Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Let's Learn Sinhalese in English 7



We are now going to learn another important tense in Sinhala. Some grammarians say this is equivalent to the continuous tense in English. There is similarity of course, but I see more than that. It is “richer” than the English continuous tense (so, I call this tense “continual tense”). That is, the English continuous tense says something happening at a particular moment, and so is this Sinhala continual tense. However, Sinhala continual tense gives the impression that the action continues on and on. In English the meaning is closer to “keep doing”.

To make this continual tense verb, you first remove “-nava:” from the “nava:” verb, and suffix “-min” to it. Afer this newly constructed “-min verb”, you must put “innava:” or “sitinava:”.

Karanava: -> karamin innava: / karamin sitinava: (am/is/are doing or keep doing)

Natanava: -> natamin innava: (am/is/are dancing or keep dancing)

Kanava: -> kamin innava: (am/is/are eating or keep eating)

Sellam karanava: -> sellam karamin innava: (am/is/are playing or keep plaing)

Kaehae gahanava: -> kaehae gahamin innava: (am/is/are shouting or keep shouting)

There is another form of the continual tense too. To make that, you remove “-nava:” as usual, and you double the remaining verb part. After that, you put “innava:” or “sitinava:”.

Karanava: -> kara kara innava: / kara kara sitinava: (am/is/are doing or keep doing)

Natanava: -> nata nata innava: (am/is/are dancing or keep dancing)

Kanava: -> ka ka: innava: (am/is/are eating or keep eating)

Sellam karanava: -> sellam kara kara innava: (am/is/are playing or keep playing)

Kaehae gahanava: -> kaehae gaha gaha innava: (am/is/are shouting or keep shouting)

Now let’s make some sentences with the continual tense. As you can clearly see, even the continual tense verb has a “nava:” verb (innava: ) in it.

Amma: bath uyamin innava: /sitinava:.
Amma: bath uya uya innava: /sitinava:.
(The mother is cooking rice. Or the mother keeps cooking.)

Mama potha liyamin innava: .
Mama potha liya liya innava: .

(I am writing the book. Or I keep writing the book.)

Lamai pittaniye: sellam karamin innava: .
Lamai pittaniye: sellam kara kara innava:

(Children are playing in the playground.)

Now you can easily form the past and future times of the continual tense by applying the rules you have already learned. The continual tense verb has “innava:” (or “sitinava:”), and therefore it can be regarded as a normal “nava:” verb when you are to modify the verb. Thus, the past tense is formed simply by using the past tense form of the “innava:” verb (that is, “hitiya:”), and the future tense by using the future tense form of it (that is, “hi’mdi:vi”). 

Kara kara innava: /sitinava: -> kara kara hitiya: (was/were doing or kept doing)

karamin innava: /sitinava:  -> karamin hitiya: (was/were doing or kept doing)

Uyamin innava: -> uyamin hitiya: (was/were cooking or kept cooking)

Uya uya innava: -> uya uya hitiya: (was/were cooking or kept cooking)

Kara kara innava: -> kara kara hi’mdi:vi (will be doing or will keep doing)

Karamin innava: -> karamin hi’mdi:vi (will be doing or will keep doing)

Uyamin innava: -> uyamin hi’mdi:vi (will be cooking or will keep cooking)

Uya uya innava: -> uya uya hi’mdi:vi (will be cooking or will keep cooking)

Let’s make some sentence in past and future times of the continual tense. From this moment on, I will just write the conitinuous form only to give the meaning of Sinhala continual tense.

Balla: i:ye bura bura hitiya: .
Balla: i:ye buramin hitiya: .
(The dog was barking yesterday.)

Lamai sellam kara kara hitiya: .
Lamai sellam karamin hitiya: .
(The children were playing.)

Eya: geyak hada hada hi’mdi:vi.
Eya: geyak hadamin hi’mdi:vi.
(He/She will be building a house.)

Nangi dhavasema a’mdamin hi’mdi:vi.
Nangi dhavasema a’mda a’mda hi’mdi:vi.
(Younger sister will be crying the whole day.)

You must know how to make other variants (negative statement, questions, tag questions) of this tense in all three times (present, past, future). It’s not difficult at all because once again you have to simply follow the rules you already know.

In addition to the usual sentence pattern for the negative variants (that is, negative statement and negative question), there is another popular method. Here, we use “neme:” (instead of “naehae”), and put it just before the “inne:” or “hitiye:”. And in the case of negative question, you append “-dha” (which denotes a question) to the “neme:” (like “neme:dha”). Carefully see the following examples.

Amma: bath uyamin inne: naehae.
Amma: bath uyamin neme: inne: .
(The mother is not cooking rice.)

Amma: bath uya uya inne: naehae.
Amma: bath uya uya neme: inne: .
(The mother is not cooking rice.)

Mama potha liyamin/liya liya inne: naehae.
Mama potha liyamin/liya liya neme: inne: .
(I am not writing the book.)


Amma: bath uyamin/uya uya hitiye: naehae.
Amma: bath uyamin/uya uya neme: hitiye: .
(The mother was not cooking rice.)

Mama potha liyamin/liya liya hitiye: naehae.
Mama potha liyamin/liya liya neme: hitiye: .
(I was not writing the book.)


Amma: bath uyamin/uya uya inna ekak naehae.
(The mother will not be cooking rice.)

Mama potha liyamin/liya liya inna ekak naehae.
(I will not be writing the book.)

Negative questions.

Amma: bath uyamin/uya uya inne: naedhdha?
Amma: bath uyamin/uya uya neme:dha inne:?
(Is the mother not cooking rice?)

Mama potha liyamin/liya liya inne: naedhdha?
Mama potha liyamin/liya liya neme:dha inne?
(Am I not writing the book?)


Amma: bath uyamin/uya uya hitiye: naedhdha?
Amma: bath uyamin/uya uya neme:dha hitiye:?
(Was the mother not cooking rice?)

Mama potha liyamin/liya liya hitiye: naedhdha?
Mama potha liyamin/liya liya neme:dha hitiye:?
(Was I not writing the book?)


Amma: bath uyamin/uya uya inna ekak naedhdha?
(Will the mother not be cooking rice?)

Mama potha liyamin/liya liya inna ekak naedhdha?
(Will I not be writing the book?)

Positive questions. Here too, we have another popular form. You just suffix question-making “-dha” to the “min verb” or its other alternative as follows. Then, “innava:” is changed to “inne:”, and “hitiya:” to “hitiye:”.

Amma: bath uyamin  innava:dha?
Amma: bath uyamindha inne:?
(Is the mother cooking?)

Amma: bath uya uya innava:dha?
Amma: bath uya uyadha inne:?
(Is the mother cooking?)

Mama potha liyamin innava:dha?
Mama potha liyamindha inne:?
(Am I writing the book?)

Mama potha liya liya innava:dha?
Mama potha liya liyadha inne:?
(Am I writing the book?)


Amma: bath uyamin hitiya:dha?
Amma: bath uyamindha hitiye:?
(Was the mother cooking rice?)

Amma: bath uya uya hitiya:dha?
Amma: bath uya uyadha hitiye:?
(Was the mother cooking rice?)

Mama potha liyamin hitiya:dha?
Mama potha liyamindha hitiye:?
(Was I writing the book?)

Mama potha liya liya hitiya:dha?
Mama potha liya liyadha hitiye:?
(Was I writing the book?)


Amma: bath uyamin/uya uya hi’mdi:vidha?
(Will the mother be cooking?)

Mama potha liyamin/liya liya hi’mdi:vidha?
(Will I be writing the book?)

Tag questions. Again, there is the usual alternative form here too. You put “ne:dha” just before “inne:” or “hitiye:”

Amma: bath uyamin/uya uya innava: ne:dha?
Amma: bath uyamin/uya uya ne:dha inne:?
(The mother is cooking rice. Isn’t she?)

Mama potha liyamin/liya liya inne naehae ne:dha?
Mama potha liyamin/liya liya neme: ne:dha inne:?
(I am not writing the book. Am I?)


Amma: bath uyamin/uya uya hitiye: naeahe ne:dha?
Amma: bath uyamin/uya uya neme: ne:dha hitiye:?
(The mother was not cooking rice. Was she?)

Mama potha liyamin/liya liya hitiya: ne:dha?
Mama potha liyamin/liya liya ne:dha hitiye:?
(I was writing the book. Wasn’t I?)


Amma: bath uyamin/uya uya hi’mdi:vi ne:dha?
(The mother will be cooking rice. Won’t she?)

Mama potha liyamin/liya liya inna ekak naehae ne:dha?
(I will not be writing the book. Will I?)

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