Conjugation of bhavati & hoti

We have so far learnt the conjugation of a-ending, ā-ending, o-ending and e-ending verbal bases. All the verbs that we studied under these categories can be called as ‘action verbs’, i.e. each of the verbs indicates some action.


  • A boy sits = Kumāro nisīdati.
  • You sell goods = Tvaṃ bhaṇḍāni vikkiṇāsi.
  • We do work = Mayaṃ kammaṃ karoma.
  • The Buddha teaches Dhamma = Buddho dhammaṃ deseti.

All the above sentences / verbs indicate a certain action. However, there can be such sentences, where no action is indicated but only a statement is made.


  • I am the teacher's son.
  • There is the moon in the sky.
  • They are the lay devotees of the Buddha.
  • The king’s palace is on a hill.

The above sentences are simple statements which give certain information about person(s) or thing(s). However the subject of the sentence does not perform any action. The verbs used in these sentences (am, is, are) are forms of ‘to be

There are three roots in Pali which are commonly used as equivalent to the English verb ‘to be’. These are √bhū, √ and √as. We will be studying the conjugation of all these three roots with respect to all the tenses and moods.

The root bhū undergoes strengthening as follows
bhū (root) bho (verbal base) bhava (verbal base)

Though the verbal base ‘bhava’ is the frequently occurring form, the verbal base ‘bho’ is retained in case of verbs like anubhoti, paccanubhoti etc.

Conjugation of √bhū (bhava)

bhavati = is (becomes)

Singular Plural
Third Person bhavati bhavanti
Second Person bhavasi bhavatha
First Person bhavāmi bhavāma

● The root √bhū can also be translated as becomes, which indicates a change of state.
● The verbal base bhava being a-ending verbal base conjugates similar to other a-ending verbal bases in all the tenses and moods. Yet we will be learning its conjugation separately, as it is one of the most frequently used verbs in the Suttas.

Conjugation of √

hoti = is (becomes)

Singular Plural
Third Person hoti honti
Second Person hosi hotha
First Person homi homa

Let us translate a few sentences adopted from the Suttas, which contain conjugated forms of the roots √bhū and √ in the Present Tense.

1. Asamāhite citte dhammā na pātubhavanti.

samāhita = collected, settled, composed;
asamāhita = (opp. of samāhita) = unsettled, not composed;
dhamma = nature, law, truth; pātubhavati = appears, manifests

Translation : The truths do not manifest in a mind that is not composed / settled.

Audio for bhū-hū - sentence 1

2. Jātipaccayā jarāmaraṇaṃ sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā sambhavanti.

jāti = birth, paccaya = cause, foundation, support;
jarā = old age, maraṇa = death,
soka = sorrow, grief; parideva = lamentation,
dukkha = physical pain, domanassa = mental pain, distress;
upāyāsa = tribulation, distress, anguish, misery;
sambhavati = is produced, arises

Translation : From the cause of birth (due to birth as a condition) arise old age, death, grief, lamentation, physical and mental pain and misery.

Audio for bhū-hū - sentence 2

3. Tassa ariyasāvakassa pañcorambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni pahīnāni bhavanti.

tassa = his / of that, ariyasāvaka = noble disciple;
pañca = five, orambhāgiya = belonging to the lower world,
saṃyojana = bond, fetter; pahīna = abandoned, eliminated

Translation : The five lower fetters (fetters connected to the lower world) of that noble disciple are abandoned / eliminated.

Audio for bhū-hū - sentence 3

4. Devānaṃ adhiko homi, bhavāmi manujādhipo.

deva = god, deity; adhika = exceeding, superior;
manuja = human being, adhipa = lord, master

Translation : I am superior to the gods, I am the lord of humans.

Audio for bhū-hū - sentence 4

5. Hoti so, bhikkhave, samayo yaṃ mahāsamuddo ussussati visussati na bhavati.

so = that, bhikkhave = O bhikkhus / monks (vocative),
samaya = time, yaṃ = that, mahāsamudda = great ocean,
ussussati = dries up, visussati = withers, dries up

Translation : O monks! There is a (that) time that (when) the great ocean withers, dries up, does not exist.

Audio for bhū-hū - sentence 5

6. Yaṃ lobhapakataṃ kammaṃ karoti kāyena vā vācāya vā manasā vā, tassa vipākaṃ anubhoti ….

yaṃ = that which, whatever; lobha = greed, pakata = of the nature,
lobhapakata = greedy, covetous; tassa = of that, vipāka = fruition, result, consequence;
anubhoti = experiences

Translation : Whatever greedy / covetous action one performs by body, speech or mind; (he / she) experiences the consequence of that (action).

Audio for bhū-hū - sentence 6

7. Ye ca, mahārāja, rūpā ekaccassa manāpā honti, te ca rūpā ekaccassa amanāpā honti.

ye = those which, ca = and, mahārāja = O great king!
ekacca = some, certain; manāpa = pleasant, pleasing, charming;

Translation : O great king! The forms that are pleasing to one, the same forms are unpleasant to someone else.

Audio for bhū-hū - sentence 7
Last modified: Wednesday, 22 February 2023, 12:37 PM