I like… I want…

I like fruit.  I want an apple.   These are basic sentences that we use on an everyday basis.  In fact, you can have an entire conversation around “likes” and “wants”.   The pattern in Hindi is very different from the English sentence, but it is simple to learn.  This lesson goes over several examples of using the pattern to ask about likes and wants and to answer those questions.
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I like fruit.  I want an apple.   These are basic sentences that we use on an everyday basis.  In fact, you can have an entire conversation around “likes” and “wants”. 

You are already familiar with the word for “I” which is मैं.  You will then be surprised to see that the sentence.  “I like fruit.” is मुझको फल पसंद है।  There is not a मैं in the entire sentence.  Where is “I” in this sentence?  It is not there because the Hindi way of expressing this concept is different from the English way.  In Hindi you don’t say, “I like fruit”  instead you say “to me fruit is liked.” 


Let us look at some examples:

मुझको फल पसंद है।  I like fruit.

मुझको सेब पसंद है। I like apple.

मुझको केला पसंद है। I like banana.

मुझको दूध पसंद है। I like milk.

मुझको चाय पसंद है। I like tea.

Do you see the pattern?  “I like X.” is “मुझको X पसंद है।

Now let us see how to turn this into the question “Do you like fruit?”

First, to make a yes/no question like “Do you like fruit?” create the statement “You like fruit.”  To do this we use आप for “you” and add को to the end of it to make “आपको”.  And we just put this in the place of मुझको that we used in our previous examples.

आपको फल पसंद है।  You like fruit.

Now, add क्या in front of it and you have the question:

क्या आपको फल पसंद है? Do you like fruit?

And let us run through the examples above:

क्या आपको सेब पसंद है? Do you like apple?

क्या आपको केला पसंद है? Do you like banana?

क्या आपको दूध पसंद है? Do you like milk?

क्या आपको चाय पसंद है? Do you like tea?


Likewise, you can adapt this sentence to refer to someone else.  “He” in Hindi is वह, but “to him” is “उसको”.  Using “उसको” in place of मुझको and आपको in the sentences above, we can create the sentence “He likes fruit.” and the question “Does he like fruit?”  Let’s see some examples.

क्या उसको फल पसंद है?  Does he like fruit?

उसको फल पसंद है।  He likes fruit.

क्या उसको सेब पसंद है? Does he like apple?

उसको सेब पसंद है। He likes apple.

क्या उसको केला पसंद है? Does he like banana?

उसको केला पसंद है। He likes banana.

क्या उसको दूध पसंद है? Does he like milk?

उसको दूध पसंद है। He likes milk.

क्या उसको चाय पसंद है? Does he like tea?

उसको चाय पसंद है। He likes tea.

वह can refer to a man or a woman.  वह can be used in place of the English pronouns “he” and “she”.  Likewise, “to him” and “to her” both translate to “उसको” and the above sentences could also mean “Does she like fruit?”  “She likes fruit.” etc.

This can be used with people’s names as well.  To ask if Ram likes tea, you would say.

क्या राम को चाय पसंद है?

हाँ, राम को चाय पसंद है।

Also it can be used to ask a question about a group.  “They” in Hindi is “वे”.  “to them” is “उनको”.   Here is an example:

क्या उनको केला पसंद है।  Do they like banana?

Notice that we are still using है at the end of the sentence even though we are referring to a group of people.  That is because the subject of the Hindi sentence is the thing that is liked.  Not the people that like it.  If you were talking about liking multiple things, then you would see this change to हैं.

मुझको किताबें पसंद हैं। I like books.

What if you don’t like something?  How do you say this? 

Just put नहीं before है.


मुझको फल पसंद नहीं है।  I do not like fruit.

मुझको सेब पसंद नहीं है। I do not like apple.

मुझको केला पसंद नहीं है। I do not like banana.

मुझको दूध पसंद नहीं है। I do not like milk.

मुझको चाय पसंद नहीं है। I do not like tea.


You can change this to “I want” by using चाहिये instead of पसंद है in all the sentences above.  Let’s see some examples:

क्या आपको फल चाहिये? Do want fruit?

हाँ, मुझको फल चाहिये।  Yes, I want fruit.

क्या आपको सेब चाहिये? Do want apple?

हाँ, मुझको सेब चाहिये। Yes, I want apple.

क्या आपको केला चाहिये? Do want banana?

हाँ, मुझको केला चाहिये। Yes, I want banana.


And you can say “I don’t want” by placing नहीं in front of चाहिये.

क्या आपको दूध चाहिये? Do want milk?

मुझको दूध नहीं चाहिये। I do not want milk.

क्या आपको चाय चाहिये? Do want tea?

मुझको चाय नहीं चाहिये। I do not want tea.


In a regular conversation, many of these words will be omitted.  In English, the conversation would probably be something like this:

“Want fruit?”


“want apple”


“want banana”


In Hindi the conversation might be something like this:

फल चाहिये?

हाँ, फल चाहिये।

सेब चाहिये?

नहीं चाहिये।


हाँ, केला चाहिये।


This sentence pattern where the “subject” in the English sentence becomes the “object” of the Hindi sentence is sometimes referred as “indirect verbs” or को verbs.  It is used in several other places.  Here are a few other lessons that cover these:

1) Waiting for people:


2) Wanting things:


3) Compulsion




4) Sickness



Also, मुझे is the same as मुझको.  It is actually more common to use मुझे in the above sentences.  However, it is important that you first become comfortable with the sentence pattern  

“Y likes X”  Y को X पसंद है। 

“Y wants X.”  Y को X चाहिये।


Try translating these sentences:

1) मुझको एक हिंदी की किताब चाहिये।

2) क्या आपको पानी चाहिये?

3) राम को वह मेज़ पसंद है।

4) उसको कौन सी गाड़ी पसंद है?

5) Do you like mango?

6) I like grape.

7) I do not like watermelon.

8) She wants a car.

We will go over the answers to these in a future lesson.

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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.