April 25, 2012


This tutorial is about the word “चाहिये“.

There are two spellings for this word: चाहिए and चाहिये.

To Want Something

चाहिये can mean “to want (something)”.

Consider some examples:

मुझे पानी चाहिये – “I want water”

(क्या) आपको मिठाई चाहियें – “Do you want some sweets?”

उन्हें नए कपड़े चाहियें – “They want new clothes”

मुझे खाना चाहिये था – “I wanted food” OR “I had wanted food”

आपको आपकी किताबें चाहियें होगी – “You will want your books” OR “You must want your books”

The person who wants is followed by को and the thing that the person wants is the subject of चाहिये. The literal sense is “by X, Y is wanted/needed”.

चाहिये is used with singular subjects, and चाहियें is used with plural subjects.

चाहिये is negated with नहीं – “मुझे पानी नहीं चाहिये” – “I don’t want water”.

“Should” / “Ought”

चाहिये can be used to express obligation:

हमें उनकी मदद करनी चाहिये – “We should help them”

तुमको उससे बात करनी चाहिये – “You should talk to him”

आपको जाने से पहले कुछ खाना खाना चाहिये – “You ought to eat something before you go”

मुझे देर होने से पहले जाना चाहिये – “I should go before it gets too late”

If an infinitive is used with चाहिये, then the idiom expresses obligation. The sense of मुझे जाना चाहिये is not “I want to go”, but “I should go”. To say “I want to go”, use चाहना instead: मैं जाना चाहता हूँ.

Do not confuse other uses of “should” with obligation. For instance, in English, “should” can be used to express uncertainty, as in “What should I do?”. To express this kind of uncertainty in Hindi, use the subjunctive mood: मैं क्या करूँ – “what should I do?”.

(MORE COMING SOON; this tutorial is not complete)


  1. Translate the following sentences into Hindi:
    1. I want some namakeen. (नमकीन = salty snacks)
    2. I want one more roti. (रोटी = a kind of bread; एक और = one more)
    3. I want to go outside. (बाहर = outside)
    4. I don’t want three books; I want four books.
  • Divija Sampathi

    Hai David..In the sentence, आपको आपकी किताबें चाहियें होगी – “You will want your books” OR “You must want your books”…I think it should have been ‘aapko apni kitabe chahiyengee’..Correct me if I am wrong in using ‘chahiyenge’ instead of ‘chahiye hogi’.. thnq

    • No; there is no such verb as “chahiyengi”. “chahiye” is a fixed form; it never changes. To make the feminine presumptive form, just add होगी, as in the example.

  • Divija Sampathi

    Thank you very much David..As a student I realise how much effort you had put in making tutorials for learners and replying every question so patiently.. You have been a big help for us..

    • You’re welcome, Divija. I’m glad that this site has been helpful to you.

  • Matthew Chang

    What happens if the subject is not third person? Is it obliqued or not?

    For (He/she wants me) do you say
    उसको मुझे चाहिए or
    उसको मैं चाहिए ?

    For (You want us) do you say
    तुमको हम चाहिए or
    तुमको हमको चाहिए ?

    • For these sentences, we would use “चाहना”, i.e. “वह मुझे चाहता/चाहती है”, or “तुम हमें चाहते हो”. Note that चाहना, when used with a personal object, can imply love or lust, etc., much like English.