Hindi/Core grammar

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This page is part of the Hindi course.

Word order[edit]

The word order in Hindi/Urdu is:

  • The adjective is before the noun
  • The verb is always at the end of the phrase
  • Similar to Classical Latin and Greek in structure

Hindi: N1 A1 N2 postp1 N3 postp2 N4 cmkr3 LtV1 LtV2 VectorVerb AuxBe

English: N1 Verb prep3 N4 prep2 N3 prep1 A1 N2

The word order can change to put emphasis on a part of the sentence.

So to say My friend's pretty mother cooks food very well, Mere dost ki khoobsurat ma khana aachese banathi. Translated word for word, this is My friend of pretty mother food well cooks."

Simple way to order words in a sentence: Adjective subject object verb adverbs

Sentence components[edit]

  • case markers and compound post-positions mark the various arguments given to a verb
  • many predicates are so-called light verb expressions, consisting of several words followed by a vector verb. The most common of these vectors is karna, the verb to do.

Case markers[edit]

  • ne - marks the subject or topic (but only in the past perfective tense for transitive verbs)
  • ka/ke/ki - marks the genitive
  • ko - marks the accusative or dative, although occasionally this is the subject
  • se - typically means "from" or "by", also marks the passive agent
  • mein, par - locative "in", "at"

Subjects, objects, and destinations are sometimes not marked at all.

Compound post-positions[edit]

Most English prepositions (which don't otherwise translate with a case marker) will translate with a ke/ki followed by a noun. It is useful to think of the ke/ki paired with these particular nouns as being a compound post-position.

e.g. - "Anyone" + "ke khilaf" means "against" + "Anyone"