We have so far learned on how to make sentences using a verb. But without objects and subjects, the sentences seem empty and ambiguous. Therefore, it’s time to move ahead and learn something about nouns. As we all know what nouns are; nouns refer to the places, people, objects, and concepts. Sanskrit nouns are similar to.
So let us take a look at our first noun;
The elephant goes.
Gajah means elephant. The syllable pattern is ‘light’ heavy, heavy, light’ “गजः गच्छति” the h sound in the sentence is like h in horse, softer.
Endings, noun numbers, and stems
The elephants go
Can you see any change in both the sentences? Yes, the ending of the noun is changed. Although the base has remained same, the form has changed. This base for the noun is called stem. The stem is the essential part of the noun. Just like verbs have roots, Nouns have a stem. The stem of the noun remains same, but the ending changes. The end part of the noun that has changed is called the ending. The endings depend on the number of nouns.
Another factor of a noun is agreement. i.e. when both noun and verb refer to the same entity or same number, we say that they are in agreement. Here, the entity is Gajah, to which both noun and verb are referring to.
Pronouns and noun persons
Let us take the example of another sentence;
Now here, we can see that the subject has changed. There is no person or animal here; rather it is I which belongs to the class called pronouns. Further moving on, you’ll see a lot of pronouns in the sentences.
In English, as we all know, there are three genders; Masculine, feminine and neuter.
As we can see in the above example, “he” is referred to “masculine”, “she” is used to refer “feminine” and “it” is used to refer “neuter”. Similarly, in Sanskrit, gender is known as “linga”, and like English, Sanskrit has also three lingas; “pumlinga” (masculine), “strilinga” (feminine), and “napumsaklinga” (neuter).
The similarity of the concept of gender between English and Sanskrit shows the cross-cultural similarities between these two languages
गजः बालम् गच्छति
gajaḥ bālam gacchati
The elephant goes to the boy.
Can you sense the difference in both the sentences? Yes, there are two nouns in this sentence. The first noun, gajaḥ (elephant) is the subject, whereas, the second noun is the object. This change is because of the change in cases. Sanskrit has eight different cases, according to which the nouns are modified. Following are the examples to make you understand better;
गजः बालेन गच्छति
gajaḥ bālena gacchati
The elephant goes with the boy.
गजः बालात् गच्छति
gajaḥ bālāt gacchati
The elephant goes from the boy
गजः बालाय गच्छति
gajaḥ bālāya gacchati
The elephant goes for the boy.