April 19, 2012

Case

Case is a property of a word which indicates its use within a phrase or sentence. In Hindi, there are three cases: the direct case, the oblique case, and the vocative case.

The Direct Case

The direct case is used when a nominal phrase is not followed by a postposition. (See the article about postpositions).

The Oblique Case

The oblique case is used when a nominal phrase is followed by a postposition.

Orthography

In the singular number, marked masculine nouns change the final .

Type Gender Number Direct Translation Oblique Translation
Marked Masculine Singular लड़का Boy लड़के का नाम The boy’s name
Unmarked Masculine Singular आदमी Man आदमी का नाम The man’s name
Marked Feminine Singular लड़की Girl लड़की का नाम The girl’s name
Unmarked Feminine Singular किताब Book किताब का नाम The name of the book
Marked Masculine Plural लड़के Boys लड़कों का of the boys, the boys’ …
Unmarked Masculine Plural आदमी Men आदमियों का of the men, the mens’ …
Marked Feminine Plural लड़कियां Girls लड़कियों का of the girls, the girls’ …
Unmarked Feminine Plural किताबें Books किताबों का of the books, the books’ …

Examples of spellings:

Singular Translation Plural Translation Plural Oblique Translation
भाई Brother भाई Brothers भाइयों का of the brothers, the brothers’ …
कुर्सी Chair कुर्सियां Chairs कुर्सियों का of the chairs, the chairs’ …
चाकू Knife चाकू Knives चाकुओं का of the knives, the knives’ …

The Vocative Case

The vocative case is used for direct address. It has the same form as the oblique case, except the plural forms are not nasalized.

  • Tenzin Sangmo

    Shouldn’t लड़के का नाम be ‘the boys’ names’ and not ‘the boy’s name’?

    • No. “The boys’ names” would be “लड़कों के नाम”.

  • Martin

    Thank you so much for the time and effort you’ve put into creating this website: it’s extremely well designed and tremendously useful!
    Just one thing regarding this particular page: I think “of the houses, the houses’ …” should be replaced with “of the men, the men’s…” since the example is about आदमी and not घर.

    • Thanks for your kind comment! I’m glad that this site has been useful to you. You’re right – there is an error in the table; I will correct it. Let me know if you ever have any questions.