Transitivity of Hindi Verbs

Before you move to the  past tense in Hindi , you must know the concept of  “transitivity of verbs”.

Lets master this concept through examples :

Consider the following 2 sentences

1) I ran

2) I ate

Now ask the question  “WHAT” to the above sentences

1) A :I ran.

B : What ?

It is meaningless. There is no answer to this stupid question. Hence, when a verb returns no answer to the question WHAT, it is called a intransitive verb.The verb ” RUN ” is an intransitive verb.

Now see the 2nd sentence

2)A :I ate.

B : What ?

A :A Pizza

There is an answer. So, when a verb returns an answer to the question WHAT, it is called a transitive verb.The verb “eat” is Transitive.

A :I saw.                 A: I wrote                       A : I made                      A : I took

B :What ?              B: What ?                           B : What ?                      B: What ?

A :A Cow              A : Numbers                     A : A tatto                    A : A Pen

All the verbs above are transitive.

Now the question is, why am I learning this ? Why do I have to bother about them?

The answer is, in Hindi and in the past tense, transitive verbs have to agree with the object and not the subject present in the sentence. Let us get this clear through some more examples.

In present tense:

Peter says, “मैं उठ-ता हूँ |”  (main uth-taa hoon) = I wake up.

Maria says, ” मैं उठ-ती हूँ |.”  (main uth-tee hoon) = I wake up.

“To wake” is an intransitive verb since asking “WHAT” to above sentences is meaningless.

Now see how these sentences look like in the Past tense:

Peter says, “मैं उ-ठा.”(main uthaa)  =I woke-up

Peter says, “मैं उ-ठी”. (main uthee) =I woke-up


मैं सो-ता हूँ (I sleep) -> मैं  सोया  (I slept) and मैं सो-ती हूँ-> मैं सोयी |

मैं चल-ता हूँ  (I walk) -> मैं  चला (I walked) and मैं  चल-ती हूँ -> मैं चली |


Now let’s repeat everything for transitive verbs

In present tense:

(M)Peter says, ” मैं खा-ता हूँ |” (eat)

(F) Maria says, ” मैं खा-ती हूँ |”

 This was for present tense. Now see  what happens to verbs in past tense.

The transitive verb  ” EAT”  will depend on the object.

मैंने  पिझा  खा–या | (maine pizza khaayaa) ( I ate Pizza )

मैंने  चपाती खा–यी | (maine chapati khayee) ( I ate Chapati)

In these examples the objects are Pizza and Chapati.

Pizza being a masculine noun, verb had to take the sound of ( -आ (aa) ) at the end.

Chapati being a feminine noun, verb had to take the sound of ( – ई  (ee) at the end.

Lets take some more examples

पीटर ने पेपर पढ़ा |  (peeter ne paper padhaa) = Peter read a paper.

पीटर ने किताब पढी | (peeter ne kitaab padhee) = Peter read a book.

In these examples, Paper is a masculine noun while Book is a feminine noun. So verb has changed in accordance with the obejcts: Paper or Book.

Some more examples

तुमने पेपर लिखा| (tumne paper likhaa) =you wrote a paper.

तुमने किताब लिखी|(tumne kitaab lihee)= you wrote a book.






  1. in the past tense examples, peter says “main uth-thaa” but in hindi you have written as “mee uth-thaa”, am i pronouncing it wrong or you have posted it wrong?

  2. but tell me, how am i suppose o identify the sounds? pizza and chappati had some logic, aa and ee sounds. but book and paper?
    can you brief me on these? please.

  3. Greetings.
    I am really happy to have found your website and I know Hindi a little bit and I am sure your site will help me with the rest.

    How I do I associate objects with gender? A paper and a book don’t appear different to me. Neither do a pizza and a chappathi. Please guide me.

  4. Hello Sir How r u? Transitive verbs in present tense examples: Peter says Main khaatha hoon like wise wise Maria says main khaathi hoon this both sentences for i eat whereas for female it is give n khaathi.Likewise in Past tense in first examole you have given khaaya, khaayi please let me know the khaayi comes for only female gender no.In 2nd example you have given male name for both paper padha. and kitabh i didn’t understand why you have given for male kitabh padhee. My doubt is that it will come according to the gender only no.Please explain me.

  5. in de above eg., u said dat verb has changed in accordance with the obejcts.

    peter ne chapathi gaayi.

    sona ne pizza gaaya.

    are the above 2 sentences are right ?? does alwyz verb depends only on obj and not on noun ??

    and one more doubt,

    for intransitive : we shuld not use de word “ne”

    i.e., fr eg, main chali

    for transitive verb alone shuld I use de word “ne” ?

    i.e, fr eg, main ne pizza gaaya.

    the purpose of de word “ne” is right ?

    and eventhough I am female i used gaaya, bcause pizza is masculine.. am i right ??

    1. see these examples
      peter ne idli khayee
      peter ne pizza khaya

      Peter is masculine noun but the verb stayed dependent on idli and pizza

      monika ne idli khayee
      monika ne pizza khaya

      Whether it is Peter or Monika, verb stayed dependent on idli and pizza.

      Also, we have to add “-ne” in case transitive verbs.

  6. More understanding about किताब it states that it is feminine what about पुस्तक does it also mean book and is it feminine or masculine. Are they interchangeable Thank you

    1. “Pustak” is also feminine and it also means a book.
      The gender of a noun depends on the word but on not what it means.

  7. I learning a lot from your site, its the best site for learning Hindi.First i convey my Thanks.
    Here, I have one doubt. How Paper is a masculine noun and book is a feminine noun? I understand verb always depends upon object not noun here but i don’t know how can you say that paper is a masculine noun? please explain this. Thanks.

  8. I found answers for my doubts on grammar section under Nouns. Now I can easily understand the gender of the nouns. Thank You.

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