February 18, 2013

Concessive Expressions

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Hindi has a variety of idioms for concessive expressions, e.g. “although …”, “though …”, “even so”, “nonetheless”, “even though”, etc. in English.


The conjunction हालांकि can be translated as “although”. It often correlates with another word such as an adversative conjunction (e.g. पर, लेकिन), or the concessive expression फिर भी (“nonetheless” / “anyway”).


हालांकि कोई नहीं उसकी बात सुन रहा था, वह फिर भी बात करता रहा – “Although no one was listening to him, he kept talking anyway”

हालांकि हिंदी दुनियां की सबसे अधिक बोली और समझी जाने वाली भाषाओं में से एक है पर यह भाषा  अमेरिका में अपेक्षाकृत अनजान है – “Although Hindi is one of the most widely spoken and understood languages in the world, it is nevertheless relatively unknown in America”

मैंने उसको हमारे साथ आने को बुलाया हालांकि मैं जनता था कि वह नहीं आएगा – “I asked him to come with us although I knew that he would not”

फिर भी

फिर भी can be used in conjunction with हालांकि, as in one of the previous examples. It can be translated as “even though … still”, “although … anyway”, etc.


मैं थक गया था लेकिन मैं फिर भी अपने दोस्तों के साथ मूवी देखने गया – “I was tired, but I still went to see the movie with my friends”

तो भी

तो भी is like “even if” in English.

अगर मुझे रात भर काम करना पड़े तो भी मैं अपना काम पूरा करूंगा – “I’ll finish my work even if I have to work all night long!”


The correlating conjunctions यद्यपितथापि are very formal.

यद्यपि हिंदी भारत की राष्ट्रभाषा है, तथापि सिर्फ लगभग चालीस प्रतिशत आबादी हिंदी बोलते हैं – “Although Hindi is the national language of India, only about 40 percent of the population speak Hindi”

Infinitive + पर भी

The infinitive + पर भी creates an alternative syntax for expressing concessions.

घंटों काम करने पर भी काम ख़त्म नहीं हुआ – “Despite working for hours, the work wasn’t finished”