Sanskrit Notes: Tenses

Learning Sanskrit by Avanish Tiwary (Flickr)
Learning Sanskrit by
Avanish Tiwary (Flickr)

Like any language, Sanskrit has the three tenses: the present, past and future. They are called वर्तमानकालः, भूतकालः and  भविष्यत्कालः respectively. For the present tense, there is just one way of saying it. In Sanskrit grammar, it is called लट् लकार.
When we look at the past and the future it gets interesting. There is more than one way of representing the future or there are two लकार.

  1. लृट्- Commonly used for future tense
  2. लुट् – is used to represent अनद्यतन events which means any event that did not happen today. Used to refer to events happening tomorrow and after. Thus technically you cannot say,रामः  शवः वनं गमिष्यति. The correct version is रामः  शवः वनं गन्ता

When it comes to the past, there are three ways

    1. लङ्घ् – अनद्यतन भूतकालम means, the event did not happen today.
    2. लुङ्ग् – Used commonly
    3. लिट् – It happened, but I did not see it with my own eyes


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