December 23, 2012

The Suffix -ता

In Hindi, many words that end with  are masculine, such as कमरा, लड़का, जूता, केला, बेटा.

However, not every word that ends with  is masculine, such as चर्चा, which is feminine.

A common suffix in Hindi is –ता. This suffix comes from Sanskrit, and so it usually applies to Sanskrit loanwords. This suffix is usually preceded with .

An example of this suffix on a word is सुन्दरता (“beauty”).

This suffix basically abstracts a word. In other words, it converts an adjective to a noun (e.g., “beautiful” to “beauty”), or a concrete noun to an abstract noun (e.g., “friend” to “friendship”), etc.

Generally, words that have the suffix –ता are feminine.

Note that not every word that ends in –ता has the suffix –ता. For instance, the word तोता (“parrot”) is masculine, but removing the –ता produces तो, which is not a related noun or adjective (although incidentally it is a word). However, सुन्दरता (“beauty”) does have the suffix –ता because सुन्दर (“beautiful”) is a related adjective.

Consider the following examples. All of the following words are feminine.

सफलता (सफल “successful”+ तासफलता “success”)

सहायता (सहाय “assisting” + तासहायता “assistance”)

क्षमता (क्षम “capable” + ताक्षमता “capability”)

सदस्यता (सदस्य “member”+ तासदस्यता “membership”)

राष्ट्रीयता (राष्ट्रीय “national” + ताराष्ट्रीयता “nationality”)

योग्यता (योग्य “qualified”+ तायोग्यता “qualification”)

सुन्दरता (सुन्दर “beautiful” + तासुन्दरता “beauty”)

आवश्यकता (आवश्यक “necessary” + ताआवश्यकता “necessity”)

मित्रता (मित्र “friend”+ तामित्रता “friendship”)

एकता (एक “one” + ता = “oneness” / “unity”)