Hindi is highly inflected language.
Inflection in Grammar, means modification of a word to express various grammatical categories such as gender, tense, person, number and case.
For example, in English the words are inflected for the tense . The suffix -ed is attached to the word to express a verb in the past tense
in present continuous tense, the suffix -ing is attached to the verb.
Jump – Jump-ing
For the number
Singular noun : boy
Plural : boys
The suffix -s is attached to express the multiplicity of the noun.
Hindi is no different. In addition to tense, the words are inflected to express the gender, number, person and the case. In Hindi, the words are inflected either by adding a new suffix or by changing the sound of the word endings.
Lets take the example of verb पढ-ना (padh-naa) = To read. The root of the verb here is पढ़ (padh)
In present tense,
For masculine gender : मैं पढ़- ता हूँ | (main padh-taa hoon) = I read
suffix – ता हूँ (taa hoon) is attached to the root of the verb.
For feminine gender : मैं पढ़- ती हूँ | (main padh-tee hoon) = I read
suffix – ती हूँ (tee hoon) is attached to the root of the verb.
So, the verb पढ़-ना (padh-naa) is inflected to express the gender of a person in present tense.
In past tense,
For masculine gender : मैं पढा |(main padhaa) = I read (past tense)
The root of the verb (पढ़) is inflected by adding the sound of -आ(aa) at the end of the word.
For feminine gender : मैं पढी| (main padhee = I read.
The root of the verb (पढ़) is inflected by adding the sound of –ई(ee) at the end of the word.
So, the verb पढ़-ना (padh-naa) is inflected to express the gender of a person in past tense.
Let us the examples of inflection in Hindi for the multiplicity of the noun.
For masculine gender,
Singular : लड़का (ladkaa) =Boy
Plural : लड़के (ladke) = Boys
The end sound of -aa in लड़का is changed to – e
For feminine gender
Singular : लड़की (ladkee) = Girl
Plural : लडकीयाँ (ladkeeyaan) = Girls
The end of the word is changed to इयाँ (eeyaan)