Learn Hindi Daily Show – How old are you? – dda – Internal Compulsion

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“How old are you?”  If you are old enough, you probably “Have to learn Hindi.”  You might feel compelled to learn Hindi.  These are just two of the things that we go over today.  The phrase “How old are you?”, and the form of “internal compulsion” sentences in Hindi.  We also look at the composite consonant द्द, and we read a passage out of the Namaste Jii book.

Phrase of the Day

How old are you?   

आपकी उमर क्या है? 

(āp-kī u-mar kyā hai?)


(literally:  What is your age?)

Letter and Sound of the Day

द्द  = द् + द

(dda  = d + da)



If you have the Hindi Alphabet cards, this is the card you need to focus on today.

IMG_8624 IMG_8625

If you are interested in learning your letters, then I would recommend that you get the Hindi Letter Flashcards.

बुद्दू (bud-dū) = fool



कद्दू (kad-dū) – squash, pumpkin, gourd





शरीफ़ुद्दीन (śa-rī-fud-dīn) – (a name)




सद्दाम हुसैन (sad-dām hu-sain) = Saddam Hussein



New Mystery Word

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Grammar Review – Internal Compulsion

We published a lesson on this on September 9, 2010 Internal Compulsion – I have to …. (You might like it.  It got 5 out of 5 stars.) 

Internal Compulsion refers to the need to do something.  Here are some examples in English:

I must eat.

I have to study.

I have to listen.

In Hindi, the grammar is completely different.  Here are the translations of the above sentences:

मुझे खाना है। (mu-jhē khā-nā hai.)

मुझे पढ़ना है। (mu-jhē paṛh-nā hai.)

मुझे सुनना है। (mu-jhē sun-nā hai.)

Notice there is no मैं (maĩ), I, in any one of those sentences?  Instead you see मुझे (mu-jhē) which is another way of writing मुझको (mujh-kō), to me.

Also, the verb is in its infinitive form.  The verb still has the ना (nā) ending.

Let’s look at at some more examples.

He must study.

उसको पढ़ना है।

(us-kō paṛh-nā hai.)


She must study.

उसको पढ़ना है।

(us-kō paṛh-nā hai.)

Notice that they are both the same.  There is no way to differentiate between “he” and “she” in the “must study Hindi” sentence.  The subject of the sentence in English “He must study” is not the subject of the sentence in Hindi, so the verb does not agree with it.

But if “He” and “she” are not the subject of the Hindi sentence then what is?  Let’s look at a variation of this example:

He must study Hindi

उसको हिंदी पढ़नी है।

(us-kō hin-dī paṛh-nī hai.)


She must study Hindi.

उसको हिंदी पढ़नी है।

(us-kō hin-dī paṛh-nī hai.)


Both sentences are the same.  It does not change depending on if we are talking about a “he” or a “she”, but we see that when we added हिंदी (hin-dī), the verb did change from पढ़ना (paṛh-nā) to पढ़नी (paṛh-nī).  What’s going on here?

In the compulsion sentence, the verb agrees with what in the English sentence is the direct object.   If no “direct object” is mentioned, then the verb is in its masculine, singular form.  Since Hindi is feminine, the verb ending changed from पढ़ना (paṛh-nā) to पढ़नी (paṛh-nī).

In the compulsive tense, the verb endings are आ (ā), ए (ē), and ई (ī).

And the subject of the “English” sentence is marked in the Hindi sentence with the postposition को (kō), which means “to”, and since it is a postposition the English subject in the the Hindi sentence will be in the oblique case.  Let’s look at some more examples.

The boy must eat.

लड़के को खाना है।

(laṛ-kē kō khā-nā hai.)


The boy must eat the fruit.

लड़के को फल खाना है।

(laṛ-kē kō phal khā-nā hai.)


The boy must eat two apples.

लड़के को दो सेब खाने हैं।

(laṛ-kē kō dō sēb khā-nā haĩ.)

(notice the auxiliary verb changed from singular है (hai) to plural हैं (haĩ) in this case)


The boy must eat the sweet.

लड़के को मिठाई खानी है।

(laṛ-kē kō mi-ṭhā-ī khā-nī hai.)


The boy must eat two sweets.

लड़के को दो मिठाइयाँ खानी हैं।

(laṛ-kē kō mi-ṭhā-i-yān khā-nī haĩ.)


(notice the auxiliary verb changed from singular है (hai) to plural हैं (haĩ) in this case)


Remember you can add क्या (kyā) to the beginning of these statements to turn them into a question.

Must the boy eat the fruit?  (Does the boy have to eat the fruit?)

क्या लड़के को फल खाना है?

(kyā laṛ-kē kō phal khā-nā hai.)


And you can create negative by adding नहीं (na-hīn) before the verb.

The boy must not eat the sweet.

लड़के को मिठाई नहीं खानी है।

(laṛ-kē kō mi-ṭhā-ī na-hīn khā-nī hai.)


Make sure you understand the internal compulsion form by translating these sentences.

I must write.

He must read.

She must listen.

We must eat.

They must go.

You must come.

I must read the book.

He must listen to the song.

She must eat a banana.

We must go home in the car.

They must come to school.

You must write a letter.

I must not listen to music.

He must not eat sweets.

She must not go home.

We must not write on the walls.

They must not read in the car.

You must not listen to the news.


Try creating some of your own sentences and post them on the website.



Listener Comments

Beaumont left a message on yesterday’s show: Learn Hindi Daily Show – Fun with the future tense

Here’s an upcoming exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum: “Vishnu”. Anyone in the NYC area?


If you are in the Brooklyn area, you might want to check it out.  If you do, let me know what you thought, maybe send me some pictures to share as well.  I know we have several ISpeakHindi.com listeners in the Brooklyn area, perhaps this would be a good time for you all to meet up.  Leave a comment if you are interested.


Namaste Jii Textbook

IMG_1629The Namaste Jii textbook is meant for beginner Hindi students.  It can be used in a high school or college course, but it is also useful if you are learning on your own.  It explains the grammar of Hindi in a very easy way.  It contains a lot of practice in reading and understanding.  Today, we hear Meena Jii read the passage from the Namaste Jii textbook on p. 366.  If you have the book, you can follow along.  If you are interested in getting the book, you find out more about the Namaste Jii textbook on ISpeakHindi.com.    We will be going over this passage in the next few episodes.

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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.