June 15, 2012

Contrafactual Sentences

Translate the following sentences into Hindi:

  1. If you had eaten breakfast then you wouldn’t be hungry now.
  2. If my stomach weren’t upset, then I would have eaten the food.
  3. What would my life be like if I had never met you?
  4. If I were rich, I wouldn’t have to work!
  5. What would our everyday life be like if we lived in India?
  6. It wouldn’t have been appropriate to have asked him for money.
  7. I’d help you if I were able.
  8. What would have happened if you hadn’t saved us?
  9. If you hadn’t studied science, what other subject would you have studied?
  10. If I had worked more, then perhaps I would be more successful today.
  11. If I had arrived earlier, then I would have gotten a ticket.
  12. If it hadn’t been raining that day, then we never would have met each other.
  13. I wish that I’d learned Hindi when I was young.
  14. I wish that learning new languages were easy.
  15. I wish I were tall.
  16. I wish that we didn’t have to get up so early.
  17. I would have studied music in college, but my dad wanted me to study science.
  18. I would have played with them, but my leg was injured.
  19. Just think what our lives would be like if we were rich!
  20. If translating these kinds of sentences were easy, then we wouldn’t have to practice.
More exercises coming soon!

(…) = optional, [ … / …] = alternatives

  1. अगर [तुमने नाश्ता खाया होता / तुम नाश्ता खाते (थे)] तो तुम्हें भूख नहीं [लग रही होती / लगती / लगी होती]
  2. अगर मेरा पेट ख़राब नहीं होता (था) तो [मैं खाना खाता / मैंने खाना खाया होता]
  3. अगर हम लोग एक दुसरे को नहीं मिलते (थेतो मेरी ज़िंदगी कैसी होती
  4. अगर मैं अमीर होता तो मुझे काम करना नहीं पड़ता
  5. अगर हम भारत में रहते तो हमारी रोजमर्रा की जिंदगी कैसी होती
  6. उससे पैसा मांगना उचित नहीं होता
  7. मैं तुम्हारी मदद कर सकता तो मैं करता
  8. अगर आप हमें नहीं बचाते तो क्या होता
  9. अगर तुम विज्ञान नहीं पढ़ते थे तो क्या दूसरा विषय पढ़ते
  10. अगर मैंने ज़्यादा काम किया होता तो मैं आज शायद और सफल होता
  11. अगर मैं जल्दी पहुँच जाता तो मुझे टिकेट मिलता
  12. अगर उस दिन बारिश नहीं हो रही होती तो हम एक दुसरे को कभी नहीं मिलते
  13. काश कि मैंने हिंदी सीखी होती जब मैं जवान था
  14. काश कि नयी भाषाएँ सीखना आसान होता
  15. काश कि मैं लम्बा होता
  16. काश कि हमें रोज़ इतने जल्दी नहीं उठना पड़ता
  17. मैं कॉलेज में संगीत पढ़ता था लेकिन मेरे पापा ने चाहते थे कि मैं विज्ञान पढूं
  18. मैं उन के साथ खेलता लेकिन मेरे पैर में चोट लगी थी
  19. ज़रा सोच लो कि हमारी जिंदगियां कैसी होतीं अगर हम अमीर होते
  20. अगर इस तरह की वाक्यों का अनुवाद करना आसान होता तो हमें अभ्यास नहीं करना पड़ता
  • There is no rule. The choice is stylistic. Both the complex and simple forms have the same meaning, but the complex form emphasizes a particular aspect. The simple form is much more common, especially in colloquial Hindi, probably because it is briefer. I forgot to mention this, but the “simple” form can have an optional form of था, i.e. we can say “पढ़ते थे” or “पढ़ते”. The shorter form (“पढ़ते”) is more common. There is no such verb form as “padhe hote the” in Hindi; it’s just “padhe hote”. Subjunctive verbs don’t have tense; the tense is dependent on the context. That’s why it doesn’t make sense to add “the”; we add “the” in the indicative mood to indicate past tense. We would never use the indicative mood in contrafactual sentences either (so we won’t say “agar … padhe the to…”. I could have written “अगर तुमने विज्ञान नहीं पढ़ा होता तो क्या दूसरा विषय पढ़ा होता”. The meaning and English translation is the same; this sentence just emphasizes the “perfect” aspect.

  • Hey, Divija. No, in Hindi we would never use an indicative verb in place of a contrafactual subjunctive verb. However, in non-contrafactual conditional sentences, Hindi speakers often do prefer indicative verbs. For instance, it is more common to hear “agar main … karunga” than “agar main … karun”.

  • This is definitely a contrafactual sentence. What do you think the speaker believes: that translating the sentences is easy or hard? The speaker believes that translating these sentences is hard. Thus “if translating these kinds of sentences were easy” is contrafactual. It says “If translating these kinds of sentences were easy (but it is not easy), then we wouldn’t have to practice (but we do have to practice)”. If it is non-contrafactual, then you’re saying that the speaker believes that translation is easy and practice is not necessary! Do you see now?

    • Divija Sampathi

      yes…Got it now…Thnq…

  • Divija Sampathi

    Thanq very much for being so helpful.. 🙂