"I have to go to Delhi to meet my friend."
Translation:मुझे अपने दोस्त से मिलने दिल्ली जाना है।
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Why is the reversal: मुझे दिल्ली जाना है अपने दोस्त से मिलने not correct, please? Thanks.
You use अपना, अपने etc when the possessive pronoun refers to the subject of the sentence. Eg: They are in their house (वे अपने घर में हैं), Raj loves his wife (राज अपनी पत्नी से प्यार करता है), I am eating my mango (मैं अपना आम खा रहा हूँ). You would use मेरे when the subject of the sentence is not मैं .For example, Neha is in my house (नेहा मेरे घर में है)
This is an example of the 'verb infinitive+है' construction that is used for compulsions ('have to') or desires ('want to'). In this construction, the subject should be accompanied by the postposition को (if noun) or be in the dative case (if pronoun). Pronouns in the dative case are मुझे, तुम्हें, आपको, उसे etc.
Eg: नेहा को मिठाई खाना है - Neha wants to eat the sweet
आपको अब दफ्तर जाना है - You have to go to the office now
Since the subject is in the oblique case in this construction, है doesn't need to be conjugated to it and it remains as है (or था, होगा in the past and future tenses).
Note that this construction is somewhat idiomatic and its meaning is context-dependent. If you want to be clear as to whether you're talking about a desire or a compulsion, it's preferable to use चाहना/चाहिए instead.
In this sentence, the phrase 'अपना दोस्त' is in the oblique case because it is the object of the postposition से. So, we need to use its oblique case form which is अपने दोस्त.
If you're talking about a female friend, you can use 'अपनी दोस्त' as well. This is somewhat a grammatical gray area because दोस्त is a masculine noun but it is nevertheless something that is done in practice.
I'm confused. If the English sentence had been "I have to go meet my friend", the Hindi sentence would be exactly the same except that the word 'Delhi' would have been missing? So now we plunk Delhi in there and then the sentence means I have to go to Delhi (and have to go meet my friend)? Hope I'm getting my question across here ...
It works exactly the same as the English sentence but with the postpositions being dropped.
The verb जाना/'to go' in this sentence is supposed to have two pieces of additional information (in this case, prepositional/postpositional phrases) to go with it, one answering the 'where' question and one answering the 'why' question. But the thing with जाना (and आना) is that the postpositions associated with their indirect objects are usually dropped in practice.
Let's see the sentences with only one adpositional phrase:
1. मुझे अपने दोस्त से मिलने (के लिए) जाना है। - 'I have to go to meet my friend' - It only answers the 'why' question. The postposition के लिए is optional in Hindi (with जाना/आना) and can be dropped. As you show in your comment, colloquial English (especially American English) also allows you to drop the preposition 'to' in a somewhat similar fashion.
2. मुझे दिल्ली (को) जाना है। - 'I have to go to Delhi' - It only answers the 'where' question. There are a lot of such sentences in this course and as you have probably already noticed, the postposition with the 'where' object is always dropped with जाना/आना in Hindi. English almost never drops the corresponding preposition except in certain contexts like 'go home'.
Including both of them, मुझे अपने दोस्त से मिलने दिल्ली जाना है thus becomes 'I have to go to Delhi to meet my friend'. You will notice that the 'where' phrase is placed closer to the verb in both languages. English is rigid about this but they can be interchanged in colloquial Hindi to provide emphasis.
Why मिलने not मिलना? It seems maybe the true translation is "to meet with my friend", hence "to meet" becomes oblique?
It is because of जाना. Although the postposition is not written it means to go to something. (Same thing with aana - to come from) These missing postpositions are sometimes referred to as "ghostpositions", and so far I only noticed them with jaana and aana. I don't know if this occurs with other verbs, also.
So: I go to this house -> Main is ghar jaata hoon
Ah, I did not pick up on that rule before. Haha, 'ghostpositions' - I like that. Thank you!