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  5. "चाय कौन पीता है?"

"चाय कौन पीता है?"

Translation:Who drinks tea?

July 20, 2018



That कौन is almost identical to my Spanish quién. Indoeuropean roots saved me this time.


“पीना” is also very similar to polish “pić”


We’re told Hindi is an SOV language, but isn’t this OSV? Is there a reason the object is first? For emphasis?


Interrogative pronouns and adverbs generally follow the subject in second position, or later. Source: "Outline of Hindi Grammar With Exercises" (R.S. Mc Gregor). Does that make "चाय" the subject?


In Hindi there is no frozen rule as to the order, because you can easily understand what's the subject, what's the object and what's the verb. The rule is SOV but that can change if you want to emphasise something. Here कौन is the subject, if it was चाय the verb would have been पीती (चाय is feminine) and the sentence wouldn't have had sence.


Yeah, "The tea drinks whom?", does not make any sense


Not in English at least. Unless you rewrite the sentence as "tea is drank by whom?"


Yes, to emphasize on the tea more than on the who - it would then sound accusative. Ps : I'm not a native, I might be wrong, but this is how I hear it


Why is not "Who drinks the tea?" correct??


Should it not also accept "Who drinks the tea?" That's what I wrote, and it didn't accept it... it suggested "Who drinks tea?" Why does it not accept "Who drinks the tea?"


Is tea in oblique case here? If not, could the sentence mean "Whom is the tea drinking" ? (Even if it's nonsense here). I just want to know how to differenciate the object from the suject in these types of questions.

  • 1360

There is no oblique case here because there is no postposition.

'Whom is the tea drinking' (as in, the bizarro universe sentence where the tea is doing the drinking and a person is being drunk) would be 'चाय किसको पी रही है'.
किसको (or its alternate form किसे) is the dative form of कौन. You will probably find it easier to understand the sentence when you consider the possible responses to the question - चाय नेहा को पी रही है (The tea is drinking Neha), चाय उसको पी रही है (The tea is drinking him).

Note: किसको/किसे is also the dative form of क्या (what). So, the sentence चाय किसको पी रही है can also mean 'What is the tea drinking?'.


Thank you so much!!! It's very clear (and I had fun with the sentences)!

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