Hindi Language Blog

The Many Uses of Lagna Posted by on Jan 29, 2019 in Hindi Language

Lagna (लगना) is, to put it lightly, a multi-purpose verb that is useful in any kind of conversation. Although the sheer variety of its uses may be somewhat baffling at first, as you dip your feet in further in your Hindi studies, you will come to appreciate its seemingly limitless utility. Below, let’s discuss some of the many uses of लगना with helpful examples. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive listing of the many uses of लगना (that would require more than one blog)!

Image by Theforgottenintl on Wikimedia Commons, licensed under Public Domain.

  1. मुझे मिठाइयाँ अच्छी नहीं लगती – बहुत ज़्यादा चिनिया खाना मुझे मुआफ़िक नहीं आता । (Mujhe mithaaiyaan acchi nahin lagti – bahut zyaada chiniyaa khaanaa mujhe muaafik nahin aata). I don’t like sweets – overly sweet food doesn’t suit me/doesn’t agree with me.

*That’s right! One of the simplest ways you can make use of लगना is with the phrase to like (अच्छा लगता है) or to dislike (अच्छा नहीं लगता). Just remember to place the postposition को (“to”) after the natural subject (I, we, they, us, etc.) or, that is to say, the person who is doing the liking or disliking. In this way, the object of that person’s liking or disliking (such as मिठाइयाँ, in this case) will become the subject and the adjective (अच्छी) and the verb (लगती) will agree with it. Another variation of this phrase is the following: “आपको/तुम्हें यह मिठाई कैसी लगती है?” or “How do you find this sweet/how does this sweet strike you?” This is a more neutral way of asking someone’s opinion on a person or thing. Remember to have the adjective – in this case, कैसा/कैसे/कैसी, and verbs agree with the noun in gender and number, thus मिठाई (fem, singular noun) कैसी लगती है.

2. लड़के की लापरवाही के कारण, खाना पकाते वक्त रसोई में आग लग गई । (Larke ki laaparvaahi ke kaaran, khaanaa pakaate vakt rasoi me aag lag gayee). Because of the boy’s carelessness, a fire started in the kitchen while he was cooking.

*This is a phrase you’ll want to remember that roughly translates to “caught fire” or a “fire started” – आग (fire) लग जाना – आग is feminine so the verb naturally agrees with it in gender and number (लग गई).

3. हर दिन क्रिकेट खेलते खेलते आख़िर में राहुल को पैर में गंभीर चोट लगी । (Har din cricket khelte khelte aakhir me Rahul ko pair me gambhir chot lagi). After playing cricket every day, at last/finally Rahul was gravely injured in his leg/sustained a grave injury in his leg.

*This is another phrase you should keep in your back pocket: x (natural subject, such as राहुल in the above sentence) + को + चोट (injury, fem. noun) + लगना = for x to be injured/hurt/wounded.

4. जब भी गरज सुनाई देती है, तभी मेरी नानी को बहुत डर लगता है । (Jab bhi garaj sunaai deti hai, tabhi meri naani ko bahut dar lagta hai). Whenever thunder can be heard/is heard, my grandmother (maternal) feels very afraid.

*This example is somewhat similar to the earlier example of अच्छा लगना – in this way, you can think of लगना as a vehicle for feelings and sensations – it conveys liking, disliking, fear, hunger, thirst, etc. Just remember to place the postposition को after the natural subject (in this case, नानी) and thus ensure that the verb (लगना) agrees with the new subject, which is the emotion/feeling or sensation one is experiencing at the moment (डर is a masculine, singular noun so it makes sense that the verb is also masculine singular: लगता है).

5. अरे! कई सालों से ऐसी सर्दी मेहसूस नहीं की है – मुझे सख़्त ठंड लग रही है । (Are! Kai saalon se aisi sardi mehsoos nahin ki hai – mujhe sakht thand lag rahi hai). Oh (my)! (I) haven’t experienced a winter like this in several years – I’m so cold (सख़्त conveys a sense of severe or intense).

*This use of लगना functions much the same as the preceding example. If you are presently, in the moment, feeling a certain sensation or emotion, it is common to use the present progressive in Hindi (thus, लग रही है). Keep in mind that the person experiencing the emotion or sensation (in this case, मैं) is blocked from agreeing with the verb by the postposition को and thus the verb agrees with the object of the sentence, which is ठंड (a feminine, singular noun, just as is गर्मी/garmi, heat/warmth, प्यास/pyaas, thirst and भूख/bhookh, hunger) here – thus ठंड लग रही है.

6. किसी को भी बिना वजह की आलोचना पसंद नहीं है – सभी को बुरा लगता है । (Kisi ko bhi binaa vajah ki aalochna pasand nahin hai – sabhi ko buraa lagtaa hai). No one at all (absolutely no one) likes criticism without reason – everyone takes it badly.

*This is a useful phrase for conveying that something has irritated or angered someone or that they have “taken it badly.” This phrase functions the same grammatically as all of the other phrases outlined here.

7. हम बहुत सारे शहरों में रह चुके हैं – लेकिन, इसी गाँव में हमारा मन/दिल लगता है । (Hum bahut saare sheheron me reh chuke hain – lekin, isee gaav me humara man/dil lagta hai). We’ve lived in many cities – but, in this village (only this village or this village alone), we feel at home.

*This is a useful phrase that means roughly “to feel at home” – just transform the subject of the sentence to its possessive form (हम = हमारा) + दिल/मन (masculine, singular verbs) + लगना, conjugated to agree with the masculine/singular subjects (दिल/मन).

8. आदमी ने भागने की कोशिश की लेकिन वह काफ़ी जल्दी से दौड़ नहीं सका – आख़िर में पुलिसवाले के हाथों से आदमी के पीठ में तीन गोलियाँ लगीं । (Aadmi ne bhaagne ki koshish ki lekin voh kaafi jaldi se daur nahin sakaa – aakhir me pulisvaale ke haathon se aadmi ke peeth me teen goliyaan lagin). The man tried to flee but he couldn’t run fast enough – in the end, the man was hit in his stomach by three bullets (at the hands of the policeman).

*This is an example of लगना in its alternative meanings of “to be attached, applied, stuck” – that is to say, not only does लगना function when an emotion or sensation “strikes you” but also when a physical object “strikes” you, such as a bullet – लगना, in this way, is a means of conveying that an outside force affected you and that outside force uses लगना as its own vehicle.


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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!