Gujarati grammar

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The grammar of the Gujarati language is the study of the word order, case marking, verb conjugation, and other morphological and syntactic structures of the Gujarati language, an Indo-Aryan language native to the Indian state of Gujarat and spoken by the Gujarati people. This page overviews the grammar of standard Gujarati, and is written in a romanization (see Gujarati script#Romanization). Hovering the mouse cursor over underlined forms will reveal the appropriate English translation.



Gujarati has three genders, two numbers, and three cases (nominative, oblique/vocative, and to a certain extent, locative). Nouns may be divided into declensional subtypes: marked nouns displaying characteristic declensional vowel terminations, and unmarked nouns which do not. These are the paradigms for the termination[1][2]

Nom. Obl./Voc. Loc.
Sg. Pl. Sg. Pl.
Masc. - o - ā - e
Neut. -ઉં ũ -આં ā̃ - ā -આં ā̃
Fem. - ī

Two things must be noted about the locative case and its limited nature. First, it only exists as a case for masculines and neuters, which is why the corresponding feminine cell has been left blanked out. Rather, for marked feminine and unmarked nouns the locative is a postposition, which are explained on later in the article. Second, there is no distinction of gender.

Furthermore, there also exists in Gujarati a plural marker - (o). Unlike the English plural it is not mandatory, and may be left unexpressed if plurality is already expressed in some other way: by explicit numbering, agreement, or the above declensional system (as is the case with nominative marked masculines and neuters). And yet despite the declensional system, (o) often gets tacked onto nominative marked masculine and neuter plurals anyway. This redundancy is called the double plural. Historically, the origin of this suffix is murky, but it is certainly morphological rather than lexical. It is new (18th century) and it is not attested in Old Gujarati, Middle Gujarati, and Old Western Rajasthani literature. It may simply be the case that it spread from an unrepresented dialect.[3][4]

Thus combining both the declensional and plural suffixes, the following table outlines all possible Gujarati noun terminations —

Nom. Obl./Voc. Loc.
Sg. Pl. Sg. Pl.
M'd. Masc. - o -આ(ઓ) ā(o) - ā -આઓ āo - e
Neut. -ઉં ũ -આં(ઓ) ā̃(o) -આં(ઓ) ā̃(o)
Fem. - ī -ઈઓ īo - ī -ઈઓ īo
unM'd. - o - o

There are also several forms of feminines derived from masculine nouns that do not end in - (o).[5]

Masc. (Sg.) Fem. (Sg.) Examples
Masc. Fem.
-ઇયો iyo -ઇયેણ iyeṇ ભાગિયો bhāgiyo ભાગિયેણ bhāgiyeṇ
-ઇયણ iyaṇ વાણિયો vāṇiyo વાણિયણ vāṇiyaṇ
-ઇયાણી iyāṇī વાણિયાણી vāniyāṇī
- ī -ણી ṇī હાથી hāthī હાથણી hāthaṇī
-એણ eṇ
-અણ aṇ ધોબી dhobī ધોબણ dhobaṇ
- u -વ-(Fem. suffix) -v- સાધુ sādhu
હિંદુ hĩdu
સાધ્વી sādhvī
હિંદવાણી hĩdvāṇī
unM'd. -આ -ā પંડિત pãḍit પંડિતા pãḍitā
-ઈ -ī દેવ dev દેવી devī
-ડી -ḍī ભીલ bhīl ભીલડી bhīlaḍī
-ણી -ṇī પિશાચ piśāc પિશાચણી piśācaṇī
-આણી -āṇī રજપૂત rajpūt રજપૂતાણી rajpūtāṇī
-એણ -eṇ વાઘ vāgh વાઘેણ vāghēṇ
-ણ -ṇ સિંહ sĩh સિંહણ sĩhaṇ
-વી -vī નટ naṭ નાટવી naṭavī

The next table, of noun declensions, shows the above suffix paradigms in action. Words: છોકરો (chhokro) "boy", ડાઘો (ḍāgho) "stain", મહિનો (mahino) "month", કચરો (kacro) "rubbish", છોકરું (chhokrũ) "child", કારખાનું (kārkhānũ) "factory", બારણું (bārṇũ) "door", અંધારું (andhārũ) "dark", છોકરી (chhokrī) "girl", ટોપી (ṭopī) "hat", બાટલી (bāṭlī) "bottle", વીજળી (vījḷī) "electricity", વિચાર (vichār) "thought", રાજા (rājā) "king", ધોબી (dhobī) "washerman", બરફ (baraf) "ice", ઘર (ghar) "house", બહેન (bahen) "sister", મેદાન (medān) "field", પાણી (pāṇī) "water", બાબત (bābat) "matter", નિશાળ (niśāl) "school", ભાષા (bhāṣā) "language", ભક્તિ (bhakti) "devotion".

Nom. Obl./Voc. Loc.
Sg. Pl. Sg. Pl.
M'd. Masc. છોકરો chhokro
ડાઘો ḍāgho
મહિનો mahino
કચરો kacro
છોકરા(ઓ) chhokrā(o)
ડાઘા(ઓ) ḍāghā(o)
મહિના(ઓ) mahinā(o)

છોકરા chhokrā
ડાઘા ḍāghā
મહિના mahinā
કચરા kacrā
છોકરાઓ chokrāo
ડાઘાઓ ḍāghāo
મહિનાઓ mahināo

મહિને mahine
Neut. chhokrũ



Fem. chhokrī


unM'd. Masc. vichār


Neut. ghar


Fem. bābat


  • The last entry of each gender category is a mass noun.
  • Some count nouns are averse to taking the plural marker: bhāg "portion(s), dā̃t "tooth(/teeth)", pag "foot(/feet)", caṇā "chick peas", etc.
  • Regarding nouns that terminate in ī:[6]
    • ^ Rather than marking femininity, ī can sometimes denote vocation or attribute, most often in indicating (male) persons: ādmī "man" (lit. "of Ādam"), baṅgāḷī "Bengali", śāstrī "scholar" (lit. "scripture-ist"), ṭapālī "postman".
    • Some male relations end in āī: bhāī "brother", jamāī "daughter's husband", vevāī "child's father-in-law".
    • ^ Some derive from male Sanskrit -in : hāthī "elephant",[7] or neuter Sanskrit -iyam, -ījam, etc.: pāṇī "water", marī "black pepper", "seed".
  • ^ Many feminine Sanskrit loanwords end in ā. i.e. bhāṣā "language", āśā "hope", icchā "intention".
  • ^ Many Sanskrit loanwords orthographically end in i, though in Gujarati there is now no phonetic difference between i and ī, so those words could just as well be held as marked feminines.
  • In the end, unmarked nouns probably outnumber marked ones, though many marked nouns are highly frequent.[8] Marked or not, the bases of the gender of nouns are these —
    1. Biological: animates. Thus a chokrī "girl" is feminine, a baḷad "bull" is masculine, etc.[9]
    2. Perceived: animates. Some animals have the propensity to be addressed and cast as being of one gender over the others, across the board, regardless of the biological gender of the specific organism being referred to. Thus spiders are masculine: karoḷiyo, cats feminine: bilāṛī, and rabbits neuter: saslũ. These three can be cast into other genders if such specificity is desired, but as explained that would be deviation from the default rather than a scenario of three equally valid choices.
    3. Size. An object can come in differently gender-marked versions, based on size. Masculine is big, getting smaller down through neuter and then feminine; neuter can sometimes be pejorative.[10] Hence, camco "big spoon" and camcī "small spoon", and vāṛko "big bowl" and vāṛkī "small bowl". The same can apply to animates (animals) that fall under the second rule just above. One would think saslo to be "male rabbit", but it's more so "big rabbit".
    4. For the rest there is no logic to gender, which must simply be memorized by the learner. irādo "intention (m)", māthũ "head (n)", and mahenat "effort (f)" are neither animates possessing biological gender nor a part of a set of differently-sized variants; their gender is essentially inexplicable.[9]


Adjectives may be divided into declinable and indeclinable categories. Declinables are marked, taking the appropriate declensional termination for the noun they qualify. One difference from nouns however is that adjectives do not take the plural marker -o. Neut. nom. sg. () is the citation form. Indeclinable adjectives are completely invariable. All adjectives can be used either attributively, predicatively, or substantively.

  • Examples of declinable adjectives: moṭũ "big", nānũ "small", jāṛũ "fat", sārũ "good", kāḷũ "black", ṭhaṇḍũ "cold", gā̃ṛũ "crazy".
  • Examples of indeclinable adjectives: kharāb "bad", sāf "clean", bhārī "heavy", sundar "beautiful", kaṭhaṇ "hard", lāl "red".
Declinable adjective sārũ "good" in attributive use
Nom. Obl./Voc. Loc.
Sg. Pl. Sg. Pl.
M'd. Masc. sāro chhokro
sāro ḍāgho
sāro mahino
sāro kacro
sārā chhokrā(o)
sārā ḍāghā(o)
sārā mahinā(o)

sārā chhokrā
sārā ḍāghā
sārā mahinā
sārā kacrā
sārā chhokrāo
sārā ḍāghāo
sārā mahināo

sāre mahine
Neut. sārũ chhokrũ
sārũ kārkhānũ
sārũ bārṇũ
sārũ andhārũ
sārā̃ chhokrā̃(o)
sārā̃ kārkhānā̃(o)
sārā̃ bārṇā̃(o)

sārā chhokrā
sārā kārkhānā
sārā bārṇā
sārā andhārā
sārā̃ chhokrā̃(o)
sārā̃ kārkhānā̃(o)
sārā̃ bārṇā̃(o)

sāre kārkhāne

Fem. sārī chhokrī
sārī ṭopī
sārī bāṭlī
sārī vījḷī
sārī chhokrīo
sārī ṭopīo
sārī bāṭlīo

sārī chhokrī
sārī ṭopī
sārī bāṭlī
sārī vījḷī
sārī chhokrīo
sārī ṭopīo
sārī bāṭlīo

unM'd. Masc. sāro vichār
sāro rājā
sāro dhobī
sāro baraf
sārā vichāro
sārā rājāo
sārā dhobīo

sārā vichār
sārā rājā
sārā dhobī
sārā baraf
sārā vichāro
sārā rājāo
sārā dhobīo

Neut. sārũ ghar
sārũ medān
sārũ pāṇī
sārā̃ gharo
sārā̃ medāno

sārā ghar
sārā medān
sārā pāṇī
sārā̃ gharo
sārā̃ medāno

Fem. sārī bābat
sārī niśāḷ
sārī bhāṣā
sārī bhakti
sārī bābato
sārī niśāḷo
sārī bhāṣāo

sārī bābat
sārī niśāḷ
sārī bhāṣā
sārī bhakti
sārī bābato
sārī niśāḷo
sārī bhāṣāo

Indeclinable adjective kharāb "bad" in attributive use
Nom. Obl./Voc. Loc.
Sg. Pl. Sg. Pl.
M'd. Masc. kharāb chhokro
kharāb ḍāgho
kharāb mahino
kharāb kacro
kharāb chhokrā(o)
kharāb ḍāghā(o)
kharāb mahinā(o)

kharāb chhokrā
kharāb ḍāghā
kharāb mahinā
kharāb kacrā
kharāb chhokrāo
kharāb ḍāghāo
kharāb mahināo

kharāb mahine
Neut. kharāb chhokrũ
kharāb kārkhānũ
kharāb bārṇũ
kharāb andhārũ
kharāb chhokrā̃(o)
kharāb kārkhānā̃(o)
kharāb bārṇā̃(o)

kharāb chhokrā
kharāb kārkhānā
kharāb bārṇā
kharāb andhārā
kharāb chhokrā̃(o)
kharāb kārkhānā̃(o)
kharāb bārṇā̃(o)

kharāb kārkhāne

Fem. kharāb chhokrī
kharāb ṭopī
kharāb bāṭlī
kharāb vījḷī
kharāb chhokrīo
kharāb ṭopīo
kharāb bāṭlīo

kharāb chhokrī
kharāb ṭopī
kharāb bāṭlī
kharāb vījḷī
kharāb chhokrīo
kharāb ṭopīo
kharāb bāṭlīo

unM'd. Masc. kharāb vicār
kharāb rājā
kharāb dhobī
kharāb baraf
kharāb vicāro
kharāb rājāo
kharāb dhobīo

kharāb vicār
kharāb rājā
kharāb dhobī
kharāb baraf
kharāb vicāro
kharāb rājāo
kharāb dhobīo

Neut. kharāb ghar
kharāb bahen
kharāb medān
kharāb pāṇī
kharāb gharo
kharāb baheno
kharāb medāno

kharāb ghar
kharāb bahen
kharāb medān
kharāb pāṇī
kharāb gharo
kharāb baheno
kharāb medāno

Fem. kharāb bābat
kharāb niśāḷ
kharāb bhāṣā
kharāb bhakti
kharāb bābato
kharāb niśāḷo
kharāb bhāṣāo

kharāb bābat
kharāb niśāḷ
kharāb bhāṣā
kharāb bhakti
kharāb bābato
kharāb niśāḷo
kharāb bhāṣāo

Comparatives and superlatives[edit]

Comparisons are made by using "than" (the postposition thī; see below) or "instead of" (nā kartā̃), and "more" (vadhu, vadhāre, etc.) or "less" (ochũ). The word for "more" is optional, while "less" is required, denoting that in the absence of either it's "more" than will be inferred.

Gujarati Literal Meaning
Gītā Gautamthī ū̃cī che Gita is tall than Gautam Gita is taller than Gautam
Gītā Gautam kartā̃ ū̃cī che Gita is tall instead of Gautam
Gītā Gautamthī vadhāre ū̃cī che Gita is more tall than Gautam
Gītā Gautamthī ochī ū̃cī che Gita is less tall than Gautam

In the absence of an object of comparison ("more" of course is now no longer optional):

Gujarati Literal Meaning
vadhu moṭo kūtro The more big dog The bigger dog
kūtro vadhu moṭo che The dog more big is The dog is bigger

Superlatives are made through comparisons with "all" (sau).

Gujarati Literal Meaning
sauthī sāf orṛo The clean than all room The cleanest room
orṛo sauthī sāf che The room is clean than all The room is the cleanest

Or by leading with mā̃ "in" postpositioned to the same adjective.

Gujarati Literal Meaning
nīcāmā̃ nīcī chokrī The short in the short girl The shortest girl


The sparse Gujarati case system serves as a springboard for Gujarati's grammatically functional postpositions, which parallel English's prepositions. It is their use with a noun or verb that is what necessitates the noun or verb taking the oblique case. There are six, one-syllable primary postpositions. Orthographically, they are bound to the words they postposition.

  • નું (nũ)genitive marker; variably declinable in the manner of an adjective. X નો(no)/નું(nũ)/ની(nī)/ના(nā)/નાં(nā̃)/ને(ne) Y has the sense "X's Y", with નો(no)/નું(nũ)/ની(nī)/ના(nā)/નાં(nā̃)/ને(ne) agreeing with Y.
  • એ (e)ergative marker; applied to subjects of transitive perfective verbs.
  • ને (ne) – marks the indirect object (hence named "dative marker"), or, if definite, the direct object.
  • થી (thī) – has a very wide range of uses and meanings:
    • "from"; બરોડાથી (Baroṛāthī) "from Baroda".
    • "from, of"; તારાથી ડરવું (tārāthī ḍarvũ) "to fear of you, to fear you".
    • "since"; બુધવારથી (budhvārthī) "since Wednesday".
    • "by, with"; instrumental marker.
    • "by, with, -ly"; adverbial marker.
    • "than"; for comparatives.
  • એ (e) – a general locative, specifying senses such as "at", "during", etc. It is also used adverbially. As detailed previously, for the masculine and neuter genders it is a case termination, however to marked feminine and unmarked nouns it is a postpositional addition.
  • પર (par) – "on".
  • માં (mā̃) – "in".

Postpositions can postposition other postpositions. For example, થી (thī) (as "from") suffixing the two specific locatives can help to specify what type of "from" is meant (પરથી (parthī) "from off of", માંથી (mā̃thī) "from out of").

Beyond this are a slew of compound postpositions, composed of the genitive primary postposition નું (nũ) plus an adverb.

  • નાં અંગે (nā aṅge) "with regard to, about"; ની અંદર (nī andar) "inside"; ની આગળ (nī āgaḷ) "in front (of)"; ની ઉપર (nī upar) "on top (of), above"; ના કરતાં (nā kartā̃) "rather than"; ને કારણે (ne kāraṇe) "because of"; ની જોડે (nī joḍe) "with"; ની તરફ (nī taraph) "towards"; ની તરીકે (nī tarīke) "as, in the character of"; ને દરમિયાન (ne darmiyān) "during"; ની નજીક (nī najīk) "near, close to"; etc.[11]

The genitive bit is often optionally omissible with nouns, though not with pronouns[12] (specifically, not with first and second person genitive pronouns, because, as will be seen, they have no outward, distinct, separable નું (nũ)).



Gujarati has personal pronouns for the first and second persons, while its third person system uses demonstrative bases, categorized deictically as proximate and distal.

The language has a T–V distinction in તું (tũ) and તમે (tame). The latter "formal" form is also grammatically plural. A similar distinction also exists when referring to someone in the third person.

Rare among modern Indo-Aryan languages, Gujarati has inclusive and exclusive we, આપણે (āpṇe) and અમે (ame).

Personal Demonstrative Relative Interrogative
1st pn. 2nd pn. 3rd pn.
Sg. Pl. Sg. &
Prox. Dist.
Inc. Exc. Inf. Form. Inf. Form. Inf. Form. Anim. Inan.
Sg. Pl. Sg. Pl. Sg. Pl.
Nominative હું hũ આપણે āpṇe અમે ame તું tũ તમે tame આ ā આઓ āo તે te તેઓ teo જે je જેઓ jeo કોણ kɔṇ શું śũ
Ergative મેં mɛ̃ તેં tɛ̃ આણે āṇe આઓએ āoe આમણે āmṇe તેણે tɛṇe તેઓએ teoe તેમણે tɛmṇe જેણે jɛṇe જેઓએ jeoe જેમણે jɛmṇe કોણે kɔṇe
Dative મને mane આપણને āpaṇne અમને amne તને tane તમને tamne આને āne આઓને āone આમને āmne તેને tɛne તેઓને teone તેમને tɛmne જેને jɛne જેઓને jeone જેમને jɛmne કોને kɔne શેને śɛne
Genitive મારું mārũ આપણું āpṇũ અમારું amārũ તારું tārũ તમારું tamārũ આનું ānũ આઓનું āonũ આમનું āmnũ તેનું tɛnũ તેઓનું teonũ તેમનું tɛmnũ જેનું jɛnũ જેઓનું jeonũ જેમનું jɛmnũ કોનું kɔnũ શેનું śɛnũ
  • તેઓ (teo) and its derivatives are quite rarely spoken and only very formally. More so it's તે લોકો (te loko) (lit. those people). The same goes for આઓ (āo) and જેઓ (jeo) and their derivatives.
  • લોકો (loko) can be used to emphasize plurality elsewhere: આપણે લોકો (āpṇe loko), અમે લોકો (ame loko), તમે લોકો (tame loko).
  • The initial ત (t) in distal forms is mostly dropped in speech; એ (e), એનું (ɛnũ), એમનું (ɛmnũ), etc.
  • Second person formal આપ (āp) is borrowed from Hindi and might be used in rare, ultra-formal occasions (i.e. addressing a crowd).
  • The system is regular for the remaining three postpositions (માં (mā̃), પર (par), થી (thī)), which suffix to an obliqued genitive base (invariably to આ (ā)): મારા (mārā), આપણા (āpṇā), અમારા (amārā), તારા (tārā), તમારા (tamārā), આના (ānā), આઓના (āonā), આમના (āmnā), તેના (tɛnā), તેઓના (teonā), તેમના (tɛmnā), જેના (jɛnā), જેઓના (jeonā), જેમના (jɛmnā), કોના (kɔnā), શેના (śɛnā). For inanimates with માં (mā̃), the genitive bit gets omitted: આમાં (āmā̃), એમાં (emā̃), જેમાં (jemā̃), શેમાં (śemā̃).
  • અમે (ame), અમને (amne), તમે (tame), તમને (tamne), તેણે (tɛṇe), તેમણે (tɛmṇe), તેને (tɛne), તેમને (tɛmne), જેણે (jɛṇe), જેમણે (jɛmṇe), જેને (jɛne) also occur with murmured vowels.[13]
  • In speech શું(śũ) is most often not variable with regards to gender and number. It does have the oblique શે (śɛ), and although શા (śā) exists, it is rarely heard outside the phrase શા માટે (śā māṭē), meaning why (lit. for what reason).
  • In speech, all words beginning with a શ (ś) are often heard as if only with a સ (s). Many speakers consider the શ (ś) to sound pedantic, however in writing, સું (śũ) and all other correspondingly spelled forms appear uneducated or rural.
  • In speech, all words containing an એ (ɛ) are also heard as if with and e. There would be no corresponding Gujarati spelling difference.
  • In speech, આપણે (āpṇe) and all other forms are often pronounced as āpre, āprũ, etc. There would be no corresponding Gujarati spelling difference.


Interrogative Relative Demonstrative
Dist. Prox.
Time ક્યારે kyāre જ્યારે jyāre ત્યારે tyāre અત્યારે atyāre
Place ક્યાં kyā̃ જ્યાં jyā̃ ત્યાં tyā̃ અહીં ahī̃
Quantity કેટલું keṭlũ જેટલું jeṭlũ તેટલું teṭlũ આટલું āṭlũ
Size કેવડું kevṛũ જેવડું jevṛũ તેવડું tevṛũ આવડું āvṛũ
Quality કેવું kevũ જેવું jevũ તેવું tevũ આવું āvũ
Manner કેમ kɛm જેમ jɛm તેમ tɛm આમ ām
  • There is a form કયું (kayũ) which means "which?".
  • કેમ (kɛm) doesn't mean "how" as would be expected; rather it means "why". It does however mean "how" in the greeting કેમ છો (kɛm cho) "how are you?". It may also mean "how" when in reference to a spoken જેમ (jɛm), તેમ (tɛm), or આમ (ām) by means of parallel structure. "How" is usually expressed in these ways: કેવી રીતે (kevī rīte) (lit. "in what kind of way"), કયી રીતે (kayī rīte) (lit. "in which way"), and કેમનું (kɛmnũ).
  • There are several other ways to say "now" in Gujarati: હમણાં (hamaṇā̃), અબઘડી (abghaḍī), હવે (have), and અટાણે (aṭāṇē).
  • અત્રે/અત્ર (atre/atra), તત્રે/તત્ર (tatre/tatra), and યત્રે/યત્ર (yatre/yatra) may also be used to mean "here", "there" and "where", although their usage is far less common than the ones above. These are Sanskrit loanwords while the above are Sanskrit descendants.
  • Just as in the pronouns where તે (te) becomes એ (e) colloquially, the words તેટલું (teṭlũ), તેવડું (tevṛũ), તેવું (tevũ), and તેમ (tɛm) also often lose their initial ત (t) when spoken and even written.
  • ક્યારે (kyāre), જ્યારે (jyāre), ત્યારે (tyāre), અત્યારે (atyāre) are composed of the adverbial locative postpostion એ (e) and the bases ક્યાર (kyār), જ્યાર (jyār), ત્યાર (tyār), અત્યાર (atyār).
  • People often use કેવું (kevũ) to ask about or ascertain a noun's gender. For example, બિલાડી કેવી (bilāḍī kēvī), would indicate that the noun બિલાડી (bilāḍī), "cat", is feminine.
  • When appending postpositions such as (માં (mā̃), થી (thī), નું (nũ), etc.), they are attached to the oblique forms ક્યાર (kyār), કેટલા (keṭlā), કેવડા (kevṛā), કેવા (kevā), etc. resulting in ક્યારથી (kyārthī), કેટલામાં (keṭlāmā̃), etc.



The Gujarati verbal system is largely structured around a combination of aspect and tense/mood. Like the nominal system, the Gujarati verb involves successive layers of (inflectional) elements after the lexical base.[14]

Gujarati has 2 aspects: perfective and imperfective, each having overt morphological correlates. These are participle forms, inflecting for gender, number, and case by way of a vowel termination, like adjectives. The perfective forms from the verb stem, followed by -ય(y)-, capped off by the agreement vowel and the imperfective forms with -ત(t)-.

Derived from હોવું (hɔvũ) "to be" are five copula forms: present, subjunctive, past, contrafactual (aka "past conditional"), and presumptive. Used both in basic predicative/existential sentences and as verbal auxiliaries to aspectual forms, these constitute the basis of tense and mood.

Non-aspectual forms include the infinitive, the imperative, and the agentive. Mentioned morphological conditions such the subjunctive, contrafactual, etc. are applicable to both copula roots for auxiliary usage with aspectual forms and to non-copula roots directly for often unspecified (non-aspectual) finite forms.

Finite verbal agreement is with the nominative subject, except in the transitive perfective, where it is with the direct object, with the erstwhile subject taking the ergative construction -એ(e) (see postpositions above). The perfective aspect thus displays split ergativity. The infinitive's agreement is also with its direct object, if paired with one.

Tabled just below on the left are the paradigms for the major gender and number agreement termination (GN), nominative case. Oblique paradigms differ from those introduced in #Nouns, being either thoroughly -આ(ā) or આં(ā̃). Locative -એ(e) is found in attributive adjectival function only in fixed expressions. To the right are the paradigms for the person and number agreement termination (PN), used by the subjunctive and future. Yellow fields: -એ (e) following C, ઉ (u), ઊ (ū); -ઈ (ī) following ઓ (o), ઓ (ɔ); -ય (y) following આ (ā).

(GN) Sg. Pl.
Masc. -ઓ (o) -આ (ā)
Neut. -ઉં (ũ) -આં (ā̃)
Fem. -ઈ (ī)
(PN) Subj. Fut.
Sg. Pl. Sg. Pl.
1st -ઉં (ũ) -ઈએ (īe) -ઉં (ũ)
2nd -ઓ (o) -ઓ (o)
3rd -એ (e)


The example verb is intransitive hālvũ "to shake", with various sample inflections. Much of the below chart information derives from Masica (1991:300–302, 323–325).

Non-aspectual Aspectual
Inflection: neut. nom. sg.
(GN = ũ, the citation form).
Root * hāl
*-v-GN hālvũ
Obl. Infinitive *-v-ā hālvā
Conjunctive *-ī(ne) hālī(ne)
Agentive *-nār-GN hālnār(ũ)
*-v-ā-n-GN hālvānũ
Adjectivals. Inflection: neut. nom. sg. (GNC = ũ).
Perfective *-el-(GN) hālel(ũ)
Imperfective *-t-GN hāltũ
Adverbials. Obl. of adjectivals.
Perfective *-y-ā̃ hālyā̃
Imperfective *-t-ā̃ hāltā̃
Inflection: 2nd. pl.
(PN = o, Pron. = tame).
Contingent Future *-PN hālo
Definite Future *-(ī)ś-PN hālśo
Inflection: all forms.
2nd pn. 1st pn.
Sg. & Inf. Pl./Form. Pl.
Imperative hāl hālo hālīe
Future Imp. hālje hāljo
Aspectuals plotted against copulas.
Inflection: 3rd. masc. sg. (GN = o, PN = e, Pron. = te).
Perfective[5] Imperfective[6]
*-y-GN[7][8] *-t-GN
Present ch-PN hālyo che hāle che[9]
Subjunctive hɔ-PN hālyo hɔī hālto hɔī
Past ha-t-GN hālyo hato hālto hato
Contrafactual hɔ-t hālyo hɔt hālto hɔt
Presumptive ha-(ī)ś-PN hālyo haśe hālto haśe
Unspecified hālyo hālto
Unsp. Contra. *-(a)t hālat


  • The negation particles are na and nahi with the former standing before the copula (or if no copula, the aspectual form) and the latter generally after. A negation particle combines with present ch-PN however for the invariable nathī. An alternative to the past na hat-GN is nahot-GN.
Aff ch-PN hɔ-PN ha-t-GN hɔ-t ha-(ī)ś-PN
Neg nathī na hɔ-PN na ha-t-GN na hɔ-t ha-(ī)ś-PN nahi na, nahi
  • ^ Gujarati retains an aspectually unmarked form (*-PN) in the function of the Present Imperfective, although a marked form (hālto nathī[10]) replaces it in the negative.[15]
  • ^ Gujarati does not distinguish between habitual and continuous.[16]
  • ^ When GN = ī then y is omitted. hālyo, but hālī.[17]
  • Some roots show vowel alternation:[18]
    • ā/a : jā/ja "go", thā/tha "become, occur".
    • e/ɛ/a/ø : le/lɛ/la/l "take", de/dɛ/da/d "give".
    • o/u : jo/ju "see, look, watch", dho/dhu "wash".
    • ɔ/a/ø : hɔ/ha/h "be".
  • In northern and central Gujarat, roots in regularly have -a- before -īś- of future forms.[18]
  • Certain verb forms show suppletion in their perfective roots: ga- ( "go"), kī- (kar "do" [in some dialects]), dī- (jo "see, look, watch" [in some dialects]).[18]
  • ^ Instead of the general affix -y- in their perfectives a few vowel-terminating roots take dh and s-terminating roots ṭh.
    • dh : khā-dh- (khā "eat"), dī-dh- (de "give"), pī-dh- ( "drink"), lī-dh- (le "take"), bī-dh- ( "fear"), kī-dh- (kahe "say" [in addition to kah-y-]), kī-dh- (kar "do" [in addition to kar-y-]).
    • ṭh : nā-ṭh- (nās "flee"), pɛ-ṭh- (pɛs "enter"), bɛ-ṭh- (bɛs "sit"), dī-ṭh- (jo "see, look, watch" [in addition to jo-y-]).
    • t : sū-t- ( "sleep").
  • The ha in the past auxiliary ha-t-GN is omitted in speech after aspectual forms and negative na.
  • ^ Flexible order: hālto nathī ←→ nathī hālto.[19]
  • The future imperative is politer than the imperative, and using the future tense (questioningly: "will you...?") is politer still.[20]


Gujarati causatives are morphologically contrastive. Verbs can be causativized up to two times, to a double causative.


Causatives are made by two main schemes involving alteration of the root.[21]

  • Lengthening of final vowel; shortening of a preceding vowel (if ū is the only vowel, then → o).
  • Final .


  • Suffix v if ending in vowel or h.
  • Shortening of vowel(s).
  • Suffix: āv, āḍ, v, vḍāv, or eḍ.
  • Sometimes nasalisation (anusvāra).

If the causativization is of a transitive, then the secondary agent, whom the subject "causes to" or "gets to" do whatever, is marked by the postposition nī pāse.[22]


Furthermore, that causative can be causativized again, for a double causative ("to cause to cause... "), with a possible tertiary agent.[23]

  • ḍāv suffixed to 1st causative suffix of āv.
  • āv suffixed to 1st causative suffixes of āḍ and eḍ.
  • Beyond this are irregular forms that must be memorized.


The passive has both periphrastic and morphological means of expression. The former has -mā̃ āvvũ postpositioned to infinitive; the latter has ā added to root, with certain phonological processes as work as well: if the root vowel is ā then it becomes a (See Gujarati phonology#ɑ-reduction) and if the root ends in a vowel then h or v is suffixed.[24] Thus lakhvũ "to write" → lakhvāmā āvvũ, lakhāvũ "to be written". The post-position thī marks the agent, As in other New Indo-Aryan languages, formation of passives is not restricted to transitive verbs and has a restricted domain of usage except in special registers.[25] Both intransitive and transitive may be grammatically passivized to show capacity, in place of compounding with the modal śakvũ "to be able". Lastly, intransitives often have a passive sense, or convey unintentional action.

Sample text[edit]













































એક માણસને બે દીકરો હતા. અને તેઓમાંના નાનાએ બાપને કહ્યું કે, બાપ, સંપતનો પહોંચતો ભાગ મને આપ, ને તેણે તેઓને પુંજી વહેંચી આપી.

Ēka māṇasanē bē dīkarō hatā. Anē tēōmāṁnā nānāē bāpanē kahyuṁ kē, bāpa, saṁpatanō pahōṁcatō bhāga mane āpa, nē tēṇē tēōnē puṁjī vahēṁcī āpī.

A to-man two sons were. And them-in-of by-the-younger to-the-father it-was-said that, "father, of-the-property the-arriving share to-me give," and by-him to-them the-stock having-divided was-given.



  1. ^ (Dwyer 1995, pp. 65–66)
  2. ^ (Dwyer 1995, p. 282)
  3. ^ (Masica 1991, p. 213)
  4. ^ (Masica 1991, p. 473)
  5. ^ Taylor 1908, p. 15.
  6. ^ (Tisdall 1892, p. 27)
  7. ^ (Taylor 1908, p. 13)
  8. ^ (Masica 1991, p. 219)
  9. ^ a b (Dwyer 1995, p. 43)
  10. ^ (Masica 1991, p. 78)
  11. ^ (Dwyer 1995, pp. 320–321)
  12. ^ (Masica 1991, p. 234)
  13. ^ (Cardona & Suthar 2003, pp. 675–676)
  14. ^ Masica (1991:257)
  15. ^ (Masica 1991, p. 302)
  16. ^ (Masica 1991, p. 269)
  17. ^ (Dwyer 1995, p. 149)
  18. ^ a b c (Cardona & Suthar 2003, p. 680)
  19. ^ (Dwyer 1995, pp. 88–89)
  20. ^ (Dwyer 1995, p. 90)
  21. ^ (Dwyer 1995, pp. 304–306)
  22. ^ (Dwyer 1995, p. 307)
  23. ^ (Dwyer 1995, pp. 311–312)
  24. ^ (Dwyer 1995, pp. 292–294)
  25. ^ (Cardona & Suthar 2003, p. 686)
  26. ^ Grierson, G.A. Linguistic Survey of India: Volume IX, Indo-Aryan FamilY: Central Group, Part II: Specimens of the Rājasthānī and Gujarātī. Superintendent Government Printing. p. 365-366.