January 21, 2013


The noun पता means something like “knowledge”. It is used in a variety of common idioms.

पता होना

पता is used with होना in an indirect verb construction that has the following form:

X कोपता होना – for X to know Y


A very common phrase is “पता नहीं” (“I don’t know”). This is an elliptical form of the phrase “मुझे पता नहीं है“.

मुझे पता नहीं है कि वह कब आएगा – “I don’t know when he’ll come”

पता चलना

पता is used with चलना in an indirect verb construction that means “to come to know”, “to realize”, etc. It has the following form:

X को Y पता चलना – for X to realize Y


मुझे पता चल गया कि मैं अपना चश्मा लाना भूल गया था – “I realized that I’d forgotten to bring my eyeglasses”

पता करना

पता is used with करना in a conjunct verb meaning “to find out (i.e, to seek information or knowledge)”.


मैं इन साड़ियों का दाम कैसे पता कर सकती हूं – “How can I find out the price of these saris?”

पता लगाना

पता is also used with लगाना to mean “to find out (i.e., to seek information)”.

मैं उसका घर का पता कैसे पता लगा सकता हूं – “How can I find out his home address?”

पता, incidentally, is also a noun that means “address”.

  • Michael

    Great post.

    मैं उसका घर का पता कैसे पता लगा सकता हूं
    मैं इन साड़ियों का दाम कैसे पता कर सकती हूं

    Why is it “कैसे” in both examples? If there is some write up on this, please provide it to me.

    • Hey, Michael! Thanks! In both examples, the adverb कैसे means “how”. Both sentences ask “how can I find out…”. I haven’t written any article about कैसे. In fact, I don’t have any articles about adverbs, so I will try to add some. Does that make sense, or do you have any more questions?

      • Michael

        डेविड जी, मेरा सवाल ये था की आप “कैसे” इस्तेमाल क्यूँ करते हैं और “कैसा” या “कैसी” नहीं?

        • कैसा is an adjective (“what kind of”), whereas कैसे is an adverb (“how”) in this context. Adjectives generally modify nouns, pronouns, or other “substantives”, whereas adverbs generally modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs, etc. In both of the example sentences, the word कैसे modifies a verb. कैसे is also the masculine plural direct and masculine singular oblique form of कैसा (in other words, the form “कैसे” can be an adverb or an adjective, depending on the context). For instance, if someone says “आप कैसे हैं”, then कैसे is an adjective (the masculine plural direct form of कैसा), and it modifies आप. However, if someone says “यह आपको कैसे पता है”, then कैसे is an adverb and it modifies है. Does this make sense?

          • Michael

            हाँ जी, बिलकुल समझ आया मुझे. सरल लगता है, मगर अब से पहले मुझे मालूम नहीं था!

  • Divija Sampathi

    Would it make any difference if I use ‘pata chalaa’ instead of ‘पता चल गया’ in the sentence मुझे पता चल गया कि मैं अपना चश्मा लाना भूल गया था? Would there be any change in the meaning?

    • You can use either; it won’t change the meaning. There is just a subtly different “aspect”. This can’t really be translated into English. The “गया” emphasizes a change or transition, e.g. “baith gaya” (from standing to sitting), “so gaya” (from awake to asleep), “pata chal gaya” (from ignorance to knowledge), etc. It’s very subtle. The “pata chala” form is perhaps more common.

      • Divija Sampathi

        Thats great!! I got it now.. 🙂