Identification of Grammatical Gender

Posted on 25. Apr, 2012 by in Hindi Language

Hindi language may be hard in one thing, that is the identification of grammatical gender. There are no article in Hindi unlike many other languages such as German which has the article der, die and das which explicitly define the grammatical gender to the reader. As the noun declension depend upon the grammatical gender, a learner usually get confused about it.

In my region (North), people from the other parts of India usually migrate because of their job assignment or to settle. Sometimes, they have no knowledge of Hindi and they start learning it. And I must tell you that the mistakes that they make are usually related to the wrong grammatical gender.

We, native Hindi speakers usually learn the gender of a noun through social learning. This process starts right after we develop our senses for cognitive learning. I will not describe the process but will come back to the actual topic. I come across some of the rules that I will describe here. These rules will help you to quickly identify the grammatical gender or / and right verb for the noun.

Most of the feminine nouns in Hindi usually end in आ (aa) , ई (i) , इया (iyaa), इन (in) , आनी (aani), आइन (aain), इका (ika), नी (ni), अती (ati), वती (vati), त्री (tri) as in बाला (Girl), देवी (Goddess), बिटिया (Daughter), धोबिन (Washwoman), देवरानी (Sister in law), पंडिताइन (Female Scholar), लेखिका (Authoress), मोरनी (Peahen), श्रीमती (Mrs.), अभिनेत्री (Actress) respectively.

The verb associated with a feminine noun usually end with ई (i) such as खाती (khati) , पीती (piti), सोती (sauti), करती (karti), जाती (jati), रोती (rauti), हँसती (hansti), चलती (chalti), उडती (udati), लिखती (likhti), सीखती (sikhti) etc. Quite simple, isn’t it? All verbs ends with “i”, right? If you notice the verb as such, you know the associated noun has to be feminine otherwise masculine.

The masculine verb have a similar pattern, it ends with आ (aa) such as खाता (khata), पीता (pita), सोता (sauta), करता (karta), जाता (jata), रोता (rauta), हँसता (hansta), चलता (chalta), उड़ता (udta), लिखता (likhta), सीखता (sikhta) etc.

Now, practice some Hindi and see if the rules described above offer any help.

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About Nitin Kumar

Nitin Kumar is a native Hindi speaker from New Delhi, India. Professionally, he has got Masters in Robotics and currently works in the field of technical research in hi-tech industry in Germany. His passion for Indian culture and writing in particular, has motivated him to share technical and cultural blogs on various websites. He has been working with Transparent Language since 2010 and has written over 300 blogs on various facet of his motherland, India and his language, Hindi. He is also the Administrator for Hindi Facebook page which has a community of over 330,000 members.

3 Responses to “Identification of Grammatical Gender”

  1. LSS 31 October 2012 at 7:58 am #

    Actually, problem occurs with the Gender of non-living things. In other Indian languages, all non-living things are Neutral gender. But in Hindi, it is either M or F. Wish you had covered those examples also. (Table, Chair, School, Spoon, etc)

  2. GGG 16 December 2012 at 10:45 pm #

    @LSS

    That is exactly what I opened this blog for. My hindi is really good but I have never been able to understand how to refer to non-living things. I always get embarrassed when I speak to my north Indian friends and they constantly correct me.

  3. Kishalaya Mukherjee 5 December 2013 at 5:24 am #

    I am also in search of a set of common rules which will help us identify the gender of non-living/abstract nouns. I observed that most of the nouns in such category (non-living/abstract)ending with ‘ee’ are feminine.I have also found out that at least five of those are Masculine. They are: Jee, Ghee, Dahee, Haathi, Paanee.I have also noticed that nouns ending with “kaar’ as in “sarkaar’is feminine.
    Most of the non-living/abstract nouns ending with ‘aa’ is masculine.Problem arises when the nouns ending with neither ‘aa’ nor with ‘ee’.


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