The  Student's Guide to Sanskrit Composition

16. Lesson XVI

by Vaman Shivaram Apte

Mit den Auflösungen nach dem "Key" neu herausgegeben von Alois Payer 

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Apte, Vaman Shivaram <1858 - 1892>: The student's guide to Sanskrit Composition (Being a treatise on Sanskrit Syntax).  -- 3. ed. -- 1890. -- 16. Lesson XVI. -- Fassung vom 2010-04-09. --  URL:        

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Apte, Vaman Shivaram <1858 - 1892>: The student's guide to Sanskrit composition : being a treatise on Sanskrit syntax ; for the use of schools and colleges. -- 3rd ed. -- Poona : R. A. Sagoon, 1890. -- 450 S.

A Key to Apte's Guide to Sanskrit composition : giving a close rendering into English and Sanskrit of all the Sanskrit and English sentences / compiled by an experienced graduate teacher. -- 2d ed. -- Bombay : Standard Pub., 1923. -- 136 p. ; 18 cm

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[] = A Key to Apte's Guide to Sanskrit composition : giving a close rendering into English and Sanskrit of all the Sanskrit and English sentences / compiled by an experienced graduate teacher. -- 2d ed. -- Bombay : Standard Pub., 1923. -- 136 p. ; 18 cm

{} = Notes by Alois Payer

Lesson XVI.

The Infinitive Mood.

§ 172. When one action is represented as being done for another action, the latter is, in Sanskrit, expressed by the Infinitive, which is formed by the addition of the termination तुम् to the root in the same way as the third person singular in the Periphrastic Future. It has the sense of 'in order to,' 'for the purpose of,' 'for,' and thus corresponds to that form of the English Infinitive which is called 'Infinitive of purpose' or 'gerund'. The Sanskrit Infinitive has the Dative sense and may, if necessary, be replaced by the Dative case of the verbal noun derived from the root; as, पारसीकांस्ततो जेतुं प्रतस्थे (Raghuvaṃśa IV.60) 'he then set out to conquer the Persians,' i. e. 'for the purpose of conquering &c.' Here जेतुं = जयाय, and the sentence may stand thus: पारसीकानां जयाय प्रतस्थे; so, स्वेदसलिलस्नातापि पुनः स्नातुमवातरम् (Kādambarī 147) where स्नातुं = स्नानाय.

Obs. (a) Like the English Infinitive, the Sanskrit Infinitive is a remnant of an old inflexion. In Vedic times the verbal noun formed from a root by the termination तु (गन्तु, यातु) was regularly declined. We find such forms as गन्तुम्, गन्तवे, गन्तोः, as if गन्तुं was a regular noun. In course of time the use of the form गन्तोः,गन्तवे, became less and less frequent, and the form that was chiefly used was the Accusative inflection. It was subsequently considered to have a Dative sense, and hence the present Infinitive form in Sanskrit has always the sense of the Dative.

(b) The Sanskrit Infinitive corresponds in Latin to the Supine in um (datum = दातुं) which is properly the Accusative of a verbal substantive, just as in Sanskrit; 'Themistocles Argos habitatum (स्थातुं) recessit' 'Themistocles retired to live at Argos.' The same sense is expressed, as in Sanskrit, by the Dative of the Gerundive participle; 'Decemviri legibus scribundis' (विधिनिर्माणाय) 'Decemvirs for framing laws.'

§ 173. It follows from the definition that the Infinitive in Sanskrit cannot stand as the subject or object of a verb. It has no connection with any words in the sentence, except that it may, where possible, govern a noun in the same case as the root from which it is derived. Where the Infinitive occurs in English as the subject or object of a verb an abstact noun from the root must be used in Sanskrit; as, 'to get up early in the morning is wholesome' प्रातरेव उत्थानं (not उत्थातुं) आरोग्यावहं; 'I learn to sing' अहं गानमधीये.

Abb.: प्रातरेवोत्थानमारोग्यावहम्
[Source: ~FreeBirD®~. -- -- Downloaded on 2010-03-31. -- Creative Commons License (attribution, no commercial use, no derivative works)]

(a) The infinitive after verbs of seeing, hearing, is, as in Latin, translated by the present participle; as, 'I heard him speak'  भाषमाणं तमश्रौषं; so अधीयानं ददर्श 'he saw him study.'

§ 174. The strict sense of the Sanskrit Infinitive is motive or purpose of an action; but there are some cases, as in English, where the Infinitive is used with nouns and also adjectives; as 'fit to go', 'able to go', 'time to read'. Such cases are, however limited by Sanskrit idiom. Some of the principal cases of this nature are given below.

§ 175.1 The Infinitive is used weith verbs and substantives meaning to wish or desire, provided the agents of the Infinitive and the verb are same; as, पिनाकपाणिम् पतिम्ष्प्तुमिच्छति (Kumārasambhava V.53) 'desires to obtain for her husband the Pināka-handed god (Śiva)'; so अत्तुं वाञ्छति शांभवो गणपतेराखुं क्षुघार्तः फनी (Pañcatantra 1.3); but not त्वां गन्तुमहमिच्छामि 'I wish thee to go', where the agents of गम् and इष् are not the same.

1 समानकर्तृकेषु तुमिन् । (Pāṇini III.3.158) {'The affix तुमुन् comes after a verb, when another verb meaning 'to wishÄ is in construction, provided that the agent of both verbs is the same.' Transl. Vasu, 1891}

§ 176.1 It is used with verbs meaning to be able, to make bold, to know, to be wearied, to strive, to begin, to get, to set about, to bear, to be pleased or to condescend, an to be; as, न शक्नोमि हृदयमवस्थापयितुं (Uttararāmacarita 4) 'I am not able to compose my heart'; वक्तुं मिथः प्राक्रमतैवमेनं (Kumārasambhava III.2) 'thus proceeded to speak to him privately'; जानासि देवीं विनोदयितुं (Uttararāmacarita 1) 'you know (how) to entertain my queen'; अस्ति - भवतु - विद्यते वा भोक्तुमन्नं (Siddhāntakaumudī) 'there is food to eat'; न विषहे विपत्तिमवलोकयितुं (Veṇīsaṃhāra 3) 'I cannot bear to see the distress.'

1 शकधृषज्ञाग्लाघटरभलभक्रमसहार्हास्त्यर्थेषु तुमुन् । (Pāṇini III.4.65) {'The affix तुमुन् is added to every verb, when another verb having the sense of शक् (to be able), धृष् (to make bold), ज्ञा (to know), ग्लै (to be wearied), घट् (to strive), रभ् (to begin), लभ् (to get), क्रम् (to set about), सह् (to bear), अर्ह् (to be pleased or to condescend) and अस् (to be) is in construction.' Transl. Vasu, 1891}

This Sūtra presents a knotty point. Bhaṭṭoji Dīkṣita says अर्थग्रहणमस्तिनेनैव संबध्यते अनन्त्रत्वात् i. e. the Sūtra gives roots from शक् to अर्ह् and roots having the same sense as अस् 'to be'. But this is hardly consistent with the almost overwhelming evidence of usage. According to Dīkṣita's interpretation पारय् 'to be able' cannot be used with the infinitive; but  न परायामि निवेदयितुं (Śakuntalā 4), पारयिष्यत्यत्रभवत्या अपराद्धं (Mālavikāgnimitra 3), are instances from a standard author; similarly विद् 'to know' cannot be used with the infinitive; but न च वेद सम्यग् द्रष्टुं न सा (Raghuvaṃśa VI.30) is as good an instance. We must, therefore, suppose that the Sūtra indicates the existence of an interpretation connnecting अर्थग्रहण with all the proceeding roots; otherwise we shall have to condemn as wrong all such constructions as those given above. Taking this view I have interpreted the Sūtra, connecting अर्थग्रहण with all roots.

§ 177.1 It is used with words meaning 'sufficient, strong, able', and substantives meaning 'ability, power,' or 'skill'; as, लिखितमपि ललाते प्रोज्झितुं कः समर्थः (Hitopadeśa 1) 'who is able to avoid that which is written on his forehead?' लोकानलं दग्धुं हि तत्तपः (Kumārasambhava II.56) 'his penance is able (sufficient) to burn the worlds'; अस्ति मे विभवः सर्वं परिज्ञातुं (Vikramorvaśīya 2) 'I have the power to know everything'; को न्यो हुतवहाद्दग्धुं प्रभविष्यति (Śakuntalā 4) 'who else than fire has power to burn?'; भोक्तुं प्रवीणः कुशलः पटुर्वा (Siddhāntakaumudī) 'skilful in eating' (knowing how to eat).

1 पर्याप्तिवचनेष्वलमर्थेषु । (Pāṇini III.4.66) {'The affix तुमुन् comes after a verb having in composition with it अलम् and its synonyms, when these words express 'to be capable of something'.' Transl. Vasu, 1891}

§ 178.1 It is used with words meaning 'time' with reference to the work of time; as, अवसरो ऽयमात्मानं प्रकाशयितुं (Śakuntalā 1) 'this is, indeed, the time to show myself'; समयः खलु स्नानभोजने सेवितुं (Vikramorvaśīya 2) 'it is time to bathe and take food.'

1 कालसमयवेलासु तुमुन् । (Pāṇini III.3.167) {'The affix तुमुन् comes after a root, when the words काल, समय, and वेला (all meaning time) are in composition.' Transl. Vasu, 1891}

Note. - As in Latin some verbs in Sanskrit are of the nature of deponents, i.e. passive in form, but active in sense; as, शक्, युज्, अर्ह् and their derivatives; as, न शक्यास्ते दोषाः समाधातुं (Hitopadeśa 3) 'those faults cannot be corrected or remedied'; न युक्तमशोको वामपादेन ताडयितुं (Malāvikāgnimitra 3) 'the Aśoka does not deserve to be kicked with the left foot.'

{अशोकः = Ashoka tree = Saraca asoca (Roxb.) Wilde

Abb.: अशोकः = Saraca asoca (Roxb.) Wilde
Kolkata = কলকাতা 
[Bildquelle: J.M.Garg / Wikipedia. GNU FDLicense]

§ 179. The Sanskrit Infinitive has no passive form, the same form being used to denote both active and passive senses. In turning a sentence involving an infinitive into the passive voice, the words governed by the Infinitive remain unaffected; as, स मित्राय द्रोग्धुमिच्छति, तेन मित्राय द्रोग्धुमिष्यते; रामो ग्रामं गन्तु्मारेभे, रामेण ग्रामं गन्तुमारेभे. Where the object of the Infinitive and the verb is the same, it is, in the passive voice, put in the nominative case, leaving it to be understood with the Infinitive; as, स ग्रन्थं पठितुमिच्छति, तेन ग्रन्थः पठितुमिष्यते, the object of पठितुं being तं, if necessary. In this case it will not do to say ग्रन्थं पठितुमिष्यते, for this would be an impersonal construction, though इष् is not an intransitive verb.

In the case of roots like those referred to in the Note to § 178, both constructions will be faultless; पवनमालिङ्गितुं श्क्यते or पवनः आलिङ्गितुं शक्यते, though the latter looks more elegant and classical.

§ 180. The use of the root अर्ह् 'to deserve' deserves to be marked. It is frequently combined withz the Infinitive in the sense of 'prayer', or 'respectful entreaty', or in those sentences where 'be pleased' or 'I pray' or 'beg' occurs in English, and in this sense it is generally used with the 2nd and 3rd persons; as, न मां परं संप्रतिपत्तुमर्हसि (Kumārasambhava V.39) '(I) pray, do not consider me to be a stranger'; अविहितस्तावच्छ्रोतुमर्हति कुमारः (Mudrārākṣasa 4) 'be pleased, O Prince, to hear it attentively' (I beg that you will hear &c.); प्रिये जानकि न मामेवंविधं परित्यक्तुमर्हसि (Uttararāmacarita 3) 'dear Jānakī, be pleased not to forsake me who am in this plight.'

§ 181. The Infinitive with the final म् omitted is used with the words काम and मनः in the sense of 'wishing' or 'desiring', or 'having a mind' to do that indicated by the root; as पुनरपि वक्तुकाम इवार्यो लक्ष्यते (Śakuntalā 1) 'your honour appears desirous of speaking again.'



Sentences for Translation into Sanskrit

All translations from the Key.

1. He strove as far as possible to effect the good of his countrymen.

2. Why do you wish to appropriate to yourselves the property of your brother ?

3. I told him to do the work, which he did most reluctantly.

4. To take revenge appears at first pleasant to a man, but in the end it results in ruin to himself.

5. I do not bear to see even poor men disrespectfully treated.

6. Be pleased, O Krishna, to clear (छिद्) this doubt.

7. It is now time for you to begin to study your lessons.

8. Even an insignificant enemy does not deserve (अर्ह्) to be slighted.

9. I desired them to go to Bombay, but they did not like to do accordingly.

10. How is it possible (शक्य) to go to another country, leaving you here alone ?

11. Not to mention the poor, even rich persons find it difficult to live honorably in times of famine.

12. This villain deserves (युज्) to be punished for his crimes.

13. Let all the prisoners be ordered to be released on this auspicious day.

14. To expose one's self to danger is sometimes preferable to remaining idle in the house, being deterred by calamities.

15. In Alakā the splendid palaces will be able (अलं) to equal (तुल्) you in those various particulars.

16. He was greatly desirous of doing good to others, but has not been able to accomplish his object to any extent.

17. I beg your honor to grant this request; it will ever be my duty to remember it with gratitude.

To Lesson VII.