2.6 Grammar: Gender and Number

Gender

Instructor Video: Gender

In Hindi, nouns can be divided into two types of gender, namely पुलिंग “Masculine,” and स्त्रीलिंग “Feminine.” Like English, Hindi has natural gender such as boy and gild, man and woman. Unlike English though, Hindi has grammatical gender. For example: Book, table, etc, are female. Whereas, room, house, door, etc. are male.

There is no certain rules to learn about gender assignment to particular noun in Hindi. Based on common observation, masculine and feminine nouns can be further classified in two subcategories as shown in the following table (1).

Masculine Feminine
Marked (Type 1) Nouns that ends in -आ “-aa.” Nouns that ends in -इ/ई “-i/ii.”
Examples लड़का laRakaa “boy.”

कमरा kamaraa “room.”

बच्चा bachchaa“boy child.”

दरवाज़ा darawaazaa “door.”

लड़की laRakii “girl”

बच्ची bachchii “girl child.”

खिड़की khiRakii “window.”

कुर्सी kursii “chair.”

Unmarked (Type 2) Nouns that do not end in -आ “-aa.” Nouns that do not end in -इ/ई “-i/ii.
Examples घर ghar “home.”

फल phal “fruit.”

सेब seb “apple.”

पुस्तकालय pustakaalay “library.”

किताब kitaab “book.”

मेज़ mez “table.”

तस्वीर taswiir “picture.”

कमीज़ kamiiz “shirt.”

Table 1. Sub-categories of Masculine and Feminine Gender

But these rules have multiple exceptions such as:

Nouns ending in -आ “-aa” but feminine.

  • माता maataa “mother.”
  • लता lataa “leaf,”
  • घटा ghaTaa “cloud”
  • दवा dawaa “medicine,” etc.

Nouns ending in -इ/ई”-i/ii” but masculine.

  • साथी saathii “Friend.”
  • हाथी hathii “Elephant.”
  • विद्यार्थी vidyaarthii “Student” etc.

Test Yourself

Number

Instructor Video: Number

Like English, Hindi has two numbers, namely, singular number, and plural number. To change singular nouns into plurals in Hindi, it is important to know the gender of the nouns and apply the following rules.

  • All marked masculine nouns (that end in -आ “-aa.”) change into -ए “-e.”
  • Unmarked masculine nouns (that do not end in -आ “-aa.”) do not change their form in plural.
  • All marked feminine nouns (that end in -इ/ई “i/ii.”) change into -इयाँ “-iyan.”
  • Unmarked feminine nouns (that do not end in -इ/ई “i/ii.”) change into -यें/एं “-yen.”

The following table (2) summarizes these rules and shows examples.

Masculine Feminine
Marked (Type 1) Nouns that ends in -आ “-aa.” Nouns that ends in -इ/ई “-i/ii.”
Rule for plural change -आ “-aa” into -ए “-e” change -इ/ई “-i/ii” into -इयाँ “-iyan”
Examples लड़का – लड़के laRake “boys.”

कमरा – कमरे kamare “rooms.”

च्चा – बच्चे bachche “boy children.”

दरवाज़ा – दरवाज़े darawaaze “door.s”

लड़की – लड़कियाँ  laRakyani “girls”

च्ची – बच्चियाँ bachchiyan “girl children.”

खिड़की – खिड़कियाँ khiRakiyan “windows.”

कुर्सी – कुर्सियाँ kursiyan “chairs.”

Unmarked (Type 2) Nouns that do not end in -आ “-aa.” Nouns that do not end in -इ/ई “-i/ii.
Rule for plueal No changes in form change into -यें/एं “-yen.”
Examples घर – घर ghar “homes.”

फल – फल phal “fruits.”

सेब – सेब seb “apples.”

पुस्तकालय – पुस्तकालय pustakaalay “libraries.”

किता – किताबें kitaaben “books.”

मेज़ – मेजें mezen “table.s”

तस्वी – तस्वीरें taswiiren “pictures.”

कमीज़ – कमीज़ें kamiizen “shirts.”

Table 2. Summary for rules to change singular to plural nouns based on the sub-categories of Masculine and Feminine Gender.

Test yourself

घर-गृहस्थी (House & household)

Please learn these vocabulary and change them into plural.

Singular Nouns gender Meaning Plural Nouns
दीवार f.  wall
दूध m. milk
मकान m. house
फ़र्श f. floor
कुर्सी f. chair
दरवाज़ा m. door
खिड़की f. window
छत f. roof, ceiling
गुसलख़ाना m. bathroom
तौलिया m. towel
तेल m. oil
साबुन m. soap
आईना /शीशा m. mirror
कंघी f. comb
अलमारी f. cupboard, wardrobe, shelf
खाट f. cot
पलंग m. bed
चादर m. sheet
रज़ाई f. quilt
कंबल m. blanket
तकिया m. pillow
लैंप m. lamp
बल्ब m. bulb
घड़ी f. watch, clock
चाकू m. knife
तस्वीर f. picture, photograph
कैलेंडर calendar
थैला m. bag
मोमबत्ती f. candle
इस्तरी f. iron
रसोई f. kitchen
कटोरा m. big bowl
कटोरी f. small bowl
थाली f. metal plate
बर्तन m. utensil
कड़ाही f. a frying pan, wok
गिलास m. glass
चूल्हा m. stove
चाबी f. key
ताला m. lock
चिमटा m. tongs
पतीला m. cooking vessel
तवा m. skillet
चकला m. rolling board
चौकी f. rolling board
प्याला m. cup
झाडू f. broom
परदा m. curtain
टोपी f. cap
मोज़ा m. socks
रूमाल m. handkerchief

Vocabulary 5. Names of Fruits and Vegetables

फलों के नाम “Names of fruits”
सेब m. apple आम m. mango केला m. banana
संतरा m. orange  तरबूज़ m. watermelon अनन्नास m. pineapple 
पपीता m. papaya अनार m. pomegranate अँगूर m. grapes
सब्ज़ियों के नाम “Names of Vegetables”
आलू  m. potato प्याज m. onion टमाटर m. tomato
पालक m. spinach मटर m. peas फूल गोभी f. cauliflower
धनिया  पत्ता गोभी f. cabbage बैंगन m. egg plant
शिमला मिर्च f. bell pepper नींबू  m. lemon खीरा m. cucumber

Test Yourself

True/False

Vocabulary Test

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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