Grammatical Voices
प्रयोगः (prayogaḥ)

Chapter

8

Skill Level

Intermediate

Language

Sanskrit explained in English

Overview

Hope you have understood and learnt Grammatical Numbers, Persons & Genders, Cases & Tenses, Word Forms, Word classes, Sanskrit Suffixes, Sanskrit Prefixes and upapadavibhaktayaḥ in chapter 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 respectively.

‘Grammatical Voices or प्रयोगः (prayogaḥ)’ is the eighth chapter in this series. From the name of the chapter, it is quite obvious that we will learn about Grammatical Voices. These, unlike in English, are three voices and not two.

Learning this chapter will help you:

Who is the chapter for?

Grammatical Voices (प्रयोगः (prayogaḥ)

In Sanskrit, प्रयोगः (prayogaḥ) is voice change (grammatical), unlike english, there are three voices, not two. These voices are based on whether the verb is transitive or intransitive.

The three voices are कर्तरि-प्रोयगः (kartari-proyagaḥ) (Active Voice), कर्मणि-प्रयोगः (karmaṇi-prayogaḥ) (Passive Voice) and भावे-प्रयोगः (bhāve-prayogaḥ). For भावे-प्रयोगः (bhāve-prayogaḥ), there is no equivalent in English.

कर्तरि-प्रोयगः (kartari-proyagaḥ) (Active Voice):

In Sanskrit, for active voice, importance is given to the doer of the action. Here, the verb forms are influenced by the कर्तृपदम् (kartṛpadam) (Subject). The वचनम् (vacanam) (Grammatical Number) and पुरुषः (puruṣaḥ) (Grammatical Person) of the doer is the same for the verb too. Here, if one uses or does not use a receiver, it will be fine.

For active voice, the प्रथमा विभक्तिः (prathamā vibhaktiḥ) will be used for the doer. For the receiver, द्वितीया विभक्तिः (dvitīyā vibhaktiḥ) will be used.

Following are some examples of active voice in Sanskrit:

बालकः पुस्तकं पठति। (bālakaḥ pustakaṃ paṭhati।), this means, “A boy is reading a book.” Here, the verb is, “पठति” and the action is reading. The doer of the action is the word, “बालकः” and is in प्रथमा विभक्तिः (prathamā vibhaktiḥ), singular and third person. The same is true for the verb too. The receiver here is the word, “पुस्तकम्” and is in द्वितीया विभक्तिः (dvitīyā vibhaktiḥ) singular and third person.

पत्राणि पतन्ति। (patrāṇi patanti।), this means, “Leaves are falling.” Here, the verb is, “पतन्ति” and the action is falling. The doer of the action is the word, “पत्राणि”. It is in plural, third person and प्रथमा विभक्तिः (prathamā vibhaktiḥ). The same holds true for the verb too. Here, the verb is an intransitive one, so there is no receiver.

कर्मणि-प्रयोगः (karmaṇi-prayogaḥ) (Passive Voice):

In Sanskrit, for passive voice, importance is given to the receiver of the action. This voice is used for transitive verbs. Here, the verb forms are influenced by the कर्मपदम् (karmapadam) (Object). The वचनम् (vacanam) (Grammatical Number) and पुरुषः (puruṣaḥ) (Grammatical Person) of the receiver is the same for the verb too. Here, if one uses or does not use a doer, it will be fine.

Note: For passive voice, only आत्मनेपद-प्रत्ययाः can be used. No other kind of suffixes can be used.

In Sanskrit, there are word cases. So, for passive voice, the प्रथमा विभक्तिः (prathamā vibhaktiḥ) will be used for the receiver. For the doer, तृतीया विभक्तिः (tṛtīyā vibhaktiḥ) will be used.

Following are some examples of passive voice in Sanskrit:

बालकेन पुस्तकं पठ्यते। (bālakena pustakaṃ paṭhyate।), this means, “A book is read by a boy.” Here, the verb is, “पठ्यते” and the action is reading. The doer of the action is the word, “बालकेन” and is in तृतीया विभक्तिः (tṛtīyā vibhaktiḥ), singular and third person. The object here is the word, “पुस्तकम्” and is in प्रथमा विभक्तिः (prathamā vibhaktiḥ) singular and third person. The same is true for the verb too.

बालिकया आम्रफलं खाद्यते। (bālikayā āmraphalaṃ khādyate।), this means, “A mango is eaten by a girl.” Here, the verb is, “खाद्यते” and the action is eating. The doer of the action is the word, “बालिकया”. It is in singular, third person and तृतीया विभक्तिः (tṛtīyā vibhaktiḥ). The object here is the word, “आम्रफलम्” and is in singular, third person and प्रथमा विभक्तिः (prathamā vibhaktiḥ). The same is true for the verb too.

भावे-प्रयोगः (bhāve-prayogaḥ):

Here, there are only two main words: the कर्तृपदम् (subject) and the verb (action). This voice is used for intransitive verbs and hence, such sentences do not have any object/receiver of the action.

 Note: Here, the doer of the action is always in तृतीया विभक्तिः. The verb, however, is always in third person, singular, (of that particular tense) no matter whoever the doer.

 Following are some examples of sentences using भावे-प्रयोगः (bhāve-prayogaḥ):

 बालकैः हस्यते। (bālakaiḥ hasyate।), this means, “Boys are laughing.” Here, the word, “बालकैः” is the doer of the action and is in तृतीया विभक्तिः, plural. The verb is, “हस्यते” and the action is, laughing. It is in third person, singular, despite the doer being in plural.

अश्वाभ्यां धाव्यते। (aśvābhyāṃ dhāvyate।), this means, “Two horses are running”. Here, the word, “अश्वाभ्याम्” is the doer of the action and is in तृतीया विभक्तिः (tṛtīyā vibhaktiḥ), dual. The verb is, “धाव्यते” and the action is running. It is in third person, singular, despite the doer being in dual.

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