April 20, 2012


The verb लगना is perhaps the most idiomatic verb in Hindi.

Literal Meaning

It’s literal meaning is “to be attached/to be adhered”.

तस्वीर दिवार पर लगी है – “The picture is attached to the wall” / “The picture is on the wall”

पट्टी उसके चोट पे लगी थी – “A bandage was adhered to his wound” / “A bandage is on his wound”

However, there are many instances when the verb retains its literal meaning, yet is better translated into English contextually:

A का दिल / मन B में लगना – for A to enjoy B

The idiom A का दिल / मन B में लगना means literally “for A’s heart to be attached to B”, thus “for A to enjoy B”.

मेरा दिल पिआनो बजाने में बहुत लगता है – “I really enjoy playing the piano”

उसका मन गाने में नहीं लगता – “He doesn’t enjoy singing songs”

कल मेरा दिल किसी चीज़ में नहीं लगा– “Yesterday I didn’t enjoy anything”

A को B की आदत लगना – for A to have a habit of B

The idiom A को B की आदत लगना literally means “for B to be attached to A”, but contextually means “for A to get into a habit of B”. This is an indirect verb construction.

आजकल मुझे बहुत देर तक सोने की आदत लग गयी है – “I have gotten into a habit of sleeping very late”

Note a similar idiom in which a present tense form of the verb होना may be used:

मुझे बहुत देर तक सोने की आदत है – “I am used to sleeping very late”

Also, the postposition की may be used instead of को:

मेरी बहुत देर तक सोने की आदत है – “I am used to sleeping very late”

The difference between the idiom involving लगना and the idiom involving होना is that the former expresses a newly acquired habit whereas the latter expresses an extant habit.

A में आग लगना – for A to Catch Fire

घर में आग लग गयी – “The house caught on fire”

Literally, “fire was attached to the house”

A की नौकरी लग गई – for A to get a job

मेरी बहिन की नौकरी लग गई – “My sister got a job”

Literally, “my sister’s job was attached (to her)”

A की आँख लगना – for A to fall asleep

मेरी आँखें लग गई – “I fell asleep”

Literally, “my eyes (eyelids) became attached”

To be hit or hurt by something

उसको गोली लगी – “He was shot by a bullet”

Literally, “to him a bullet was attached”

To follow (someone)

कुता मेरे पीछे लग गया – “The dog followed me”

Literally, “the dog was attached behind me”

To be occupied with some task

वह आपनी किताबें पढ़ने में लगा है – “He is busy reading his books”

To Feel Some Way

लगना is very commonly used to express feelings, sensations, perceptions, judgements, opinions, etc.

Physical Sensations

मुझे भूख लग रही है / मुझे भूख लगी है – “I’m hungry”

Literally, “to me hunger is attached”

मुझे प्यास लग रही है / मुझे प्यास लगी है – “I’m thirsty”

इसको कुत्तों से डर लगता है – “He’s afraid of dogs”

Opinions/Judgements – How something seems to someone

आपको अम्रीका कैसा लगता है – “How do you like America?” / “How does America seem to you” / “What do you think about America?”

मुझे साड़ियाँ बहुत सुन्दर लगती है – “I think saris are so beautiful”

Perceptions – “it seems that”

मुझे लगता है कि आज मौसम अच्छा होगा – “I think that the weather will be nice today” / “It seems to me that the weather will be nice today”

मुझे लगता है कि वह उसका दीवाना है – “I think that he admires her”

मुझे लगता है कि अगर वह बहुत पढ़ता है तो वह सफल हो जायेगा – “It seems to me that if he studies a lot he will be successful”

To Require (something/some amount of something)

कितना समय लगेगा – “How long will it take?”

ग्वालियर से दिल्ली रेल गाड़ी से जाने में कोई छे घंटे लगते हैं – “It takes about 6 hours to go by train from Gwalior to Delhi”

इस शहर में मकान खरीदने में बहुत पैसा लगता है – “It takes a lof of money to buy a house in this city”

Oblique Infinitive + लगना – To Begin To Do Something

वह हंसने लगी – “She started laughing”

वे सब नाचने लगे – “They all started dancing”

वह रोने लगी – “She began to cry”

To Be Arranged/Set Up

खाना मेज़ पर लगा है – “The food is arranged on the table”