Learn Hindi Daily: Continuous Tense and News Article

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Naraindas Jii and Nathan

Mystery Word From The Last Episode

बस (bas) – enough

बस (bas) – also means “bus”

बस! यह काफ़ी खाना है।

(bas! yah kā-fī khā-nā hai.)

Enough!  This is enough food.

Related words:

काफ़ी (kā-fī) enough

कम (kam)– little

ज़्यादा (zyādā) – more

और (aur)– more

कितना (kit-nā)– how much

इतना (it-nā) – this much

Daily Symbol and Sounds

हा (hā)

This is a combination of ह + आ = हा (ha + ā = hā)

It can be found in many words.

It is used in the ending of रहा (ra-hā).  रहा is used to form the continuous tense.  We will talk more about रहा and two related words रहे (ra-hē) and रही (ra-hī) later in the program.


कहानी (ka-hā-nī ) – story (f)


हाथ (hā-tha) – hand (m)


हाथी (hā-thī) – elephant (m)


महान (ma-hān)  – great


बहाना करना (ba-hā-nā kar-nā) – to make excuse


कहा (ka-hā)– said


नहाना (na-hā-nā) – to bathe


Comments and Emails

Fatima had sent us an email asking about many, many words. Today we will go over रहा (ra-hā), रहे (ra-hē), रही (ra-hī).  (You can see the complete list in a previous learn Hindi daily show).

रहा, रहे, and रही are used in continuous tenses.  This describes an action in the process of taking place.  Let us compare some sentences use the present habitual tense with present continuous tense.

(All of these sentences refer to a masculine singular subject.  We will review the same sentences with a feminine singular subject afterward.)

I eat.  मैं खाता हूँ। (maĩ khā-tā hūn)  (if you are a man)

I am eating.  मैं खा रहा हूँ। (maĩ khā ra-hā hūn)

I sing.  मैं गाता हूँ।  (maĩ gā-tā hūn)

I am singing.  मैं गा रहा हूँ। (maĩ gā ra-hā hūn)

I write.  मैं लिखता हूँ। (maĩ likh-tā hūn)

I am writing.  मैं लिख रहा हूँ। (maĩ likh ra-hā hūn)

See the difference between the present habitual tense and the present continuous tense?

To form the present continuous tense, take the verb stem and then add रहा, रहे, or रही after it depending on the gender and number of the subject.  रहा is used with masculine singular subjects.  रहे is used with masculine plural.  रही is used with feminine subjects, both singular and plural.

Let us now look at the same set of sentences above but spoken by a woman.

I eat.  मैं खाती हूँ।  (maĩ khā-tī hūn) (if you are a woman)

I am eating.  मैं खा रही हूँ। (maĩ khā ra-hī hūn)

I sing.  मैं गाती हूँ। (maĩ gā-tī hūn)

I am singing.  मैं गा रही हूँ। (maĩ gā ra-hī hūn)

I write.  मैं लिखती हूँ। (maĩ likh-tī hūn)

I am writing.  मैं लिख रही हूँ। (maĩ likh ra-hī hūn)

You can use रहा, रहे, रही in the past tense as well.  Let us see the sentences above in the past tense.  We will first go over the masculine sentences.

I used to eat.  मैं खाता था।  (maĩ khā-tā thā) (if you are a man)

I was eating.  मैं खा रहा था। (maĩ khā ra-hā thā)

I used to sing.  मैं गाता था। (maĩ gā-tā thā)

I was singing.  मैं गा रहा था। (maĩ gā ra-hā thā)

I used to write.  मैं लिखता था। (maĩ likh-tā thā)

I was writing.  मैं लिख रहा था। (maĩ likh rahā thā)

Now let use look at the feminine version of these sentences.

I used to eat.  मैं खाती थी।  (maĩ khā-tī thī) (if you are a woman)

I was eating.  मैं खा रही थी। (maĩ khā ra-hī thī)

I used to sing.  मैं गाती थी। (maĩ gā-tī thī)

I was singing.  मैं गा रही थी। (maĩ gā ra-hī thī)

I used to write.  मैं लिखती थी। (maĩ likh-tī thī)

I was writing.  मैं लिख रही थी। (maĩ likh ra-hī thī)


When do use रहे ?  Use रहे with plural masculine subjects.  Let us look at a similar set of sentences asking a man using the तुम form.  तुम means “you”.  Like आप it is grammatically plural, but तुम is less formal.  Use तुम with friends.

Do you eat meat?  क्या तुम मांस खाते हो? (kyā tum māns khā-tē hō) (spoken to a man)

Are you eating meat?  क्या तुम मांस खा रहे हो? (kyā tum māns khā ra-hē hō)

Do you sing?  क्या तुम गाते हो? (kyā tum gā-tē hō)

Are you singing?  क्या तुम गा रहे हो? (kyā tum gā ra-hē hō)

Do you write?  क्या तुम लिखते हो? (kyā tum likh-tē hō)

Are you writing?  क्या तुम लिख रहे हो? (kyā tum likh ra-hē hō)

For completeness, let us go over the above sentences, but spoken to a woman.

Do you eat meat?  क्या तुम मांस खाती हो? (kyā tum māns khā-tī hō)  (spoken to a woman)

Are you eating meat?  क्या तुम मांस खा रही हो? (kyā tum māns khā rahī hō)

Do you sing?  क्या तुम गाती हो? (kyā tum gā-tī hō)

Are you singing?  क्या तुम गा रही हो?  (kyā tum gā rahī hō)

Do you write?  क्या तुम लिखती हो? (kyā tum likh-tī hō)

Are you writing?  क्या तुम लिख रही हो? (kyā tum likh ra-hī hō)

Want to find out more about using रहा, रहे, and रही?  Check out previous lessons on ISpeakHindi.com.

Past Continuous/Past Progressive Tense

Present Continuous Tense

Also see The Present Continuous Tense on George Stone’s Learning Hindi blog.


Ashwin sent us an email:

Hi Nathan,

These lessons are extremely useful. However, I am not looking to learn how to write in Hindi. If it’s not too much trouble, can you start including the transliteration?



Ashwin, this is a common request we get.  We will make an effort to include transliterations in the program.  However, I believe that the transliteration should only be used at the very, very beginning of Hindi learning.  Even if you only want to speak and understand the spoken language, I think it is worthwhile to learn the script.

Why?  Well, first off the transliteration creates its own confusion (see Heather’s email).  There are several transliteration schemes that exist (See Wikipedia article on Devanagari Transliteration).  The Hindi sound system has many more sounds than English does.  And it is more precise about using those sounds than English is.  Consider the difference these sounds:  ट ठ त थ or between these ड, ढ, द, ध  or between these ड़ ढ़  र.  As a native English speaker, I have trouble differentiating between these sounds.  But to a Hindi speaker, they sound completely different.  Having an unambiguous, universally agreed upon symbol to associate with those sounds helps me to keep them straight in my mind.  Learning the writing also allows for you to look up words in the dictionary.  I believe that everyone should start making steps towards learning the script.  Just try to learn the symbol symbol of the day.  Within in a few months, you will be read the script.

We will have some transliteration on ISpeakHindi.com.  I plan to use a modified form of the ISO 15919 standard.  The modification will be dropping the unspoken vowels, and adding hyphens between the syllables.   Here is a website that will translate a string of Hindi into the ISO 15919 transliteration http://devtransliteration.appspot.com/


Leonie left a comment on yesterday’s show saying:

This is a very helpful method. Thank you so much for all the efforts and interesting materials!

Thanks Leonie!  We appreciate the encouraging words.

Ken wrote us an email about yesterday’s show saying:

Nathan:  Your site is great. Love the daily show. But in your sentence:

उस ने कहा कि समय सारी तीन बजे हैं। ,

should “सारी” be “साढ़े”?

Thanks Ken for pointing that out.  You are completely correct.  It should be उस ने कहा कि समय साढ़े तीन बजे हैं।    I have corrected yesterday’s program.  Also, we had an episode about Telling Time in quarter hour increments that also might be of interest.  If you see an error or a way to improve the site, please email nathan@ISpeakHindi.com.

Thoughts on Language Learning

I found an interesting observation from the Katherine Russell Rich’s book Dreaming in Hindi(p.52) :

“If you take a child, six or seven, and put them in France, the child will go through a silent period,” says Martha Young-Scholten, a professor of second language acquisition studies at Newcastle University in England.  “They won’t use the target language, then suddenly, after several months, they’ll open their mouths and start speaking fluently, and everyone’s amazed.  Adults and teenagers often struggle against doing this.  They think they have to try right away.  But listening without speaking is important.”

Mystery Word

Try to understand the mystery word.  Do you know how to write it?  Do you know what it means?  Can you use it in a sentence?  Do you understand the example sentence?  What are some related words?

News Article

We finished talking about the Clever Bird story.  Now let us turn our attention to something else.  Let’s look at part of an article on BBC Hindi.

Today, we will have Meena read it, try to understand what you can.  We will go over it in future shows.

Title: लड़ाकू विमान के सौदे में अमरीका को झटका

भारत ने 126 लड़ाकू विमान ख़रीदने के लिए अमरीका और रूस की कंपनियों की दावेदारी को ख़ारिज करते हुए यूरोप की कंपनियों को शॉर्टलिस्ट किया है.

समाचार एजेंसियों के मुताबिक़ 10 अरब डॉलर से भी ज़्यादा के इस सौदे के लिए यूरोप की कंपनी डेसो और यूरोफ़ाइटर को चुना गया है.

अमरीकी कंपनियों को ठेका ना देने के फ़ैसला की ख़बर उस दिन सामने आई है, जिस दिन भारत में अमरीकी राजदूत टिमोथी रोमर ने पारिवारिक कारणों से अपने पद से इस्तीफ़ा देने की घोषणा की.

इस ठेके के लिए ख़ुद अमरीकी राष्ट्रपति बराक ओबामा ने भी पूरी कोशिश की थी.


Read the rest of the article on the BBC website.

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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.