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Hindi grammar help!

Posted: 2018-12-23, 17:56
by Karna
Hi, I'm new to this forum! My first language is English and I'm learning Hindi as a second language. I have a little trouble with Hindi grammar and I'll post one of my areas of confusion.

Consider the sentence मेरे भाई का नाम राम है।

Since the word भाई is singular, why don't we use मेरा instead?

Thanks in advance.

Re: Hindi grammar help!

Posted: 2018-12-23, 18:44
by eskandar
Read up on the oblique case (if you Google "Hindi oblique case" you'll find plenty of useful explanations). Since the object possessed by मेरा is followed by a postposition (here, का ), it puts everything before it into the oblique case, so we need मेरे which is the oblique form of मेरा .

Re: Hindi grammar help!

Posted: 2018-12-23, 19:26
by Karna
Thanks a lot! It's amazing that I've spent 8 years formally learning Hindi and was never explicitly taught the 'oblique case'. I found http://www.learning-hindi.com/post/1116 ... lique-case, which seems to be a great resource for learning Hindi once you already know English.

Re: Hindi grammar help!

Posted: 2018-12-23, 20:00
by Karna
I have a quick question about male and female forms:

Suppose I am female.

Is मेरा नाम सीता है। correct because नाम is masculine?

If so, why isn't मैं बाज़ाऱ गया। correct because बाज़ाऱ is masculine?

Thanks again.

Re: Hindi grammar help!

Posted: 2018-12-23, 20:23
by eskandar
Karna wrote:Suppose I am female.

Is मेरा नाम सीता है। correct because नाम is masculine?

Yes.

If so, why isn't मैं बाज़ाऱ गया। correct because बाज़ाऱ is masculine?

Because in the first sentence, मेरा is connected to नाम and so it reflects the gender of नाम . It doesn't matter whether a male or a female is speaking because the person is not the subject, the name is the subject.

However in the second sentence, you're saying "I went to the market" - now you are the subject, not the market, and the verb reflects the gender of the subject. Therefore if you're female, you have to say मैं बाज़ाऱ गई . You aren't saying "the market went" - if you were, then the market would be the subject and the verb would reflect the gender of the subject.

Re: Hindi grammar help!

Posted: 2018-12-23, 20:57
by Karna
eskandar wrote:
Karna wrote:Suppose I am female.

Is मेरा नाम सीता है। correct because नाम is masculine?

Yes.

If so, why isn't मैं बाज़ाऱ गया। correct because बाज़ाऱ is masculine?

Because in the first sentence, मेरा is connected to नाम and so it reflects the gender of नाम . It doesn't matter whether a male or a female is speaking because the person is not the subject, the name is the subject.

However in the second sentence, you're saying "I went to the market" - now you are the subject, not the market, and the verb reflects the gender of the subject. Therefore if you're female, you have to say मैं बाज़ाऱ गई . You aren't saying "the market went" - if you were, then the market would be the subject and the verb would reflect the gender of the subject.


Thank you once again for your extremely clear explanations. :yep: I'm an editor of the Hindi Wikipedia and I have to translate sentences from English to Hindi, so it helps to know these rules properly.

Re: Hindi grammar help!

Posted: 2018-12-23, 21:37
by eskandar
No problem, glad I could help.

Re: Hindi grammar help!

Posted: 2018-12-23, 22:02
by Karna
I came across the following sentence on www.learning-hindi.com:

शालिनी ने पानी पिया।

This translates to "Shalini drank the water". Here, the subject is clearly Shalini who is singular feminine, so shouldn't it be पी instead of पिया?

Re: Hindi grammar help!

Posted: 2018-12-23, 22:23
by eskandar
Hindi is split ergative, so while in the present tense the verb agrees with the subject, in the past tense (as in this example) the verb agrees with the object.

By the way, in what setting did you have 8 years of formal Hindi education? Seems like their focus wasn't on grammar.

Re: Hindi grammar help!

Posted: 2018-12-23, 22:50
by Karna
eskandar wrote:Hindi is split ergative, so while in the present tense the verb agrees with the subject, in the past tense (as in this example) the verb agrees with the object.

By the way, in what setting did you have 8 years of formal Hindi education? Seems like their focus wasn't on grammar.


Thanks again!

I grew up in Bangalore, India where I was taught Hindi from classes 1 to 8. Even though I was learning it as a 2nd (in fact, 3rd) language, our textbooks were completely in Hindi, rather than both Hindi and English, which made the explanations quite obscure. There were native Hindi speakers in our class who did rather well in this setting but the rest of us struggled.

Re: Hindi grammar help!

Posted: 2018-12-24, 0:03
by eskandar
Ah, interesting. Thanks for indulging my curiosity.

Re: Hindi grammar help!

Posted: 2018-12-24, 7:11
by Forever Knowledge
eskandar wrote:
Karna wrote:Suppose I am female.

Is मेरा नाम सीता है। correct because नाम is masculine?

Yes.

If so, why isn't मैं बाज़ाऱ गया। correct because बाज़ाऱ is masculine?

Because in the first sentence, मेरा is connected to नाम and so it reflects the gender of नाम . It doesn't matter whether a male or a female is speaking because the person is not the subject, the name is the subject.

However in the second sentence, you're saying "I went to the market" - now you are the subject, not the market, and the verb reflects the gender of the subject. Therefore if you're female, you have to say मैं बाज़ाऱ गई . You aren't saying "the market went" - if you were, then the market would be the subject and the verb would reflect the gender of the subject.


Just want to add that ऱ doesn't exist in Hindi. Therefore, the spelling of "baazaar" is बाज़ार not बाज़ाऱ

Re: Hindi grammar help!

Posted: 2018-12-25, 20:39
by Karna
I have followed eksandar's rules (I tried to!) in the following sentence:

वह एकमात्र ऑस्ट्रेलियन् है जिन्होंने अंतरराष्ट्रीय गणितीय ओलंपियाड और अंतरराष्ट्रीय भौतिकी ओलंपियाड दोनों में पदक हासिल किए हैं, जो वह सिर्फ १२ साल की उम्र में की।

Could someone please point out any grammatical mistakes that remain?

Re: Hindi grammar help!

Posted: 2019-01-03, 21:13
by Ber
Karna wrote:वह एकमात्र ऑस्ट्रेलियन् है जिन्होंने

Here you have to use जिसने because एकमात्र ऑस्ट्रेलियन is singular.

Karna wrote:अंतरराष्ट्रीय गणितीय ओलंपियाड और अंतरराष्ट्रीय भौतिकी ओलंपियाड दोनों में पदक हासिल किए हैं

If you really want to use दोनों में then I think you should add में after both गणितीय ओलंपियाड and भौतिकी ओलंपियाड. However you could just write अंतरराष्ट्रीय गणितीय ओलंपियाड में भी और अंतरराष्ट्रीय भौतिकी ओलंपियाड में भी पदक हासिल किए हैं.
Repeated use of भी is an idiomatic way to express "both" in Hindi.

Karna wrote:जो वह सिर्फ १२ साल की उम्र में की।

Using जो in this context sounds wrong. You could write जब कि वह सिर्फ़ १२ साल का था or वह भी सिर्फ़ १२ की उम्र में.
जब कि means "whereas". वह भी is like "and that".