Last modified on 25 April 2013, at 18:12

Urdu/Pronouns

There are pronouns in the first, second and third person, all for one gender only. But they are not categorized in to Masculine and Feminine as in other languages.More strictly speaking, the third person of the pronoun is actually the same as the demonstrative pronoun (this / that). The conjugated verb may denote the difference with respect to gender. There may also be multiple ways of inflecting the pronoun, which are given in parentheses. Below is the second person('you') explained in three levels of honorifics

  • آپ / āp:

This is the most common used form. It represents respect in a way. Normally speaking most people converse with each other using this word. Even people who may be termed as intimate may feel OK, if they are addressed with it. Plural could be stressed by saying آپ لوگ / āp log ("you people") or آپ سب / āp sab ("you all").

  • تم / tum: Informal form of "you." Has no difference between the singular and the plural. Normally they are spoken to young people or in house hold. Plural could be stressed by saying تم لوگ / tum log ("you people") or تم سب / tum sab ("you all").
  • تو / : Extremely informal form of "you," as "thou." Strictly singular, its plural form being تم / tum. It may be used to represent personal relationship with an object or person and nowadays used in Films in conversation among bad guys. Highly controversial, the usage should be deeply thought.


First Person Second Person Third Person
Singular (I) Plural (We) Formal (You) Informal (You) Very Informal (Thou) Singular (This) Plural (These) Singular (That) Plural (Those)
Direct میں / maiⁿ ہم / ham آپ / āp تم / tum تو / yeh/ye
یہ / yeh
ye
یہ / yeh
voh
وہ / voh
ve/vo
وہ / voh
Accusative مجھے / mujʰey ہمیں / hameⁿ آپ کو / āpko تمہیں / tumheⁿ تجھے / tujʰe اِس سے / isse اِنہیں / inheⁿ اُس سے / usse उन्हें / اُنہیں / unheⁿ
Oblique / -مجھ / mujʰ- -ہم / ham- -آپ / āp- तुम- / -تم / tum- तुझ- / -تجھ / tujʰ- इस- / -اِس / is- इन- / -اِن / in- उस- / -اُس / us- उन- / -اُن / un-
Genitive मेरा / میرا / merā हमारा / ہمارا / hamārā आपका / آپکا / āpkā तुम्हारा / تمہارا / tumhārā तेरा / تیرا / terā इसका / اِسکا / iskā इनका / اِنکا / inkā उसका / اُسکا / uskā उनका / اُنکا / unkā

In the columns for the Third Person, the first word indicates the usual form used in literary written Hindī or Urdū, while the second form (after the slash) indicates the form used in normal spoken Hindī or Urdū (Hindustānī). The hyphen indicates that while writing, the postposition (if any) may be included within the word as a case marker. It suffices to say that the genitive case behaves like an adjective and has to be declined as such to match with the possessed noun. The Accusative is formed by adding the object marking को کو postposition to the oblique form, for मुझको / مجھکو / mujʰko, हमको / ہمکو / hamko, etc. Displayed in the Accusative row are the more common/colloquial but equally valid shortened को / کو / ko forms of मुझे / مُجھے / mujʰe, हमें / ہمیں / hameⁿ, etc.

For those persons for whom one would normally use आप / آپ / āp if referred to as the second person, it is popular by convention to use the plural form (both pronoun and the verb) of the third person demonstrative. In North India and Pakistan, the हम / ہم / ham form is popularly used for the first person singular too. The 3rd person pronouns can be used independently or as adjectives qualifying a noun. In the latter case, if the noun is not followed by a postposition, the pronoun-turned-adjective will be in the Direct case, else in the Oblique case.

When preceding the postposition ने / نے / ne, the 1st person singular and 2nd person very informal form must be in the direct case, while the rest of the pronouns and nouns need to be in the Oblique case. The forms इन / اِن / in and उन / اُن / un further change to इन्होंने / اِنہوں نے / inhoⁿne and उन्होंने / اُنہوں نے / unhoⁿne (some people do use the non-standard alternatives इनने / اِنّے / inne and उनने / اُنّے / unne). Some postpositions use the genitive case; the rest use the oblique case.