We have so far studied the conjugation of verbs in three tenses – Present, Future and Past. The verbs in Pali also conjugate according to the ‘Moods’. A ‘Mood’ is not related to any particular tense, but is used to express – as the name suggests – a mood, an emotion etc. E.g. Moods are used to express an order, a wish, a possibility, a prayer, benediction / blessing etc.

In this Unit, we will be studying the conjugation of verbs in two moods – Imperative mood and Optative / Potential mood. Let us now start with the Imperative mood.

The Imperative Mood is used in Pali to express – order, advice, wish, prayer, request, blessing etc.

The terminations added to the verbal bases denoting the Imperative Mood are :

Terminations added to a, ā o and e-ending verbal bases

Singular Plural
Third Person tu ntu
Second Person hi tha
First Person mi ma

Let us study the conjugation of all these types of verbal bases and the roots √, √bhū and √as in the Imperative Mood. We will also translate a few simple Pali sentences into English, to understand various possible translations of these conjugated forms.

Last modified: Sunday, 24 December 2023, 11:27 AM