Obligation And Permission In Nepali


There are a few times you are obliged to do something or perform an action, for example, I have to keep this blog running (but I seem to be terrible at it). Maybe, you have to attend someone’s wedding or someone needs to go to the dentist. These things are called ‘obligations’ where you ‘have to’ perform some action. Now, the real outcome might waver (such as the person might not ultimately go to the dentist) but when you have to do something, you are showing obligation to perform an action.


भोक (bhok) = Hunger

खानेकुरा (khanekura) = Foodstuff

अस्पताल (aspataal) = Hospital

अवस्था (awastha) = Condition/Status/State

Take these sentences for example:

  • John has to go to the hospital.
  • The ball has to roll to this road.

The bolded part shows the obligation of a subject to do something, hence he/she/they etc. has to ‘do’ something. In Nepali, we express this using a compound verb. The verb construction is very simple:

-nu form of Verb + पर्नु (parnu)

= Have to do X

So, we use the basic form (the infinite form) of the verb and just join ‘parnu’ in the end. All conjugations apply to parnu and not the other one. Also, we use 3rd person conjugation for all subjects. For example,

खानु (khanu /to eat/) + पर्नु (parnu)

= खानुपर्नु (khanuparnu /to have to eat/)

Positive conjugations display the need to do something. However, it is not uncommon for people to often use simple past tense for the present and use past perfect tense for simple past. ‘Simple past’ for ‘simple past’ is seldom used. For example:

भोक लागेको बेला खानेकुरा खानुपर्छ (bhok lageko bela khanekura khanuparcha)

= When hungry (we) have to eat food.

आज अस्पताल जानुपर्‍यो (aaja aspataal jaanuparyo)

= (I) have to go to the hospital.

घरको अवस्था हेर्न जानुपर्‍यो (ghar`ko awastha herna jaanuparyo)

= (I) have to go see the status of my house.

Negative conjugations on the other hand display the need to not do something:

भोक लागेको बेला खानेकुरा खानुपर्दैन  (bhok lageko bela khanekura khanupardaina)

= When hungry (we) do not have to eat food.

आज अस्पताल जानुपरेन (aaja aspataal jaanuparena)

Do not have to go to the hospital.

घरको अवस्था हेर्न जानुपरेन  (ghar`ko awastha herna jaanuparena)

= (I) do not have to go see the status of my house.

More sentence examples:

यो काम गर्नुपर्छ ? (yo kaam garnuparcha)

= (Do I) need to do this work?

तिमीलाई पैसा चाहिन्छ भने कमाउनुपर्छ (timi`lai paisa chahincha bhane kamaaunuparcha)

= If you need money then (you) have to earn it.

हामी एक भएर देश बनाउनुपर्छ (hami ek bhaera desh banaunuparcha)

= By being one, (we) have to build the country.


When you ask for permission, you are asking an approval to do or perform an action. When you receive the ‘okay’ signal, then you have received an approval. 

By the very nature, when you ask for permission, it is in the form of a question. As such, all question are in ‘interrogative mood’. Similarly, when you give an approval, it is in the form of an answer. As such, it is a response and as such is never in an interrogative mood. Interchanging permission and approval is easy as such, you just change the question mark into a full stop and vice versa. 

In speech, questions usually have a rising intonation.


पियानो (piyano) = Piano

बजाउँदा (bajauda) = Stems from the verb बजाउनु (bajaaunu) which means ‘To play (an instrument)’

There will be a special mandate here, we will be exploring whether an action is ‘permissible’ or not, that is whether it is okay or not okay to perform the said action. For example, these are the type of sentences that we will be exploring:

  • Is it okay for me to play the piano?
  • Isn’t it okay for him to go?
  • It isn’t okay for you to play the piano.
  • It is okay for him to go.

The basic format is:

-da form of verb + हुन्छ (huncha) 


-nu form of verb + मिल्छ (milcha)

Both forms are equivalent in meaning.

Here are some example sentences of asking permission. Negative conjugation of ‘huncha’ [which is हुँदैन (hudaina)] or ‘milcha’ [which is मिल्दैन (mildaina)] is kind of like using ‘isn’t it okay…’ :

म पियानो बजाउँदा हुन्छ? (ma piyano bajauda huncha)

= Is it okay for me to play the piano?

ऊ घर जाँदा हुन्छ? (u ghar jada huncha)

= Is it okay for him to go home?

तिम्रो किताब लग्नु मिल्छ ? (timro kitab lagnu milcha)

= Is it okay to take your book?

म पियानो बजाउँदा हुँदैन? (ma piyano bajauda hudaina)

= Isn’t it okay for me to play the piano?

Since you need to answer the approval, you need to make necessary changes in some sentences. For example, you cannot say ‘Can I take your book?’ and its equivalent approval be ‘I can take your book.’ Also it isn’t necessary for the approvals to be exactly ‘confirmative’:

तिमीले पियानो बजाउँदा हुँदैन (timi`le piyano bajauda hudaina)

= It isn’t okay for you to play the piano.

ऊ घर जाँदा हुन्छ (u ghar jada huncha)

= Is it okay for him to go home.

मेरो किताब लग्नु मिल्छ (mero kitab lagnu milcha)

= Is it okay (for you) to take my book.

तिमीले पियानो बजाउँदा हुन्छ (timi`le piyano bajauda huncha)

= It is okay for you to play the piano.




1. किताब खोल्नुपर्दैन (kitab kholnupardaina)

2. आज मन्दिर जानुपर्छ (aaja mandir jaanuparcha)

3. गरीबलाई दान दिँदा हुन्छ? (garib`lai daan dida huncha)

4. स्वयंसेवक कार्य गर्नु मिल्छ (swamyasewak kaarya garnu milcha)


1. You do not need to come today.

2. Is it okay to not open our books?

ANSWER(illustrative purposes only)

A.1. No need to open the book.

A.2. Have to go to the temple today.

A.3. Is it okay to give donation to the poor?

A.4. It is okay to do volunteer work.

B.1. तिमी आज आउनुपर्दैन (timi aaja aaunupardaina)

B.2. किताब नखोल्दा हुन्छ ? (kitab nakholda huncha)