Tamil Grammar

Welcome to the 8th lesson about Tamil grammar. We will first learn about prepositions, negation, questions, adverbs, and pronouns including: personal, object and possessive pronouns. To hear the pronunciation, just click on the sound icon.

We will start with prepositions. In general, they are used to link words to other words. For example: I speak Tamil and English the preposition is [and] because it connects both words Tamil and English. The following is a list of the most used prepositions in Tamil.

Prepositions
Tamil
Pronunciation
and
மற்றும்
[matrum] Audio
above
மேலே
[mele] Audio
under
கீழே
[keezhe] Audio
before
முன்பு
[munpu] Audio
after
பின்பு
[pinpu] Audio
in front of
முன்னால்
[munnāl] Audio
behind
பின்னால்
[pinnāl] Audio
far from
தூரம்
[thooram] Audio
near
பக்கம்
[pakkam] Audio
in
இல்
[il] Audio
inside
உள்ளே
[ulle] Audio
outside
வெளியே
[veliye] Audio
with
உடன்
[utan] Audio
without
இல்லாமல்
[illāmal] Audio
about
ஏறத்தாழ
[eraththāzha] Audio
between
இடையே
[itaiye] Audio
but
ஆனால்
[ānāl] Audio
for
பொருட்டு
[poruttu] Audio
from
இருந்து
[irundhu] Audio
to
வரை
[varai] Audio

Preposition Grammar Rules

The following examples use prepositions in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Prepositions + Rules
Tamil + Pronunciation
I eat without a knife
[preposition + noun]
நான் ஒரு கத்தி இல்லாமல் சாப்பிடுகிறேன் Audio
[nān oru kaththi illāmal sāppitukiren]
she lives near the church
[verb + preposition]
அவள் தேவாலயம் அருகே வசிக்கி றாள் Audio
[aval thevālayam aruke vasikki rāl]
he is taller than her
[adjective + preposition]
அவன் அவளை விட உயரமாக இருக்கிறான் Audio
[avan avalai vita uyaramāka irukkirān]
he came with his small dog
[preposition + pronoun]
அவன் அவனுடைய சிறிய நாயுடன் வந்தான் Audio
[avan avanutaiya siriya nāyutan vandhān]
can you come with me?
[preposition + pronoun]
நீங்கள் என்னுடன் வர முடியுமா? Audio
[neengal ennutan vara mutiyumā?]

Negation in Tamil

Now let's learn how to make a negative sentence (negation). For example: Saying no, I can't, I don't ... The following examples use negation in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.

Negation + Rules
Tamil + Pronunciation
I understand you
[affirmative form]
நான் உன்னை புரிந்துகொள்கிறேன் Audio
[nān unnai purindhukolkiren]
I don't understand you
[negation + verb]
நான் உன்னை புரிந்து கொள்ளவில்லை Audio
[nān unnai purindhu kollavillai]
this is not the correct word
[negation + adjective]
இது சரியான வார்த்தை இல்லை Audio
[idhu sariyāna vārththai illai]
don't leave me
[imperative negation]
என்னை விட்டுப் போகாதே Audio
[ennai vittup pokādhe]
no problem
[negation + noun]
பிரச்சனை இல்லை Audio
[pirachchanai illai]

Negative Sentences
Tamil + Pronunciation
I don't speak French
[negation + present tense]
நான் பிரெஞ்சு பேசுவதில்லை Audio
[nān pirenju pesuvadhillai]
she didn't visit Germany
[negation + past tense]
அவள் ஜெர்மனி சென்றதில்லை Audio
[aval jermani sendradhillai]
he cannot see us
[negative modal verb]
அவர் எங்களை பார்க்க முடியாது Audio
[avar engalai pārkka mutiyādhu]
can't she play chess?
[interrogative negation]
அவள் செஸ் விளையாடக் கூடாதா? Audio
[aval ses vilaiyātak kootādhā?]
we will not come late
[negation + future tense]
நாங்கள் தாமதமாக வர மாட்டோம் Audio
[nāngal thāmadhamāka vara māttom]

Questions in Tamil

Now let's learn how to ask questions (interrogative). Such as: what, why, can you ...? Here are some common examples:

English
Tamil
Pronunciation
how?
எப்படி?
[eppati?] Audio
what?
என்ன?
[enna?] Audio
who?
யார்?
[yār?] Audio
why?
ஏன்?
[en?] Audio
where?
எங்கே?
[enge?] Audio

More of the interrogative form, now in a sentence:

Questions + Rules
Tamil + Pronunciation
where do you live?
[interrogative + verb]
நீங்கள் எங்கு வசிக்கிறீர்கள்? Audio
[neengal engu vasikkireerkal?]
does she speak Chinese?
[interrogative verb]
அவள் சீனமொழி பேசுவாளா? Audio
[aval seenamozhi pesuvālā?]
how much is this?
[interrogative preposition]
இது எவ்வளவு? Audio
[idhu evvalavu?]
can I help you?
[interrogative modal verb]
நான் உங்களுக்கு உதவட்டுமா? Audio
[nān ungalukku udhavattumā?]
what is your name?
[interrogative preposition]
உங்கள் பெயர் என்ன? Audio
[ungal peyar enna?]

Adverbs in Tamil

It's time to learn the adverbs in Tamil. But what is an adverb? In general, adverbs modify verbs and adjectives. For example: You speak fast. The adverb is [fast] because it describes the verb and answers the question how do you speak?. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Adverbs
Tamil
Pronunciation
now
இப்பொழுது
[ippozhudhu] Audio
yesterday
நேற்று
[netru] Audio
today
இன்று
[indru] Audio
tonight
இன்றிரவு
[indriravu] Audio
tomorrow
நாளை
[nālai] Audio
soon
சீக்கிரம்
[seekkiram] Audio
quickly
சீக்கிரமாக
[seekkiramāka] Audio
slowly
மெதுவாக
[medhuvāka] Audio
together
ஒன்றாக
[ondrāka] Audio
very
மிகவும்
[mikavum] Audio
almost
பெரும்பாலும்
[perumpālum] Audio
always
எப்பொழுதும்
[eppozhudhum] Audio
usually
வழக்கமாக
[vazhakkamāka] Audio
sometimes
சிலசமயம்
[silasamayam] Audio
rarely
அபூர்வமாக
[apoorvamāka] Audio
never
ஒரு போதும் இல்லை
[oru podhum illai] Audio

The following examples use the adverbs in different ways and places to demonstrate how it behaves in a sentence.

Adverbs + Rules
Tamil + Pronunciation
do you understand me now?
[pronoun + adverb]
நீங்கள் என்னை இப்போதுபுரிந்து கொண்டீர்களா? Audio
[neengal ennai ippodhupurindhu konteerkalā?]
I need help immediately
[noun + adverb]
எனக்கு உடனடியாக உதவி வேண்டும் Audio
[enakku utanatiyāka udhavi ventum]
she is very intelligent
[adverb + adjective]
அவள் மிகவும் புத்திசாலி Audio
[aval mikavum puththisāli]
I will always love you
[verb + adverb]
நான் எப்போதும் உன்னை காதலிப்பேன் Audio
[nān eppodhum unnai kādhalippen]
can we learn German together?
[adverb in a question]
நாம் ஜெர்மன் மொழியை ஒன்றாக கற்று கொள்ளலாமா? Audio
[nām jerman mozhiyai ondrāka katru kollalāmā?]

Pronouns in Tamil

We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Tamil. In general, a pronoun can be used instead of a noun. For example instead of saying my teacher speaks 3 languages, you can use the pronoun he, and say he speaks 3 languages. Here is a list of the most common ones:

Personal Pronouns
Tamil
Pronunciation
I
நான்
[nān] Audio
you
நீ
[nee] Audio
he
அவன்
[avan] Audio
she
அவள்
[aval] Audio
we
நாங்கள்
[nāngal] Audio
they
அவர்கள்
[avarkal] Audio

Object Pronouns
Tamil
Pronunciation
me
என்னை
[ennai] Audio
you
உன்னை
[unnai] Audio
him
அவனை
[avanai] Audio
her
அவளை
[avalai] Audio
us
எங்களை
[engalai] Audio
them
அவர்களை
[avarkalai] Audio

Possessive Pronouns
Tamil
Pronunciation
my
என்னுடைய
[ennutaiya] Audio
your
உன்னுடைய
[unnutaiya] Audio
his
அவனுடைய
[avanutaiya] Audio
her
அவளுடைய
[avalutaiya] Audio
our
எங்களுடைய
[engalutaiya] Audio
their
அவர்களுடைய
[avarkalutaiya] Audio

I think it's better to put the above example in a sentence to better assist you. The following examples use pronouns in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence. We will start with the personal pronouns.

Personal Pronouns
Tamil + Pronunciation
I am your friend
[1st pronoun + verb]
நான் உன் நண்பன் Audio
[nān un nanpan]
you speak very fast
[2nd pronoun + adverb]
நீங்கள் வேகமாக பேசுகிறீர்கள் Audio
[neengal vekamāka pesukireerkal]
he has three dogs
[3rd pronoun + verb]
அவரிடம் மூன்று நாய்கள் உள்ளன Audio
[avaritam moondru nāikal ullana]
she can speak German
[3rd pronoun + verb]
அவளால் ஜெர்மன் பேசமுடியும் Audio
[avalāl jerman pesamutiyum]
we will not come late
[1st plural pronoun]
நாங்கள் தாமதமாக வர மாட்டோம் Audio
[nāngal thāmadhamāka vara māttom]
they bought milk and bread
[3rd plural pronoun]
அவர்கள் பால் மற்றும் ரொட்டி வாங்கினார்கள் Audio
[avarkal pāl matrum rotti vānginārkal]

The object pronoun is used as a target by a verb, and usually come after that verb. For example: I gave him my book. The object pronoun here is him. Here are more examples:

Object Pronouns
Tamil + Pronunciation
can you tell me your name?
[1st object pronoun]
நீங்கள் உங்கள் பெயரை எனக்கு சொல்ல முடியுமா? Audio
[neengal ungal peyarai enakku solla mutiyumā?]
I will give you money
[2nd object pronoun]
நான் உனக்கு பணம் கொடுப்பேன் Audio
[nān unakku panam kotuppen]
she wrote him a letter
[3rd object pronoun]
அவள் அவனுக்கு ஒரு கடிதம் எழுதினாள் Audio
[aval avanukku oru katidham ezhudhināl]
they visited her yesterday
[3rd object pronoun]
அவர்கள் நேற்று அவளை சென்று பார்த்தனர் Audio
[avarkal netru avalai sendru pārththanar]
can she help us?
[1st pl. object pronoun]
அவள் நமக்கு உதவ முடியுமா? Audio
[aval namakku udhava mutiyumā?]
he gave them food
[3rd pl. object pronoun]
அவன் அவர்களுக்கு உணவு கொடுத்தான் Audio
[avan avarkalukku unavu kotuththān]

Possessive Pronouns
Tamil + Pronunciation
my name is Maya
[1st possessive pronoun]
என் பெயர் மாயா Audio
[en peyar māyā]
your brother lives here
[2nd possessive pronoun]
உங்கள் சகோதரர் இங்கே வசிக்கிறார் Audio
[ungal sakodharar inge vasikkirār]
her mother cooks for us
[3rd possessive pronoun]
எங்களுக்கு அவளுடைய தாயார் சமைக்கிறாள். Audio
[engalukku avalutaiya thāyār samaikkirāl.]
his hobby is reading books
[3rd possessive pronoun]
புத்தகங்கள் படிப்பது அவரது பொழுதுபோக்கு Audio
[puththakangal patippadhu avaradhu pozhudhupokku]
our dream is to visit Paris
[1st pl. possessive pronoun]
பாரிஸ் செல்வது எங்கள் கனவாகும் Audio
[pāris selvadhu engal kanavākum]
their house is not far
[3rd pl. possessive pronoun]
அவர்களின் வீடு தொலைவில் இல்லை Audio
[avarkalin veetu tholaivil illai]

One more thing you need to know is the demonstrative pronouns. They're very easy to learn.

Demonstrative Pronouns
Tamil
Pronunciation
this is my house
இது என் வீடு
[idhu en veetu] Audio
that restaurant is far
அந்த உணவகம் தூரத்தில் உள்ளது
[andha unavakam thooraththil ulladhu] Audio
these apples are delicious
இந்த ஆப்பிள்கள் சுவையாக உள்ளன
[indha āppilkal suvaiyāka ullana] Audio
those stars are shiny
அந்த நட்சத்திரங்கள் பிரகாசமாக உள்ளன
[andha natchaththirangal pirakāsamāka ullana] Audio

I hope you learned a lot about the Tamil grammar in this lesson. If you have any question about this lesson please contact me here. The next lesson is below, have fun!

Tamil Phrases   Tamil Phrases

Tamil Vocabulary   Tamil Vocabulary



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Inspirational Quote: First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Epictetus