Perfect participles are verbal adjectives that express a state that results from some completed action.
लड़की बैठी हुई है – “The girl is (in the state of) sitting”
लड़का सोया हुआ है – “The boy is (in the state of) sleeping”
शब्द दरवाजे के ऊपर लिखे हुए हैं – “Words are (in the state of being) written above the door”
They often correspond to English past participles:
The girl seated there.
The cooked food.
The Form of Hindi perfect Participles
Hindi perfect participles are formed by suffixing आ, ए, or ई to a verb stem.
आ is used for masculine singular participles, ए is used for masculine plural participles, and ई is used for both feminine singular and plural participles.
ए is the masculine oblique ending, and ई is the feminine oblique ending.
Thus, perfect participles follow the same pattern as regular adjectives.
The following table exhibits the pattern for the verb बैठना (“to be seated”).
Each of these participles can be translated as English participles, such as “sitting” or “seated”:
वहां बैठी हुई लड़की मेरी बहिन है – “The girl sitting over there is my sister”
Alternatively, participles may be translated using relative phrases and finite verbs:
वहां बैठी हुई लड़की मेरी बहिन है – “The girl who is sitting over there is my sister”
If a verb’s stem terminates with the vowel आ, then the consonant य is inserted between the verb stem and the vowel suffix of the participle:
खाना: खाया, खाए/खाये, खाई/खायी
If a verb’s stem terminates with the vowel ए, or ओ, the consonant य may be inserted between the stem and the vowel suffix of the participle:
सोना: सोया, सोए/सोये, सोई/सोयी
If a verb’s stem ends with the vowel ई, it is shortened to इ before suffixing a vowel. The consonant य is added before the masculine singular ending, and may optionally be added before other endings. In the feminine singular and plural, the ending coalesces with the final vowel of the verb stem and becomes a single ई.
पीना: पिया, पिए/पिये, पी
Some verbs have slightly irregular perfect participles:
होना: हुआ, हुए, हुई
जाना: गया, गए/गए, गई/गयी
करना: किया, किए/किये, की
लेना: लिया, लिए/लिये, ली
देना: दिया, दी/दिए, दी
perfect participles are often followed by a form of the perfect participle of होना (हुआ, हुए, हुई). The perfect participle of होना agrees with the main participle in gender, number, and case. The inclusion of a form of the perfect participle of होना may strengthen the aspect of the participle. It can also explicitly differentiate the participle from a finite verb. For instance, consider the following sentence:
लड़का बैठा था
This sentence is ambiguous. It could express a past state (“the boy was sitting”), or a past action (“the boy had sat”). The inclusion of a form of the perfect participle of होना disambiguates the sentence:
लड़का बैठा हुआ था – “The boy was sitting”
The inclusion of हुआ explicitly expresses a state.
Although present participles in English often imply a continuous action (such as “running”, “eating”, etc.), then can also imply states (such as “sitting”, “sleeping”, “standing”). This can create confusion for English speakers when learning Hindi, since in Hindi imperfective and perfect participles are always distinct.
Hindi perfect participles are naturally often used with stative intransitive verbs, such as बैठना (“to be seated”), पकना (“to be cooked”), etc., because such verbs express states.
खड़ा हुआ आदमी – “The man who is standing” – Note that technically, खड़ा is an adjective, not a participle, though it behaves like a participle.
पका हुआ खाना – “The cooked food”
However, perfect participles can also be used with transitive verbs.
लाल साड़ी पहनी हुई औरत मेरी मौसी है – “The woman wearing the red sari is my aunt”
In the previous example, the transitive verb पहनना (“to wear”) was used as a participle पहनी हुई (“wearing”) with an object साड़ी (“sari”).
The Usage of perfect Participles in Hindi
perfect participles can be used as adjectives and as adverbs.
Adjectival Usage of perfect Participles
perfect participles can be used as attributive adjectives and as predicate adjectives. This is different than imperfective participles, which are generally never used as predicate adjectives.
Attributive Use of perfect Participles
perfect participles, like regular adjectives, can be used to attribute a state to another word. They agree with the word they modify in gender, number, and case:
मैंने वहां बैठी हुई लड़की को किताब दे दी – “I gave the book to the girl sitting over there”
Predicate Use of perfect Participles
perfect participles can be used like predicate adjectives also:
बच्चा सोया हुआ है – “the child is asleep”
The participle agrees in gender, number, and case with the word it predicates.
If the participle has its own object however, the participle assumes an invariable masculine singular oblique form.
औरत साड़ी पहने हुए है – “The woman is wearing a sari”
Adverbial Use of perfect Participles
perfect participles can be used adverbially. When used adverbially, perfect participles generally assume the masculine singular oblique form.
Adverbial perfect participles may modify the subject or object of a clause.
मैंने यहाँ खड़े हुए उसको देखा था – “I had seen her while I was standing here”
मैंने उसको यहाँ खड़े हुए देखा था – “I had seen her while she was standing here”
Note the syntax: if the subject performs the action of the participle, the participle follows the subject, but if the object performs the action of the participle, the participle follows the object. The participle may precede the subject, but a comma should be used to indicate the unusual word order, just as in English:
यहाँ खड़े हुए, मैंने उसको देखा था – “Standing here, I had seen her”
Adverbial participles may indicate the passage of time since some completed event:
मुझे भारत आए तीन महीने हो गए हैं – “It’s been three months since I came to India”
The postposition बिना (“without”) followed by a masculine singular oblique perfect participle means “without doing something”:
बिना सोचे कुछ फैसला मत करो – “Don’t decide anything without thinking!”
perfect participles can be “possessed” by some word using the postposition का. This idiom often indicates agency (i.e., it indicates who performed the action resulting in the state of the participle):
यह चिट्ठी मेरी लिखी हुई है – “This letter was written by me” / “I wrote this letter”
मेरा कहा कोई नहीं ध्यान देता – “No one pays attention to what I say”, i.e. “No one pays attention to what is said by me”
In the previous example, the participle is used substantivally: कहा (“said”) becomes “what is said” and मेरा (“my”) indicates the agent: “no one pays attention to (what is) said by me”.
perfect participles may be reduplicated to indicate the duration of some past action which results in an extended state:
मैं उनके इंतज़ार में खड़ा खड़ा थक गया – “I became tired of standing around and waiting for them”
वे दिन भर बैठे बैठे ऊब गए – “Sitting around all day, they became bored”