A Door Into Hindi: Lesson 11

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"To have to"


View movie about पड़ना


पड़ना literally means “to fall,” but it is commonly used with a dependent verb to mean “to have to” in the sense of an obligation or compulsion. The subject, i.e. the person who “has to,” will be in the dative case.



(in dative)

+ object

(if any)

+ infinitve

+ पड़ना



Since the subject is in dative, what does the verb agree with? There are four choices as given in the table below:

I will have to buy the books:


1. मुझे किताबें ख़रीदना पड़ेगा।

The verb can remain in masculine third person singular, i.e. not agreeing with the object or the subject.

2. मुझे किताबों को ख़रीदना पड़ेगा।

The object किताबें is followed by the postposition को so the verb must stay in masculine third person singular.

3. मुझे किताबें ख़रीदना पड़ेंगी।

The verb पड़ेंगी is agreeing with the direct object किताबें so it appears the feminine plural form.

4. मुझे किताबें ख़रीदनी पड़ेंगी।

As above, the verb पड़ेंगीagrees with the gender and number of the direct object (in this case feminine plural) and the infinitive ending also changes to ख़रीदनी to reflect the gender of the object!

Remember, if you use को after the direct object, the verb cannot agree with the direct object in number and gender. The postposition blocks the relation between the object and the verb. Since, as we have learned, an animate direct object always requires the postposition को, then all “ पड़नाsentences” with an animate direct object must be like choice number 2 above, i.e. the verb will remain in masculine third person singular form. For example:

किरन को रोज़ स्कूल से अपने भाई को लाना पड़ता है।

Every day Kiran has to bring her brother from school.

Compare the three ways of expressing compulsion in the following examples with a feminine plural object:

"I should (am supposed to / have to) buy these books."

मुझको ये किताबें---


supposed to

have to

ख़रीदना चाहिये

ख़रीदना है

ख़रीदना पड़ता है

ख़रीदना चाहियें

ख़रीदना हैं

ख़रीदना पड़ती हैं

ख़रीदनी चाहियें

ख़रीदनी हैं

ख़रीदनी पड़ती हैं

इन किताबों को ख़रीदना चाहिये

इन किताबों को ख़रीदना है

ईन किताबों को ख़रीदना पड़ता है


Note:   Although each of the above expressions has more or less the same feeling of obligation or compulsion, just as in English चाहिये “should” is the weakest of the three, “supposed to” is a shade stronger, and पड़ना “have to” is the strongest of all.

See Snell's Teach Yourself Hindi (2000)
Section 13.3 page 165