"This boy is with his friend."

Translation:यह लड़का अपने दोस्त के साथ है।

August 13, 2018

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Why is it "aapne" and not "aapna" in this case?


Adjectives take the case of the noun they qualify. Here, the noun दोस्त is in oblique case, and the adjective अपने reflects that. Since दोस्त ends in a consonant, it has the same form in both direct and oblique case, whereas अपना (direct) is distinct from अपने (oblique).

Here's a bit different set of sentences to make things clearer:

मेरा बेटा यहाँ है। - My son is here. (बेटा is direct, so is मेरा.)

मेरे बेटे का खिलौना यहाँ है। - My son's toy is here. (बेटे is oblique, and so is मेरे.)


Thanks! I guess my confusion is because in another sentence "She eats her apple" they used आपना... Which I guess there it's a direct object instead of the object of a preposition? Sorry, I'm not sure what objective cases take the oblique ending... Thanks for your help!


Sorry for the late response. I wanted to give a proper explanation but didn't get sufficient time, until now. Thanks for bringing up that sentence; the object "her apple" in "She eats her apple" isn't in the oblique case because, as you correctly guessed, it's not an object of a preposition (here, postposition).

Introducing a postposition, however, necessitates using the oblique case.

वह अपना सेब खाती है।
वह अपने सेब को खाती है।

There is a slight difference in the meaning of the two constructions: while the former is used for a general or indefinite object, the latter is used to express definitiveness or emphasize the object and/or the action involving the object. Let me give one more pair of sentences.

(वह) केला यहाँ लाओ। - No postposition -> Object in direct case.
(उस) केले को यहाँ लाओ। - Postposition -> Object in oblique case.

Both of the above sentences mean "Bring the/that banana here", but the second one is referencing a particular banana and/or emphasizing the act of bringing it.

Usually, the postposition is used when the object is a person/people or another animate being(s), and omitted when the object is an inanimate or an abstract object. Omitting the postposition in the animate case can come off as rude, indifferent or just absurd, while using the preposition in the inanimate case may sound excessively pedantic or weird.

I will probably make a post on such usages. It's funny that I didn't notice these nuances before these discussions came up. Let me know if you have more questions.


I'm in my forties and I don't remember ever hearing the word oblique being used. So everyone is talking about oblique since I started learning Hindi just this month. I took Latin in high school. Maybe the word oblique is used in Latin I don't know. Oblique hasn't been mentioned by Duolingo, but everybody is talking about that word. Where did they learn it?


There are daftly hidden lesson notes which introduce it. They're not available in the app, but if you use the web version you can read them by clicking a symbol on each lesson, next to where the 'take test and skip' button is (even on the app), from memory I think it's a key.

The oblique case is sometimes called objective case. I believe in Latin it's split into the dative (the 'motion towards' we've seen so far in Duolingo Hindi lessons) and accusative cases (not sure what Hindi does here, I can't think of an example I've come across yet).


I think it might sometimes correspond to the ablative in Latin, but I also deeply confused.


I read somewhere else it's like "the other cases". In Latin for example you have 5 cases, but in Hindi there are only two. So if it's not in the first case, it automatically is in the oblique


Oh wow thank you SO MUCH!! That is extremely helpful!


This is a hugely helpful answer, and goes in to more detail than the course notes. Thank you.


Thanks, I am still struggling with the oblique case, but your comments have helped me on a bit


Wow. Amazing.


Thank you. Now I understood.


give crisp answer


How do we know that dost is in which form?


दोस्त as a standalone word can be either direct or oblique. When you have a postposition after दोस्त, it is in oblique case. Since you have के after दोस्त here, it's oblique.


Thanks for the comments from people who understand what is correct and why. The Duolingo course itself gives zero instruction, and apparently we are supposed to just make wild guesses.


You might already be aware, but if you use duolingo on a computer (not a phone) there are guides for each lesson which break down a lot of these grammar points. I can't fathom why duolingo doesn't provide these on the phone apps, but there you go.


Thanks. How do I find the guides on a computer?


when you click on a lesson to start it you'll see a little menu pop up, and you can click on the little lightbulb icon to open the 'notes' page for that lesson.


Thanks for the advice. I have found it. That should help me a lot.


does anyone know why the के is needed?


It goes together with the saat. The two words together are the conventional way of writing "together". This is what several people have written.


So much simpler. Thanks!


Aapne sounds like 'your' whereas 'uske' sounds like 'his' so why do we say 'Aapne' here?


Is there any reason why it couldn't be यह लड़का अपनी दोस्त के साथ है। ? It seems the answer is assuming the boy's friend is male, but दोस्त can be either gender.


I think dost (friend) is a masculine word regardless of the gender of the friend. Can anyone confirm that for me?


What do you mean by oblique and where to use appnaa and appne


Be sure to read the answers to the first question above with lots more detail. From what I understand there, when the word modified by the pronoun is a direct object of the verb, you use the pronoun "aapna" (for example, if you were translating the sentence, 'He sees his friend.')

But when it is governed by a post/preposition ('ke' in this sentence; 'with his friend'), then it is in what's called the 'oblique case'. So instead you use the oblique form - which in this sentence is "aapne."

Someone please correct me if I am wrong!


Why is it आपने (your) instead of इसके (his)? Doesn't the translation mean "The boy is with your friend"?


Because it isn't आपने, it's अपने. A remarkably subtle difference, yes. अपना/ी/े basically means "the subject's". So, in this case it would refer to the boy.


why they use apnee not uskee


Please see the answer above. "Apnee" means "one's own" or "the subject's". This type of structure doesn't really have an equivalent in English, but it is similar to the Russian word "свой".


Why is "Apnay" and not "Uskay"


Why लड़का an not लड़के if it is an oblique case?


I was under the impression that अपने only used when it relates to a pronoun (i.e. वह) rather than a proper noun (i.e. लड़का) but this seems incorrect. Would you use अपने rather than उसके any time you refer back to either a pronoun or a proper noun?


What is the reason for Aapne and Ke? (aapne dost ke) it seems like Larka ke Dost should do it. The 'ke' after 'dost' makes me think that Dost itself is possessing something.


"के साभ" means "with"


The post-position meaning with is actually के साथ here.


Same question ...why cant we use uske


Thank you for explanations. But can you translate the sense of the sentences when you speak about direct and oblique case ? What are the questions in my head i must ask to me ? Excuse me for my bad English i am french.


Could I use aapni here too? As the oblique for a feminine friend?


Is there any way the oblique case can be explained (to an english speaker) in simple layman's terms without using grammatical terminology? This is by far the hardest set of lessons I have tried to do and I am getting the oblique word endings wrong almost every time.

I have read many of the explanations given by our resident experts and I fully appreciate their help but I simply cannot grasp the underlying concepts of the oblique case. Can it's use be learned intuitively without first having to break a sentence down into its individual parts?


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