Hindi: verbal nouns (?) in a before/ after subordinate clause


New Member
English - British
Hi there,

I'd really appreciate it if anyone is able to explain to me the following, because I've spent hours trying to find this out and it has continued to bedevil me.

So I have come across a couple of sentences containing 2 verbs in them. The structure of the sentence is that: X does something, before/ after doing something else. In each of the sentences, the main verb is always in the simple present tense, but the subordinate verb has an ending (-ne) that I don't recognise. I can understand the gist of the sentence, but I do not understand the form of the verb (i.e. Is it some variation of a present tense noun? A verbal noun?)

2 such sentences are: वह दोपहर का खाना खाने के बाद पढ़ती है ।

and वह सोने से पहले पढ़ता है ।

Where the mysterious verb forms are खाने in the first sentence, and सोने in the second.

To further confuse me, I recently came across:

मैं नाश्ते के बाद अपने दाँत माफ़ करती हूँ ।

where नाश्ते has the same -ne ending as the verbs in the previous sentences.

Can anyone explain to me why these verbs (and the one noun) have these endings and the reasons for this? Would really appreciate the help.
  • amiramir

    Senior Member

    Let's start with the noun first, as it's the easiest to deal with. All nouns are inflected for case (in your grammar books, they may call it the oblique form of the noun). You will definitely find a very good explanation if you google postpositions in Hindi. In a nutshell, Hindi has postpositions, as opposed to prepositions. And everytime a noun is followed by a postposition, it gets inflected. So in your example with the noun: नाश्ते is the oblique form of नाश्ता, which needs to be inflected because it's followed by the postposition (के बाद i.e. after).

    You will also note that your example sentence makes no sense. It vaguely means, "After breakfast, I forgive my teeth." Presumably you meant to use 'brush'.

    As for the verbs, verbs are also declined after postpositions in Hindi. So खाने in the first sentence, and सोने in the second, are the inflected forms of खाना (due to the postposition के बाद) and
    सोना (due to the postposition से पहले i.e. before). Your first sentence is thus, "She reads after eating lunch/the afternoon meal." And your second: "He reads before sleeping."

    Best of luck.