Friday, November 25, 2005

Grammar - Plural and Singular

Sometimes in Tibetan you don't know if something is plural or singular, you need to figure it out from the context, such as the homage to Buddhas and bodhisattvas, it is assume one is prostrating to more than one of each. Also, if a number is given, then you know the noun is plural (or singular in case gcig is used.)

There's a specific word that is added to the end of the word to indicate plural, rnams, and sometimes, but more rarely, dag, or even tsho. To show a couple of examples:

mi - human, mi rnams - human (this is where we actually know it's plural in Tibetan but not in English).
sangs rgyas - Buddha, sangs rgyas rnams - Buddhas
chos - dharma, chos rnams - dharmas (for example phenomena)
'jig rten, world, 'jig rten rnams - worlds
nyon mong rnams - mental afflictions

Take a look inside Abhidharma-kosha for more plural words!

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