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VERB CLASSES[edit | edit source]

Until now, we have used the terms “weak verb” and “strong verb”. This turned out to be sufficient to use the present and the future. But that's only half the story. Tamil verbs have been divided into 7 classes of verbs. What is remarkable about Tamil is that all verbs belong to 1 of the 7 classes of verbs. Verbs in a particular class all follow the same pattern when it comes to composing the past, present, and future. Only relatively few words are irregular. (We have already encountered 2 - வா and போ.) Some exceptions exist to the general patterns of these classes of verbs, but such exceptions are minimal.

What we considered weak verbs are a generalization of classes 1-4. Strong verbs are classes 6 and 7. Class 5 contains irregulars. It will not be covered properly in the main lessons, but it can be found in Appendix A. Since most verbs that belong to a class have some common characteristics, it will be useful to memorize a verb from each class like reference for the other verbs of this class.

Class General Pattern Example
1a 1-syllable, short vowel, ends in ய் செய்
1b 1-syllable, short vowel, ends in ள் ஆள்
1c 1-syllable, short vowel, ends in ல் செல்
2 2 syllables, ends in -ய், -ர், -ழ், -இ, -ஐ வளர்
3 ends in -உ (exception -டு, -று – see below) பேசு
4 ends in -டு, -று போடு
5 irregular verbs -
6 combination of Class 2 and Class 4 patterns கொடு
7 ends in -அ நட

Exceptions and Irregulars[edit | edit source]

The ultimate determinant to which class a verb belongs is not the root of the verb, but the way it forms the past and present / future tenses. (This will become clearer after the next past tense lesson.) This explains why அழு is a class 1a verb and சேர் is a class 2 verb.

Note that there are probably no more than ten verbs in class 5. However, (even less) irregular verbs can appear in other classes. In particular, remember that வான் and are irregular verbs. However, வா is a class 2 verb, but போ falls into class 3. In addition, இரு is a class 7 verb.

Sources[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

Spoken English Through Tamil | English Grammar - Learn Verb ...[edit | edit source]

Spoken English Through Tamil | Grammar -Verb Form & Present ...[edit | edit source]

Other Lessons[edit | edit source]


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