Language/Tamil/Grammar/Tamil-Finite-Verbs-Conjugation

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Tamil Finite Verbs Conjugation

Finite Verbs[edit | edit source]

Overview[edit | edit source]

Finite verb forms show tense, person and number (e.g. I go, she goes, we went, etc.).

In Tamil, Finite Verbs generally have a 3 part structure:

  • The "Verb Stem"
  • The "Tense Suffix" (to indicate past, present or future tense)
  • anda "Subject Marker" (to indicate Person, Number and Gender – i.e. I, We, He, She etc).
  • Example: The verb "varuven" means "I will come".

In this example:

  • Varu is the Verb Stem
  • v is used to indicate it is for future tense
  • en is used when referring to "I" (that is, the first person)

Types of Finite Verbs and Tense Suffixes[edit | edit source]

The Tamil language has 7 main types of finite verbs. These are classified according to their conjugation (i.e. according to the TENSE suffix used).

  • The tense suffix for the past and present tense also depends on the language register (high or colloquial)
  • The future time suffix is the same regardless of the register
  • The tables below show the time suffixes for each type of finite verb for each register

NB: Those rules are different for other kinds of verbs.

Tense Suffixes[edit | edit source]

Tense Suffixes for High Tamil with the Tamil Script[edit | edit source]

Past Present Future Example Other Examples
Type 1 த் | dh கிற் | giR வ் | v sei (do) - செய்
  • nei (weave)
Type 2 ந்த் | ndh கிற் | giR வ் | v aRi (know) - அறி
  • vizhu (fall),
  • ezhu (rise),
  • sari (roll or tumble down)
Type 3 இன் | in கிற் | giR வ் | v vaangu (buy/get) - வாங்கு
  • thoongu (sleep),
  • ezhuthu (write),
  • anuppu (send)
Type 4 End consonant doubling கிற் | giR வ் | v vidu (leave) - விடு
  • PiDi (Catch/hold),
  • KeDu (spoil),
  • peru (get)
Type 5 ட் | t/d கிற் | kiR/ giR ப் | p/b uN (eat) – உண்
  • kaaN (see),
  • keL (listen)
Type 6 த்த் | tth க்கிற் | kkiR ப்ப் | pp paDi (read/study) - படி
  • koDu (give),
  • eDu (take),
  • paar (see)
Type 7 ந்த் | ndh க்கிற் | kkiR ப்ப் | pp naDa (walk) - நட
  • para (fly),
  • kala (mix),
  • marA (forget)

 


Verb Stem Past Present Future same as for Colloquial Tamil
Type 1 – Sei do Seidhen dh + en = dhen SeigiRyen giR + en = giRean Seivean Iv + en = vean
Type 2 – Ari know Arindhean ndh + en = dhean ArigiRean giR + en = giRean Arivean Iv + en = vean
Type 3 – Vaangu buy/get Vaanginean in + en = inean VaangugiRean giR + en = GiRean Vaanguvean Iv + en = vean
Type 4 – Vidu leave Vittean t + t + en VidugiRean giR + en = giRean Viduvean Iv + en = vean
Type 5 – Un eat Undean d + en UngiRean giR + en = giRean Unbean b + en = bean
Type 6 – Padi read/study Paditthean tth + en = tthean Padikkirean kkiR + en = kkirean Padippean pp + en = ppean
Type 7 – Nada walk Nadandhean ndh + ean = ndhean NadakkiRean kkir + en = kkirean Nadappean pp + en = ppean

Tense Suffixes for Colloquial Tamil with the Tamil Script[edit | edit source]

Past Present Future Example Other Examples
Type 1 ஞ்ச் | nj ற் | R வ் | v sei (do) - செய்
  • nei (weave)
Type 2 ந்த் | ndh / ஞ்ச் | nj ற் | R வ் | v aRi (know) - அறி
  • vizhu (fall),
  • ezhu (rise),
  • sari (roll or tumble down)
Type 3 உன் | u ற் | R வ் | v vaangu (buy/get) - வாங்கு
  • thoongu (sleep),
  • ezhuthu (write),
  • anuppu (send)
Type 4 End consonant doubling ற் | R வ் | v vidu ( leave) - விடு
  • PiDi (Catch/hold),
  • KeDu (spoil),
  • peru (get)
Type 5 ட் | t/d ற் | R ப் | p/b uN (eat) – உண்
  • kaaN (see),
  • keL (listen)
Type 6 த்த் | tth க்கிற் | kkiR ப்ப் | pp paDi (read/study) -படி
  • koDu (give),
  • eDu (take),
  • paar (see)
Type 7 ந்த் | ndh க்கிற் | kkiR ப்ப் | pp naDa (walk) -நட
  • para (fly),
  • kala (mix),
  • marA (forget)

Example of Tense Suffixes for the Colloquial Tamil[edit | edit source]

Verb Stem Past Present Future (same as for High Tamil)
Type 1 – Sei do Senjean nj + ean = jean Seirean R + ean = rean Seivean Iv + ean = vean
Type 2 – Ari know Arinjean nj + ean = jean Arirean R + ean = rean Arivean Iv + ean = vean
Type 3 – Vaangu buy/get Vaangunean un + ean = unean vaangurean R + ean = iRean Vaanguvean Iv + ean = vean
Type 4 – Vidu leave Vittean t + t + ean = ttean Vidrean R + ean = Rean Viduvean Iv + ean = vean
Type 5 – Un eat Undean d + ean = dean UngiRean giR + ean = giRean Unbean b + ean = bean
Type 6 – Padi read/study Padichchean chch + ean = chen Padikkirean kkiR + ean = kkirean Padippean pp + ean = ppean
Type 7 – Nada walk Nadandhean ndh + ean = ndhean NadakkiRean kkiR + ean = kkirean Nadappean pp + ean = ppean

Tense Suffixes for High Tamil without the Tamil Script[edit | edit source]

Past Present Future Example Other Examples
Type 1 dh giR v sei (do)- செய்
  • nei (weave)
Type 2 ndh giR v aRi (know)
  • vizhu (fall), ezhu (rise),
  • sari (roll or tumble down)
Type 3 in giR v vaangu (buy/get)
  • thoongu (sleep),
  • ezhuthu (write),
  • anuppu (send)
Type 4 End consonant doubling giR v vidu ( leave)
  • PiDi (Catch/hold),
  • KeDu (spoil),
  • peru (get)
Type 5 t/d kiR/ giR p/b uN (eat)
  • kaaN (see),
  • keL (listen)
Type 6 tth kkiR pp paDi(read/study)
  • koDu (give),
  • eDu (take),
  • paar (see)
Type 7 ndh kkiR pp naDa(walk)
  • para (fly),
  • kala (mix),
  • marA (forget)

Tense Suffixes for Colloquial Tamil without Tamil Script[edit | edit source]

Past Present Future Example Other Examples
Type 1 nj R v sei (do)- செய்
  • nei (weave)
Type 2 ndh / nj R v aRi (know)
  • vizhu (fall),
  • ezhu (rise),
  • sari (roll or tumble down)
Type 3 un R v vaangu (buy/get)
  • thoongu (sleep),
  • ezhuthu (write),
  • anuppu (send)
Type 4 End consonant doubling R v vidu ( leave)
  • PiDi (Catch/hold),
  • KeDu (spoil),
  • peru (get)
Type 5 t/d R p/b uN (eat)
  • kaaN (see),
  • keL (listen)
Type 6 chch / tth kkiR pp paDi(read/study)
  • koDu (give),
  • eDu (take),
  • paar (see)
Type 7 ndh kkiR pp naDa(walk)
  • para (fly),
  • kala (mix),
  • marA (forget)

Subject Markers[edit | edit source]

  • Subject Markers indicate PERSON / NUMBER / GENDER (i.e. I, We, He, She etc.).
  • The subject markers are the same for all of the 7 types of Finite Verbs, only the Tense suffixes for each Type differs.
  • Following are the Subject Markers used for both High and Colloquial Tamil. 

Subject Markers for High Tamil[edit | edit source]

Singular Plural
First person I

ஏன் | En

We

ஓம் | Om

Second person You (singular)

ஆய் | aay

You (plural/respect)

ஈர்கள் | iirkal / ஈர் | irr

Third Person He

ஆன் | aan

He /She (Polite)

ஆர் | aar

She

ஆள் | aal

They (Human)

அனர்/ஆர்கள்

anar*/ aarkal

It

அது | adhu

They (non human)

அன | ana#*

*indicates that in future tense , nonhuman nouns take the ending "-um" (instead of -v/-p/-pp) . E.g. athu varum (it"ll come)

*indicates that in present tense, kiR/kiRR changes kinR/KKinRR

E.g. SeikinRanar – They (human being) are doing.

Subject Markers for Colloquial Tamil[edit | edit source]

Singular Plural
First person I Eñ We O~m
Second person You dha You (Polite) eenga
Third Person He dhaañ She dhaa He (Polite) aarù She (Polite) aanga
It dhu/chu They dhunga / chunga

Examples[edit | edit source]

padi read or study
padikka to read
vaasi read
High colloquial English meaning
Past Tense naan padiththaen Naañ Padichæñ I read (past)
Present Tense Naan padikkiRaen Naañ Padikiræñ I am reading
Future Tense naan padaippaen Naañ padipæñ I will read
Past Informal nii padiththaai Nii padichæ you read (past) – informal
Past Formal niingaL padiththiirgaL Niinga padichiinga you read (past) – formal
Present Informal nii padikkiRaa Nii padikiræ you are reading – informal
Present Formal niingaL padikkiRiirgaL Niinga padikireenga you are reading – formal
Future Informal nii padippaai Nii padipæ you will read – informal
Future Formal niingaL padippiirgaL Niinga padipiinga you are reading – formal
Imperative informal nii padi Nii padi you read ... (order statement) – informal
Imperative Formal Niinga padinga Niinga padipiinga you read ... (order statement) – formal
Past Informal avan padiththaan avañ Padichchaañ he read – informal
Past Formal avar padiththaar avrù padichchaarù he read – formal
Present Informal avan padikkiRaan avañ padikkiraañ He is reading – informal
Present Formal avar padikkiRaar avrù padikiraar he is reading – formal
Future Informal avan padippaan avañ padippaañ he will read – informal
Future Formal avar padippaar avar padippaarù he will read – formal
Past Informal avaL padiththaaL ava(L) padichchaa(L) she read – informal
Past Formal avargaaL padiththaargaL avanga padichchaanga she read – formal
Past Formal avargaaL padiththaargaL avanga padichchaanga she read – formal
Present Informal avaL padikkiraaL ava(L) padikkiraa(L) she is reading – informal
Present Formal avargaL padikkiraargaL avanga padikkiraanga she is reading – formal
Future Informal avaL padippaaL ava(L) padippaa(L) she will read – informal
Future Formal avargaL padippaargaL avanga padippaanga she will read – formal
Past Informal naam padiththoam naama padichcho~m we read – listener included
Past formal naangaL padiththoam naanga padichcho~m we read – listener excluded
Present Informal naam padikiroam naama padikiroa~m we are reading – listener included
Present Formal naangaL paddikkiroam naanga padikkiroa~m we are reading – listener excluded
Future Informal naam paddippoam naama paddippoa~m we will read – listener included
Future Formal naangaL paddippoam naanga paddippoa~m we will read – listener excluded

Transliteration[edit | edit source]

VOWELS CONSONANTS
Tamil script Transliteration Tamil script Transliteration
A
  • ka
  • ga
Aa
  • nga
I
  • cha
  • sa
Ii
U
  • nja
Uu

E

  • ta
  • da
E/ae
  • Na
Ai
  • tha
  • dha
O
  • na
O/oa
  • pa
  • ba
Au ma
ya
ra
la
va
Au
Azha
La
Ra
na

 

Vowels in Spoken Tamil[edit | edit source]

  • æ
  • ŭ | ù
  • ñ / ~m
The vowel sound "E" at end of words is often pronounced as "æ".

half-u nasalisation of vowel

æ is sound of "a" in the english word "bat".

 

Grantha Letters[edit | edit source]

ha
ja
sa
sha
ś
க்ஷ ksha
ஸ்ரீ\ Sri

Sources[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

FINITE VERBS in tamil - YouTube[edit | edit source]

Verb types in tamil | English Grammar in Tamil - YouTube[edit | edit source]

Other Lessons[edit | edit source]

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