Braj edit

Etymology edit

From Sauraseni Prakrit 𑀓𑁄 (ko), from Sanskrit (ka) (whence Standard Hindi किस (kis)).

Pronoun edit

को (ko)

  1. who?

Hindi edit

Etymology edit

Inherited from Old Hindi काहू (kāhū), काहु (kāhu), from Sauraseni Prakrit [Term?], from Sanskrit कक्षे (kákṣe, in the armpit), locative singular of कक्ष (kákṣa, armpit), from Proto-Indo-Aryan *káṭṣas, from Proto-Indo-Iranian *káćšas, from Proto-Indo-European *kóḱsos (joint).[1] Compare Deccani کو(), Braj कौ (kau), Assamese -ক (-k).

The semantic development of the terms was in the armpit > at the side > towards > to. Deccani (and other Southern dialects of Hindustani) had a parallel development which also includes a locative sense.

Postposition edit

को (ko) (Urdu spelling کو‎)

  1. marks the accusative case in certain contexts, i.e. the Theme of an action
    उसको मारो।usko māro.Hit him.
    1. marks a Stimulus or Topic that causes some sensation or emotion: at
      मेरी बात को समझने की कोशिश करो।
      merī bāt ko samajhne kī kośiś karo.
      Try to understand what I'm saying.
      सूरज को देखना नहीं चाहिए।
      sūraj ko dekhnā nahī̃ cāhie.
      You shouldn't look at the sun.
  2. marks the dative case, i.e. the Recipient of something
    1. marks the endpoint of physical transfer
      मेरे भाई को पानी दीजिए।mere bhāī ko pānī dījie.Please give some water to my elder brother.
      मैंने अपने भाई को एक तोहफ़ा दिया।
      mainne apne bhāī ko ek tohfā diyā.
      I gave my brother a gift.
    2. marks the affected party to a more abstract transfer, e.g. sensations or feelings
      आपने मुझको दुःख पहुँचाया।
      āpne mujhko duḥkh pahũcāyā.
      You cause me grief.
    3. marks the Experiencer when applied to a dative subject
      मुझको बहुत दर्द हो रहा है।
      mujhko bahut dard ho rahā hai.
      I'm feeling a lot of pain.
      राम को चिड़िया नहीं दिखाई दी।
      rām ko ciṛiyā nahī̃ dikhāī dī.
      Ram couldn't see the bird.
    4. in some set phrases, indicates the Possessor: have
      उसको आज काम है।usko āj kām hai.He has work today.
      दंपति को संतान नहीं है।dampti ko santān nahī̃ hai.The couple has no children.
      सरकार को यह करने का हक़ नहीं है।
      sarkār ko yah karne kā haq nahī̃ hai.
      The government does not have the right to do that.
      Synonyms: के पास (ke pās), का ()
  3. when marking the Agent of the verb, expresses obligation, want, or necessity
    मुझको घर जाना है।mujhko ghar jānā hai.I want/need to go home.
    मुझको करना पड़ा।mujhko karnā paṛā.I had to do it.
  4. marks the intended purpose: for, to
    पीने को कुछ मिलेगा?pīne ko kuch milegā?Can I get something to drink?
    Synonym: के लिए (ke lie)
  5. movement towards or until a point: to, -wards
    आगरे कोāgre koto Agra
    ऊपर कोūpar koupwards
  6. in, at the time of
    मैं शाम को घर लौटूंगा।ma͠i śām ko ghar lauṭūṅgā.I will return home in the evening.
    बुधवार कोbudhvār koon Wednesday
  7. (Mysore) marks the locative case
    Synonym: (Modern Standard Hindi) में (mẽ)

Usage notes edit

When used to mark the accusative, it indicates saliency and definiteness of the object being marked. It is almost always used with human animate nouns.

को marks the dative. It can be used as a postfix similar to -wards (e.g. ऊपर को (ūpar ko, upwards); आगे को (āge ko, afterwards)). The dative is always preferred to be marked over the accusative sense.

It is suffixed to oblique forms of pronouns as well, e.g. the dative of मैं (ma͠i, I) is मुझको (mujhko).

References edit

  1. ^ Reinöhl, Uta (2016), “The diverse origins of the Hindi simple postpositions”, in Grammaticalization and the Rise of Configurationality in Indo-Aryan, →ISBN

Further reading edit

  • McGregor, Ronald Stuart (1993), “को”, in The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary, London: Oxford University Press
  • Platts, John T. (1884), “को”, in A dictionary of Urdu, classical Hindi, and English, London: W. H. Allen & Co.
  • Turner, Ralph Lilley (1969–1985), “”, in A Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages, London: Oxford University Press
  • David Magier (1987), “The transitivity prototype: evidence from Hindi”, in Word[1], volume 38, issue 3, pages 187-199
  • Bhuvana Narasimhan (1998), “A Lexical Semantic Explanation for ‘Quirky’ Case Marking in Hindi”, in Studia Linguistica, volume 52, issue 1, pages 48-76
  • Miriam Butt (2006), “The dative-ergative connection”, in Empirical issues in syntax and semantics[2], volume 6, pages 69-92

Nepali edit

Pronunciation edit

Pronoun edit

को (ko)

  1. who

Postposition edit

को (ko)

  1. genitival suffix

Pali edit

Alternative forms edit

Pronoun edit


  1. Devanagari script form of ko, which is the nominative singular of (ka, who (m.))