7.8 The Present and Past Progressive Tense

The Present and Past Progressive Tense Video

Instructor Video: The Present and Past Progressive Tense

Structure

Verb stem Progressive aspect marker Present tense Past tense
खा, जा रहा, रहे, रही हूँ, हो, है, हैं  था, थे, थी, थीं 
Example:
  • मैं काम कर रहा हूँ | “I am working.”
  • वह स्कूल जा रहा है | “He is going to school.”
  • मैं काम कर रहा था | “I was working.”
  • वह स्कूल जा रहा था | “He was going to school.”

Use of Progressive Aspect Marker with Different Subjects

Progressive markers (रहा, रहे, रही) are used based on the number, person and gender features of the agreeing subject.

Person Singular Pronoun Habitual markers

Masculine/Feminine

Plural pronoun Habitual markers

Masculine/Feminine

1st मैं “I” रहा/रही हम “We” रहे/रही
2nd तू “You” रहा/रही NA
तुम “You” रहे/रही तुम (लोग) “You” रहे/रही
आप “You” रहे/रही आप (लोग) “You” रहे/रही
3rd यह/वह “S/he,”  and  singular noun रहा/रही ये/वे “They,” and plural nouns रहे/रही

Note: When subject of a sentence is of mixed gender please use plural masculine aspect marker.

Negation of Progressive Aspect

In order to change progressive aspect sentences in negative, we use the word नहीं right before the verb. When progressive sentences appear in negative, generally, the verb “to be” in present (हूँ, हो, है, हैं) are dropped, but not in the past (था, थे, थी, थीं). Negative of past tense keeps the past form of the verb “to be”

Examples:

  • लड़कियां फुटबॉल खेल रही हैं | “Girls are playing football.”
  • लड़कियां फुटबॉल नहीं खेल रहीं | “Girls are not playing football.”
  • आप अपना कमरा साफ़ कर रहे थे | “You were cleaning your room.”
  • आप अपना कमरा साफ़ नहीं कर रहे थे  | “You were not cleaning your room.”

Note: Please notice the extra nasal dot “रहीं” in negative sentences with subject लड़कियां “girls.”  As we drop the verb “to be,” the dot indicates the plural feminine subject in contrast to singular feminine subject.

Uses of Progressive Aspect

(a) To express action happening at the time of speaking.

Examples:

  • बारिश हो रही है | “It is raining.”
  • सब लोग सो रहे हैं | “Everyone is sleeping.”
  • सीता और गीता एक फ़िल्म देख रही थीं | “Sita and Geeta were watching a film.”

Activity:

Please add five more examples here. After writing your examples please change your sentences in negative and past tense.

Examples Negative Past tense
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

(b) To express temporary action. Generally, adverbs like, आजकल “these days,” and अभी “right now” are used.

Examples:

  • सीता अभी किताब पढ़ रही है | “Sita is reading a book right now.”
  • राहुल आजकल गिटार बजा रहा है | “Rahul is playing a guitar these days.”
  • ऋतिक अमेरिका में रह रहा था | “Hrithik was living/staying in America.”

Activity:

Please add five more examples here. After writing your examples please change your sentences in negative and past tense.

Examples Negative Past tense
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

(c) To express planned future action. The sentences must have future adverbs of time. 

Examples:

  • पीटर अगले महीने हिन्दुस्तान जा रहा है | “Peter is going to India next month.”
  • जेन कल काम कर रही है | “Jen is working tomorrow.”
  • मैं अगले हफ़्ते एक फ़िल्म देख रही हूँ | “I am watching a film next week.”

Note: To express planned future action using progressive aspect is only possible in present tense. Past tense of progressive aspect cannot express planned future action.

Activity:

Please add five more examples here. After writing your examples please change your sentences in negative and past tense.

Examples Negative Past tense
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Activities

(a) Please choose the correct progressive aspect markers based on the subject of the sentence.

(b) Please write 5 sentences explaining what you were doing last weekend.

1. पिछले सप्ताहांत, मैं ________________________________________________________________________ था/थी |
2.
3.
4.
5.

(c) Please write 5 sentences explaining what you are doing next weekend.

1. अगले सप्ताहांत, मैं ________________________________________________________________________ हूँ |
2.
3.
4.
5.

धन्यवाद !

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Basic Hindi I by Rajiv Ranjan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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