Nepali Sentence Structure

English is a SVO(Subject-Verb-Object) language while Nepali is a SOV(Subject-Object-Verb) language.

Let’s look at the first example. See the colour groups for faster understanding.

difference between english and nepali sentence structure

Let’s see one more example.

difference between english and nepali sentence structure


  1. A ‘to be’ helping verb is required in most of the Nepali sentences.
  2. In Devanagari, there is no concept that ‘a sentence starts with a capital letter’ or ‘a proper noun starts with a capital letter’. All letters are of same size for all words.


Nepalese add a ‘- ज्यू’ (Jyu) or ‘- जी’ (Ji) when they address relatives. This is meant for giving respect.

Relation सम्बन्ध(sambandha) Address them as Refer them as
Mother  मम्मी/आमा mammī/āmā  -same-
Father  बाबा/बुवा bābā/buwā  -same-
Elder brother  दाइ/दाजु dāi/dāju  -same-
Younger brother  <name> or भाइ Bhāi  भाइ Bhāi
Elder sister  दिदी didī  -same-
Younger sister  <name> or बहिनी Bahinī  बहिनी Bahinī
Grandfather (maternal/paternal)  हजुरबुबा hajurbubā  -same-
Grandmother (maternal/paternal)  हजुरआमा hajurāmā  -same-
Uncle (maternal)  मामा māmā  -same-
Aunt (maternal)  माइजू māijū  -same-
Uncle (paternal)  if elder, ठूलोबुवा Thūlobuwā otherwise सानोबुवा sānobuwā  -same-
Aunt (paternal)  if elder, ठूलीआमा Thūlīāmā otherwise सानीआमा sānīāmā  -same-
Husband  बुढा buDhā  श्रीमान् shrīmān
Wife  <name> or बुढी buDhī  श्रीमती shrīmatī
Son  <name> or छोरा chhorā  छोरा chhorā
Daughter  <name> or छोरी chhorī  छोरी chhorī
Grandson  <name> or नाति nāti  नाति nāti
Granddaughter  <name> or नातिनी nātinī  नातिनी nātinī
Son  ज्वाइँ jwāiň  -same-
Daughter  बुहारी buhārī  -same-
Mother  मम्मी/आमा mammī/āmā  सासु sāsu
Father  बाबा/बुवा bābā/buwā  ससुरा sasurā
Brother  ज्वाइँ jwāiň  -same-
Sister  बुहारी buhārī  -same-

Counting 11 to 20

In Nepali, “Counting 1 to 10” is called “गिन्ती ११ देखि २० सम्म (Gintī gyārah dekhi bīs samma)” which literally means “Counting 11 from 20 to”.

11 ~ ११ एघार (eghāra)

12 ~ १२ बाह्र (bāhra)

13 ~ १३ तेह्र (tehra)

14 ~ १४ चौध (chaudha)

15 ~ १५ पन्ध्र (pandhra)

16 ~ १६ सोह्र (sohra)

17 ~ १७ सत्र (satra)

18 ~ १८ अठार (aThāra)

19 ~ १९ उन्नाइस (unnāis)

20 ~ २० बीस (bīs)