What is this?

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Let us look at a set of phrases that will allow for you to expand your Hindi vocabulary.  Often in India, you might not know the name of something that is in front of you.  The person that you are speaking with may not know English, but it is still possible for you to learn some Hindi in this situation.  The phrase that will be most helpful is “What is this?”

यह क्या है?

(yah kyaa hai?)

You can point to something nearby, say a pen, and say यह क्या है? And your Hindi speaking friend can say, यह क़लम है।  (yah kalam hai) “This is a pen.”

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यह क्या है?  (yah kyaa hai?) – What is this?

यह क़लम है।  (yah kalam hai) “This is a pen.”

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But why wait till you go to India?  This could be good practice with only yourself.  You can point to a book in your hand and say यह क्या है?  and then answer your own question यह किताब है। (yah kitaab hai) “This is a book.”

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यह क्या है?  (yah kyaa hai?) – What is this?

यह किताब है।  (yah kitaab hai) “This is a book.”

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The focus phrase for today is made of three simple words.

यह (yah) – this;  (should be used for an item near the speaker)

क्या (kyaa) – what?

है (hai) – is (in Hindi you will often find the verb at the end of the sentence)

The answer is simple.  Just replace the question word क्या (kyaa) with the name of the object.

यह क्या है?

यह क़लम है।

यह क्या है?

यह किताब है।

If something is further away, use the pronoun for “that”  वह (vah). 

While pointing at the table across the room you say, “वह क्या है?”  (vah kyaa hai) “What is that?”.

वह मेज़ है। (vah mez hai) “That is a table.”

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वह क्या है?  (vah kyaa hai?) – What is that?

वह मेज़ है। (vah mez hai) “That is a table.”

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While pointing at the door that is away from you, you say  “वह क्या है?”  वह दरवाज़ा है। (yah dar-vaa-zaa hai) “That is a door.”

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वह क्या है?  (vah kyaa hai?) – What is that?

   वह दरवाज़ा है। (yah dar-vaa-zaa hai) “That is a door.”

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Try finding these things in your home and ask your self “What is this?” यह क्या है? 

or ask “What is that?” वह क्या है?  Then answer your own question.

अलमारी (al-maa-rii)  – cabinet

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कुरसी (kur-sii) – chair

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खिड़की (khird-kii) – window

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पंखा (pan-khaa) – fan

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पलंग (palang) – bed

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मेज़ (mez) (f) – table

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अख़बार (akh-baar) – newspaper

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किताब (ki-taab)  – book

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शब्दकोश (shabd-kosh) – dictionary

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कपड़ा (kap-rdaa) – piece of clothing

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क़लम (ka-lam) – pen

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तस्वीर (tas-viir) – picture

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दरवाज़ा (dar-vaa-zaa) – door

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दराज़ (da-raaz) – drawer

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दरी (da-rii) – floor rug

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दीवार (dii-vaar) – wall

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परदा (par-daa) – curtain

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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.