"उसकी नानी गाती थीं।"

Translation:His grandmother used to sing.

September 9, 2018

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why is it "used to sing" and not "sang"?


Gai thi= used to sing "Uski nani ne gaya"= Her grandma sang. Hope it helps. More eg. Ek larki 'jati thi'= one girl used to go, in contrary, ek larki 'gayi'= one girl went. Basically verbs with 'thi' makes it like used to go, used to sing etc.


This could equally mean "her grandmother", correct?


Yes. Hindi is like latin languages such as French or Italian in this respect. In contrast to English, possessive pronouns bear the gender of what or whom is "possessed", not the person who possesses.

There are even languages like German where it bears both genders :-) sein/seine/ihr/ihre.


I did not figure out the usage of थीं. How is it different from थे and थी? Can someone help? thank you.


था : masculine singular non-honorific थी : feminine sing. non-honorific थे : masc plural or honorific थीं : fem plural or honorific




I think that "His grandmother would sing" is also a correct translation. Even though "would" is more commonly used for conditionals and future in the past, "would" can also express a habit in the past as a synonym of "used to". But maybe it is not accepted in order to avoid any confusion in a lesson about tenses?

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/flatmates/episode69/languagepoint.shtml


How would you say His grandmother had sung? Thank you.


उसकी नानी ने गाया था


Why is it था and not थीं?


In certain tenses (simple past tense, perfect tenses), transitive verbs (verbs which can admit direct objects) conjugate with their object(s) rather than the subject.
In such sentences, ने is attached to the subject to indicate that the verb is not conjugating with it.

नानी ने गाना गाया था - 'Grandmother had sung a song'. Verbs are masculine because गाना is masculine.
नानी ने ठुमरी गायी थी - Grandmother had sung a thumri (a type of song in Indian classical music)'. Verbs are feminine because ठुमरी is feminine.
नानी ने गाने गाये थे - 'Grandmother had sung songs'. Verbs are masc plural because गाने is masc plural.
नानी ने ठुमरियाँ गायी थीं -'Grandmother had sung thumris'. Verbs are fem plural because ठुमरियाँ is fem plural.

If a transitive verb is used without any objects in a particular sentence, then it is conjugated as masculine singular. So, 'Grandmother had sung' is नानी ने गाया था


So how would you say his grandmother was singing? Like imperfect tense?


I think it woud be:
उसकी नानी गा रही थीं।


I keep thinking गाती is to go instead of sing. Every single time.


Why there used "used to " ??


This tense in Hindi is used to denote habitual actions in the past. So, it's translated using 'used to' in English.


I think "उसकी नानी गाया करती थीं ।" would also be correct translation for "His grandmother used to sing."


Really appreciate the responses, folks. Thank you.


Used ka paryog smjh nhi aaya

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