Noun Forms (शब्दरुप)

Noun is the word which denote someone or something in a sentence. Noun normally refers to person, place, object, state, quality etc. A noun is the only word that can be used as the subject or object for a verb.

In Sanskrit noun is called shabda (शब्द) and it is the base or root of all noun-forms (शब्दरुप).

Each noun-form is a derivative (shabdarupa शब्दरुप) of it’s root word. For example the noun “cow” can have related forms such as “the cow”, “to the boy”, “by the cow “, “for/to the cow “, “from the cow “, “of the cow ” and “on the cow”.

Each noun can have 3 numbers (वचन  vachana): Singular, dual and plural,  and 7 cases (विभक्ति vibhakti). So, a noun can have 21 different forms (शब्दरुप / shabdarupa) each attributing a specific meaning to the noun.

Besides the 7 cases, a vocative case is also added. This results in 24 different forms of the noun.


Sanskrit Noun Forms (Cases) – सुबन्तपद subantapada

(विभक्ति  vibhakti)


  1. Nominative   – प्रथमा   prathamā
  2. Accusative- द्वितीया   dvitīyā
  3. Instrumental- तृतीया   tṛtīya
  4. Dative- चर्तुथी    caturthī
  5. Ablative- पन्चमी   panchamī
  6. Genitive- षष्ठी / ṣaṣṭhī
  7. Locative- सप्तमी / saptamī
  8. Vocative- सम्बोधन / sambodhana


For example:

The word Rama रामः

विभक्ति – Cases एकवचन – Singular द्विवचन – Dual बहुवचन – Plular
प्रथमा   prathamākartā रामः रामौ रामाः
द्वितीया   dvitīyākarma रामं रामौ रामान्
तृतीया   tṛtīyakaraṇa रामेण रामाभ्यां रामैः
चर्तुथी    caturthīsampradāna रामाय रामाभ्यां रामेभ्यः
पन्चमी   panchamīapādāna रामात् रामाभ्यां रामेभ्यः
षष्ठी  ṣaṣṭhī रामस्य रामयोः रामाणां
सप्तमी  saptamīadhikaraṇa रामे रामयोः रामेषु
सम्बोधन / sambodhana हे राम हे रामौ हे रामाः