रे; दध्रिवहे; दध्रिमहे in the middle.

This is the end of lesson 29. In this lesson, we looked at a few paradigms of the perfect tense. We will continue with the perfect tense in the next lesson also.



7 thoughts on “Lesson 29 – The Perfect Tense – 2

  1. How did we get from nī to Single STEM OF ninay? Where did that “ay” come from? Guna of nī = nai. How did the “y” come there?

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