Topic 80: अरे लड़के Hey Boy! (Vocative case)

Context: Jaspreet goes into the kitchen and gives instructions to the staff, Pappu, Munni and Sonu, then calls out to Baljit at the front counter. [Click image for audio]

Jaspreet in the kitchen


जसप्रीत - अरे लड़के सुनो, जब हम भारत में हैं तो सुनील रेस्तराँ संभालेंगे।

पप्पू - जी हाँ मालकिन, फ़िकर न कीजिए, हम उनको पूरी तरह से मदद देंगे।

जसप्रीत - बेटियो, तुमको भी होशियारी से काम करना चाहिए।

मुन्नी और सोनु - ज़रूर मैडम, जब आप जाएँगी तो हम हमेशा की तरह मेहनत करेंगी।

जसप्रीत - हे बलजीत! ज़रा सुनिए,  रसोईघर में सब ठीक होगा।

बलजीत - हाँ जी, बहुत अच्छी बात है। देखो, सुनिल आ गए हैं।

सुनील - भाइयो और बहनो!  मैं आ गया, सब कुशल-मंगल है न?


Jaspreet - Hey, boy listen, when we are in India then Sunil will manage the restaurant.

Pappu - Thank you boss, don't worry, we will give him our full help.

Jaspreet - Daughters, you should also work skillfully.

Munni and Sonu - Certainly madam, when you go then like always we will work hard.

Jaspreet - Hey Baljeet! Listen up, everything will be fine in the kitchen.

Baljeet - Yes dear, that is very good. Look, Sunil has arrived.

Sunil - Brothers and sisters! I have arrived, everything is fine eh?

Notes: the vocative case

Sanskrit had eight cases, Hindi is left with only three, you have already learned two, this third one is really simple. Its basically just a way to attract people’s attention, like when you say Hey boy! or O lord!. With people you would address as तुम use अरे for ‘Hey!’ and with people you would address as आप use हे for ‘Oh!’.  For instance:

So it applies to people, and sometimes animals,

In poetry it is also used when you try to attract inanimate objects

Formation: It is just the oblique form of a noun without nasalisation. So:

The main spelling complication to note in the vocative is that in भाई and other nouns ending in -ई the -ई changes to -इ. For instance:


हे int. Oh! Hey! (often with people addressed as आप or तू)

अरे int. Hey! Oi! with people addressed as तुम (but traditionally not to women)

मालिक nm. boss, master, owner of a business/property

मालकिन nf. mistress (as in wife of मालिक)

पूरा adj. whole

पूरी तरह से adv. competely

होशियारी nf. intelligence

होशियारी से adv. intelligently

ज़रा adv. a little’, just, often used to soften requests

कुशल-मंगल adj. alright (literally, ‘skillful-fortunate’, as in a Banarasi greeting सब कुशल-मंगल है न? Everything's alright eh?

पगला nm. crazy/wild/silly man (can be used affectionately)

पगली nf. crazy/wild/silly woman (can be used affectionately)

बादल nm. cloud

मिष्टान nm. sweet dish (Formal way of saying मिठाई)

चुनाव nm. election

सज्जन nm. gentleman

महान adj. great (used in formal contexts only)