u̲སྒྱུ་ ཟེ་ སུནཟ་ ༔སྒྱུU རྞྞཱརྞྞཱ་ ཀ་ རྞྞཱ་ · ཟེཟེ

3. IThe subject of active sentences and the instrumental case
In addition to linki ng aund existential verbs, Tibetan has two categories of verbs
wei̅shall call active and i nvoluntary. These verbs convey i ntentional and uni ntentional
action. For example, the English sentence " Iwent toi̅sleep" can be constructed with either
an active or i nvolu ntary verb m eani ng "to sleep." With the active verb "to sleep" (ཉལ་) ,
the sentence "Iwent to sleep" connotes sleep resultant from an i ntentional act, but with
the i nvoluntary verbi̅"to sleep" (གཉིད་ཁུག་) , the same English sentence connotes i̅
uni ntentionalsl eep, i.e., fal li ng asleep without wanti ng or tryi ng to do so. In this lesson
active verbs and sentences wil li̅be exami ned. i̅ i̅ i̅ [ ]
is
is the m ain active verb, although most active sentences usually also have both a subiect
and an obiect When these three sentence compxonents are filled, the nornmal sentence
order is subject + obiect + m ain verb.
i̅Active sentences require that their subjects be placed i n what is called the
i nstrum ental case. That is to say , one of the si x i nstrum ental case particles presented
below is suffixed to or follows the subject.
Instrumental case particles indicate the agent ori̅the means by which an action i̅
took or t k es pl ace. For example, i n the sentence " He ki l l ed the y ak , " the agent ori̅actor i s
"he" (ཁོ་) . However, unlike English, Tibetan grammarrequires that "he" be placed i n the
i nstrum ental Case so th at the sentence li terally m ea ns " By him y ak killed." Thus, as
explai ned below, ཁོ་ becom es ཁོས་ .
Although thei̅i nstrum ental case h as several functi ons, for the present we need only
concern ourselves with its function as m arki ng the subjecti̅ (actor) i n active sentences.
i̅i̅ Th e i nstrum ental case consi sts of six di fferent p articles, all ot whic hi̅perfornm
identical functions. Fivei̅of these particles are used in accorda nce with the fi nal consonant
(or vowel) of the imm edi ately precedi ng syllable. One is used with all fi nals.
Sylla̲ble̲ fi̲na̲l Instru̲me̲nta̲l pa̲r i̲cle̲ Exa̲mo̲le̲
ག་ or ང་ གིས་ གཡག་གིས་ (by a yak)
ད་
or བ་ or ས་ ཀྱིས་ ཕུན་ཚོགས་ཀྱི་ ས་ (by Phu ntsog)
ན་
or མ་ or ར་ or ལ་ གྱིས་ དགེ་རྒན་གྱིས་ (by the teacher)
vowels - ས་ (is suffixedto ངས་ (by me)
precedi ng syllable)
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