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Lesson #87: Practice with the Past Tense

Today we’re just going to practice over and revise what we’ve learnt recently about the Past Tense in Hindi. I’m going to be showing you a lot more examples including some more complicated sentences!

Remember in Hindi the Past Tense is different for Transitive and Intransitive Verbs. We learnt what this word ‘Transitivity’ means back in Lesson #79. Understanding what Transitivity is can be quite difficult and confusing, but it’s very important! 

Let’s start with the verb सोना sonaa - To Sleep. Is this Transitive or Intransitive? Do you know? To Sleep is intransitive. Why is that? Because as we saw in Lesson #79, we don’t ‘sleep something’. We learnt about the Past Tense for Intransitive Verbs in Lesson #81. So we know how to say…

मैं सोया main soyaa - I slept (Male) &

मैं सोई   main soee  - I slept (Female) 

But usually our sentences are going to be a bit longer than that, so are you ready to see some more complicated sentences? 

तुम कहाँ सोईं? tum kahaan soeen - Where did you sleep? (to a female) - Literally this is ‘You slept where’.  Remember that तुम tum is always plural! And we could reply with…

मैं अपने घर पर सोई main apne ghar par soyee 
- I slept at my house (Female).  

Can you remember the tricky word अपना apnaa? If not head back to Lesson #52!

क्या अक्षय यहाँ सोया? kyaa akshay yahaan soyaa
- Did Akshay sleep here?

हाँ, यहीं सोया haan, yaheen soyaa
- Yes, (he) slept right here. 

Ok wow. That might look like a bit of a mess but hopefully you can see how easy it is to build fuller sentences from what we already know. Ready to look at a Transitive Verb example?


The Verb ‘to buy’ in Hindi is ख़रीदना khareednaa. Why is this verb Transitive? Because, as we learnt in Lesson #79, we can ‘buy something’ which makes it Transitive! We learnt how to make Past Tense sentences with Transitive Verbs in Lesson #83. So we know how to say…

    मैंने ख़रीदा mainne khareedaa
- I bought (said by either male or female!) 

Do you think you could use this to say ‘What did you buy’? It’s easy…

         आपने क्या ख़रीदा? aap ne kyaa khareedaa
- What did you buy?

 Literally this is ‘You what bought’. Following so far? Now how would you say ‘I bought a book’? That’s right….

मैंने किताब ख़रीदी mainne kitaab khareedee
- I bought a book (said by either male or female!) 

But wait, what’s happened here? Well because the word for book - किताब kitaab is feminine we use the feminine version of the verb - ख़रीदी khareedee. Can you remember that we learnt in Lesson #83 that the verb in Transitive Past tense sentences agrees with the object and not the subject! 


रीमा ने दो बड़े टमाटर ख़रीदे 
reemaa ne do bare tamaatar khareede 
- Rema bought two big tomatoes.

Can you see here that the verb agrees with the Plural Masculine ‘Tomatoes’ - We use ख़रीदे khareede. So how would you say ‘Did you buy three cats’? That’s right, it’s just…

   क्या तुमने तीन बिल्लियाँ ख़रीदीं?
kyaa tumne teen billiyaan khareedeen 
- Did you buy three cats? 

How did you find all that? Hopefully you can understand and follow each example! The Past Tense in Hindi can be very confusing so don’t worry if it hasn’t ‘sunk in’ yet. Please head over the the Intermediate Grammar section where you can find all the lesson on Transitivity and the Past Tense if you have any difficulties! And as usual, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below if you want any more help or explanation!


  1. learninghindi posted this
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