से marks the instrumental, ablative, and comitative cases.


The three cases that से marks encompass several functions. से is arguably the most polysemous postposition in Hindi and thus classifying its various uses is very much an ongoing process.

When से marks a secondary argument to the verb, ascertaining the function can be difficult. This table, adapted from Khan (2009), is a guide for that.

Subject Marking 2nd Arg Marking Example Predicates Function Scene Roles (predicate-licensed)
NOM/ERG, DAT ABL डरना, शर्माना Source Stimulus
NOM/ERG ABL माँगना, पूछना Source Recipient
NOM/ERG COM/DAT बात करना, कहना, मिलना, शादी करना Ancillary Agent, Recipient, SocialRel
NOM/ERG, DAT COM प्यार करना, नफ़रत करना Ancillary Stimulus
  • Instrumental
    • Instrument: An intermediary towards accomplishing an action. Also includes impelled agents in causative constructions.
    • Manner: Forms adverbials from nouns.
    • Means: When the instrumental case is applied to oblique verbs.
    • Path: Functions like via, indicating a waypoint or route.
    • Agent, Causer: Used in passive constructions, with the light verb जाना "to go". Replaces ने.
  • Ablative
    • Source: Starting point of motion, initial possessor, source of an emotion, or initial state.
    • ComparisonRef: Comparative forms of adjectives.
    • StartTime: Starting point of a duration.
  • Comitative
    • Ancillary: Indicates a participant with equal involvement as the subject. This always takes a different supersense for its scene role, licensed by the predicate and usually in opposition to the Agent of the sentence.