Grammar Notes 1.4: Reverse compound postpositions

In Hindi, some postpositions behave somewhat differently from rest of the postpositions.  Their order can be reversed, i.e. they can also come before the noun phrase.

The postpositions – के बिना and  – के बग़ैर both mean the same “without” and also behave in the same way.

हिंदी के बिना दिल्ली में रहना मुश्किल है। / बिना हिंदी के दिल्ली में रहना मुश्किल है।

It is difficult to live in Delhi without Hindi.

चीनी के बग़ैर चाय में मज़ा नहीं आता। / बग़ैर चीनी के चाय में मज़ा नहीं आता।

The tea is not enjoyable without sugar.

Postpositions such as … के बिना and … के बग़ैर form sentence constructions with the perfective participle (unlike other postpositions that go with infinitive forms in oblique case). They express the meaning of “without -ing” i.e. बिना खाए– Without eating.  Keep in mind that बिना can also come after the verb as well, खाए  बिना.

Below are some examples:

देखे बिना / बिना देखे – without seeing वह मेरी ओर देखे बिना बोला।

He said without looking at me.

सोचे बिना / बिना सोचे – without thinking बिना सोचे नहीं बोलना चाहिए।

One should not speak without thinking.

बिना जाने / जाने बिना – without knowing/unknowingly इसका फल जाने बिना उसने यह काम कर डाला।

He completed the job without knowing the result.

The postpositions – के सिवाय (except) and – के/की बजाय (instead of) can also be reversed.

मेरे सिवाय किसी को हिंदी नहीं आती थी। / सिवाय मेरे किसी को हिंदी नहीं आती थी।

Nobody knew Hindi except me.

चिल्लाने के बजाय  मेरी बात सुनो! / बजाय चिल्लाने के मेरी बात सुनो!

Instead of shouting, listen to me.


(4.1.) Translate the following sentences.

  1. You are nothing without me.
  2. Instead of the train, you should take the bus to go to Jaipur.
  3. He left the room without saying “bye”.
  4. Except him, everybody has seen Delhi.
  5. Instead of going home, they went to the stadium.

(4.2.) Fill in the blanks with the reverse postposition with the noun given in the bracket.

a. __________(without a car) अमेरिका में जीना मुश्किल है।
b. बच्चे आजकल ___________(instead of reading) फ़िल्म देखना पसंद करते हैं।
c. तुमने मेरी बात ________________(without listening) जवाब दिया।
d. __________ (except me) उस कमरे में और कोई नहीं था।
e. मुझसे _______ (without meeting) मत जाना।


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Hindi-Urdu by Sungok Hong, Sunil Kumar Bhatt, Rajiv Ranjan, and Lakhan Gusain is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.