Hindi nouns are different from English in two main ways:
- They all have gender (masculine or feminine).
- They are inflected in six forms.
We will learn about both of these properties. On Wikipedia, Hindustani grammar • Nouns offers a linguistic view on this subject.
Inflection is when nouns endings are changed to show different numbers (singular and plural) and whether the noun is a main part of the sentence (nominative case), a secondary part not essential to the main subject (oblique case) or whether you are directly talking to the noun (vocative case).
Nouns are either masculine (बच्चा baccā "boy"), feminine (बच्ची baccī "girl") or rarely both. When word are borrowed from other languages in Hindi, they too have gender based on the sound they end in or their gender in the original language (ex: actor and actress in English).
Masculine nouns have endings in आ ā most of the time, but can also end in almost any other consonants or vowels. Here is a table for noun endings:
|Nominative||-आ ā||-ए e|
|Oblique||-ए e||-ओं õ|
|Vocative||-ए e||-ओ o|
Feminine nouns have endings in ई ī and इ i often, but as masculine nouns can also have other endings.