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

Overview
Finite 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

 

PastPresentFutureExampleOther Examples
Type 1த் | dhகிற் | giRவ் | vsei (do)- செய்nei (weave)
Type 2ந்த் | ndhகிற் | giRவ் | vaRi (know)- அறிvizhu (fall), ezhu (rise),
sari (roll or tumble down)
Type 3இன் | inகிற் | giRவ் | vvaangu (buy/get)- வாங்குthoongu (sleep), ezhuthu (write), anuppu (send)
Type 4End consonant doublingகிற் | giRவ் | vvidu ( leave)- விடுPiDi (Catch/hold), KeDu (spoil), peru (get)
Type 5ட் | t/dகிற் | kiR/ giRப் | p/buN (eat) – உண்kaaN (see), keL (listen)
Type 6த்த் | tthக்கிற் | kkiRப்ப் | pppaDi(read/study)-படிkoDu (give), eDu (take), paar (see)
Type 7ந்த் | ndhக்கிற் | kkiRப்ப் | ppnaDa(walk)-நடpara (fly), kala (mix), marA (forget)
Verb StemPastPresentFuture (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

 

PastPresentFutureExampleOther Examples
Type 1ஞ்ச் | njற் | Rவ் | vsei (do)- செய்nei (weave)
Type 2ந்த் | ndh / ஞ்ச் | njற் | Rவ் | vaRi (know)- அறிvizhu (fall), ezhu (rise),
sari (roll or tumble down)
Type 3உன் | uற் | Rவ் | vvaangu (buy/get)- வாங்குthoongu (sleep), ezhuthu (write), anuppu (send)
Type 4End consonant doublingற் | Rவ் | vvidu ( leave)- விடுPiDi (Catch/hold), KeDu (spoil), peru (get)
Type 5ட் | t/dற் | Rப் | p/buN (eat) – உண்kaaN (see), keL (listen)
Type 6த்த் | tthக்கிற் | kkiRப்ப் | pppaDi(read/study)-படிkoDu (give), eDu (take), paar (see)
Type 7ந்த் | ndhக்கிற் | kkiRப்ப் | ppnaDa(walk)-நடpara (fly), kala (mix), marA (forget)

Example of Tense Suffixes for Colloquial Tamil

 

Verb StemPastPresentFuture (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

 

SingularPlural
First personI ஏன் | EnWe ஓம் | Om
Second personYou(singular)
ஆய் | aay
You ( plural/respect)
ஈர்கள் | iirkal / ஈர் | irr
Third PersonHe
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

 

SingularPlural
First personI EñWe O~m
Second personYou dhaYou (Polite) eenga
Third PersonHe dhaañShe dhaaHe (Polite) aarùShe (Polite) aanga
It dhu/chuThey dhunga / chunga

EXAMPLE

 

padiread or study
padikkato read
vaasiread
HighcolloquialEnglish meaning
Past Tensenaan padiththaenNaañ PadichæñI read (past)
Present TenseNaan padikkiRaenNaañ PadikiræñI am reading
Future Tensenaan padaippaenNaañ padipæñI will read
Past Informalnii padiththaaiNii padichæyou read (past) – informal
Past FormalniingaL padiththiirgaLNiinga padichiingayou read (past) – formal
Present Informalnii padikkiRaaNii padikiræyou are reading – informal
Present FormalniingaL padikkiRiirgaLNiinga padikireengayou are reading – formal
Future Informalnii padippaaiNii padipæyou will read – informal
Future FormalniingaL padippiirgaLNiinga padipiingayou are reading – formal
Imperative informalnii padiNii padiyou read ……. (order statement) – informal
Imperative FormalNiinga padingaNiinga padipiingayou read ……. (order statement) – formal
Past Informalavan padiththaanavañ Padichchaañhe read – informal
Past Formalavar padiththaaravrù padichchaarùhe read – formal
Present Informalavan padikkiRaanavañ padikkiraañHe is reading – informal
Present Formalavar padikkiRaaravrù padikiraarhe is reading – formal
Future Informalavan padippaanavañ padippaañhe will read – informal
Future Formalavar padippaaravar padippaarùhe will read – formal
Past InformalavaL padiththaaLava(L) padichchaa(L)she read – informal
Past FormalavargaaL padiththaargaLavanga padichchaangashe read – formal
Past FormalavargaaL padiththaargaLavanga padichchaangashe read – formal
Present InformalavaL padikkiraaLava(L) padikkiraa(L)she is reading – informal
Present FormalavargaL padikkiraargaLavanga padikkiraangashe is reading – formal
Future InformalavaL padippaaLava(L) padippaa(L)she will read – informal
Future FormalavargaL padippaargaLavanga padippaangashe will read – formal
Past Informalnaam padiththoamnaama padichcho~mwe read – listener included
Past formalnaangaL padiththoamnaanga padichcho~mwe read – listener excluded
Present Informalnaam padikiroamnaama padikiroa~mwe are reading – listener included
Present FormalnaangaL paddikkiroamnaanga padikkiroa~mwe are reading – listener excluded
Future Informalnaam paddippoamnaama paddippoa~mwe will read – listener included
Future FormalnaangaL paddippoamnaanga paddippoa~mwe will read – listener excluded

Tense Suffixes for High Tamil without Tamil Script

 

PastPresentFutureExampleOther Examples
Type 1dhgiRvsei (do)- செய்nei (weave)
Type 2ndhgiRvaRi (know)vizhu (fall), ezhu (rise),
sari (roll or tumble down)
Type 3ingiRvvaangu (buy/get)thoongu (sleep), ezhuthu (write), anuppu (send)
Type 4End consonant doublinggiRvvidu ( leave)PiDi (Catch/hold), KeDu (spoil), peru (get)
Type 5t/dkiR/ giRp/buN (eat)kaaN (see), keL (listen)
Type 6tthkkiRpppaDi(read/study)koDu (give), eDu (take), paar (see)
Type 7ndhkkiRppnaDa(walk)para (fly), kala (mix), marA (forget)

Tense Suffixes for Colloquial Tamil without Tamil Script

 

PastPresentFutureExampleOther Examples
Type 1njRvsei (do)- செய்nei (weave)
Type 2ndh / njRvaRi (know)vizhu (fall), ezhu (rise),
sari (roll or tumble down)
Type 3unRvvaangu (buy/get)thoongu (sleep), ezhuthu (write), anuppu (send)
Type 4End consonant doublingRvvidu ( leave)PiDi (Catch/hold), KeDu (spoil), peru (get)
Type 5t/dRp/buN (eat)kaaN (see), keL (listen)
Type 6chch / tthkkiRpppaDi(read/study)koDu (give), eDu (take), paar (see)
Type 7ndhkkiRppnaDa(walk)para (fly), kala (mix), marA (forget)

Transliteration

 

VOWELS

 

Tamil scriptTransliteration
A

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

 

Tamil scriptTransliteration
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