Join Duome Forum to help us rebuild what was lost with Duolingo Forum closing and more...
Streak Hall of Fame


Philipp Angermeyer

281696 XP#137240

Learning Hindi from English

Level 15 · 8196 XP

Crowns: 17/192

Skills: 4

Lessons: 14

Lexemes: 58

Strength: 100%

Created: 2015-03-11
Last Goal: 2023-09-12
Timezone: UTC-4

Last update: 2023-09-13 10:41:54 GMT+3 (cached)


XP per Skill (4 weeks)raw

Skills by StrengthCrownsDateNameOriginal Order


··········· Table of Contents ···········

Letters 1 2 · 2019-07-17 ^

The Devanagari Script

Hindi has a long and interesting history. The immense evolution of North Indian culture can easily be seen in how the language has developed. It has had more than one script (writing system) used for the written language. At the time of India's independence, article 343 of the Indian constitution stated that "the official language of the Union [of India] (since India was considered a union of various unrelated states at that time) should become Hindi in Devanagari script." This variety of Hindi is called Modern Standard Hindi, which you will learn through this course.

The Devanagari script is an abugida, i.e. it consists of individual ‘units’ that represent a single vowel sound along with a few supporting consonant sounds.

  • Each unit consists of a base consonant which is written fully.

  • The vowel sound followed by the base consonant is expressed as a vowel mark (which can be understood as a diacritic, somewhat like the accents in European languages).

वर्णमाला varṇamālā (Hindi's The Alphabet)

The order in which Hindi letters are memorised and generally presented is called the वर्णमाला (garland of letters). Both vowels and consonants are divided into groups, where each one is characterised by the placement of the tongue in the mouth. The groups are presented in an order where the tongue placement moves from the posterior to the anterior part of the buccal cavity.

First, let's learn all letters in their distinct forms. Hindi has 11 vowels. 9 of them are:

manner of articulation short long
guttural a ā
palatal i ī
labial u ū
retroflex -
  • a - like the u in fun.

  • ā - like the a in father.

  • i - like the i in pit.

  • ī - like the ee in feet.

  • u - like the oo in book.

  • ū - like the ui in suit.

  • ṛ - this vowel does not have a wide usage in Hindi and was more significant in Sanskrit - Hindi's parent language. Its correct pronunciation has not been retained by Hindi. Nowadays, it is pronounced like the ri in brick. (Sanskrit also had a long version of ऋ - the ॠ ṝ, which is a tale history seldom recites)

  • ē - This is something like the ea in break, albeit more uninterrupted, and is not followed by the short i sound as in English.

  • ai - Originally, it was supposed to be a diphthong: a short a followed by a short i. However, nowadays, it is mostly pronounced like the a in black with the mouth more closed than in English.

Hindi has 33 basic consonants. Some of the plosives (sounds which are produced when the tongue hits any location in the mouth and restricts all the airflow) are:

manner of articulation uv. ua. uv. a. v. ua. v. a. nasal
guttural k kh g gh ṅ (ng)

(uv. - unvoiced, v. - voiced, ua. - unaspirated, a. - aspirated)

  • The nasal ṅ is never written in Modern Standard Hindi.

  • Hindi has two sets of similar-sounding consonants - the unaspirated and the aspirated consonants. Aspiration refers to the quality of certain sounds which make you feel a puff of air coming out of your mouth while pronouncing them. When you say can, you feel the puff of air while pronouncing the c sound. On the other hand, you don’t feel it while pronouncing the k sound in park. So, the first /k/ sound is represented in Hindi through the aspirated ख (kh), whereas as the second, through the unaspirated क (k).

Letters 2 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Hindi has 33 basic consonants. More of the plosives (sounds which are produced when the tongue hits any location in the mouth and restricts any flow of air) are:

m.o.a. uv. ua. uv. a. v. ua. v. a. nasal
guttural k kh g gh ṅ (ng)
platal c ch j jh ñ
dental t th d dh n

(m.o.a. - manner of articulation, uv. - unvoiced, v. - voiced, ua. - unaspirated, a. - aspirated)

Letters 3 2 · 2019-07-17 ^

More Vowels:

manner of articulation long dipthong
palatoguttural ē ai
labioguttural ō au
  • ō - This is something like the o in joke, albeit more uninterrupted, and is not followed by the short u as in English.

  • au - Originally, it was supposed to be a diphthong: a short a followed by a short u. However, today it is mostly pronounced like the o in block with the mouth more closed than in English.


Vowels lend their sounds to consonants through vowel marks which are written around the base consonant. Taking (k) as an example, vowel marks are added to consonants as follows:

Vowel Vowel Mark Compound
a ka
ā का
i ि कि ki
ī की
u कु ku
ū कू
कृ kṛ
ē के
ai कै kai
ō को
au कौ kau


  • When there is no visible vowel mark, the unit so formed has the basic a sound. All consonants inherit the a sound by default. E.g., ख (kha), ग (ga).

  • At the end of words, if a consonant has this inherent a sound, it is dropped. This is known as schwa syncope. E.g., पग (pag, not pa-ga), किताब (ki-tāb, not ki-tā-ba), कब (kab).

  • Schwa syncope sometimes also happens at the middle of words. This happens when the schwa (a) to be deleted follows a consonant that comes at the end of a syllable. When this case of the schwa syncope happens needs to be memorised. E.g. लड़का (lad-kā, not la-da-kā).

  • The anunāsik ँ symbol nasalises vowels. However, for most vowel marks, viz. ि, ी, े, ै, ो, and ौ, the anusvār ं symbol is used instead. This is probably because it's inconvenient to write such elaborate symbols in small spaces.

  • To strip consonants off the schwa, a diacritic known as the हलंत halant () is used. E.g., क् (k).

Letters 4 2 · 2019-07-17 ^

Hindi has 33 basic consonants. The remaining plosives (sounds which are produced when the tongue hits any location in the mouth and restricts all the air flow) are:

m.o.a. uv. ua. uv. a. v. ua. v. a. nasal
guttural k kh g gh ṅ (ng)
platal c ch j jh ñ
retroflex ṭh ḍh
dental t th d dh n
labial p ph b bh m

(m.o.a. - manner of articulation, uv. - unvoiced, v. - voiced, ua. - unaspirated, a. - aspirated)


manner of articulation semi-vowels fricatives
guttural - h
platal y ś
retroflex r
dental l s
labial v -

(semivowels allow the flow of some amount of air, fricatives force air out of a small space created in the mouth during articulation)

Additional Consonants:

  • - This is a trilled version of ड ḍ, somewhat like the tt of butter in American English, but retroflexed!

  • - Trilled version of ढ ḍh.

Loan consonants:

  • z - English/Persian

  • f - English/Persian

  • q - Persian. Almost like क k, pronounced with the epiglottis. (Arabic ق)

  • g - Persian. Almost like ग g, pronounced with the epiglottis. (Arabic غ)

  • Retroflexed and dental consonants might sound the same to non-native ears, but the former is typical of Indian languages and consists of hard-sounding consonants which are produced by curling and pushing the tip of the tongue back inside the mouth, while the latter are simple dental consonants found in Romance languages like Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, etc.

  • To strip consonants off the schwa, a diacritic known as the हलंत halant () is used. E.g., क् (k).

Conjunct Consonants

When two or more consonants, some of which do not have a vowel following them, are placed directly next to each other, the tongue requires instantaneously shifting its position. This is represented in Hindi through conjunct consonants. E.g. नमस्ते (namastē). This word can be broken down as: न (na) + म (ma) + स (sa) + ् (delete preceding a) + ते (tē), where the conjunct consonant is स्त sta (स + ् + त). Notice that because of the halant, the स (sa) gets modified, and only half of it is written, while the remaining part is attached to the following त (ta). Many such conjunct consonants can exist, and the letter modifications follow a general pattern:

  • Consonants that have a vertical line at the extreme right notice its disappearance. E.g., स्त sta (स् s + त ta), स्न sna (स् s + न na), न्य nya (न् n + य ya), ग्घ ggha (ग् g + घ gha), त्थ ttha (त् t + थ th), etc.

  • Consonants that have a vertical line, albeit restricted to the centre, require the curl at the right to extend to the following consonant. E.g., क्ख kkha (क् k + ख kha), फ्या phyā (फ् ph + या yā).

  • According to modern norms, all other kinds of consonants do not show a modification but follow a simple consonant + halant + consonant format. E.g., ट्क ṭka. Various other conjunct combinations exist, many of which are no longer used in official documents but continue to be used in some other places. At places where they are not used, the consonant + halant + consonant format is used.

  • Nasal consonants that are vowel-less before another consonant are represented by the anusvār ं symbol. E.g., संघ saṅgh (स sa + ङ् ṅ + घ gh[a]), पंच pañc (as in English punch) (प pa + ञ् ñ + च c[a]), खंड khaṇḍ (ख kha + ण् ṇ + ड ḍ[a]), बंद band (ब ba + न् n + द d[a]), नींबू nīmbū (नी nī + म् m + बू bū), which would historically be written as सङ्घ, पञ्च, खण्ड, बन्द, and नीम्बू respectively.

  • Some special characters exist for a few consonant combinations, viz. क्ष kṣa (क् k + ष ṣa), त्र tra (त् t + र ra), and ज्ञ jña (ज् j + ञ ña). ज्ञ, however, is pronounced exactly like ग्य gya.

The irregular र

र follows different rules in conjunct combinations.

र् + X X + ् + र
E.g. पार्क pārk प्रदेश pra-dēś
break down पा pā + र् r + क k[a] प् p + र ra + दे ē + श ś[a]

The second case involves writing the र like a slash symbol below the vowel-less consonant. E.g. प्र pra, क्र kra, द्र dra, घ्र ghra. The first case involves writing the र् like a small C above the following consonant. E.g. र्प rpa, र्क rka, र्द rda, र्घ rgha.

Basics 1 5 · 2019-08-19 ^

पहले पाठ में आपका स्वागत है! Welcome to the first lesson!

इतिहास itihās - History

Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language, meaning it stems from Sanskrit. Naturally, a major part of Hindi vocabulary finds its roots in Sanskrit.
However, the Mughal influence (of Persianised rulers) has lent several Persian (particularly old Persian), Arabic, and Turkish vocabulary to Hindi.
Hindi has also only recently undergone another gradual, albeit intentionally designed change the last few hundred years: Sanskritisation. This term refers to the use of words (called तत्सम tatsam words: तत् tat - there, सम sam - same; meaning exactly the same as in Sanskrit) which are straight away picked up from Classical Sanskrit to be used in official, formal occasions while speaking Hindi. This should not be confused with the Sanskrit vocabulary that has evolved over long periods of time and now forms the base of the language.
Other than that, Hindi has a plethora of English (and occasionally Portuguese) loanwords.

शब्दावली shabdāvalī - Vocabulary

Summarising the previous paragraph, the four basic origins for Hindi words are:

  • Evolved Sanskrit - most general grammatical rules are followed by this category of words, including identification of any word’s gender.
  • Persian - most general grammatical rules are not followed by this category of words and have to be remembered by heart, most noticeably their gender.
  • Classical Sanskrit (formal) - these words generally have different rules for very simple grammatical concepts than those for Evolved Sanskrit words.
  • European - they mostly follow the general grammatical rules of Evolved Sanskrit words.

This information will be used further in these tips and notes.

लिंग liṅg - Gender

All Hindi nouns, verbs, and adjectives have a gender. There are two genders in Hindi - masculine (m.) and feminine (f.). There are a few ways to guess a word’s gender based on its origin:

  • Evolved Sanskrit: most words that end with an आ ā sound are masculine (पंखा paṅkhā - fan, m.), while most words that end with an ई ī sound are feminine (नदी nadī - river, f.). Moreover, words that end with a consonant sound are masculine (घर ghar - house, m.) and those which end in या yā are feminine (चिड़िया ciṛi - bird, f.)
masculine feminine
ending vowel ा/आ ā ी/ई ī
ending sound consonant या yā
  • Persian: Persian is a genderless language. So, there is no fixed way of identifying the gender of Persian loanwords in Hindi. They have to be learnt by heart. E.g. आदमी ādmī – man (m.), ख़्याल xyāl (m.), हवा havā (f.). In fact, there are instances when both Persian derived and Evolved Sanskrit words that have different genders are used for the same thing, e.g. Sanskrit छाया chāyā (f., according to the table above) and Persian साया sāyā (m., contrary to the table), both of which mean shadow.

  • Classical Sanskrit: Generally, all Classical Sanskrit loanwords that end in a consonant sound are masculine (संकल्प saṅkalp - oath, m.), and all other words that end in any vowel sound are feminine (सुविधा suvidhā - service, f.; प्रगति pragati – progress, f.).

  • European: these words are generally assigned a gender based on the gender of the actual Hindi word. E.g. स्कूल skool (school) is masculine, since the Hindi word विद्यालय vidyālay (school) is masculine.

होना hōnā - to be

Like most languages, the verb be is the most irregular in Hindi. However, all Hindi verbs require it in some or the other form as an auxiliary verb for basic conjugation. This means that you’ll find this verb in some or the other form attached to every other verb.

When used as an auxiliary verb, it has the simplest conjugation:

Pronoun (Eng.) Pronoun (Hindi) होना hōnā be
I (1st person) मैं maim̐ हूँ hūm̐ am
He/She/It (3rd person) यह/वह yah/vah है hai is

Pronouns - यह yah, वह vah

Notice that Hindi has only two words for third person pronouns:

Pronoun Usage
यह yah Gender-Neutral Pronoun, meaning he, she, it, or this (used when the person/thing is somewhere close or if you’re pointing towards them)
वह vah Gender-Neutral Pronoun, meaning he, she, it, or that (used when the person/thing is at a distance or not present in the scene)

Often, यह (yah) is pronounced as and वह (vah) is pronounced as colloquially. In formal and literary contexts, these colloquial pronunciations are considered incorrect.


Definite articles do not exist in Hindi. This means that there is no translation for "the" in Hindi. If the situation demands a strong specification, demonstrative articles are used (this, that). In Hindi, यह yah and वह vah also act like this and that respectively.

Basics 2 4 · 2020-07-03 ^

namastē all the way

नमस्ते namastē is a super versatile greeting which can be used for saying hello or goodbye to people. Hindi also doesn’t make use of phrases like good morning, goodnight, and so on frequently. नमस्ते namastē is also used in place of those.

Even though Hindi uses धन्यवाद dhanyavād (thank you), there is no direct translation for “you’re welcome”. In place of that, you could hear phrases like “doesn’t matter”, “it was my duty” or “don’t be so extra” (in Hindi of course) on Indian streets.

talking about yourself

Remember from Basics 2 that verbs have gender in Hindi, which means that they tell us about whether the subject is masculine or feminine. So, when you’re talking about yourself, you’ll use your verbs according to your gender.

Also, remember that Hindi verbs have three parts: the verb root (the actual verb), the suffix (a word-ending which tells us about the gender), and the auxiliary verb (some form of the verb होना hōnā - to be, which tells us about when the action happened). For the first person, I, these are:

Pronoun (English) Pronoun (Hindi) Suffix (m.) Suffix (f.) होना hōnā
I मैं maim̐ ता ती हूँ hūm̐ (am)
You तुम tum –ते tē –ती tī हो hō (are)
He/She यह yah/वह vah –ता tā –ती tī है hai (is)

(You and He/She have also been included for comparison. Notice that the suffixes for I and He/She are the same. Moreover, feminine suffixes are the exact same for all three.)

Taking खाना khānā [to eat] as an example, it is conjugated as:

Pronoun (English) Pronoun (Hindi) खाना (m.) खाना (f.)
I मैं maim̐ खाता हूँ khātā hūm̐ खाती हूँ khātī hūm̐
You तुम tum खाते हो khātē hō खाती हो khātī hō
He/She यह yah/वह vah खाता है khātā hai खाती है khātī hai

E.g. I eat an apple. = मैं सेब खाता हूँmaim̐ sēb khātā hum̐

(Remember that verbs come after the object, which is the person or thing on which an action is being done, unlike English. Also, notice that a male would say this sentence and that sentences end with a पूर्ण विराम pūrṇ virām - ।, instead of a full stop or period in Hindi.)

Remember that the ँ simply nasalises the preceding vowel. It is written as a ं on the vowel marks ि, ी, े, ै, ो and ौ. When transliterated, ‘m̐’ is used to represent this nasalisation.

learn to say no

The word नहीं nahīm̐ is used for both No as an answer to a question, and in sentences of negation in the form of not or don’t. It is always placed just before the verb.

E.g. मैं पानी नहीं पीती हूँ। maim̐ pānī nahīm̐ pītī hūm̐ - I don’t drink water. (Notice that a female would say this sentence)

Moreover, in both colloquial and formal situations, the auxiliary verb होना hōnā can be dropped. This means that the above sentence can also be - मैं पानी नहीं पीती। maim̐ pānī nahīm̐ pītī - I don’t drink water. This means that both sentences are fully valid and equally used. The placement of नहीं nahīm̐ can get somewhat complex with phrasal verbs that will be taught later on. Hopefully, it won’t be as difficult as saying no in real life.

Plurals 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Plurals (बहुवचन bahuvachan)

Pluralising Hindi nouns deals with four cases:

  • Masculine Nouns Ending with आ (aa): For these, the final ा vowel mark (representing आ) is replaced by े (representing ए) [sound change: aa > e]. For example, लड़का > लड़के (boy > boys), केला > केले (banana > bananas), etc.

  • Masculine Nouns Ending with Anything Else: For these, nothing changes. Their plurality is understood through the context. For example, सेब (apple>apples), आदमी (man>men), etc.

  • Feminine Nouns Ending with इ (i)/ई (ī): For these, the final ि vowel mark (representing इ) or the final ी (representing ई) change to ियाँ (representing इयाँ iyaan) [sound change: i/ ī > iyaan]. For example, लड़की > लडकियाँ (girl > girls), बिल्ली > बिल्लियाँ (cat > cats), etc.

  • Feminine Nouns Ending with Anything Else: For these, a simple addition of ें (representing एँ) is done to the word. For example, किता > किताबें (book > books), और > औरतें (woman > women), etc.

This information reduced in a table:

Noun Gender Ending Repl. Add. Example
Masculine (m.) ा (आ) े (ए) - लड़का>लड़के (boy>boys)
Masculine (m.) anything else - - आदमी>आदमी (man>men)
Feminine (f.) ि (इ)/ ी (ई) ियाँ (इयाँ) - लड़की>लडकियाँ (girl>girls)
Feminine (f.) anything else - ें (एँ) और>औरतें (woman>women)

(Repl. - Replaced by, Add. - Addition of)

Third Person Plural Pronouns – ये, वे and First Person Plural Pronoun – हम

ये (plural of यह) and वे (plural of वह) are used for ‘they’ in Hindi. Their meanings are like those of यह and वह respectively. Mostly, just like यह, ये is pronounced as ye (the way it is written, ये), whereas just like वह, वे is pronounced as vo (like वो).

हम means ‘we’ in Hindi. All these three pronouns – ये, वे, and हम use हैं as the form of होना (be).

Second Form of ‘You’ – तुम

This lesson introduces the second way to say ‘you’ – तुम. Refer to Tips and Notes – Basics 2 for its usage. Its form of होना is हो, and uses slightly different gender specification suffixes.

होना – to be

Singular Pronoun होना (be) Plural Pronoun होना (be)
मैं (I) main हूँ hūn हम (we) ham हैं hain
तुम (you) tum हो ho तुम (you all) tum हो ho
तू (you) tu है hai - -
यह/वह (he/she/it) yah/vah है hai ये/वे (they) ye/ve हैं hain

Notice: the verb forms for तू and यह/वह, and हम and ये/वे are exactly the same.

Conjugations in Simple Present

sing. Pronoun Suffix (m.) Suffix (f.) Aux. Verb होना pl. Pronoun Suffix (m.) Suffix (f.) Aux. Verb होना
मैं (I) ता taa ती हूँ hūn (am) हम (we) ते te ती हैं hain (are)
तुम (you) ते te ती हो ho (are) तुम (you all) ते te ती हो ho (are)
तू (you) ता taa ती है hai (are) - - -
यह/वह (he/she/it) ता taa ती है hai (is) ये/वे (they) ते te ती हैं hain (are)

Example Verb पीना – to drink

sing. Pronoun पीना (m.) पीना (f.) pl. Pronoun पीना (m.) पीना (f.)
मैं (I) पीता हूँ पीती हूँ हम (we) पीते हैं पीती हैं
तुम (you) पीते हो पीती हो तुम (you) पीते हो पीती हो
तू (you) पीता है पीती है - - -
यह/वह (he/she/it) पीता है पीती है ये/वे (they) पीते हैं पीती हैं

Introduction 1 · 2018-10-25 ^


Just like English has prepositions (certain words placed before nouns and pronouns that give meaning about their activity, for example, at, by, from, on, in, etc.), Hindi has postpositions. These are responsible for the third most challenging grammatical aspect of Hindi as mentioned in Tips and Notes for Basics 1 – the oblique case. The oblique case is a case, i.e. it refers to the small changes (called inflections in the world of linguistics) made at the end of nouns and pronouns when a postposition is placed after them. However, this lesson teaches those sentences which do not require the oblique case, and hence, it will be dealt with in later lessons.

So, unlike English, any (usually smaller, monosyllable) word that describes a noun’s activity or description is placed after it (post-position). For example:

Raj is in India - राज भारत में है
Here, the postposition में (in) is placed after भारत (India).

When used with a different verb:

Raj studies in India and Julia studies in America. - राज भारत में पढ़ता है और जूलिया अमेरिका में पढ़ती है।


Words denoting possession are also gendered in Hindi. Possessive pronouns are generally different words altogether, while an equivalent of ’s (का/की/के) is used for other nouns in Hindi.

However, there is a difference. The gender and number of possessive pronouns agrees with the gender and number of the object and not the subject. This means that मेरा (my - masculine), for example, is used when the object the first person possesses is masculine, and not that that person is male.

Singular-Object Possessive Pronouns:

Pronoun m. obj. f. obj.
मैं (I) मेरा मेरी
तू (you) तेरा तेरी
वह (he/she/it) उसका उसकी
यह (he/she/it) इसका इसकी

For example,

  • My name - मेरा नाम (नाम m.)
  • Her house - उसका घर (घर m.)
  • His book - उसकी किताब (किताब f.)
  • Its eye - उसकी आँख (आँख f.)

का/की – Hindi Equivalent of Apostrophe S (‘s):

Possessive Particle m. obj. f. obj
‘s का की

For example,

  • Neha’s book – नेहा की किताब (किताब f.)
  • Neha’s apple – नेहा का सेब (सेब m.)

Family 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

The Oblique Case

As mentioned before, the oblique case is a case. This means that its ending differs from the normal form (called the nominative case). A word’s oblique case depends on its gender and number (again), and terminal sound.


Ending Gender Repl. Add.
(आ) masc. (ए) -
anything else masc. - -
any ending fem. - -


Ending Gender Repl. Add.
(ए) masc. pl. ों (ओं) -
ि (इ)/ (ई) masc. pl. ियों (इयों) -
anything else masc. pl. - ों (ओं)
ियाँ (इयाँ) fem. pl. ियों (इयों) -
ें (एँ) fem. pl. ों (ओं) -

(Repl. - Replaced with, Add. - Addition of, masc. - masculine, fem. - feminine, pl. - plural)

For example,


Word Meaning Gender Obl. Form
लड़का boy masc. लड़के
मेरा my masc. obj. मेरे
आदमी man masc. आदमी
सेब apple masc. सेब
लड़की girl fem. लड़की


Word Meaning Gender Obl. Form
लड़के boys masc. pl. लड़कों
आदमी men masc. pl. आदमियों
से apples masc. pl. सेबों
लडकियाँ girls fem. pl. लड़कियों
अरतें women fem. pl. अरतों

(Obl. - Oblique Case)

How are plural masculine words and singular oblique case variants differentiated between? Answer – through context.

(that’s language)

Example: केले में – In the banana

Whenever a doer or receiver of a verb takes the oblique case, all the descriptive words attached to it take the oblique case as well (since all those words together are considered the subject/object).

Example: मेरे केले में – In my banana
Here, the subject is मेरा केला (my banana), and hence, both मेरा and केला take the oblique case.

का/की also influence the preceding entity to take the oblique case.


  • मेरेच्चे का नाम पीटर है – My child’s name is Peter
  • मेरे केलों में - In my bananas
  • मेरे घर में तेरे घर का पानी है – There is your house’s water in my house (घर – m. house)

Third Form of You – आप

Verb Conjugation:

Pronoun Suffix (m.) Suffix (f.) Aux. Verb होना
आप (you) ते te ती हैं hain (are)
हम (we) ते te ती हैं hain (are)
ये/वे (they) ते te ती हैं hain (are)

(The conjugations of ये/वे and हम are the same as those for आप)

(Possessive pronouns are pluralised using the regular rule; plural feminine objects show no change.)

(The oblique case form of all plural possessive pronouns show no change as an exception)

Full List of Possessive Pronouns

sing. m. obj. f. obj. m. pl. obj. pl. Pronoun m. obj. f. obj. m. pl. obj.
मैं (I) मेरा मेरी मेरे हम (we) हमारा हमारी हमारे
तुम (you) तुम्हारा तुम्हारी तुम्हारे तुम (you all) तुम्हारा तुम्हारी तुम्हारे
आप (you) आपका आपकी आपके आप (you all) आपका आपकी आपके
तू (you) तेरा तेरी तेरे - - - -
वह (he/she/it) उसका उसकी उसके वे (they) उनका उनकी उनके
यह (he/she/it) इसका इसकी इसके ये (they) इनका इनकी इनके

Formality and Respect

In formal situations and for respected people (including all elders), plural versions are used in every context. For example, with पिता (father): मेरे पिता भारत में हैं - My father is in India; उसके पिता अमेरिका से नहीं हैं - His father is not from America.

Possession with अपना/अपनी/अपने

In Hindi, sentences like “I eat my apple” seem too redundant (मैं मेरा सेब खाता हूँ). So, a class of three different words are used to replace possessive pronouns when their (pro)noun has been mentioned before.

अपना is used for masculine singular objects, अपनी for female singular or plural objects, and अपने for masculine plural objects. Example:

  • मैं अपना सेब खाता हूँ। – I eat my apple.
  • तुम अपनी किताब पढ़ती हो। - You read your book.

Sometimes, these words can also be used when their noun or pronoun is obvious from the context. For example, when a kid comes up to you, you might ask them “अपना नाम बताओ” – Tell me your name (बताओ – imperative form of tell), where it is obvious that अपना means your (Notice that me is not required in such a sentence).

These words also take up the oblique case. For example, वह अपने घर से आती है – She comes from her home (आना - to come; अपना घर changes to अपने घर because of से - from).

Animals 1 · 2018-10-25 ^


We learnt how अपना/अपनी/अपने and मेरा/मेरी/मेरे work and how they are used depending on the object's gender and number. Let's name this system of three forms of a single word the आ/ई/ए system, which explains that adjective-like words (including all possessive pronouns, adverbs, and so on) that end with:

  • ा (आ) are used for singular masculine objects. (the oblique case of which use the े (ए) ending)

  • ी (ई) are used for singular and plural feminine objects. (the oblique case of which show no change)

  • े (ए) are used for plural masculine objects. (the oblique case of which shows no change)

For example, My:

Obj. Gender Obj. Number Nominative Case Oblique Case
masculine singular मेरा मेरे
feminine sing./pl. मेरी मेरी
masculine plural मेरे मेरे

All adjectives use the आ/ई/ए system unless they end with consonants. Adjectives, as in English, are placed before the (pro)noun.

For example:

  • बड़ा केला - big banana, बड़ी किताब - big book, बड़े बच्चे - big (mature) children.
  • मेरे बड़े भाई का बेटा - My big (elder) brother's son (usage of oblique case).

होना - The Habitual Form

We have learnt the हूँ, हो, है, हैं forms of होना. However, along with these (default) forms, होना can be conjugated just like other verbs in the simple present.

(मैं) होता/होती हूँ, (तुम) होते/होती हो, (यह/वह) होता/होती है, etc.

These forms can be referred to as the habitual form, as they are used when be is expressed in a way which represents a phenomenon that already exists and will continue to exist in the future.

For example:

  • बिल्लियाँ छोटी होती हैं (छोटी – small) – Cats are small
  • केले पीले होते हैं (पीले – yellow) – Bananas are yellow

Activity 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

The Present Continuous Tense

In this tense, Hindi does not require the gender and noun-specification suffix at the end of the verb root. The subject’s gender and number are represented by the auxiliary verb रहना. On its own, रहना means to live. However, it also gives the meaning of staying or halting. The format for the present continuous tense is:

[Verb Root] + [Conjug. of रहना]

The forms of रहना used for this tense are different from those of its conjugation for the simple present.


sing. Pronoun masc. fem. pl. Pronoun masc. fem.
मैं (I) रहा हूँ रही हूँ हम (we) रहे हैं रही हैं
तुम (you) रहे हो रही हो तुम (you all) रहे हो रही हो
तू (you) रहा है रही है - - -
आप (you) रहे हैं रही हैं आप (you all) रहे हैं रही हैं
यह/वह (he/she/it) रहा है रही है ये/वे (they) रहे हैं रही हैं

For example, मैं सेब खा रहा हूँ - I am eating an apple.

Notice that the vowel sounds for the various forms of रह are those of the suffix with in the simple present, while the forms of होना also match the conjugation as an auxiliary verb in the simple present.

आना (to come) and जाना (to go)

These verbs work in a peculiar manner:

  • They require the object to be in the oblique case. The object with these verbs is mostly a place.

  • They do not require a particle like ‘to’ in English as the oblique case suffices for it.

For example, मैं तुम्हारे घर जाता हूँ और वह मेरे घर आता है – I go to your house and he comes to my house (Here, तुम्हारा घर and मेरा घर take the oblique case)

And, मैं तुम्हारे घर जा रहा हूँ और तुम मेरे घर आ रहे हो - I am going to your house and you are coming to my house.

To Have

There is no single verb for have in Hindi. Two ways to mention possessions are:

  • (This has already been mentioned before) [possessive pronoun]/[noun + का/की/के] + [possession] + है/हैं - For example, मेरी दो बेटियाँ हैं - I have two daughters (literally: my two daughters are).

  • [pl. form of possessive pronoun]/[noun + के] + पास + है/हैं – For example, मेरे पास एक केला है - I have a banana (literally: near me banana is); and राज के पास एक बिल्ली है - Raj has a cat (literally: near Raj a cat is) This form is generally used for things and not people. (पास – near)

Postpositions Using के

Instead of being simple monosyllables, some postpositions in Hindi use the format: के + [postposition]. For example, as just learnt, के पास. Other examples include के लिए (for), के ऊपर (above), के नीचे (below), etc.

Pronouns take the plural-object form for these postpositions. For example, मेरे पास, उसके पास, जूलिया के पास, etc.

Adjectives 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

As discussed before, adjectives use the आ/ई/ए system with the following endings:

  • आ for singular masculine objects,

  • ई for female objects of any number,

  • and ए for plural masculine objects.

Other adjectives end with consonants and are used in the same form for objects of any gender or number.

Food 1 · 2018-10-25 ^

Personal Pronouns in the Oblique Case

Essentially, personal pronouns take up the following oblique case forms:

Sing. Pronoun Oblique Form Pl. Pronoun Oblique Form
मैं (I) मुझ (me) हम (we) हम (us)
तुम (you) तुम (you) तुम (you all) तुम (you all)
तू (you) तुझ (you) - -
आप (you) आप (you) आप (you) आप (you all)
यह (he/she/it) इस (him/her/it) ये (they) इन (them)
वह (he/she/it) उस (him/her/it) वे (they) उन (them)

However, these are used in few categories of sentences and find no substance in this lesson other than being mentioned.

Personal Pronouns in the Oblique (Dative) Case

The previous forms were mentioned because those are the oblique case forms of personal pronouns per se but are seldom used as their applications are limited to very few cases which have not been discussed yet.

Even though Hindi has only two cases (nominative, oblique), it is said so because these are broadly the two major word-ending changing cases (causing significant inflections). This means that Hindi recognises a few other cases commonly seen in most languages. However, for those cases, Hindi uses the oblique case forms (those mentioned in the last section) along with a pinch of a few particles to convey the proper meaning in the required context.

  • The Accusative Case: The object case, it is used whenever nouns are objects to a verb. Contrary to most languages which show the heaviest inflection here, Hindi almost never requires any terminal change in the object (not even the oblique case). For example, मैं केला खाता हूँ – I eat the banana. Here, banana is the object for the subject I and verb eat. In Hindi, the object केला uses the nominative case endings, and not the oblique case.

  • The Dative Case: it is used whenever nouns (as indirect objects) are used with transitive verbs. For Hindi, the party happens here. Dative case endings (which are an extension to the oblique case) for personal pronouns are:

[Indirect objects are those for which the subject does a verb action, as opposed to direct objects upon which the subject does the verb action. Direct objects can be understood as the usual objects in a simple subject-object-verb pattern. Verbs that require objects, eg. eat, drink, see, as opposed to dance, sleep, etc., are known as transitive verbs.]

Sing. Pronoun Oblique Form Pl. Pronoun Oblique Form
मैं (I) मुझे (to me) हम (we) हमें (to us)
तुम (you) तुम्हें (to you) तुम (you all) तुम्हें (to you all)
तू (you) तुझे (to you) - -
आप (you) आपको (to you) आप (you) आपको (to you all)
यह (he/she/it) इसे (to him/her/it) ये (they) इन्हें (to them)
वह (he/she/it) उसे (to him/her/it) वे (they) उन्हें (to them)

(Notice that all plural forms of personal pronouns have the nasalising dot - anusvara ं, except आप)

For other nouns, the particle को (to) is used. Indirect objects are placed after subjects in Hindi. For example:

  • राज मुझे अपना केला देता है - Raj gives me his banana. (देना – to give)
  • मैं उसे एक बिल्ली देता हूँ - I give him a cat.
  • राज जूलिया को दूध देता है - Raj gives Julia milk.
  • वह नेहा को चाय देती है - She gives Neha tea.

In the above example, the nouns in the dative case are indirect objects, to whom the various items are being given. The various items are in the accusative case (showing no change).

Desires with चाहिए

चाहिए is a form of the verb चाहना (to want, need, desire), and literally means “is wanted/needed/desired by”. Like other verbs, it is placed at the end of sentences, and requires the subject to take the dative case. For example:

  • मुझे यह किताब चाहिए – I want this book (literally: By me this book is wanted)
  • तुम्हें काम चाहिए – You want work (literally: By you work is wanted)
  • नेहा को पानी चाहिए – Neha wants water (literally: By Neha water is wanted)

Liking with पसंद

पसंद is a word which means “like”. In its sentence construction, पसंद होना means “to be liked by”. It also requires the subject to be in the dative case. होना is conjugated appropriately to है or हैं based on the object’s number. For example:

  • मुझे यह किताब पसंद है – I like this book (literally: By me this book is liked)
  • तुम्हें काम पसंद है – You like work (literally: By you work is liked)
  • नेहा को घोड़े पसंद हैं – Neha likes horses (literally: By Neha horses are liked)
  • उसे मैं पसंद हूँ – He likes me (literally: By him I am liked)
  • मुझे आप पसंद हैं – I like you (literally: By me you are liked)
  • पीटर को तुम पसंद हो – Peter likes you (literally: By Peter you are liked)

Numbers 1 · 2018-12-12 ^

Quantitative Interrogative Words

This lesson teaches you the word कितना in its various forms. There are two ways to use this word:

  • With Verbs: In this case, कितना (how much) is used in all cases of the various genders and number. Eg., तुम कितना खाते हो? - How much do you eat?

  • With Nouns/Adjectives: In this case, कितना (m. sing.)/कितनी (f.)/कितने (m. pl.) (how many) is used depending on the object in the sentence. Eg. कितने केले? - How many bananas?, वह कितनी लंबी है? - How tall is she?


In Hindi, Adverbs are always used in one single form, i.e. they do not show changes depending on their object's gender or number. Eg., कुछ (some, few):

  • कुछ बड़ा काम - Some big (major) work

  • कुछ छोटी लड़कियाँ - A few short girls

  • कुछ पतले अंडे - Some thin eggs

14 skills with tips and notes