Spoken Tamil through Roman Alphabet

Lessons planned by K.Kasturi & Siddesh Mukundan












Introduction

We often marvel at the capacity of children, even before schooling, to pick up a
language of their surroundings. This is because they are not unduly bothered by
alphabet or by glossy textbooks. All they do is to imitate the sound they hear around
and the context in which the sounds are made. In a short period of time, they start
speaking the language.

Sound plays a vital part in the process of learning languages. As the children grow,
they gather a bigger vocabulary of words and expressions by sheer association. This is
the method we shall employ in our effort to learn to speak in Tamil. The sounds we
shall use are sounds which we are familiar with i.e. letters of the Roman alphabet. The
lessons which follow are meant for those who are familiar with English language.

If we went by conventional way of learning Tamil, mastering the letters of the Tamil
alphabet might take weeks or even months because there are nearly 250 letter-
symbols in it. Whereas our new method of learning through Roman alphabet does not
involve learning any new letters. We simply have to employ only 39 characters, of
which 23 are roman letters which we already know and the remaining 16 are some of
the same letters but with diacritical marks above them. Diacritical marks are signs
which are used to differentiate between the different values of the same letter.
Therefore, we should have no difficulty in using the roman letters as tools to
familiarise ourselves with the sounds of Tamil words. Of the 26 letters, we leave out
three – q, w and x – and on 12 of the remaining 23, we shall use diacritical signs. The
total comes to 39. Every letter in spoken Tamil is covered within these 39 symbols.

What the phonetic value of each of these characters is, is given in Lesson 1.

Contents

Lesson Page

1. Romanized Tamil alphabet and their phonetic values . . 1
2. Glossary of nouns and verbs in Tamil . . . . 2
3. Pronouns & Nouns . . . . . . . 10
4. Pronouns in the genitive / possessive case & Nouns . . 11
5. Pronouns in the accusitive case & Verbs . . . . 12
6. Pronouns denoting association & Verbs . . . . 13
7. Pronouns in the instrumental case & Verbs . . . . 14
8. Pronouns denoting recipients (Dative) & Abstract Nouns . . 15
9. Pronouns in the locative case & Abstract / General Nouns . 16
10. Pronouns in the ablative case & Abstract / General Nouns . 17
11. Nouns and Case Endings . . . . . . 18
12. Verbs and Tenses . . . . . . . 19
13. Adjectives . . . . . . . . 21
14. Vowels and Case Endings . . . . . . 24
15. Miscellaneous: véndum - véndãm . . . . 25
16. Miscellaneous: intransitive verbs . . . . . 27
17. Recollection Exercises . . . . . . 28

1
Lesson 1
Romanized Tamil alphabet and their phonetic values


The sound
of:
as in:
The sound
of:
as in:
a u us, must, cut o o omit, molest
ã a car, far õ o role, pole
b b bus, tub o ou or ow out, foul, owl
c ch chop, rich p p pen, nip
d th them, the, though r r rock, fur
d d den, bed r rr curry, merry
e e met, set s s sun, sit
é a day, gay, pay s thin sh Shanti
f f fun, tiff s sh shop, bush
g g gun, dog t th with, python
h h hat, he t t ten, bet, top
i i sit, pit u u full, put, push
I ee peel, meet ú oo fool, moon, cool
j j jam, jet u y rhythm
k k king, kit v v van, victory
I l let, look y y yawn, toy
I l ploy, blue, glue y y sky, fry, my
m m man, Tom z z zero, zoo
n n net, bin
n n and, band, shun
z
The sound produced when we try to
utter ‘sha’ without the tongue touching
the roof of the mouth.
(n) n
tank, bang, pink, punch, munch
[Instances where the n is not fully pronounced, but blends with the
succeeding consonant.]


2
Lesson 2
Glossary of nouns and verbs in Tamil

These are the common nouns and verbs used in spoken Tamil.To get familiar with
the romanized Tamil alphabet, practise reading the words aloud.



The list of nouns follows in pages 3 to 7.



3

Members of a family
Mother ammã / tãy Brother (younger) tambi
Father appã / tandy Sister (younger) tangy
Parent petrõr Grandfather tãtã
Son magan Grandmother pãtti
Daughter magaI Grandson péran
Baby kuzandy Granddaughter pétti
Brother (elder) annã / annan Relative(s) uravinar
Sister (elder) akkã
Greetings & Common Expressions
Sir ayyã Please dayavu seydu
Madam ammã Yes ãm / ãmãm
Hello / Salutations vanakkam No / Not iIIy
Thank you nanri Okay sari
Sorry mannikkavum But ãnãI
Language & Speech
Language bãsy / mozi Silence monam
Word vãrty Letter (mail) kadidam
Speaking / Speech péccu Letter (of alphabet) ezuttu
Nouns used in questions (Interrogative nouns)
Who yãr What enna
Here i(n)gé
Where e(n)gé
There a(n)gé
This way / Thus ippadi
How eppadi
That way appadi
For this reason idanãI
Why yén
For that reason adanãI
Now ippõdu, ippõ (col.)
When
eppõdu, eppõ
(colloquial.) Then appõdu, appõ (col.)
This many ittany
How many ettany
That many attany
This much ivvaIavu
How much evvaIavu
That much avvaIavu
People
Man (mankind) manidan Youth iIy(n)yan
People makkaI Elderly Person mudiyavar
Man ãn / ãI Student mãnavan
Woman pen School paIIi
Male / Manhood ãn / ãnmy Studies padippu
Female/ Womanhood pen / penmy Religion madam
Birth piravi God kadavuI
Death maranam Mind manam

4
Marriage vivãham /
kaIyãnam (col.)
Conscience manassãksi
Age vayadu Thought ennam
Child kuzandy Civilization / nãgarIkam
Teenager siruvan Culture kaIãcãram
Home
House / Home vIdu Wall cuvar
Room ary Ladder éni
Door kadavu Bureau bIrõ
Window jannaI Kitchen samayaI ary
Stairs padi Oven / Stove aduppu
Cot kattiI Cooking samayaI
Bed padukky Vessel pãttiram
Table méjy Food sãppãdu / unavu
Chair nãrkãIi Plate tattu
Floor tary Ladle karandi
Festivals & Occasions
Festival vizã / pandigy Invitation azyppu
Greetings vãzttu Guest virundãIi
Gift parisu Fasting nõ(n)bu
Wedding tirumanam Feasting virundu
Birthday piranda nãI
The body and related
Body udaI / udambu Heart idayam
Head taIy Hand ky
Brain múIy Finger viraI
Hair mudi Stomach vayiru
Face mukam Hip iduppu
Eye kan Leg kãI
Ear kãdu Foot pãdam
Nose múkku Back mudugu
Mouth vãy Bone eIumbu
Tongue nãkku Breath múccu
Teeth paI Sleep urakkam / túkkam
Lips udadu Hunger pasi
Cheek kannam Pain vaIi
Neck kazuttu Disease nõy
Shoulder tõI Medicine marundu
Chest mãrbu
World Affairs
World uIagam Law sattam
Nation désam Power baIam
Government arasu Capacity tiramy
Army sény Right urimy

5
Commercial Terms
Money panam Expense(s) siIavu
Price viIy Trade (noun) vyãpãram
Worth madippu Profit Iãbam
Own / Ownership sonda / sondam Loss nastam
Job / Work véIy Shop kady
Salary sambaIam
Numerals (grammatical / colloquial)
One onru / onnu Ten pattu
Two irandu / rendu Twenty irubadu / iruvadu
Three múnru / múnu Thirty muppadu
Four nã(n)gu / nãIu Forty nãrpadu / nãppadu
Five y(n)du / a(n)ju Fifty ymbadu /ambadu
Six ãru Sixty arupadu / aruvadu
Seven ézu Seventy ezupadu / ezuvadu
Eight ettu Eighty enbadu
Nine onbadu Ninety tonnúru
Zero pújyam Hundred núru
Point (decimal) puIIi Thousand ãyiram
Nouns related to Directions / Location
Direction disy Above / Upper méIé / méI
East kizakku Below / Lower kIzé / kIz
West mérku At the bottom adiyiI
North vadakku In the middle naduviI
South terku Inside / Inner uIIé / uI
Side pakkam Outside / Outer veIiyé / veIi
Left idadu In the gap idayiI
Right vaIadu Around sutri
Front / Infront mun / munnãI Position / Place idam
Rear / Behind pin / pinnãI
Nouns related to Time
Today inru Time (period) kãIam
Tomorrow nãIy Hour / Time (real) mani
Yesterday nétru Minute nimidam
That day anru Second nodi
Day/ Days nãI / nãtkaI Day (of the week) kizamy
Week vãram Sunday nyãyiru
Month mãdam Monday tingaI
Year varusam Tuesday cevvãy
Morning kãIy Wednesday budan
Evening mãIy Thursday vyãzan
Night iravu Friday veIIi
Daytime pagaI Saturday sani
Early morning atikãIy

6
Geological terms
Earth búmi Light / Bright veIiccam
Soil man Dark iruttu
Sand manaI Sky vãnam / ãgãyam
Way / Route vazi Cloud mégam
Distance dúram Rain mazy
Height uyaram Wetness / Moisture Iram
Water jaIam / tannIr Sea kadaI
Air kãtru Island tIvu
Sun súriyan Heat súdu
Moon candiran / niIã Cold kuIir
Fruits (pazam), vegetables (kãy) and food ingredients
Banana vãzy pazam Potato uruIy kizangu
Mango mãmpazam Lady’s finger vendy
Grapes drãksy Eggplant/ Brinjal kattiri
Lemon eIumiccy Raw Banana vãzykkãy
Pomegranate mãtuIy Rice (raw) arisi
Tomato takkãIi Salt uppu
Greens kIry Chilli miIagãy
Cabbage mutty gõs Gram / Pulses paruppu
Coconut té(n)gãy Egg mutty
Onion ve(n)gãyam Flour mãvu
Plants
Plant cedi Thorn muI
Leaf iIy Tree maram
Flower pú Root vér
Common animals
Animal mirugam Donkey kazudy
Dog nãy Monkey kura(n)gu
Cat púny Elephant yãny
Cow pasu Tiger puIi
Buffalo erumy Lion si(n)gam
Bull kãIy Bear karadi
Cattle (in general) mãdu Fish mIn
Goat ãdu Snake pãmbu
Pig panri Lizard paIIi
Horse kudiry Insect púcci
Common birds
Bird paravy Cuckoo kuyiI
Hen/Rooster/Chicken kõzi Peacock mayiI
Duck vãttu Crow kãkky
Parrot kiIi Vulture kazugu
Owl ãndy Crane kokku
Dove purã

7
Abstract Nouns
Right sari Respect/ Reverence madippu
Wrong tavaru Pride perumy
Truth nijam / unmy Honesty nãnayam
Lies poy Good (noun) naIIadu
Difficulty kastam Bad / Evil (noun) kettadu
Ease suIabam Harm kedudaI
Strength baIam Freedom vidudaIy
Emotion unarcci Use upayõgam
Happiness magizcci Size /Amount aIavu
Sadness varuttam Hurry (noun) avasaram
Anger kõpam Loudness sattam
Jealousy/ Envy porãmy Softness menmy
Confusion kuzappam Beauty azagu
Suspicion /Doubt sandéham


Note:
• To obtain the plural form of a noun, “ kaI ” is added to the singular form.
E.g.:

Son (magan) – Sons : magankaI
House (vIdu) – Houses : vIdukaI


• When the conjunction of two or more nouns (or pronouns) is to be shown, i.e. for
‘and’ or ‘too’, the phrase “ um ” is added to both nouns.
E.g.:

The horse (kudiry) and the carriage (vandi) – kudiryyum vandiyum
Both you (nI) and I (nãn) – nIyum nãnum

Mother (ammã) too / Mother also – ammãvum


• When the meaning of ‘something only’ or ‘just something’ is to be conveyed, the
word ‘mattum’ is added to the noun or pronoun.
E.g.:

Only potato (uruIy kizangu) – uruIy kizangu mattum
Just father (appã) and I (nãn) – appãvum nãnum mattum


The list of commonly used verbs follows in pages 8 & 9.

8
Verbs (in alphabetical order)

Absorb/ Suck (liquids) uri(n)ju Hide / Conceal mary
Accept yétrukkoI Hit / Strike adi
Act nadi Invite azy
Allow anumati Jump tãvu / kudi
Announce arivi Know ari
Approach anugu Let go vidu
Arrange adukku Lick nakku
Awaken ezuppu Live vãz
Bathe kuIi Lock púttu
Be iru Look pãr
Be troubled/disturbed bãdikka padu Love nési
Blab uIaru / pidatru Manage nadattu
Bump muttu Move (Budge) asy
Bump hard idi Move (Intransitive
+
) nagaru
Buy vã(n)gu Move (Transitive
+
) nagarttu
Cheat émãtru Organize amy
Clean tudy Pick / Choose porukku
Cleanse aIambu / kazuvu Play viIayãdu
Close múdu Play (music, etc.) vãsi
Come vã Press / Depress azuttu
Correct tiruttu Print accadi
Create / Produce pady Push taIIu
Crush nasukku Put põdu / vy
Cut (Transitive
+
) vettu Read padi
Cut/Snap (Intransitive
+
) aru Report / Notify terivi
Dance ãdu Rinse aIasu
Deal (with) samãIi Run õdu
Decompose azugu Scold / Abuse tittu
Demolish idi Sell viIykku kodu
Do sey Separate / Detach piri
Dry (Intransitive
+
) uIarttu Shake (Intransitive
+
) ãdu
Eat sãppidu Shake (Transitive
+
) ãttu
Feel unar Sing pãdu
Fly para Sit utkãr
Forget mara Slap ary
Get down / Get off ira(n)gu Sleep tú(n)gu
Get up ezu / ezundu iru Snatch / Pluck pari
Give tã / kodu Speak pésu
Go põ Stand niI
Grasp pidi Stay iru
Grind ary Stay (Reside) ta(n)gu
Hate veru Steal tirudu
Heat kãyccu Stick / Glue ottu
Help udavu Stink nãru

9
Stop (Intransitive
+
) niruttu Take edu
Stop (Transitive
+
) tadu Tear kizi
Suffer varundu Test / Prove nirúbi
Suppress adakku Touch todu
Think / Count ennu Wander aIy
Think / Plan yõsi Want / Like / Wish virumbu
Turn (Intransitive
+
) tirumbu Wash tuvy
Turn (Transitive
+
) tiruppu Weep azu
Unload irakku Work veIy sey
Untie aviz / avizttu vidu Write ezudu
Uphold nimirttu Yell kattu
Walk nada

+ Some verbs have both Transitive and Intransitive applications. Transitive verbs are those which
act on an object directly in the expression – such as ‘shake’ in ‘The boy is shaking the tree’.
Intransitive verbs are those which convey an action that is performed by the subject itself in the
expression – such as ‘shake’ in ‘The building shook during the earthquake’.


Note:

• These are the root verbs. As they stand, they signify commands/ instructions.
E.g. You come = nI vã.

• To convert these verbs into infinitives like ‘to come’ (vara), ‘to write’ (ezuda), we
should add ‘a’, ‘ka’/‘ga’ or ‘kka’ to the verbs.

Command Infinitive form of verb
Sit utkãr To sit utkãra
Go põ To go põga
Walk nada To walk nadakka


• To make negative commands of these verbs, in the sense:
“You do not come” = nI varãdé, we just add ‘ãdé’ to the infinitive form.
E.g.:

ezuda [inf. form] + ãdé [for negative command] = ezudãdé (don’t write)

Command Infinitive form of verb Negative Command
Sit utkãr To sit utkãra Don’t sit utkãrãdé
Go põ To go põga Don’t go põgãdé
Walk nada To walk nadakka Don’t walk nadakkãdé





10
Lesson 3
Pronouns & Nouns

Pronouns Nouns
1. I: nãn 1. Little Girl: sirumi
2. We: nã(n)gaI 2. Student: mãnavan
3. You: nI 3. Students: mãnavargaI
4. You (Plural/
Respectful):
nI(n)gaI 4. Carpenter: taccan
5. He: avan 5. Insect: púcci
6. She: avaI 6. Elderly Person: mudiyavar
7. They: avargaI 7. Worms: puzukkaI
8. It: adu 8. Little Boy: siruvan
9. They (these): ivy 9. Leaves: iIygaI
10. They (those): avy 10. Workers: toziIãIigaI
11. Who yãr 11. Father tandy
12. What enna 12. Work véIy


Remember that “(n)gaI” / “gaI” is added to a singular noun to make it plural.

Exercise:
Pair the appropriate pronouns and nouns.
E.g.
1. avan (He) + taccan (Carpenter) = avan taccan (He is a carpenter)
In Tamil, “is” is not written. It is understood.
2. enna (What) + véIy (Work) = enna véIy (What is the work?)

11
Lesson 4
Pronouns in the genitive / possessive case & Nouns

Pronouns (possessive) Nouns
1. My/ Mine: en 1. Book: puttakam
2. Our/ Ours: e(n)gaI 2. Kid Sister: ta(n)gy
3. Your: un 3. Vehicle: vandi
4. Your (Plu/Resp): u(n)gaI 4. Elder Brother: annan
5. His: avanudaya / avan (col.) 5. House: vIdu
6. Hers: avaIudaya / avaI (col.) 6. Nests: kúdugaI
7. Their: avargaIin 7. Work: véIy
8. Its: adan 8. Dress: séIy
9. Their (Neuter): ivygaIin 9. Food: unavu
10. Their (Neuter): avygaIin 10. Price: viIy
11. Whose: yãrudaya / yãr (col.) 11. Pen: pénã
12. Of Which: edanudaya 12. Key: sãvi



Exercise:
Pair the appropriate pronouns and nouns from above.
E.g.
1. avaI (Her) + séIy (Dress) = avaI séIy (Her dress)
2. edanudaya (Of Which) + sãvi (Key) = edanudaya sãvi (the key of
which?)

12
Lesson 5
Pronouns in the accusitive case & Verbs

Pronouns (accusitive) Verbs (commands / instructions)
1. Me: enny 1. look: pãr
2. Us: e(n)gaIy 2. touch: todu
3. You: unny 3. ask: kéI
4. You (Plu/Resp): u(n)gaIy 4. catch: pidi
5. Him: avany 5. deal: samãIi
6. Her: avaIy 6. leave: vidu
7. Them: avargaIy 7. send: anuppu
8. It: ady 8. wake: ezuppu
9. These: ivygaIy 9. count: ennu
10. Those: avygaIy 10. stop: niruttu
11. Whom: yãry 11. to invite: azykka
12. Which: edy 12. to give: kodukka



Exercise:
Pair the appropriate pronouns and verbs from above.
E.g.
1. enny (Me) + todu (Touch) = enny todu (Touch me)
In Indian languages, the verb is always placed last.
2. yãry (Whom) + azykka (to invite) = yãry azykka (Whom to invite?)

13
Lesson 6
Pronouns denoting association & Verbs

Pronouns (associative) Verbs (commands / instructions)
1. With Me: ennõdu 1. accept: serttukkoI
2. With Us: e(n)gaIõdu 2. come: vã
3. With You: unnõdu 3. walk: nada
4. With You (Plu/Resp): u(n)gaIõdu 4. go: põ
5. With Him: avanõdu 5. associate: pazagu
6. With Her: avaIõdu 6. speak: pésu
7. With Them: avargaIõdu 7. play: viIayãdu
8. With It: adõdu 8. eat: sãppidu
9. With These: ivygaIõdu 9. think: yõsi
10. With Those: avygaIõdu 10. take away: kondu põ
11. With Whom: yãrõdu 11. to eat: sãppida
12. With What: edõdu 12. to combine: sérkka



Exercise:
Pair the appropriate pronouns and verbs from above.
E.g.
1. avaIõdu (With Her) + pésu (Speak) = avaIõdu pésu (Speak with her)
2. edõdu (With What) + sérkka (to combine) = edõdu sérkka (To combine
with what?)

14
Lesson 7
Pronouns in the instrumental case & Verbs

Pronouns (instrumental) Verbs (infintive)
1. By Me: ennãI 1. to deal: samãIikka
2. By Us: e(n)gaIãI 2. to come: vara
3. By You: unnãI 3. to do: seyya
4. By You (Plu/Resp): u(n)gaIãI 4. to suppress: adakka
5. By Him avanãI 5. to turn: tiruppa
6. By Her avaIãI 6. to speak: pésa
7. By Them avargaIãI 7. to stand: nirka
8. By It adanãI 8. to stop: tadukka
9. By These: ivygaIãI 9. to walk: nadakka
10. By Those: avygaIãI 10. to give: tara
11. By Who: yãrãI 11. to buy: vã(n)ga
12. By What: edanãI 12. to open: tirakka


mudiyum - mudiyãdu

mudiyum means ‘is possible’ and mudiyãdu means ‘is not possible’. If we add
either of these to combinations of pronouns and relevant infinitive verbs from above, we
get the full sense of the expression – ‘is possible’ or ‘is not possible’.

Exercise:
Pair the appropriate pronouns and infintive verbs from the table and add mudiyum /
mudiyãdu.
E.g.
1. e(n)gaIãI (By Us) + seyya (to do) + mudiyãdu =
e(n)gaIãI seyya mudiyãdu (It is not possible by us to do)
2. edanãI (By What) + tirakka (to open) + mudiyum =
edanãI tirakka mudiyum (With what is it possible to open?)

15
Lesson 8
Pronouns denoting recipients (Dative) & Abstract Nouns

Pronouns (dative) Abstract Nouns
1. For Me: enakku 1. Peace: nimmadi
2. For Us: e(n)gaIukku 2. Grouse: varuttam
3. For You: unakku 3. Protection: kãvaI
4. For You (Plur/ Resp): u(n)gaIukku 4. Pleasure: magizcci
5. For Him: avanukku 5. Tiredness: aIuppu
6. For Her: avaIukku 6. Praise: pãrãttu
7. For Them: avargaIukku 7. Concern: kavaIy
8. For It: adarkku 8. Fear: accam
9. For These: ivygaIukku 9. Support: ãdaravu
10. For Those: avygaIukku 10. Enthusiasm: úkkam
11. For Whom: yãrukku 11. Need: tévy
12. For What: edarkku 12. Use: upayõgam



Exercise:
Pair the appropriate pronouns and abstract nouns from above.
E.g.
1. avaIukku (For Her) + ãdaravu (Support) = avaIukku ãdaravu (support
for her)
2. yãrukku (For Whom) + tévy (Need) = yãrukku tévy (For whom is the
need?)

16
Lesson 9
Pronouns in the locative case & Abstract / General Nouns

Pronouns (locative) Abstract & General Nouns
1. In Me: ennidam 1. Belief: nambikky
2. In Us: e(n)gaIidam 2. Suspicion: sandéham
3. In You: unnidam 3. Anger: kõbam
4. In You (Plu/Resp): u(n)gaIidam 4. Defeat: tõIvi
5. In Him: avanidam 5. Courage: tuniccaI
6. In Her: avaIidam 6. Affection: anbu
7. In Them: avargaIidam 7. Argument: vãdam
8. In It: adiI 8. Attention: gavanam
9. In These: ivygaIiI 9. Confusion: kuzappam
10. In Those: avygaIiI 10. Truth: unmy
11. In Whom: yãridam 11. Grouse: varuttam
12. In What: ediI 12. Interest: akkary

Note:
The case ending for pronouns associated with non-living things is “iI” – while the case
ending for pronouns of living things is “idam” –also implying a sense of “with”. For
example, “adiI” (In It) or “avanidam” (In Him or With Him).

Exercise:
Pair the appropriate pronouns and abstract nouns from above.
E.g.
1. unnidam (In You) + kõbam (Anger) = unnidam kõbam (angry with you)
2. ediI (In What) + akkary (Interest) = ediI akkary (Interest in what?)

17
Lesson 10
Pronouns in the ablative case & Abstract / General Nouns

Pronouns (ablative) Abstract & General Nouns
1. From Me: ennidam irundu 1. Money: kãsu
2. From Us: e(n)gaIidam irundu 2. Honey: tén
3. From You: unnidam irundu 3. Fragrance: manam
4. From You (Plu/Resp): u(n)gaIidam irundu 4. Reward: parisu
5. From Him: avanidam irundu 5. Censure: vasavu
6. From Her: avaIidam irundu 6. Flower: pú
7. From Them: avargaIidam irundu 7. Blessing: ãsi
8. From It: adiI irundu 8. Respect: mariyãdy
9. From These: ivygaIiI irundu 9. Affection: anbu
10. From Those: avygaIiI irundu 10. Advice: upadésam
11. From Whom: yãridam irundu 11. Reply: badiI
12. From What: ediI irundu 12. Sweetness: inippu

Note:
These pronouns (in the ablative case) are the same as in Lesson 9 (in the locative case)
except for the addition of the term “irundu” which gives the meaning – from me, from
us, etc. For example, “adiI” + “irundu” – “adiI irundu” (From It).

Exercise:
Pair the appropriate pronouns and nouns from above.
E.g.
1. adiI irundu (From It) + manam (Fragrance) = adiI irundu manam
(fragrance from it)
2. yãridam irundu (From Whom) + badiI (Reply) = yãridam irundu badiI
(Reply from whom?)


18
Lesson 11
Nouns and Case Endings

In the lessons 3 – 10, we learnt the different stances of pronouns caused by
different contexts. The study may seem a bit complicated by the classification of
pronouns into 1
st
person (singular & plural), 2
nd
person (singular & plural) and 3
rd

person (singular & plural). In the case of nouns, unlike pronouns, there is no such
complication. All nouns are treated as “3
rd
person”. The appended letters/words
are all the same as for “3
rd
person” in Pronouns.

Let us now taken an example – “boy” (payyan in Tamil). The different cases of
the noun “boy” are: ‘the boy’, ‘of the boy’ or boy’s, ‘to/for the boy’, ‘with the
boy’, ‘by the boy’, ‘for the boy’, ‘in the boy’ and ‘from the boy’. In Tamil, the
differing statuses of the word “payyan” (boy) are indicated by the different
tagging letters. These are:

Noun Case Letters Attached Resultant Word Meaning
1. Subjective: nil payyan boy
2. Accusative: + y payyan + y = payyany the boy
3. Instrumental: + ãI payyan + ãI = payyanãI by the boy
4. Associative: + õdu payyan + õdu =
payyanõdu
with the boy
5. Dative: + ukku payyan + ukku =
payyanukku
to/for the boy
6. Ablative: + idam irundu payyan + idam irundu
= payyanidam irundu
from the boy
7. Genitive
/Possessive:
+ udaya payyan + udaya =
payyanudaya
boy’s
8. Locative: + idam payyan + idam =
payyanidam
in the boy

Similarly, all nouns can be declined. When the nouns end with a vowel, like “gitã” and
“guru”, the appendages start with a ‘v’ e.g. gitãvy : gitãvukku : guruvy :
guruvidam irundu etc. (This is explained in Lesson 14 – ‘Vowels and case endings’)

19
Lesson 12
Verbs and Tenses

Actions or occurences happen in three phases of time: present, future and past.
The phases in which they happen are indicated by the addition of some letters to
the root verb.

Most of the verbs listed in the Glossary of Lesson 2 can be conjugated by the
addition of letters as follows:

Present Future Past
1
st
Person + kirén + vén / ppén + ttén / nén
2
nd
Person + kirãy + vãy / ppãy + ttãy / nãy
3
rd
Person + kirãr + vãr / ppãr + ttãr / nãr

These additions, indicating tenses, are given below; These are the normal
applications.

Verb person Present tense Future tense Past tense Remarks
1. 1
st
person põkirén põvén põnén
2. 2
nd
person põkirãy põvãy põnãy
3.

(go)
3
rd
person põkirãr põvãr põnãr

4. 1
st
person seykirén seyvén seydén
5. 2
nd
person seykirãy seyvãy seydãy
6.
sey
(do)
3
rd
person seykirãr seyvãr seydãr



However, some of the verbs do not quite conform to this arrangement. These verbs
are conjugated separately as follows.

20

7. 1
st
person varugirén varuvén vandén
8. 2
nd
person varugirãy varuvãy vandãy
9.

(come)
3
rd
person varugirãr varuvãr vandãr
‘vã’
becomes
‘var'
10. 1
st
person nirkirén nirpén ninrén
11. 2
nd
person nirkirãy nirpãy ninrãy
12.
niI
(stand)
3
rd
person nirkirãr nirpãr ninrãr
‘niI’
becomes
‘nir’
13. 1
st
person sãppidukirén sãppiduvén sãppittén
14. 2
nd
person sãppidukirãy sãppiduvãy sãppittãy
15.
sãppidu
(eat)
3
rd
person sãppidukirãr sãppiduvãr sãppittãr
change in
past tense
16. 1
st
person tarugirén taruvén ta(n)dén
17. 2
nd
person tarugirãy taruvãy ta(n)dãy
18.

(give)
3
rd
person tarugirãr taruvãr ta(n)dãr
d.o.
19. 1
st
person pãrkkirén pãrppén pãrttén
20. 2
nd
person pãrkkirãy pãrppãy pãrttãy
21.
pãr
(see/look)
3
rd
person pãrkkirãr pãrppãr pãrttãr
d.o.
22. 1
st
person edukkirén eduppén eduttén
23. 2
nd
person edukkirãy eduppãy eduttãy
24.
edu
(take)
3
rd
person edukkirãr eduppãr eduttãr
d.o.

To express the negative sense of these verbs, to the infinitive form of the verb we
add iIIy (not) in the case of present and past tenses, and põvadiIIy (going to not)
in the case of future tense. The case is same with 1st, 2nd and 3rd person.

For example:
When the verb is ezudu (write), the infinitive form is ezuda (to write). Hence,
the negative terms are:

Verb person Present tense Future tense Past tense
1
st
person ezudaviIIy ezuda põvadiIIy ezudaviIIy
2
nd
person ezudaviIIy ezuda põvadiIIy ezudaviIIy
ezudu
(write)
3
rd
person ezudaviIIy ezuda põvadiIIy ezudaviIIy

* The explanation for how ezuda + iIIy = ezudaviIIy, etc. is contained in
Lesson 14 – ‘Vowels and case endings’.

21
Lesson 13
Adjectives

There is a marked difference in the formation of adjectives – words which
describe the qualities of nouns – in English and Tamil. In English, adjectives are
causal and primary. Take the word “soft”. From this word is derived the abstract
quality of ‘softness’. Similarly, “hard” and “hardness”; “cruel” and “cruelty”; etc.

Whereas, in Tamil, the converse holds good. The abstract noun is the primary and
causal; and the adjective is the derived word. “kadinam” (hardness) is the
primary and from it is derived the adjective “kadinamãna” (hard) by the
addition of the letters “ãna”. Adjectives are also formed by adding the letters
“uIIa” or “atra” (‘with’ and ‘without’, respectively). This is invariably true for
the formation of most adjectives and therefore, the process is simplified – just
adding the appropriate suffixes to abstract nouns.

The three commonest suffixes are “ãna” and “uIIa”, to denote the existence of a
quality, and “atra”, to denote the absence of the quality. Examples:

I. urudi (firmness)
urudiyãna (urudi + ãna) means firm. *
urudiyatra (urudi + atra) means unstable.

II. kúrmy (sharpness)
kúrmayãna (sharp)
kúrmayatra (blunt)

* The explanation for how urudi + ãna = urudiyãna, etc. is contained in
Lesson 14 – ‘Vowels and case endings’.

22

III. buddi (intelligence)
buddiyuIIa (intelligent) – buddi + uIIa
buddiyatra (dull) – buddi + atra
etc.

There are, of course, primary / causal words qualifying nouns as well. These are
not as many as the former variety. A few examples of the latter variety are given
below.

a) kodiya (fierce)
b) sama (equal)
c) naIIa (good)
d) ketta (bad)
etc.

In the following page, there are two elementary exercises in adjectives.

23

Adjective Exercise 1:

Pair the nouns and adjectives from below:

Adjectives Nouns
1. Raw: kaccã 1. Tree: maram
2. Rare: apúrva 2. Machine: yandiram
3. Pretty: azagiya 3. Road: sãIy
4. Tasty: suvyyãna 4. Gait: nady
5. Old: pazaya 5. Student mãnavan
6. Intimate: neru(n)giya 6. Fruit: pazam
7. Special: siranda 7. Stick: kombu
8. Stout: tãditta 8. Food: unavu
9. Erect: nimir(n)da 9. Cloth: tuni
10. Long: nInda 10. Floor: tary
11. Novel: nútana 11. Girl: pen
12. Wet: Iramãna 12. Friend: nanban



Adjective Exercise 2:

Give the opposites of the following adjectives keeping in mind that “ãna” and
“uIIa” are the opposites of “atra”

Root Abstract Noun
1. ruci uIIa (ruci = taste)
2. buddi atra (buddi = intelligence)
3. nimmadiyãna (nimmadi = peace)
4. kadinamãna (kadinam = hardness)
5. patru uIIa (patru = interest)


24
Lesson 14
Vowels and Case Endings

In the earlier lessons, we saw that when case-endings are added on to nouns (or
pronouns), the different positions which the nouns assume are obtained. For e.g.
“by the boy”, “with the boy”, “for the boy”, etc.

All case endings start with a vowel. When they follow a noun ending with a vowel
(like bãIu, mani) the two vowel-sounds combine to form a compound word. In
such cases, the vowels undergo a change. What the changes are, are given in the
table below:


Ending vowel of the
word:
ã or u or ú i or I or y
Change in the vowel :
Initial vowel of suffix changes
into v, vã, võ or vi
Initial vowel of suffix changes
into y, ya, yã or is dropped
Accusitive case:
[Suffix = y]
akkã + y = akkãvy
subbu + y = subbuvy
pú + y = púvy
tambi + y = tambiyy
seIvi + y = seIviyy
Instrumental or
Associative case:
[Suffix = ãI, õdu]
ammã + ãI = ammãvãI
bãIu + õdu = bãIuvõdu
oIi + ãI = oIiyãI
Dative case:
[Suffix = ukku]
guru + ukku = guruvukku
gItã + ukku = gItãvukku
citti + ukku = cittikku
ta(n)gy + ukku =
ta(n)gykku (u is dropped)
Possessive case:
[Suffix = udaya/ in]
pú + in = púvin
akkã + udaya =
akkãvudaya
tambi + in = tambiyin
tan(g)y + udaya =
ta(n)gyyudaya
Locative case:
[Suffix = idam]
guru + idam = guruvidam
sItã + idam = sItãvidam
pãtti + idam =
pãttiyidam
Ablative case:

In the ablative case, ‘irundu' is added to the ‘idam’.
Changes are the same as in locative case.


25
Lesson 15
Miscellaneous: véndum - véndãm

These two words have opposite meanings. “véndum” means ‘is wanted’ or ‘is
needed’ or ‘must’. “véndãm” means ‘don’t want’ or ‘no need’. They are written
either after a noun or after a verb in infinitive form.

When “véndum” follows a noun, it gives the meaning of desire or need.
[e.g. enakku panam véndum = I want money]
When “véndãm” follows a noun, it denotes the opposite meaning, of ‘don’t
want’ or ‘no need’.
[e.g. avanukku udavi véndam = He does not need help]

Exercise 1:

Translate the following sentences in Tamil into English. (Vide earlier lessons for
meanings of words.)

enakku un puttakam véndum I want your book
avanudaya udavi véndum
padikka néram véndum
unnudan uravu* véndãm
avaIukku ãdaravu véndum

* uravu = relationship

26

When “véndum” follows an infinitive verb, it indicates intent (must/ want to).
[e.g. nãn ezuda véndum = I want to write].
When “véndãm” follows an infinitive, it gives the meaning ‘must not’/’no need
to’.
[e.g. avaI aza véndãm = She need not weep].

Exercise 2:

Translate the following sentences in Tamil into English. (Vide earlier lessons for
meanings of words.)

kuzandy viIayãda véndum The child must play
avan pãda véndãm
nI enny pãrkka véndãm
nãm dinamum* kuIikka vendum
maratty vetta véndum
vItty pútta véndãm

* dinamum = daily


27
Lesson 16
Miscellaneous: intransitive verbs

There are some verbs in Tamil which are used in a sentence without a direct
subject. The grammatical notations for these verbs differ as well. When used,
these verbs are to be read as actions happening ‘by themselves’, i.e. without direct
subjects. There may, however, be objects in the sentence that are affected by the
actions.

The following are examples of sentences in Tamil in which these verbs appear,
along with near-equivalents in English:

mazy peygiradu It rains
veyyiI adikkiradu The sun is beating down
udy nanyndadu dress got wet
kuIam nirambiyadu the tank filled up
taIy vaIittadu head ached
vizã nadandadu the festival took place
adi pattadu got hurt



28
Recollection Exercises

Translate the following sentences in English into Tamil.

Case Endings of Nouns & Pronouns:
1. My mother en amma / en tãy
2. Look (at the) sea
3. Go with Gowri
4. from (the) school
5. in the village (village = grãmam)
6. height of the hill (hill = maIy)
7. gift for younger sister
8. possible by him
9. not possible by you
10. I want rest (rest = õyvu)

Adjectives:
1. tall man
2. white flower
3. strong hand
4. dark room
5. hard work
6. long road
7. wet floor
8. beautiful temple (temple =kõviI)
9. intelligent people
10. tasty food

Verbs:
1. I shall go for the wedding
2. You sing with emotion
3. Guhan went to (a) shop
4. Where will you go?
5. Carpenter is making (a) chair
6. Elder sister read (a) book
7. Boy stands in the street (street = teru)
8. I shall give you money
9. Friend ate food
10. I took photo (photo = fõtõ )

Introduction
We often marvel at the capacity of children, even before schooling, to pick up a language of their surroundings. This is because they are not unduly bothered by alphabet or by glossy textbooks. All they do is to imitate the sound they hear around and the context in which the sounds are made. In a short period of time, they start speaking the language. Sound plays a vital part in the process of learning languages. As the children grow, they gather a bigger vocabulary of words and expressions by sheer association. This is the method we shall employ in our effort to learn to speak in Tamil. The sounds we shall use are sounds which we are familiar with i.e. letters of the Roman alphabet. The lessons which follow are meant for those who are familiar with English language. If we went by conventional way of learning Tamil, mastering the letters of the Tamil alphabet might take weeks or even months because there are nearly 250 lettersymbols in it. Whereas our new method of learning through Roman alphabet does not involve learning any new letters. We simply have to employ only 39 characters, of which 23 are roman letters which we already know and the remaining 16 are some of the same letters but with diacritical marks above them. Diacritical marks are signs which are used to differentiate between the different values of the same letter. Therefore, we should have no difficulty in using the roman letters as tools to familiarise ourselves with the sounds of Tamil words. Of the 26 letters, we leave out three – q, w and x – and on 12 of the remaining 23, we shall use diacritical signs. The total comes to 39. Every letter in spoken Tamil is covered within these 39 symbols. What the phonetic value of each of these characters is, is given in Lesson 1.

Contents

Lesson

Page

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Romanized Tamil alphabet and their phonetic values Glossary of nouns and verbs in Tamil Pronouns & Nouns . . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1 2 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 24 25 27 28

Pronouns in the genitive / possessive case & Nouns Pronouns in the accusitive case & Verbs Pronouns denoting association & Verbs . . . . .

Pronouns in the instrumental case & Verbs .

Pronouns denoting recipients (Dative) & Abstract Nouns . Pronouns in the locative case & Abstract / General Nouns

10. Pronouns in the ablative case & Abstract / General Nouns 11. Nouns and Case Endings 12. Verbs and Tenses 13. Adjectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

14. Vowels and Case Endings 15. Miscellaneous:

16. Miscellaneous: intransitive verbs 17. Recollection Exercises .

Tom net. molest role. punch. munch [Instances where the n is not fully pronounced. python ten. pay fun. glue man. cut car. look ploy. pink. kit let. my zero. bin and. tiff gun. sit Shanti shop. nip rock.] 1 . bang. jet king. fry. bush with. cool rhythm van. band. tub chop. bed met. put. victory yawn. shun The sound of: o o ou or ow p r rr s thin sh sh th t u oo y v y y z as in: omit. though den. but blends with the succeeding consonant. rich them. toy sky.Lesson 1 Romanized Tamil alphabet and their phonetic values The sound of: u a b ch th d e a f g h i ee j k l l m n n n as in: us. merry sun. must. bet. pit peel. fur curry. he sit. push fool. the. foul. top full. far bus. moon. tank. set day. dog hat. blue. zoo " $ & ' )&* ! # % ( The sound produced when we try to utter ‘sha’ without the tongue touching the roof of the mouth. meet jam. gay. pole out. owl pen.

practise reading the words aloud.To get familiar with the romanized Tamil alphabet. 2 . The list of nouns follows in pages 3 to 7.Lesson 2 Glossary of nouns and verbs in Tamil These are the common nouns and verbs used in spoken Tamil.

) (col.Members of a family Mother Father Parent Son Daughter Baby Brother (elder) Sister (elder) Sir Madam Hello / Salutations Thank you Sorry Language Word Speaking / Speech Who Where How Why When How many How much &# " ! & . &# &# " " #)&*! & $ ! $ ' & "" $ $ " $ & $ (col. (colloquial.) ! )&* $$ + ! + & # $ $ & " ( & # '' + '' & Brother (younger) Sister (younger) Grandfather Grandmother Grandson Granddaughter Relative(s) $ & # & & Greetings & Common Expressions Please !! Yes $$ No / Not ' $ Okay & & But $ && $ Language & Speech #+$ ( # Silence Letter (mail) Letter (of alphabet) What Here There This way / Thus That way For this reason For that reason Now Then This many That many This much That much People Youth Elderly Person Student School Studies Religion God Mind ! ! $+ $ $ # & $ & $ $ ( && )&* )&* & & . .) Nouns used in questions (Interrogative nouns) Man (mankind) $ & & People $ " Man '+ " Woman ' Male / Manhood ' + '$# Female/ Womanhood '+ '$# Birth Death $ ' $ 3 .

Marriage Age Child Teenager House / Home Room Door Window Stairs Cot Bed Table Chair Floor Festival Greetings Gift Wedding Birthday Body Head Brain Hair Face Eye Ear Nose Mouth Tongue Teeth Lips Cheek Neck Shoulder Chest World Nation Government Army $+ ! ' $ (col.( & # ' $ ! $ ! $ + ' & (# & & )&* & # Festivals & Occasions Invitation Guest Fasting Feasting $ ' $ & & " + # $ "# $ $ $ ' $ ! & && $ ( " $ $ The body and related Heart Hand Finger Stomach Hip Leg Foot Back Bone Breath Sleep Hunger Pain Disease Medicine World Affairs $ $ &# Law Power Capacity Right $ $ $# $# 4 ! $ # ! $ $ $ $ $+ & ! $ & $ .) ! ( & # & Conscience Thought Civilization / Culture Home Wall Ladder Bureau Kitchen Oven / Stove Cooking Vessel Food Plate Ladle $ & '' $ & $ $ # && # $ # & # ( + .

Commercial Terms Money Price Worth Own / Ownership Job / Work Salary One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Zero Point (decimal) Direction East West North South Side Left Right Front / Infront Rear / Behind Today Tomorrow Yesterday That day Day/ Days Week Month Year Morning Evening Night Daytime Early morning ' $ # $ & # $ & + & $ Expense(s) Trade (noun) Profit Loss Shop ! & $ $ # $ " $ Numerals (grammatical / colloquial) Ten Twenty Thirty Forty Fifty Sixty Seventy Eighty Ninety Hundred Thousand Above / Upper Below / Lower At the bottom In the middle Inside / Inner Outside / Outer In the gap Around Position / Place + $ & #$ ( ' '' & ! $ $ & "" + " "! + ! $ " +& + $ + + ( + '' & + & $ & +$ ' & )&* +& #)&* + )&* ( & ! $ "" # ( $ $ $ & + $ && & + && Nouns related to Directions / Location +$ ( + ( ! Nouns related to Time Time (period) & Hour / Time (real) & "# Minute & Second & Day (of the week) & "+& " Sunday $ Monday $ $ Tuesday $ Wednesday # Thursday $ # Friday Saturday # $ $ ' &$ $ & ( $# &! ! & " ! & ! ( & "" & 5 .

vegetables ( !) and food ingredients ! $ ! # ( 6 .Geological terms Earth Soil Sand Way / Route Distance Height Water Air Sun Moon Banana Mango Grapes Lemon Pomegranate Tomato Greens Cabbage Coconut Onion Plant Leaf Flower Animal Dog Cat Cow Buffalo Bull Cattle (in general) Goat Pig Horse Bird Hen/Rooster/Chicken Duck Parrot Owl Dove $ $ ' $ ' ( ! $ $ $+ ! & & Fruits ( (# $ $ # $ $ # $ )&* )&* # ! ! $ "# " # &+& ( $ ( $ '' Light / Bright Dark Sky Cloud Rain Wetness / Moisture Sea Island Heat Cold Potato Lady’s finger Eggplant/ Brinjal Raw Banana Rice (raw) Salt Chilli Gram / Pulses Egg Flour Plants # Thorn Tree Root Common animals $ & ! &# $# "# $ & # # ( " & # $ Donkey Monkey Elephant Tiger Lion Bear Fish Snake Lizard Insect Common birds Cuckoo Peacock Crow Vulture Crane # )&* ! &# )&* $ & $ $ ( $ " $ $ " $ ! $ & $+ $ $ $ (# $ " # ( & & # (# $" $ $ # ! ! ( $).

e. & " " When the conjunction of two or more nouns (or pronouns) is to be shown. the word ‘$ $’ is added to the noun or pronoun.g. i. 7 .g.: Only potato ( Just father ( # ( & ) ) and I (& &) – – # ( & $ $& & $$ $ $ The list of commonly used verbs follows in pages 8 & 9.Abstract Nouns Right Wrong Truth Lies Difficulty Ease Strength Emotion Happiness Sadness Anger Jealousy/ Envy Confusion Suspicion /Doubt Respect/ Reverence Pride Honesty Good (noun) Bad / Evil (noun) Harm Freedom Use Size /Amount Hurry (noun) Loudness Softness Beauty $ $# & ' # $ & # $ $ $ $ &$# ( & ! $ + '$# $ $ $ ' $ ! " ( $ $ $# ( & $ $ Note: • To obtain the plural form of a noun. “ E.g. E.: Son ($ House ( • &) ) – – Sons : $ Houses : " ” is added to the singular form.: The horse ( #) and the carriage ( Both you (& ) and I (& &) Mother ( $$ ) too / Mother also & ) – – – #! $ & & ! $& & $ $$ $ ! $ • When the meaning of ‘something only’ or ‘just something’ is to be conveyed. E. the phrase “ $ ” is added to both nouns. for ‘and’ or ‘too’.

etc.Verbs (in alphabetical order) Absorb/ Suck (liquids) Accept Act Allow Announce Approach Arrange Awaken Bathe Be Be troubled/disturbed Blab Bump Bump hard Buy Cheat Clean Cleanse Close Come Correct Create / Produce Crush Cut (Transitive+) Cut/Snap (Intransitive+) Dance Deal (with) Decompose Demolish Do Dry (Intransitive+) Eat Feel Fly Forget Get down / Get off Get up Give Go Grasp Grind Hate Heat Help )&* ! & & $ ' ( " " $ )&* $ # $ $ # & + " Hide / Conceal Hit / Strike Invite Jump Know Let go Lick Live Lock Look Love Manage Move (Budge) Move (Intransitive+) Move (Transitive+) Organize Pick / Choose Play Play (music.) Press / Depress Print Push Put Read Report / Notify Rinse Run Scold / Abuse Sell Separate / Detach Shake (Intransitive+) Shake (Transitive+) Sing Sit Slap Sleep Snatch / Pluck Speak Stand Stay Stay (Reside) Steal Stick / Glue Stink $ (# + & ( & & # & & $# ! ( "" + # # + ( $ " ( ! ' $ )&* ( + ( & + # ! # # )&* & )&* & 8 .

they signify commands/ instructions. You come = & . we just add ‘ ’ to the infinitive form. E.Stop (Intransitive+) Stop (Transitive+) Suffer Suppress Think / Count Think / Plan Turn (Intransitive+) Turn (Transitive+) Unload Untie Uphold Walk & & '' ! $ (+ &$ & ( Take Tear Test / Prove Touch Wander Want / Like / Wish Wash Weep Work Write Yell ( & # $ # ( # ( ! + Some verbs have both Transitive and Intransitive applications.. As they stand. we & Infinitive form of verb To sit To go To walk & To make negative commands of these verbs. Note: • • These are the root verbs. ‘to write’ ( ( ). ‘ ’/‘ ’ or ‘ ’ to the verbs. in the sense: “You do not come” = & . E. Command Sit Go Walk • ).inf. Intransitive verbs are those which convey an action that is performed by the subject itself in the expression – such as ‘shake’ in ‘The building shook during the earthquake’.: ( .g.g.for negative command] 0 ( (don’t write) Command Sit Go Walk & Infinitive form of verb To sit To go To walk & Negative Command Don’t sit Don’t go Don’t walk & 9 . form] / . To convert these verbs into infinitives like ‘to come’ ( should add ‘ ’. Transitive verbs are those which act on an object directly in the expression – such as ‘shake’ in ‘The boy is shaking the tree’.

“is” is not written. Little Girl: Student: Students: Carpenter: Insect: Elderly Person: Worms: Little Boy: Leaves: Workers: Father Work " & # " ( " " & # # Remember that “)&* "” / “ "” is added to a singular noun to make it plural. 4. & (He) / && (What) / & (Carpenter) 0 # (Work) 0 && & & (He is a carpenter) # (What is the work?) In Tamil. 2. They: 8. 4. 6. She: 7.g. 10. He: 6.Lesson 3 Pronouns & Nouns Pronouns & & & )&* " & & )&* " & " " # # ! && Nouns $ $ ' & $ ' & $ ( ! " 1. E. It is understood. 10 . 7. 2. 9. They (those): 11. 1. They (these): 10. 3. 2. 12. I: We: You: You (Plural/ Respectful): 5. What 1. 8. Exercise: Pair the appropriate pronouns and nouns. Who 12. It: 9. 5. 3. 11.

(col. 3. & (col. 6. 8. 11. E. 9.) 6.Lesson 4 Pronouns in the genitive / possessive case & Nouns Pronouns (possessive) My/ Mine: & Our/ Ours: )&* " Your: & Your (Plu/Resp): )&* " His: & ! + Hers: " ! + Their: "& Its: & Their (Neuter): # "& Their (Neuter): # "& Whose: ! ! +! Of Which: & ! Nouns $ )&* # & '' & " # # ' # & 1. 4.) 5. 7. 7. 10. 5. 9. 3. 1.) 12.g. 2. 2. " (col. 11. 12. Book: Kid Sister: Vehicle: Elder Brother: House: Nests: Work: Dress: Food: Price: Pen: Key: Exercise: Pair the appropriate pronouns and nouns from above. 10. 2. " (Her) / & which?) # (Dress) 0 " # (Her dress) & ! (the key of ! (Of Which) / (Key) 0 11 . 4. 8. 1.

Exercise: Pair the appropriate pronouns and verbs from above. 8. 11. 5. 11. 8.Lesson 5 Pronouns in the accusitive case & Verbs Pronouns (accusitive) Me: &&# Us: )&* "# You: &&# You (Plu/Resp): )&* "# Him: &# Her: "# Them: "# It: # These: # "# Those: # "# Whom: ! # Which: # Verbs (commands / instructions) look: touch: ask: " catch: deal: $ " leave: send: & wake: ( count: '' stop: & to invite: (# to give: 1. E. the verb is always placed last. 12. 3. 1. 10. 12. 6. 4. ! # (Whom) / (# 12 . 5. &&# (Me) / (Touch) 0 &&# (to invite) 0 ! (Touch me) # (# (Whom to invite?) In Indian languages. 2. 4. 9. 7. 2.g. 3. 9. 6. 2. 1. 10. 7.

12. " (With Her) / (With What) / with what?) (Speak) 0 " (Speak with her) (To combine (to combine) 0 13 .Lesson 6 Pronouns denoting association & Verbs Pronouns (associative) With Me: && With Us: )&* " With You: && With You (Plu/Resp): )&* " With Him: & With Her: " With Them: " With It: With These: # " With Those: # " With Whom: ! With What: Verbs (commands / instructions) accept: " come: walk: & go: associate: ( speak: play: " ! eat: think: ! take away: & to eat: to combine: 1. 2. 6. 7. 11. 4. 2.g. Exercise: Pair the appropriate pronouns and verbs from above. 5. 12. 10. 4. E. 9. 10. 1. 5. 7. 3. 9. 11. 8. 3. 1. 2. 8. 6.

If we add ! $ means ‘is possible’ and $ either of these to combinations of pronouns and relevant infinitive verbs from above. 2. 5. 2. 12. 11. we get the full sense of the expression – ‘is possible’ or ‘is not possible’. 3. 10. $ $ ! $1$ ! ! means ‘is not possible’. 3. 6.Lesson 7 Pronouns in the instrumental case & Verbs Pronouns (instrumental) By Me: && By Us: )&* " By You: && By You (Plu/Resp): )&* " By Him & By Her " By Them " By It & By These: # " By Those: # " By Who: ! By What: & Verbs (infintive) to deal: $ " to come: to do: !! to suppress: to turn: to speak: to stand: & to stop: to walk: & to give: to buy: )&* to open: 1. 6. 8. Exercise: Pair the appropriate pronouns and infintive verbs from the table and add $ $ E. 5. 1.g. )&* & " (By Us) / )&* (By What) / & " !! (to do) / $ !! $ $ ! (to open) / $ ! 0 ! $0 (It is not possible by us to do) ! . 9. 8. 12. 4. ! $+ ! $ (With what is it possible to open?) 14 . 4. 10. 7. 2. 7. 9. 1. 11.

Peace: Grouse: Protection: Pleasure: Tiredness: Praise: Concern: Fear: Support: Enthusiasm: Need: Use: Exercise: Pair the appropriate pronouns and abstract nouns from above. 9. 6. 1. E. 10. 4. 6. 12. 3. 1. 10. 2.Lesson 8 Pronouns denoting recipients (Dative) & Abstract Nouns Pronouns (dative) For Me: & For Us: )&* " For You: & For You (Plur/ Resp): )&* " For Him: & For Her: " For Them: " For It: For These: # " For Those: # " For Whom: ! For What: Abstract Nouns & $$ $ $ " ( # $ $ # ! $ 1. 5. ! need?) " for her) (For Whom) / # (Need) 0 ! # (For whom is the (For Her) / (Support) 0 " (support 15 . 9. 3. 8. 12. 7. 2.g. 2. 11. 8. 11. 7. 5. 4.

9. 3.Lesson 9 Pronouns in the locative case & Abstract / General Nouns Pronouns (locative) In Me: && $ In Us: )&* " $ In You: && $ In You (Plu/Resp): )&* " $ In Him: & $ In Her: " $ In Them: " $ In It: In These: # " In Those: # " In Whom: ! $ In What: Abstract & General Nouns Belief: & $ # Suspicion: & $ Anger: $ Defeat: Courage: ' Affection: & Argument: $ Attention: & $ Confusion: ( $ Truth: '$# Grouse: $ Interest: # 1.g. “ ” (In It) or “ & $” –also implying a sense of “with”. 8. 2. 8. 2. 6. 11. Exercise: Pair the appropriate pronouns and abstract nouns from above. 11. 1. 6. 2. 4. 7. 5. 12. 1. 5. 10. Note: The case ending for pronouns associated with non-living things is “ ” – while the case ending for pronouns of living things is “ example. 7. 10. 3. For $” (In Him or With Him). 9. E. 12. 4. && $ (In You) / (In What) / $ (Anger) 0 && # (Interest) 0 $ $ (angry with you) # (Interest in what?) 16 .

”–“ Exercise: Pair the appropriate pronouns and nouns from above. 5. 4. 10. 6. 9. 2. Note: These pronouns (in the ablative case) are the same as in Lesson 9 (in the locative case) except for the addition of the term “ us. 11. 2. 10. & $ & & $ & & & $ & & & & 1. etc. from & ” (From It). 8. 6.Lesson 10 Pronouns in the ablative case & Abstract / General Nouns Pronouns (ablative) From Me: && $ From Us: )&* " From You: && $ From You (Plu/Resp): )&* " From Him: & $ From Her: " $ From Them: " From It: & From These: # " From Those: # " From Whom: ! $ From What: & Abstract & General Nouns Money: Honey: & Fragrance: $ ' $ Reward: Censure: Flower: Blessing: Respect: $ ! # Affection: & Advice: $ Reply: Sweetness: & 1. 8. 4.g. 7. 12. 3. “ ”+“ & & ” which gives the meaning – from me. 11. E. 12. ! & $ (From It) / $ ' $ (Fragrance) 0 & (From Whom) / (Reply) 0 ! & $ ' $ $ & (fragrance from it) (Reply from whom?) 17 . For example. 9. 5. 7. 1. 3. 2.

7. $ & #2 2 etc. ‘of the boy’ or boy’s. ‘for the boy’. Similarly. All nouns are treated as “3rd person”. 6. unlike pronouns. The study may seem a bit complicated by the classification of pronouns into 1st person (singular & plural). we learnt the different stances of pronouns caused by different contexts. 4. ‘with the boy’. 8. like “ “ ”. Let us now taken an example – “boy” ( !! & in Tamil). In Tamil. When the nouns end with a vowel. all nouns can be declined. 2. These are: Noun Case Subjective: Accusative: Instrumental: Associative: Dative: Ablative: Genitive /Possessive: Locative: Letters Attached nil /# / / / / / / $ ! $ & Resultant Word !! & !! & / # 0 !! &# !! & / 0 !! & !! & / 0 !! & !! & / 0 !! & !! & / $ & 0 !! & $ & !! & / ! 0 !! & ! !! & / $0 !! & $ Meaning boy the boy by the boy with the boy to/for the boy from the boy boy’s in the boy ” and #2 !! &” (boy) are indicated by the different 1. The appended letters/words are all the same as for “3rd person” in Pronouns. 3. the differing statuses of the word “ tagging letters. 2nd person (singular & plural) and 3rd person (singular & plural). the appendages start with a ‘ ’ e. ‘in the boy’ and ‘from the boy’. 5. The different cases of the noun “boy” are: ‘the boy’.Lesson 11 Nouns and Case Endings In the lessons 3 – 10. ‘to/for the boy’.g. In the case of nouns. ‘by the boy’. (This is explained in Lesson 14 – ‘Vowels and case endings’) 18 . there is no such complication.

some of the verbs do not quite conform to this arrangement. 2. 5. These verbs are conjugated separately as follows. These are the normal applications. future and past.Lesson 12 Verbs and Tenses Actions or occurences happen in three phases of time: present. 6. 3. 19 . Most of the verbs listed in the Glossary of Lesson 2 can be conjugated by the addition of letters as follows: Present / & / ! / Future &+ !+ + Past &+& & !+& ! +& 1st Person 2nd Person 3rd Person / / / & ! / / / These additions. Verb 1. (go) ! (do) person 1 person 2 person 3 person 1 person 2 person 3 person rd nd st rd nd st Present tense & ! ! ! ! & ! Future tense & ! ! ! ! & ! Past tense & & & ! & ! ! ! & ! Remarks However. 4. indicating tenses. are given below. The phases in which they happen are indicated by the addition of some letters to the root verb.

#. 2nd and 3rd person. 16.7. 14. is contained in 20 . 24. Present tense ( # ( # ( # Future tense ( ( ( # # # Past tense ( # ( # ( # * The explanation for how ( / #0 ( Lesson 14 – ‘Vowels and case endings’. the infinitive form is ( (to write). 20. 15. 17. d.o. 23. d. 12. 19. 8. (give) To express the negative sense of these verbs. and # (going to not) in the case of future tense.o. 10. 22. 11. Hence. 21. etc. to the infinitive form of the verb we add # (not) in the case of present and past tenses. 18. 9. (take) (see/look) (eat) (come) & (stand) 1st person 2 person 3rd person 1 person 2 person 3 person 1 person 2 person 3rd person 1st person 2 person 3 person 1 person 2 person 3 person 1st person 2 person 3 person rd nd rd nd st rd nd nd st rd nd st nd & ! & & & & ! & ! & ! & ! & ! & & & & ! & ! & ! & ! & ! & ! & & & && && && & ! & ! & ! ‘ ’ becomes ‘ 3 ‘& ’ becomes ‘& ’ change in past tense )&* )&* )&* & ! & ! & ! d. For example: When the verb is ( the negative terms are: Verb ( (write) person 1 person 2nd person 3rd person st (write).o. 13. The case is same with 1st.

In English. Adjectives are also formed by adding the letters ” (‘with’ and ‘without’. II. Examples: (firmness) ! & ( ! ( / & ) means firm. to denote the existence of a quality. 21 . etc. is contained in * The explanation for how / & 0 Lesson 14 – ‘Vowels and case endings’. ”. respectively). Take the word “soft”. “hard” and “hardness”. This is invariably true for the formation of most adjectives and therefore. to denote the absence of the quality. the process is simplified – just adding the appropriate suffixes to abstract nouns. etc. and the adjective is the derived word. The three commonest suffixes are “ & ” and “ "" ”. in Tamil. and “ I. $# (sharpness) $ ! & (sharp) $ ! (blunt) ! & . Whereas.Lesson 13 Adjectives There is a marked difference in the formation of adjectives – words which describe the qualities of nouns – in English and Tamil. “cruel” and “cruelty”. Similarly. the converse holds good. “4 primary and from it is derived the adjective “ “ "" ” or “ & $” (hardness) is the & $ & ” (hard) by the addition of the letters “ & ”. The abstract noun is the primary and causal. * / ) means unstable. From this word is derived the abstract quality of ‘softness’. adjectives are causal and primary.

III. (intelligence) ! "" (intelligent) – ! (dull) – / / "" etc. There are. primary / causal words qualifying nouns as well. A few examples of the latter variety are given below. of course. These are not as many as the former variety. In the following page. a) b) c) & d) ! (fierce) $ (equal) (good) (bad) etc. there are two elementary exercises in adjectives. 22 .

6. 6. "" & $$ ! & & $ & "" 23 . 10. 5. 11. 10. Tree: Machine: Road: Gait: Student Fruit: Stick: Food: Cloth: Floor: Girl: Friend: Adjective Exercise 2: Give the opposites of the following adjectives keeping in mind that “ & ” and “ "" ” are the opposites of “ ” Root Abstract Noun ( = taste) ( = intelligence) (& $$ = peace) ( & $ = hardness) ( = interest) 1. 11. 12. 7. 2. 4. 4. 2. 12. 5. 9. 3.Adjective Exercise 1: Pair the nouns and adjectives from below: Adjectives 4 ! #! & ( ! & )&* ! & & $ )&* & & & & $ & ( Nouns $ $ ! & $ # & # $ ' & ( $ $ ' ' # ' & ' & 1. 8. 3. 8. 2. 7. 5. Raw: Rare: Pretty: Tasty: Old: Intimate: Special: Stout: Erect: Long: Novel: Wet: 1. 4. 3. 9.

‘ & 3 added to the ‘ is Changes are the same as in locative case. or /# 0 /# 0 /# 0 $$ / / / / # # # Initial vowel of suffix changes into !. What the changes are. In such cases. When they follow a noun ending with a vowel (like . ! or is dropped $ /# 0 /# 0 $ !# !# 0 $$ 0 0 0 & ! " / / )&* # / )&* # 0 "! 0 0 ( is dropped) Possessive case: [Suffix = ! / &] Locative case: [Suffix = $] Ablative case: / &0 / ! 0 / / $0 $0 $ / &0 $ !& &) *# / ! 0 )&* #! ! $ $ / $0 ! $ $’.g. the different positions which the nouns assume are obtained. . All case endings start with a vowel. “for the boy”. ! . etc. For e. In the ablative case.Lesson 14 Vowels and Case Endings In the earlier lessons. $ ' ) the two vowel-sounds combine to form a compound word. the vowels undergo a change. “with the boy”. ] Dative case: [Suffix = ] or or or or # Initial vowel of suffix changes into . are given in the table below: Ending vowel of the word: Change in the vowel : Accusitive case: [Suffix = #] Instrumental or Associative case: [Suffix = . we saw that when case-endings are added on to nouns (or pronouns). “by the boy”. 24 .

it denotes the opposite meaning.Lesson 15 Miscellaneous: & $1 & $ & $” means ‘is wanted’ or ‘is These two words have opposite meanings. it gives the meaning of desire or need.) & & && " & ! & & $ 5 & & & $ & $ 6 $ * = relationship & $ $ I want your book 25 . “ & $” means ‘don’t want’ or ‘no need’.g.g. They are written either after a noun or after a verb in infinitive form. of ‘don’t $ = He does not need help] Exercise 1: [e. (Vide earlier lessons for meanings of words. [e. When “ When “ & $” follows a noun. “ needed’ or ‘must’. ' $ & $ = I want money] $” follows a noun. & & want’ or ‘no need’. & & Translate the following sentences in Tamil into English.

& & ( & [e. & $ = I want to write]. & $” follows an infinitive verb. it gives the meaning ‘must not’/’no need $ = She need not weep].g.When “ When “ to’. (Vide earlier lessons for meanings of words. it indicates intent (must/ want to). " ( & Translate the following sentences in Tamil into English. Exercise 2: [e.) ( & # & & $ # &&# & $ $5 # & & $ " ! & $ & " & $ * & $ $ = daily $ $ & $ & $ The child must play 26 .g. $” follows an infinitive.

along with near-equivalents in English: $ (# !! # & &#& " $& # ( & & $ ! ! It rains The sun is beating down dress got wet the tank filled up head ached the festival took place got hurt 27 . be objects in the sentence that are affected by the actions. these verbs are to be read as actions happening ‘by themselves’.e. The following are examples of sentences in Tamil in which these verbs appear. i.Lesson 16 Miscellaneous: intransitive verbs There are some verbs in Tamil which are used in a sentence without a direct subject. however. The grammatical notations for these verbs differ as well. When used. There may. without direct subjects.

7. My mother Look (at the) sea Go with Gowri from (the) school in the village (village 0 $ $) height of the hill (hill 0 $ #) gift for younger sister possible by him not possible by you I want rest (rest 0 ! ) ! Adjectives: 1. 9.Recollection Exercises Translate the following sentences in English into Tamil. 8. 5. 9. I shall go for the wedding You sing with emotion Guhan went to (a) shop Where will you go? Carpenter is making (a) chair Elder sister read (a) book Boy stands in the street (street 0 I shall give you money Friend ate food I took photo (photo 0 ) Verbs: ) 28 . 6. 2. tall man white flower strong hand dark room hard work long road wet floor beautiful temple intelligent people tasty food (temple 0 ) 1. 6. 4. 2. 7. 10. Case Endings of Nouns & Pronouns: & $$ + & 1. 10. 3. 7. 4. 9. 8. 8. 2. 4. 10. 5. 5. 3. 6. 3.

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