Calling or Addressing someone in Marathi

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Suppose you want an help and you want to get attention of a person in front of you. In English you may say "Hello!", "Hey", "Friend" etc. Or in general while talking you may say ,"Hey friend, do you know ? "

These words "Hello!", "Hey" etc. in what I mean by the title "Calling or Addressing" someone.

The way you call someone who is of your age or you are friendly with will differ from calling an elder.
In Marathi "अरे"/"अगं" (are/agaM) is used for casual or friendly address.  "अहो" (aho) is used for calling with respect.
"अरे"(are) is for calling boy. "अगं" (agaM) is for calling girl.

Lets see detailed examples :-

A young boy or elder gentleman may call another young/small boy as
Hey friend  :- अरे मित्रा ( are mitrA )

But do NOT call a girl "अगं मैत्रिणी" (agaM maitriNI ) which be literally translated as "Hey Girlfriend" !! So be aware. Difference in Indian and Western culture matters here.
So you may call a girl formally
Hey Sister :- अहो ताई (aho tAI )

But a boy/girl may call another elder girl whome they know as
Hey Sister :- अगं ताई (agaM tAI )

See the difference. Calling someone with "अहो" indicates respect. Where "अरे" or "अगं" will be used casually.

A young boy may call another young boy of his age as
Hey brother :- अरे दादा (are dAdA )

An elder person (Gent./Lady) may call a young or small child
Hey lad/boy :- अरे मुला / बाळा ( are mulA / bALA  )

When calling an unknown elder gentleman, we generally say
Uncle !! :- अहो काका ( aho kAkA )

When calling an unknown elder lady, we generally say
Aunty !! :- अहो काकू / अहो मावशी ( aho kAkU / aho mAvashI  )

Sometimes ladies do not like getting called as काकू/मावशी  as it make them feel aged. So nowadays people prefer to call unknown girl or lady as "Madam" as in English.
Hello Madam :- अहो Madam (aho Madam )

Similarly supporting staff in an organization calls male employees as "Sir" like in English
Hello Sir :- अहो Sir !! (aho Sir )

****** Using "अरे"/"अगं"/"अहो" along with other words **************

From the words  "अरे"/"अगं"/"अहो" (are/agaM/ aho) the ending "रे"/"गं"/"हो" (re/gaM/ ho) are added with other words to give them special effects. 

E.g. adding it to काय(kAy) will be कायरे/कायगं/कायहो (kAyare /kAyagaM /kAyaho)

Many times people start conversation with a familiar person using these words. 
e.g. Asking to a boy. “Hey ! How are you” -> कायरे ? कसा आहेस ? ( kAyare ? kasA Ahes ? )
Asking to a girl. “Hey ! How are you” -> कायगं ? कशी आहेस ? (kAyagaM ? kashI Ahes ?) 
Asking to a gentleman. “Hello ! How are you” -> कायहो ? कसे आहात ? (kAyaho ? kase AhAt ?)

Instead of just saying “कसा आहेस ?“ saying “कायरे ? कसा आहेस ?shows that you have very close relation/contact with that person.

Similarly in questions ending with का(kA) these can be seen.
Asking to a boy “Will you be coming” -> तू येणारेस का ? (tU yeNAres kA ?) 
it can also be said as तू येणारेस कारे ? (tU yeNAres kAre ?)
To a girl it can be तू येणारेस कागं ? (tU yeNAres kAgaM ? )
It means same as original questions. 

So do not confuse if someone adds "रे"/"गं"/"हो" (re/gaM/ ho) To WH-question words like  काय, कधी, केव्हा, कुठे, कसा (kAy, kadhI, kevhA, kuThe, kasA) and make them :-
कायहो, कधीहो, केव्हाहो, कुठेहो, कसाहो (kAyaho, kadhIho, kevhAho, kuTheho, kasAho )
कायरे, कधीरे, केव्हारे, कुठेरे, कसारे (kAyare, kadhIre, kevhAre, kuThere, kasAre)
कायगं, कधीगं, केव्हागं, कुठेगं, कसागं (kAyagaM, kadhIgaM, kevhAgaM, kuThegaM, kasAgaM )
They are same as original words.

Another example.
You tell your friend "Boss has come" -> साहेब आले (sAheb Ale).
Suppose you are doing time-pass in office and you see your boss coming then  you will alert your friend "Hey, Boss has come". In Marathi you will say "साहेब आलेरे" (sAheb Alere )
Adding "रे" (re) to verb "आले" (Ale) gave this special effect of alerting/fetching attention :) 

Similarly it can be appended to verb in imperative statement
(To boy) Come   ->    ये (ye) -> येरे (yere)
(To Girl) Come  ->   ये (ye) -> येगं (yegaM)
(To elder man)Come ->  या (yA) -> याहो (yAho)
Depending on your tone it will sound urging/commanding/pleading.

Thus adding these suffixes do not change meaning but they just enunciate the fact or feeling. 

Only  remember that :- 
For a boy with casual address you can append "रे" (re)
For a girl with casual address you can append  "गं" (gaM)
For unknown person or with respect you can append "हो" (ho)

As you listen/read more Marathi you will understand these subtle differences clearly. 

************* suffixing ना(nA)/नं(naM) and हं (haM) ***************
Similar to above adding ना(nA)/नं(naM) to verb in imperative statement indicates that your are pleading the person to take that action who is actially refusing to do it
Person A:- Kaushik Please sing for me -> कौशिक एक गाणं गा ( kaushik ek gANM gA )
Kaushik :- No no. -> नाही नाही ( nAhI nAhI )
Person A:- Why no. Please sing. -> का नको गाना/गानं ( kA nako gAnA/gAnaM )

Adding हं (haM) which will sound like "Hmm" in English also indicates you are pleading positively to that person. If you are inviting that person to some function or event many times it is used.

Come to my marriage. Do Come :- माझ्या लग्नाला ये. येहं ( mAjhyA lagnAlA ye. yehaM )
Talk to him. Do talk :- त्याच्याशी बोला. बोलाहं ( tyAchyAshI bolA. bolAhaM  )

Listen examples in this lesson at

Note :-  Right hand side of the blog shows "Blog Archive". Expand it fully to see whole list of posts to Learn Marathi. Learn Marathi grammar and many aspects Marathi language online.


  1. Good one...I request you to post conversations with individuals especially how to talk to an auto riskhaw fellow, how to talk to a lady in the vegetable market, how to talk to a barber in the saloon shop, how to talk to a traffic inspector, how to order a dish in a restaurant, how to talk to a bus conductor in a bus, how to ask for a mailing address, how to talk to a cop - I think these are few scenarios which I can think of...You can add many more such scenarios which will be helpful to people who want to learn Marathi...

    1. Hi John, I have already added few of such conversations and will add few more.

      So expand the "Blog Archive" to get exisitng posts.

      But!! I would encourage you to start framing sentences yourself. And if you face problem in grammar do ask. You can use online dictionary for words.

      This way you will become independent soon.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. what's the equivalent of the suffix -ji as in "Gandhiji" in marathi?

    1. No suffix is used in Marathi. Sometimes राव is suffixed. But now due to influence of Hindi, ppl tend to use ji in Marathi as well.
      So no harm in using ji.

      Are you learning marathi using my blog ?


  4. What are the alternatives for madam in Marathi while writing a letter?

    1. श्रीमती. अबक,
      महोदया ...


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