Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Let's Learn Sinhalese in English 9



There are two nice and short methods to make verbs out of adjectives in Sinhala. Even in English you can do the same (to make a verb out of an adjective using “make” or “get/become”). However, most if not all the Sinhala verbs constructed like this are independent valid verbs on their own.

If you add “karanava:” after an adjective, you get a verb as follows. As you can see, it has “make adjective” as the English meaning. The type of verb formed this way is an intentional verb (doing something intentionally).


Lassana (beautiful) -> lassana karanava: (make beautiful, beautify, decorate)


Kaetha (ugly) -> kaetha karanava: (make ugly, disfigure, tarnish)


Dhiga (long) -> dhiga karanava: (make long, lengthen)


Kota (short) -> kota karanava: (make short, shorten, abbreviate)


Kalavam (mixed) -> kalavam karanava: (make mixed, mix)


Sathutu (happy) -> sathutu karanava: (make merry, amuse)


Sudhu (white) -> sudhu karanava: (make white, whiten)


Kalu (black) -> kalu karanava: (make black, blacken, make dark)


Another way to make a verb out of an adjective is to add “venava:” after the adjective. The English meaning is like “become/get adjective”. The type of verb formed in this way is an automatic verb (doing without a purpose).


Lassana (beautiful) -> lassana venava: (become beautiful)


Kaetha (ugly) -> kaetha venava: (become ugly)


Dhiga (long) -> dhiga venava: (become long)


Kota (short) -> kota venava: (become short)


Sathutu (happy) -> sathutu venava: (get happy, have fun, enjoy)


Sudhu (white) -> sudhu venava: (become white, become fair-complexioned)


Kalu (black) -> kalu venava: (become black, become dark-complexioned)


These two methods are used to make Sinhala verbs out of Sinhala nouns; and to make Sinhala verbs out of  English nouns or verbs or adjectives too (these English nouns/verbs/adjectives are popular or common among Sinhala speakers). However, you can’t make verbs from any Sinhala noun or any English noun/verb/adjective. Because we re-use the same word, you can easily increase your working vocabulary.


Sellam (games) -> sellam karanava: (do games, play)


Katha: (talks) -> katha: karanava: (do talks, talk)


Chu: (urine) -> chu: karanava: (urinate)


Dhaduvam (punishments) -> dhaduvam karanava: (punish)




Sex -> sex karanava: (have sex)


Powder -> powder karanava: (grind to powder, powder)




On -> on karanava: (turn on)


Off -> off karanava: (turn off)


Ready -> ready karanava: (make ready)


Short -> short karanava: (make short, shorten)


Fit -> fit karanava: (fit)


Flat -> flat karanava: (flatten)




Seal -> seal karanava: (seal)


Support -> support karanava: (support)


Check -> check karanava: (check)


Kiss -> kiss karanava: (kiss)


Try -> try karanava: (try)


Repair -> repair karanava: (repair)


Plan -> plan karanava: (plan)


Play -> play karanava: (play)


Call -> call karanava: (make calls, call)


Ring -> ring karanava: (ring)


Drive -> drive karanava: (drive)


Pack -> pack karanava: (pack)


Type -> type karanava: (type)


Test -> test karanava: (test)


Study -> study karanava: (study)


Print -> print karanava: (print)


Set -> set karanava: (set, match)


If you want to say that something occurs by itself (automatically), or that something is done by something/somebody, then you can use “venava:” with suitable English verbs/nouns/adjectives.


Print -> print venava: (be/get printed)


Set -> set venava: (be/get matched)


Type -> type venava: (be/get typed)


Play -> play venava: (be/get played)


Check -> check venava: (be/get checked)




On -> on venava: (be/get switched on, become on)


Off -> off venava: (be/get switched off, become off)


Fit – fit venava: (be/get fit, become fit, fit)




Powder -> powder venava: (get/be powdered)


Actually, the above methods of making verbs out of English verbs/nouns/adjectives are very popular and common when using technical words. Even though Sinhala language has pure Sinhala technical words, they are just ignored because higher and professional education in Sri Lanka is carried out in English medium. On the other, almost all books are in English. There is a funny saying - you can easily speak Sinhala just by putting “karanava:” after each English words and “eka” after each English noun.


Now let’s make several sentences with those verbs. In addition, you can other variants (negative statement, questions, etc) very easily too.


Eya: gedhara malvalin lassana karanava: . (He decorates the house with flowers.)


Lamaya: liyumak type karanava: . (The child types a letter.)


E:ka check karanna epa: . (Don’t check it.)


Oya: ana:gathaya plan karanna. (You plan the future.)


Dhaen TV eka off karanna. (Now turn off the TV.)


Me: bulb eka me: holder ekata fit venne: naehae. (This bulb does fit to/with this holder.)


Just as in English we construct the infinitive by putting “to” in front of an English verb, we can make the infinitive in Sinhala too. Then the “nava:” part of the “-nava:” verb is substituted with “-nnata”. Often, you can do away with the “-ta” part too. If you like, you can also use “-nda” instead of “-nnata”.


Karanava: -> karannata , karanna, karanda (to do)


Kanava: -> kannata, kanna, kanda (to eat)


Bonava: -> bonnata, bonna, bonda (to drink)


As you know well, wherever a verb in whatever form is, it has the right to get an object (if possible), adverbs, or prepositional parts. It is same in Sinhala too. Thus, the verb in the infinitive can take any or all of them (when all or several of them are used, the order is not that important). In Sinhala, object, adverb, or prepositional part comes before the verb (that means here too the usual word order is maintained).


Kanava: -> bath kanna/kannata/kanda (to eat rice)

               -> ikmanin kanna/kannata/kanda (to eat quickly)

               -> panthiye: kanna/kannata/kanda (to eat in the class)

                -> panthiye: ikmanin bath kanna/kannata/kanda (to eat rice quickly in the class)


Now let’s make sentences with infinitives. Where in the sentence to put the infinitive? It is put before the main verb.


Mama kanna yanava: . (I am going to eat.)


Mama bath kanna yanava: . (I am going to eat rice.)


Mama ikmanin kanna yanava: . (I am going to eat quickly.)


Mama panthiye: kanna yanava: . (I am going to eat in the class.)


Mama bath ikmanin kanna yanava:. (I am going to eat rice quickly.)


Eya: bath kanna yanne: naehae. (He is not going to eat rice.)


To make the positive question, you can put “-dha” at the end of the verb as usual. Or you can put “-dha” at the end of the infinitive too; then the main “nava:” verb is changed to “nne:”.


Eya: bath kanna yanava:dha?
Eya: bath kannadha yanne:?
(Is he going to eat rice?)


Api football sellam karanna yanava:dha?
Api football sellam karannadha yanne:?
(Are we going to play football?)


Eya: e:ka kadanna try karanava:dha?
Eya: e:ka kadannadha try karanne:?
(Is he trying to break it?)


To make the negative question, you can put “neme:dha” after the infinitive and change the “nava: verb to “nne:”. Or you can put “naedhdha” after the main verb, and change the verb to “nne:”.


Eya: bath kanna neme:dha yanne:?
Eya: bath kanna yanne: naedhdha?

(Is he not going to eat rice?)


Eya: e:ka kadanna neme:dha try karanne:?
Eya: e:ka kadanna try karanne: naedhdha?
(Is he not trying to break it?)


In English, there is “be going to” sentence structure to say something is going to happen in the future. Sinhala too has the same sentence structure in the same meaning. You already saw this in above examples. It is “… yanava:” or “… yanne:” or “… hadhanne:” or “… hadhanava:”. In this sentence structure too, we use infinitive.


Mama sinduvak kiyanna yanava:/yanne:/hadhanne:/hadhanava: . (I am going to sing.)


Api uyanna hadanne:/yanne:/yanava:/hadhanava: . (We are going to cook.)

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