All Stories | Beginners Stories | Intermediate Stories | Advanced Stories
All Videos | The Market | Shopping | Scenery | Temple/Caretakers
All Festivals | Holi | Rakhi | Navratri | Diwali | Shivratri
All Lessons | Lesson 1 | Lesson 2 | Lesson 3 | Lesson 4 | Lesson 5
All Exercises | Exercise 1 | Exercise 2 | Exercise 3 | Exercise 4 | Exercise 5

Lesson 4

Virtual Hindi

VERB STRUCTURE and CONCORD

1. The basic structural units of the Hindi verb are:

(a) The verb stem

(b) Formative suffixes. Chief among these are:

(i) -ता, -आ and their concord variants

-ता forms imperfect participles, characterizes verbal actions as not completed

-आ forms perfective participles, characterizes verbal action as completed

Note: Aspect (imperfect and perfective, here) refers to the character of a verbal action (completed, not completed, hypothetical, temporary, durative, habitual) not its placement in time.

(ii) -ना and its concord variants. These form verbal nouns or adjectives.

(iii) Certain modal suffixes. These appear in subjective and imperative forms.

(c) Certain forms of the verb होना used with the participles as auxiliaries of tense and mood.

2. Composite verbal expressions. These contain verbal forms other than (or additional to)

those of the verb होना.

[Back to top]

PRESENT, PAST, AND FUTURE TENSE FORMS OF होना ‘be, become'

Present ‘I am' etc. Past ‘I was', etc.
मैं हूँ मैं + था m. थी f.
तू, वह है तू, वह + था m. थी f.
तुम हो तुम + थे m. थीं f.
वे, आप, हम हैं वे, आप, हम + थे m. थीं f.

Future ‘I shall be, become', etc.
m. f.
मैं हूँगा हूँगी
तू, वह होगा होगी
तुम होगे होगी
वे, आप, हम होंगे होंगी

(a) Note that past tense forms show gender concord with subjects, and that feminine plural past tense forms show nasality.

(b) Future tense forms also show gender concord with subjects. Note that future forms of होना are often used to express presumptions:

e.g. वह आदमी दक्षिणी होगा | That man is probably a southerner.

[Back to top]

REGULAR CONJUGATIONAL PATTERNS

1. General Present: ‘I go', etc.

मैं चलता हूँ m. मैं चलती हूँ f.
वह चलता है वह चलती है
तुम चलते हो तुम चलती हो
हम चलते हैं हम चलती हैं

(a) General present forms are compatible with habitual action or general state. Often used with an indefinite sense, for instance when there is no explicit need felt to use a present continuous form:

मैं भारत में रहता हूँ | I live in India.

मैं भारत में हिन्दी बोलता हूँ |

I speak hindi in India.
मैं चलता हूँ | I'm going

(b) General present forms are negated with नहीं preceding the participle; the auxiliary is usually dropped unless the negation is strongly stressed. When the auxiliary is dropped, the nasality of the feminine plural forms is transferred to the final syllable of the participle.

वे औरतें अक्सर हिन्दी नहीं बोलतीं | Those women usually don't speak Hindi.

(c) होना has its own general present form होता है . Note particularly the use of होना है as opposed to है :

यह गाड़ी लाल है | This car is red. (particular case)
गाड़ियाँ महँगी होती हैं | Cars are expensive. (general case)

2. Imperfective past ‘I went, used to go', etc.

मैं, तू, वह चलता था m. चलती थी f.
हम, आप, वे चलते थे चलती थीं

(a) These forms have the same usual reference to habitual action or general state as general state as general present forms. They are also common in narration where there is no explicit need felt to use a past continuous form: e.g.

उस समय मैं दिल्ली में रहता था | At that time I was living in Delhi.

They are negated with नहीं, preceding the participle: e.g.

मैं नहीं चलता था | I didn't used to go.

3. Temporary Aspect, Present Relevance (“Continuous Present”)

‘i'm going', etc.

मैं चल रहा हूँ m. मैं चल रही हूँ f.
हम चल रहे हैं हम चल रही हैं

(a) The perfective participle of the verb रहना ‘remain' follows the stem. These forms stress the continuous nature of incomplete actions. (Better: temporary nature of the action) The verbal unit चल रहा हूँ is pronounced with a single stress on the verb stem, the following syllables being unstressed.

(b) Some English expressions of present participial form refer to present state as much as the continued action, e.g. to be sitting, to be standing. These have as Hindi translation equivalents not continuous present forms but perfective participles of verbs denoting assumption of the given state, plus present tense forms of होना e.g.

मैं कुरसी पर बैठा हूँ | I am sitting on a chair.
किताब मेज़ पर पड़ी है | The book is lying on the table.

(c) The continuous present may be used, as in English, of future events which are thought of as already set in a train: e.g.

मैं कल जा रहा हूँ | I am going tomorrow.

(d) Continuous present forms can be negated with in the same way as general present forms. They are less common with negated than the latter, however, since it is not often necessary to describe a non-occurring action as specifically ‘continuous'. (Perhaps there is a semantic clash here)

(4) Continuous past : ‘I was going', etc

M. F.
मैं चल रहा था मैं चल रही थी
हम चल रहे थे हम चल रही थी

[Back to top]

VERBAL CONCORD WITH COMPOSITE SUBJECTS

Where there are two or more subjects of different genders the verb usually agrees with the subject nearest to it, although if both subjects have personal reference it often shows a ‘common' masculine gender. When first and second person subjects are involved, a composite subject pronoun (e.g. दोनो ‘both') is often added.

कागज़ और स्याही सस्ती है | Paper and ink are cheap.
मेरे भाई और उनकी पत्नी दिल्ली में रहते हैं | My brother & his wife live in Delhi.
मैं और मेरी बहन दोनो दिल्ली में रहते हैं | My sister & I live in Delhi.

Where there are two or more subjects of the same gender, the verb is plural and of that gender if they have personal reference; otherwise it most frequently agrees with the nearest subject: e.g.

लड़की और उसकी माँ कल दिल्ली जा रही है | The girl & her mother are going to Delhi tomorrow.
किताब और पेंसिल मेज़ पर है | The book and pencil are on the table.

[Back to top]

THE POSTPOSITION से

This postposition is used in construction with various verbs of speaking, telling, etc. (but not all such verbs); e.g. with बोलना ‘to speak', कहना ‘to say', and पूछना ‘to ask'. (There is a notion of reciprocity.)

मैं उससे हमेशा हिन्दी बोलता हूँ | I always speak Hindi to him.
उससे यह सबाल पूछिए | Ask him this question.

[Back to top]

SOME EXPRESSIONS OF MOTION

Expressions describing motion to a destination denoted by a place-name usually show the noun concerned without following postposition: e.g.

मैं भारत जा रहा हूँ | I'm going to India.
मैं कलकत्ते जा रहा हूँ | I'm going to Calcutta.

The second example with its alternative forms show that oblique case usages are involved in this type of expression.

[Back to top]

VOCABULARY

हिन्दी F. Hindi भारतीय adj. & noun, Indian
गाड़ी F. vehicle (car, cart, train) रहना stay, remain, live
अँग्रेज़ m.f., Englishman/woman बोलना speak, talk, utter
अँग्रेज़ी English, the language (f) बैठना sit, take one's seat

भाषा f. language जाना to go
बारिश f. rain लिखना to write
बारिश होना to rain जानना to know
पेड़ m. tree गाना sing; song (m)
पत्ता m. leaf पढ़ना read; study
दोस्त m. friend पड़ना fall; be found
दफ़्तर m. office आना to come
विद्यार्थी m. student सोना to sleep
गरमियाँ f. pl., hot season अक्सर usually
दिन m. day कल yesterday, tomorrow
सिग्रेट f.m., cigarette परसों day before/after yesterday
स्याही f. ink हमेशा always
डाकिया m. postman कब when?
सवाल m. question क्यों why?
पड़ा lying, placed flat हरा green
लंबा long; tall महँगा expensive
अच्छा good; adv., well; interj.; all right, I see, etc.

[Back to top]

NYU | GSAS | CAS | MES Dept. | Contact Us | © 2005 Gabriela Nik. Ilieva