Pin Me

Hindi Language Lessons: Grammar and Verbs

written by: Sonal Panse • edited by: Tricia Goss • updated: 1/5/2012

This article looks at the grammar of the Hindi language with an emphasis on Hindi verbs. The first section takes a general look at verbs in Hindi. The second section describes some of the affixes attached to Hindi verbs to form different tenses and aspects.

  • slide 1 of 4

    Learning Verbs

    Hindi is one of the main languages of India and is spoken by a large number of people worldwide. If you are learning this language, knowledge of Hindi grammar can come in handy. Let's take a look at Hindi verbs.

    Verbs, for those who don't know, most frequently denote action. Hindi verbs usually have the following characteristics:

    • They have two elements, one is the verb stem and the other is the infinitive suffix.
    • It is essential for Hindi verbs to agree with their subjects in both number of the subject and gender of the subject.
    • When Hindi verbs describe the action of a pronoun, the verbs take on the gender of the noun that the pronoun indicates.
    • Hindi verbs distinguish past tense, present tense, and future tense. They also distinguish different kinds of actions. For example, actions that have been completed, actions that regularly occur, and actions that are going on.
    • Hindi verbs are also influenced by the degree of respect accorded to the subject. For example, intimate, familiar, or formal.

    Some common Hindi verbs are irregular, like the following:

    • Hona - to be
    • Karna - to do
    • Jana - to go
    • Lena - to take
    • Dena - to give
    • Khana - to eat
    • Pina - to drink
    • Sona - to sleep
  • slide 2 of 4

    Infinitive Forms

    By adding the infinitive suffix to the verb stem, you get the infinitive form of the verb. The infinitive suffix is 'na'. For example, 'likh' means 'write' and if you add 'na' to 'likh', we have 'likhna', which is 'to write'.

    • Mujha likhna hai - I have to write
    • Tujhe likhna hai - You have to write
    • Use likhna hai - He/she has to write
    • Unhe likhna hai - They have to write

  • slide 3 of 4

    Present or Past Participles

    The present participle suffix is 'ta' or 'ti'. If you add that to 'likh', you have 'likhta' (m.) or 'likhti' (f.), which is 'is writing'.

    • Main likhta hoon - I am writing
    • Wo likhta hai - He is writing
    • Wo likhti hai - She is writing

    The past participle suffix is 'a'. If you add that to 'likh', you have 'likha', which is 'had written' or 'was written'.

    • Maine likha - I have written
    • Usne likha - He/she has written
    • Wahan likha tha - It was written there

  • slide 4 of 4

    Other Tenses

    The present continuous (progressive) tense is formed by adding 'raha', 'rahi', or 'rahe' to the verb stem along with the present tense of 'hona', that is 'to be'.

    • Main likh raha hoon - I am writing (m.)
    • Main likh rahi hoon - I am writing (f.)
    • Tum likh rahe ho - You are writing
    • Hum likh rahe hain - We are writing

    Although, raha, rahi, and rahe are written separate, they are pronounced as one with the verb stem.

    For past tense, you add 'a' (for masculine singular), 'e' (for masculine plural) or 'i' (for feminine singular and plural) to the verb stem. along with 'tha', 'thi', or 'the'.

    • Maine likha tha - I had written
    • Maine likhe the - I had written
    • Usne likha tha - He had written
    • Usne likhi thi - She had written
    • Unhone likhe the - They had written

    Past imperfect tense is achieved by adding 'ta', 'te', or 'ti' along with 'tha', 'thi', or 'the' to the verb stem.

    • Main deta tha - I used to give (m.)
    • Main deti thi - I used to give (f.)
    • Tum dete the - You used to give
    • Hum dete the - We used to give
    • Wo deta tha - He used to give
    • Wo deti thi - She used to give
    • Woh dete the - They used to give

    For future tense, verb stems are appended with 'unga' (for I), 'ega' and 'oge' for 'tu', and 'tum' (you), 'ega' and 'egi' for 'wo' (he and she), and 'enge' for 'woh', 'hum' or 'aap' (us, you formal/plural, or they).

    • Main khaunga - I will eat
    • Tu khayega - You will eat
    • Tum khaoge - You will eat
    • Wo khayega - He will eat
    • Wo khayegi - She will eat
    • Woh khayenge - They will eat
    • Hum khayenge - We will eat
    • Aap khayenge - You will eat (formal, singular/plural)

    For future continuous (progressive) tense, verb stems are appended with 'ta', 'te', or 'ti' and 'rahunga', 'rahega', 'rahegi', 'rahenge', or 'rahoge'.

    • Main jata rahunga - I will keep going
    • Tu jata rahega - You will keep going (m.)
    • Tu jati rahegi - You will keep going (f.)
    • Woh jate rahenge - They will keep going
    • Tum jate rahoge - You will keep going