Brahmin Tamil/Grammar9

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  • The use of the particle e as avan irukaan e 'as for him', nie iruke e 'as for you; oh, you, you', adhu iruk e 'that one, oh God; as far as that is concerned', has no parallel in English.
  • Degrees of comparison are expressed by using the expression ei vida followed by an adjective like peria, chinna 'great(er), small(er)':
  • idhu adh ei vida peria thapu 'this is a greater mistake than that'.
  • Nie en ei vida oyaram 'you are taller than I', where oyaram 'height' is a noun.
  • Onomotopoetic words followed by innu, na, nu give rise to adverbs:
  • Chat na 'quickly, suddenly', pahlich nu 'dazzlingly', mazha mazha nu 'sloppily' O nu, oo nu 'loudly' as in kozhandhei oo nu azhudhudhu 'the child cried loudly'.
  • When giving strong advice to children or when admonishing subordinates, instead of 'you should do this, you should do that', a construction that translates 'we did this, we did that, it should be like that' is used :
  • poonom, vandhom innu irukanham 'you should go quickly and come back quickly'.
  • The particle a has several meanings, depending on context:
  • It converts a statement into a question : nie padiche a, illei a ? 'did you study or not ?'
  • Placed after any word in a question, it emphasises that word in the question : idh ei nie a ezhudhine ? 'is it you who wrote this ?'
  • The particle a converts a noun into an adverb : Indhy puu azhah a iruku 'this flower is beautiful'. (a is an abbreviation of aaha, infinitive of the verb aa to become).
  • The particle a (abbr. of aaha) is used with the link verb in the past and future tenses : Eng apaa vaadhiaar 'my father is a teacher', avar vadhiaar a irundhaar 'he was a teacher'.
  • The particle a / aal is a conditional clause or phrase marker: nie kadei ki poon a, saamaan vangindu vaa.” 'If you go to the shop, buy (and bring) the things'. Nie padikara paian a irundh a. 'If you are a student'.
  • Further numerals : 11 padhin ohnnu / onnu, 12 pannendu / pandhrendu, 13 padhi muuynu / muunnu, 14 padhi naalu, 15 padjin anju, 16 padhin aarru, 17 padhin eezhu, 18 padhin etu, 19 path ombadhu, 20 iruvadhu.
  • When giving expression to an approximate number, one may say :
  • ohnn o rend o or ohnnu rendu 'one or two'.

En kite pathu padhin anju ruubaay iruku, 'I have 10 or 15 rupees with me'.