Translation:मैं पढ़ता हूँ।
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Is Hindi a pro-drop language?
That is, since the auxiliary-verb हूँ at the end means it has to be first-person, is it mandatory to have the pronoun मैं in the sentence? Would it still be correct without it, would it be understood but unnatural, or would it make no sense and be flat-out wrong?
The verbs ending with vowel 'a' (ा), such as: पढ़ता (parh tā) - study लिखता (likhtā) - write करता (kartā) - do जाता (jātā) - go बोलता (boltā) - speak खाता (khaatā) - eat etc, are masculine.
Whereas the feminine equivalents end with the vowel 'i' (ी): पढ़ती (parh ti) - study लिखती (likhti) - write करती (karti) - do जाती (jāti) - go बोलती (bolti) - speak खाती (khaati) - eat
thanks, I did find the dot but not the ढ-character. However, I did an internet search and found how it is done. I am using a MAC and I found that it uses not only shift, but also alt and alt+shift to reveal other characters. Having to type both alt and d at the same time to get ढ is very user-unfriendly though, unusual for a MAC device LOL. But anyway I found a way to type the character.
Hindi and English use the 'to be' verb differently.
The usage in Hindi is similar to the use of 'am' in the sentence 'I am reading' where 'to be' is used as the auxiliary verb to indicate that the sentence is in the present continuous tense.
In Hindi, है/हैं/हूँ/हो is used to indicate that the sentence is in the present tense. It is included in all sentences that are in the present tense.
'मैं पढ़ता' is not a complete sentence because it includes no information about the tense. Auxiliary verbs provide that information.
मैं पढ़ता हूँ - I study
मैं पढ़ता था - I used to study
मैं पढ़ता रहा था - I had been studying
मैं पढता रहूँगा - I will continue to study
I have doubts about this explanation. First, in English it is not just the "to be" verb that signals the "continuous case", but primarily the "ing" suffix of the gerund, which is a form of verb that acts like a noun. In English, it can be the subject, object, etc., but not a verb. (Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerund).
Second, the equivalent in Hindi is something like रहा हूँ, not हूँ.
So I'm still looking for an answer. Anyone else?
It is not an exact correspondence.
The 'am' in 'I am playing' tells you that the sentence is in the present continuous tense rather than the past continuous or future continuous.
Similarly, in Hindi, रहना in 'रहा हूँ' is the auxiliary verb that denotes the continuous aspect (ie, either present continuous, past continuous or future continuous) and हूँ the present tense.
But unlike English, है is used to denote the present tense not just in conjunction with the continuous aspect but in all present tenses (simple present, present perfect etc).
If that doesn't convince you, perhaps the better analogy might be how 'will' is used as the future tense auxiliary in English?
You can think of है in present tense Hindi sentences working like 'will' in future tense English sentences, in that they are both there mainly to denote tense.
(Interestingly, the simple future tense in Hindi does not use any auxiliaries. 'I will read' is मैं पढूँगा).
Thank you for this really good explanation. Finally, after years of noticing what sounds like the English word "hay" or "hey" at the end of most spoken Hindi sentences, I understand the reason: it just indicates the present tense. So simple. Thanks!
By the way, I reached the end of the Hindi course and still can't speak or understand Hindi, so I'm giving up for now. I'm continuing to learn other languages, but it's really disheartening to see how useless it is to rush through Duolingo, leaning on its many hints. I guess there is no shortcut to really learning a language, only to becoming familiar with it.