Internal Compulsion – I have to ….

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children studying Compulsion

(See pages 242-249 in Nameste Jii)

The sentence pattern for the present habitual tense is straight forward. It is good for talking about things that you do on a routine basis. Here are some examples of this tense.

(These are the masculine forms and apply to cases where “I” refers to a man.  Females would need to use the feminine forms that end in ती:  पढ़ती, सीखती, बोलती)

I study. मैं पढ़ता हूँ।

I learn Hindi. मैं हिंदी सीखता हूँ।

I speak Hindi. मैं हिंदी बोलता हूँ।

Sometimes you want to make a stronger sentence. It is not that “I study.” But rather, “I have to study.” Here are some examples of this construction.

I must study. मुझको पढ़ना है।

I must learn Hindi. मुझको हिंदी सीखनी है।

I must speak Hindi. मुझको हिंदी बोलनी है।

How does this work? First, the subject of the sentence is put in the oblique case and is followed by को. Then if there is no direct object, the verb is put in the infinitive masculine, singular form and the sentence ends with है in the present tense. If there is a direct object, then the verb agrees with the object in gender and number. The ना ending will change to ने in the masculine plural and नी in the feminine.

For example, “Ram does not drink alcohol.” राम शराब नहीं पीता है। But to create the “compulsion” form of this sentence “Ram must not drink alcohol.” राम को शराब नहीं पीनी है। Let us look at all the changes.

राम became राम को

The verb पीना is left in the infinitive form, but the ending is changed to agree with the शराब which is feminine. Therefore, we change the ending from ना to नी to make पीनी. Finally we end it with है since it is singular.

There are several things to consider here. First, there are three types of compulsion outlined in Nameste Jii: internal compulsion, external compulsion, and moral compulsion. This case covered here is just the first one, internal compulsion. This refers to actions that we make ourselves do, as opposed to things that others make us to.

Second, in the English sentences above “must” is used. But this case also covers those situations where you would use “have to”, “should”, or similar words.

Third, this will also work in the past and future tenses as well. “They had to sing.” Would be उन को गाना था।

Try translating these sentences:

The girl must buy a sari.

The boy should bring his book.

They had to cook the food.


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