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As you progress in your Hindi studies, you will come upon a pesky little particle – “bhi” (भी) – that may threaten to send you into a tailspin of confusion. But, fear not, it is not as complex as it first appears. This blog is dedicated to an explanation of this particle – or minute part of speech – and its contrasting uses in a variety of sentences.
“Bhi” is a common particle that you should understand well in order to parse the meanings of a variety of sentences, as it lends a subtle shade of meaning that would otherwise be unachievable. “Bhi” has the sense of “also, as well, too, even” – in essence, when you add “bhi” to a sentence, you are implying the “addition” of something or an emphasis on something as an exception. And, you should be careful because, when you use “bhi,” you want to place it directly AFTER the word to which it applies. This explanation will become clearer with a few examples:
In this example, “bhi” functions as “too” as in “I too wanted to go” (literally). It implies that “I” (the subject of the sentence) also wanted to go to an outing but was not invited – in essence, it is an expression of an “addition” of “I” to the imaginary group of people going on the outing.
Now what, may you ask, is the difference between these two sentences? These examples demonstrate the vital nature of your placement of “bhi” – it must be placed directly behind the word or phrase that it is qualifying (that is, modifying). “Virat, too, is talented” means that Virat, as well as some other people, are talented because “bhi” comes directly after “Virat” and is thus modifying the subject of the sentence. On the other hand, “Virat is talented too” means, because “bhi” is directly behind the word “talented,” that Virat is talented, in addition to his many other traits.
In this example, “bhi” when combined with “jab” (जब-when) and “tab” (तब-then), has a slightly different meaning – it means “whenever” and “tabhi” (तभी) means “at that very instant, right then.” These two words are usually found in a pair, though the second word (तभी) is usually optional in casual conversation.
In this sentence, you can see two distinct uses of “bhi.” In the first part of the sentence, you see a common phrase “oblique form of infinitive verb (in this case, होने) + पर + भी” which means something like “even after doing x” – the implication is that, even after implementing new rules, etc. the teacher did not get his desired result of better behavior and better grades from his students. In this case, “bhi” means “even.” In the second part of the sentence, “bhi” is part of the common phrase “और भी” which means “even more” – in this case, too, “bhi” has the sense of “even.”
In this sentence, “bhi” is part of a common phrase – कुछ भी – which means something like “anything at all” – in this case, भी has the purpose of emphasizing the policeman’s refusal to say anything, at all, about the case.
In this example, another common phrase “वह भी” (that too) is used in which “भी” emphasizes the sheer size of the majority as well as the other features the voters of the country have going for them. In this case, “bhi” is more akin to “too.”
In this case, “bhi” has the more straightforward meaning of “also” or “too” as it is adding the Bengali sweets to the kind of sweets that this person likes. Now, if you said something like “आपको भी ये बंगाली मिठाइयाँ अच्छी लगेंगी,” it would mean something like “even you/you too will like these Bengali sweets” adding “you” to the list of people who like these sweets.