Topic 18: क्या यह डायरी है? Is this a diary?

Context: Tim is asking Rita some more questions about what things in the room as they get ready to go out.


टिम - क्या यह डायरी है?

रीता - जी नहीं, वह कापी है।

टिम - क्या यह आई-फ़ोन है?

रीता - जी हाँ, वह आई-फ़ोन है।

टिम - वह क्या है?

रीता - वह आई-पैड है।


Tim - Is this a diary?

Rita - No, that is a notebook.

Tim - Is this an iPhone?

Rita - Yes, that is an iPhone.

Tim - What is that?

Rita - That is an iPad.

Notes: ‘yes/no’ questions and ‘what’ questions

Questions in Hindi can take two forms: ‘yes/no’ questions, such as, ‘Is this tea?’ and ‘what’ questions asking for more information, such as ‘what is this?’.

In Hindi words are not rearranged in a sentence to turn then into a question, the word order always stays the same. Instead to indicate that something is a yes/no question in writing you put the word क्या  before what you want to ask and in speaking you say the sentence with a rising intonation. This indicates that the kind of answer which is wanted is either ‘yes …’, or ‘no …’.
The English translation depends on the context, for instance if you were in a tea shop you might regard this question and answer as having this meaning:

On the other hand in a shop asking for something less common you might think of a similar question and answer having a translation like this:

Literally, of course, the questions and answers just mean ‘X is’.

When you want to find out more information you make a ‘what’ question by using the word क्या to mean ‘what’ in a sentence. In this case do not put the word क्या  before a statement, but use it in the statement as a kind of place holder for where the information you want to know should be in the answer.