The instrumental (by) case

  • Added to nouns, the instrumental case
    • ஆல் (to/for)
  • denotes: means, agency, by means of. 

For example:

Constructions using the Instrumental case:

  • A-instrumental   [..infinitive]  முடியும் – ‘A can do X, A is able to do X, it is possible for A to do X’
  • A-instrumental   [..infinitive]  முடியாது – ‘A can’t do X, A is unable to do X, it is impossible for A to do X.’
    • Tamil makes special use of the verb முடி (weak verb) ‘end, be completed’ in order to express capability or possibility. Notice how these non-rational future-tense forms result in the sense of capability: literally, the construction constitutes the prediction that if A attempts to do X, “the doing of x will be accomplished by [i.e. through the instrumentality of] A” on the one hand or “will not be accomplished” on the other, which necessarily implies capability on the one hand or incapability on the other.