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A Concise Guide to Urdu Grammar


Edgar Allan Poe believed, “A man’s grammar, like Caesar’s wife, should not only be pure, but above suspicion of impurity.” 

If you want to sanctify your Urdu grammar, you’re in the right place.

The structure of every language hinges upon its grammar. Having a basic understanding of a language’s grammar allows learners to fine-tune their listening comprehension and use the language clearly and accurately. On this page, will inspire you to learn Urdu grammar in full by providing you with comprehensive overviews of the Urdu grammar basics and showing you how everything falls together.

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1. The Urdu Script and Transliteration System

Urdu is a complete language with a unique script. It borrows its script from two widely popular oriental languages: Persian and Arabic. خطِ نستعلیق ( khat-e-Nastaliq ) is the standard Urdu writing system, which emerged from a mixture of two different writing scripts called Naskh and Talique . As a rule, you’ll find it written from right to left (instead of left to right, like in English). This writing script includes thirty-eight letters and ten vowel marks (called airaabs ).

2. Urdu Syntax and Word Order

As an English speaker, you’re probably used to the SVO (Subject + Verb + Object) word order. Well, in Urdu grammar, sentences follow the SOV (Subject + Object + Verb) order , where the verb and object switch places.

Urdu is called a ‘verb final’ language because, syntactically, the verb comes at the end of the sentence.

To understand this properly, have a look at the following example:

میں چائے پیتا ہوں۔ mei chaye peeta hun . Subject + Object + Verb

In English, this sentence would be:

I take tea. Subject + Verb + Object

The word order will take some getting used to, but with enough practice and exposure, it will become second-nature to you.

I take tea.

3. Verbs and Tenses

In Urdu grammar, verbs are rather complex. That said, it’s generally best to start learning the Urdu verbs in their basic (infinitive) form.

Urdu Infinitives

Urdu infinitives always end with نا ( na ):

See our article on the 100+ Must-Know Urdu Verbs on to learn the most common verbs and how to use them.

The Conjugation of Urdu Verbs

Once you’ve learned a good number of Urdu infinitives, you’ll be better placed to start learning how to conjugate them. We’ll admit that Urdu verb conjugation is pretty complex, but there are several keys to it that will make the process simpler for you over time.

Urdu verbs conjugate according to the tense, person, number, gender, and mood. For the purposes of this overview, we’ll discuss the two most important factors: tense and gender.

In Urdu grammar, tenses affect conjugation in a consistent manner. To see what we mean, study the example given below.

سونا ( sona ) is the base for the Urdu verb that means “to sleep.” Now, let’s have a look at how it conjugates in the present, past, and future simple tenses.

وہ سوتا ہے۔ woh sota hai. “He sleeps.”

وہ سویا۔ woh soya. “He slept.”

وہ سوئے گا۔ woh soye ga. “He will sleep.”

Gender also plays a vital role in the conjugation of Urdu verbs. Let’s see how gender affects the conjugation of سونا ( sona ), or “to sleep.”

میں سوتا ہوں۔ mein sota hun. “I sleep.”

میں سوتی ہوں۔ mein soti hun. “I sleep.”

You can see that the English translation of the sentence remains the same, while the gender of the subject has conjugated the verb in Urdu. To learn everything about verb conjugation in Urdu, visit our Urdu Verb Conjugation article on .

Now that we’ve talked about verbs and their conjugation, let’s spend some time discussing the Urdu nouns.

Every Noun Has a Gender 

Remember: In Urdu, every noun has a gender. This means that it’s necessary for foreigners to learn the nouns with their proper gender. 

For example:

Once you acquire the skill of using Urdu nouns properly, it means that you’ve covered a long distance in your learning and aren’t very far away from total mastery!

Noun Types and Placement in Sentences

The two basic noun types in Urdu are: 

They play the same roles in Urdu as their counterparts do in English. Normally, Urdu nouns are placed between the subject and verb of a sentence.

To know more on this topic, read our Urdu Nouns article on .

5. Pronouns

Just like English pronouns, Urdu pronouns play a significant role in the structure and function of sentences. They replace nouns that are mentioned more than once in order to avoid repetition.

Basic Types of Urdu Pronouns

Urdu uses many of the same pronoun types as English does. For example, you’ll find the following groups in Urdu:

The Special Case of تم ( tum ) and آپ ( aap )

In Pakistan, always be vigilant when using the second person pronoun “you,” which can be translated two ways: آپ ( aap ) and تم ( tum ). You must use the former with people you don’t know, the elderly, or those who are above you in status; it sounds the most respectful and formal. Use the latter only if you’ve developed a high level of intimacy with the other person. Otherwise, you may face some serious repercussions. To explore this topic further, read our Urdu Pronoun article on .

6. Adjectives

Like those in English, Urdu adjectives describe nouns and thus are a crucial element of Urdu grammar. Let’s have a cursory look at the nature and function of Urdu adjectives.

The first thing that you must learn is that the gender of an adjective is determined by the noun:  

In the first example, the adjective گہرا ( gehra ) is used in masculine form because the noun دریا ( darya ) is masculine. In the second example, the adjective گہری ( gehri ) is used in feminine form because the noun نہر ( nehar ) is feminine. Thus, you can see how Urdu adjectives must agree in gender with the noun they describe.

Also remember that Urdu adjectives are normally placed before the nouns they describe. 

7. Negation

In the Urdu language, نہیں ( nahi ) and نہ ( nah ) are the most important words of negation. They are equivalent to “no” or “not” in English. Being able to use these words of negation in your own Urdu sentences is a huge milestone, as it will allow you to communicate more complex thoughts. 

Here are a couple of examples of how these words can be used:

یہ نہ کرو۔ yeh na karo. “Don’t do this.”

میں تم سے ناراض نہیں ہوں۔ mein tum se naraz nahi hun. “I am not angry with you.”

8. Interrogation

You can hardly imagine a conversation without questions, right? Let’s look at how to form questions in Urdu! 

Words of Interrogation

The first step is to memorize the question words in Urdu. These are:

Using These Words in Questions

Got it? Great! Then let’s see how to form interrogative sentences with them. 

You can form questions by placing the appropriate question word at the beginning of the sentence or after the subject. 

کیا تم خوش ہو؟ kia tum khush ho? “Are you happy?”

 تم کیسے ہو؟ tum kaise ho? “How are you?”

تم کیوں ناراض ہو؟ tum kyun naraz ho? “Why are you angry?”

تم کہاں ہو؟ tum kahan ho? “Where are you?”

تم کب آؤ گے؟ tum kab aaoge? “When will you come?”

9. Conclusion

We’ve now guided you on the basic Urdu grammar rules. You can always use this concise Urdu grammar guide as a quick reference point for your Urdu learning in the future. 

How do you feel so far? If you have any questions or concerns about something we covered here, don’t hesitate to let us know! We’ll be glad to help you out. And if you feel like you need to go over this information with fresh eyes, check out our lesson Painless Urdu Grammar . 

If you enjoyed this lesson and want to learn more with us, feel free to explore We are a rich repository of Urdu language learning resources designed to enhance your Urdu vocabulary , pronunciation , and other relevant skills.

Very Happy Urdu Learning! 

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Amnah Khan

200+ Basic Urdu Words And Phrases: An Easy Guide

basic urdu words and phrases

Did you know that Urdu is one of the two official languages of Pakistan? It is widely spoken throughout the country! In addition, this beautiful language is also spoken in parts of India and by many people in the United Kingdom and the United States.

If you plan a long wished visit to Pakistan, learning some basic words and phrases in Urdu can greatly enhance your experience and help you communicate more effectively with locals.

Additionally, while traveling around the country, you will notice that many street signs or menus may be in Urdu, so a basic understanding of words in the language can make navigating the country much easier.

It is also a great way to show respect for the culture and demonstrate a willingness to learn and engage with the local community. Don’t rely on English alone!

So, if you are ready for this new language learning experience, I bring you the most common words and phrases in Urdu that Ling believes you should learn before traveling to an Urdu-speaking location.

Let’s start!

Basic Urdu Words And Phrases

What Are The Most Basic Urdu Words And Phrases ?

As in many languages, English words are used while speaking Urdu as well. Three common such words are  hello, okay,  and  bye.  To help you familiarize yourself with several other common Urdu terms, here is a simplified list to start with. 

1. Hello — ہیلو (Hello)

2. Yes — جی ہاں ( Ji Haan)

3. No — نہیں (Nahin)

4. Please — برائے مہربانی (Barae Meharbani)

5. Thanks — شکریہ (shukriya)

6. Goodbye — خدا حافظ (Khuda hafiz)

7. Good morning — صبح بخیر (Subha Ba Khair  or Assalam O Alaikum)

8. Good afternoon — دوپہربخیر (Do Pehar Ba Khair or Assalam O Alaikum)

9. Good evening — شام بخیر (Shaam Ba Khair or Assalam O Alaikum)

10. Good night! —   شب بخیر (Shab Bakhair!)

11. Congratulations — مبارک ہو (mubarak ho)

12. My name is ……. — میرا نام ہے ……. (Mera Naam Hai…..)

13. Nice to meet you — آپ سے مل کر خوشی ہوئی (Aap se Mil Ke Khushi Huwi)

Other Urdu Vocabulary Used In Daily Conversation s

In the Urdu language, respect is given to people by referring to them as “ aap”.  This is often the norm. Sometimes, people may refer to their peer or someone younger by saying “ tum”  but as Urdu is very sweet-spoken and gentle language, most people always use “ aap”  in daily conversations. Below are some examples:

How To Communicate In Urdu While Doing Shopping?

To immerse yourself in the daily life and culture of the Urdu-speaking people, it is suggested to try to go shopping to experience the hustle and bustle of the whole ordeal! If you are not a local, the sellers may try to sell items at a very high price or may convince you to purchase items that are absolutely worthless to your needs. Here is a list that can help you to avoid such situations.

What Are The Urdu Words That Will Help You Survive In Restaurants

Though the eccentric cuisine of Urdu-speaking people can be a dream come true for many, others may have specific dietary needs and tastes. It is important to learn some essential phrases to order what you want. Do not hesitate to speak about your wishes at a restaurant! Simply follow the phrases below:

What Are The Name Of The Days In Urdu?

Booking appointments, transportation, interviews, setting deadlines, and ensuring that laundry arrives on time will require you to learn the name of the days in Urdu.

It may require a bit of diligence to master this list early on in your language-learning process. But it will be worth it for you not to miss an appointment or commitment, which is highly valued among Urdu-speaking people.

Vocabulary About Family In Urdu

Pakistanis are renowned for being family-oriented individuals. Members of the family are deeply committed to each other. The Urdu language is influenced highly by the Muslim religion. Therefore, several terms related to the family also descend from there. Perfect examples are  Abbu  for father and  Ammi  for mother. Not all Urdu-speaking families are Muslims, but this is useful to know. So, as a beginner, here are a few basic Urdu words related to a “family” that you must learn:

Basic Words In Urdu Related To Time

This list below will support your sentences related to the days of the week and times of the day. A tricky but perhaps easy one to remember would be “ kal” which means both yesterday and tomorrow! Here are some common and basic Urdu words that are associated with time.

Practice Basic Urdu Words And Phrases

Master Yourself In The Urdu Language With Ling

I hope the content of this page was helpful to you and that you have learned some Urdu phrases, expressions, and words for your travel. Make sure to remember them so that you can use them in your daily conversations.

Learn Urdu with Ling App

Learning a new language from Ling is like playing a game. It is simple and effective. With the support of language research, Ling can help you achieve fluency in record time. Here are the benefits of using the Ling app to learn Urdu or any other language:

Ling aims to make language learning as simple, fun, and easy to understand as possible. Please visit Ling’s FAQ page if you have any questions.

Download the Ling app from App Store and Google Play

Updated, edited, and optimized by: Nausheen & Nat

Amnah Khan

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Please help me more in learning Urdu in details and most formal way.. shukriyaa

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Urdu Notes

Urdu Essays List 3

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  1. A Beginner’s Guide to Basic Urdu Grammar

    These are: کیا ( kia) – “what” کیوں ( kyun) – “why” کب ( kab) – “when” کہاں ( kahan) – “where” کیسے ( kaise) – “how”

  2. Complete URDU Grammar Guide.pdf

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  3. Urdu Grammar

    Urdu Grammar-This tutorial covers complete and Chapter-wise notes on Urdu Grammar Notes along with examples for better understanding. You can contribute your knowledge and suggestions at [email protected] Chapter 1: Lafz Ki Iqsam in Urdu Chapter 2: Kalma ki Iqsam in Urdu Chapter 3: Ism ki Iqsam /types of Ism in urdu

  4. 200+ Basic Urdu Words And Phrases: An Easy Guide

    In the Urdu language, respect is given to people by referring to them as “ aap”. This is often the norm. Sometimes, people may refer to their peer or someone younger by saying “ tum” but as Urdu is very sweet-spoken and gentle language, most people always use “ aap” in daily conversations. Below are some examples: Vocabulary for Daily Conversations

  5. Urdu Essays List

    Urdu Grammar. Urdu Essays; Urdu Speeches; Urdu Applications; Moral Stories; Urdu Poetry. Allama Iqbal Poetry; Mirza Ghalib poetry; Other Poets Poetry; Urdu Poetry With Tashreeh; Urdu Quiz. Urdu Mock Tests; Urdu Poets Quiz; Grammar Quiz; Islam. Islamic Biographies; Urdu Naats; Short Hadees; Quotations; Classes Notes. Jkbose Urdu Notes; NCERT Urdu Notes; Urdu NET Syllabus; Sindh Board Urdu Notes