Vowels and consonants are outlined in the tables below. Hovering the mouse cursor over them will reveal the appropriate IPA symbol, while in the rest of the article hovering the mouse cursor over forms will reveal the appropriate English translation.
Overall, in terms of grammatical gender, among Indo-Aryan languages, Nepali possesses an "attenuated gender" system, in which "gender accord typically is restricted to female animates (so that the system is essentially restructured as zero/+Fem), optional or loose even then [...], and greatly reduced in syntactic scope. [...] In Nepali, the [declensional] ending is a neutral -o, changeable to -ī with Personal Feminines in more formal style.
Nepali distinguishes two genders, with a common pluralizing suffix for nouns in -harū (e.g. mitra "friend" : mitraharū "friends"). Unlike the English plural it is not mandatory, and may be left unexpressed if plurality is already indicated in some other way: e.g. by explicit numbering, or agreement. further notes that the suffix "rarely indicates simple plurality: it often means that other objects of the same or a like class are also indicated and may be translated as 'and other things'."
"Masculine", or rather "neutral" -o is the citation form and the otherwise overwhelmingly more encountered declension, as as previously noted, gender in Nepali is attenuated and accord "typically is restricted to female animates", and "optional or loose even then". However, "In writing, there has been a strong tendency by some to extend the use of feminine markers beyond their use in speech to include the consistent marking of certain adjectives with feminine endings. This tendency is strengthened by some Nepali grammars and may be reinforced by the influence of Hindi upon both speech and writing.
Beyond this come compound postpositions, composed of a primary postposition (most likely ko or bhandā) plus an adverb.
The first person singular pronoun is ma, and the first person plural is hāmī. The following table lists the second and third person singular forms.
|2nd pn.||3rd pn.|
|Low||tã||yo (yas)||tyo (tyas)||ū (us)|
|Middle||timī||yinī (yin)||tinī (tin)||unī (un)|
yo and tyo have yī and tī as plurals, while other pronouns pluralize (including hāmī, for emphasis, but excluding ū) with the common suffix -harū. Also, bracketed beside of a number of forms in the above chart are their oblique counterparts, used when they (as demonstrative pronouns) or that which they qualify (as demonstrative determiners) are followed by a postposition. However, the need to oblique weakens the longer distance between demonstrative and postposition gets. Also, one exception which does not require obliquing is -sãga "with".
Verbs in Nepali are quite highly inflected, agreeing with the subject in number, gender, status and person. They also inflect for tense, mood, and aspect. As well as these inflected finite forms, there are also a large number of participial forms.
Possibly the most important verb in Nepali, as well as the most irregular, is the verb हुनु hunu 'to be, to become'. In the simple present tense, there are at least three conjugations of हुनु hunu, only one of which is regular. The first, the ho-conjugation is, broadly speaking, used to define things, and as such its complement is usually a noun. The second, the cha-conjugation is used to describe things, and the complement is usually an adjectival or prepositional phrase. The third, the huncha-conjugation, is used to express regular occurrences or future events, and also expresses 'to become' or 'to happen'.
They are conjugated as follows:
|!हो ho||छ cha||हुन्छ huncha|
|First person singular||हुँ hũ||छु chu||हुन्छु hunchu|
|First person plural||हौँ haũ||छौँ chaũ||हुन्छौँ hunchaũ|
|Second person singular low-grade||होस् hos||छस् chas||हुन्छस् hunchas|
|Second person middle-grade/plural||हौ hau||छौ chau||हुन्छौ hunchau|
|High grade||हुनुहन्छ hunuhuncha||हुनुहन्छ hunuhuncha||हुनुहन्छ hunuhuncha|
|Third person singular low-grade||हो ho||छ cha||हुन्छ huncha|
|Third person middle-grade/plural masculine||हुन् hun||छन् chan||हुन्छन् hunchan|
|Third person middle-grade/plural feminine||हुन् hun||छिन् chin||हुन्छिन् hunchin|
हुनु hunu also has two suppletive stems in the simple past, namely भ- bha- (the use of which corresponds to the huncha-conjugation) and थि- thi- (which corresponds to both the cha and ho-conjugations) which are otherwise regularly conjugated. भ- bha- is also the stem used in the formation of the various participles.
The finite forms of regular verbs are conjugated as follows (using गर्नु garnu 'to do' as an example):
|!Simple Present/Future||Probable Future||Simple Past||Past Habitual||Injunctive||Imperative|
|First person singular||गर्छु garchu 'I (will) do'||गरुँला garũlā 'I will (probably) do'||गरेँ garẽ 'I did'||गर्थेँ garthẽ 'I used to do'||गरुँ garũ 'may I do'||-|
|First person plural||गर्छौँ garchaũ 'We (will) do'||गरौँला garaũlā 'We will (probably) do'||गर्यौ garyaũ 'We did'||गर्थ्यौँ garthyaũ 'We used to do'||गरौँ garaũ 'may we do, let's do'||-|
|Second person singular low-grade||गर्छस् garchas 'you (will) do'||गर्लास् garlās 'you will (probably) do'||गरिस् garis 'you did'||गर्थिस् garthis 'you used to do'||गरेस् gares 'may you do'||गर् gar 'do!'|
|Second person middle-grade/plural||गर्छौ garchau 'you (will) do'||गरौला garaulā 'you will (probably) do'||गर्यौ garyau 'you did'||गर्थ्यौ garthyau 'you used to do'||गरौ garau 'may you do'||गर gara 'do'|
|High grade||गर्नुहुन्छ garnuhuncha 'you (will) do'||गर्नुहोला garnuhola 'you will (probably) do'||गर्नुभयो garnubhayo 'you did'||गर्नुहुन्थ्यो garnuhunthyo 'you used to do'||गर्नुहोस् garnuhos 'may you do, please do'||-|
|Third person singular low-grade||गर्छ garcha 'he does'||गर्ला garlā 'he will (probably) do'||गर्यो garyo 'he did'||गर्थ्यो garthyo 'he used to do'||गरोस् garos 'may he do'||-|
|Third person middle-grade/plural masculine||गर्छन् garchan 'they (will) do'||गर्लान् garlān 'they will (probably) do'||गरे gare 'they did'||गर्थे garthe 'they used to do'||गरून् garūn 'may they do'||-|
|Third person middle-grade/plural feminine||गर्छिन् garchin 'she (will) do'||गर्लिन् garlin 'she will (probably) do'||गरिन् garin 'she did'||गर्थिन् garthin 'she used to do'||गरुन् garūn 'may she do'||-|
As well as these, there are two forms which are infinitival and participial in origin, but are frequently used as if they were finite verbs. Again using गर्नु garnu as an example, these are गरेको gareko 'did' and गर्ने garne 'will do'. Since they are simpler than the conjugated forms, these are often overused by non-native speakers, which can sound stilted.
The eko-participle is also the basis of perfect tenses in Nepali. This is formed by using the auxiliary verb हुनु hunu (usually the cha-form in the present tense and the thi-form in the past) with the eko-participle. So, for example, मैले काम गरेको छु maile kām gareko chu means 'I have done (the) work'.
The second infinitive is formed by adding -न na to the verb stem. This is used in a wide variety of situations, and can generally be used where the infinitive is used in English. For example, म काम गर्न रामकहाँ गएको थिएँ ma kām garna rāmkahā̃ gaeko thiẽ 'I had gone to Ram's place to do work'.