March 5, 2014

होना, रहना, and बनना

There are three verbs in Hindi which can be translated “to be”: होना, रहना, and बनना.

Their usage is quite subtle and complex. I’ll try to add more examples to this note as I think of them.

Here are examples of situations in which each verb is used:

तूफ़ान के बाद हमारे घर का एक भी निशान नहीं रहा, जैसे कि उसका कभी अस्तित्व न रहा हो – “After the storm, not even a single trace of our home remained, as if it had never existed”
क्यों गधे जैसे बन रहे हो – “Why are you acting like an ass?”
अच्छे बनो – “Be nice”
खड़े हो – “Stand up”
इस मुद्दे पर टिपण्णी करना उचित नहीं रहेगा – “It wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on this issue”
बच्चे के तकिये में सितारे बने हुए हैं – “There are stars on the child’s pillow”
वह दस सालों तक उस संगठन का सदस्य बना रहा – “He remained a member of the organization for ten years”
होनी को कौन टाल सकता है – “Who can prolong existence?”

होनी = “being”/”existence”

देश का निर्यात लक्ष्य से पीछे रह गया – “The country’s export has fallen behind the target”
अच्छा हुआ कि तुम आये – “It’s good that you came”
तुम्हारा बच्चा बहुत बड़ा हो गया है – “Your little boy has gotten so big!”
  • Divija Sampathi

    Hai David..Is there any logic in choosing the appropriate one among होना, रहना, and बनना in the sentences??

    • No, unfortunately, it is hard to define “rules”. You’ll just have to gain an intuition from experience.