Grammar Drill: Postpositions with Singular Nouns

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In English we call them “prepositions”.  They are words that show relationships.  “On the table”  “beside the house”  “In front of the car”  “Up to the stop sign”.  In English, these words come before the noun that the relationship is with.  But in Hindi, these types of words come after the noun they show the relationship with.  That is why “post” meaning “after” instead of “pre” which means “before” would be more appropriate, and we call these words “postpositions”.

Let us start off by learning some postpositions.

on – पर

from – से

up to – तक

in – में

Let us see these postpositions in action.

house – घर (m)

“on the house”  घर पर

“from the house” घर से

“up to the house” घर तक

“in the house” घर में

table – मेज़ (f)

“on the table” मेज़ पर

“from the table” मेज़ से

“up to the table” मेज़ तक

Seems simple!  But there are some rules you need to know.   When you use a postposition with a noun it changes from the direct case to the oblique case.  This is a new concept for English speakers.  But you can see a similar transformation in English with pronouns.    “He” is in the direct case.  And when I use a preposition in English with “He” then it changes to “him”.  You say “from him” not “from he”.   The difference in Hindi is that a similar transformation happens with regular nouns as well.

First rule, singular masculine nouns not ending in आ are the same in the direct and oblique cases.  That is why घर did not change when we used it with a postposition.  (e.g. घर में).

Second rule, all singular feminine nouns are the same in the direct and oblique cases.  That is why मेज़ did not change when we used it with a postposition, e.g. मेज़ पर. This is true with all feminine nouns, even those that end in ई.  गाड़ी is a feminine noun that means “car”.  When used with में which means “in” it does not change.  “in the car” is गाड़ी में.

Now we can talk about when the oblique case differs from the direct case. In the singular you have to only worry about the masculine nouns.  Third rule, masculine nouns ending in आ like कमरा (the masculine noun meaning ‘room’) changes the ending from आ to ए.  This is the same transformation when changing it from singular to plural.  At this point you might see another problem seeing the difference between singular and plural nouns, but later in the next grammar drill lesson you will see it is not a problem.

Let us see this rule in action.

room – कमरा (m)

“from the room” कमरे से

“up to the room” कमरे तक

“in the room” कमरे में

Another example:

toy – खिलौना (m)

“on the toy” खिलौने पर

“from the toy” खिलौने से

“up to the toy” खिलौने तक

“in the toy” खिलौने में

In the paid subscriber area you can hear these postpositions in combination with several nouns (including the ones above), line by line:

http://www.ispeakhindi.com/paid-subscriber-area/2010-april/postpositions-with-singular-nouns/

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Started ISpeakHindi.com in June 2007. Continue to work on ISpeakHindi.com to learn Hindi myself and to help others want to learn it. Nathan Price is the sole owner of ISpeakHindi.com.