Aap vs. Tum vs. Tu

Its simple in English there is just one single word ‘You’, but in Hindi you have to choose between Aap, Tum or Tu to refer a person you are talking to. You would always find me confused. There are some people with whom you are so comfortable that aap and tum doesn’t fit the bill, hence you call them tu. Whenever I meet someone for the first time without much of a thought I refer the person as tum, then it depends on the conversations and the comfort level whether tum turns to aap or tu.

I usually refer those people as aap who are either too elder to me or I have some amount of respect for them. This doesn’t mean I have no respects for those who are not in Aap category.

And now I’ve got this habit of referring everyone (every new acquaintance) as aap. Thanks to the one who refused to bring down the aap to tum, cos of which I started referring him as aap too and got the habit of aap. Not that it was forced, I believe that you would be respected only when you respect others. And when you get respect from someone you would want to give equal respect to that person.

There are some whom I refer as aap in mails or text messages but when I get to talk to them I tend to call them as tum. And there are some who would constantly hear tum then tu then tum then tu… in short if you find me fumbling while talking just remember I’m trying to solve this confusion of Aap, Tum and Tu.


Happy Talking 😉


4 thoughts on “Aap vs. Tum vs. Tu

  1. Jeez! Some mind numbing philosophy, ‘I’. My head is still buzzing with this ‘Tu Tum Aap, dholak ki dhap, Zubaan kare paap, aur hum kahein Baap re Baap’

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