April 20, 2012

Present Habitual

Introduction

The present habitual form of a verb is formed by combining an imperfective participle of the verb with a present indicative form of the verb होना:

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

The imperfective participle agrees with its subject in person, number, and gender. The present tense form of होना also agrees with its subject in person and number (but incidentally not in gender, since the present tense forms of होना do not inflect according to gender).

The following table summarizes the present habitual forms of the verb जाना (“to go”):

Pronoun Masculine Form Feminine Form
मैं जाता हूँ जाती हूँ
हम जाते हैं जाती हैं
आप जाते हैं जाती हैं
तुम जाते हो जाती हो
तू जाता है जाती है
यह/वह जाता है जाती है
ये/वे जाते हैं जाती हैं

This verb form combines the present tense and habitual aspect.

The present tense refers to the present time.

The habitual aspect refers to actions which are habitual or repeated over time. The present habitual form of a verb is used to make general statements also.

There are several idiomatic usages of this verb form which are neither related to the present tense nor the habitual aspect.

Examples

मेरी बहिन मुंबई में रहती है – “My sister lives in Mumbai”

मैं रोज़ सुबह चाय पीता हूँ – “I drink tea every morning”

मैं तबला बजाता हूँ – “I play the tabla”

ये लड़कियां स्कूल जाती हैं – “These girls go to school”

मुझे हिंदी आती है – “I understand Hindi”

क्या आपको गर्म मौसम अच्छा लगता है – “Do you like hot weather?”

Idiomatic Usages

There are several idiomatic usages of the imperfective participle + present tense form of होना construction.

Hortatory Usage

the imperfective participle + present tense form of होना is used for exhortations. When used in this manner, it is always third person and plural.

जाते हैं – “Let’s go”

खाते हैं – “Let’s eat”

Imminent Action

The imperfective participle + present tense form of होना is often used to express imminent action.

चलती हूँ – “I’m going” / “I’m going right now” / “I’m just about to go” / etc.

निकलते हैं – “We’re just about to leave” / “We are leaving right now” / etc.

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

  • keeru frnds

    thanks….. its very helpful………..

    • You’re welcome! I’m glad that you found the article helpful.

  • Sangitha

    Hi, I am learning Hindi (despite learning it in school and writing many exams in it!) all over again because it didn’t work well the first time. I also have to help my kids in school now. My question: some sites say that when a verb is conjugated, the masc/fem endings of tha and thi is only for the singular. Your site says hum khathi hain in the plural feminine. Could you please clarify this? Hum can technically be both boys and girls. Is the use of ‘thi’ in the verb because it is a group of girls?

    Thanks!

    • Hi, Sangitha! You’re right – हम खाती हैं is for a group of girls/women, and हम खाते हैं is for all other situations (e.g. a group of boys/men or mixed group of boys/girls/men/women). In Hindi, it’s pretty common for a person to use हम instead of मैं (i.e. when the person is only referring to himself/herself). Also, it’s common for women in some areas to use the masculine plural when referring to themselves (e.g. हम अच्छे हैं).

  • Divija Sampathi

    Hai David..Could you pls explain why it is “चलती हूँ” but not “chalta hun” and “आता हूँ” but not “athi hun”

    • Hi, Divija! I simply chose those examples to demonstrate different genders. Thus, the person who says “चलती हूँ” is female, whereas the person who says “आता हूँ” is male. There is no reason why you could not use both genders in these examples.