The Laziest Way To Learn Sinhala Adjectives (And My First Attempt At a “Combo” Post)

Sinhala Adjectives - lazy but smart sinhala-2

Photo Credits: Awesome Father
(Taken at 8.30 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Explains the sleepy eyes & the f***ed up smile)


So here it is. I’m about to show you why learning Sinhala adjectives is as easy as posing for a blog photo on an early Sunday morning…

You’ll also notice that I’ve tried a couple of new things:

  1. A “Combo” Post where I’ve combined 2 previous posts to introduce you to Sinhala Adjectives
  2. A new interactive tool to test what you learned – but this is only for you good kids who read the entire blog post until the end, ok?

(Sidenote: I just Googled “Combo post” and didn’t find it being used anywhere, at least not in this context. So I own this word now!).

Ok, now let’s go tackle the big dark scary monster known as “Sinhala Adjectives” (no one calls it that, I just wanted to be over-dramatic)…


Definition Of “Adjective”

It’s just a word that describes a noun. Duh…

For example: Awesome Father, Naughty Shakeel, or (ahem) Lazy but Smart Dilshan.


My Approach To Learning Sinhala Adjectives

One of our Tribesters, Julie suggested this kind of post back in October 2013. Then in Feb 2014 Lily, another member of our growing little family, also suggested it (I don’t think that she and Julie conspired together…). And only now have I got around to doing it (see what I mean by “Lazy”???). But thank you ladies for giving me the idea. Where would I be without you? :)

So, I’ve combined the following 2 posts:

But if you’ve not read either of them yet, no worries! I’ve done this post in a way that you can still learn the Sinhala Adjectives. But I do strongly recommend that you read them after you’re done with this, ok?

I’ve laid out a 5-Step plan to learn Sinhala Adjectives. I’ll be using the color “white” as our sample adjective and the animal “dog” as our sample noun.

Let’s start!


My 5-Step Plan To Learn Sinhala Adjectives

Step 1: Learn The Main Rule Of Sinhala Adjectives

Unlike with some other languages (French, Italian, or even Hindi as far as I know) in Sinhala the adjective is NEVER modified regardless if the noun following it is singular, plural, masculine, or feminine. The adjective word will always stay the same (just like in English)!!!

For example, in English when we say “Tall man”, “Tall woman”, “Tall men” or “Tall women”, the word “Tall” isn’t modified at all. This will be the same in Sinhala. FYI, in French, the word for tall (“grand”) will vary from “grand”, “grande”, “grands”, to “grandes” in the above example.

Now doesn’t that make the next 4 steps so much easier for us?


Orange arrow


Step 2: Remember the words for WHITE and DOG in Sinhala

White su∙dhu       
Dog bal∙la       


Note: In Sinhala ‘bal∙la’ means both “Dog” and “The dog”. Another lucky break for us. Nothing additional to remember.


Step 3: Learn to say “The white dog”

Here’s the complicated part…

No it’s not! It’s EASIEST part: You just simply put the color “su∙dhu” before ‘bal∙la’.

The white dog su∙dhu   bal∙la       

As mentioned before,the Sinhala adjective (in this case ‘su∙dhu’) will always stay the same even if we used the plural of dogs (‘bal∙lo’) or the feminine noun of dog (‘bæl∙li’).

So fricking simple!


Orange arrow


Step 4: Replacing “White” with 12 other adjectives

Here’s a list of 12 other commonly used Sinhala adjectives to describe living things:


Big lo∙ku       
Small po∙di       
Good hoňdhȧ       
Bad na∙rȧ∙kȧ       
Young tha∙ru∙nȧ       
Old va∙yȧ∙sȧ∙kȧ       
Good-looking las∙sȧ∙nȧ       
Ugly kæ∙thȧ       
Tall u∙sȧ       
Short ko∙tȧ       
Fat ma∙ha∙thȧ       
Thin két∙tu       


Click To Play With The Flashcards: Sinhala Adjectives


Orange arrow - final step


Step 5: A “Cool Tool” To Help You Remember These 12 Sinhala Adjectives

Did you honestly think that I was going to give you a list of Sinhala adjectives and (literally) fly away? “O ye of little faith…” You know that I wouldn’t do that to you.

Most of you know that I personally hate having to memorize things. Of course it’s sometimes necessary but I always try to minimize that part for you.

So… I’ve done a new playful thingamajig, that I think should help you remember these Sinhala adjectives in a fun way.


But before that, there is ONE THING that I’d like to ask from you:


Please ‘like’ this post so that others may also get to know about it and I’ll become so famous that I’ll need to hire a private bodyguard. Just click on your preferred social media button(s)


Thanks in advance!


Ok, here it is: It’s a new multiple choice quiz. Click on “Get started” to erm… get started. Let me know if you find it useful and if I should do more of it in the future?

Also stay tuned for Part 2 of this post.. We’ll learn how to say “A white dog” (it’s a little more tricky) and we’ll replace DOG with some other new nouns.

Hope you enjoyed this one folks, speak to you again in the comments below.

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72 Responses to The Laziest Way To Learn Sinhala Adjectives (And My First Attempt At a “Combo” Post)

  1. Eeva September 28, 2014 at 12:01 #

    Absolutely brilliant, Dilshan. I have only just joined your tribe, but I can see that my journey is going to be very enjoyable. I appreciate your sense of humour – keep it up. Now I better go and learn my colours and animals in Sinhala. As we are talking about animals perhaps the following adjectives could be good to learn:
    – friendly
    – dangerous
    – happy
    – angry
    – loud
    – quiet
    Have a good holiday!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 28, 2014 at 12:19 #

      Hi Eeva, I’m happy to welcome you!

      Many of my subscribers needed a couple of months to realize that I shamelessly like to be flattered with words like “absolutely brilliant” but you seem to have picked up on it already :) No but seriously, thank you for the kind words and also for your contribution.

      I’m sure we’ll talk again soon.Thanks for your comment!

  2. Dianne September 28, 2014 at 12:28 #

    Great post. I’m hoping your blog will finally make learning Sinhala easier and so far I’ve not been disappointed.
    How about some emotion adjectives? Sad, happy, grumpy?

    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 28, 2014 at 12:40 #

      Thanks Dianne, I’m hoping so too :)

      Thanks for the emotional adjectives. Hmm.. “grumpy”. I don’t think I know the Sinhala word for it off the top of my head. Weird since those who are close to me on multiple times have called me grumpy…

      Will look into it. Thanks for your suggestion.

      • Dilshan Jayasinha September 28, 2014 at 12:48 #

        Photographic evidence to back up what I was saying before. My coffee mug, haha:

    • Lety October 1, 2014 at 21:08 #

      Happy = sathutuie / sad = dukai…. :)

      • Dilshan Jayasinha October 6, 2014 at 18:16 #

        Yes Lety, that’s correct. But note the following:

        lamaya sathutuyi = “The child is happy”

        lamaya dhukayi= “The child is sad”

        (but to use the the same form of adjectives as we did in this post):

        sathutu lamaya = “The happy child”

        dhuka lamaya = “The sad child”

        See what I mean?

  3. Elisabeth September 28, 2014 at 13:08 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    Great stuff as always. I am glad you are not taking your sexy little ‘budgie smugglers’ on your holidays. You had me going there for a moment, but breathed a sigh of relief, when you admitted to trickery.

    Ok, an adjective that I feel is totally necessary to know would be ‘fantastic’ or ‘wonderful’ – ‘Have a fantastic holiday!’

    Thank you again,


    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 28, 2014 at 14:21 #

      Haha, “budgie smugglers”! Been a while since I heard that expression.

      Thanks for the suggestion. I won’t give it away now. That way I’ll make sure you’ll be back for the next post :)

      Thanks again Elisabeth!

  4. Savvas September 28, 2014 at 13:27 #

    Wow- you’ve done it again. Another practical and hands-on lesson with adjectives. Great idea Dilshan. The most used adjectives, adverbs etc are always good to include as they will likely be the only ones we will use the most as Sinhalese students!

    Im not so sure about using The word fricking as it can be viewed by some as rather rude.

    Thanks again for a great lesson

    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 28, 2014 at 14:26 #

      Thanks Savvas! Glad you liked it. And more than anything you used the exact adjectives (“practical” and “hands-on”) that I was hoping for when I wrote this post, so good to know I got it right. Yay!

      Haha, and about “fricking”, nah… I think most people can (or rather should be able to) handle something as mild as that. But thanks for the heads up anyway.

      Take care Savvas and speak to you again soon.

  5. Chandra September 28, 2014 at 16:19 #

    Great work Dilshan. I am going to teach my grand children “adjectives” this week using your blog.
    Thanks. Hope you have a wonderful time in Thailand.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 28, 2014 at 16:48 #

      Thank you Chandra :) Please tell the little ones that Uncle Dilshan says hello. Oh and please tell me their names too. It’s high time I stopped referring to them as “little ones”.

  6. Julie Marie September 28, 2014 at 19:09 #

    Hi Dilshan,
    Haven’t heard from you for a while, we’ve missed you!
    I’d like to know what the adjectives ‘handsome’ and ‘beautiful’ are?
    Thanks, have a great holiday.
    Oh and by the way, you look pretty good to us at 8.30 in the morning (he he)

    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 28, 2014 at 20:25 #

      Hi Julie-Marie, I was not planning on giving the translations in the comments but in Part 2 instead. But I’ve decided to make an exception for you (see how weak I am for flattery…)

      The word “lassana” mentioned above can be also used for beautiful. It can be used on a man too (as good looking). However the word for handsome is kadavasam. Don’t use this on a woman…

      Hope that was clear?

      (Sorry I can’t use my usual transliteration since I’m writing this on my phone)

  7. Leanne September 28, 2014 at 19:22 #

    “Sinhala the adjective is NEVER modified”….ah good news! Great combo-ing (I own that word!) fabulous post, bravo….ps small is podi and small amount is podak?

    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 28, 2014 at 20:28 #

      Hi Leanne, “how how?” (Better get used to that greeting during your upcoming trip to SL). Glad you liked the post. Yes poddak (note the 2 d’s) means “a little”.

  8. Jo September 28, 2014 at 20:58 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    Love the blog, I have been going to srilanka for the past six years and enjoy learning to speak Sinhala so I have found your laziest way to learn Sinhala a great help, will be going back to SL in November. Enjoy your trip to Thailand.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 28, 2014 at 21:56 #

      Thanks for the kind words Jo! I’m sure we’ll talk again before November so i won’t yet wish you a bon voyage :). Thanks again for your comment!

  9. Nand-Amal Ratnaike September 28, 2014 at 21:20 #

    Hi Dilshan,

    Thank you so much for providing a fun, easy way to learn how to speak good-enough Sinhala. Your practical system first attracted me, and your positive, humorous approach keeps me coming back. This site is also technically well designed, so it’s easy to use. Excellent work! Dare I say brilliant?

    Here are some essential Thai phrases for your upcoming vacation.
    Greeting “hello”/”good bye” = sa.wat.dee + kup/ka (male/female speaker)
    Thank you = kop.kun + kup/ka (m/f speaker, polite to add to most phrases below)
    How are you = sa.bai dee mai (lit. are you healthy)
    Have you eaten = gin kao ruh yung (lit. eat rice yet)
    Where are you going = pai nai
    Going out for fun = pai thi.ow
    Tastes good = ah.roy dee
    How much = tao.rai
    Too expensive = pang maak

    Having compiled this brief list, I have even greater respect for all the thought and effort you invested in developing your wonderful site.

    Thanks, Amal

    • Dilshan Jayasinha September 28, 2014 at 22:02 #

      Oh wow Amal! That’s so helpful! Thank you! I will try these words out and i really hope to Zeus that you’ve not loaded me with some bad words. Well, i’ll find out soon :). No but seriously, thank you for this. And also for the nice things you had to say about this little blog of mine. I feel very encouraged. Talk to you again soon. Kop.kun :)

  10. Alan September 28, 2014 at 23:46 #

    Hi Dilshan,
    I play golf when I’m in Sri Lanka, so it would be handy to know ‘good’ and ‘bad’ for when my caddie is describing my shots. If I’m only allowed one I’ll have ‘bad’ as it will get used a lot more often!

    It would also help to know the words for ‘clever’ and ‘kind’.

    Keep up the good work, I’ve got the lazy bit covered now, but still some work to do before I’m smart!


    • Alan September 29, 2014 at 09:51 #

      Hey Dilshan, I’ve just read your post again and of course you have already covered ‘good’ and ‘bad’…. Told you I wasn’t smart yet!


      • Dilshan Jayasinha October 6, 2014 at 18:19 #

        Haha, don’t sell yourself short my friend. You’re doing just fine :)

        FYI, while playing golf, if you wanted to say ‘it’s good” or “it’s bad”, you’ll have slightly change the words to say ‘hondhayi” or “narakayi”.

        Will probably cover it in part 2 of Sinhala adjectives.

        • Dilshan Jayasinha October 6, 2014 at 18:20 #

          And I’ll also mention the Sinhala words for ‘clever’ and ‘kind’ in that too.


          “clever” = dhaksha

          “kind” = karunaavantha (or even hondha)

  11. Nargis September 29, 2014 at 05:50 #

    Hello Dilshan,
    Although i took some time to write my first comment, but i must say i am absolutely delightful to be a part of ur blog …i had been wanting to learn sinhala for a long time but never have i found any website or blog this easy and interesting…u have made learning sinhala super fun specially for girl like me who din even know the “S” about
    About today’s adjective part,it was again,very helpful…i would also like to know how to say
    oops..asked too many i gues:)
    Have a nice holiday:)

    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 6, 2014 at 18:26 #

      Hi Nargis, congratulations on your first comment! Please make sure there’ll be manyt many more, ok? :)

      Thanks for the suggested adjectives and no, you didn’t ask for too many at all. Shall include them in Part 2.

      Thanks for the nice words about my approach to introducing Sinhala. Also thanks for the holiday wishes. I put up some photos here from it in case you’re interested. Take care and thanks again:

  12. Pat Archer September 29, 2014 at 10:01 #

    Morning Dilshan,no flattery from me,you have probably heard it all{and more!} but just a little tip for meeting and greeting in Thailand,my son lives there now and I ‘ve had a couple of wonderful holidays there.Thai people love it when visitors to their country perform the wai[accent on the i but do not have it on my keyboard] There are 3 levels of greeting,1st,to images of Buddha,monks,high status people,put hands at chest level together[as in prayer] and lower head till thumb touches forehead,2nd for older,less elevatedstatus people, same as before but head comes down so thumb touches nose,3rd for family,relatives, as before but bow head.I hope you get the same delightful reaction I did by performing the wai.Best regards Pat.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 6, 2014 at 18:31 #

      Hi Pat, thanks so much for taking the time to explain that! I had no idea. Much appreciated. I did try my best to get it as close to what you described whenever I was greeted by the hotel staff. They were so courteous and amazingly kind. They left a great impression on me. Made the entire holiday that much more special.

      FYI, I just shared a few pics from the trip on this link:

      Thanks again for your generous contribution. Speak again soon. sa.wat.dee.kup! :)

  13. Patrick September 29, 2014 at 12:18 #

    Yes, we would like more of this thingamagic :) Along with the usual!
    Thanks. Love this blog :)

    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 6, 2014 at 18:33 #

      Thanks Patrick, I will squeeze in a quiz whenever it makes sense for future posts. Talk to you again soon.

  14. Stefan September 29, 2014 at 14:22 #

    Hi Dilshan,
    This is definitely a good way to learn new words! So looking forward to seeing part 2.
    The two adjectives that I have heard quite a lot in Sri Lanka, and learned even before this session, are good and beautiful. Isn’t that positive?


    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 6, 2014 at 18:35 #

      Hi Stefan, thanks, I’m glad it helped.

      Yes, that is positive! Explains why I enjoy being back in the mother land :)

      Take care and thanks for your comment.

  15. bob cook September 29, 2014 at 18:55 #

    Hi Dilshan the blog on colours brought back some nice memories. Inl Eheliyagoda I used to have an occasional little drink in the Famous hotel with some well known gem merchants and they would refer to me as Sudhu malli. Also a roadside seller on the road to my school taught me to say mata thamaeblli one when I wanted a King Coconut. Learning opportunities are all around us. Please keep up the good work and enjoy Thailand.

  16. Avaneesh September 30, 2014 at 17:25 #

    Thanks. Could you also post the adjectives for:


    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 6, 2014 at 18:36 #

      Thanks Avaneesh, those are some good suggestions since they’re used quite often. Will definitely include them. Thanks again.

  17. Elizabeth September 30, 2014 at 18:35 #

    Hello Dilshan

    I am always ‘Happy’ to say that you look handsome & dashing. Since you are not sure of the
    Sinhala word for ‘grumpy’ could the word ‘morose’ suffice?

    Thanks & keep the good work. Don’t too hard.

    Elizabeth T

    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 6, 2014 at 18:38 #

      Hi Elizabeth, I should be able to find the word for “grumpy” in time for the next post. Thanks for the comment.


      Handsome & Dashing Dilshan (haha)

  18. Lety October 1, 2014 at 21:31 #

    Hi Dilshan! Thank you so much for this post… I enjoy very much reading you and learning sinhala. And I enjoy very much when there are good news like this… that sinhala adjectives never change. :D
    Best wishes!


    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 6, 2014 at 18:39 #

      Hi again Lety, I just responded to your previous comment just now, hope you saw it.

      Thanks for the nice positive things you’ve said in this one. Very kind.

      Speak to you again soon Lety.

  19. Carol October 2, 2014 at 13:31 #

    Hi Dilshan,
    Can you please tell me how you say “That boy is very handsome but not very well educated!” I know alot of boys like that!!!!
    Thank You

    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 6, 2014 at 18:42 #

      ḗ kol∙la ha∙ri las∙sȧ∙nayi (or ‘ka∙dȧ∙va∙sam’) ḗth éch∙chȧ∙rȧ u∙gath nǣ.

      By the way Carol, that might be my favorite question asked from me today. Haha!

  20. Elisa October 2, 2014 at 13:31 #

    Thank you Dilshan. It’s a very good post.


  21. Elma October 2, 2014 at 17:09 #

    Thank you Dilshan….it help me a lot…im already more than 1 year here in sri lanka..but still struggling to pronounce sinhala…thanks to your new blog…( now i can hear it how to pronounce properly than just reading it)

    if u can translate this too…its a big thanks..

    Be honest
    dont lie
    i hate you

    thanks…..well done….

    • Elma October 2, 2014 at 17:13 #

      sorry the last words..shouldn’t be there…my son press it enter…:)…:>

      • Dilshan Jayasinha October 6, 2014 at 18:45 #

        Hi Elma, thanks for the comments. I shall certainly include the adjectives in my next post. Thanks for your suggestions.

        Best regards to your and your keyboard-pressing son too :)

  22. Laura October 2, 2014 at 23:47 #

    It’s awesome!!! Omg it was so helpful AND fun!
    You always find ways to surprise us, it’s a real gift you have.
    Thank you!

    And as for adjectives…
    excited (just to stay on topic)
    and also (totally off topic)

    take care (hope you’re having fun in Thailand!)

  23. Kevin October 3, 2014 at 05:28 #

    Very helpful between you and my friend I have learned quite a bit still far from fluent but on my way…Thanks.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 6, 2014 at 18:51 #

      Hi Kevin, that’s great to hear. Keep it up and do keep me posted on how you’re coming along. I’d be interested to know your progress.

  24. Nilo October 5, 2014 at 07:08 #

    Nice ya (Y)
    Keep it up …. :)

  25. Clarissa October 11, 2014 at 03:28 #

    I now have several mallis (?) in Sri Lanka and I am trying to learn to speak Sinhala, and there is very little out there to help with that! The hardest thing is when I try to translate their facebook posts! Anyways, and adjective I think would be good to know… awesome. And the quiz is great! Thank you! Your site is the best I have found to help so far, wonderful job!

    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 12, 2014 at 10:57 #

      Hi Clarissa, you’re very welcome.

      Well, even I some times find it hard translating people’s facebook posts in Sinhala. That’s because nobody has a standard way of transliterating Sinhala words in English. So don’t worry yourself too much about it. :)

      Thanks also for your suggestion. Will add it to the adjectives list.

      Thanks again for the comment and your lovely kind words!

  26. Martina October 12, 2014 at 09:03 #

    Great and funny way to teach, I love it and finally found some time again after a long pause. Please go on teaching… I always enjoy your lessons. But I miss a few more pod casts… Very helpful is the possibility to klick and hear your pronounciation. Thank you very much.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 12, 2014 at 10:58 #

      Thanks Martina, it’s great to hear from you again. It has been a while indeed. Take care and your suggestion was well noted. All the best and do stay in touch.

  27. Shirley V October 17, 2014 at 05:23 #

    Hello Dilshan;

    Couple I would like to see would be,


    I suppose we need to have some negatives also,

    Stinky (hehe there’s a joke hinging on that one)

    Have a fabulous day :)

    • Dilshan Jayasinha October 17, 2014 at 20:37 #

      Hello Shirley, thanks so much for the suggestions, both the positive and the negative ones :)

      Well, I’m not one to get in the way of a joke so let me already give you the Sinhala equivalent for stinky:

      “stinky” = ‘gaňdhȧ’
      e.g. ‘gaňdhȧ la∙mȧ∙ya’ = “stinky child” (yes, that’s the first noun that came to my head when I thought of “stinky”)

      “is stinky” = ‘gaňdhayi’
      e.g. ‘la∙mȧ∙ya gaňdhayi’ = “The child is stinky”

      Let me know how it goes :)

  28. Anthony Perry October 23, 2014 at 18:53 #

    I wish to have more adjectives please.
    We visited Sri Lanka and stayed at The Citrus Hotel, in Hikkaduwa two weeks ago and the family of my Sri Lankan partner were impressed so too was the Hotel.
    We had a great, weather,resort all were fantastic but we had to come home.

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 2, 2014 at 07:14 #

      Hi Anthony, how are you? It’s been a while. Happy to hear that you had a good stay. All good things must come to end, true, but doesn’t mean that you won’t do it again :)

      Thanks for the adjectives. Will add them.

  29. MJA October 30, 2014 at 01:02 #

    Good stuff. Like the blog a lot.

  30. shafna November 1, 2014 at 08:16 #

    you are an awesome teacher. you are making everything simple

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 2, 2014 at 07:15 #

      Thanks Shafna, I’m glad that you think so.

      • shafna November 2, 2014 at 15:49 #

        you are welcome bro.

  31. Linda November 12, 2014 at 07:06 #

    Hey Dilshan
    Is there another word for cute other than hurubuhuti?
    Also do u know any words for

    Cheers Linda

    • Dilshan Jayasinha November 16, 2014 at 16:14 #

      “hurubuhuti”… now there’s a word I haven’t heard in a long time. I remember my brother and I giggling at it when we were kids since it resembled the word “booty”.

      Another word I supposed could be ‘priyankara’.

      Thanks for the suggestions. Will add to the list. Take care

  32. joan hare May 30, 2017 at 08:42 #

    Dilshan….going over old stuff, so forgive a late comment but did i miss something about stress in your phonetic translations? if i did sorry, but if i didn’t, i would find it useful to have an indication on the word of where the stress is- otherwise there is a “ceramic” risk.
    Audio if fine, but text is also useful
    What thoughts?

    • Dilshan Jayasinha July 15, 2017 at 23:22 #

      Hi Joan, interesting idea. Any suggestions on how to indicate the stressed syllable in text?

  33. najah August 8, 2018 at 21:08 #

    Hi Dilshan, I am glad to find some bloggers who interested in teaching languages. I am wondering about whether adjective agrees with the noun in person, number, and gender!! As in English, adjective-noun agreement means that the adjective changes in response to the gender, number and syntactical role. For example:
    Many books
    Much rice
    Manly waiter
    Womanly waitress
    Is it the same case in Sinhalese?

    Thank you, Najah

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