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Number – वचन (Vachan)
There are two Numbers in Hindi, Singular and Plural. A Noun denoting one person or thing is said to be in the Singular Number- एकवचन (ekvachan). A Noun denoting more than one person or thing is said to be in the Plural Number- बहुवचन (bahuvachan).
The Plural is, however, frequently used as a polite and respectful form with reference to a single person also.
Prime Minister will speak.
प्रधान मंत्री बोलेंगे।
Pradhan manthri bolenge
Mahatma Gandhi came.
महात्मा गाँधी आए थे।
Mahatma Gandhi aaye the
The King has come.
राजा आए हैं।
Raja aaye haim
पिताजी चले गये।
Pitaji chale gaye
The Singular Number is inherent in the base-form of Noun, as in लड़का (ladka)- a boy, गाय (gaay)- a cow, आदत (aadat)- a habit, घोड़ा (ghoda)- a horse, etc.
Many Hindi Nouns have the same base-form in the Plural Number as well as in एक घर (ek ghar) – one house, दो घर (do ghar) – two houses; while others are slightly modified as in एक लड़का (ek ladka) – one boy, दो लड़के (do ladke) – two boys; एक गाय (ek gaay) – one cow, दो गाएँ (do gaaye) – two cows, and so on.
Some words are always used in plural. Such as आँसू (ansu) – tears, प्राण (praan) –life, breath, लोग (log) – people, ओंठ (onth) – lips, दर्शन (darshan) – sight, view, and so on.
Some words are always used in the singular form such as fear- भय (bhay), compassion – करुणा (karuna), sympathy - दया (daya), joy/bliss – आनंद (anand), etc.
Looking for something more basic? Why not try our "50 Hindi Words to Get You Started" Lesson?
Looking for something else? Check out our Hindi/English Dictionary. Learn Hindi