Nouns in Hindi will fall into one of two genders: masculine and feminine. Many masculine nouns end in the long vowel A and many feminine nouns end in the long vowel I, but there are exceptions to this rule. For example, AdmI, meaning "man," is a masculine noun. bhAshA, meaning "language," is a feminine noun.
Nouns in Hindi pluralize in four possible ways:
- For masculine nouns ending in the long A vowel, A is changed to e. (example: kamarA (room) becomes kamare.)
- Masculine nouns not ending in A do not change when pluralized. (Example: hAth (hand).)
- Feminine nouns ending in the long I vowel shorten the last vowel to a short i and and add a nasalized yA (yANG). (Example: khiRDkI (window) becomes khiRDkiyANG.)
- Feminine nouns not ending with the long I vowel append the nasalized e vowel (eNG). (Example: kitAb (book) becomes kitAbeNG.)
Pluralized nouns of either gender followed by a positional word or phrase (postposition) always end in the nasalized vowel o (oNG). (The nouns listed above would become kamarONG, hAthONG, khiRDkiyONG, and kitAbONG.)