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Declension of nouns ending with consonant:
Nouns with two and three bases:
Introduction to nouns with two and three bases

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Introduction Jump to top

In the previous chapters about nouns and adjectives declined with consonant, we discussed regular nouns with "just one base" or with an "unchangeable base": that is, when you attach the prātipadika to the case endings, the only changes to the base are due to Sandhi rules. In this chapter, we will begin to discuss the declension of nouns ending in consonant that have two bases and three bases. These nouns have different bases that are used in different sets of endings.

For example, as you will see more clearly later on, the noun adat has two bases: adant and adat, and each case ending will be attached to one of these two bases. For example, the Accusative singular requires the base adant (producing adant + am = adantam), but the Dative singular requires the base adat (producing adat + e = adate).

General case endings Jump to top

The general case endings used for nouns with two and three bases are exactly the same set of endings that was used in the previous two chapters about nouns ending with consonant. But, here, we will have to group them in three sets, and introduce a bit of terminology.

We will divide the case endings in three sets: the "Aṅga" cases, the "Bha" cases and the "Pada" cases. Take a look at the table below. The Aṅga endings are marked with one asterisk (*), the Pada endings are marked with two asterisks (**) and the Bha endings are not marked:

Endings for nouns with two and three bases

MasculineSingularDualPlural
Nominative and VocativeNo ending * au *अः aḥ *
Accusativeअम् am * au *अः aḥ
Instrumental āभ्याम् bhyām **भिः bhiḥ **
Dative eभ्याम् bhyām **भ्यः bhyaḥ **
Ablativeअः aḥभ्याम् bhyām **भ्यः bhyaḥ **
Genitiveअः aḥओः oḥआम् ām
Locative iओः oḥसु su **
NeuterSingularDualPlural
Nom./Acc./Voc.No ending ** ī i *
The rest is like the masculine ones

From the table below, the Aṅga cases are: 1) in the masculine endings, the Nominative/Vocative singular, dual and plural, and Accusative singular and dual; and 2) in the neuter endings, the Nominative/Accusative/Vocative plural. The Pada cases are: 1) in both genders, the endings that begin with "bh" and the Locative plural; and 2) in the neuter endings, the Nominative/Accusative/Vocative singular. The remaining cases in both genders are the Bha cases.

The terminology that we just introduced will make it easier to explain nouns with two and three bases:

Nouns with two bases have a first base which is attached to the Aṅga endings, and a second base that is attached to the remaining (Pada and Bha) endings. The first base is called the Aṅga base (or the strong base), and the second base is called the Bha and Pada base (or the weak base) by Müller1Müller, "A Sanskrit grammar for beginners", p. 79, §179.

Nouns with three bases are very similar to the ones with two bases. They generally have a first base which is attached to the Aṅga endings, a second base which is added to the Bha endings, and a third base which is attached to the Pada endings. The first base is called Aṅga (or the strong base), the second base is called Bha (or the middle base), and the third base is called Pada (or the weakest base) by Müller2Müller, "A Sanskrit grammar for beginners", p. 81, §181.

It should be pointed out, though, that the use of the bases is not always exactly as the tables above suggest. In particular, in some cases, the masculine Vocative singular doesn't use the Aṅga base. You will understand this point more clearly in the next chapter.

Note: You may have noticed that all the tables above are for masculine and neuter nouns, but not feminine nouns. This is because, generally, nouns with two or three bases form their feminine versions with ī. For example, the feminine form of the noun adat (meaning "eating"), which has two bases, is adatī; and the feminine form of the noun bhavat (meaning "Your Honor"), which has three bases, is bhavatī. Therefore, these feminine versions are simply regular feminine nouns ending with ī, and are declined like nadī. For more information about how they are declined, go to the chapter about normal feminine bases in ī and ū.

Nouns derived from añc Jump to top

Some nouns derived from the verbal root añc (meaning "to move") have two bases, and others have three bases.

Prāñc Jump to top

An example of noun with two bases derived from añc is prāñc, which means "directed forward" or "eastern"3Müller, "A Sanskrit grammar for beginners", p. 80, §180. This noun has prāñc (just like the prātipadika) for its Aṅga base, and prāc for its Pada and Bha base. As should be clear, this means that the following cases will use the base prāñc: 1) the masculine endings, Nominative/Vocative singular, dual and plural, and Accusative singular and dual; and 2) the neuter endings, Nominative/Accusative/Vocative plural. The remaining cases will use prāc.

Below are the masculine and neuter declensions of prāñc. In the tables below, we highlighted in red the part of the word that varies according to the declension:

Prāñc (masculine)

SingularDualPlural
Nominativeप्राङ् prāप्राञ्चौ prāñcauप्राञ्चः prāñcaḥ
Vocativeप्राङ् prāप्राञ्चौ prāñcauप्राञ्चः prāñcaḥ
Accusativeप्राञ्चम् prāñcamप्राञ्चौ prāñcauप्राचः prācaḥ
Instrumentalप्राचा prāप्राग्भ्याम् prāgbhyāmप्राग्भिः prāgbhiḥ
Dativeप्राचे prāceप्राग्भ्याम् prāgbhyāmप्राग्भ्यः prāgbhyaḥ
Ablativeप्राचः prācaḥप्राग्भ्याम् prāgbhyāmप्राग्भ्यः prāgbhyaḥ
Genitiveप्राचः prācaḥप्राचोः prācoḥप्राचाम् prācām
Locativeप्राचि prāciप्राचोः prācoḥप्राक्षु prākṣu

Prāñc (neuter)

SingularDualPlural
Nominativeप्राक् prākप्राची prāप्राञ्चि prāñci
Vocativeप्राक् prākप्राची prāप्राञ्चि prāñci
Accusativeप्राक् prākप्राची prāप्राञ्चि prāñci
Instrumentalप्राचा prāप्राग्भ्याम् prāgbhyāmप्राग्भिः prāgbhiḥ
Dativeप्राचे prāceप्राग्भ्याम् prāgbhyāmप्राग्भ्यः prāgbhyaḥ
Ablativeप्राचः prācaḥप्राग्भ्याम् prāgbhyāmप्राग्भ्यः prāgbhyaḥ
Genitiveप्राचः prācaḥप्राचोः prācoḥप्राचाम् prācām
Locativeप्राचि prāciप्राचोः prācoḥप्राक्षु prākṣu

Notice, from the tables above, that, when the bases (prāñc and prāc) are attached to their respective endings, some changes occur to them (or to the endings) due to Sandhi rules. We are going to mention these changes now:

1) In the masculine Nominative/Vocative singular, the Aṅga base prāñc attached to "no ending" becomes prāṅ (it becomes prāṅk, which then becomes prāṅ3Müller, "A Sanskrit grammar for beginners", p. 80, §180).

2) In the neuter Nominative/Vocative/Accusative singular, the Bha and Pada base prāc attached to "no ending" becomes prāk.

3) In both genders, before endings that begin with "bh", which take the Bha and Pada base prāc, this base changes the last consonant to "g" (for example, the masculine Instrumental dual is prāc + bhyām = prāgbhyām).

4) In the Locative plural of both genders, which takes the Bha and Pada base prāc, the last consonant of the base changes to "k" and the original ending "su" changes to "ṣu".

Note: The feminine form of prāñc is prācī, which was formed by adding ī to the Bha and Pada base prāc. Prācī is simply a regular feminine noun ending with ī, to be declined like nadī (for more information about how they are declined, go to the chapter about normal feminine bases in ī and ū). Click here to see the declension table of prācī.

Another noun declined similarly to prāñc is avāñc, which also derives from añc and has two bases: avāñc for the Aṅga and avāc for the Bha and Pada. Click here to see the declension tables of avāñc. Also, just like prāñc, its feminine version is formed by adding ī to the Bha and Pada base, producing avācī.

Pratyañc and other nouns ending in "yañc" Jump to top

The noun pratyañc, which means "turned towards", has three bases. This noun has pratyañc (just like the prātipadika) for its Aṅga base, pratīc for its Bha base and pratyac for its Pada base.

Below are the masculine and neuter declensions of pratyañc4Müller, "A Sanskrit grammar for beginners", p. 82, §181.

As should be clear, this means that the following cases will use the base pratyañc: 1) the masculine endings, Nominative/Vocative singular, dual and plural, and Accusative singular and dual; and 2) the neuter endings, Nominative/Accusative/Vocative plural. The following cases will use pratyac: the cases that begin with "bh" and the Locative plural of both genders, and the Nominative/Accusative/Vocative singular of the neuter gender. The remaining cases will use pratīc.

Below are the declension tables of pratyañc. In the tables below, we highlighted in red the part of the word that varies according to the declension:

Pratyañc (masculine)

SingularDualPlural
Nominativeप्रत्यङ् pratyaṅप्रत्यञ्चौ pratyañcauप्रत्यञ्चः pratyañcaḥ
Vocativeप्रत्यङ् pratyaṅप्रत्यञ्चौ pratyañcauप्रत्यञ्चः pratyañcaḥ
Accusativeप्रत्यञ्चम् pratyañcamप्रत्यञ्चौ pratyañcauप्रतीचः pratīcaḥ
Instrumentalप्रतीचा pratīcāप्रत्यग्भ्याम् pratyagbhyāmप्रत्यग्भिः pratyagbhiḥ
Dativeप्रतीचे pratīceप्रत्यग्भ्याम् pratyagbhyāmप्रत्यग्भ्यः pratyagbhyaḥ
Ablativeप्रतीचः pratīcaḥप्रत्यग्भ्याम् pratyagbhyāmप्रत्यग्भ्यः pratyagbhyaḥ
Genitiveप्रतीचः pratīcaḥप्रतीचोः pratīcoḥप्रतीचाम् pratīcām
Locativeप्रतीचि pratīciप्रतीचोः pratīcoḥप्रत्यक्षु pratyakṣu

Pratyañc (neuter)

SingularDualPlural
Nominativeप्रत्यक् pratyakप्रतीची pratīcīप्रत्यञ्चि pratyañci
Vocativeप्रत्यक् pratyakप्रतीची pratīcīप्रत्यञ्चि pratyañci
Accusativeप्रत्यक् pratyakप्रतीची pratīcīप्रत्यञ्चि pratyañci
Instrumentalप्रतीचा pratīcāप्रत्यग्भ्याम् pratyagbhyāmप्रत्यग्भिः pratyagbhiḥ
Dativeप्रतीचे pratīceप्रत्यग्भ्याम् pratyagbhyāmप्रत्यग्भ्यः pratyagbhyaḥ
Ablativeप्रतीचः pratīcaḥप्रत्यग्भ्याम् pratyagbhyāmप्रत्यग्भ्यः pratyagbhyaḥ
Genitiveप्रतीचः pratīcaḥप्रतीचोः pratīcoḥप्रतीचाम् pratīcām
Locativeप्रतीचि pratīciप्रतीचोः pratīcoḥप्रत्यक्षु pratyakṣu

The changes that happen when the bases are attached to their respective endings are very similar to the ones for prāñc:

1) In the masculine Nominative/Vocative singular, the Aṅga base pratyañc attached to "no ending" becomes pratyaṅ (it becomes pratyaṅk, which then becomes pratyaṅ.

2) In the neuter Nominative/Vocative/Accusative singular, the Pada base pratyac attached to "no ending" becomes pratyak.

3) In both genders, before endings that begin with "bh", which take the Pada base pratyac, this base changes the last consonant to "g" (for example, the masculine Instrumental dual is pratyac + bhyām = pratyagbhyām).

4) In the Locative plural of both genders, which takes the Pada base pratyac, the last consonant of the base changes to "k" and the original ending "su" changes to "ṣu".

Notice that the Bha base pratīc doesn't undergo any changes when it's attached to the respective endings. That is because all the Bha endings begin with vowel.

Note: The feminine form of pratyañc is pratīcī, which was formed by adding ī to the Bha base pratīc. Pratīcī is simply a regular feminine noun ending with ī, to be declined like nadī (for more information about how they are declined, go to the chapter about normal feminine bases in ī and ū). Click here to see the declension table of pratīcī.

In general, words ending with "yañc" follow the model of pratyañc. That is, the Aṅga base is like the prātipadika, the Bha base is formed by replacing yañc with īc, and the Pada base is formed by replacing yañc with yac. For example, take a look at the declension tables of samyañc (meaning "going along with") and nyañc (meaning "going or directed downwards") and you will see that they form their bases like we just said. Also, their feminine versions are formed by replacing the yañc with īcī (or, in other words, by adding ī to the Bha base).

One exception is tiryañc (meaning "transverse" or "tortuous"). Its Aṅga base is tiryañc and its Pada base is tiryac, but its Bha base is tiraśc (and not tirīc). Below are the declension tables of tiryañc, and, as usual, we highlighted in red the part of the word that varies according to the declension:

Tiryañc (masculine)

SingularDualPlural
Nominativeतिर्यङ् tiryaṅतिर्यञ्चौ tiryañcauतिर्यञ्चः tiryañcaḥ
Vocativeतिर्यङ् tiryaṅतिर्यञ्चौ tiryañcauतिर्यञ्चः tiryañcaḥ
Accusativeतिर्यञ्चम् tiryañcamतिर्यञ्चौ tiryañcauतिरश्चः tiraścaḥ
Instrumentalतिरश्चा tiraścāतिर्यग्भ्याम् tiryagbhyāmतिर्यग्भिः tiryagbhiḥ
Dativeतिरश्चे tiraśceतिर्यग्भ्याम् tiryagbhyāmतिर्यग्भ्यः tiryagbhyaḥ
Ablativeतिरश्चः tiraścaḥतिर्यग्भ्याम् tiryagbhyāmतिर्यग्भ्यः tiryagbhyaḥ
Genitiveतिरश्चः tiraścaḥतिरश्चोः tiraścoḥतिरश्चाम् tiraścām
Locativeतिरश्चि tiraściतिरश्चोः tiraścoḥतिर्यक्षु tiryakṣu

Tiryañc (neuter)

SingularDualPlural
Nominativeतिर्यक् tiryakतिरश्ची tiraścīतिर्यञ्चि tiryañci
Vocativeतिर्यक् tiryakतिरश्ची tiraścīतिर्यञ्चि tiryañci
Accusativeतिर्यक् tiryakतिरश्ची tiraścīतिर्यञ्चि tiryañci
Instrumentalतिरश्चा tiraścāतिर्यग्भ्याम् tiryagbhyāmतिर्यग्भिः tiryagbhiḥ
Dativeतिरश्चे tiraśceतिर्यग्भ्याम् tiryagbhyāmतिर्यग्भ्यः tiryagbhyaḥ
Ablativeतिरश्चः tiraścaḥतिर्यग्भ्याम् tiryagbhyāmतिर्यग्भ्यः tiryagbhyaḥ
Genitiveतिरश्चः tiraścaḥतिरश्चोः tiraścoḥतिरश्चाम् tiraścām
Locativeतिरश्चि tiraściतिरश्चोः tiraścoḥतिर्यक्षु tiryakṣu

Anvañc and other nouns ending in "vañc" Jump to top

The noun anvañc (which means "following"), and other words ending with "vañc", forms its three bases like this: the Aṅga base is like the prātipadika, the Bha base is formed by replacing vañc with ūc, and the Pada base is formed by replacing vañc with vac4Müller, "A Sanskrit grammar for beginners", p. 82, §181. Therefore, for the noun anvañc, the Aṅga base is anvañc (just like the prātipadika), the Bha base is anūc and the Pada base is anvac.

Below are the masculine and neuter declensions of anvañc.

Anvañc (masculine)

SingularDualPlural
Nominativeअन्वङ् anvaṅअन्वञ्चौ anvañcauअन्वञ्चः anvañcaḥ
Vocativeअन्वङ् anvaṅअन्वञ्चौ anvañcauअन्वञ्चः anvañcaḥ
Accusativeअन्वञ्चम् anvañcamअन्वञ्चौ anvañcauअनूचः anūcaḥ
Instrumentalअनूचा anūcāअन्वग्भ्याम् anvagbhyāmअन्वग्भिः anvagbhiḥ
Dativeअनूचे anūceअन्वग्भ्याम् anvagbhyāmअन्वग्भ्यः anvagbhyaḥ
Ablativeअनूचः anūcaḥअन्वग्भ्याम् anvagbhyāmअन्वग्भ्यः anvagbhyaḥ
Genitiveअनूचः anūcaḥअनूचोः anūcoḥअनूचाम् anūcām
Locativeअनूचि anūciअनूचोः anūcoḥअन्वक्षु anvakṣu

Anvañc (neuter)

SingularDualPlural
Nominativeअन्वक् anvakअनूची anūcīअन्वञ्चि anvañci
Vocativeअन्वक् anvakअनूची anūcīअन्वञ्चि anvañci
Accusativeअन्वक् anvakअनूची anūcīअन्वञ्चि anvañci
Instrumentalअनूचा anūcāअन्वग्भ्याम् anvagbhyāmअन्वग्भिः anvagbhiḥ
Dativeअनूचे anūceअन्वग्भ्याम् anvagbhyāmअन्वग्भ्यः anvagbhyaḥ
Ablativeअनूचः anūcaḥअन्वग्भ्याम् anvagbhyāmअन्वग्भ्यः anvagbhyaḥ
Genitiveअनूचः anūcaḥअनूचोः anūcoḥअनूचाम् anūcām
Locativeअनूचि anūciअनूचोः anūcoḥअन्वक्षु anvakṣu

Also, as should be expected, the feminine form of anvañc, just like all the cases above, is formed by adding ī to the Bha base. So, it is anvacī.

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