Grammar Tutorial ::: Noun Cases / सुवन्तपद / suvantapada


Noun Forms Or Cases (शब्दरुप / shabdarupa): In chapter 1 we were introduced with noun (शब्द / shabda), noun-form (शब्दरुप / shabdarupa), verb (क्रिया / kriyaa) and their use.
To summarise - noun or shabda (शब्द) is the word that represents someone or something in a sentence. Noun normally refers to person, place, thing, state or quality etc. A noun is the only word that can be used as the subject or object for a verb.

In Sanskrit shabda (शब्द) is the base or root of all noun-forms (शब्दरुप). Each noun-form is a derivative or shabdarupa (शब्दरुप) of it's root. For example "boy" as a root can have different singular forms representing "the boy", "to the boy", "by the boy", "for/to the boy", "from the boy", "of the boy" and "in the boy".
We will study noun-forms in detail. Followings are few features of noun-forms.

  • In a sentence the verb always follows the number and case of the subject (कर्ता / kartaa). The subject's gender has no effect on the verb-form.
  • Each noun can have 3 numbers (वचन / vachana) and 7 cases (विभक्ति / vibhakti). So, a noun can have 21 different forms (शब्दरुप / shabdarupa) each associating a specific meaning to the noun. Besides the cases a vocative case is also added to the 7 different cases. This makes a noun to have 24 different forms.
  • The 3 numbers in a noun are singular (एकवचन / ekavachana), dual (द्विवचन / dvivachana), and plural (बहुवचन / bahuvachana). The dual form is unique to Sanskrit and few other languages.

The followings are the 7 different cases of a noun.
  • Case 1 - Nominative -> प्रथमा / prathamaa
  • Case 2 - Accusative -> द्वितीया / dvitiiyaa
  • Case 3 - Instrumental -> तृतीया / tRRitiiya
  • Case 4 - Dative -> चतुर्थी / chaturthii
  • Case 5 - Ablative -> पञचमी / paJNamii
  • Case 6 - Genitive -> षष्ठी / ShaShThii
  • Case 7 - Locative -> सप्तमी / saptamii
  • Vocative -> सम्बोधन / sambodhana

In coming chapters we will learn the noun cases or विभक्ति (vibhakti) in detail. For easier and simpler study while describing the different noun-forms we have used commonly used nouns for sentence composition. The complete noun-forms of these nouns are listed at the end of each chapter for easy reference.

At the end of each chapter Practice Sentences are given using many commonly used nouns and verbs. Studying the Practice Sentences will help building a good vocabulary for day-to-day conversasion in Sanskrit.

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