Tibetan Grammar - originative case

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WORK IN PROGRESS: the grammar articles are being edited for wiki publication. During editing, the content might be incomplete, out of sequence or even misleading. In the verb section the approach to explain Tibetan verbs is changed to that of the "three thematic relations: Theme, Location, and Agent" - there will be discrepancies to the other grammar section until they are matched with it

Articles on Tibetan Grammar
1. Introduction
2. Formation of the Tibetan Syllable
3. Formation of the Tibetan Word
4. First case: ming tsam
5. agentive particle
6. Connective Particle
7. La don particles
8. La don particles—Notes
9. Originative case
10. Verbs
11. Verbs—Notes
12. Syntactic particles

by Stefan J. Gueffroy[1] [fka Eckel]

Originative Case—འབྱུང་ཁུངས་ཀྱི་སྒྲ་: ནས་, ལས་

  • Also called: originative particle, source particle, ablative particle.

Independent of verb type

Source, origin, འབྱུང་ཁུངས་, place, substance, person

to originate v.i. ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
བྱུང་བ།  འབྱུང་བ།  འབྱུང་བ། 
past pres. fut. imp.
Buddha       Dharma originate
The Dharma comes from the Buddha.

This section contains Tibetan script. Without proper Tibetan rendering support configured, you may see other symbols instead of Tibetan script.
cow udder    milk  come
The milk comes from the cow's udder.

ocean        jewel  originate
Jewels originate from the ocean.

to fall v.i. ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
བབས་པ་, བབ་པ།  འབབ་པ།  འབབ་པ། 
past pres. fut. imp.
sky           rain     fall
Rain falls from the sky.

lama   mouth  eloquent teaching came
The lama gave eloquent teachings.

seed        sprout came
The sprout came from the seed.

to fall v.i. ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
ལྷུངས་པ།  ལྷུང་བ།  ལྷུང་བ། 
past pres. fut. imp.
horse   fall
to fall from the horse

ladder 'on top of' fall
fallen from the ladder

Lhasa  person those
those persons from Lhasa

Originative of reason

  • Tibetan grammatical term: རྒྱུ་མཚན་དང་འབྲེལ་བའི་འབྱུང་ཁུངས་
to know v.i. ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
ཤེས་པ།  ཤེས་པ།  ཤེས་པ། 
past pres. fut. imp.
smoke see      fire  exist      know (transitive grammar)'
From seeing smoke (one) knows that fire is there (exist).

bee     flower   smell     know
The bee knows the flower from the smell.

to die v.i. ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
ཤི་བ།  འཆི་བ།  འཆི་བ། 
past pres. fut. imp.
thirst         die
to die from thirst

Originative of instrument and means

Originative of instrument and means

to attain v.i. ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
ཐོབ་པ།  འཐོབ་པ།  འཐོབ་པ། 
past pres. fut. imp.
effort        attained (transitive grammar)'
attained through / from effort

v.t. to speak, explain ཐ་དད་པ་
བཤད་པ་  འཆད་པ་  བཤད་པ་ 
past pres. fut. imp.
conch   speak
to speak by means of conch

Forming instrumental postpositions

by means of, from the point of view, from the approach of, through, by

v.t. ཐ་དད་པ་ {{{7}}}
བརྩོན་པ།  བརྩོན་པ།  བརྩོན་པ།  བརྩོན།
past pres. fut. imp.
body speech mind       virtue    exert (see verb class)'

Inclusion—only ནས་

  • Tibetan grammatical term: སྡུད་པ་

For all the following usages under in this section, only ནས་ is used.

Temporal beginning, succession

to die v.i. ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
ཤི་བ།  འཆི་བ།  འཆི་བ། 
past pres. fut. imp.
day    three   after   die   auxiliary
after the third day [he] will die

day    few    after
after a few days

Beginning of a confined sequence or extent of space, time and enumerations

  • Tibetan grammatical term in regard to space: ཡུལ་གྱི་མཚམས་འཛིན་ཅིང་སྡུད་པ་
India         China
from India until China

  • Tibetan grammatical term in regard to numbers: གྲངས་ཀྱི་མཚམས་འཛིན་ཅིང་སྡུད་པ་
one         hundred
from one to hundred

  • Tibetan grammatical term in regard to functional objects: དངོས་པོའི་མཚམས་འཛིན་ཅིང་སྡུད་པ་
eye     mind
from the eye up to the mind

མ་གི་བསྙེན་གནས་ཡན་ལག་བརྒྱད་པ་ནས་ ཡ་གི་གསང་སྔགས་ཀྱི་སྡོམ་པའི་པར་
lower end precepts of lay ordination eight-fold upper end secret mantra vows of
from the lower end, the eight-fold precepts of lay ordination to the upper end, the vows of the secret mantra

birth         death
from birth until death

beginning  conclusion
from beginning to conclusion

to stay v.i. ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
བསྡད་པ།  སྡོད་པ།  བསྡད་པ།  སྡོད།
past pres. fut. imp.
month first from month sixth  until   there  stayed
[He] stayed there from first until the sixth month.

Beginning of a confined sequence with negation of the verb

to be born v.i. ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
སྐྱེས་པ།  སྐྱེ་བ།  སྐྱེ་བ། 
past pres. fut. imp.
  • This is mostly translated in to English by "until" while leaving out the negation of the verb.

to die v.i. ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
ཤི་བ།  འཆི་བ།  འཆི་བ། 
past pres. fut. imp.
born       not died
from birth until death, more lit.: from being born until [one] has died; from being born for [as long as one] has not died

to obtain v.i. ཐ་མི་དད་པ་
ཐོབ་པ།  འཐོབ་པ།  འཐོབ་པ། 
past pres. fut. imp.
དགུ་པ་གནས་པ་ནི། རྒྱུན་དེ་ཉིད་སྐྱེས་ནས་མ་ཤིའི་བར་དུ་མི་འཇིག་པར་ཡོད་པའོ།
ninth    subsistence  continuum that born     not died      not disintegrate exist  [is]
The ninth: Subsistence is to exist in a non-disintegrated [way] from being born until [one] has died.

to live, nurture v.t. 'ཐ་དད་པ་ CHECK'
འཚོས་པ།  འཚོ་བ།  འཚོ་བ། 
past pres. fut. imp.
miraculous display supreme not obtained (transitive grammar)'
until [one] has obtained the [ability of] supreme miraculous displays;

that   liberated    wish        intention    temporary time for as long alive        and   ultimate
ones path     result   not  attained   to take refuge
With the intention to be liberated from that [samsara one] takes refuge temporary for as long as [one] is alive and ultimately until [one] obtains the result of one's path.

Postpositions with ནས་


  1. recently adopted