April 20, 2012

Basic Verb Forms


Introduction

This article introduces the most common verb forms in Hindi.

The basic genius of Hindi verbs is the synthesis of aspect and tense/mood.

The imperfective participle is used to represent the habitual aspect and the perfect participle is used to represent the perfective/perfect aspect. The various forms of होना represent both tense and mood.

For instance, the present indicative forms of होना represent the present tense and indicative mood, the past indicative forms of होना represent the past tense and the indicative mood, the present subjunctive forms of होना represent the present tense and subjunctive mood, and so on.

Therefore:

imperfective participle + present subjunctive of होना = present habitual subjunctive

perfect participle + past tense of होना = past perfect indicative

perfect participle + present tense of होना = present perfect indicative

Etc.

The most common mood in Hindi is the indicative mood, which is used to indicate statements about facts or beliefs, etc. This section provides an overview of the most common verb forms for the indicative mood in Hindi.

Present Habitual

The present habitual verb form combines the present tense and habitual aspect. It indicates habitual, frequent, or repeated actions in the present, or makes general statements. It additionally has several idiomatic usages which are not related to the present tense or habitual aspect.

The present habitual form is as follows:

[imperfective participle of the main verb] [present tense form of the verb होना]

For instance, for the verb रहना (“to stay/remain/live/abide”), the third person singular masculine present habitual form is रहता है. It combines the aspectual component (the imperfective participle रहता) with the temporal component (है). It could be translated as “he/she lives (somewhere)”.

वह दिल्ली में रहती है – “She lives in Delhi”

This is a general statement about a fact.

बहुत किताबें पढ़ता हूँ – “I read a lot of books”

This is a habitual action.

Pronoun Masculine Form Feminine Form
मैं करता हूँ करती हूँ
हम करते हैं करती हैं
आप करते हैं करती हैं
तुम करते हो करती हो
तू करता है करती है
यह/वह करता है करती है
ये/वे करते हैं करती हैं

Idiomatic Usages of the Imperfective Participle + Present Tense Form of होना

This verb form also has several idiomatic usages which are not related to the present tense or habitual aspect.

Hortatory Usage

The imperfective participle + present tense form of होना in the third person plural can indicate an exhortation:

जाते हैं – “Let’s go”

खाते हैं – “Let’s eat”

Imminent Usage

The imperfective participle + present tense form of होना (often in the first person singular) indicates an imminent action:

आती हूँ – “I’m coming” / “I’m just about to come” / “I’m coming right now” / etc.

निकलता हूँ – “I’m going out/leaving” / “I’m just about to go out” / etc.

Past Habitual

The past habitual combines the past tense and habitual aspect. It is formed as imperfective participle + past tense form of होना.

It can often be translated in English as “used to…” as in “used to do”, “used to eat”, “used to go”, etc.

Pronoun Masculine Form Feminine Form
मैं करता था करती थी
हम करते थे करती थीं
आप करते थे करती थीं
तुम करते थे करती थीं
तू करता रहती था करती थी
यह/वह करता था करती थी
ये/वे करते थे करती थीं

Present Continuous

The present continuous verb form combines the present tense and the continuous aspect.

It is formed as verb stem + perfect participle of रहना (रहा/रहे/रही) + present tense form of होना.

Pronoun Masculine Form Feminine Form
मैं कर रहा हूँ कर रही हूँ
हम कर रहे हैं कर रही हैं
आप कर रहे हैं कर रही हैं
तुम कर रहे हो कर रही हो
तू कर रहा है कर रही है
यह/वह कर रहा है कर रही है
ये/वे कर रहे हैं कर रही हैं

Past Continuous

The past continuous verb form combines the past tense and the continuous aspect.

It is formed as verb stem + perfect participle of रहना (रहा/रहे/रही) + past tense form of होना.

Pronoun Masculine Form Feminine Form
मैं कर रहा था कर रही थी
हम कर रहे थे कर रही थीं
आप कर रहे थे कर रही थीं
तुम कर रहे थे कर रही थीं
तू कर रहा था कर रही थी
यह/वह कर रहा था कर रही थी
ये/वे कर रहे थे कर रही थीं

Past Perfective

The past perfective is identical to the perfect participle. It combines the perfective aspect and past tense.

Pronoun Masculine Form Feminine Form
मैं किया की
हम किये/किए की
आप किये/किए की
तुम किये/किए की
तू किया की
यह/वह किया की
ये/वे किये/किए की

Present Perfect

The present perfect is a “perfect” verb form – it indicates that the action is completed and has relevance in the present time.

It is formed as perfect participle + present tense form of होना.

Pronoun Masculine Form Feminine Form
मैं किया हूँ की हूँ
हम किये/किए हैं की हैं
आप किये/किए हैं की हैं
तुम किये/किए हो की हो
तू किया है की है
यह/वह किया है की है
ये/वे किये/किए हैं की हैं

Past Perfect

The past perfect is a “perfect” verb form – it indicates that the action is completed and had relevance at some past time.

It is formed as perfect participle + past tense form of होना.

Pronoun Masculine Form Feminine Form
मैं किया था की थी
हम किये/किए थे की थीं
आप किये/किए थे की थीं
तुम किये/किए थे की थीं
तू किया था की थी
यह/वह किया था की थी
ये/वे किये/किए थे की थीं

Future Tense

The future tense is formed as: verb stem + first suffix + second suffix

The first set of suffixes is:

Suffix Condition
ऊँ If the subject is मैं
If the subject is तुम
If the subject is singular
एँ If the subject is plural

The second set of suffixes is:

Suffix Condition
गा If the subject is masculine and singular
गे If the subject is masculine and plural
गी If the subject is feminine, whether singular or plural

The future tense does not specify any particular aspect. It is “non-aspectual”.

Pronoun Masculine Form Feminine Form
मैं खाउँगा खाऊँगी
हम खाएँगे खाएँगी
आप खाएँगे खाएँगी
तुम खाओगे खाओगी
तू खाएगा खाएगी
यह/वह खाएगा खाएगी
ये/वे खाएँगे खाएँगी

The following 13 articles are posted under this category:

Present Habitual
Past Habitual
Present Continuous
Past Continuous
Present Perfect
Past Perfect
Present Perfect Continuous
Past Perfect Continuous
Future Perfect Continuous
Future Continuous
Future Perfect
Future
Past Perfective
  • Shree

    can u please say me the difference between “chale gaye the” and “chala gaya tha”. When it is used?

    • Certainly! “chale gaye the” is masculine and plural, “chala gaya tha” is masculine and singular. “chala jaana” means “to go (away)”. It’s an idiomatic verb form; I wrote an article about it here: http://hindilanguage.info/notes/volume-5/chala-aana-and-chala-jaana/ . The verb form of “chale gaye the” and “chala gaya tha” is called “past perfect”. It is often translated as the past tense in English (e.g. “went”), occasionally in the past perfect in English (e.g. “had gone”). For instance: “tum kahan chale gaye the?” = “Where were you?” (i.e. “where did you go?”); “wo ghar chala gaya tha” = “he went home”, etc. Search in Google for these phrases (including the quotation marks) and you’ll find lots of examples.

      • Shree

        Thanks for your explanation.

  • मोटा जाना — doesn’t make sense
    मोटा हो जाना — to *become* fat (implies a transition or change, etc.)
    मोटा होना — to *be* fat