We have so far learnt the conjugation of verbs in the Present and Future Tense. Now we will learn the conjugation of verbs in Past Tense.

The past tense forms are some of the most commonly occurring forms of the verbs, in the Suttas. This is due to the obvious reason that most of the Suttas narrate some or other incident which occurred during the time of the Buddha. Also, the past tense forms of verbs have more variants compared to other tenses. Hence, being well conversant with these forms helps a great deal in reading and understanding the Suttas.

Let us begin with the conjugation of :
   • a-ending verbal bases
   • ā-ending verbal bases
   • o-ending verbal bases

These three types of verbs follow a similar pattern of conjugation.

Please note the terminations added to these verbal bases in the Past Tense:

Terminations added to a, ā and o-ending verbal bases in Past Tense

Singular Plural
Third Person i iṃsu / uṃ
Second Person i / o ittha
First Person iṃ imha / imhā

Now let us study conjugation of the abovementioned types of verbal bases in the Past Tense.

Last modified: Wednesday, 23 August 2023, 2:12 PM