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मैं maī vs. मुझे/मुझको mujhe/mujhko

For the English ‘I know’, Hindi translation is either of the maī jāntā hun̐ type or the mujhe/mujhko patā hai type. In the former, which you may think of as ‘ego-based’, the verb agrees with the subject – just as it typically does in English. However, in the later mujhe / mujhko type, the ‘ego’ stands to one side and is affected, in some way, by the world around it.

Thus, in mujhe/mujhko kulfi pasand hai ‘I like kulfi’, the subject of the verb is the noun kulfi and not maī (inflected to mujhe/mujhko) who has shifted sideway and is getting affected by the deliciousness of the kulfi.
By UY Scuti [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

These distinctively dual patterns – one with the doer/ the performer /the effector being the subject of the verb and the second one in which the same doer/ the performer /the effector shifts itself sideway / distants itself from / gets affected from the same verb – is one of the hallmark features of Hindi. Many other Hindi constructions can be thought of in either of these two sentence patterns. But, it is important that you don’t mix the two. So, when you start constructing Hindi sentence on your own, you should be actively attentive to which of the two patterns you are constructing your sentences in.

July 24, 2018



"मुझे कुल्फी पसंद है।" Here, पसंद is an adjective, right? The thought process is like "To me - Kulfi - pleasant- is".

"मैं कुल्फी पसंद करता हूँ।" Here 'पसंद' is not an adjective rather it is the first part of a compound verb 'पसंद करना' meaning 'to like'. This verb's subject is 'मैं' and object is 'कुल्फी'. 'हूँ' is an auxiliary verb. Hence, the thought process here is "I - kulfi - like".


It is like Spanish. Me gusta 'kulfi. मुझे कुल्फी पसंद है। only thing is that the verb पसंद है(gusta) comes at the end.


But Spanish verb 'gustar' by itself literally means to be be pleasing to and it is always used like this – the affected person is alway an indirect object, and he/she is never the subject of these type of verbs.

So, it is defferent from the ability of Hindi to express something in two different and exlusive sentence patterns, using the same words with different inflections to produce the nuance - a subtle difference of meaning, which I've tried to describe in this post. In Hindi, the person may say either "मैं कुल्फी पसंद करता हूँ।" or "मुझे कुल्फी पसंद है।"

Οne more example: -
"कोई जरूरी नहीं कि आप हर चीज़ पसंद करें।" vs. "कोई जरूरी नहीं कि आपको हर चीज़ पसंद आए।"


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