April 20, 2012

Presumptive Mood

The presumptive mood is a verb mood that indicates presumptions – statements that are presumed or supposed to be very likely to be true. An equivalent English idiom involves the word “must”, as in “He must have gone home”, or “It must be raining outside”.


The forms of verbs in the presumptive mood are simple. Each form employs the future tense form of the verb होना.

Refer to the article about होना to review its future tense forms.

The form is as follows:

(<form of the main verb>) <future tense form of होना>

The main verb is inflected according to tense, aspect, and gender. The form of होना is inflected according to gender, person, and number. The former component indicates aspect, the latter mood. Thus, verbs in the presumptive mood are a straightforward synthesis of aspect and mood.

होना can be used alone to indicate a supposition involving the verb होना itself. In such cases, since the main verb and the auxiliary verb are the same, only the future tense form of होना is used, as in the following examples:

उसको आजकल बहुत काम होगा – “She must have a lot of work these days”

वह लड़की अमेरिका से होगी – “That girl must be from America”

वो लड़के भारत से होंगे – “Those boys must be from India”

Since in this case the form is identical to the form of the future tense of होना, only context will distinguish between the future and the presumptive.

होना can be used with aspectual and temporal components to modify the tense and aspect of the presumptive verb:

वह अभी खाना खा रही होगी – “She must be eating some food right now” – The present continuous presumptive

आपने यह गाना सुना होगा – The perfect presumptive; note that in this mood too, agents of transitive perfective verbs are marked with ने and the verb exhibit ergative alignment

वह अमेरिका में रहती होगी – She probably lives in America – The present habitual presumptive

Additional Examples

मुझे उसके उच्चारण से पता चला कि वह अमरीकन होगा – mujhe uske uchchaaraN se pataa chalaa ki vah amkriikan hogaa – I realized by his accent that he must be American – होगा = third person singular masculine simple present active presumptive from होना (honaa) “to be”; note that the future verb and the simple presumptive verb are identical in form; context will make it clear which is intended

आपको पता चला होगा कि मैं अमरीकन हूँ – aapko pataa chalaa hoga ki mai.N amriikan huu.N – You must have realized that I’m American – पता चला होगा – third person singular masculine perfect active presumptive from पता चलना (pataa chalnaa) (indirect verb construction) “to become known” i.e. “to find out” / “to realize”

वह लड़की बहुत होशियार होगी – vah la.Dkii bahut hoshiyaar hogii – that girl must be very smart – होगी – third person singular feminine simple present active presumptive from होना (honaa) “to be”

आप कई घंटों से काम कर रहे होंगे – aap kaii ghanTo.N se kaam kar rahe ho.Nge – you must have been working for hours – काम कर रहे होंगे – second person honorific masculine continuous active presumptive from काम करना (kaam karnaa) (conjunct verb) “to work”; note that Hindi does not explicitly distinguish the present continuous presumptive and past perfect continuous presumptive as English does, namely “you must be working” and “you must have been working”; context distinguishes the two meanings; formally, this is a continuous presumptive

मुझे गीला घास देखके पता चला कि बारिश हुई होगी – mujhe giilaa ghaas dekhke pataa chalaa ki barish huii hogii – I could tell by looking at the grass that it must have rained – हुई होगी – third person singular perfect active presumptive from होना (honaa) “to be”

तुमने यह गाना सुना होगा – tumne yah gaanaa sunaa hogaa – you must have heard this song – third person singular masculine perfect active presumptive (ergative) from सुनना (sunnaa) “to hear”; note the ergative alignment

ये किताबें बहुत समय पहले लिखी गयी होंगी – ye kitaabe.N bahut samay pahale likhii gayii hongii – these books must have been written a long time ago – third person feminine plural perfect passive presumptive from लिखना (likhnaa) “to write”; note the use of the passive voice

Header Legend: P=pronoun, G=gender, A=aspect
Legend: M=masculine, F=feminine, N=non-aspectual, H=habitual, C=continuous, P=perfect.

P G A Devanagari Transliteration Translation
मैं M N मैं अमीर होऊँगा mai.N amiir houu.Ngaa I must be rich
मैं F N मैं अमीर होऊँगी mai.N amiir houu.Ngii I must be rich
आप M N आप अमीर होंगे aap amiir ho.Nge You must be rich
आप F N आप अमीर होंगी aap amiir ho.Nge You must be rich
तुम M N तुम अमीर होगे tum amiir hoge You must be rich
तुम F N तुम अमीर होगी tum amiir hogii You must be rich
तू M N तू अमीर होगा tuu amiir hogaa You must be rich
तू F N तू अमीर होगी tuu amiir hogii You must be rich
यह / वह M N वह अमीर होगा vah amiir hogaa He must be rich
यह / वह F N वह अमीर होगी vah amiir hogii She must be rich
हम M N हम अमीर होंगे ham amiir ho.Nge We must be rich
हम F N हम अमीर होंगी ham amiir ho.Ngii We must be rich
ये / वे M N वे अमीर होंगे ve amiir ho.Nge They must be rich
ये / वे F N वे अमीर होंगी ve amiir ho.Ngii They must be rich
मैं M H मैं हिंदी बोलता होऊँगा mai.N hi.ndii boltaa houu.Ngaa I must speak hindi
मैं F H मैं हिंदी बोलती होऊँगी mai.N hi.ndii boltii houu.Ngii I must speak hindi
आप M H आप हिंदी बोलते होंगे aap hi.ndii bolte ho.Nge You must speak Hindi
आप F H आप हिंदी बोलती होंगी aap hi.ndii bolte ho.Ngii You must speak Hindi
तुम M H तुम हिंदी बोलते होगे tum hi.ndii bolte hoge You must speak Hindi
तुम F H तुम हिंदी बोलती होगी tum hi.ndii bolte hoge You must speak Hindi
तू M H तू अमीर होगी tuu amiir hogii You must be rich
तू F H तू हिंदी बोलता होगा tum hi.ndii boltaa hoga You must speak Hindi
यह / वह M H वह हिंदी बोलता होगा vah hi.ndii boltaa hogaa He must speak Hindi
यह / वह F H वह हिंदी बोलती होगी vah hi.ndii boltii hogii She must speak Hindi
हम M H हम हिंदी बोलते होंगे ham hi.ndii bolte ho.Nge We must speak Hindi
हम F H हम हिंदी बोलती होंगी ham hi.ndii bolte ho.Ngii We must speak Hindi
ये / वे M H वे हिंदी बोलते होंगे ve hi.ndii bolte ho.Nge They must speak Hindi
ये / वे F H वे हिंदी बोलती होंगी ve hi.ndii boltii ho.Ngii They must speak Hindi
मैं M C मैं काम कर रहा होऊँगा mai.N kaam kar rahaa houu.Ngaa I must be working
मैं F C मैं काम कर रही होऊँगी mai.N kaam kar rahii houu.Ngii I must be working
आप M C आप काम कर रहे होंगे aap kaam kar rahe ho.Nge You must be working
आप F C आप काम कर रही होंगी aap kaam kar rahe ho.Ngii You must be working
तुम M C तुम काम कर रहे होगे tum kaam kar rahe hoge You must be working
तुम F C तुम काम कर रही होगी tum kaam kar rahe hoge You must be working
तू M C तू काम कर रहा होगा tum kaam kar rahaa hoga You must be working
तू F C तू काम कर रही होगी tuu kaam kar rahi hogii You must be working
यह / वह M C वह काम कर रहा होगा vah kaam kar rahaa hogaa He must be working
यह / वह F C वह काम कर रही होगी vah kaam kar rahii hogii She must be working
हम M C हम काम कर रहे होंगे ham kaam kar rahe ho.Nge We must be working
हम F C हम काम कर रही होंगी ham kaam kar rahii ho.Ngii We must be working
ये / वे M C वे काम कर रहे होंगे ve kaam kar rahe ho.Nge They must be working
ये / वे F C वे काम कर रही होंगी ve kaam kar rahii ho.Ngii They must be working
मैं M P मैं भूल गया होऊँगा mai.N bhuul gaya houu.Ngaa I must have forgotten
मैं F P मैं भूल गयी होऊँगी mai.N bhuul gayii houu.Ngii I must have forgotten
आप M P आप भूल गए होंगे aap bhuul gae ho.Nge You must have forgotten
आप F P आप भूल गयी होंगी aap bhuul gayii ho.Ngii You must have forgotten
तुम M P तुम भूल गए होगे tum bhuul gae hoge You must have forgotten
तुम F P तुम भूल गयी होगी tum bhuul gayii hoge You must have forgotten
तू M P तू भूल गया होगा tuu bhuul gaya hoga You must have forgotten
तू F P तू भूल गयी होगी tuu bhuul gaya hoga You must have forgotten
यह / वह M P वह भूल गया होगा vah bhuul gaya hogaa He must have forgotten
यह / वह F P वह भूल गयी होगी vah bhuul gayii hogii She must have forgotten
हम M P हम भूल गए होंगे ham bhuul gae ho.Nge We must have forgotten
हम F P हम भूल गयी होंगी ham bhuul gayii ho.Ngii We must have forgotten
ये / वे M P वे भूल गए होंगे ve bhuul gae ho.Nge They must have forgotten
ये / वे F P वे भूल गयी होंगी ve bhuul gayii ho.Ngii They must have forgotten

Note that the perfect presumptive usually involves an ergative (-ne) construction, such as “तुमने यह किताब पढ़ी होगी” (you must have read this book).

  • Divija Sampathi

    Hi..if “वह अमीर होगा” represents ‘he must be rich’..what about ‘he will be rich’..pls reply

    • http://hindilanguage.info/ hindilanguage.info

      Good question. In Hindi, context differentiates between the presumptive (“must”) and indicative (“will”). You’ll know which is which by the situation. In Hindi, we probably won’t say “he will be rich”, but “he will become rich”, e.g. “वह अमीर बन जाएगा”.

      • Divija Sampathi

        I have a small question..
        can u pls lemme know the difference btw ‘ban jayega’ and ‘ho jayega’ ??
        And I have come across a sentence like ‘mera beta pilot banega’…what does it exactly mean? And what is the difference btw ‘banega’ and ‘banaega’ ? pls help me with an example

        • http://hindilanguage.info/ hindilanguage.info

          Certainly! I wrote a brief note here: http://hindilanguage.info/notes/volume-6/hona-rehna-and-banna/
          There are three verbs in Hindi which can be translated as “to be”: होना, रहना, and बनना.

          Regarding #1: The difference is subtle! In general, both can mean “will become”; “बन जायेगा” often means “will become” in the sense “will be made into”, e.g. “आबादी के अनुसार, भारत विश्व का सबसे बड़ा देश बन जायेगा” (“According to population, India will become the world’s largest country”). “हो जाएगा” can mean “will become” or “will happen”, e.g. मिश्रण का रंग लाल हो जाएगा” (“the mixture will become red”). I’d have to think about the differences a bit more, but from experience I have an intuition about how to use them.

          Regarding #2: “मेरा बीटा पायलट बनेगा” = “my son will become a pilot”. बनेगा is an intransitive verb, whereas बनाएगा is a transitive verb. This is a very common pattern in Hindi: notice how the vowels change. In other words, “बनेगा” has no object, and it means “will be made”. बनाएगा has an object, and it means “will make”. I’ve written articles about transitive, intransitive, and causative verbs on this site.

          • Divija Sampathi

            thanks a lot;…

  • Divija Sampathi

    Really a very big thank you for all your replies…Thank you so much.:)

    • http://hindilanguage.info/ hindilanguage.info

      You’re welcome!