Translating Pali Sentences
Introduction to Pali Sentences: Translating Pali Sentences
We have seen that unlike English each of the above personal pronoun corresponds to a specific form (termination) of verb. Thus, in a present tense sentence,
- a verb ending in ‘mi’ necessarily has ahaṃ as the subject,
- a verb ending in ‘ma’has mayaṃ as the subject,
- a verb ending in ‘si’has tvaṃ as the subject,
- a verb ending in ‘tha’ has tumhe as the subject.
On account of this subject-verb agreement, it is not always necessary to mention the subject in a Pali sentence. In place of ‘Ahaṃ carāmi’ we can have just ‘carāmi’ and still it will be translated as ‘I walk’, as no other subject is compatible with the verb carāmi. Similarly, in place of ‘Mayaṃ gacchāma’ we can write just ‘gacchāma’ and still it will be translated as ‘We go’, as no other subject is compatible with the verb gacchāma.
This applies to the first and second person personal pronouns only (both singular and plural). In case of the third person however, the subject needs to be explicitly mentioned. One reason being that the third person subject can be masculine (so - te), feminine (sā – tā, tāyo) or neuter (taṃ - te, tāni) all of which are compatible with the verbs ending in ‘ti’ and ‘nti’. Moreover, instead of ‘so’ we can have ‘a boy’, ‘a man’, ‘The king’ or ‘a monk’ as the subject. ‘Sā’ can represent a woman, a girl, a nun, a queen etc. Similarly ‘taṃ’ can denote any object like a leaf, a flower, a fruit, a house and so on.
Let us revise this concept with the help of the following quiz.