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Lesson 15 - Past Imperfect Tense with Transitive Verbs

This lesson will teach you how to talk about things that happened in the past for transitive verbs.

Transitive & Intransitive Verbs

A transitive verb is a verb that can take an object, such as give, eat, or do.

I gave him money.
I ate food.
He did work.

Intransitive verbs (discussed in the next lesson) include go, come, and die. These verbs cannot have an object: he went food, or I came money.

Past Imperfect Tense

The past imperfect and past perfect tenses for transitive verbs are quite different from all the other tenses in Hindi. To form a past imperfect transitive verb, you must first add the postposition ने to the subject. Keep in mind that the subject will inflect, if possible. Then we will modify the verb. If the verb stem ends in a consonant, we will add if the direct object is masculine singular, if the direct object is feminine singular, if the direct object is masculine plural, and ईं if it is feminine plural. Now if the verb stem ends in a vowel, add या if the direct object is masculine singular, if the direct object is feminine singular, if it is masculine plural, and ईं if feminine plural. You should notice that in the past imperfect (and past perfect) tense, the verb agrees in gender with the direct object rather than the subject.

Irregular Verbs

There are four irregular verbs we need to consider: देना, लेना, करना, and पीना. These four verbs will all follow the same pattern.

masculine singular object: दिया लिया किया पिया
masculine plural object: दिये लिये किये पिये
feminine singular object: दी ली की पी
feminine plural object: दीं लीं कीं पीं

Examples

I gave him a book.
मैं ने उसको किताब दी।

She ate food.
उसने खाना खाया।

Did you (do) work today?
क्या आप ने आज काम किया?

I drank tea today.
आज मैं ने चाय पी।

He took my book.
उसने मेरी किताब ली।

When did you read her book?
आप ने उसकी किताब कब पढ़ी?

My father told me this.
मेरे पिता ने मुझे यह बताया।