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Lesson #110: The Present Perfect Tense

Today we’re going to cover yet another tense in Hindi; the Present Perfect Tense. So firstly, what is the Present Perfect Tense? Well I can assure it’s a lot easier than it sounds! In English it’s simply sentences like ‘I have eaten’, ‘She has returned’, ‘They have bought’, ‘Ram has spoken’ etc etc. They use the word ‘have’ or ‘has’ before the Past Tense form of the verb to show that something has been completed. If you’re a bit confused with this then just keep going and I assure you you’ll understand after some more examples!

So how do we form this Present Perfect Tense in Hindi? Well, it’s a lot easier than you might think. Let me show you an example to start with, and then after I’ll explain what’s happened! So using the Verb पहुँचना pahuncnaa - To Arrive, we know from Lesson #81 how to say ‘I arrived home’, that’s right it’s just…


मैं घर पहुँचा main ghar pahuncaa
- I arrived home (Said by a Male)

This is simply the standard Past Tense. In the Present Perfect Tense this sentence would be ‘I have returned home’. How do we say this in Hindi? Well, it’s actually really easy, it’s simply…

मैं घर पहुँचा हूँ main ghar pahuncaa hoon
- I have arrived home (Said by a Male)

Can you see we’ve just added हूँ hoon to the end of the sentance, and it’s changed the meaning from ‘I arrived home’ to ‘I have arrived home’. 

That’s really all there is to it! To form the Present Perfect Tense in Hindi we simply use the Past Tense (As we saw in Lesson #81 for Intransitive Verbs and Lesson #83 for Transitive ones). Together with the correct form of the verb ‘To Be’ (Lesson #22). So let’s see another example, this time we’ll use the verb बैठना baithnaa - To Sit, so to say ‘She sat’ in Hindi we say…


वह बैठी voh baithee - She sat 

And how do we change this into the Present Perfect Tense? It’s easy, we just add है hai this time…

वह बैठी है voh baithee hai - She has sat (Or; she is seated) 

Are you following so far? Don’t worry, they’ll be plenty more examples! Now remember that when we use the Past Tense with an Transitive Verb we have to use the word ने ne (As we saw in Lesson #83). So for example, we can say ‘I wrote a letter’. Letter in Hindi is - ख़त khat (M). So our sentence is just…


मैंने ख़त लिखा mainne khat likhaa
- I wrote a letter

This is just the Past Tense. How do we change this to the Present Perfect tense? Well there’s a slight catch here, because it’s a Transitive verb we use है hai to agree with the object of the sentance - ख़त khat - LetterGiving us…

मैंने ख़त लिखा है mainne khat likhaa hai 
- I’ve written a letter

Feel free to ask a question below if you’re confused! So let’s see another example. We know how to say ‘I bought three potatoes’ it’s simply…


मैंने तीन आलू ख़रीदे
mainne teen aaloo khareede
- I bought three potatoes

So how do we change this to the Present Perfect Tense ‘I have bought three potatoes’? Remember that because we’re using a transitive verb with ने ne the thing we’re going to add must agree with ‘Three Potatoes’, so we say…

मैंने तीन आलू ख़रीदे हैं 
mainne teen aloo khareede hain
- I have bought three potatoes

Are you starting to get the hang of it now? अच्छा acchaa - Great! Let’s see a few more examples. This time though, I won’t give you the explanations - so be sure to read each sentence a few times and try and figure out the steps! 


राम बोला है raam bolaa hai - Ram has spoken


उन्होंने शब्दकोश लिया है unhonne shabdkosh liyaa hai
- They have taken the Dictionary


क्या तुमने खाया है? kyaa tumne khaayaa hai?
 Have you eaten?


हम सोए हैं ham soe hain - We have slept

Can you follow those examples? If you’re confused at all then please feel free to ask me a question in the comments section below.

Phew that’s the end of the lesson! Well done for reading all the way to the end. Now you know how to create a Hindi sentence in the Present Perfect tense! As a challenge do you think you can translate these 5 sentences below? Give it a go, leave a comment and I’ll let you know how well you’ve done…

  1. I have eaten 
  2. You have swam 
  3. She has written a story (कहानी kahaanee (F) - Story)
  4. Have they returned? 
  5. I’ve gone to the Market (said by a female)

So be sure to leave a comment with your answers to these or any questions if you have them!

Back to the Intermediate Grammar Section


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