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Burmese Grammar made easy — part 1 — Verb++

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Date: 2019-11-08
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There are a number of studies on Burmese grammar မြန်မာသဒ္ဒါ | myan2-ma2 tha1-da2 from the English language point of view. Usually, those studies explain the structure of the Burmese language with English grammar classifications and terminologies that English speakers are familiar with. It's not easy to explain the Burmese grammar that way. And, it's not easy to understand it that way either. The reason is because in addition to being different in the word order, Burmese language has extra "jigsaw puzzle pieces" called particles (ပစ္စည်း | pyit-si3) and postpositional markers (ဝိဘတ် | we1-but) that do not exactly fit nicely into the pattern of English grammar rules and classifications.

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Here is a different approach. I will put more stress on those suffixes and ending words as central importance to master the Burmese grammar. They have multiplier effect in that once you see the backbone structure of phrases and sentences using those essential words, you can substitute other words with less effort. Based on this foundation, you can always build up other vocabulary consisting of verbs, nouns, adjectives, and so on. For serious learners of the Burmese language, those particles and postpositional markers should be among the top 100 Burmese words that they should learn first.

Parts of Speech in Myanmar Language and classifications are well established. I am using several references to check for the accuracy of the materials presented here. The references include နဝမတန်း မြန်မာသဒ္ဒါ | 10th Grade Myanmar Grammar book (2014-2015) and ဒသမတန်း မြန်မာသဒ္ဒါ | 11th Grade Myanmar Grammar book (2015-2016) published by the Ministry of Education, Myanmar-English Dictionary (2011) and မြန်မာအဘိဓာန် | Burmese-Burmese Dictionary (2013) by the Myanmar Language Commission, as well as ၂၀၁၅ တက္ကသိုလ်ဝင်စာမေးပွဲလမ်းညွှန် | 2015 College Entrance Exam Preparation Materials (2014) written in the Burmese language by the retired Myanmar language professor Daw Khin Myint Kyi.

Burmese grammar (just like any other language) is easy once you discover the gist of it. It's too lengthy to put everything in a single web page, so I will separate the study of the Myanmar grammar into Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and so on. Let's start from the very simple examples. I will call those


Verbs + Particles & Postpositional Markers - ကြိယာ၊ ပစ္စည်း၊ ဝိဘတ် | ka1-ri1-ya2, pyit-si3, we1-but

§ 1. The first type of Burmese Verbs are action words. They are called ပြုခြင်းပြကြိယာ | pyu1-chin3 pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2. MP3 Audio File Words in this category are come, go, eat, run, read, write, etc..

သွား | thwa3 — go MP3 Audio File

လာ | la2 — come MP3 Audio File

စား | sa3 — eat MP3 Audio File

Action words may have nouns in front to avoid ambiguity. Many of those nouns become part of the verbs.

ရေကူး | yay2 ku3 — swim (water + swim) MP3 Audio File

အလုပ်ဆင်း | a-loat hsin3 — go to work (work + go down) MP3 Audio File

ဈေးဝယ် | zay3 weare2 — go shopping (market + buy) MP3 Audio File

Related nouns for the actions are always in front of the verbs.

ညစာစား | nya1 za2 sa3 — have dinner (dinner + eat) MP3 Audio File

တက္ကစီခေါ် | tet-si2 khau2 — call taxi (taxi + call) MP3 Audio File

ဓါတ်ပုံရိုက် | dut-pone2 yite — take photos (photo + strike) MP3 Audio File


§ 1.1. Verbs can exist as stand alone words, usually as commands: သွား | thwa3 - Go! Get out!

Commands or instructions are words telling someone to do something. Sometimes they are repeated:

ဆုတ် ဆုတ် ဆုတ် | hsoat, hsoat, hsoat - Very common usage telling the driver that there is ample space and it's OK to reverse the car. It's very clear that the car is in reverse gear, and it is not a suggestion telling the driver to back up the parked car.


§ 1.2. Suffixes after verbs:

  1. မှာထားလိုက် | hma2 hta3 lite — Order first. (to order + prior action + emphasis) MP3 Audio File
  2. လာလည်ပါဦး | la2 leare2 ba2 ome3 — Please come visit. (come + visit + polite word + suggested or intended action) MP3 Audio File
  3. သွားကြ | thwa3 ja1 - Go! (go + reference to more than one person) MP3 Audio File
  4. စားကြည့်ရအောင် | sa3 kji1 ya1 oun2 — Let's try (taste) it. (eat + see + Let's) MP3 Audio File
  5. သွားစမ်း | thwa3 zun3 — Get out! Go away! (go + imperative) MP3 Audio File
  6. သွားစို့ | thwa3 zo1 — Let's go! (go + let's) MP3 Audio File
  7. သွားစေ | thwa3 zay2 — You/he may go! (go + tone of authority) MP3 Audio File
  8. သွားနှင့် | thwa3 hnin1 — Go ahead first. (go + action ahead of time suggested) MP3 Audio File
  9. သွားပါ | thwa3 ba2 — Please go! (go + polite word) MP3 Audio File
  10. သွားပါစေ | thwa3 ba2 zay2 — Let him go. (go + may this be) MP3 Audio File
  11. သွားပါရစေ | thwa3 ba1-ya1 zay2 — Please let me go. (go + permission requested) MP3 Audio File
  12. သွားပါပြီ | thwa3 ba2 byi2 — I am a goner! ; I am doomed! (go + has reached certain condition) MP3 Audio File
  13. သွားတော့ | thwa3 dau1 — Go now! You are free to go! (go + you are on your own now) MP3 Audio File
  14. သွားပါတော့ | thwa3 ba2 dau1 — Please go! (go + I have waited long enough) MP3 Audio File
  15. သွားလေ | thwa3 lay2 — Go! What are you waiting for? (go + don't you know?) MP3 Audio File
  16. သွားလော့ | thwa3 lau1 — Go! (go + imperative)[classical literary] MP3 Audio File
  17. သွားလိုက်ဦး | thwa3 lite ome3 — Go there first. (go + emphasis + intended or suggested action) MP3 Audio File
  18. အိပ်လိုက် စားလိုက် | ate lite sa3 lite - eat and sleep and eat and sleep is all he does/ I do. (sleep + emphasis + eat + emphasis) MP3 Audio File

What are those words after the verbs? Just one or two extra words and they seem to convey different meanings.


Verb Suffix Words (Sortable)
Script ↑↓ AUDIO ↑↓ English ↑↓
ကြ kja1 (read: ja1) Particle (to indicate plurality of the verb)
စေ say2 (read: zay2) Postpositional Marker suffixed to the causative verb spoken by someone in authority. Can be used in longer sentences such as with PPM သည် dthi2 and particle သော dthau3.
စို့ so1 (read: zo1) Postpositional Marker to seek consensus
စမ်း sun3 (read: zun3) Particle (imperative) suffixed to the verb used in two-words spoken form. Cannot be used in a longer sentence with သည် dthi.
တော့ tau1 (read: dau1) Particle to show impending event or action
နှင့် hnin1 Particle to suggest something to be done ahead of time (when used as a verb-suffix in the positive sense)
ပါ pa2 (read: ba2) Particle to show politeness
ပါစေ pa2 say2 (read: ba2 zay2) Postpositional marker to show sympathetic wish and good-will towards others
ပါတော့ pa2 tau1 (read: ba2 dau1) Particle to urge someone a long awaited or overdue action
ပါရစေ pa2 ya1 say2 (read: ba1-ya1 zay2) Postpositional marker to seek sympathy and mercy
ပြီ pyi2 (read: byi2) Postpositional Marker to show that action has taken place.
ရအောင် ya1 oun2 Postpositional Marker to seek consensus
လေ lay2 Particle used for persuasion or emphasis
လော့ lau1 Postpositional Marker used as a command [literary]
လိုက် lite (1) Particle for emphasis (2) recurring theme between a pair of verbs
ဦး ome3 Particle used for the action that is intended or suggested for the near future

Those words are part of "backbone structure" of Myanmar grammar. The verb သွား | thwa3 (go) can be replaced with some other verbs like စား | sa3 (eat) in most of the above examples.


§ 1.3. Past tense, present tense, future tense are indicated by the following ending words:

တယ်၊ ပြီ၊ မည်၊ မယ်၊ သည်၊ လတ္တံ့၊ လိမ့်မည်၊ လိမ့်မယ်၊ ၏၊ အံ့ | deare2, byi2, myi2, meare2, dthi2, la1-tan1, lain1 myi2, lain1 meare2, e1, un1. Those are classified as ကာလပြကြိယာဝိဘတ် | ka2-la1 pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2 we1-but meaning Postpositional Markers that show time.

  1. စားပြီးပြီ | sa3 pyi3 byi2 — (I) have already eaten. MP3 Audio File
  2. စားခဲ့တယ် | sa3 kheare1 deare2 — (I) definitely have eaten. MP3 Audio File
  3. မှာသွားတယ် | hma2 thwa3 deare2 — (He) has left a message (before leaving.) MP3 Audio File
  4. မှာထားတယ် | hma2 hta3 deare2 — The order has been made (and waiting.) [colloquial] MP3 Audio File
  5. မှာထားသည် | hma2 hta3 dthi2 — The order has been made (and waiting.) [literary] MP3 Audio File
  6. မှာထားမယ် | hma2 hta3 meare2 — I will go ahead and make an order. MP3 Audio File
  7. ယူလာခဲ့တယ် | yu2 la2 kheare1 deare2 — (I) have definitely brought it. MP3 Audio File
  8. ယူလာခဲ့မယ် | yu2 la2 kheare1 meare2 — (I) will definitely bring it. MP3 Audio File
  9. ရောက်ဖူးတယ် | yout pfu3 deare2 — (I) have been there. [colloquial] MP3 Audio File
  10. ရောက်ဖူးသည် | yout pfu3 dthi2 — (I) have been there. [literary] MP3 Audio File
  11. လာခဲ့မယ် | la2 kheare1 meare2 — (I) will definitely come. MP3 Audio File
  12. လုပ်မိတယ် | loat mi1 deare2 — (I) have done it by mistake. MP3 Audio File
  13. သွားတော့မယ် | thwa3 dau1 meare2 — (I am) about to go. MP3 Audio File
  14. သွားနေတယ် | thwa3 nay2 deare2 — (I am) going; I am on the way. MP3 Audio File
  15. သွားနှင့်မယ် | thwa3 hnin1 meare2 — I will go ahead first. MP3 Audio File
  16. သွားပြီ | thwa3 byi2 — I am leaving now. MP3 Audio File
  17. သွားလတ္တံ့ | thwa3 la1-tan1 — I shall go.(omen or prediction) [classical literary] MP3 Audio File
  18. သွားလိမ့်မည် | thwa3 lain1 myi2 — (He) will go. [literary] MP3 Audio File
  19. သွားလိမ့်မယ် | thwa3 lain1 meare2 — (He) will go. [colloquial] MP3 Audio File
  20. သွားမယ် | thwa3 meare2 — I will go now; Good bye!; Let's go! MP3 Audio File
  21. သွား၏ | thwa3 e1 — (It) goes. [literary] MP3 Audio File
  22. သွားအံ့ | thwa3 un1 — I shall go. [classical literary] MP3 Audio File
Past tense, Present tense, Future tense (Sortable)
Script ↑↓ AUDIO ↑↓ English ↑↓
ခဲ့ kheare1 particle meaning "definitely" used as an emphasis where ခဲ့တယ် | kheare1 deare2 is the past tense, and ခဲ့မယ် | kheare1 meare2 is the future tense. ခဲ့ | kheare1 modifies တယ် | deare2 into past tense.
တော့မယ် dau1 meare2 Particle + Postpositional Marker to indicate future action or event which is about to happen.
တယ် teare2 (read: deare2) Postpositional Marker used as 'positive' affirmative ending word of a sentence similar to 'is' or 'has'. [colloquial]
ထား hta3 Particle used to refer to a prior one time action which is in process to the present. E.g., I have ordered food at the restaurant. It refers to the prior act of making the order and 'waiting' is implicitly implied.

နေ nay2 Particle to show continuing process. နေတယ် | nay2 deare2 is equivalent of present participle: "~ing" in English. E.g., I am waiting.
ပြီ pyi2 (read: byi2) Postpositional Marker to show that action has taken place.
ပြီး pyi3 Particle to indicate completion of action.
ဖူး pfu3 Particle to show that a person has done or experienced something.
မိ mi1 Particle to indicate a mistake made or something happened by chance in recent past.
မည် myi2 Postpositional Marker indicating future action. [literary]
မယ် meare2 Postpositional Marker indicating future action. [colloquial]
လတ္တံ့ la1-tan1 Postpositional Marker to predict the future [literary]
လိမ့်မယ် lain1 meare2 Postpositional Marker to show anticipation or expectation of future action or event that is not within one's control.
သည် thi1 (read: dthi2) Postpositional Marker used as 'positive' affirmative ending word of a sentence. [literary]
သွား thwa3 go (verb)
သွား thwa3 Particle to show that certain act has been done, or certain state has been reached.
e1 Postpositional Marker used as ending word of a sentence to indicate something is the way it is. [literary]
အံ့ un1 Postpositional Marker to show future intended action. [literary]

§ 1.4. Emotions and moods are expressed by the particles at the end of the sentences. Those words are like attaching emoticons in Netiquette. They are often used to soften the tones and to show politeness in friendly conversations. Examples:

  1. ချကွ | cha1 kwa1 — fight! (enthusiasm) MP3 Audio File
  2. နာတယ်ဟ | na2 deare2 ha1 — It's painful! (exclamation) MP3 Audio File
  3. သေရချေရဲ့ | thay2 ya1 chay2 yeare1 — I am dead! (certainty) MP3 Audio File
  4. သွားမယ်ကွာ | thwa3 meare2 kwa2 — I am leaving! (frustration) MP3 Audio File
  5. သွားမယ်ဆို | thwa3 meare2 hso2 — Didn't you say you were leaving? (contempt) MP3 Audio File
  6. သွားပါတော့ကွယ် | thwa3 ba2 dau1 kweare2 — Please go! (sympathy) MP3 Audio File
  7. သွားမယ်နော် | thwa3 meare2 nau2 — Good-bye! (warmth) MP3 Audio File
  8. ဟုတ်ကဲ့ပါ | hote-keare1 ba2 — consent MP3 Audio File
  9. ဟုတ်တာပေါ့ | hote da2 bau1 — of course! (agreement) MP3 Audio File
  10. ဟုတ်တယ်တော့ | hote deare2 tau1 — You are right! (female surprise) MP3 Audio File
  11. ဟုတ်တယ်ဗျာ | hote deare2 bya2 — You are right! (polite, friendly male) MP3 Audio File
  12. ဟုတ်ပါတယ်ရှင် | hote ba2 deare2 shin2 — true! (politeness, friendly female) MP3 Audio File
  13. ဟုတ်ပါတယ်အေ့ | hote ba2 deare2 ay1 — true! (female to show familiarity) MP3 Audio File
  14. ဟုတ်ပါ့ | hote pa1 — absolutely! (show of agreement) MP3 Audio File
  15. ဟုတ်လိုက်လေ | hote lite lay2 — how true! (a bit of surprise) MP3 Audio File

Those end of sentence particles are known as ဝါကျနောက်လိုက်ပစ္စည်း | wet-kja1 nout-lite pyit-si3. See more fun examples in lesson 3.


§ 1.5. Negative imperatives are constructed by the negative particle | ma1 before the verb. The sentence ends with နှင့် | hnin1 or လင့် | lin1 in the literary form, and နဲ့ | neare1 in the colloquial form. Examples:

  1. မသွားနှင့် | ma1-thwa3 hnin1 — Do not go. [literary]
  2. မသွားနဲ့ | ma1-thwa3 neare1 — Don't go. [colloquial] MP3 Audio File
  3. မသွားလင့် | ma1-thwa3 lin1 — Do not go. [classical literary]

Compare hnin1 used in this negative sense to hnin1 used in the positive sense.


§ 1.6. Prohibitions are stronger form of negative imperatives. They are constructed by the negative particle | ma1 as a prefix before the verb. The sentence ends with | ya1 in written displays, and ရဘူး | ya1 bu3 in the spoken form. Examples:

  1. မဝင်ရ | ma1-win2 ya1 — Do not Enter. (Prohibitions such as on road signs)
  2. မဝင်ရဘူး | ma1-win2 ya1 bu3 — Don't go inside. [colloquial] MP3 Audio File

§ 1.7. In general, negative statements are constructed with the prefix | ma1 as in negative imperatives and prohibitions. This prefix is called အငြင်းပြပစ္စည်း | a-nyin3-pya1 pyit-si3 meaning "particle that shows argument".

  1. မလိုချင်ဘူး | ma1-lo2 chin2 bu3 — I don't want it. MP3 Audio File
  2. မလိုချေ | ma1-lo2 chay2 — No need. [literary ending words]
  3. မလိုဘူး | ma1-lo2 bu3 — No need. MP3 Audio File
  4. မလိုတော့ဘူး | ma1-lo2 dau1 bu3 — I no longer need it. MP3 Audio File
  5. မလိုအပ်ပါ | ma1-lo2 ut ba2 — No need. [literary ending words]
  6. မလိုပေ | ma1-lo2 bay2 — No need. [literary ending words]
  7. မလိုသေး | ma1-lo2 dthay3 — (It is) still not needed. [literary ending words]
  8. မလိုသေးဘူး | ma1-lo2 thay3 bu3 — I don't need it yet. MP3 Audio File
  9. မရလေ | ma1-ya1 lay2 — cannot be done.[literary ending words]

§ 1.8. plurality of the verbs are indicated by the suffix words ကြ | ja2 in colloquial form, and ကုန် | kone2 or ကြကုန် | ja1 kone2 in literary form. Those suffix words are called ကိန်းညွှန်းပစ္စည်း | kain3-hnyoon3 pyit-si3 meaning particles that indicate numbers. Depending on the writing style and the flow of the sentence, those particles may be omitted.

  1. သွားကြလော့ | thwa3 ja1 lau1 — Be gone! [literary]
  2. သွားကုန်၏ | thwa3 kone2 e1 — And, they are gone! [literary]
  3. သွားကြကုန်၏ | thwa3 ja1 kone2 e1 — And, they are gone! [literary]
  4. သူတို့ သွားပြီလား | thu2 doh1 thwa3 byi2 la3 — Have they gone? [colloquial] MP3 Audio File

The last example shows that ja1 can be omitted - မြှုပ်၍လည်း ရေးသားလေ့ရှိသည်။

(Also see noun-suffixed ကိန်းညွှန်းပစ္စည်း | kain3-hnyoon3 pyit-si3.)


§ 2. The second type of Burmese Verbs shows state, condition, event or occurrence. Sometimes those words simply state the nature of something or someone the way it is. Those are called ဖြစ်ခြင်းပြကြိယာ | pfyit-chin3 pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2. MP3 Audio File It's trickier than the first type.


  1. ထမင်း | hta1-min3 — rice (noun)

    ကျက် | kjet — cooked; done cooking (verb)

    ပြီ | byi2 — (postpositional marker)

    ထမင်းကျက်ပြီ | hta1-min3 kjet byi2 - The rice is cooked! MP3 Audio File

    kjet is the verb be cooked, but it must be followed by the postpositional marker byi2. This last word byi2 indicates that the event has taken place. This postpositional marker is further classified as ပစ္စုပ္ပန်ကာလပြ ကြိယာ ဝိဘတ် | pyit-soat-pan2 ka2-la1 pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2 we1-but — verb-suffix to show present tense.

  2. မောင်ဘ | moun2-ba1 — Name of the person (noun)

    သည် | dthi2 — (postpositional marker that makes မောင်ဘ subject ကတ္တား | kut-ta3)

    မြန်မာ | myan2-ma2 — Burmese (noun)

    လူမျိုး | lu2-myo3 — ethnic group (noun)

    ဖြစ် | pfyit — second type of Myanmar (verb) "is" that shows state, condition, or occurrence.

    သည် | dthi2 — (Postpositional Marker in the literary form that can be further classified as either အတိတ်ကာလပြ ကြိယာ ဝိဘတ် | a-tate ka2-la1 pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2 we1-but — verb-suffix to show past tense or ပစ္စုပ္ပန်ကာလပြ ကြိယာ ဝိဘတ် | pyit-soat-pan2 ka2-la1 pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2 we1-but - verb-suffix to show present tense.)

    မောင်ဘသည် မြန်မာလူမျိုးဖြစ်သည်။ | moun2 ba1 dthi2 myan2-ma2 lu2-myo3 pfyit dthi2 — As for Maung Ba, he is a Burmese.

    Note that there are two dthi2 words. The first dthi2 makes Maung Ba a ကတ္တား | kut-ta3 or "subject" in active mode, as opposed to ကံ | kun2 or "object" that is acted upon by an action. If Maung Ba was kicked, he would have been an object. The ending word dthi2 shows that Maung Ba is either a living person in the present or someone in the past.

  3. သူ | thu2 — he (pronoun)

    အသား | a-tha3 — complexion; skin color (noun)

    ဖြူ | pfyu2 — white; fair (adjective)

    | e1 — (postpositional marker in literary form)

    သူအသားဖြူ၏။ | thu2 a-tha3 pfyu2 e1 — He/she has fair skin.

    In this example, adjective ဖြူ | pfyu2 is modified into the verb of the second type (that shows something "is" the way it is) by the postpositional marker | e1. In translation, this last ending word seems to correspond to the verb "has" in English. It may be possible to take it as "has" in computer translation algorithms, but since it is not a verb in the Burmese Language, the logic will not be consistent and fail in some other sentence constructions.

§ 2.1. In literary form, the word ဖြစ်သတည်း | pfyit dtha1-de3 or just the final particle တည်း | de3 can be used to show something "is". Example:

သူ | thu2 — he (pronoun)

ကား | ga3 — indeed (particle for emphasis)

သူတော်ကောင်း | thu2-dau2-goun3 — morally upright person (noun)

တည်း | de3 — ending word to show that something or someone is the way it is (particle)

သူကား သူတော်ကောင်း တည်း | thu2 ga3 thu2-dau2-goun3 de3 — He is a saint, indeed!


§ 3. The third type of Burmese Verbs shows the presence or existence of something. Those are called ရှိခြင်းပြ ကြိယာ | shi1-chin3 pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2. MP3 Audio File


ရွှေတိဂုံဘုရား | shway2-da1-gome2 pfa1-ya3 — Shwedagon Pagoda (noun)

သည် | dthi2 — (postpositional marker that makes ရွှေတိဂုံဘုရား subject ကတ္တား | kut-ta3)

ရန်ကုန်မြို့ | yan2-gome2 myo1 — City of Yangon (noun)

| hnite — (postpositional marker further classified as နေရာပြ ဝိဘတ် | nay2-ya2 pya1 we1-but that shows location)

တည်ရှိ | ti2 shi1 — exist; to be located (verb)

သည် | dthi2 — (postpositional marker)

ရွှေတိဂုံဘုရားသည် ရန်ကုန်မြို့၌ တည်ရှိသည် | shway2-da1-gome2 pfa1-ya3 dthi2 yan2-gome2 myo1 hnite ti2 shi1 dthi2 — Shwedagon Pagoda is located in Yangon.


§ 4. By sentence construction, verbs are also categorized into three types:

  1. ပင်ကိုကြိယာ | pin2-go2 ka1-ri1-ya2 MP3 Audio File — words that describe the act. E.g., စား၊ ကစား၊ သွား၊ နား၊ | sa3, ga1-za3, thwa3, na3 - eat, play, go, rest, etc..

  2. ဂုဏ်ရည်ပြကြိယာ | gome2-yay2-pya1 ka1-ri1-ya2 MP3 Audio File — words that show the quality. Those words are modified adjectives as shown in example 3 of § 2 above. English equivalent would be: "is red"; "is sweet" "is beautiful", etc.. Those are (verb + adjective) combination in English grammar.

  3. ပေါင်းစပ်ကြိယာ | poun3-sut ka1-ri1-ya2 MP3 Audio File — words that combine two actions. E.g., sa3-thout - (eat + drink) or "to have a meal" (verb + verb) as a whole is taken as a verb. sa3-thout hsine2 (verb + verb + noun) refers to the restaurant (noun) meaning a shop where you eat and drink.

§ 5. A verb can be followed by an another verb. It is possible to combine more than two verbs, and up to six verbs one after another is still a good writing style in the literary Burmese sentences. Some of the usages give expressive animated actions of verbs in sequence that are unheard of in the English Language.

  1. သွားနိုင်ပြီ။ | thwa3 nine2 byi2 — You can go now. (go + can + ending word) MP3 Audio File
  2. စားကြည့်မယ်။ | sa3 kji1 meare2 — I will taste it. (eat + see + ending word) MP3 Audio File
  3. မော့ကြည့်သည်။ | mau1 kji1 dthi2 — He looks up. (tilt the head up + look + ending word)
  4. ကြွရောက်လာပြီ | kjwa1 yout la2 byi2 — A respectable person has arrived - (respectable person to come + arrive + commence + ending word) [formal] MP3 Audio File
  5. လာရောက်တွေ့ဆုံဆွေးနွေး | la2-yout tway1-hsone2 hsway3-nway3 — come to meet and discuss (come + arrive + meet + discuss)

NOTE: Some of the verbs that follow verbs are taken as particles. In those cases, the verbs have lost their original stand alone meanings such as

နိုင် | nine2 — to win; have the capacity.

ကြည့် | kyi1 — to look with eyes.

Likewise, လာ | la2 in မိုးရွာလာပြီ | mo3 ywa2 la2 byi2 — does not mean "come" but gives the sense that the the rain has commenced. On the other hand, la2 in example 4 above is in the grey area, and perhaps la2 as a verb meaning "to come" is also acceptable.


§ 6. While English has just a question mark symbol, Burmese language has different types of question particles at the end of sentences. Question particles are called အမေးပစ္စည်း | a-may3 pyit-si3.

  1. ထမင်း | hta1-min3 — rice (noun)

    ကျက် | kjet — cooked; done cooking (verb)

    ပြီ | byi2 — has reached certain state (postpositional marker)

    လား | la3 — (question particle)

    ထမင်းကျက်ပြီလား | hta1-min3 kjet byi2 la3 — Is rice cooked? [colloquial] MP3 Audio File

  2. အဘယ် | a-beare2what/which/where (literary interrogative pronoun)

    ကြောင့် | joun1 — because of (postpositional marker)

    နည်း | ni3 — (question particle)

    အဘယ်ကြောင့်နည်း | a-beare2 joun1 ni3 — Why? Due to what reason? [literary]

  3. ဘာ | ba2what (colloquial interrogative pronoun)

    ကြောင့် | joun1 — because of (postpositional marker)

    လဲ | leare2 — (question particle)

    ဘာကြောင့်လဲ | ba2 joun1 leare3 — Why? Due to what reason? [colloquial] MP3 Audio File

  4. ဘယ်လို | beare2 lo2 — how (colloquial adverb)

    တုံး | dome3 — (question particle)

    ဘယ်လိုတုံး | beare2 lo2 dome3 — How's the situation? How did it go? [colloquial] MP3 Audio File

  5. အသင် | a-thin2 — You (literary pronoun)

    လူ | lu2 — human (noun)

    လော | lau3 — (literary question particle)

    နတ် | nut — celestial being; spirit (noun)

    လော | lau3 — (literary question particle)

    အသင်လူလော၊ နတ်လော | a-thin2 lu2 lau3 nut lau3 — Are you a human, or an Angel? MP3 Audio File

§ 7. Words immediately after the verb that are used to express the verb in different ways are further classified as ကြိယာထောက်ပစ္စည်း | ka1-ri1-ya2 htout pyit-si3 meaning verb suffix (or support) particles. A support particle can be a particle, an another verb, or an adverb. (English grammar classification will not work here.) It is possible for a support particle to be followed by an another support particle. Those words are comparable to the following words in front of the verb "do" or "does" in English:

  • can do
  • should do
  • seldom does
  • want to do
  • dare to do
Verb Support Suffix Particles (Sortable)
Script ↑↓ AUDIO ↑↓ English ↑↓
ခဲ kheare3 သွားခဲတယ် | thwa3 kheare3 deare2 — I seldom go. MP3 Audio File
ခဲ့ kheare1 ယူလာခဲ့တယ် | yu2 la2 kheare1 deare2 — I definitely have brought it. MP3 Audio File
ခဲ့ kheare1 ယူလာခဲ့မယ် | yu2 la2 kheare1 meare2 — I will definitely bring it. MP3 Audio File
ချင် chin2 သွားချင်ပြီ | thwa3 chin2 byi2 — I want to go already. MP3 Audio File
တော့ dau1 စားတော့မယ် | sa3 dau3 meare2 — I am about to eat. MP3 Audio File
တတ် tut လုပ်တတ်တယ် | loat tut deare2 — He can (knows how to) do. MP3 Audio File
ထား hta3 ယူထားလိုက် | yu2 hta3 lite — Take it first. (take + prior action + to be done) MP3 Audio File
ထိုက် htite လေးစားထိုက်တယ် | lay3-za3 htite deare2 — It's fitting and proper to respect (him). MP3 Audio File
နေ nay2 ထမင်းစားနေတယ် | hta1-min3 sa3 nay2 deare2 — I am having my meal. (rice + eat + present participle "~ing" + ending word) MP3 Audio File
နိုင် nine2 လုပ်နိုင်တယ် | loat nine2 deare2 — He can (has the capability to) do. MP3 Audio File
နှင့် hnin1 စားနှင့် | sa3 hnin1Go ahead first and eat. (Don't wait for us to come back, etc..) MP3 Audio File
ပါ ba2 စားပါ | sa3 ba2Please eat. MP3 Audio File
ပေး pay3 လုပ်ပေးပါ | loat pay3 ba2 — Do this for me (on my behalf) , please. MP3 Audio File
ပစ် pyit စားပစ်လိုက် | sa3 pyit lite — eat it all by all mean without holding back. MP3 Audio File
ပျော် pyau2 သေပျော်ပါပြီ | thay2 byau2 ba2 byi2 — I can die happily now after fulfilling the wish and/or duties. MP3 Audio File
ပြန် pyan2 လုပ်ပြန်ပြီ | loat pyan2 byi2 — He does it again! Not again! MP3 Audio File
ဖူး pfu3 (bu3) လုပ်ဖူးတယ် | loat pfu3 deare2 — I (have previous experience); I have done it before. MP3 Audio File
ဖို့ pfo1 (bo1) သွားဖို့ပြင် | thwa3 bo1 pyin2 — prepare (for the purpose) to go. MP3 Audio File
မိ mi1 ပြောမိတယ် | pyau3 mi1 deare2 — I mistakenly have said it. MP3 Audio File
ya1 တွေးရခက်တယ် | tway3 ya1 khet deare2 — It's difficult to think and reason it out. (Difficulty to have capability to reason on this subject.) ya1 roughly means "can be done". MP3 Audio File
ရဲ yeare3 လုပ်ရဲတယ် | loat yeare3 deare2 — I dare to do. MP3 Audio File
ရက် yet လုပ်ရက်တယ် | loat yet deare2 — How could you do such a cruel and inconsiderate thing? MP3 Audio File
ရစ် yit နေရစ်ခဲ့ | nay2 yit kheare1 — Stay behind. (stay + left behind + definitely) MP3 Audio File
ရှာ sha2 ဆင်းရဲရှာတယ် | hsin3-yeare3 sha2 deare2 — He is so poor! (sympathy in place of "so") MP3 Audio File
ဝံ့ woon1 လုပ်ဝံ့တယ် | loat woon1 deare2 — I dare to do. MP3 Audio File
လွန်း loon3 ရက်စက်လွန်းတယ် | yet-set loon3 deare2 — He is too cruel. MP3 Audio File
လို့ lo1 စားလို့ကောင်းတယ် | sa3 lo1 koun3 deare2 — It's delicious. As for carrying out that action (eat in this case), it is good. MP3 Audio File
လှ hla1 ရက်စက်လှသည် | yet-set hla1 dthi2 — He is too cruel. [literary] MP3 Audio File
သေး thay3 လုပ်နိုင်သေးတယ် | loat nine2 thay3 deare2 — He (emphasis) still can do it. MP3 Audio File
သင့် thin1 လုပ်သင့်တယ် | loat thin1 deare2 — You should do it. MP3 Audio File
သွား thwa3 ပြန်သွားပြီ | pyan2 thwa3 byi2 — He has left. He has done the act of leaving. MP3 Audio File
အပ် ut လေ့လာအပ်သည် | lay1-la2 ut dthi2 — You should study it. [literary] MP3 Audio File
ဦး ome3 ပြောရဦးမယ် | pyau3 ya1 ome3 meare2 — I must tell you this first; I can't wait to tell you this. MP3 Audio File

Color Codes: nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, particles, postpositional markers, interjections.