The word trishul I think denotes the three points of the shulam. The "tri" in trishulam = is it from Sanskrit or English like trinity.

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    Yes, Tri denotes 3... TriShualam means which has three Shulas (pointed end)... That's why Lord Shiva is also called Shulapani, Tridhulapani etc... the English word 'three' might have been derived from Sanskrit word 'Tri'... – Tejaswee Jun 10 '17 at 6:11
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    @Tezz you are correct. Three is derived from Sanskrita word 'Tri'. – user9392 Jun 10 '17 at 8:16
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    No, English "three" is not derived from Sanskrit "tri", although they are related. – chepner Jun 10 '17 at 14:26
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    @chepner, says who ? 'two' comes from sanskrit 'dve'. 'three' from 'tri', 'eight' from 'ashta' etc. I can give you hundred other words that are derived from sanskrit - 'prime' from 'param', 'surrender', from 'sharan', 'daughter' from 'dauhitri', 'cow' from 'go' etc. list goes on. Sanskrit is the original root for germanic/european languages – mar Jun 11 '17 at 0:59
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    Sanskrit is one of the earliest attested languages derived from PIE, but it is not the direct ancestor of the other branches of PIE. – chepner Jun 11 '17 at 1:32

With no doubt, "tri" in त्रिशूल (triśūla) is Sanskrit. You can check it in any Sanskrit dictionary, such as Apte or Monier-Williams.

Etymology of English word three or tri is

From Middle English thre, threo, thrie, thri, from Old English þreō, þriē, þrī, from Proto-Germanic *þrīz, from Proto-Indo-European *tréyes.

As per Western Linguists, PIE or Proto-Indo-European language is common ancestor of all Indo European Languages, including Deva Bhasha or Deva Vani (देव वाणि) संस्कृतम् (Saṃskṛtam). Obviously, those who know about structure of Sanskrit and its semantics will never believe in this PIE theory.

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    Could you elaborate on the part about PIE theory? I read the article you linked but it really comes off as hugely biased to me. – Zavior Jun 10 '17 at 12:40
  • @Zavior Sanskrit is language of attributes with no proper nouns. People are named after attributes. All names of Gods (different Gods) in Hinduism you see are different attributes of one Supreme Being (Brahman or Parabrahma). Given this, there can't be ancestor for Sanskrit. Sanskrit doesn't evolve wrt to semantics. For many English words, we can name Sanskrit equivalents if we know about attributes of Objects (we can give multiples names for same object as a object can have multiple attributes).. – The Destroyer Jun 10 '17 at 12:54
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    Since various words in the proto-Indo-European language are not exactly the same as they are in Sanskrit, and PIE is linguistically dated to before Sanskrit, it is also appropriate to call it the common ancestor. What you are saying merely means you would prefer to call PIE as a proto-sanskrit? – Pranab Jun 11 '17 at 1:25
  • @Pranab How can they prove Sanskrit has ancestor when Dhatus of Sanskrit are fixed? – The Destroyer Jun 14 '17 at 8:22
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    Your answer is referred as bad linguistics here: reddit.com/r/badlinguistics/comments/6gwewv/… – pinkpanther Dec 26 '17 at 8:50

The "tri" in trishulam is from Sanskrit. Later Indo and European languages had taken from Sanskrit.

In sanskrit threee is denoted by Trí (three), त्रीणि - trīṇi , त्रयः - trayaḥ etc.

There are more examples where Latin and Greek words resemble sanskrit

ashta (eight) - octo (Latin)

sarpa (snake) -- serpens (Latin)

pitar (father) -- pater (Latin), pater (Greek)

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    They are not taken from Sanskrit, but all these languages have a common ancestor. The difference is substantial. – Pranab Jun 11 '17 at 1:25

Here, "tri" is from Sanskrit.

Actually, the prefix "tri-" is not of English origin. It is borrowed from Latin "tri-" and Ancient Greek "τρι-". Latin and Ancient Greek are closely related to Sanskrit, hence the "tri-" in Sanskrit as well.

However, English shares a common ancestor with Latin, Greek and Sanskrit as well, and English "three" is related to all three of the above.

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