Hindi Language Blog

Save Grammar for a Rainy Day Posted by on Nov 15, 2016 in Hindi Language, Uncategorized

Among some of my fondest memories of my stays in India are the “rainy days,” which would usually occur during the monsoon season (बरसात/barsaat, fem. noun). In North India, this season lasts from around June or July to September. But, it was not only during the monsoon season that rainy days would bless us with their presence amidst the dryness of the Rajasthani climate; on those special and particularly unexpected days, we would usually plan a special “programme” (प्रोग्राम, masc. noun) at my Hindi school in Jaipur.

On one such day, one of my favorite teachers suddenly announced to my class that we should head up to the kitchen on the second floor and start making पकोड़े/pakore (masc. noun, plural; singular form is पकोड़ा/pakora), or chopped and fried vegetables (or meat) encased in a slightly spicy, fried batter, and the ubiquitous rainy day (or any day!) favorite: चाय/chaay (fem. noun) or spiced Indian tea with milk. Here are a few sentences, deconstructed for digestibility, that should get you thinking about the good times to be had in and outside of the rainy season:

1. आज बारिश हो रही है, तो हमें रसोई (-घर, optional) चलकर कुछ पकोड़े अौर चाय बनानी चाहिए !

Transliteration (or, the Hindi sentence in English, rather than Devanagari script): Aaj baarish ho rahi hai, to hume rasoi (-ghar) chalkar kuch pakore aur chaay banaani chaahiye!

English Translation: It’s raining today, so we should go to the kitchen and make some pakoras and chai!

Grammar Deconstruction

In Hindi, you say literally that rain “is happening.” So, you would use the most colloquial word for rain, बारिश (fem. noun) (another word for this is वर्षा, fem. noun, but it is formal), and conjugate the “to be or to happen” verb, होना, according to which tense you want to use:

बारिश हो राही है/Baarish ho rahi hai (progressive or -ing tense; something that is happening RIGHT NOW) 

English Translation: It is raining. (Literally: Rain is happening)

1) बारिश हुई है/Baarish hui hai (past perfect tense or something that has happened in the RECENT past) or 2) बारिश हुई / Baarish hui (simple past or something that has happened in the more distant past and is over and done with)   

English Translation: 1) It has rained (Lit.: Rain has happened) or 2) It rained. (Lit.: Rain happened)

बारिश होगी/Baarish hogi (future tense)  

English Translation: It will rain. (Lit.: Rain will happen)

The second part of the sentence: हमें रसोई (-घर, optional) चलकर कुछ पकोड़े अौर चाय बनानी चाहिए (Hume rasoi (-ghar, optional) chalkar kuch pakore aur chaay banaani chahiye), uses a very common grammatical construction, which expresses a sense of obligation or “should.” The way you form this construction is simply with the agent of the sentence or the person(s) who is affected by the sense of obligation (that is, you, me, she/he, etc.) + the postposition (like a preposition in English) को/ko. Here are just a few basic examples:

मैं (Main or I) + को = मुझको  or, for short, मुझे

तुम (Tum or you, informal) + को = तुमको or, for short, तुम्हें

आप (Aap or you, formal) + को = आपको (doesn’t have a short form)

हम (Hum or we) + को = हमको or, for short, हमें

After this, just add a verb in the infinitive or “to ____” form (such as to clean, to cook, to make, etc.) and tack on चाहिए or “should” at the end. Grammarians are still undecided whether or not the verb needs to agree with the gender of the noun next to it (such as in the above: हमें …चाय, fem. noun, बनानी चाहिए). I would say, for simplicity’s sake, don’t worry about it right now. Here are some examples:

हमें अभी सोना चाहिए/Hume abhi sonaa chaahiye । We should sleep right now.

मुझे उसकी मदद (fem. noun) करनी चाहिए/Mujhe uski madad karni chaahiye । I should help him/her.

तुम्हें वह किताब (fem. noun) ज़रूर पढ़नी चाहिए/Tumhe voh kitaab zaroor parni chaahiye । You should definitely read that book.

So, the second part of the sentence, हमें (हमको) रसोई (-घर, optional) चलकर (after going, I’ll explain this construction later…) कुछ पकोड़े अौर चाय बनानी (or बनाना) चाहिए, should make sense now.

2. मुझे बरसात के दौरान अलग अलग तरह के आम खाने अच्छे लगते हैं ।  

Transliteration: Mujhe barsaat ke dauraan alag alag tarah ke aam khaane acche lagte hain.

English Translation: During the rainy season, I like to eat different types of mangoes.

Grammar Deconstruction

This sentence employs another extremely common verb construction in Hindi, which expresses liking and disliking. Again, just as we did with the “should” or “obligation” construction (+चाहिए/chaahiye), we begin this new construction with the agent of the sentence or the person doing the liking or disliking (in this case, मैं/main or I) + को:

Again, मैं + को = मुझको or, in short, मुझे  (You can change this up with whoever is doing the liking or disliking: तुम्हें, आपको, हमें, etc.)

Then, you need to add a verb or noun, whatever it is you like or dislike. Liking is expressed with + अच्छा लगता है, but remember that the adjective (अच्छा or good) and the verbs (लगना, “to seem” in this context, and होना) need to agree with the gender and number of the noun(s) or verb(s) you put before them. Here are a few examples:

मुझे आम (masc. plural noun) बहुत अच्छे लगते हैं ।  (Mujhe aam bahut acche lagte hain/I like mangoes a lot…….who doesn’t? 😉

हमें सोना (a verb is construed as a masc., singular noun) अच्छा लगता है । (Hume sonaa accha lagta hai/We like to sleep).

तुम्हें चिड़ियाँ अच्छी लगती हैं । (Tumhe chiriyaan acchi lagti hain/You like birds).

Now, if you want to express dislike, all you have to do is add a नहीं/nahi (no, not) in front of the verb लगना. And, since the verb is now negated or in the negative sense, you can drop the auxiliary verb or है/हैं (hai/hain) in the present tense:

मुझे आम अच्छे नहीं लगते । (Mujhe aam acche nahin lagte/ I don’t like mangoes)

हमें सोना अच्छा नहीं लगता । (Hame sonaa accha nahin lagtaa/We don’t like to sleep)

तुम्हें चिड़ियाँ अच्छी नहीं लगती । (Tumhe chiriyaan acchi nahin lagti/You don’t like birds)

So, the above sentence should now make a bit more sense:

मुझे बरसात के दौरान (a postposition that goes AFTER instead of before the noun it modifies, which is the opposite of an English PREposition) अलग अलग (it is optional to double the word अलग, but the doubling gives the noun a sense of multiplicity) तरह के आम खाने (the verb does not have to agree with the gender and number of the noun, आम, so it can also be खाना) अच्छे लगते हैं ।

3. तुम्हें मेरे हाथ की चाय पसंद है ?   

Transliteration: Tumhe mere haath ki chaay pasand hai?

English Translation: Do you like the chai (I made)?

Grammar Deconstruction  

Here’s yet another way of expressing likes and dislikes! All you have to do is attach the postposition को/ko to the agent of the sentence or the person doing the liking or disliking (in this case, तुम and, as we already know, तुम + को=तुमको or, for short, तुम्हें) and add the verb or noun + पसंद (approval, preference) + है/हैं. Luckily, with this construction, you don’t have to worry about the gender of verbs and nouns, although you do still have to consider whether or not your nouns and verbs are plural or singular and change the auxiliary verb accordingly (है/hai for singular, हैं/hain for plural). Here are some examples:

मुझे ऐश्वर्या राय का अभिनय (masc. noun, singular) बहुत पसंद है । (Mujhe Aishwarya Ray ka abhinay bahut pasand hai/I like Aishwarya Ray’s acting a lot).

आपको यह फ़िल्म (fem. noun, singular) पसंद है । (Aapko yah film pasand hai/You like this film).

हमें पकोड़े (masc. noun, plural) बहुत पसंद हैं । (Hume pakore bahut pasand hain/We like pakoras a lot).

If you want to express your dislike of something, you can either add a नहीं/nahin after पसंद/pasand and optionally drop the auxiliary verb (है/हैं) or you can simply say नापसंद/naapasand and keep the auxiliary verb (है/हैं):

मुझे ऐश्वर्या राय का अभिनय पसंद नहीं (है) or मुझे ऐश्वर्या राय का अभिनय नापसंद है ।  (Mujhe Aishwarya Rai kaa abhinay pasand nahin/naapasand hai/I do not like/dislike Aishwarya Ray’s acting).

आपको यह फ़िल्म पसंद नहीं (है) or आपको यह फ़िल्म नापसंद है । (Aapko yah film pasand nahin/naapasand hai/You do not like/dislike this film).

हमें पकोड़े पसंद नहीं (हैं) or हमें पकोड़े नापसंद हैं । (Hame pakore pasand nahin/naapasand hai/We do not like/dislike pakoras).

Now, hopefully, this sentence is a bit clearer:

तुम्हें मेरे हाथ की (literally means, of my hand but has the connotation of, made by me) चाय पसंद है ?

I hope this blog has helped you improve your Hindi grammar and interested you in the delights to be had on a rainy day!

शब्दावली की सूची

  1. बारिश/वर्षा, Baarish/Varshaa (fem. noun): rain
  2. आम, Aam (masc. noun): mango (this word also means “common” in other contexts)
  3. चाय, Chaay (fem. noun): Indian spiced tea (usually with milk)
  4. सोना, Sonaa (verb): to sleep (incidentally, this is also a masc. noun that means “gold”)
  5. खाना, Khaanaa (verb and masc. noun): to eat and food
  6. रसोई (-घर, optional), Rasoi (-ghar) (fem. noun): kitchen
  7. बरसात, Barsaat (fem. noun): rainy season
  8. चिड़िया, Chiriyaa (fem. noun, singular), in the plural it is irregular so pay attention: चिड़ियाँ, Chiriyaan: bird, birds
  9. किताब, Kitaab (fem. noun): book
  10. अभिनय, Abhinay (masc. noun): acting
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About the Author: Rachael

नमस्ते, मेरा नाम रेचल है/السلام علیکم، میرا نام ریچل ہے۔ Hello, my name is Rachael, but I also on occasion go by Richa––an interesting story for another time :) My two great loves are Hindi and Urdu. I first traveled to India (Jaipur, Rajasthan) in college on a Hindi study abroad program. A little over a year later, I returned to the same city to study Hindi in a yearlong program. I've also spent a summer in Kolkata, West Bengal learning Bengali, and I studied Urdu at the University of California, Berkeley, where I was a graduate student in South Asian Studies. I hope to share with you the fascinating world of Hindi and Urdu literature, society, culture and film through my blogs!


  1. FVDF:

    Accurate and, at the same time, easily understandable explanations of many important aspects of the Hindi grammar. Please continue to gift us with these indispensable and useful blogs.

    • Rachael:

      @FVDF Thank you for your comment! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog 🙂

  2. Mrinalini Watson:

    Thank you for your enlightening and entertaining posts. I particularly like the चाई – पकोड़ा one. It mirrored what a cousin had said about eating pákodas on rainy days. My father’s family is from Rajasthan … is this a typically Rajasthani practice?

    • Rachael:

      @Mrinalini Watson Hi Mrinalini!
      I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog 🙂 From what I can tell, I do not think this is a specifically Rajasthani practice, although it is extremely popular in Rajasthan. It seems that it is probably a North Indian as well as Pakistani practice in general. आपकी टिप्पणी के लिए बहुत शुक्रिया!