The Verb “Do” | Sinhala Verb Basics

The Verb Do In Sinhala - Lazy But Smart Sinhala


So here’s what I mean by “Do” in this post:


“Do” (verb):

To perform an action. (Duh…)


Now let’s get right into it and learn the present, past, and future tense of “do” in Sinhala >>>


Present Tense


Simple Present

(i.e. Verbs that express a habit or fact. Something that you’d regularly do)

don’t/doesn’t dokȧ∙ran∙né   nǣ      

Sample Phrases:

  • I do this everyday   =   ma∙mȧ   mḗ∙kȧ   hæ∙mȧ∙dhaa∙mȧ   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va
  • I don’t do this everyday   =   ma∙mȧ   mḗ∙kȧ   hæ∙mȧ∙dhaa∙mȧ   kȧ∙ran∙né   nǣ



Present Continuous

(i.e. Verbs that express the action you’re doing at that specific moment)

not doingkȧ∙ran∙né   nǣ1       


1 In Sinhala, the Present Continuous Verb is IDENTICAL to the Simple Present Tense Verb

Sample Phrases:

  • I am doing this now   =   ma∙mȧ   mḗ∙kȧ   dhæn   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va
  • I am not doing this now   =   ma∙mȧ   mḗ∙kȧ   dhæn   kȧ∙ran∙né   nǣ



Past Tense

Simple Past

didn’t dokȧ∙lḗ   nǣ3       


2 Another way to say “did” = ‘ké∙ru∙wa’

3 Another way to say “didn’t do” = ‘ké∙ru∙wé nǣ’

Sample Phrases:

  • I did this yesterday   =   ma∙mȧ   mḗ∙kȧ   ee∙yé   kȧ∙laa
  • I didn’t do this yesterday   =   ma∙mȧ   mḗ∙kȧ   eeyé   kȧ∙lé   nǣ


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Future Tense

Future Using Present Continuous

doing(FUT)kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va 4      
not doing(FUT)kȧ∙ran∙né   nǣ 4      


4 In Sinhala, we often use the Present Continuous Verb to express a future action. It is the context (e.g. “later”, “tomorrow”, “next week”) that will indicate that it’s in the future).

Sample Phrases:

  • I am doing(FUT) this tomorrow   =   ma∙mȧ   mḗ∙kȧ   hé∙tȧ   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va
  • I am not doing(FUT) this tomorrow   =   ma∙mȧ   mḗ∙kȧ   hé∙tȧ   kȧ∙ran∙né   nǣ


And that’s all folks! Now wasn’t that easy?

Here’s a Lazy But Smart summary for you:

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All You Need To Remember:

  • In spoken Sinhala, the Simple Present, Present Continuous, and Future Tense are IDENTICAL
    • “do”, “doing”, and “doing(FUT)”   =   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va
    • “don’t/doesn’t do”, “not doing”, and “not doing(FUT)”   =   kȧ∙ran∙né   nǣ


  • The Past Tense of “Do” in Sinhala is:
    • “did”   =   kȧ∙laa
    • “didn’t do”   =   kȧ∙lḗ   nǣ


  • The verb form in Sinhala doesn’t change based on who is doing the action! (You’ll see this in the quiz below):



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Quiz Time! Now You Try It…


Present Tense

1. If “you” is ‘o∙yaa’, then how would you say “You do this everyday”?

2. If “that” is ‘ḗ∙kȧ’, then how would you say “You don’t do that everyday”?

3. If “he” is ‘é∙yaa’, then how would you say “He is doing that now”?

4. If “The man” is ‘mi∙ni∙ha’, then how would you say “The man is not doing that now”?


Past Tense

5. If “earlier” is ‘ka∙lin’, then how would you say “The man did that earlier”?

6. If “The woman” is ‘gæ∙hæ∙ni’, then how would you say “The woman didn’t do that earlier”?


Future Tense

7. If “later” is ‘pas∙sé’, then how would you say “The woman is doing(FUT) that later”?


(Head up! This next one is a little tricky so pay attention)


8. If “boy” is ‘kol∙la’, then how would you say “The boy is not doing(FUT) that later”?


answer below


Present Tense

1.   o∙yaa   mḗ∙kȧ   hæ∙mȧ∙dhaa∙mȧ   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va

2.   o∙yaa   ḗ∙kȧ   hæ∙mȧ∙dhaa∙mȧ   kȧ∙ran∙né   nǣ

3.   é∙yaa   ḗ∙kȧ   dhæn   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va

4.   mi∙ni∙ha   ḗ∙kȧ   dhæn   kȧ∙ran∙né   nǣ


Past Tense

5.   mi∙ni∙ha   ḗ∙kȧ   ka∙lin   kȧ∙laa

6.   gæ∙hæ∙ni   ḗ∙kȧ   ka∙lin   kȧ∙lé   nǣ


Future Tense

7.   gæ∙hæ∙ni   ḗ∙kȧ   pas∙sé   kȧ∙rȧ∙nȧ∙va

8.   kol∙la   ḗ∙kȧ   pas∙sé   kȧ∙ran∙né   nǣ



And voila! You now know the basics of the verb “do” in Sinhala.


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11 Responses to The Verb “Do” | Sinhala Verb Basics

  1. Jose Mammen May 15, 2016 at 21:19 #

    Thanks for the new words with “do”. Cant digest them all now, but will strive to learn them!

  2. Janette May 17, 2016 at 17:31 #

    Thank you – mamȧ mḗȧ hétȧ kȧrȧnava

  3. Riccardo May 19, 2016 at 15:55 #

    Ayubowan Dilshan! I’ve just subscribed to you blg and I find it very well done and useful, I have received both you phrasebook and you the vocabulary and for me it’s a mine of resources since I’ve always payed more attention on the construction of a good vocabulary that on the studying of the grammar.

    I am from Italy and I have been learning sinhala since three weeks and…well, it’s not the most spoken language in the world so it’s really difficult to find good materials about it both in the libraries and on the Internet. Definitely, this is the best thing you can find throughout the Internet :)
    I’ve learned the alphabet too, it’s not difficult :)

    You are doing a very good job, keep on!
    Bohoma istuti!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha May 20, 2016 at 17:29 #

      Thanks Riccardo. I think I too am more biased towards vocabulary when it comes to a new language. It builds my confidence. Glad you’ve got a similar view. Congrats on cracking the alphabet. Thanks again for your comment and welcome to the blog.

    • Antje May 22, 2016 at 03:48 #

      Hello Riccardo,
      could you suggest me material to learn the alphabet, please? You said it’s not difficult – I would like to try it too. Thank you in advance!

    • Don Massimo Lapponi May 22, 2016 at 09:06 #

      Caro Riccardo,
      anche io sono italiano e faccio grande fatica ad imparare il singalese. Anche a me il metodo piace molto, ma purtroppo, non avendo carta di credito, per ora posso usare soltanto materiale gratuito. E poi non ho più la memoria di un giovanetto e sono molto occupato in altre cose. Ma speriamo bene!
      Don Massimo

      • Riccardo May 28, 2016 at 01:16 #

        Anche io uso il materiale gratuito e integro con altro qui e li, è fattibilissimo. I limiti di tempo ovviamente sono personali :)
        Buona fortuna :)

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