Lesson 11: Sanskrit for Beginners Course: Instrumental Case


How to say “Man asks Rāma about the deer“. Instrumental case. Word order.

Source: Introduction to Sanskrit (4th Ed) – Thomas Egenes – Part One


  • How to say “About”. Only applies to pṛccha (ask) and vada (speak). EG:
    • Rāma speaks to the hero   about the elephants  : rāmaḥ  gajān    vīram   vadati       (रामः  गजान्  वीरम्  वदति)
    • Hero asks the           man    about the two sons    : vīraḥ    putrau  naram pṛcchati   (वीरः  पुत्रौ      नरम्   पृच्छति)
    • Placement: About __” word is (1) in ACC  (2) furthest away from verb.
  • Instrumental Case:
    • Purpose?
      • To convey “WITH something” or “BY MEANS OF something“.
        • EG: Man goes WITH the horse. / Man goes BY MEANS OF a horse. :  naraḥ aśvena saha gacchati
    • How to form?
      • stemena एन    saha सह / vinā विना (with/without)
    • Paradigm:
Single: Dual: Plural:
nara + eṇa एण
r (र) / ṛ (ऋ)  changes  n (न) to ṇ (ण)
nareṇa नरेण  : with the man
nara + abhyām अभ्याम् 

narābhyām नराभ्याम्  : with two men

nara + iḥ इः 

naraiḥ नरैः  : with men (pl)

    • Examples:
      • Rāma goes with the son                   : rāmaḥ putreṇa saha gacchati
      • Rāma goes without the son             :  rāmaḥ putreṇa vinā gacchati
      • I stand with my man                         : mama nareṇa saha tiṣṭhāmi
      • I am with the deer                             : mṛgeṇa saha bhavāmi
      • I live with your elephant                  :  tava gajena saha vasāmi
      • You speak with the two men          : narābhyām saha vasasi
      • We two go with the two horses      : aśvābhyām saha gacchāvaḥ
      • We all go with many horses            : aśvaiḥ saha gacchāmaḥ
      • You two go with the men                : naraiḥ saha gacchathaḥ
      • I am without the hero                      : vīreṇa saha bhavāmi
      • We two are without two horses      : aśvābhyām vinā bhavāvaḥ
  • Sanskrit Word Order:
    • TIP: On beginning, stick to Style 1. Because easier to find NOM.
1. naraḥ aśvena saha putram gacchati
2. patnī nareṇa saha melbourne-nagare vasati
3. vīraḥ adhyāpakena vinā bālam vadati
1. aśvena saha naraḥ putram gacchati
2. nareṇa saha patnī melbourne-nagare vasati
3. adhyāpakena vinā vīraḥ bālam vadati


  1. Complete homework on pg 47 of book: 4a-h, 5a-h.
    • Sanskrit to English process for each exercise.

Interactive Sanskrit Fun:


You'll have more questions throughout the course. How to ask? Leave in comments below, so others can also benefit. We'll respond within 48 hours. Only ask specific to this Lesson.

Recorded 4 Oct, 2020


  1. Hello Andre,
    Im following the class recordings – class 11.
    What is the document name for the conversation guide used in class 11 please? You mentioned yesvedanta.com/4.pdf in the recording but I couldn’t find a document by that name.

    Also can you explain a little bit more about the sentence generator please.
    For instance, one provides the words
    ka.h pati.h upanetram ( in small letters) piba

    what does the husband drink?
    But I can’t make sense of what we are supposed to do with the word in small letters. upanetram – spectacles doesn’t make sense in this context so I’m guessing that there must be more to the instructions than I can guess at.

    Apologies, I haven’t downloaded keyman app onto tablet yet.

    1. Added class exercises in “Interactive Sanskrit Fun” section above.

      Sentence generator:

      Step 1: Press spin.
      Step 2: Make proper verb in relation to sing/dual/pl of NOM. EG: kaḥ patiḥ upanetram piba > kaḥ patiḥ upanetram pibaTI
      Step 3: Translate: What husband drinks the spectacles?

      It’s true won’t make sense. So can change question to “katham” (how): How does the husband drink the spectacles?

  2. Hello Andre,
    Re: accompaniment – with the ………
    How does Sanskrit express the thought when accompaniment qualifies the nominative or accusative? For instance –

    The boy goes to the ( man with the horse).

    Is it, balo naraṃ aśvaṃ saha gacchati. Or some other construction?


    1. =====
      How does Sanskrit express the thought when accompaniment qualifies the nominative or accusative?

      Good, you’re thinking ahead. This needs knowledge of relative-correlative construction which is in L13.

      It’ll requires to rewrite the Eng sentence:

      Which man is with the horse, him (qualifies the man) boy goes to >
      yaḥ naraḥ aśvena saha bhavati tam bālaḥ gacchati

      Obviously this will be taught.

  3. Hello Andre,
    Thanks for the look ahead at the relative correlative construction; I couldn’t resist checking out a few of the pages in lesson 13.
    While looking for noun negation on the web, I happened across the following regarding the use of ‘with ‘ as a qualification.

    The man goes to ( the boy with the elephant).
    naraḥ sagajaṁ bālaṁ gacchati.

    The prefix sa, which, as you know, means ‘with ‘, is used when ‘with’ qualifies the noun.
    To express the above given sentence, is this construction acceptable?

    Website: https://easysanskrit.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/super-basic-positive-and-negative-prefixes/

    1. The headline on that site gives it away “super easy”. Which doesn’t necessarily mean grammatically correct. Please refuse to go outside framework of the course. It’s not like there’s better Sanskrit “over there at some other site”, which we aren’t addressing here. We’ll learn about “sa_” much later.

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