Questions and Commands

Everything you have learnt so far is enough for you to create full and complex sentences that you can use to have any sort of conversation. The only remaining bits that are missing are questions and commands.

You can make any sentence into a question by adding a -ஆ to the last word of that sentence.

அவன் குமணன்.avaṉ kumaṇaṉ.He is Kumananஅவன் குமணனா?avaṉ kumaṇaṉā?Is he Kumanan?
இங்கு நான் பாடசாலைக்குச் சென்றேன்.iṅku nāṉ pāṭacālaikkuc ceṉṟēṉ.Here is where I went to schoolஇங்கு நான் பாடசாலைக்குச் சென்றேனா?iṅku nāṉ pāṭacālaikkuc ceṉṟēṉā?Did I go to school here?

You can sometimes add the suffix -ஆ to other words than the last one of the sentence to emphasize another word.

அவனா குமணன்?avaṉā kumaṇaṉ?Is HE Kumanan?

You can add this to almost every word. However, as always, there are some exceptions like for example "adjectives" that can't have the suffix.

இங்கா நான் பாடசாலைக்குச் சென்றேன்?iṅkā nāṉ pāṭacālaikkuc ceṉṟēṉ?Did I go to school HERE?இங்கு நானா பாடசாலைக்குச் சென்ச்றேன்?iṅku nāṉā pāṭacālaikkuc ceṉcṟēṉ?Did I(!) go to school here?இங்கு நான் பாடசாலைக்கா சென்றேன்?iṅku nāṉ pāṭacālaikkā ceṉṟēṉ?Did I go to SCHOOL here?

Another way to create a question is to use the correct question word. In these cases, you do not need to add the -ஆ suffix. But remember to use the correct declension of that question word.

எங்கு நான் பாடசாலைக்குச் சென்றேன்?eṅku nāṉ pāṭacālaikkuc ceṉṟēṉ?Where did I go to school?இங்கு யார் பாடசாலைக்குச் சென்றார்?iṅku yār pāṭacālaikkuc ceṉṟār?Who did go to school here?

Note that in the second example, the verb has changed. Since யார்yār replaced the first person நான்nāṉ the verb has to reflect that change, too, by using the appropriate person-marker-suffix.

The imperative

Whenever you want to make a request or a command or forbid someone to do something, you will use an imperative clause:

Bring me some water.

Do not touch my hair.

Please help me.

In English, you can't tell from the sentences verb if you are addressing one or multiple people. Tamil, however, has two different suffixes for the imperative.

Actually, only one. The singular imperative is simply the verb stem. For the imperative plural, you will use the -உங்கள்-uṅkaḷ as a suffix to the verb stem.


படுpaṭu is the verb stem for to sleep but in a sentence also means Sleep!. But this Sleep! is directed at a single person as படுpaṭu is only the imperative in singular.

படுpaṭu + உங்கள்uṅkaḷ = படுங்கள்paṭuṅkaḷ is the plural imperative. In English, you would still translate that as Sleep! but in Tamil you know that this addresses more than one person

As with the personal pronoun, the plural version of the imperative is also used for the honourable version.

Special Cases

There are a few exceptions to this rule. Most notably வருvarucome and போகுpōkugo. The imperatives for those are வா and வாருங்கள்vāruṅkaḷ and போ and போங்கள்pōṅkaḷ

Sentence structure

As with every other sentence in Tamil, the imperative clause also ends with the verb and can have all the same sub-clauses we learnt earlier in this book.

படத்தை பார்த்து விட்டு கட்டிலில் படுpaṭattai pārttu viṭṭu kaṭṭilil paṭu

This sentence is the serial verb concept we learnt that is used to concatenate actions. In this case, in brings two instructions together.

படத்தை பார்த்து விட்டுpaṭattai pārttu viṭṭu after watching the movie

கட்டிலில் படுkaṭṭilil paṭu sleep on the bed

The last, finite verb indicates that this sentence is an imperative clause.

Negative imperative

If you want to command or request something not to be done, you use the negative imperative. In our examples above, it's the

"Do not touch my hair"

There are two suffixes for the negative imperative: -ஆதே-ātē for singular and -ஆதீர்கள்-ātīrkaḷ for plural. Both at added to the verb stem. Like for the "positive" imperative, the plural form can also be used as the honorable variant.


தொடுtoṭu + ஆதேātē = தொடாதேtoṭātē

தொடுtoṭu + ஆதீர்கள்ātīrkaḷ = தொடாதீர்கள்toṭātīrkaḷ