1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hindi
  4. >
  5. Conjugation



How exactly does Hindi conjugation work? I can't seem to understand it because it doesn't work like any other language I've ever seen. Like "khaana" or whatever, to eat, it can be conjugated to kha, then khaati, then khaatiya, etc, how exactly do you conjugate?

February 2, 2018



Hello! This is an old post, but for the sake of an explanation, here you go!

Let's take "He eats." as an example sentence. He or she in Hindi is वह (vo); the gender is identified using the verb. ;)

Hindi verbs have three features one needs to understand:

  • The Verb Root: The format for a verb in its infinitive form (as seen in a dictionary, without any conjugation) is - [verb root] + ना (nah). Examples: खाना (khana), पीना (peena), सोना (sona), where a simple removal of ना yields the verb root. So, the verb roots for the examples are खा (khaa - eat), पी (pee - drink), and सो (so - sleep).

  • The Suffix: This is just a syllable that contains information about the subject's gender and number. Learners find this part confusing and tend to mix up the inflexions. Even though the subject is mostly enough to get the point across, it is nevertheless better to use the correct versions! ;) For the simple present, it is ता (taa) for singular male subjects, ती (tee) for female subjects of any number, and ते (te) for plural male subjects. So, our verb till now is खाता (khata), which tells us that one male's action of eating is being talked about. (In some tenses, this suffix may be absent)

  • The Auxiliary Verb: Most verb forms in Hindi require an auxiliary verb (a helping verb) that contains information about the verb's tense. For the simple present, it is है (hai) for all singular genders. So, our verb becomes खाता है (khata hai), which means "eats": a singular male eats. (for some other tenses, the auxiliary verb may be absent)

Thus, our sentence is "वह खाता है।" (vo khata hai) - "He eats."
सुन्दर है ना? (sundar hai nah) - Isn't it beautiful? ;)


Let me try to answer. There may be other rules and exceptions, but below should work for most. I will add based on your example.

You are going in the right direction. "Khaana" is the infinitive form and "kha" is the root. Follow the steps 1. Identify the root. In this case "Kha" 2. Append the stem. The stem depends on the subject's gender & number

Present simple (I eat) 1. Masculine: add "taa" - "Khaata" 2. Feminine: add "tee" - "Khatee"

Present continuous (I am eating) - (in hindi raha denotes the present/past continuous) 3. Masculine: add raha - "Kha raha" (2 words) 4. Feminine: add rahe - "Kha rahe" (2 words)

Present perfect (I have eaten) 5. both: add "ya" - khaya

Past simple (I ate) - In hindi for anything in past you will add (tha or the for masculine or feminine genders respectively) 6. both: add "ya" - khaya (tha)

Past continuous (I was eating) 7. Masculine: add raha - "Kha raha" (tha) 8. Feminine: add rahe - "Kha rahe" (the)

Past perfect (I had eaten) - add "tha" to present perfect Kyata tha

Past imperfect (I used to eat) khata tha

future simple Khaunga

future continuous Kha raha hounga

The above is mostly in reference to first person (I). These will change slightly depending on the person. I can think of 6 persons in hindi.

I, you (informal), you (formal), you (respect), he/she, we, they


From the examples you provided, it looks like Kha could be the root of Khaana. Khaana being the infinitive form, Kha being the root, you can use the endings ati or atiya to form either Kha, Kha-ati or Kha-tiya.

Is this how it works?, I don't know anything about Hindi conjugation so it would be appreciated if someone could help.


I'm a native Hindi speaker but I'm not familiar enough with grammatical terminology to explain properly.

However I'll explain about this particular word. Kha is the root word which equates to eat. Khana means eating, kha liya means "has/have eaten", kha raha means "is eating"(male), kha rahi means "is eating" (female), khaata means "eats" (male), khaati means "eats" (female).

There is no word such as khatiya. There are other combinations also possible with the root "kha". Hope that helps.

Related Discussions

Learn Hindi in just 5 minutes a day. For free.