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532. Tense

Tense. The tenses are as follows: 1. a present, with 2. an imperfect, closely related with it in form, having a prefixed augment; 3. a perfect, made with reduplication (to which in the Veda is added, 4. a so-called pluperfect, made from it with prefixed augment); 5. an aorist, of three different formations: a. simple; b. reduplicated; c. sigmatic or sibilant; 6. a future, with 7. a conditional, an augment-tense, standing to it in the relation of an imperfect to a present; and 8. a second, a periphrastic, future (not found in the Veda).

a. The tenses here distinguished (in accordance with prevailing usage) as imperfect, perfect, pluperfect, and aorist receive those names from their correspondence in mode of formation with tenses so called in other languages of the family, especially in Greek, and not at all from differences of time designated by them. In no period of the Sanskrit language is there any expression of imperfect or pluperfect time — nor of perfect time, except in the older language, where the "aorist" has this value; later, imperfect, perfect, and aorist are so many undiscriminated past tenses or preterits: see below, under the different tenses.