Lesson 6: Sanskrit for Beginners Course: Stem Formation


Tests our Spoken Sanskrit, gacchati paradigm and introduces Lesson 4 of the book (nominative & accusative case of nouns).

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. To form a noun: stem + ending. EG:
    • nara + = nara (man)
    • nara + u = narau (two men)
    • nara + aḥ = narāḥ (many men).
  2. What is nominative (subject)? The doer of the verb. Subject of the sentence. The one who is performing the verb.
    • EG: Man goes.  naraḥnom  gacchati
  3. What is accusative (object)? The “victim” of the verb. The object which the verb is done onto. Motion towards.
      • EG: Man goes to the horse.   :  naraḥnom  aśvamacc   gacchati
      • EG: Horse goes to the man:  aśvaḥnom   naramacc  gacchati


  1. Memorize all words on Spoken Sanskrit pg 1-5. Here is pronunciation for latest words on page 5.
  2. At least TWO verses should've been memorized by now: Practice, Ornaments, Here there, Blades of Grass
  3. Memorize the “nara” paradigm for Nominative/Accusative. (pg 33)
  4. Memorize all verbs we've done so far. (pg 30)
  5. Remember the “gaccha” paradigm forwards, backwards, diagonal. (pg 30)
  6. Practice devanāgarī writing. Print and practice: 1, 2, 3, 4


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 30 Aug, 2020


  1. Hello Andre,
    You’ve introduced us to two different verbs expressing being, ‘to be’ – in their 3rd person singular form they are asti and bhavati.
    When is it appropriate to use ‘asti’ and when is it appropriate to use ‘bhavati’?
    For example, if I want to say, ‘she is in the dining room ‘, do I say,
    bhojanashale saa bhavati
    Or do I say,
    bhojanashale saa asti

    1. See notes here: https://i.imgur.com/mVK7Mh6.png?1

      Asti: Strictly “is”.

      Bhavati: Same as “asti”, but also used in sense of “becoming”.

      EG: Rāma BECOMES king: rāmaḥ nṛpaḥ bhavati. (In this case, don’t use asti).
      EG: Rāma IS the king: rāmaḥ nṛpah bhavati (OR) asti

      We haven’t gotten to bhavati/asti yet.

  2. Hello Andre,
    In Roman diacritics, sometimes the anusvara is written as a dot above the ‘m’ – for example, in the scriptural verses you’ve given us and sometimes it’s written as a dot below the ‘m’ – Thomas Egenes textbook pages 36, 37.
    Both versions appear to be acceptable which makes it a little confusing. Is it simply that we recognise the anusvara by recognising the sandhi rule that applies it?
    Separate question – is there a difference in pronunciation between an ‘m’ with an anusvara and an ‘m’ without one?

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