Using Rule #1, we learn how to make simple but very important Hindi sentences such as I am a student. We understand the word order of Hindi sentences is similar to English except for one critical difference.
Starting with Pronouns
We start with pronouns. The below words are important to remember:
Note that Vah is used to is both he and she (thankfully!)
Here are the plurals:
Similar to English, the plural of you (aap) is also aap. They (ve) is also independant of gender.
Your First Verb
Where you’ve got an “I”, you’ve got its sidekick “am”. SImilarly in Hindi where you’ve got a “mai”, you’ve got a “hu”, which is the Hindi word for “am”.
For beginners, it is easier to start using “hai” for all pronouns other than I (mai). Our goal is to speak Hindi as fast as we can, and this rule will make things very smooth for you.
Your First Hindi Sentence
Are you excited about speaking your first sentence? Here’s how it goes:
I am mai hu
The order of mai and hu is exactly the same as I and am in English.
Here are the other sentences:
You are aap hai
He/She is vah hai
And here are the plurals:
We are hum hai
You are aap hai
They are ve hai
Activity: Read these sentences out loud, so you hear the sounds and remember the words better.
Now we’ve come to a point where Hindi (and many other languages such as Japanese) will start differing from English.
Look at this sentence:
I am Raj Mai Raj hu
The hu has moved to the end of the sentence. In Hindi the verb will always move to the end. Don’t worry about this nuance too much, you’ll soon start using it without thinking about it!
Activity: When you listen to anybody speak Hindi, train your ears for the hu’s and the hai’s. Almost every second sentence (in the present tense) will use it.
If you’re into grammar, we can summarize word order as: We use the Subject-Verb-Object rule in English. In Hindi, we use the Subject-Object-Verb rule.
Here is how you’ll use the rule for the other pronouns:
You are a friend Aap friend hai
She is a girl Vah girl hai
Here are the plurals:
We are a family Hum family hai
You are happy Aap happy hai
They are students Ve students hai
Mini-Challenge: Now use the Hindi words given **somewhere** to make complete sentences.
For instance: Vah girl hai.
Use the word ladki to say Vah ladki hai
Yay! You’re now speaking some Hindi. Great job!
जीवन को ऐसे अपनाइए जैसे वो अपनी समग्रता में है
Accept life as it is, in its totality
Another good thing about Hindi is there are no articles such as “a”, “an” and “the”. Later on, we will see how specific and general nouns are called out in Hindi. For now though, we have one less thing to worry about!
Is this Hinglish?
You may have noticed we are using still using English words such as friend, family and girl in our Hindi language. In our years of teaching Hindi to a variety of students, we realized this is the best way to start talking sentences naturally – by using English nouns.
You can compliment your Hindi learning by learning the Hindi nouns separately. We have a whole lesson on how to use the Anki app and software The good news is that most Indians understand a ton of English words (many of them are fluent English speakers, as you may be aware). They will completely accept your usage English words while speaking Hindi.
Listen to this clip, where the radio presenter talks in modern Hindi. See how many English words you can count in the next 30 seconds. (Hint: It’s more than ten.)
Remember your goal is to get your ideas across in Hindi and to make meaningful conversations. Once you achieve that goal, learning the nuances of Hindi will become a pleasure!
Note that you can also use adjectives without nouns. So using Rule #1, we move the verb to the end and ignore the articles (if we have any).
So, We are angry becomes..
We angry are, which then is translated to…
Hum angry hai
Mini-Challenge: Substitute the English nouns and adjectives with Hindi words given **somewhere** to make purely Hindi sentences.
Hum family hai
Substitute family with the Hindi word parivaar…
Hum parivaar hai
For Advanced Speakers:
Pepper your speech with two more informal and semi-formal forms for the word You..
You (informal) are Tu hai
You (semi-formal) are Tum ho
You are Indian becomes …
Tu Bharatiya hai (informal)
Tum Bhaaratiya ho (semi-formal)
To summarize, here’s what we’ve learned in Rule #1:
In Hindi, the verb goes at the end of sentences and there are no articles.
So when you trying to speak Hindi. Use this logic:
To translate: She is a girl…
- We move the verb “is” to the end.
- We ignore the article “a”.
So we get: She girl is. And then we translate the words to Hindi:
Vah girl hai
As we gain practice, we substitute the English noun with Hindi noun to get
Vah ladki hai