Nepali: A Beginner's Primer Conversation and Grammar

पाठ १ (Lesson 1) - GRAMMAR NOTES

1) Basic Nepali sentence structure follows the following pattern:

Subject -- Object -- Verb

वहाँले किताब लिनुभयो ।

(S/he took the book.)

The verb always comes at the end. The root form (or citation form) of Nepali verbs always ends in नु


आउनु come
लेख्नु write
जानु go

2) The possessive is formed by adding the suffix को, with the exception of 'my', 'ours', and 'yours' (familiar). The possessive forms of the pronouns you have learned so far are:

mine मेरो
yours (polite) तपाईको
his/her (polite) वहाँको
whose कस्को

को can also be used to show ownership by people or things:

रामको घर
Ram's house
किताबको नाम the book's name

3) The polite command or imperative form for second person is always the root verb + s

Please come तपाईं आउनु + स् = आउनुस्
Please write
तपाईं लेख्नु + स् = लेख्नुस्
Please read तपाईं पढ्नु + स् = पढ्नुस्
Please go तपाईं जानु + स् = जानुस

4) The simple past tense conjugation for the pronouns introduced so far follows the pattern:

root verb -nu

  positive (+) negative (-)
I ईन
you (polite) नुभयो नुभएन
s/he (polite) नुभयो नुभएन



लेख्नु (to write)

  positive (+) negative (-)
I लेखेँ लेखिन
you (polite) लेख्नुभयो लेख्नुभएन
s/he (polite) लेख्नुभयो लेख्नुभएन

There are a few irregular verbs, such as जानु (to go)

जानु (to go)

  positive (+) negative (-)
I गएँ गईन
you (polite) जानुभयो जानुभएन
s/he (polite) जानुभयो जानुभएन

The verb हुनु (to be) is also irregular; the conjugation will be introduced later.

In addition, if the verb being conjugated in the simple past tense is transitive, the subject takes ले as a suffix.


मैले लेखेँ

तपाईंले लेख्नुभयो

BUT, intransitive verbs do not: as in:

म गएँ

or तपाईं जानुभयो


By the end of Lesson 1, you should be able to:

  • say hello and introduce yourself
  • ask about and identify objects around you and their ownership
  • make polite requests
  • conjugate the simple past for I, you (polite) and s/he (polite)
  • count from 1-10

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