Lesson 5: Sanskrit for Beginners Course: Plural Verb Endings


This session goes into conversation practice. Then introduces grammar in Lesson 3 of the book.

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


  • Textbook PDF file used in class. It is 3rd Ed. (Copyright: Book is by Thomas Egenes. To support his work, consider buying the book.)
  • Template we used in class for conversation practice.


    1. PLURAL: VERBamaḥ, tha, anti. (We all, you all, they all)
    2. Where to put “na” (not)? Before the verb. EG: na gacchati: He doesn't go.


  1. Practice memorizing words on Spoken Sanskrit pg 1-4. How to pronounce? See video.
  2. At least two verses should've been memorized by now: On Practice, On Ornaments, Here there and everywhere.
  3. Practice devanāgarī writing. Print and practice: 1, 2, 3, 4
  4. Remember the “gaccha” paradigm forwards, backwards, diagonal.
  5. Complete exercises in Lesson 3, pg 29. Everything we've done up to now is on page 30.


You'll have more questions throughout the course. How to ask? Leave in comments below, so others can also benefit. I will respond in 72 hours. Only ask specific to Lesson.

Recorded 23 Aug, 2020


  1. Hello Andre,
    This is a grammar question relating to the hymn ‘On Practice ‘.
    Line 3 says, “in the absence of practice, knowledge is poison” ;
    Since knowledge (vidyaa) is the subject of the clause, why does the word ‘vi.sam’ (poison) precede the word ‘vidyaa’ ( knowledge) ?

    1. anabhyāse: In non-practice (locative)
      viṣam: poison (accusative: Object)
      vidyā: knowledge (nominative: Subject)
      asti: Is (we said in class to assume “is” if it’s missing).

      Question is about ORDER:

      There are two orders in Sanskrit (both are correct):

      EG: vidyā (anabhyāse viṣam) asti

      EG: (anabhyāse viṣam) vidyā asti

      Need to get comfortable with both, as in real-life it’s 50/50 between the two orders.

  2. This might be beyond the scope of this lesson, but (also in “On Practice”) why would one use परम used instead of महत् (or any other synonym) to mean “great”? In general, I’ve noticed in Sanskrit that there are many words that, at least according to the dictionary, mean the same thing, but I would imagine that there’s a reason to use one over another in many cases. Have you found a dictionary that explains the nuances a bit more? (I see you included a dictionary in the first lesson, while mentioning that you’ve seen many more in your searches, so hopefully one of them gives a bit more context?). Much gratitude for offering this course!

    1. Nevermind, I realized that I could type “mahat” or “parama” into the Sanskrit-to-English dictionary and, through analyzing all the English words they could be translated to, get a rough estimate of when to use each adjective.

    2. In English we don’t make much use of Thesaurus words. In Sanskrit, Thesaurus usage is in full effect. So it’s not that different from English.

      mahat: best, excellent / anything important or great (in status).
      parama: best, most excellent, chief, highest / (philosophical: free from limitations)

      So yes, they do mean same. Although context is different.

      mahat: associated to a “great” human being / object. EG: mahārāja: great king.
      parama: associated to greatness of that which is subtle or formless. EG: paramātmā: Limitless consciousness.

    1. Verses in this course are subhāṣita (su: good | bhāṣita: spoken).

      subhāṣita: Form of aphorism, advice, lesson, riddle.

      Subhāṣitāni in Sanskrit are short memorable verses, typically consisting of 4 lines

      Comes from: Mahāsubhāṣitasaṃgraha (Maha-subhashita-samgraha).

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