February 21, 2013

Talking about Necessity

This note discusses a few expressions that Hindi speakers use to talk about necessities.

There is a grammar article about compulsion idioms, which are similar to “have to”, “must”, “should”, “ought to” in English.

This note is about expressions that are similar to “it is necessary”, “what’s the need of”, “there’s no need to”, “we need to”, etc. in English.

In particular, the following words will be discussed: ज़रूरी, ज़रूरत, ज़रूर, आवश्यक, आवश्यकता, and अवश्य.


ज़रूरी is an adjective meaning “necessary”.

शिक्षा बहुत ज़रूरी है – “Education is very necessary” (i.e., it is important)

हमारे लिए यह निश्चित करना ज़रूरी है कि तस्वीर असली है कि नहीं – “We need to ascertain whether the picture is authentic or not”


ज़रूरत is a noun meaning “necessity”.

इतने पैसे खर्च करने की क्या ज़रूरत थी – “What was the need of spending so much money?” / “Why was it necessary to spend so much money?”

धन्यवाद, लेकिन खाना पकाने के लिए मुझे किसी मदद की ज़रूरत नहीं है – “Thank you, but I do not need any help with cooking the food”

मुझे आपकी ज़रूरत है – “I need you”


The adverb ज़रूर is similar to “of course”, “certainly”, or “definitely”.

मैं तुम्हारे घर ज़रूर आऊंगा – “I will definitely come to your house”

अगर तुम्हें हिन्दुस्तानी खाना पसंद है तो तुम्हें मेरे घर ज़रूर आना चाहिए खाना खाने के लिए – “If you like Indian food, then you should definitely come to my house to eat”

ज़रूर पढ़िए – “Be sure to read (this)”


आवश्यक is similar to ज़रूरी; it is an adjective meaning “necessary”. It is considered more formal than ज़रूरी.

मंत्री आवश्यक घोषणा करने वाले हैं – “The minister is going to make an important announcement”

हिंदी सिखने के लिए यह आवश्यक है कि हम रोज़ बोलने का अभ्यास करने की कोशिश करें – “In order to learn Hindi it’s necessary for us to try to practice speaking Hindi every day”

आवश्यक can be used in an adverbial construction, आवश्यक रूप से (“necessarily”):

मेरे ख़याल से ना हमें अंग्रेज़ी से ना मिली हुई हिन्दी बोलने में शर्म आनी चाहिए, ना आवश्यक रूप से अंग्रेज़ी से मिली हुई हिन्दी घटिया माननी चाहिए – “In my opinion, neither should we be ashamed to speak Hindi unmixed with English, nor should we necessarily consider Hindi mixed with English inferior”


आवश्यकता is like ज़रूरत; it is a noun meaning “necessity”. It is considered more formal than ज़रूरत.

हर किसी को दोस्ती की आवश्यकता है – “Everyone needs friendship”


अवश्य is an adverb meaning “certainly”, “definitely”, etc.

अवश्य हिस्सा लें – “Definitely participate”

हमें एक दुसरे की मदद अवश्य करनी चाहिए – “We should certainly help one another”