When you're traveling to a non-English speaking country, you always need to know information about the food, things to do, places to go, prices to pay …….. the list goes on and on. By knowing basic Hindi interrogatives, you'll be able to express your questions in India, even without an extensive vocabulary.
For example, say you're at an Indian street market and you want to ask the time. If you know enough vocabulary, you could say "kya samay hua hai?" ("What is the time?"). But if you don't know the correct words, you can also point to the watch and simply say "kya?" and the stranger will understand that you want to know the time.
- Kya? – What? This question is used most often and for everything from asking the time to asking what someone has just said.
- Kyun? – Why? This is useful for finding out the reason for any activity.
- Kahan? – Where? Very important if you need to ask for directions early on from some locals in case you won't get lost.
- Kaun? – Who? This is commonly used to ask about the people.
- Kab? – When? This is useful for finding out the times for trains etc.
- Kitna? – How much? This is useful for questions using a non-countable or singular object.
- Kitne? – How many? This is used for questions using countable or plural objects.
- Kuan sa? – Which? This is probably used to ask to specify a thing or person from a number of things or people.
Let's look at some different ways to put these question words into a variety useful phrase.
- Kya aap angrezi jaante ho? – Do you know English?
- Kaun hai woh? – Who is he?
- Kuch aur? – Anything else?
- Kya aapko kuch aur chahiye? – Would you like anything else?
- Namaste! Kaun bol raha hai? – Hello! Who's speaking?
- Kya koi musibat hai? – Is there a problem?
- Kahan par railway station hai? – Where is the railway station?
- Kya aap mujhe deekha sakte hain kahan per hai? – Can you show me where it is?
- Kaun si gali main mujhe jaana hai? – Which street should I go?