Verb Roots / Verb Suffixes

Verb Roots

A verb root is just that – the basic form of a verb to which suffixes are added. By adding suffixes, you can create all the different tenses in Thamil.

Verbs roots, by themselves, can be used as commands. A command is a statement requesting something to be done.

Weak / Strong Verbs

Thamil verbs have been organized into 7 classes based on the changes made when adding suffixes. Weak verbs refer to verbs in classes 1-4. Strong verbs refer to verbs in classes 6-7. There are no more than 10 or so verbsin class 5, so we’ll leave it alone.

Verb Suffixes

When verbs show action in a sentence, a suffix is added to the verbs that match up with the subject of the sentence. Each pronoun is associated with a verb suffix. This means that if a pronoun appears in a sentence, then its corresponding verb suffix is adding to the end of the verb. (Verb suffixes are also known as PGN or PNG suffixes.) The table below shows pronouns and the corresponding verb suffixes:

Singluar Plural

Pronoun Verb Suffix Pronoun Verb Suffix
1st Person நான் -ஏன் நாம் -ஓம்
நாங்கள் -ஓம்
2nd Person நீ -ஆய் நீங்கள் -ஈர்கள்
நீங்கள் -ஈர்கள்
3rd Person அவன் -ஆன் அவர்கள் -ஆர்கள்
அவள் -ஆள்
அவர் -ஆர்
அது -அது(past/present tense)
-உம் (future tense)
அவை N/A* (past/present tense)
-உம் (future tense)

*Present tense verbs used with அவை are made differently. Since அது and அவை present quite a few excpetions, [verbs with அது, அவை] will be taught later.

If the subject of the sentence isn’t a pronoun, then the subject will have a related pronoun. Then the verb suffix corresponding to the related prnoun is added to the verb. Ex:

  • verb suffix for கமலா = -ஆள்
  • verb suffix for அவள் = -ஆள்
  • verb suffix for மணி = ஆன்
  • verb suffix for அவன் = ஆன்

Some Weak Verbs
விளையாடு play
தூங்கு sleep
உட்கார் sit
வாங்கு buy, receive
ஓடு run

Some Strong Verbs
படி read
கொடு give
பார் see
நினை think