Part 16

Part 16 - Lesson #12 and Exercise 11(2) Answers

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Lesson 12

Dative Case

The fourth or dative (catutthī, sampadāna) case is used to express the purpose for which an action is done and the person to whom something is given ("indirect object"). The dative may express the person for whom something is done or to whom something which happens is advantageous ("dative of advantage").

 Formally the Pali dative largely coincides with the genitive.

The inflection in āya has the specialised meaning of purpose:

piṇḍopiṇḍāya or piṇḍassa
nibbānaṃnibbānāya or nibbānassa

gāmaṃ piṇḍāya pāvisi

"he entered the village for alms."

... the verb (k)kham meaning "to please" (someone = dative)

... the same verb when it means "to forgive" (someone = dative, something = accusative).

 ... the verb (p)paṭi-(s)su meaning "to assent to (someone)" takes the dative.

... the verb upa-()ṭhā, meaning to serve, attend on/to someone or something (dative)

... the verb dhar in the sense of "hold for/over" takes the dative of the person sheltered, and in the sense of "owe" it takes the dative of the person to whom something is owed.

... the verb ā-ruc ("to inform") takes the dative of the person informed (whereas ā-mant takes the accusative).

Verbs meaning to be angry at (kup, etc.), to curse (sap), to long for (pih), and to be clear to ((p)pa-(k)khā: visible, apparent), to appear to (pātu(r)-bhū: manifest) take the dative.

 The adjective (of verbal import) piya, "dear", takes the dative of the person to whom.

"For the sake of" ( = dative of purpose, above) is expressed by atthāya preceded by the genitive of the person or object of the endeavour.

The indeclinable alaṃ ("sufficient", "enough", "adequate", "perfected") takes the dative. Besides the ordinary sense of "sufficient" (for any purpose) it has the idiomatic meaning of a refusal or objection ("enough!" = "stop!", "I won't!", etc.) with dative of the person for whom it is sufficient or superfluous ("I won't" = alaṃ me ; "it is sufficient for you" = alaṃ vo).

The negative participle abhabba, which functions as an adjective meaning "unable", "incapable", takes the dative of the action which cannot be done, if the latter is expressed by a noun ("action noun").

When wishes (good wishes) are expressed, the dative is used for the person for whom they are expressed: "may there be (hotu) long life for him"; "good luck to you" (bhaddaṃ bhavato hotu);

"welcome to you" (svāgataṃ bhavato hotu). Like svāgataṃ ("welcome!"),

 the indeclinables sotthi "safety", "safely") and namo ("hail!") take the dative.

It should be borne in mind that the infinitive of verbs overlaps in meaning with the dative of purpose.

 A very important idiomatic construction with the dative case refers to the proper time for something, the opportunity for something. Thus etassa kālo means "it is the time for this", "it is the right time for this";

akāloyācanāya means "it is not the right time for asking";

yassa dāni kālaṃ maññasi means literally "for which you think it is now (dāni) the right time".

The last expression is extremely common in saying (formally) goodbye (spoken by the host, not the guest - who for his part has made the excuse of pressure of work), being roughly equivalent to "well, if you really must go … " It is used also by servants reporting to their master that preparations are completed, implying "you can start whenever you wish", etc.


Aorist of (s)su

The aorist of the verb (s)su is inflected as follows:

3rd person assosi
"he heard"
2nd personassosiassuttha
1st personassosiṃassumha


Relative Pronoun

The relative pronoun has the stem ya(d), "who", "which" - which is inflected in the three genders in the same way as the demonstrative so, , taṃ, or tad:

nominative yoyaṃ or yad yeyāni
accusative yaṃyaṃ or yadyaṃ
instrumental yenayāyayehiyāhi
dative yassayassāyesaṃyāsaṃ

Relative pronouns are used mostly in relative clauses, but some of the case-forms are also used as indeclinables.


Relative Clause

The relative clause (aniyamuddesa) is the regular form of "subordinate clause"

Its use is extremely frequent. The clear articulation of the sentence into a subordinate clause introduced by a relative word (a pronoun or an indeclinable such as yattha, "where") and a main clause introduced by a demonstrative word (niyamato paṭiniddesa) is an outstanding characteristic of Pali.

Complex sentences or "periods" may be built up by combinations of relative clauses and demonstrative clauses, co-ordinate clauses (joined by conjunctive particles such as ca), direct speech and so forth.

The relative clause regularly precedes the main clause. The relative word introduces the clause, but may be preceded by indeclinables connecting the whole sentence to the narrative of which it forms a part. e.g.:

atha kho ye icchiṃsu te akaṃsu

"then (indeed) those who wished, worked" (literally: "… who wished, they worked.")

The relative pronoun must be in the same number and gender as the noun or demonstrative pronoun it refers to, but it may be in any case - connecting it with the words in its own relative clause or sentence. e.g.:

yena dvārena nikkhami taṃ Gotamadvāraṃ nāma ahosi

"the gate by which he left was called Gotama Gate"
("by which (ins.) gate he left, that (nom.) Gotama Gate named was").

Besides the demonstrative, other pronouns may serve as correlatives, for example the personal pronouns and also the "pronominal adjective" (see below) sabba, "all":

ye … ahesuṃ, … sabbe … bhakkhesi

"those … who were there, … he devoured (bhakkh) them all."

Repetition of a relative word emphasises that the clause is universal: yo yo = "whoever". The correlative also is repeated. e.g.:

yo yo … ādiyissati tassa tassa … anuppadassāmi

"whoever will take … to him I will grant …"

A demonstrative pronoun immediately following a relative pronoun is emphatic: yo so = "he who", "that which"

yo so satto paṭhamaṃ upapanno, tassa evaṃ hoti: ahaṃ asmi brahmā

"that being who has come into existence first (in the evolution of the universe) thinks he is God."
("Who that being first is reborn, has this thought: I am God.")


Relative Indeclinables

Besides such indeclinables as yattha ("where"), yatha ("as"), yada ("when"), yadi ("if"), and yato ("whence", "because", "since"), certain forms of the relative pronoun have, besides their ordinary uses, uses as indeclinables

Thus the neuter forms of the nominative-accusative singular (especially yaṃ) are used in the impersonal sense of "that", "what", covering a wide range of shades of meaning.

hoti kho so samayo yaṃ … ayaṃ loko vivaṭṭati

"there is indeed the (so) time that (i.e. when) ... this world evolves."

yaṃ frequently appears after the expression ṭhānaṃ etaṃ vijjati, introducing the statement of what is possible: ṭhānaṃ etaṃ viijati yaṃ, … = "it is possible that … " (here of course the yaṃ may be regarded as correlative with the demonstrative etaṃ).

yad is used in close combination with another indeclinable word: the forms tad and yad of the neuter pronouns are junction forms of taṃ and yaṃ taken when following words are closely associated with them syntactically (and hence in utterance): yad idaṃ (cf. masculine yo so with a different demonstrative), "which that", is used as an indeclinable emphatic demonstrative, "that is", "i.e.", "as for example", "as", "such as", "to wit".

 The instrumental yena used with a verb of motion means "where", "towards" (cf. the instrumental of the way by which). It "governs" the nominative case (Lesson 1). When doubled it means "wherever":

yena yena gacchati

"wherever he goes."

It is often used with the correlative tena preceding the verb:

yena gāmo tena upasaṃkami

"he approached the village."


Interrogative Pronoun

The interrogative pronoun has the stem kiṃ, "who?", "which?", "what?"

nominative kokiṃkekāni
accusative kaṃkiṃkaṃ
instrumental kenakāyakehikāhi
dative kassa or kissakassākesaṃkāsaṃ

There is no equivalent to the question mark in Pali (though modern editors sometimes insert question marks in their texts to assist students).

 As a general rule if a sentence contains an interrogative word the whole sentence is interrogative, but a few interrogative sentences contain no interrogative word and must be understood from the context (see the example in Exercise 9). Sometimes inversion is used:

khamati te idaṃ

"does this please you?", "do you approve of this?"


idaṃ me khamati

"this pleases me", "I like this"

The neuter singular form kiṃ is sometimes used as an indeclinable, simply making the sentence interrogative (= inversion + "?" in English):

kiṃ saddaṃ assosi

"Did he hear the noise?"


Pronominal Adjectives

Certain pronouns (sometimes called "pronominal adjectives" because they function as both pronouns and adjectives) follow the declension of ya(d) and must be carefully distinguished from adjectives on account of the difference of inflection in the nominative and genitive-dative plural masculine.

Thus from sabba, "all", we have: nominative singular sabbo (M.), sabbaṃ (N.: only form), sabbā (F.); nominative and accusative plural masculine sabbe, like ye and unlike kusalā (masculine nominative plural), kusale (masculine accusative plural); genitive and dative plural masculine sabbesaṃ (cf. yesaṃ, kusalānaṃ).

Similar pronouns are:

aññataraa certain, a
paraother, another
sabbaall, entire

>>> skip to exercise 11 answers >>>



ā-kaṅkh ākaṅkhatihe wishes
(k)khamkhamatiit pleases, it suits, he approves, he likes (dative of person)
ni(r)-(k)kamnikkhamatihe goes out, he leaves
saṃ-ni-pat (to fall)sannipatantithey assemble
upa-ḷas (to exercise an art)
upaḷāsetihe plays, he sounds


jīvolife-principle, soul
paccantajo borderer, foreigner
saṅkhadhamo conch blower
dassanaṃ seeing


paccantimabordering, foreign


ambhosir! (not very respectful)
taṃthen, so, now (accusative of ta(d) used adverbially)
nu? (enclitic: an interrogative particle reinforcing an interrogative pronoun or combined with another indeclinable to make it interrogative: nanu,"(is) not?"; or by itself = "does?")
yathāas, how



The answers are given in Part 17

Passage for reading

bhūtapubbaṃ aññataro saṅkhadhamo saṅkhaṃ ādāya paccantimaṃ janapadaṃ agamāsi. so yen' aññataro gāmo ten' upasaṃkami. upasaṃkamitvā saṅkhaṃ upaḷāsitvā saṅkhaṃ nikkhipitvā nisīdi. atha kho tesaṃ paccantajānaṃ manussānaṃ etad ahosi: kissa nu kho eso saddo evaṃ rajanīyo evaṃ kamanīyo evaṃ madanīyo ti. sannipatitvā taṃ saṅkhadhamaṃ etad avocuṃ: ambho kissa nu kho eso saddo evaṃ rajanīyo evaṃ kamanīyo evaṃ madanīyo ti. eso kho bho saṅkho nāma yass' eso saddo evaṃ rajanīyo evaṃ kamanīyo evaṃ madanīyo ti.


Translate into English

yen' ajja samaṇo Gotamo dvārena nikkhamissati taṃ Gotama dvaraṃ nāma bhavissati

vatthāni pi 'ssa na yathā aññesaṃ

imassa ko attho

mayaṃ yaṃ icchissāma taṃ karissāma

kissa nu kho me idaṃ kammassa phalaṃ, kissa kammassa vipāko


taṃ kiṃ maññanti bhonto devā

n' atthi paro loko

ko 'si tvaṃ āvuso

kiṃ kusalaṃ kiṃ akusalaṃ

ke tumhe


rājā samāno kiṃ labhati

iminā me upasamena Udāyibhaddo kumāro samannāgato hotu

puccha mahārāja yad ākaṅkhasi

karoti te bhagavā okāsaṃ

yaṃ kho 'ssa na kkhamati taṃ pajahati

Translate into Pali

He gave to me

Prince Udāyibhadda (is) dear to me

The fortunate one, taking a bowl, entered the village for alms

He teaches the doctrine for "extinction"

He eats what he likes


Then (atha) the gate by which the fortunate one left was named Gotama Gate

What do you think, then, great king?

We have come here to see the honourable Gotama

Did you hear a noise, sir? I didn't hear a noise, sir!

We do not see his soul leaving

Exercise 11(2) - Answers

Translate into Pali

Click the English to reveal/hide the answers in Pali or use the buttons:  

The universe is infinite

Ananto (or anantavā) loko.

This is not easy (use the neuter: impersonal statement)

Na idaṃ sukaraṃ.

I followed the road

Ahaṃ maggaṃ agamāsiṃ (or paṭipajjiṃ).

The king saw the boy

Addasā rājā kumāraṃ.

Addasā, unlike other verbs, usually stands at the beginning of the sentence.

Pali Noun Declension Table (opens in new tab)

The city was prosperous

Nagaraṃ phītaṃ ahosi.

He (is) fixed, permanent, eternal (four words, order as here)

So dhuvo nicco sassato.

We saw the fortunate one

Addasāma Bhagavantaṃ.

The speech (is) agreeable

Vācā kantā (or bhāsitaṃ kantaṃ).

My life (was) given by him (he spared my life), his life (was) given by me (I spared his life)

Tena ca me jīvitaṃ dinnaṃ, mayā ca tassa jīvitaṃ dinnaṃ.

Note the agreement between jīvitaṃ and dinnaṃ.

Verb Conjugation & Pronoun Declension Table (opens in new tab)

See! Ananda - They (are) past, ended, changed

Passa, Ānanda, te atītā niruddhā vipariṇatā.

Passa is the imperative second person singular. For niruddha, see Warder p.40.

See this table (from pg.34):
3rd person bhavatubhavantu
2nd person bhavabhavatha
1st person bhavāmibhavāma

He has much gold

Tassa pahūtaṃ suvaṇṇaṃ hoti.