As we have seen, the e-ending verbal bases have two alternate forms, ending in ‘e’ and ‘aya’, respectively. These two forms follow different conjugation patterns. ‘aya’ ending forms conjugate like the other a-ending verbal bases (see conjugation of ‘bhasa’)

A different set of terminations is added to the e-ending forms.

Terminations added to e-ending verbal bases in Past Tense

Singular Plural
Third Person si suṃ
Second Person si *
First Person siṃ *

* There are no specific conjugated forms for e-ending verbal bases with respect to first and second person plural, and aya-ending forms are used in their place.

Let us study the conjugation tables of ‘kathe’ to understand this point clearly.

The verbal base kathe has an alternate form kathaya

katheti / kathayati = speaks, tells, talks, converses

Conjugation of the verbal base kathaya

Singular Plural
Third Person kathayi / akathayi kathayiṃsu / akathayiṃsu
kathayuṃ / akathayuṃ
Second Person kathayi / akathayi
kathayo / akathayo
kathayittha / akathayittha
First Person kathayiṃ / akathayiṃ kathayimha / akathayimha
kathayimhā / akathayimhā

Please note that kathaya being a-ending verbal base, conjugates like bhāsa, whereas the e-ending verbal base kathe takes up the different set of terminations as mentioned above.

Conjugation of the verbal base kathe

Singular Plural
Third Person kathesi / akathesi kathesuṃ / akathesuṃ
Second Person kathesi / akathesi *
First Person kathesiṃ / akathesiṃ *

* There are no specific conjugated forms of kathe for first and second person plural, and conjugated forms of kathaya like kathayittha, kathayimha, etc. are used in their place.

In other words, whenever there are sentences in the Suttas indicating – ‘you all spoke’ (second person, plural), ‘we told / conversed’ (first person, plural) etc, we always come across forms of the verbal base kathaya.

Last modified: Wednesday, 23 August 2023, 2:18 PM