Bhante Sujato Pali Course 2023: lesson 7

I started this as a placeholder to hold the developing discussion.
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Meeting ID: 869 8997 6290
Passcode: 2023

@sujato please confirm the above … otherwise we may think there’s no class this evening. :open_mouth:

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Since Bhante hasn’t started a new thread yet, this thread is as good as any for me to post this file.

It is my version of Lesson 7 (info from Warder, Meiland and Learn Pali). If any of you has time to check my notes and tells me where I get it wrong, I’d be totally grateful. The blue highlight is where I’m not sure.

Lesson 7 - Notes with Vocab.pdf


I like seeing your questions to Bhante. :grinning:

I have a go at making my own notes, and then I answer your questions in my head, … and wait to compare my answers to Bhante’s correct ones.

:fearful: Bhante @sujato :fearful: RUOK ? :fearful:

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I’m posting the questions for Lesson 7 here in case someone wants to try to answer them :smiley:

Question 1: Use of Past Participle to indicate Present Perfect in Active Voice

Is this explanation correct, please? “The past participle will be in the nominative case and agree with the subject’s number and gender. So will the auxiliary verb.”

Ahaṃ āgato asmi = present perfect = I have arrived.

Question 2: Word order in a sentence

Mr. Learning Pali explains the word order of the sentence:

He locks the door with a key.

= tāḷena dvāraṃ pidahati


“In Pali, the subject, along with things that belong to the subject, comes first in the sentence. In this case, the subject modifier is the ‘means to do something’ = a key = tāḷena. Then, it is followed by the object in the accusative case. The verb is at the end.”

So, the formula of the word order would be:

Subject + Subject Modifier, including a means to do something (here = instrumental case) + Object + Verb

However, examples from Meiland shows that the modifier comes before the noun:

The created being lives.

= nimmito satto jīvati.

The Blessed One has been seen by the freed prince.

= bhagavā vimuttena rājaputtena diṭṭho.

Perhaps I misunderstood Mr. Learn Pali?

Question 3: iminā mayaṃ nimmitā

= We have been created by him.

Am I correct to think that this sentence cannot mean ‘We created/have created with this’ because the verb {nimmināti} is a transitive verb.

Question 4: desito Ānanda mayā dhammo

= Ānanda, the doctrine has been taught by me.

I can’t translate this sentence as I didn’t know how to work out the word order for this sentence.

After seeing the answer, I guess that Ānanda is the vocative because it is the second word of the sentence (because a Vocative can’t start a sentence). But I don’t understand why the verb desito starts the sentence when the subject dhammo is at the end. Can’t the Pāli be: “mayā dhammo Ānanda desito”? Is it because Ānanda would become the third word of the sentence.

Totally puzzled here…

Question 5: iminā tvaṃ purisa dhanena jivāhi

= You, man, make a living with this money!

My interpretation “Man, you must live by virtue” seems incorrect. Why can’t dhanena here mean ‘virtue’?

Question 6: te ca me evaṃ puṭṭhā āmā ti vadanti

= And asked thus by me, they said ‘yes‘.

6.1 Would the translation “They say ‘yes’ to the question asked (thus) by me” change the meaning of the source text?

Can puṭṭhā be interpreted as a noun in this sentence?

If not, I guess it is because of the word ‘ca’ — ‘ca’ combines the two clauses here? But I guess there are other grammatical reasons too?

6.2 I guess āmā is a typo. It should have been āma?

Question 7: dānaṃ detha

= Give alms.

I guess we can’t translation it as “Please allow this gift” because in order to mean ‘to allow’, the verb {deti} needs to be followed by an object and an infinitive?

Question 8: They experience happiness

= (te) sukhaṃ paþisaṃvedenti

I couldn’t recall seeing the verb paṭisaṃvedeti, so I consulted the DPD and came up with this sentence: = sukhaṃ papponti. Will it be acceptable?

Question 9: The wanderer is (hoti) contented

= paribbājako santuṭṭho (hoti)

Could I ask why Ajahn Santuṭṭhi named himself with the -i ending?

Question 10: I have heard this

= evaṃ me sutaṃ

Why is evaṃ, not idaṃ, used here? Are these also acceptable: mayā idaṃ sutaṃ* and idaṃ suṇiṃ?

Question 11: I did the work

= ahaṃ kammaṃ akāsiṃ

11.1 Are these also acceptable: ahaṃ kammaṃ kariṃ?

11.2 If we want to make this sentence into the passive voice, what can we say? I got “mayā kammaṃ katena”. Will it be ok?

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Hi, here are some quick answers.
Some of these questions are complicated and seem better addressed in a classroom.
(So I picked the low hanging fruit!)

Q1: yes, correct. Except that a verb doesn’t really have gender. (If you have G&K this is addressed in Lesson 12, section 5)

Q3: I see this comes from DN 24.
Nimmitā is a plural past participle. So ‘were created’ or ‘have been created’. The use of instrumental gives it a passive sense.

Q4: From DN 16. ‘Ananda’ is vocative. ‘Desito’ is nom sing past participle of deseti. It modifies the nominative ‘dhammo’, the subject of the sentence. ‘The dhamma has been/ was taught’
Literally- ‘the taught dhamma’.
To work out the syntax of a sentence you need to identify the cases of the words.

Q5: ‘dhana’ means material wealth, literally ‘grain’. Virtue is ‘sīla’ or ‘puñña’.

Q6: Perhaps a version of what’s found in DN 24.
The ‘ca’ is confusing you since it’s the continuation of a previous sentence not given.
‘putthā’ is a nom plu past participle of pucchati. It goes with ‘te’.
‘Me’ is an instrumental enclitic pronoun.
āmā is not a typo, the final a is lengthened since it is direct speech with the end quote marker ‘iti’.

Q8: the verb patisanvedeti means ‘to experience’.
The verb pappoti/pāpunāti means to receive, get.
Not really the same.

Q9: You can find an entry for ‘santutthi’ in PED.
‘Satisfaction, contentment’. A feminine noun.
The adjective ‘santuttha’ (santuttho) is the past participle of santussati.
PS- please get in the habit of looking up words in PED!

Q10: one of the most common. Literally it means ‘thus by me heard’. Idiomatically it means, I heard this.

Q11: it seems the difference would be between the simple past (aorist), and present perfect.
I would not be concerned with translating English into Pali.


Thank you so much.

Who are they? I have a grammar book by Ven Anandajoti and Practical grammar of the Pai language by Charles Duroiselle, but I haven’t got time to read them yet.

If desito modifies the subject, shouldn’t it be near the word it modifies? Also, if it is a modifier, there is no main (finite) verb in this sentence.

If desito is the main (finite) verb of this sentence, why is it in the beginning? (My original question)

This is one of my issues. Dictionaries. I’m using DPD and there are many definitions. How can I choose the right definition?

And I thought why they are talking about a woman slave! Anyway, is my rendition in English acceptable?

Are you implying that DPD should be used with caution?

I agree with you, but it’s part of the homework. Also, it’s part of the learning process – being tortured unnecessarily! :smiley: :laughing: :crazy_face:

BTW, do you have time to check my notes on Lesson 7? Are there mistakes?


Indeed. As your “āmā” example shows, you have to recognize that in this context (before 'ti) that final ā might be an externally lengthened “a”, making the true word to look up “āma” not “āmā”. The DPD can do a lot of the case endings for you but it can’t know everything about the context the word is in!


Life is tough for old brain cells…


We can’t rely on word order to help us understand Pali, we need to look first at the word endings.

It most certainly is. :older_woman: :older_woman:

A New Course in Reading Pali by Gair and Karunatilake

The PED like the DPD can be loaded into the Golden Dict app, so both can be consulted in the same search. :star_struck:

Up to Lesson 6 I have been doing this by consulting Warder’s answer key and thinking about how he got there. From now on I shall use the Brahmali and Kelly keys together.
EDIT: & we can also follow Warder’s references to the Digha Nikaya – and both see the sentences he uses in context and look at what the SC translators do with it.

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No, I didn’t mean to imply that. I have never even looked at it, my old computer doesn’t seem able to do the golden dictionary thing.
But looking up words in the PED is a good habit to get into.

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… and for old computers. :rofl:

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Thank you so much. :pray: :sunflower: :heart:

Hmmmm I’m not sure what I have on my Golden Dict. From the Combined Pali - Eng Dictionary, occasionally I will get [PTS].

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Yes, I would say that for a new Pali student the most important thing is to compare the original Pali with a translation side by side and figure out how it’s possible.
Sometimes more than that can be too daunting and too time consuming.


Indeed, in this rather famous statement (this is just the first part) there is no finite verb.

No, the participle does not have to be right next to what it is describing. Since they share the same case it’s clear they are working together.

Perhaps ‘desito’ comes first as it is emphatically stating the answer to the question “what does the bhikkhu sangha expect of me?”
Remember, a vocative cannot start a sentence.

Literally, this passive construction (better rendered in active voice in English) is,
‘Taught, Ananda, by me the dhamma - not inside not outside having made’

But ultimately, we have to take ‘the sutta as I found it’, so to speak, asking ‘why??’ is much less important than understanding how.


In fact, I see now that G&K uses this very sentence to illustrate “Past Participle Sentences with Instrumental Subjects”, lesson 6 section 8.

The grammatical subject is ‘dhammo’ , but the logical subject is ‘mayā’.


Instructions for adding events can be found in About the Events category


Yes. … I really meant that I didn’t want to usurp Bhante’s position as teacher of this course. But now it seems we have. Not to worry!


:grimacing: :grimacing: :grimacing:

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Indeed. Originally I was thinking “Te ca me” was “By you and by me” but I guess that would have been “Te ca me ca”?

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Yes, perhaps so.
The ‘ca’ in this sentence doesn’t really have any meaning in this decontexualized piece.

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