Nouns get declined by number and case. Most nouns end in a vowel (most common is ). Other common endings are -an, -am, -il.

Plural formation is decided by how a noun ends. If an inanimate noun ends in a vowel, plural is formed by adding -kal. Those ending in -am end in -anŋal in plural.

ending plural
a akal
i ikal
am anŋal


noun plural
bukk(book) bukkkaļ
ila (leaf)  ilakaļ
patti(dog) pattikal
paŗam (plantain; fruit) paŗaŋŋaļ


If the noun is human, plural is formed by adding  -mrr

amma (mother)                                   ammamrr  

puθrran (son)                                                 puθrranmrr



Malayalam, like other Dravidian languages and Sanskrit, does not have prepositions, instead uses a set of cases to bring in senses such as location or transfer of an action.


Before delving into declensions, let me give an overview of what it will be like.

There are five main cases in Malayalam. All other cases can be derived from these five.


1. Possessive

It is Annas cat.


2. Objective case (direct object of a transitive verb)

This case is used when the noun is the object of some action.

She likes me.


There are two accusative cases in Malayalam, which I will call accusative and parlative (pardon me, I coined this word etymology parlare , Latin, to speak)


3. Accusative

Indirect object of a transitive verb

I gave her a pen


4. Parlative

This is used when the transitive verb is

to speak, to tell, to ask, to shout etc.

I am speaking to her.


5. Dative

This case is used when the noun is given something.

I gave him a nice book.


Objective, Parlative, Dative, Locative and Possessive


Basic rules


Ending in a, i.


Objective   + ye

Parlative     + yd

Dative        + kk

Locative     + yil     

Possessive  + yude




kada (shop)

Objective        kadaye

Parlative          kadayd

Dative             kadakk

Locative          kadayil

Possessive       kadayude


kili  (bird)

Objective        kiliye

Parlative          kiliyd

Dative             kilikk

Locative          kiliyil  

Possessive       kiliyude



Kai (hand)

Objective        kaiyye

Parlative          kaiyyinde (those ending in ai takes this form)

Dative             kaikk

Locative          kaiyyil

Possessive       kaiyyude (+yinte instead of +yude in some cases)



Ending in u,


Objective       + ine

Parlative         + ind

Dative            + in

Locative         + il     

Possessive      + inte




vd (house)


Objective vdine 

Parlative vdind

Dative vdin  

Locative vttil

Possessive vtinte


puzhu (worm)

Objective    puzhuvine

Parlative      puzhuvind

Dative         puzhuvin  

Locative      puzhuvil

Possessive   puzhuvinte




Accusative case is same as nominative (the noun without declension) if the noun is inanimate. Otherwise it is same as objective case.


n avan oru pattikuttiye koduθu. (pattikutti puppy ; noun ending in 'i'. Accusative is same as objective as puppy is a living creature)

I gave him a puppy.


avan enikk oru bukk θaňňu. (bukk book; noun ending in ''. Accusative is same as nominative as book is inanimate)

He gave me a book.


You might wonder why '' disappeared in the first case and a 'v' appeared in the second. This is a result of liason.





Ablative case is used to indicate moving away from something. In English this sense is brought by the preposition 'from'.


eg:- I came from Trivandrum.


In Malayalam this case can be formed by adding 'ňiňň' to the locative case.


n vttil ňiňň varuv.

I am coming from the house.

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