Here are two very common, and very important words: iti and iva.
This is more or less a Sanskrit quotation mark.
गच्छामि गजमिति मन्यते
gacchāmi gajam iti manyate
“I’m going to the elephant,” he thinks.
But its more sophisticated than the way we commonly use English quotation marks, for example.
स वीर इति गच्छन्ति
sa vīra iti gacchanti
Literally it means: “He’s a hero” they go. But the actual meaning here is, “with the phrase “he’s a hero” they go” – they are going somewhere thinking, quote, “he’s a hero.”
Iti can bracket a very long section too, longer than quotes are usually used for. Then it usually appears at the beginning of a sentence, for example:
“Thus they go.”
Iti usually starts the last sentence at the end of chapters. (Śrīla Prabhupāda adopted this in English too, which is why the end of all his chapters say, “Thus ends the Bhaktivedānta purports on…”)
Iva means “like” / “as if” / “it seems”
वीर इव वदति
vīra iva vadati
Like a hero, he speaks. (In other words, he speaks as if he were a hero).
नर इव बालो मां नयति
nara iva bālo māṁ nayati
As if a man, the boy leads me. (In other words, the boy is acting like a man by leading me somewhere).
Here’s a little check on our grammar, we’ll just slightly change the grammar on that last example and see how the meaning changes..
नरमिव बालो मां नयति
naram iva bālo māṁ nayati
The only difference is that in the first sentence the first word is “nara” and in the second the first word is “naram.” This difference, however changes the word from an adjective of the subject (in the first example) to an adjective of the object (in the second). Its more clear without sandhi:
1 — naraḥ iva bālaḥ mām nayati
2 — naram iva bālaḥ mām nayati
In sentence one naraḥ ends the same as bālaḥ, so its a descriptor of bālaḥ (the subject of the sentence). So the meaning there is that the boy (bāla) acts like an adult (nara).
In sentence two naram ends the same as mām, so it is a descriptor of mām (the object of the sentence). The meaning here is that I (mām) am like an adult (nara).