Hindi Language Blog

नये वर्ष की शुभकामनाएँ। Posted by on Dec 30, 2016 in Hindi Language

Naye varsh ki shubh-kaamnaaen. Best wishes for the new year.

Over the past 4 months,  we have read of different situations in daily Indian life, heard conversations around them, and learned related words and vocabulary. We learned to introduce ourselves अपना परिचय देना (apna parichay dena) as well ask for directions, go to the doctor, or appreciate different tastes and flavors of food.
Today we will address a very basic aspect of Hindi language grammar–gender. Like many other languages (Spanish, French, German, etc.) Hindi uses a grammatical gender लिंग (ling) to classify objects. They are feminine gender स्त्रीलिंग (stree-ling) and masculine gender पुल्लिंग (pulling). In addition to living creatures, non-living things are also assigned a gender. For example, in Spanish, la ventana = window (feminine gender). Similarly, in Hindi, window खिड़की takes the feminine gender.
Very loosely, if a noun is feminine, then a long e can be appended to the end of the conjugated verb or adjective to correspond with gender of the noun. The masculine gender is grammatically denoted by appending the long to the end of the conjugated verb or adjective.

For example:
खिड़की खुली है। = The window is open. (Khidki khuli hai.)
(Here we use खुली है (fem.) since window is feminine.)
However, box डिब्बा (dibba) is masculine. Hence, we would say:
डिब्बा खुला है। = The box is open. (Dibba khula hai.)
(Here we use खुला है (masc.) since box is masculine.)

Let’s look at some more examples.
(Bag. masc.)
पीला थैला।
Peela thhaila.
(Yellow bag.)
छोटा पीला थैला।
Chhota, peela thhaila.
(Small, yellow, bag.)
(Butterfly. fem.)
पीली तितली।
Peelee titlee.
(Yellow butterfly.)
छोटी पीली तितली।
Chhoti, peelee titlee.
(Small, yellow butterfly.)

Fix the following sentences so that the verbs/adjectives indicate the correct noun gender. The noun gender has been provided for you.
1. मेरा/मेरी नीला/नीली साड़ी।
(May-ra/may-ree neela/neelee saadee.)
My blue saree.
Hint: Saree/saadee/साड़ी is feminine.
Check your answer:
2. पिंकी का /की प्यारा/प्यारी कुत्ता।
(Pinky ka/ki pyaara/pyaari kutta.)
Pinky’s adorable dog.
Hint: Dog/kutta/कुत्ता is masculine.
Check your answer:
3. साल का/की पहला/पहली बारिश।
(Saal ka/ki pehla/pehli baarish.)
The year’s first rains.
Hint: Rain/baarish/बारिश is feminine.
Check your answer:
4. नदी का/की ठंडा /ठंडी पानी।
(Nadi ka thanDaa/thanDee paani.)
The river’s cold water.
Hint: Water/paani/पानी is masculine.
Check your answer.
5. एक लंबा /लंबी कहानी।
(Ek lamba/lambee kahani.)
A long story.
Hint: Story/kahani/कहानी is feminine.
Check your answer.
6. मेरा/मेरी  पुराना/पुरानी जूता।
(Mera/meri puraana/puraanee joota.)
My old shoe.
Hint: Shoe/joota/जूता is masculine.
Check your answer.
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About the Author: Nitya

Namaste, friends. My name is Nitya. I was born and raised in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). I'm a native Hindi speaker. However, as life took me through school, college, work, and waves of friends from different parts of India, my repertoire of Hindi flavors and dialects grew and added dimension to my native fluency. Casual, formal, colloquial, and regional ... Hindi is a language with incredible variety and localization. Through this blog, I will help you learn Hindi through conversations, vocabulary, colloquialisms, and glimpses of Indian culture. आओ, मिलकर हिंदी सीखते हैं। (Aao, milkar Hindi seekhte hain!) Come, let's learn Hindi together.


  1. ichiji:

    Thank you for these excellent blog postings. I am working hard to learn Hindi and torisi mushkil hai! Your blogs and words of the day are engaging and helpful. Can you please explain the use of “apna/i”? I have seen this usage in मैं अपनी कार में जाना होगा (main apni car mein jana hogaa, I will go in my car) and I believe also in your blog above, अपना परिचय देना (apna parichay dena, introduce yourself).

    • Nitya:

      @ichiji That’s a great question!

      Apna/apni अपना/अपनी denotes possession. Unlike mera=my or mine, which can only be used in 1st person, अपना/अपनी can be applied to the 1st, 2nd or 3rd person. For example:

      मैं अपनी राय दूँगी। Main apni raay doongi. = I will give/state my opinion.
      आप अपना परिचय दीजिये। Aap apna parichay deejiye. = You (respectful form) give your introduction/introduce yourself.
      बच्चे अपने घर चले गए। Bacche apne ghar chale gaye. = The children have gone to their respective homes.

      Also, the corrected sentence for your example should be: Main apni gaadi mein jaaoongi. (I will go in my car.)

      I hope this helps.:)

      • ichiji:

        @Nitya Thank you! So, in the sentence above, “Main apni gaadi mein jaaoongi” could you substitute “Main meri gaadi mein jaaoongi”? If not, under what conditions must one use the more general “apni” instead of “meri”?

        • Nitya:

          @ichiji You use apna when the doer of the action (subject) is referring to an object that belongs to him/her. Since you are talking about you (subject) going in your car, you won’t use mera. Instead, you will use apna.

          If you were to say:

          “You do your (own) work.”
          Incorrect: Tum tumhaara kaam karo.
          Correct: Tum apna kaam karo. (The work also belongs to the subject, i.e. “tum”.)

          “This is my house.”
          Incorrect: Yeh apna ghar hai.
          Correct: Yeh mera ghar hai. (Mera ghar shows possession, that “you” own the house, but “you” are not the subject in this sentence.”)

          I hope this helps.

  2. Mrinalini watson:

    आपको भी नए वर्ष की शुभकामनाएँ।

  3. Lmk:

    Dhanyavad, excellent blog! I am 4 th generation Indian born in the Caribbean (Trinidad), now residing in USA. Although I can read very little Devanagari script my main focus is conversational Hindi.

    • Nitya:

      @Lmk Thank you!