Friday 18 March 2016

Tulu Lesson 9: Simple Past Tense, Compound Verbs

namaskAra! encha ullar?

So far, we have learned simple present and future tense in Tulu. Today we are going to learn Simple Past Tense. Simple Past Tense is used to talk about a completed action in a time before now. The time of the action can be in the recent past or the distant past. Before going to Simple Past, let us learn few compound verbs.

Example: mOkae malpuni – To love

As you see in the above example, we have two words in Tulu for one English word. This is what we call Compound verbs. Though second word is always a verb, the first word can be a noun, an adjective or a past adverbial participle. To make verb conjugation, we can apply the same rule here. In all cases, we need to change the second word, not the first one.

mOkae malpuvae – I love
mOkae malpae – I will probably love

Some of the compound verbs we use in daily conversation:

mApu malpuni  (mApu malpu) – To forgive
kOpa malpuni (kOpa malpu) – To get angry
bElae malpuni (bElae malpu) – To work
upadra malpuni/upadra korpini – To disturb someone
kebi korpini (kebi koru) – To listen
nAD pattuni (nAD patt) – To find out/discover
beri pattuni (beri patt) – To chase
pagae kaTTuni – (pagae kaTT) – To seek revenge
kana kaTTuni (kana kaTT) – To dream
madimae Apini (madimae A) – To marry
peTT pADuni (peTT pAD) - To beat
dakk’d pADuni (dakk’d pAD) - To lose something  
dakk’d pOpini (dakk’d pO) - To be lost

kondarpini (kondu + barpini) – To bring
kondOpini (kondu + pOpini) – To take away/ To take something to another place

‘kondu’ is the past adverbial participle of  the auxiliary verb ‘koNu’ (koNuni – To hold) which is used in forming compound verbs and also in reflexive verbs.

In common dialect of Tulu, these verbs are modified as follows:
kondarpini (kondar) >>> kanapini (kana) – To bring
kondOpini (kondO) >>> konopini (kono) - To take away/ To take something to another place

The verb ‘kana’/‘kondar’ is conjugated same as ‘bar’ and the verb ‘kono’/‘kondO’ is conjugated as ‘pO’.

kondarpae or kanapae – I bring / I will bring
kondOpae or konopae – I take it away / I will take it away

kondaruvae or kanavae – I will probably bring
kondOvae or konovae – I will probably take it away

kondarpujae or kanapujae - I do not bring / I will not bring
kondOpujae or konopujae – I do not take it away / I will not take it away

kondarayae or kanayae – I will probably not bring
kondOvayae or konovayae – I will probably not take it away
Alright! Coming back to Simple Past. There are three conjugations in Simple Past. In Simple Present and Future tense, we had different conjugations for Class A and Class B verbs.  However, in Simple Past we have three groups:
1. Verbs ending in ‘pu’
2. Verbs ending in ‘N’
3. All other verbs.

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Personal endings in Simple Past Tense are same as Simple Present Tense. Third person neuter singular is exception.

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

1. Verbs ending in ‘pu’ 

To conjugate verbs ending in ‘pu’ in Simple Past Tense, replace ‘pu’ with ‘t’ and then add personal ending.

Example: malpu (malpuni) – To do

malpu >>> malt + personal ending = maltae - I did

yAn maltae – I did
I malta – You did
Aye/imbe malte – He did
Al/mOlu maltal – She did
au/undu malt’ND – It did
nama/enkulu malta – We did
Ir/nikulu maltar – You did
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr malter – They did
undekulu/aikulu malta – They did

2. Verbs ending in ‘N’

To conjugate verbs ending in ‘N’ in Simple Past Tense, add ‘D’ sound to root verb and then add personal ending.

Root verb + D + personal ending

Example: paN (paNpini) – To tell/say

paN + D + personal ending = paNDae - I told / I said

yAn paNDae – I said
I paNDa – You said
Aye/imbe paNDe – He said
Al/mOlu paNDal – She said
au/undu paND – It said (Additional ‘D’ sound is not added here, paN + ND = paN’ND, but usually pronounced as ‘paND’)
nama/enkulu paNDa – We said
Ir/nikulu paNDar – You said
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr paNDer – They said
undekulu/aikulu paNDa – They said

This form is used in common Tulu. However, in some other dialects, verbs ending in ‘N’ also conjugated same as ‘All other verbs’.

3. All other verbs.

To conjugate verbs in Simple Past Tense, add ‘i’ sound to root verb and then add personal ending.

Root verb + i + personal ending

Example: kor (korpini) – To give

kor + i + personal ending = koriyae – I gave

yAn koriyae – I gave
I koriya – You gave
Aye/imbe koriye – He gave
Al/mOlu koriyal – She gave
au/undu kor’ND – It gave ( ‘i’ sound is not added here, kor + ND = kor’ND)
nama/enkulu koriya – We gave
Ir/nikulu koriyar – You gave
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr koriyer – They gave
undekulu/aikulu koriya – They gave

The verbs ‘bar’ (barpini – To come), ‘sai’ (saipini – To die) and ‘bey’ (beypini – To be cooked/boiled) are irregular. These verbs are conjugated in Simple Past Tense by adding ‘t’ sound to root verb. 

bar + t + personal ending – battae = I came
sai + t + personal ending – saitae = I died
bey + t + personal ending – beyt’ND = It is cooked / boiled

yAn battae – I came
I batta – You came
Aye/imbe batte – He came
Al/mOlu battal – She came
au/undu batt’ND – It came
nama/enkulu batta – We came
Ir/nikulu battar – You came
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr batter – They came
undekulu/aikulu batta – They came

yAn saitae – I died
I saita – You died
Aye/imbe saite – He died
Al/mOlu saital – She died
au/undu sait’ND – It died
nama/enkulu saita – We died
Ir/nikulu saitar – You died
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr saiter – They died
undekulu/aikulu saita – They died

Let us conjugate more verbs in Simple Tense.

kApu (kApuni) – To wait

yAn kAtae – I waited
I kAta – You waited
Aye/imbe kAte – He waited
Al/mOlu kAtal – She waited
au/undu kAt’ND – It waited
nama/enkulu kAta – We waited
Ir/nikulu kAtar – You waited
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr kAter – They waited
undekulu/aikulu kAta – They waited

leppu (leppuni) – To call/invite

yAn lettae – I called
I letta – You called
Aye/imbe lette – He called
Al/mOlu lettal – She called
au/undu lett’ND – It called
nama/enkulu letta – We called
Ir/nikulu lettar – You called
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr letter – They called
undekulu/aikulu letta – They called

tU (tUpini) – To see

yAn tUyae – I saw
I tUya – You saw
Aye/imbe tUye – He saw
Al/mOlu tUyal – She saw
au/undu tUND – It saw
nama/enkulu tUya – We saw
Ir/nikulu tUyar – You saw
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr tUyer – They saw
undekulu/aikulu tUya – They saw

buDu (buDpini) – To leave

yAn buDiyae – I left
I buDiya – You left
Aye/imbe buDiye – He left
Al/mOlu buDiyal – She left
au/undu buD’ND – It left
nama/enkulu buDiya – We left
Ir/nikulu buDiyar – You left
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr buDiyer – They left
undekulu/aikulu buDiya – They left

uN (uNpini) - To eat / To have lunch/dinner

yAn uNDae – I had lunch/dinner
I uNDa – You had lunch/dinner
Aye/imbe uNDe – He had lunch/dinner
Al/mOlu uNDal – She had lunch/dinner
au/undu uND – It had lunch/dinner (uN’ND usually pronounced as uND)
nama/enkulu uNDa – We had lunch/dinner
Ir/nikulu uNDar – You had lunch/dinner
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr uNDer – They had lunch/dinner
undekulu/aikulu uNDa – They had lunch/dinner

kEN (kENuni) To hear/listen/ask

yAn kENDae – I asked
I kENDa – You asked
Aye/imbe kENDe – He asked
Al/mOlu kENDal – She asked
au/undu kEND – It asked (kEN’ND usually pronounced as kEND)
nama/enkulu kENDa – We asked
Ir/nikulu kENDar – You asked
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr kENDer – They asked
undekulu/aikulu kENDa – They asked

A (Apini) – To become/happen

yAn Ayae – I became
I Aya – You became
Aye/imbe Aye – He became
Al/mOlu Ayal – She became
au/undu AND – It became/It happened/It’s done/Finished
nama/enkulu Aya – We became
Ir/nikulu Ayar – You became
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr Ayer – They became
undekulu/aikulu Aya – They became

uppu/ippu (uppuni/ippuni) – To be

yAn ittae – I was
I itta – You were
Aye/imbe itte – He was
Al/mOlu ittal – She was
au/undu itt’ND – It was
nama/enkulu itta – We were
Ir/nikulu ittar – You were
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr itter – They were
undekulu/aikulu itta – They were

kana (kanapini) – To bring

This verb is derived from compound verb ‘kondu bar’. So, it is conjugated as ‘bar’

yAn kanattae – I brought
I kanatta – You brought
Aye/imbe kanatte – He brought
Al/mOlu kanattal – She brought
au/undu kanatt’ND – It brought
nama/enkulu kanatta – We brought
Ir/nikulu kanattar – You brought
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr kanatter – They brought
undekulu/aikulu kanatta – They brought

kono (konopini) – To take away

This verb is derived from compound verb ‘kondu pO’. So, it is conjugated as ‘pO’

yAn konoyae – I took it away
I konoya – You took it away
Aye/imbe konoye – He took it away
Al/mOlu konoyal – She took it away
au/undu konoND – It took it away
nama/enkulu konoya – We took it away
Ir/nikulu konoyar – You took it away
akulu/mokulu/Ar/mEr konoyer – They took it away
undekulu/aikulu konoya – They took it away

Example sentences:

Tulu: jOkulu sAleg pOyer
English:  Children went to school
Kannada: makkaLu shAlege hOdaru

Tulu: enklena illaDe binner batter
English:  Guests came to our house.
Kannada: namma manege neNTru bandru

Tulu: yAn onji gaNTae kAtae
English:  I waited for one hour.
Kannada: nAnu ondu gaNTe kAde

Tulu: yAn tulu kaltae
English:  I learnt Tulu
Kannada: nAnu tuLu kalite

Tulu: enna onas AND / yAn uNDae
English:  I had my lunch/dinner
Kannada: nanna UTa Aytu

Tulu: Aye illaD itte
English:  He was at home
Kannada: avanu maneyalli idda

Tulu: I kukku tiNDa
English:  You ate a mango.
Kannada: nInu mAvina haNNu tinde

Tulu: Ar enk kAkaji bareyer
English:  He/She wrote a letter to me.
Kannada: avaru nanage kAgada baredaru

Tulu: enkulu posa ill kaTTiya
English:  We build a new house
Kannada: nAvu hosa mane kaTTidevu

Tulu: alena ungila dakk’d pOND
English:  Her ring is lost
Kannada: avaLa ungura bisADi hOytu/kaLedu hoytu

Tulu: Al ungilan dakk’d pADiyal
English:  She lost the ring
Kannada: avaLu unguravannu bisADi hAkidaLu/kaLedu hAkidaLu

Tulu: I enan madata
English:  You forgot me
Kannada: nInu nannannu marete

Tulu: enkulu suden kaData
English:  We crossed the river
Kannada: nAvu nadiyannu dATidevu

Tulu: portu kant’ND / sUrya kant’ND
English:  The sun has set
Kannada: sUrya muLugitu

Tulu: mullu kant’ND
English:  Thorn pricked
Kannada: muLLu chuchchitu

Tulu: Ar mIn kanatter
English:  He/She brought fish
Kannada: avaru mInu tandaru

Tulu: Ar bAlen konoyer
English:  He/She took the child away
Kannada: avaru maguvannu koNDu hOdaru

Tulu: yAn bAkil pADiyae
English:  I closed the door
Kannada: nAnu bAgilu hAkide/muchchide

Tulu: yAn bAkil dettae
English:  I opened the door
Kannada: nAnu bAgilu terede

Tulu: Aye Doctor Aye
English:  He became a Doctor
Kannada: avanu Doctor Ada

Tulu: Ayeg bEjAr AND
English:  He felt bad
Kannada: avanige bEjAr aytu

Tulu: nikk kushi AND
English:  You felt happy
Kannada: ninage kushi Aytu

Tulu: enk kODae bElae itt’ND
English:  I had work yesterday
Kannada: nanage ninne kelasa ittu

Tulu: nuppu beyt’ND
English:  The rice is cooked
Kannada: anna benditu

New words:
binner – guests
kukku – mango
kAkaji – paper/a letter
posa – new
ungila – ring
portu – time
sUrya – sun
mullu - thorn
mIn – fish
bAkil – door
nuppu – rice (boiled)

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See you next week!



  1. Hi Kiran, one suggestion I have is for you to show kannada translations along with English. Comparing Kannada and Tulu sentences makes us grasp better since the sentence structures are the same. English sentence structures are different.

    For example, "enkulu suden kaData" is exactly same as "naavu nadi daaTidvi", but it cannot be "We river crossed".

  2. Thank you Raghunandan for your suggestion. I will implement this on coming lessons. Also i wil update the previous lessons with kannada translations asap.

  3. Thanks for the acceptance. If "Baralla" is "Barpujji", what does simple past in negative "Baralilla" translate to ?

  4. Would it be "batthijji" ?

    1. Yes, "battiji" is "baralilla". Unlike in Kannada, negetive form of verb conjugation inTulu has to agree with subject in person, gender and number. "battije", "battijal", "battijer" etc. My next lesson will be on this subject.

  5. Hi Kiran. Among the three categories mentioned earlier, in which category does the verb "come" falls? How does the past tense of 'come' becomes "battae"?

    1. Hi Sathya, the verb 'bar' is an irregular verb and is conjugated differently by adding 't' sound in Simple Past. bar + t + ae >> battae
      Other verbs which are conjugated in the same way are 'sai' (to die) and 'bey' (to be boiled).

    2. Thank you. I think its worth mentioning these corner cases here. Or I might have missed :|

    3. Sathya, I have already mentioned it under "3. All other verbs" :)

      Here it is again:
      "The verbs ‘bar’ (barpini – To come), ‘sai’ (saipini – To die) and ‘bey’ (beypini – To be cooked/boiled) are irregular. These verbs are conjugated in Simple Past Tense by adding ‘t’ sound to root verb.

      bar + t + personal ending – battae = I came
      sai + t + personal ending – saitae = I died
      bey + t + personal ending – beyt’ND = It is cooked / boiled"

    4. I have now highlighted the sentence :)