All nouns in Hindi have a “gender”. This makes sense for words like “boy” or “girl” and “man” or “woman”. But even the Hindi word for “house” has a gender. And the word for “chair”, and the word for “car” does too! The gender is important because the rules to take a singular form of a noun and make it plural changes based upon the gender. Also, adjectives usually change depending on what the gender of the noun is that they are modifying. The form of the verb will change, in many cases, depending on the gender of the subject. In Hindi there are only two genders “masculine” and “feminine”.
There are two types of masculine nouns. Those that end in ा (aa) and those that don’t.
One note of warning though, not all nouns that end in ा are masculine. Consider the word माता (maataa) which means mother, this is of course feminine, and there are other examples. However, most of the nouns that end in ा are masculine.
We will have several sessions on this first type of masculine noun. Today we will see how to make the singular and plural version.
The next session we will look at how to make adjectives agree with it. Then we will see how it changes in the oblique case. After we do that, we will go through a similar set of exercises with the second type of masculine noun, followed by similar episodes for feminine nouns. Then we will mix them all together after going through them individually. This will give us a chance to learn a little and build on it and around it.
Now let us talk about masculine nouns of type 1. These are masculine nouns that end in ा like लड़का (boy), बेटा (son) and जूता (shoe). To make it plural you first drop the ा on the end and add े.
For example, boy is लड़का (larkaa) and boys is लड़के (larke).
Son is बेटा (betaa), but sons is बेटे (bete).
Shoe is जूता (juutaa) but shoes is जूते (juute). (जूता (juutaa) can refer to a single shoe and to a pair of shoes.)
Here are some more examples:
door is दरवाज़ा (darvaazaa) and doors is दरवाज़े (darvaaze)
food is खाना (khaanaa) and foods is खाने (khaane)
kurta is कुरता (kurtaa) and kurtas is कुरते (kurte).
Let’s try some exercises. Change the following masculine nouns from singular to plural.
1) खिलौना (toy)
2) घोड़ा (horse)
3) घंटा (hour)
4) महीना (month)
5) समोसा (somosa)
Change the following masculine nouns from plural to singular.
6) कुत्ते (dogs)
7) तबले (tublas)
8) काँटे (forks/thorns)
9) तोहफ़े (gifts)
10) प्याले (cups)