Quantity: Dherai And Thorai

The first quantity expressing words we will be looking at will be धेरै (dherai) and थोरै (thorai). Dherai denotes more quantity while thorai denotes less quantity.


धेरै (dherai) denotes more quantity, hence has a meaning of ‘more’ or ‘much’. Sometimes, the meaning can also be ‘a lot of’. 

It is entirely optional to add the pluralizing ’haru’ after countable nouns (uncountables never take haru). However, it suggested to leave ’haru’ out because it sounds much more conversational. Also note that even though plurality should agree with the noun in question, it is more often seen that plural verb forms are used with humans and singular verb forms are used with inanimates. 


धेरै मान्छे (dherai manche) = Many People

धेरै काम (dherai kaam) = Much Work

धेरै चामल (dherai chamal) = A lot of Rice


You can also use them in sentences, such as:

यहाँ धेरै मान्छेहरु छन् (yaha dherai manche`haru chan)

= Here are many people.

मसँग धेरै किताब छ  (ma sanga dherai kitab cha)

= I have many books.

धेरै भात नहाल्दिनु है (dherai bhaat nahaaldinu hai)

= Don’t keep a lot of rice, okay?


Dherai is also an adverb, so the position of dherai affects the final meaning. Be careful with its arrangement! For example:

People run a lot. (manche`haru dherai kudchan)


A lot (of) people run. (dherai manche`haru kudchan)


धेरै घाँसमा गाईहरु चर्छन् (dherai ghas ma gai`haru charchan)

= Cows graze on a lot of grass.

घाँसमा धेरै गाईहरु चर्छन् (ghas ma dherai gai`haru charchan)

Many cows graze on grass.

घाँसमा गाईहरु धेरैचर्छन् (ghas ma gai`haru dherai charchan)

= Cows graze a lot on grass.


Dherai can also be used in the sense of ‘very’ or ‘very much/ too much’. However, when used in terms of ‘very’, it is usually used for abstract nouns (like feelings). When meant as ‘too’, it is usually used for emphasizing a quantity (may or may not be tangible). For example:

मलाई धेरै रिस उठ्यो! (malai dherai ris uthyo)

= I am very angry!

म तिमीलाई धेरै मन पराउँछु (ma timi`lai dherai man paraauchu)

= I love you very much.

धेरै नकरा! (dherai nakaraa)

= Don’t shout too much! (Shut up!)



थोरै (thorai) denotes less quantity, hence has a meaning of ‘less’ or ‘little’. Sometimes, the meaning can also be ‘few’. 

For example:

थोरै मान्छे (thorai manche) = Few People

थोरै काम (thorai kaam) = Less/ little Work

थोरै चामल (thorai chamal) = Little Rice


You can also use them in sentences, such as:

यहाँ थोरै मान्छेहरु छन् (yaha thorai manche`haru chan)

Few people are here.

मसँग थोरै किताब छ  (ma sanga thorai kitab cha)

= I have a few books.

थोरै भात हाल्दिनु है (thorai bhaat haaldinu hai)

= Keep less rice, okay?


Like dheraithorai can also be an adverb, so mind its position!

मान्छेहरुले थोरै खाना खान्छन् (manche`haru le thorai khana khanchan)

= People eat little food.


थोरै मान्छेहरुले खाना खान्छन् (thorai manche`haru le khana khanchan)

Few people eat food.


मान्छेहरुले खाना थोरै खान्छन् (manche`haru le khana thorai khanchan)

= People eat food less.


Dherai and thorai were not so difficult, was it? Let’s do some exercises and find out!




1) Aaja —a—   manche`haru ghar —b— jaadaithiyo (Many people were going home today.)

2)  —a— gaai haru beef lai —-b—- man paraauchan (Few cows like beef very much.)


1) I find many mistakes in your essay.

2) Less is always more.

3) थोरै मान्छे धेरै कुर्सी! 


1) यो धेरै ठूलो छ (yo dherai thulo cha)

2) थोरै त्यो मान्छे हो (thorai tyo manche ho)


ANSWERS (some answers for illustrative purposes only)

A. 1. Dherai in a

A. 2. Thorai in a/ dherai in b

B. 1. तिम्रो निबन्धमा धेरै गल्तीहरु भेटाएँ (timro nibandha ma dherai galti haru bhetae)

B. 2. थोरै जहिल्यै धेरै हो (thorai jahilyai dherai ho)

C. 1. Yes

C. 2. No

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