Magahi and English/Contrastive Grammar

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mag-eng tests

  • (fra) Je le mangerai → (spa) Yo lo comeré ("I'll eat it.")
    (fra) je<prn><pers><p1><sg><nom> le<prn><pers><p3><m><acc> manger<v><tv><fut><p1><sg> → (spa) yo<prn><pers><p1><sg><nom> lo<prn><pers><p3><m><acc> comer<v><tv><fut><p1><sg>

Noun Tags


  • (mag) ghore → (eng) horse
    (mag) ghorā<n><loc> → (eng) horse<n>
  • (mag) baile → (eng) bull
    (mag) bail<n><loc> → (eng) bull<n>
  • (mag) core → (eng) thief
    (mag) cor<n><loc> → (eng) thief<n>


  • (mag) phalē̃ → (eng) king
    (mag) phal<n><inst> → (eng) fruit<n>
  • (mag) rāje → (eng) king
    (mag) rājā<n><inst> → (eng) king<n>
  • (mag) māliē̃ → (eng) gardener
    (mag) mālī<n><inst> → (eng) gardener<n>


Magahi doesn't have prepositions; instead it has postpositions.</br>

  • (mag) gādhū ke dekh ke. → (eng) seeing the saint.
    (mag) gādhū<n><obl> ke<post> dekh<v><pres> ke<post> → (eng) see<vblex><pprs> the<det><def><sp> saint<n><sg>
  • (mag) pāoṃ lāg ke. → (eng) touching feet.
    (mag) pāoṃ<n><obl> lāg<v><pres> ke<post> → (eng) touch<vblex><pprs> his<det><pos><sp> prpers<det><pos><p3><m><sg> foot<n><pl>

Notice the first adds a postposition after "saint" where the english one doesn't.

Sometimes Magahi sentences make do without a preposition where English needs one.</br>

  • (mag) neāw se rāj karnā jaṅgal meṃ baiṭh ke bhī bes hai. → (eng) To rule with justice is better than sitting in a forest.
    (mag) neāw<n><obl> se<post> rāj<v><pres> karnā<v> jaṅgal<n><obl> meṃ<post> baiṭh<v><pres> ke<post> bhī<adv> bes<adj> hai<aux><v><pres><o_p3><low> → (eng) to<pr> rule<vblex><inf> with<pr> justice<n><sg> be<vbser><pres><p3><sg> good<adj><sint><comp> than<cnjsub> sit<vblex><ger> in<pr> a<det><ind><sg> forest<n><sg>



Magahi verbs are conjugated for a number of things, unlike in English. Here are some examples of subject verb agreement in Magahi from The Indo Aryan Languages.

  • (mag) Ham sutli. → (eng) I slept.
    (mag) prpers<prn><pers><p1><sg> sut<v><past><s_p1> → (eng) prpers<prn><subj><p1><mf><sg> sleep<vblex><past>
  • (mag) Tu sutla. → (eng) You slept.
    (mag) prpers<prn><pers><p2><sg> sut<v><past><s_p2> → (eng) prpers<prn><subj><p2><m> sleep<vblex><past>
  • (mag) U sutlo. → (eng) He slept. Unfortunately, it looks like apertium-eng doesn't support singular they, so we have to pick a gender, and since our source from the early 1900's defaults to masculine, we'll do that too, so it can be accurate to those sentences.
    (mag) prpers<prn><pers><p3><sg> sut<v><past><s_p3> → (eng) prpers<prn><subj><p3><m> sleep<vblex><past>


Magahi verbs are also conjugated according to a few tenses. Here are some basic examples.

  • (mag) Sādhū dekho. → (eng) The saint sees.
    (mag) saint<n> dekh<v><pres><s_p3> → (eng) the<det><def><sp> saint<n><sg> see<vblex><pres><p3><sg>
  • (mag) Sādhū dekhlo. → (eng) The saint saw.
    (mag) saint<n> dekh<v><past><s_p3> → (eng) the<det><def><sp> saint<n><sg> see<vblex><past>
  • (mag) Sādhū dekhbo. → (eng) The saint will see.
    (mag) saint<n> dekh<v><fut><s_p3> → (eng) the<det><def><sp> saint<n><sg> will<vbmod><pres> see<vblex><inf>

Other stuff

Here's some miscellaneous verb differences, highlighting object agreement, past tense, SOV order, and how Magahi uses the auxiliary.

  • (mag) Sādhū unka phar delthin. → (eng) The saint gave him fruit.
    (mag) sādhū<n> u<prn><pers><p3><sg><gen><hi> phar<n><obl> de<v><past><o_p3><hi> → (eng) The<det><def><sp> saint<n><sg> give<vblex><past> prpers<prn><obj><p3><m><sg> fruit<n><sg>
  • (mag) Rājā baHut khus bhelan. → (eng) The king became very happy.
    (mag) rājā<n> baHut<adv> khus<adj> bhe<v><past><s_p3> → (eng) The<det><def><sp> king<n><sg> become<vblex><past> very<adv> glad<adj><sint>
  • (mag) Tu dekhait ha. → (eng) You are looking.
    (mag) tu<prn><pers><p2><sg> dekh<v><impf> ha<aux><v><pres> → (eng) you<prn><pers><p2><mf><sg> be<vbser><pres> look<vblex><ger>


Magahi pronouns are quite a bit more complicated than English pronouns, and, unfortunately, most of our source is in third person, so few pronouns other than "i" and "u" are used. However, here are some examples of pronouns other than "i" and "u" in some fairly complex sentences.

  • (mag) Tab sādhūwā kahlan ke, jā tu. → (eng) Then the saint said that you go.
    (mag) prn<cor><time><prn> sādhū<n><def> kaH<v><past><s_p3> ke<post><v><pres> prpers<prn><pers><p2><sg> → (eng) then<adv> the<det><def><sp> saint<n><sg> say<vblex><past> that<cnjsub> prpers<prn><subj><p2><mf><sp> go<vblex><pres>
  • (mag) Hamrā kuch sikhawān ke bāt kaHa. → (eng) Say to me some things of advice. KaHa rather than kaHiṃ like in the source because kaHa is the modern ending according to our other source.
    (mag) prpers<prn><pers><p1><sg><obl> kuch<det> sikha<n><obl><def><pl> ke<post> bāt<n><obl> kaH<v><pres><s_p2> → (eng) say<vblex><imp> to<pr> prpers<prn><obj><p1><mf><sg> some<det><qnt><sp> thing<n><pl> of<pr> advice<n><sg>