Hindi Language Blog

Genitive Case Posted by on Jan 15, 2010 in Hindi Language

The genitive case marks possession. In English, we have possessive pronouns like “my” and “our”. Hindi does as well. Here is a list of possessive pronouns :

my : मेरा

our : हमारा

your (familiar)(singular) : तोरा

your (familiar)(plural) : तुम्हारा

your (singular)(polite) : –

your (plural)(polite) : आपका

his, hers, its : उसका

their : उनका

Let’s take a look at some examples:

my book : मेरी किताब

my books : मेरी किताबें

my shirt : मेरा कुरता

my shirts : मेरे कुरते

With “my books” and “my book”, the only thing that changed was the plurality of the nouns. In other words, “my” was still मेरी and only “book” किताब and “books” किताबें changed. However, this isn’t the case with “my shirt” and “my shirts”. The “my” in “my shirt” is मेरा and the “my” in “my shirts” is  मेरे. This is because in Hindi, pronouns, including possessive pronouns, assume the same gender and number as the nouns they modify. In the future, I think I’ll talk more about some of the rules that involve gender and number agreement.

For now, just know that किताब (book) is a feminine noun and कुरता (shirt) is a masculine noun. Since किताब (book) is a feminine noun, मेरी (my) was used when the noun was singular, and since कुरता (shirt) is a masculine noun, मेरा (my) was used when the noun was singular. The feminine मेरी contained a री ending in the pronoun while the masculine मेरा contained a रा ending in the pronoun. In the masculine plural, the pronoun will have a रे ending in the pronoun. Hence, मे will be the only part of the pronoun that never changes.

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