खेलना (khel-naa) – to play

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (15 votes, average: 4.53 out of 5)

boysWantingToPlayCricket At our last Lunch and Learn Hindi event in Houston, Texas, we talked about sports and to play sports.  Here we had a presentation about various sports, learned a little about grammar, practiced speaking Hindi with each other and with the Native speaker/Hindi instructor.  Our next event is this Saturday, November 20, 2010.  If you are in the Houston area, you should come.  It is only $30 and includes food and all the learning activities.  You can get more information here  and you can reserve your spot through PayPal here

Let us look at the work खेलना which is the verb to play.  I want to demonstrate several sentences.

[formal talking to a man]:  Do you play cricket? 

क्या आप क्रिकेट खेलते हैं?

(related lessons: Present tense sentences in Hindi in conversation form. (Suresh – Lesson 13) Present Tense – Part 1 (8/19/2009) Present Tense – Part 2 (8/21/2009))

Man:  I play cricket.

मैं क्रिकेट खेलता हूँ। 

(related lessons: मैं  – I  Present tense sentence exercises – I eat fish.)

[formal talking to a woman]:  Do you play cricket?

क्या आप क्रिकेट खेलती हैं?

Woman:  I do not play cricket.

मैं क्रिकेट नहीं खेलती हूँ।

[informal talking to a man]: Do you play kubbadi?

क्या तुम कबड्डी खेलते हो?

[informal talking to a woman]: Do you play kubbadi?

क्या तुम कबड्डी खेलती हो?

He plays football.

वह फुटबाल खेलता है।

She does not play football.

वह फुटबाल नहीं खेलती है।

They play football.

वे फुटबाल खेलते हैं?

You can also use खेलना in a request.

Please play cricket.

क्रिकेट खेलिये।

And you can use it in a command:

Do not play football!

फुटबाल मत खेलो।

It can be used to describe the past.  खेलना is a transitive verb, so it uses the ने construction and the verb agrees with the gender of the game that is played.

He played cricket this morning.

उसने आज सुबह क्रिकेट खेला। 

(related lessons: Past Tense with ne (9/6/2009) Past Tense without ne (9/7/2009) Past Tense (8/28/2009))

He played kabaddi yesterday.

उसने कल कबड्डी खेली।

Both of these sentences could refer to a lady as well.  There would be no change since the verb in the past tense agrees with the gender of the game.

This is not the only time we see this.  You see it in the compulsion sentence also:

I must play cricket.

मुझे क्रिकेट खेलना है। (Internal Compulsion – I have to …)

I am being made to play cricket. 

मुझे क्रिकेट खेलना पड़ता है। (External Compulsion – I have to… (because someone is making me)

I should play cricket.

मुझे क्रिकेट खेलना चाहिये। (Moral Compulsion – I have to … (because of my obligations))

We can also use खेलना to talk about the future.

[man] I will play cricket tomorrow.

मैं कल क्रिकेट खेलूँगा। (Future Tense – भविष्यतकाल (Bhavishyatkaal) (9/8/2009))

[woman] I will play cricket at school.

मैं स्कूल में क्रिकेट खेलूँगी।

We will play kabaddi in India.

हम भारत में कबड्डी खेलेंगे।

Today you should have reviewed some of the verb tenses and construction using the word खेलना.   If you are not sure about some of the examples above, then review the lesson mentioned above.  Just to make sure you understand what is going on try using तैरना which means to swim and दौड़ना which means to run in the following sentences. Be aware that तैरना and दौड़ना are intransitive.  In the past tense example, they would agree with the subject.

I swim everyday.

I run a mile every morning.

Do you swim at the school?

Do you run in the park?

Did you run this morning?

He must run three times a week.  (because his coach makes him)

I will swim this weekend.

Come by the website and leave the answers as a comment to this episode.  We will reveal the answers in a future episode.


Have a question about Hindi? Click here to ask it

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
Profile photo of Nathan

About Nathan

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.