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  5. "Yes or no?"

"Yes or no?"

Translation:हाँ या नहीं?

December 17, 2019



When do you use na to mean no? Can it be used instead of nahi?


In this instance 'na' can be used - हाँ या ना?

Generally, ना/न is used in question tags, rhetorical questions and the such. Eg: यह खूबसूरत है। है ना? (This is beautiful, isn't it?) or तुम आ रहे हो ना? (You are coming, aren't you?).

It can also be used to mean 'no' like in the original sentence. For example, 'उसको ना बोलो ' (Tell him no). However, when you're actually telling 'no', you'll mostly be using नहीं.

It is the preferred way to negate in the subjunctive mood which is used to talk about wishes and possibilities. Eg: अगर मैं यह काम ना करूँ, तो कोई नहीं करेगा (If I don't do this work, nobody will). Notice that the first clause is in the subjunctive mood and uses ना while the second clause is in the regular future tense and uses नहीं.

In some rural dialects, it replaces मत in imperatives. Eg: मिठाई ना खाओ instead of मिठाई मत खाओ (Don't eat sweets). In some other dialects, it replaces नहीं entirely. Eg: राज खता ना है instead of राज नहीं खता (Raj doesn't eat). It is proposed that this type of usage of ना है is what became नहीं in standard Hindi.


To add to Vinay's excellent explanation: In this case, the common usage would be हाँ या ना? even though नहीं is the formal term. I guess it just sounds better! It is like in US Senate the voting is recorded as "Aye or Nay" - not "Aye or No" or "Yes or Nay".


It shall be na, not nahi

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