Hindi Tenses


Remember what our language teachers said? What tenses are the foundation upon which a language rests? There are rules for how to use them depending on the time being referred to and who or what are the subjects (nouns) in the sentence. Like English, Hindi grammar also uses tenses for Present, Past, and Future, which are further subdivided. Knowledge about the tenses helps in better expression of thoughts and prevents many faux pas. 

The tenses in Hindi are referred to as follows:

  1. Present tense — वर्तमान काल
  2. Past Tense  —-भूत काल 
  3. Future tense — भविष्य काल

Using these tenses can be a bit daunting if you are unfamiliar with the rules governing them. Worry not! We have designed the tenses rules with examples in a manner that will do away with your woes of using them and make you even realize how easy they can be!

Tips to remember:

  • In Hindi, the verb gets conjugated depending on whether the subject is masculine or feminine. There is no ‘it’ in Hindi. Every noun is assigned a gender. The masculine can be recognized when the verb ends with aa like: 

वह जाता है  ( He goes)

 वह सोता है ( He sleeps)

वह खेलता है  ( He plays)

Feminine verbs usually end with an ee like:

वह जाती है  ( She goes)

वह सोती है  ( She sleeps)

वह खेलती है  ( She plays)

  • For plurals, verbs get conjugated with ending like “e

वे जाते हैं    ( They go)

वो सोते हैं   ( They sleep)

हम  खेलते हैं  (We play)

  • The second pronoun changes according to the person, unlike in English, where the second pronoun is always ‘you’. In Hindi, it is or tum for those who you are familiar with and are younger than you. “Āp” is used in formal settings and if the person is older than you.
  • The “to be” form of verb in Hindi also changes as an auxiliary verb. It changes its form depending on the tense it is being used for.

Eg: in present tense it is “hun” “ho” and “ hain”which changes to “tha” , “thi” or “thay” in past tense.

Each of the tenses below are explained in their Simple and Continuous or Progressive forms.

Simple Present Tense:

This is used for general truths, opinions or actions that happen regularly. In Hindi, to conjugate any verb in the present simple, you will use the auxiliary verb “to be” which is “hun”. The stem verb will get conjugated depending on the subject. 

It would be “jaata” ,“ jaati” “jaate”, “hota” ,“hoti”, “ hote” etc.

I play                     मैं खेलता हूँ / मैं खेलती हूँ  

You play                तुम खेलते हो / आप खेलते हैं

He / She  play       वह खेलता है /  वह खेलती है

We play                 हम खेलते हैं

They  play              वे खेलते हैं

Present Continuous / Progressive Tense:

It is used to to describe events that are happening currently or to talk about future plans. The verb “ raha” ( masculine), “rahe” ( masculine plural) , “rahi” ( singular and plural feminine) accompanies the stem verb in this tense. The stem verb remains the same.

I am playing                     मैं खेल रहा हूँ /  मैं  खेल रही हूँ   

You are playing               तुम खेल रहे हो/आप खेल रहे हैं

He/ She is playing          वह खेल रहा है / वह खेल रही है

We are playing                हम खेल रहे हैं

They are playing              वे खेल रहे हैं

Simple Past Tense

This form of tense is used to speak about events or actions that were completed. The ‘to be’ form of the verb in Hindi changes its form to ‘tha’ ( masculine), ‘thi’ ( singular and plural feminine), ‘thay’ ( plural masculine)

I played                           मैं खेला था/  मैं खेली थी

You played                      तुम खेले थे / आपने खेला था

He/ She played              वह खेला था / वह खेली थी

We  played                      हम खेले थे

They played                     वे खेले थे

Past Continuous / Progressive Tense

This form of tense is used to talk about an action which started in the past and continued for some time before ending. In Hindi the auxiliary verb changes to past. In this case, “raha tha” (masculine), “rahi thi” ( singular and plural feminine) and “rahe thay” ( masculine plural)

I was playing               मैं खेल रहा था

You were playing        तुम खेल रहे थे / आप खेल रहे थे 

He/ She was playing   वह खेल रहा था / वह खेल रही थी

We were playing         हम खेल रहे थे

They were playing      वो खेल रहे थे

Simple Future Tense

We use this tense to mention events that haven’t occurred yet but will happen some time in the future. In Hindi this tense is unique as you don’t need an auxiliary verb to denote it. The following conjugation of the verb will explain :

I will play                मैं खेलूंगा

You will play          तुम खेलोगे /आप खेलेंगे

He / She will play  वह खेलेगा/ वह खेलेगी

We will play           हम खेलेंगे

They will play         वे खेलेंगे

Future Continuous/ Progressive Tense

This tense is used while talking about an action or event that will take place in the future and go on for a while. The auxiliary verb steps in and changes to “raha hunga” 

( masculine), “rahi hungen” (singular and plural feminine) and “rahe hongen”

 ( masculine plural)

I will be playing                           मैं खेल रहा हूँगा /  मैं  खेल रही हूँगी   

You will be playing                     तुम खेल रहे होंगे / आप खेल रहे होंगे  

He/ She will be playing              वह खेल रहा होगा  /वह खेल रही होगी

We will be playing                       हम खेल रहे होंगे

They will be playing                     वे खेल रहे होंगे

The best way to pick up the nuances of a language is through repeated practice and reading. Think of the language as if you are its native speaker and do not impose one language’s rules over the other. That will make language learning a cakewalk. To the language in a fun and exciting manner Register Now with Edulyte. With its state of the art tech resources and in-demand faculty applying ingenious teaching techniques, you can not just score well in exams but ingrain education in your life.

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