Lesson 33: Sanskrit for Beginners Course: Relative-Correlative (When-Then)


Relative-Correlative Adverbs (When-Then. Since-Therefore, Where-There).

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

This session deals with: CH13, pg 172, #2-#5.

Relative-Correlative Adverbs:

Relative Adverbs (Dependent) Correlative Adverbs (Independent) Examples: (Sanskrit > English)
Since / When / From where
yataḥ यतः
therefore / from there
tataḥ ततः
  • yataḥ śrutīḥacc paṭhasi tataḥ tasyaḥ avidyām prajām vadasi
    यतः  श्रुतीः  पठसि  ततः  तस्यः  अविद्यां  प्रजां  वदसि
  • Direct: Since you read the scriptures, therefore you speak to the child about his ignorance.
  • Final English: You speak to the child about his ignorance, since you read the scriptures.
yatra यत्र
tatra तत्र
  • yatra agniḥ asti tatra bhūmiḥ api asti 
    यत्र  अग्निः  अस्ति  तत्र  भूमिः  अपि  अस्ति
  • Direct: Where there is fire, there is also earth.
  • Final English: Same.
Since / Just as / In which way
yathā यथा
therefore, so / so too / in that same way
tathā तथा
  • Similar to yataḥ / tataḥ.
yadā यदा
tadā तदा
  • yadā sā siddhim labhate tadā tasyāḥ kīrtiḥnom sūryaḥnom iva bhavati 
    यदा  सा  सिद्धिं  लभते  तदा  तस्याः  कीर्तिः  सूर्यः  इव  भवति
  • Direct: When she obtains liberation, then her glory is like the sun.
  • Final English: Her glory is like the sun when she obtains liberation.
yadi यदि
tadā तदा
  • yadi mām sevase tadā aham tvām seve
    यदि  मां  सेवसे  तदा  अहं  त्वां  सेवे
  • Direct: If you serve me, then I serve you.
  • Final English: I serve you if you serve me.
  • How to translate ENGLISH > SANSKRIT:
    • ORDER:
    • PROCESS:
      • STEP 1: Read original:
        • “We come to Rāma, (since he is virtuous)”
      • STEP 2: Identify RELATIVE clause, and put first in sentence:
        • Firstly, what is Relative clause?
          • Without it, sentence still makes sense on it's own.
          • Gives extra info to correlative clause.
        • Since he is virtuous“.
      • STEP 3: Find corresponding Correlative word in table above.
        • Therefore
      • STEP 4: Put it together:
        • Since he is virtuous, therefore we come to Rāma.
      • STEP 5: Translate to Sanskrit:
        • yathā sa dhārmikaḥ bhavati tathā vayaṃ rāmaṃ āgacchāmaḥ  यथा  स  धार्मिकः भवति  तथा  वयं  रामं  आगच्छामः
I see (where the king lives). yatra nṛpaḥ vasati tatra ahaṃ paśyāmi 
यत्र नृपः वसति तत्र अहं पश्यामि
I am enjoying the story (when you read it). yadā tām paṭhasi tadā ahaṃ kathām rame
यदा तां पठसि तदा अहं कथां रमे
The teacher is happy (when students come to Sanskrit). yadā chātrāḥ saṃskṛtamacc āgacchanti tadā adhyāpakaḥ ānanditaḥ bhavati 
यदा छात्राः संस्कृतं आगच्छन्ति तदा अध्यापकः आनन्दितः भवति
I go (if you go). yadi tvaṃ gacchasi tadā ahaṃ gacchāmi 
यदि  त्वं  गच्छसि  तदा  अहं  गच्छामि


  • Revise vocab on PG 178.
  • PG 179: (First memorize the relativecorrelative adverbs above)

    • 1 a, c, d, e, f, g, i
    • 2 a, c, d, g, h, j


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 25 April, 2021


  1. namo namaḥ āndre

    A couple of questions from the homework

    1g – यदि नरः सिद्धिं लभते तदा स ऋषिर्भवति
    I translated it as “If a man obtains perfection, then he is a sage”
    Answer says “If a man obtains perfection, then he becomes a sage”
    Can bhavati be translated as both “is” and “becomes”?

    2g – The student having thought, asks the poet about the river
    I translated it as “चिन्तयित्वा शिष्यः नदीं कविं पृच्छति”
    Answers uses मत्वा instead of चिन्तयित्वा. Are both correct or am I missing
    somehthing? Can you throw some light on मत्वा please?

    And a random question on relative-correlatives -:

    yataḥ-tataḥ and yadā-tadā both can be used for when/since-then/therefore. My
    understanding is either seem to be appropriate for cause-effect statements. Is
    that correct? Are there any nuances when yataḥ-tataḥ or yadā-tadā should be used?


    1. 1g) When read Sanskrit line, I translated as “becomes a sage”. However “is” also correct.

      2g) Yes. matvā / cintayitvā used interchangeably. Just like: vadati / bhāṣate. Whichever prefer. Lesson: Use variety of words, to help expand vocab.

      Are there any nuances when yataḥ-tataḥ or yadā-tadā should be used?

      Used interchangeably. No subtle nuances.

      Although yadā-tadā is most common combo. Will rarely see yataḥ-tataḥ.

  2. 2 offtopic questions, but I don’t know where I can ask these:

    1. what’s difference between purusha and nara? Because I think they both mean “man” . Am I right?
    2. In the book the letter”a” is written differently than आ. I often see this one, not the other one. Why?

    Thank you very much

    1. Nothing. Every Sanskrit word has dozens of meanings (man, person, sentient being, living specie, etc): Manuṣya, naraḥ, puruṣa, janaḥ, etc.

      Can further write puruṣaḥ (mas: man), or puruṣā (fem: woman).

  3. In BG 2:33 the relative/correlative pair used is atha/tatah. Does atha mean the same thing as yatah?
    Thank you Andre.

    1. No, because both “atha” (now) and “tataḥ” (therefore/thus) are indeclinable words. Meaning they are not related, and can be used anytime, anywhere.

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