“To”, “For, & “From” with Sinhala Personal Pronouns

To For From SinhalaI’m going to make 2 assumptions:

  1. That you’ve already read my post on Sinhala personal pronouns
  2. And if you haven’t, then you’ll read it and only then come back to this post

Ok?

Now folks, we’re going to keep it very simple… (even more than usual).

What I’m going to do is just take ONE of those personal pronouns (ma∙mȧ) and show you how to say “To me”, “For me”, and “From me” in Sinhala.

Sounds good? Cool, let’s start.


 

How to say “To me” in Sinhala

In Sinhala, we use just one word to say “To me”, as shown below:

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“To me”

ma∙tȧ

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Let’s see how we can use this in a sentence.

To do that, let’s first learn a new verb. I’m going to choose the verb “giving”

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“giving”

dhé∙nȧ∙va

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The sentence we will try to construct now is “You are giving this to me” (as usual, I’m referring to the informal “you”).

Let’s go step by step:

  1. “You” (informal) = o∙yaa
  2. “You (are) giving” = o∙yaa dhé∙nȧ∙va (see Episode 5 where we saw how to construct present tense sentences)
  3. “You (are) giving this” = o∙yaa mḗ∙kȧ dhé∙nȧ∙va (see my post on 21 Sinhala Phrases where we first came across the word mḗ∙kȧ)

and so;

“You (are) giving this to me o∙yaa   ma∙tȧ   mḗ∙kȧ   dhé∙nȧ∙va

Note: regarding placement, in spoken Sinhala, you can place ma∙tȧ ANYWHERE in the above sentence without changing the overall meaning. For example:

  • o∙yaa  mḗ∙kȧ  ma∙tȧ  dhé∙nȧ∙va  ["You (are) giving this to me"]
  • ma∙tȧ  o∙yaa  mḗ∙kȧ  dhé∙nȧ∙va  ["You (are) giving this to me"]

But the most common place to put it would be between the subject (o∙yaa) and the action (mḗ∙kȧ  dhé∙nȧ∙va), as I showed you before.

 

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Before you continue…

If you like what you’ve seen so far, please share this with anyone who might be interested in learning Sinhala

Thanks in advance!

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How to say “For me” in Sinhala

Guess what?

The Sinhala word for “For me” is EXACTLY THE SAME as what we used for “To me”!

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“For me” (and also “To me”)

ma∙tȧ

-

Let’s put this also into a sentence:

I’m going to give you another new verb now: “taking”.

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“taking”

gan∙nȧ∙va

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The sentence we will try to construct now is “You are taking this for me“.

Let’s go step by step:

  1. “You” (informal) = o∙yaa
  2. “You (are) taking” = o∙yaa gan∙nȧ∙va
  3. “You (are) taking this” = o∙yaa mḗ∙kȧ gan∙nȧ∙va

and so;

“You (are) taking this for me o∙yaa   ma∙tȧ   mḗ∙kȧ   gan∙nȧ∙va

Note: Once again, regarding placement, in spoken Sinhala, you can place ma∙tȧ ANYWHERE in the above sentence without changing the overall meaning. For example:

  • o∙yaa  mḗ∙kȧ  ma∙tȧ  gan∙nȧ∙va  ["You (are) taking this for me"]
  • ma∙tȧ  o∙yaa  mḗ∙kȧ  gan∙nȧ∙va  ["You (are) taking this for me"]

But the most common place to put it would be between the subject (o∙yaa) and the action (mḗ∙kȧ  gan∙nȧ∙va), as I showed you before.

And that’s all you need to know for “For me”.

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TIME OUT!

Lazy But Smart Sinhala Time Out

Before going further, let’s take a minute and summarize what we’ve learned so far, shall we?

  • ma∙tȧ can mean either “To me” or “For me” (depending on the context)
  • In most cases, you can place ma∙tȧ anywhere in a sentence (although it’s more typical to place it between the subject and the action)
  • “this” = mḗ∙kȧ
  • “giving” = dhé∙nȧ∙va
  • “taking” = gan∙nȧ∙va

 

And so far, that’s all you need to know! Easy like a dimanche matin…

Let’s now finish up this post by learning how to say “From me” in Sinhala.

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How to say “From me” in Sinhala

Nod if you remember the possessive of ma∙mȧ… (Hint: It starts with ‘ma’ and ends with ‘gé’…)

Well done (ahem)… Yes, it is ma∙gé. We saw this in Episode 2 of the Sinhala Video Tutorials, remember?

Now, the reason I bring this up is simply because the word for “From me” in Sinhala is very close to the word ma∙gé. In fact, we just add an “n” to the end of it:

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“From me”

ma∙gén

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Let’s once again put this into a sentence.

(And enough new verbs for today, let’s use the same verb “taking” which you now know is  gan∙nȧ∙va)

The sentence we will try to construct now is “You are taking this from me“.

Let’s go step by step:

  1. “You” (informal) = o∙yaa
  2. “You (are) taking” = o∙yaa gan∙nȧ∙va
  3. “You (are) taking this” = o∙yaa mḗ∙kȧ gan∙nȧ∙va

and so;

“You (are) taking this from me o∙yaa   ma∙gén   mḗ∙kȧ   gan∙nȧ∙va

Note: Regarding placement, in this case also, in spoken Sinhala you can place ma∙gén ANYWHERE in the above sentence without changing the overall meaning. For example:

  • o∙yaa  mḗ∙kȧ  ma∙gén  gan∙nȧ∙va  ["You (are) taking this from me"]
  • ma∙gén  o∙yaa  mḗ∙kȧ  gan∙nȧ∙va  ["You (are) taking this from me"]

But to keep things simple, continue putting it between the subject (o∙yaa) and the action (mḗ∙kȧ  gan∙nȧ∙va)

 

In conclusion…

  • ma∙tȧ can mean either “To me” or “For me” (depending on the context)
  • ma∙gén means “From me” (it sounds very close to the possessive ma∙gé)
  • In most cases, you can place ma∙tȧ or ma∙gén anywhere in a sentence (although it’s more typical to place it between the subject and the action)
  • “this” = mḗ∙kȧ
  • “giving” = dhé∙nȧ∙va
  • “taking” = gan∙nȧ∙va

 
As usual, leave your questions below and I’ll be happy to help sort them out.

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About Dilshan Jayasinha

I help people learn Sinhala, the main Sri Lankan language, with the minimum needed effort. I spend my days obsessively deconstructing the Sinhala language (I'm WEIRD like that) and I share what I discover through video tutorials, audio podcasts, flash cards, and blog posts (I'm FUN like that) and oh, I even give away a free copy of my Sinhala phrases eBook (I'm AWESOME like that!). This blog is for anyone interested in learning “good-enough” Sinhala but who doesn’t have the time, the need, or is just too damn lazy to become an expert in it.

41 Responses to “To”, “For, & “From” with Sinhala Personal Pronouns

  1. Nalaka July 16, 2013 at 14:28 #

    Everything is perfect,,It is so good some one to learn Sinhala very well.Follow this links,you will learn sinhala rapidly..

    o∙yaa mḗ∙kȧ ma∙tȧ dhé∙nȧ∙va ["You (are) giving this to me"] =
    Oya meka mata denava = without phonetic,spell basically..

    All the best..Dilshan..

  2. sarah July 17, 2013 at 03:05 #

    Awesome post I can see myself speaking Sinhalese really soon:) thanks Dilshan

    • Dilshan Jayasinha July 17, 2013 at 08:28 #

      Thanks Sarah, glad you liked it. Working on a couple more now. Stay tuned.

  3. KEN October 6, 2013 at 15:51 #

    Dilshan,
    hope the move went well, I am the guy going to Sri Lanka for my friends daughters wedding. I was hoping you would help with the wedding greetings. But also I am giving a gift and want to have something inscribed on it. The guys name is Bowhat Kamura, if I put ayubowan after his name does literally translate to Bowhat have a long life? or just Bowhat live long?

    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 9, 2013 at 17:04 #

      Hi Ken, sorry for the delay. I will send you an email some time today about this. Talk to you then.

  4. Martina January 5, 2014 at 09:09 #

    As usual, I enjoyed this lesson, too, and look forward to all the others. Bohoma istoothi.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha January 5, 2014 at 15:08 #

      You’re welcome, Martina. I’d say it in Sinhala but we don’t really have a way of saying “You’re welcome” (instead, we usually just smile in a shy way)… Glad you enjoyed this lesson too. Talk to you again soon.

  5. xavier January 8, 2014 at 09:02 #

    Dear Mr. Jaysinha,

    Greetings of the day, i am working for a corporate company and the company wants me to learn sinhala. i have searched for the training institute but found none. have gone through ur website nd found it interesting and knowledgeable.

    As my company am emergency medical insurance i need words related to it.

    thanks
    Xavier

    • Dilshan Jayasinha January 9, 2014 at 13:11 #

      Hi Xavier,

      I’m glad that you found my blog interesting. Thanks for letting me know, I appreciate it very much!

      I hope to hear from you again soon. Until then, I wish you good luck with your Sinhala learning.

      Take care.

  6. Elizabeth February 3, 2014 at 17:14 #

    Hello Dilshan

    Thank you very much for sharing your lessons with me. Only comment I could say is

    YOU ARE GENIUS. Keep the good work Dil.

    Bless you
    Elizabeth

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 4, 2014 at 18:36 #

      Elizabeth, that’s your ‘only’ comment? That’s MORE THAN ENOUGH. Made my day, thanks! :)

  7. ingrid exel February 4, 2014 at 07:09 #

    hello dilshan,

    mamat isthooti karanava – for all your efforts. they aren’t wasted here in my case, as people start complimenting me already on my sinhala speaking skills. although, all my conversations pretty soon end with my confession, that ‘mata therenne nae’. :-)

    in your bonus supplement you requested a translation of ‘I am speaking to you?’
    would ‘mama oyaata kathaa karanavadha?’ be correct?

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 4, 2014 at 18:53 #

      Hi Ingrid, how are you? Nice to hear from you again.

      So great that you’re getting those compliments. Here let me give you a slightly modified alternative confession to end your conversations with:

      ‘ma∙tȧ thaa∙mȧ ok∙ko∙mȧ thḗ∙rén∙né nǣ’ = “I don’t yet understand everything” (considering how you seem to be improving, I’d say that this version is more accurate, don’t you think?).

      Your answer is absolutely correct (based on what I asked) but I must confess that I just noticed that my question was not the question I wanted to ask… (oops!). I should have written the question as:

      ‘….Can you now try to say “I am speak to you”? – The question mark was supposed to be OUTSIDE the quotation marks. Oops indeed, haha. Sorry about that. But yes, you’re right and as you may have guessed, if I had written the question correctly, the answer would’ve been simply “mama oyaata kathaa karanava” (“I am speaking to you”).

      Thanks to your answer, I noticed the error. So thanks for that. Talk to you again soon.

  8. Dom February 5, 2014 at 10:12 #

    Hi Dilshan, your posts are always fun, and your voice is really funny ( sorry to be harsh )
    tks for keeping it up

  9. Erena February 7, 2014 at 13:16 #

    Your bonus supplement was fantastic – most helpful. I have been curious about how this part of the language (to/for/from) for a while and it is nice to know it isn’t too difficult :) Thanks for the clear way you explained it.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha February 7, 2014 at 14:34 #

      Thank for that Erena, I appreciate it. It’s always a concern of mine if I’m confusing the reader even more so your feedback was very reassuring. Also, once I try explaining something, I love hearing that it turned out to be less difficult than initially thought. That never gets old :) Thank you.

  10. Aravind May 30, 2014 at 14:11 #

    Thank you very much Dilshan for (once again) another amazing effort in bringing us this! I appreciate it deeply and hope that you never stop enlightening us!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha May 30, 2014 at 14:30 #

      You’re welcome Aravind! Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it.

  11. Jane June 1, 2014 at 00:54 #

    As requested, you are just amazing! I love everything you do, and you make it all so easy. Back in Sri Lanka on 28th, so a lot of practicing to do. Thank you for being there, this is the best learning I have found! Thank you.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha June 6, 2014 at 13:11 #

      Haha, thanks Jane! I loved the “As requested” part :)

      Thank you for the lovely comment, I’m glad you find my material so effective. Have a great trip to SL. Please do tell me all about it when you get back.

  12. Dorothy June 2, 2014 at 11:45 #

    Hi Dilshan

    Thanks very much for bringing us this information on Sinhalese grammar. Your blog and advice are always very helpful to me. Unfortunately, I have not had much time lately to practise Sinhalese or learn more but I’m still hanging on to what I’ve learnt so far!!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha June 6, 2014 at 13:12 #

      Thanks for your comment Dorothy. Don’t worry, not having enough time is something I hear a lot from many of my readers. But what’s important is that you progressing each day and as you said you’re “hanging on to” whatever you’ve picked up so far. Keep it up, you’re doing fine! :)

  13. Charlene June 6, 2014 at 03:15 #

    Hi Dilshan! Thank you so much for the bonus supplement. I’m really, really impressed with the effort you put in this, especially for a language blog. You really know your audience, and it’s great that you interact with them often. Keep it up!

  14. Dilshan Jayasinha June 6, 2014 at 13:15 #

    Thanks Charlene, that’s very nice of you to say. I would even go a little further and add that the reason I seem to know my audience is mainly because of the constant interaction I have with them. Luckily for me, I enjoy the interacting part so whatever feedback I get from that is a happy bonus :)

    Take care and thank you again for your comment.

  15. Furkhan June 22, 2014 at 20:06 #

    Thanks very much Dilshan
    For bringing us this information on Sinhalese. I really love it.
    Pls. Keep going

  16. Nirin June 29, 2014 at 03:57 #

    Dilshan Ayubowan _/\_

    Thank you so much for the great lesson I’ve learned so much from your blog even more than 7 months in Sri lanka that I was struggling with how to use ma.t

    Now everything is so clear,you have such a great teaching! hope one day I will be able to speak good enough sinhala :-)

    • Dilshan Jayasinha July 4, 2014 at 20:22 #

      Oh wow Nirin, that’s awesome to hear. Thanks so much for the huge compliment. I appreciate very much. I’m sure you’ll get there soon, nothing to worry :)

      Talk to you again soon and thanks once more.

  17. Nilo August 30, 2014 at 06:28 #

    Nice one…. :)

  18. Elisa September 1, 2014 at 14:02 #

    But, How can i say ” to someone” ? For example ” I’m giving this to Dilshan”…

    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 1, 2014 at 19:29 #

      Hi Elisa,

      “I’m giving this to Dilshan” = ma∙mȧ mḗ∙kȧ Dilshan∙tȧ dhé∙nȧ∙va

      – dhé∙nȧ∙va = giving
      – ma∙mȧ dhé∙nȧ∙va = I am giving
      – ma∙mȧ mḗ∙kȧ dhé∙nȧ∙va = I am giving this
      – ma∙mȧ mḗ∙kȧ Dilshan∙tȧ dhé∙nȧ∙va = I am giving this to Dilshan

      Hope that’s clear?

  19. Elisa September 2, 2014 at 14:02 #

    Thank you very much!

  20. Elisabeth September 9, 2014 at 00:17 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    Thank you once again for the supplementary set of ‘to, for, from’.

    I love your approach to language learning and teaching.

    If you want to say ‘I am coming from …’ Is this the same ‘from’? ‘…gen’ ?

    Looking forward to more lessons (how would you say that? ‘I am looking forward to …’

    Elisabeth

    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 7, 2014 at 11:36 #

      No Elisabeth, it would be different when we use “from” with an object (in your example, a country or city).

      So…

      “I am coming from Austria” would be ‘ma∙mȧ én∙né os∙tri∙yaa∙vén’ (notice that ‘os∙tri∙yaa∙vȧ’ became ‘os∙tri∙yaa∙vén’)

      “I am looking forward” / “I am waiting in anticipation” = ‘‘ma∙mȧ ba∙laa∙po∙roth∙thu∙wén in∙nȧ∙va’ or more simply “‘ma∙mȧ ba∙lan in∙nȧ∙va’

  21. Meera October 7, 2014 at 08:25 #

    Thanks for the greAt lessons! I hAve a question which may be stupid….in episode 5 you taught that doing is ‘karanava’ so that speaking becomes ‘kathakaranava’. Why is it then that giving is ‘denava’ and not ‘de-karanava’ or something like that?! I said it would be a stupid question! Thanks :)

    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 7, 2014 at 11:39 #

      Hi Meera, not a stupid question :) I guess the answer would be that it’s just the way it is (and I don’t know why else). Not every verb in Sinhala is a compound verb with karanava in it.

      I think I may have given you a stupid answer though :)

  22. Troy October 9, 2014 at 07:06 #

    Dilshan

    Once again thank you so much for doing another great blog. Your blogs are always so easy to follow and you make it fun to learn. Thanks to blogs like these I should have the sinhala fundamentals under control before my trip to Sri Lanka next January

    Thanks again

    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 9, 2014 at 07:14 #

      Troy, you’re very welcome. Thanks for the feedback, glad that my stuff is easy to grasp. I’m sure we’ll speak again before your trip in January. All the best and thanks again.

  23. Indika October 30, 2014 at 13:13 #

    Thanks Dilshan!

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