Topic 21: हाँ and नहीं yes and no


Context: Rita and Tim are on the way to the restaurant and are sitting in a taxi and she is checking that Tim has not forgotten what they need.

बातचीत

रीता - पैसा है?

टिम - जी, पैसा है।

रीता - फ़ोन है?

टिम - जी, फ़ोन है।

रीता - अख़बार है?

टिम - नहीं, अख़बार नहीं है।

She then asks the taxi driver about the traffic.

रीता - जी, क्या ट्राफ़िक ठीक है?

ड्राइवर - हाँ जी, मैडम, ठीक है।

Conversation

Rita - Is there money?

Tim - Yes, there is.

Rita - Is there a phone?

Tim - Yes, there’s a phone.

Rita - Is there a newspaper?

Tim - No, there’s no newspaper.

Rita - Sir, is the traffic okay?

Driver - Yes madam, it’s okay.

Notes: Saying ‘Yes’ and ‘No’

In Hindi हाँmeans yes and नहीं  means both no and not. Politeness and respect also influence how you say yes and no.

Level of address

‘yes’

‘no’

आप 

जी हाँ

जी नहीं

तुम

जी

नहीं

तू

हाँ

नहीं

The word जी is used to show respect to somebody older or of higher status than yourself and is akin to ‘sir’ or ‘madam’ in English, except that जी  can be used with both men and women.

In places like Delhi you may also here हाँ जी yes and नहीं जी no. Saying yes and no like this is a Panjabi language influence upon Hindi.

The word नहीं also means not when it appears before a verb. For instance:

Hindi speakers also use emphatic usages to reinforce the sense of ‘not’, so you will hear things like: