Table of Contents

  • Finite Verbs………………………………………………………………………………….. 2

    Types of Finite Verbs and Tense Suffixes…………………………………………. 2

  • Tense Suffixes for High Tamil with Tamil Script……………………………………3

    Example of Tense Suffixes for High Tamil…………………………………………..3

  • Tense Suffixes for Colloquial Tamil with Tamil Script…………………………… 4

    Example of Tense Suffixes for Colloquial Tamil …………………………………. 4

  • Subject Markers ……………………………………………………………………………..5

    Subject Markers for High Tamil………………………………………………………… 5

    Subject Markers for Colloquial Tamil ………………………………………………….5

  • Example – Padi Read or Study…………………………………………………………. 6
  • Tense Suffixes for High Tamil without Tamil Script ………………………………. 7
  • Tense Suffixes for Colloquial Tamil without Tamil Script ……………………….. 7

Finite Verbs

OverviewFinite verb forms show tense, person and number (eg; 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) ; and
  • a ‘Subject Marker’ (to indicate Person, Number and Gender – ie I, We, He, She etc).

Eg, The verb varuven means I will come. [varu- verb stem, v- marks future tense, en marks “I” (first person)]

In this example, Varu is the Verb Stem, ‘v’ is used to indicate it is for future tense and ‘en’ is used when referring to ‘I’ (that is, the first person)

Types of Finite Verbs and Tense Suffixes

There are 7 main types of Finite verbs. These are purely classified on how they get conjugated (ie, based on which TENSE suffix is used).

The tense suffix for past and present tense also depends on whether you are talking in High Tamil or Colloquial Tamil

The tense suffix for future tense is the same in both High and Colloquial Tamil

The charts below show the Tense suffixes for each Type of Finite Verb for both High and Colloquial Tamil.

Rules are different for other kind of verbs

Tense Suffixes for High Tamil with Tamil Script

 

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 Tamil Script

 

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 Colloquial Tamil

 

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)

Subject Markers

 

VSubject Markers indicate PERSON/NUMBER/GENDER (ie; 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

 

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) . Eg athu varum (it’ll come)
*indicates that in present tense, kiR/kiRR changes kinR/KKinRR
Eg, SeikinRanar – They (human being) are doing.

Subject Markers for Colloquial Tamil

 

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

EXAMPLE

 

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

Tense Suffixes for High Tamil without Tamil Script

 

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

 

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)

Transliteration

 

VOWELS

 

Tamil script Transliteration
A

Aa
I
Ii
U
Uu
E
E/ae
Ai
O
O/oa
Au
CONSONANTS

 

Tamil script Transliteration
ka
ga

nga
cha
sa
nja

ta
da

Na
tha
dha

na
pa
ba

ma
ya

ra

la

va
Au
Azha
La

Ra

na

VOWELS FOUND IN SPOKEN TAMIL

 

æ
ŭ | ù
ñ / ~m
The vowel sound ‘E’ at end of words is often realised as ‘æ’ in spoken Tamil.
half-u
nasalisation of vowel
æ is sound of ‘a’ in the english word b’a’t.

 

GRANTHA LETTERS

 

ha

ja

sa

sha

ś

க்ஷ

ksha
ஸ்ரீ\ Sri