Dialogue - Hindi



अच्छा achhaa nice
क्या kyaa what, what [do]
नमस्ते namasTe hello
आपका aap kaa your (formal)
है hai is
शुक्रिया sukriyaa thank you
मेरा meraa my (masculine)
नाम naam name

Lesson Notes



The focus of this lesson is है  (hai)
आपका नाम क्या है?
aapakaa Naam kyaa hai?
"What is your name?

है (hai) is a to-be verb "is" that can be used with singular subjects for first person, second person and third person.
English uses subject-verb-object order, whereas Hindi uses subject-object-verb order. Therefore, Hindi is a verb-final language where most verbs come at the end of the sentences. So, in this case, "what is your name" takes the form "your name what is" and stays the same whether you are addressing a male or a female.

An important point to note is that in Hindi all nouns have a gender; every noun is either Masculine or Feminine and verbs change accordingly. And the possessive form kaa in aapkaa i.e. "your" changes depending on what's being owned and not on who is doing the owning. In this case the thing being owned, i.e. "name" or naam is of masculine gender.  So it doesn't matter who is being addressed, what matters is that the word "name" i.e naam is masculine. Therefore the sentence structure never changes.

Let's now master how to respond to the question आपका नाम कया है? "What is your name?"  For this, all you have to remember to say are  मेरा नाम ________ है।  Meraa naam ______ hai. Just add your name after naam. So, if your name is Neha, you say, Meraa naam nehaa hai. If your name is Rahul, you say, Meraa naam rahul hai and so on. Very easy!

Hai is used for first, second and third person singular.

For example:

1. First person singular
मेरा नाम महिमा है।
meraa Naam mahimaa hai.
"My name is Mahima."

2. Second person singular
आपका नाम किशन है।
Aapkaa naam kishan hai.
"Your name is Kishan."

3. Third person singular
वह कैसे हैं?
Voh kaise hain?
"How is he?"



Hai remains the same for both masculine and feminine subjects. For example:

  1. नेहा एक लड़की है।
    neha ek larki hai.
    "Neha is a girl."
  2. राहुल एक लड़का है।
    rahul ek larka hai.
    "Rahul is a boy."

Examples From This Dialogue


  1. नमस्ते, आपका नाम कया है?
    Namaste, aapakaa Naam kyaa hai?
    "Hello, what is your name?"
  2. नमस्ते, मेरा नाम मेघा है।
    Namaste, meraa naam Megha hai.
    "Hello, my name is Megha."


Sample Sentences

  1. कल मेरा जन्मदिन है|
    Kala meraa janmadin hai.
    "Tomorrow is my birthday"
  2. आपके बेटे का नाम क्या है?
    Aapke bete kaa naam kyaa hai?
    "What is your son's name?"
  3. वह पढ़ रही है।
    Vah par rahi hai.
    "She is reading."

Cultural Insights

Understanding Indian Hierarchy


Indian society is hierarchical in nature where age, social standing and seniority in institutions are reflected in everyday speech by how people choose to address the other.

In the dialogue, Megha and Asha are meeting for the first time and therefore greet each other respectfully using the formal "you" - आप (aap). This is a standard way of addressing a stranger in Indian society. The less respectful "you" - तुम (tum), is also acceptable most of the time if the person being addressed is about the same age or younger than the speaker.

People also add जी (ji) after a person's name to sound more formal and respectful. Like in the dialogue, Megha calls Asha "Ashaji". It stays the same when used for both males and females. Therefore  Rahul can be addressed as Rahulji. "Mother" can be maataaji and "father" can be pitaaji and so on.

Lesson Transcript

Neha: Hello, I'm Neha.
Maya: And I am Maya. Absolute Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 1, Simple Greetings in Hindi, Part 1. Welcome to HindiPod101.com, where we study modern Hindy in a fun and education format.
Neha: We are very pleased to welcome you to the first lesson of the Hindi Absolute Beginners Series.
Maya: Yes, we're both very excited about teaching Hindi to all you Hindi lovers out there!
Neha: In this lesson you’ll learn how to say simple greetings and ask "What is your name?" in Hindi.
Maya: The conversation takes place between Asha and Megha.
Neha: They are meeting for the first time at a party.
Maya: And since they don’t know each other, they will be using formal Hindi. Let's listen to their conversation.

Lesson conversation

आशा: नमस्ते, अापका नाम क्या है?
मेघा: नमस्ते, मेरा नाम मेघा है। अौर अापका नाम क्या है?
आशा: मेरा नाम आशा है।
मेघा: आशाजी, अापका नाम अच्छा है।
आशा: शुक्रिया!
Neha: Now let's listen to it one time, slowly.
Aashaa: Namaste, aapakaa Naam kyaa hai?
Meghaa: Namaste, meraa naam Megha hai. Aur aapakaa Naam kyaa hai?
Aashaa: Meraa naam Asha hai.
Meghaa: Ashaji, aapkaa naam achhaa hai.
Aashaa: Shukriyaa!
Maya: Let's now listen to it with English translation.
Aashaa: "Namaste, aapakaa Naam kyaa hai?"
Neha: "Hello, what is your name?"
Megha: "Namaste, meraa naam Megha hai. Aur aapakaa Naam kyaa hai?"
Maya: "Hello, my name is Megha. And what is your name?"
Asha: "Meraa naam Asha hai."
Neha: "My name is Asha."
Megha: "Ashaji, aapkaa naam achhaa hai."
Maya: "Asha, your name is nice."
Asha: "Shukriyaa!"
Neha: "Thank you!"
Maya: In this conversation, Asha and Megha are meeting for the first time.
Neha: Which means that they greet each other formally using the respectful and formal form of "you" which is "aap".
Maya: Yes, this is a pretty standard way of addressing a stranger in Indian society. You can also add "ji" after a person's name to be even more respectful.
Neha: Like in the conversation, Megha calls Asha, Ashaji.
Maya: Can you also add "ji" to a guy's name? Say, call Rahul, Rahulji?
Neha: Of course. It's actually almost like saying Ms. or Mr. in English but it stays the same regardless of the gender.
Maya: And that makes things very simple!
Neha: Yes, in a way. But at the same time, Indian society is hierarchical in nature. Everything including age, social standing, and positions at institutions are reflected in everyday speech by how we choose to address the other.
Maya: In fact, in Hindi, there are three different levels of respect one can show to the other person.
Neha: But in this lesson we'll cover only the formal and respectful form of address.
Maya: Which can never go wrong in any situation.
Neha: Ok, let`s move onto the vocab.
Maya: The first we shall see is....
Neha: Namaste
Maya: Hello.
Neha: Namaste
Maya: Next is...
Neha: aap kaa
Maya: Your, formal.
Neha: aap kaa
Maya: Next is...
Neha: naam
Maya: name
Neha: naam
Maya: Next is...
Neha: kyaa
Maya: what
Neha: kyaa
Maya: Next is...
Neha: hai
Maya: is
Neha: hai
Maya: Next is...
Neha: meraa
Maya: my
Neha: meraa
Maya: Next is...
Neha: shukriyaa
Maya: thank you
Neha: shukriyaa
Maya: Last is...
Neha: achhaa
Maya: nice
Neha: achhaa
Maya: Let`s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Maya: The first word we will look at is...
Neha: "Namaste", which means "hello", is a common way of greeting in Hindi.
Maya: Some of you who are into yoga might have already encountered this word.
Neha: It can be used at any time of the day as well. And not only can you use "Namaste" to say "hello", but you can also use it to say "goodbye"! Quite a useful word.
Maya: Absolutely. In addition to "namaste", Hindi also has "namaskaar" and "pranaam" which mean the same thing.
Neha: And like "namaste", they can be used at any time of the day and also to say "goodbye".
Maya: How about other ways of greeting, like when you want to say good morning, or good evening, or good night?
Neha: Well, Indians do have those time-specific greetings, but they're not as commonly used as "namaste" or "namaskaar." In fact, even "pranaam" is not as common as the other two. You use it mostly towards elders and superiors and not really to your friends or juniors.
Maya: Shall we talk a little more about these different ways of addressing others in Hindi?
Neha: Sure, so, there are three different levels of respect that one can show towards the other person.
Maya: And the most formal and respectful form is…
Neha: "aap"
Maya: The informal "you" is…
Neha: "tum "
Maya: And the rude or intimate "you" is…
Neha: "tu"
Maya: Well, "tu" is rude but sometimes, it's also an intimate form of address.
Neha: You will often hear it being used between close friends and siblings. However, to a stranger, it is without a doubt, rude. So the general rule is to avoid using it.
Maya: That's right. Let's use the formal "you", that is "aap", in a sentence.
Neha: Okay. So, in the dialogue, Asha and Megha both ask each others' names by saying: "- aap kaa naam kyaa hai?".
Maya: Do you all recognize the new words we introduced earlier? Here "naam" means "name", "kyaa" means "what" and "hai" means "is".
Neha: And "aap" is the honorific form of "you", while "kaa" means "of". And together they turn into a possessive form: "your". Therefore, "aap kaa" means "your".
Maya: So, "What is your name?" in Hindi is…
Neha: "Aap kaa naam kyaa hai?"
Maya: Great! Now onto the grammar!

Lesson focus

Maya: In this lesson you will learn the use of the verb "hai", which means "to be".
Neha: Well, basically, "hai" means "is". Compared to English that uses the "subject-verb-object" order, Hindi uses "subject-object-verb order".
Maya: This is quite an important point to remember: Hindi is a verb-final language .
Neha: So, the verb "hai" comes at the end of the sentence .
Maya: And whether you're addressing a male or a female, the question "What is your name?" which is…
Neha: "aapkaa naam kyaa hai"…
Maya: Remains the same.
Neha: Of course, being able to ask the question isn't enough. You'll want to be able to respond as well.
Maya: And it's very simple. All you have to say is "Meraa naam ______ hain", and just add your name after "naam".
Neha: So, if your name is Maya, you say: "Meraa naam Maya hai.".
Maya: What would you say if your name is Rahul?
Neha: "Meraa naam Rahul hai.". Very easy, right?
Maya: Yes, very easy because it doesn't change according to the subject's gender like many other sentences in Hindi do.
Neha: Yes, that's another important thing we'll cover in later lessons. But just remember that in Hindi all nouns have genders. They are either masculine or feminine and verbs change accordingly.
Maya: And the possessive forms "aapkaa", that is "your", and "meraa", that is "my", change depending on what's being owned and not on who is doing the owning. In this case the thing being owned, that is "name" or "naam" is of masculine gender.
Neha: If all that we said right now sounds complicated, don't worry about it for now. All you need to know is that the sentence structure for "What is your name?" and "My name is ...." never change.
Maya: No matter what your gender is. Just like in English!
Neha: Even "hai" remains the same for both masculine and feminine subjects.
Neha: For example: "Neha ek ladki hai."
Maya: "Neha is a girl." and…
Neha: "Rahul ek ladkaa hai."
Maya: "Rahul is a boy."
Neha: You can also use "hai" without changing it for first person, second person and third person singular subjects. For example: "meraa Naam mahimaa hai."
Maya: Is "My name is Mahima", and for second person singular,
Neha: "Aapkaa naam kishan hai."
Maya: "Your name is Kishan."
Neha: And for third person singular: "Vo kaisaa hai?" is…
Maya: "How is he?"
Neha: "hai" means "is", so obviously it works only for singular subjects.
Maya: Yes, but it changes into a nasal sounding "hain" when used for plural subjects. "Hain" therefore becomes the to be verb "are".
Maya: Not to complicate things further, but sometimes, you can also use the nasal "hain" to show respect towards the subject even if is singular. For example, in Hindi, "This is my mother" is…
Neha: "Yah meri maataaji hain."
Maya: "This is my father" is...
Neha: "Yah meraa pitaaji hain."
Maya: Did you also notice how we used "ji" with "maataa" and "pitaa"? Do you remember what "ji" does? Well, "mataa" means "mother", and "pitaa" means "father," and by adding "ji", we showed them more respect. So the form is, [subject that you want to show respect] plus "+ji".
Neha: So listeners, how would you call Mina respectfully?
Neha: Right. Okay, that's all for this lesson. In the PDF lesson notes, you can find more examples and explanations of today's topic so be sure to read them!
Maya: Thank you all for listening. Until next time!
Neha: "Shukriyaa aur fir milenge!"