A quick review of Hindi basics: vowels, nouns, adjectives, oblique case, postpositions

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About Vowels

Each vowel has two forms.  One that is stand alone:

अ आ इ ई उ ऊ ए ऐ ओ औ

Every vowel, except for the first one has a “dependent” form which is used in conjunction with a consonant.  Here are examples of it with the letter क

क का कि की कु कू के कै को कौ

Singular and Plural of nouns

There are 4 rules you need to remember with respect to the plural and singular of nouns.  Which rule you use depends on the gender of the known and the ending letter of the noun.

If it is masculine ending in the आ sound, then change the आ to ए.  Here are some examples:

लड़का = boy

लड़के = boys

बेटा = son

बेटे = sons

कमरा = room

कमरे = rooms

If it is a masculine ending noun that does not end in आ then there is no difference between the singular and the plural.  Here are some examples:

घर – house/houses

आदमी – man/men

मतलब – meaning/meanings

If it is a feminine noun ending in ई, then replace the ई with इयाँ. 

लड़की – girl

लड़कियाँ – girls

बेटी – daughter

बेटियाँ – daughters

अलमारी – cabinet/cupboard

अलमारियाँ – cabinets/cupboards

If it is a feminine noun not ending in ई then add एँ. 

माता – mother

माताएँ – mothers

भाषा  – language

भाषाएँ – languages

मेज़ – table

मेज़ें – tables

Adjective agreement

There are two types of adjectives, those that end in आ and those that do not.  The ones that ending in आ change the ending to agree with the gender and number of the noun it describes.

अच्छा means good, and it ends in आ.  See how it changes in the following cases:

अच्छा लड़का – good boy

अच्छे लड़के – good boys

अच्छी लड़की – good girl

अच्छी लड़कियाँ – good girls

लाल means red and it does not end in अ. 

लाल कमरा – red room

लाल कमरे – red rooms

लाल मेज़ – red table

लाल मेज़ें – red tables


In English we have prepositions.  These are words that express a relationship.  “in the house”, “for the boy”, “on the table”, etc.  In Hindi, these types of words come after the noun.  If you were to put the English words in the order of their Hindi equivalents, then you would have “house in”, “boy for”, “table on”.  There is also another difference, when using a noun with a postposition, you must change it from the “direct case” listed above to the “oblique case”.  How do you do this?

Oblique Case

In the singular, only the masculine nouns ending in आ have different direct and oblique forms.  So, if it is not masculine or if it is masculine and it does not end in आ, you do not need to make a change.

में = in

पर = on

घर में = in the house

मेज़ पर = on the table.

If the noun is masculine and it ends in आ, then this आ changes to ए.  (This is just like the plural direct case, but keep in mind that it indicates a singular when used with a postposition.)

के लिये  = for

लड़के के लिये  = for the boy.  (Notice that लड़के without the postposition would mean “boys” but when used with a postposition के लिये it just means “boy”.)

In the plural, all nouns change by adding a ओं ending.

घरों में = in the houses

मेज़ों पर = on the tables

लड़कों के लिये = for the boys





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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.