Saturday 13 February 2016

Tulu Lesson 4: Negative and Interrogative in Simple Present Tense

Hello everyone! Welcome back!

Today we are going to learn negative and interrogative form of sentences in Simple Present tense. Before we start, let me tell you how to conjugate auxiliary verb ‘ippu/uppu’ (Infinitive: ippuni/uppuni – To be). There are two forms of this verb exist in the Simple Present tense: ‘uppu/ippu’ and ‘ul’.

1st form: ‘uppu’

yAn uppuvae – I am
I uppuva – You are
Aye/imbe uppuve – He is
Al/mOlu  uppuval – She is
au/undu  uppuNDu – It is
nama/enkulu  uppuva – We are
Ir/nikulu  uppuvar – You are
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr uppuver – They are
undekulu/aikulu uppuva – They are

This form is used in simple present tense and future tense.

Tulu: yAn Epola mUlu uppuvae
English: I am always here.
Kannada: nAnu yAvAgalU illi irtEne

Tulu: Aye ellae aulu uppuve
English: He will be there tomorrow.
Kannada: avanu nALe alli irtAne

2nd form: ‘ul’
yAn ullae – I am
I ulla – You are
Aye/imbe ulle – He is
Al/mOlu  ullal – She is
au/undu  uNDu – It is
nama/enkulu  ulla – We are
Ir/nikulu  ullar – You are
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr uller – They are
undekulu/aikulu ulla – They are

This form mainly used to tell about existence.

Tulu: yAn ullae
English: I am there (I am present)
Kannada: nAnu iddEne

Tulu: dEver uller –
English: God is there (God exists)
Kannada: dEvaru iddAre

Tulu: yAn mUlu ullae, I Olu ulla? –
English: I am here, Where are you?
Kannada: nAnu illi iddEne, nInu elli iddIya

tulu: maroTu manga uNDu
English: There is a monkey on the tree.
Kannada: maradalli kOti ide

Tulu: niNDa mast kAs uNDu
English: You have a lot of money
Kannada: ninnalli tumbA duDDu ide

Tulu: aklena illaD raDD nAyilu ulla
English: They have 2 dogs at there house.
Kannada: avara maneyalli eraDu nAyigaLu ive

Tulu: encha ulla?
English: How are you? (Informal)
Kannada: hEge iddIya?

Tulu: encha ullar?
English: How are you? (Formal)
Kannada: hEge iddIra?

Tulu: yAn ushAr ullae
English: I am fine.
Kannada: nAnu chennAgiddEne

So ‘uNDu’ means ‘it is’ and its opposite is ‘ijji’ which means ‘it is not’ or just ‘no’. 

yAn ijjae – I am not
I ijja – You are not
Aye/imbe ijje – He is not
Al/mOlu  ijjal – She is not
au/undu  ijji – It is not
nama/enkulu  ijja – We are not
Ir/nikulu  ijjar – You are not
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr ijjer – They are not
undekulu/aikulu ijja – They are not

This form mainly used to tell about non-existence.

Tulu: Aye ijje
English: He is not there. (He is absent)
Kannada: avanu illa

Tulu: dEver ijjer
English: God is not there (God does not exist)
Kannada: dEvaru illa

Tulu: eNDa kAs ijji
English: I don’t have money.
Kannada: nannalli duDDilla

Tulu: yAn UruDu ijjae
English: I am out of town.
Kannada: nAnu Uralli illa

Tulu: au sAdya ijji
English: It is not possible.
Kannada: adu sAdya illa

Now let us look at the personal endings for negative form of sentences in Simple Present tense.

Example: pO
Example: pO
First Person
Second Person
Third Person

Note: You may see some people use ‘uji’ ending for first person singular, ‘yAn pOpuji’ instead of ‘yAn pOpujae’ though grammatically it is wrong.

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For Class A verbs the rules are same as explained in the previous lesson to conjugate the verbs in Simple Present tense, but all you need to change the personal endings to make it negative.

Root verb + p+ personal ending 
pO + p + ujae = pOpujae – I don’t go
bar+ p + ujae = barpujae – I don’t come

For Class B verbs, we don’t have to add ‘uv’ sound since personal ending starts from ‘u’ sound. We have to add personal endings directly to root verb.

Root verb + personal ending
mAr + ujae = mArujae – I don’t sell.
malpu + ujae = malpujae – I don’t do


Tulu: yAn sAleg pOpujae.
English: I don’t go to school.
Kannada: nAnu shAlege hOgalla

Tulu: Aye rAtreD jeppuje
English: He doesn’t sleep at night.
Kannada: avanu rAtri malaguvudilla

Tulu: Al EreDala pAterujal
English: She doesn’t speak with anyone.
Kannada: avaLu yArallU mAtADuvudilla

Tulu: akulu chA parpujer
English: They don’t drink tea.
Kannada: avaru chahA kuDiyalla

Tulu: petta pEr korpuji
English: Cow doesn’t give milk
Kannada: dana hAlu koDuvudilla

Tulu: I dAyae barpuja?
English: Why don’t you come?
Kannada: nInu Eke baralla?

Tulu: yAn ellae barpujae
English: I will not come tomorrow
Kannada: nAnu nALe baralla

Tulu: yAn ninan madapujae
English: I will not forget you
Kannada: nAnu ninnannu mareyalla

Tulu: nama nana Epogla tikkuja
English: We will never meet again.
Kannada: nAvu innu yAvattigU sigalla

To make the interrogative form of sentences, we need to add ‘a’ or ‘na’ at the end. If a word or sentence ends in vowel ‘a’, ‘e’, 'ae' or ‘o’, then add ‘na’. If a word or sentence ends in a consonant (half-u), ‘i’ or ‘u’, then add ‘a’. But what is important here is the way we pronounce the sentence to make it a question.

yAn barpae – I come  
yAn barpaena? – Do I come? 

I barpa – You come
I barpana? – Do you come?

Aye barpe – He comes
Aye barpena? – Does he come?

Al barpal – She comes
Al barpala? – Does she come?

au barpuNDu – It comes
au barpuNDa? – Does it come?

nama barpa – we come
nama barpana? Do we come?

nikulu barpar – You come
nikulu barpara? – Do you come?

akulu barper – They come
akulu barpera? – Do they come?

aikulu barpa – They come
aikulu barpana? – Do they come?


Tulu: I sAleg pOpana?
English: Do you go to school?
Kannada: nInu shAlege hOgtIya?

Tulu: and, yAn sAleg pOpae
English: Yes, I go to school.
Kannada: houdu, nAnu shAlege hOgtEne

Tulu: ijji, yAn sAleg pOpujae
English: No, I don’t go to school.
Kannada: illa, nAnu shAlege hOgalla

Instead of saying the entire sentence, we can simply say the verb to answer such questions.

Tulu: Aye ellae barpena?
English: Will he come tomorrow?
Kannada: avanu nALe bartAna?

Tulu: and, barpe
English: Yes, he will come.
Kannada: houdu, bartAne

Tulu: ijji, barpuje
English: No, he will not come.
Kannada: illa baralla

Tulu: ushAr ullana?
English: Are you fine?
Kannada: chennAgiddIya?

Tulu: ellae barpana?
English: Will you come tomorrow?
Kannada: nALe bartIya?

Tulu: akulu barpujera?
English: Will they not come?
Kannada: avaru baralva?

Tulu: chA parpara?
English: Will you drink tea?
Kannada: chahA kuDitIra?

Tulu: onas malpuvara?
English: Will you have lunch?
Kannada: UTa mADtIra?

Tulu: dAla tinpujara?
English: Will you not eat anything?
Kannada: EnU tinnalva?

Tulu: illaDe barpujana?
English: Don’t you come home?
Kannada: manege baralva?

Tulu: illaD mAta ushAr ullera?
English: Is everyone fine at home?
Kannada: maneyalli ellAru chennagiddAra?

Tulu: niNDa kAs uNDa?
English: Do you have money?
Kannada: ninnalli duDDideya?

Tulu: nama patt gaNTeg ettuvana?
English: Will we reach at 10 O’clock?
Kannada: nAvu hattu gaNTege taluptEva?

Tulu: Al kANDae bEga lakkuvala?
English: Will she get up early in the morning?
Kannada: avaLu beLagge bEga ELtALa?

‘and’ means Yes or correct. ‘ijji’ means No or ‘it is not’ or ‘does not exist’. We have another word in Tulu ‘att’ which means No.

‘att’ is used for negating an idea or quality while ‘ijji’ is for actions.  To make it clear, look at the examples below:

I kiraNa? – Are you Kiran?
att, yAn kArtik. – No, I am Karthik.

I pOpana? – Will you go?
ijji – No

undu satyana? – Is this true?
att – No

I Oduvana? – Will you read?
ijji - No

Words used in today’s lesson:
mUlu/mulpa – here
aulu/alpa – there
Olu/olpa – Where
mara/maro – tree
manga – monkey
mast – a lot/very much
kAs – money
nAyilu - dogs 
encha - how
ushAr – Clever/Intelligent
Uru - Village
sAdya - possible
rAtrae - night
EreDa – to/with whom (communicative case)
EreDala – to/with anyone
Er – Who
Erla - anyone
dAyae - why
nana – again/henceforth
nanala – still/yet
Epogla - forever
dAla – anything
mAta – all
patt - ten
bEga – early/soon

Click here to know more verbs.

Click here for Video lessons

All right! If you have any questions, feel free to comment. See you next week!



  1. Hi Kiran, this is truly excellent and shows the passion you have ! I checked your blog 4 times on Friday waiting for the next lesson ! Blog mast undu ! In fact your blog is the most comprehensive online Tulu tutorial ever! Your lessons are of textbook-quality !

    Out of curiosity, how differnt is the Brahmin dialect from this common dialect ? Would it be possible to explain it ?

    1. Thank you Raghunandan for your encouraging words :)

      Though a common Tulu speaker can understand Brahmin dialect, there are notable differences in the pronunciation and vocabulary.

      Brahmin dialect has more Sanskrit words compared to common Tulu. Some of the major differences I have seen are:
      Brahmin dialect has retroflex ‘L’ sound and it is lost in common Tulu. Eg. Common Tulu - aulu, Brahmin Tulu – auLu (there)
      Some of the ‘t’ sounds in common Tulu pronounced as ‘s’ in Brahmin Tulu. Eg. Common Tulu – tudae/sudae, Brahmin Tulu – sudae (river), tU – sU (fire), tUpae – sUpae (I see) etc.
      Some of the ‘d’ sounds in common Tulu pronounced as ‘j’ in Brahmin Tulu. Eg: Common Tulu – dAda/dAne, Brahmin Tulu – jAdo/jAne (what) etc.
      Some of the initial vowels lost in common Tulu, but it is preserved in Brahmin Tulu. For Eg: Brahmin Tulu – eraD, common Tulu – raDD (two), iDIpae – dIpae (I place), elatt – latt (tender), oleppuna – leppuni (To call)
      Apart from this, there are lots of differences in vocabulary. Eg: Common Tulu – yAn, Brahmin Tulu – En (I), AN – mANi (boy), poNNu – jOvu (girl), malpuni – mampuna (To do), onas ANDa? – ashan Ana? (had lunch?) etc.

    2. Thanks Kiran. I heard a lot of people in the Udupi temple speak a little "differently", so thought of checking. In fact, I was actually surprised about "oNas aanDa vs ashana aana" . Totally different !

    3. Yeah, onas pure Tulu word and ashana Sanskrit originated. It is same like Kannada's Oota and bhojana.

    4. Continuing on this, I heard people use "barpuri", in place of "barpujji". Is this the brahmin dialect ?

    5. Yes, you are right. Barpuri is in brahmin dialect