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Lesson #134: The Verb लगना lagnaa Part 1

In today’s lesson we’re going to begin to look at the Hindi verb लगना lagnaa. This is one of the most common verbs in Hindi and unfortunately it can also be real tricky to understand and translate sometimes, it just has so many meanings! So let’s get straight into it, are you ready?

The most literal meaning of लगना lagnaa is ‘to be attached’ or ‘to be stuck’, so we might say something like…


ढक्कन नहीं लगा था
dhakkan naheen lagaa thaa
- The lid was not attached

That’s easy enough yeah? Now you might be surprised to hear that in Hindi we can use this verb to talk about feelings. How does that work? Well let me show you an example to start with…


मुझे ठंड लग रही है
mujhe thand lag rahee hai
- I am (feeling) cold

What’s happening here? Well let’s look at the sentence literally; we’re saying “to me cold is attached”. This may seem like a very odd way of saying “I’m cold” in Hindi but that’s just how we say it, that coldness is attached to you. If it helps you remember imagine a great big cold monster attaching himself to you!

Notice as well that here we’re using the feminine form of the verb to agree with the feminine word ठंड thand. A few other feelings like this follow the same pattern…


उसको प्यास लगी usko pyaas lagee
- He was (feeling) thirsty

Again we’ve used exactly the same construction, we’re literally saying “to him thirst was attached”. Strangle hey! One more then…


आदमी को राक्षस से डर लगा 
aadmee ko raakshas se dar lagaa
- The man was scared of the monster

Here we’re using the word डर dar - ‘fear’ to literally say “to the man by the monster fear was attached”, which is quite a mouthful! Can you understand and follow the sentence? Feel free to ask in comments below if you’re at all confused!

There’s a few other words we can use like this including भूख bhookh - hunger (fem) and गरमी garmee - heat (fem). Another word that follows the same pattern is चोट cot - injury (fem). We use चोट लगना cot lagnaa to mean ‘to be injured’. The ‘thing’ that gets injured or hurt is followed by a को ko and the verb is always feminine (since it always agrees with चोट cot). For example…


मदद! मुझे चोट लगती है
madad! mujhe cot lagtee hai
- Help! I am hurt

We can also use लगना lagnaa to mean ‘seems’ in sentences where we think something is true. We might say…


यह सही लगता है
yeh sahee lagtaa hai
- This seems correct


मुझे लगता है कि हिन्दी बहुत कठिन है
mujhe lagtaa hai ki hindee bahut kathin hai
- To me it seems that Hindi is very difficult

Can you follow this sentence? Don’t forget that कि ki means 'that'!

Phew ok, I recon that’s enough for today. Can you see already how versatile this verb लगना lagnaa is, it’s already got so many meanings and uses! In Part 2 we’ll be learning even more about this verb so be sure to check it out here.

To check your understanding of the lesson today try translating these sentences into Hindi. Leave your answers in the comments section below especially if you’re not completely sure - I’m here to help!

  1. The letter is attached
  2. Yesterday I was so hot
  3. Are you hungry?
  4. Her hand was injured
  5. To me it seems that Amit is a good man

So be sure to give them a go!

Click here to go to Lesson #135 The Verb लगना lagnaa Part 2.

Back to Intermediate Grammar.


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