Congratulations on making it this far into the Dhivehi lessons! We’re finally getting into verbs. This will be the hardest part of Dhivehi to learn, and to show you that I’m not joking, here are all the verb forms you will have to learn:
- Present progressive
- Future progressive
- Future Imperative
- Present relative
- Past progressive
- Past relative
- Conditional perfect
- Voluntary and involuntary forms for each of the above
Stressing out yet? Don’t worry, we’re going to go through this real slowly.
We’ll start with gerunds because they are the root forms of Dhivehi verbs. This is the form you will find in most Dhivehi dictionaries.
Gerunds are also known as verbal nouns because grammatically, verbs in this form function as nouns. For example, in the sentence “walking is good for you”, the verb walk is in the gerund form because it acts as a noun (it means “the act of walking”). However, this is different to the sentence “she is walking”, where it acts as a verb. This distinction may be confusing for monolingual English speakers, but it’s important, so make sure you understand it.
Dhivehi gerunds end with އުން and most have the same vowel pattern. Here are some verbs in their gerund forms:
I’ve translated the words to the simplest English counterpart, but keep in mind that the actual translation is “the act of [verb]ing”.
Note that apart from the first two (which happen to be the most common verbs), all the words have the pattern އެއުން. This is the most common pattern for Dhivehi gerunds.
Because these words are technically nouns, they can be declined in the same way as nouns. The final ން changes to މ in the declined forms. Here is how ކުރުން is declined:
|Genitive||ކުރުމުގެ||of [the] doing|
|Dative||ކުރުމަށް||for [the] doing|
|Locative||ކުރުމުގައި||in [the] doing|
|Instrumental||ކުރުމުން||by [the] doing|
|Associative||ކުރުމާއި||with [the] doing|
Gerunds also have indefinite forms and their related declined forms. For ކުރުން these are ކުރުމަކަށް ,ކުރުމެއްގެ ,ކުރުމެއް etc.
The translations don’t make much sense by themselves, but you’ll eventually see how these forms are used in full sentences. For now, you just need to know that these forms exist.
This is the form that translates to “to [verb]”. If you’ve ever studied a Romance language, you’ll know that this is the verb form that you start with before changing the ending to create other forms. To form the infinitive in Dhivehi, the އުން of the gerund changes to އަން. Verbs with the އެއުން pattern change to އައަން.
- ވުން is irregular.
- ކެއުން becomes ކާން because it’s awkward to say ކައަން
Here are some more gerunds. Try to work out the infinitive forms – the answers will be below.
Figured it out? Here are the corresponding infinitives:
|ހޯދަން||To look for|
Remember, އުން changes to އަން and if there is an އެ it changes to އަ. This applies to words like ދެއްކުން as well – the އް in the middle doesn’t make difference.
Here are some harder ones to see if you really get it:
|ހިފެހެއްޓުން||Hold on to|
And the answers:
|ބަލަހައްޓަން||To look after|
|ހިފަހައްޓަން||To hold on to|
Did you get them right?
Irregular verbs are an annoying feature of many languages. What’s more annoying is that the irregular verbs tend to be the most commonly used ones. Dhivehi is no exception to this. Here is a list of some irregular verbs that you will come across frequently:
That’s all for this lesson. We won’t make any sentences; just try to become familiar with the verbs. This is a lot to take in, but don’t worry, the next lesson will be much simpler!