Urdu, Hindi: mere se - mere ko

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Abu Talha, Jan 23, 2012.

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  1. Abu Talha Senior Member

    Here is a thread that discusses "tere ko"

    What about other postpositions after mere, are they also incorrect? Should mujh be used instead?

    Here are some examples:

    us ne mere se poochaa, ...
    tum mere se aage kaise pohanche?
    mere meN ab taaqat nahiiN hai.

  2. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    "mere" is also used quite often, particularly in speech, so I'd say not incorrect. A language is what people speak, not what grammar books recommend(ed).
  3. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو

    "tere ko/se/meN" is the same as "mere ko/meN/se" in terms of grammar and I find this usage absolutely despicable and I would point this out to the speaker, whether he/she likes it or not!!!

    In English, one comes across "We was/You was", "If I would have known about the party, I would have gone to it", "He don't care about me any more", "I never would of thought he'd behave like this", "I am not speaking to no body", "He's took the train", "I should have went to school"....None of these are considered correct English usage. They are used in dialogue of course but you won't find the author himself/herself using them. When this usage comes out of writers' dialogues into their actual texts, and, if accepted by the general public, it will become part of what is deemed to be grammatically correct language.

    Yes "mujh/tujh" is what I would use...Just imagine the following opening line by Faiz

    "mujh se pahlii sii muHabbat mere maHbuuB nah maaNg"...

    mere se pahlii se muHabbat mere maHbuub nah maaNg! ugh!

    or Ghalib saying..

    3ishq mere ko nahiiN, vaHshat hii sahii

    nah thaa kuchh to xudaa thaa, kuchh nah hotaa to xudaa hotaa
    Duboyaa mere ko hone ne, nah hotaa maiN to kyaa hotaa
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012
  4. Alfaaz Senior Member

    I would agree with QP here. Such usage of tere sounds wrong and gives the impression that the speaker might not be well educated. (shouldn't be saying this, as the last time I used a certain term (paindu) there was harsh criticism!) It sounds a little tapori style-something you would probably hear in some parts of Karachi or Mumbai or from Sanjay Dutt in Muna Bhai M.B.B.S.! (Again, don't mean to use the term tapori with a derogatory or negative connotation.)

    Some might argue that such usage represents certain sections/cultures of society. In such a context, it seems completely fine (as in Munna Bhai), but it would be awkward in a formal setting (presidential speech). Recently, a student complained against a teacher, because the teacher corrected the student's pronunciation "asked" not "aksed" and there was debate about whether this is cultural/racial discrimination or not...many said that it might be fine elsewhere, but not in a school-where the purpose is to learn grammar, language, etc. The same could be applied to the English phrases QP provides.
  5. Abu Talha Senior Member

    Thanks everyone for your comments. Personally, not having studied Urdu grammar formally, "mere ko" immediately sounds incorrect but "mere se" less so. It's good to know that the grammars outlaw both.
  6. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    According to proper grammar the oblique form of maiN is always mujh. If you break it up it sounds a bit more ludacris: mere ko is maiN ke ko , and mere se is maiN ke se which have no understandable meaning. What noun is ke/ka connecting maiN to? There is none. So it makes no sense.
  7. Abu Talha Senior Member

    Thanks for the analysis, Tonyspeed.
  8. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    I'm afraid you're wrong there, QP: things like "we was" are not correct standard English, that's all. There are many dialects in England (the land of English), where that's perfectly fine (gramatically fine, I mean - because those dialects have that conjugation rather than "we were"). And you will find many writers writing with that language: of course since more people write in standard English, there are more "we were" people.
    Some of the other examples you have given are rather more common among non-native speakers of English (like "If I would ...", "I should have went"), and thus they are irrelevant to the present discussion.

    It is not only the Munnabhais that say "mere ko": most Hindi speakers use or encounter these constructs in their everyday life. Maybe Urdu is far too more rigid, but Hindi is certainly not, and, to reiterate my point, spoken language defines grammar, not the other way round.

    However, since the title of this thread only solicits opinions about Urdu, I defer to others' opinions, since I've no idea how much rigidly do the Urdu speakers stick to the grammar books.

    A quote from http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/regional-voices/grammatical-variation/ is reproduced below:
    "We should avoid the temptation to draw misguided conclusions about what is ‘correct’ and ‘incorrect’ grammar."
    Read more at the link.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  9. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو

    I have already stated my position in the following words and I have nothing further to add.

    "When this usage comes out of writers' dialogues into their actual texts, and, if accepted by the general public, it will become part of what is deemed to be grammatically correct language."

    My view about Urdu grammar has nothing to do with rigidity. It is connected with pride in the use of a language which is more than just a means of communication. It is our heart and soul! Or, as someone much more eloquent than me once said...

    naddii kaa moR, chashmah-i-shiiriiN kaa ziir-o-bam
    chaadar shab-i-nujuum kii, shabnam kaa raxt-i-nam
    motii kii aab, gul kii mahak, maah-i-nau kaa xam
    in sab ke imtizaaj se paidaa hu'ii hai tuu
    kitne HasiiN ufaq se huvaidaa hu'ii hai tuu

    (tuu= Urdu)

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012
  10. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Prescriptively, yes they are incorrect. The obliques are "mujh" and "tujh." Descriptively, well, they exist! I grew up with them and have learned where to use them (Delhi) and where not to (Lucknow).

  11. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    We have another thread that discussed maine jaanaa hai forms. But I've been noticing this form more and more often where
    mere ko replaces mujhe/ mujh ko. How widespread is this form? It is also found in Pakistan?

    I found the thread: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1801088

    Mod note: Thread merged with a previous one about the same topic
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2012
  12. hindiurdu Senior Member

    Hindi-Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri
    This feels like classic pidgin simplification. Eliminates the 'mujh' form so you don't have to learn it. Could easily be Bombay-originated. Similar to replacing 'kyuN/kyoN' with 'kaae ko'.
  13. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I've made my point in this thread and I don't feel I can add much more to what I have already said. Perhaps the moderators could merge all the three threads.

    As for Neha, I don't know her origins but Mr. Snell's Hindi is better than hers, by far. Couple of mispronunciations..fir for phir and khaasii for khaaNsii.

    "(mujhe) sardii lag rahii hai" is not "I am getting a cold" but "I am feeling cold".

    "aap kaa peT gaR-baR hotaa hai"..should be "aap ke peT meN gaR-baR hotii hai".

    "dil kaa daurah aa gayaa"..surely "dil kaa dauraa paRaa"!

    And of course "mere ko"...
  14. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    As a mother toungue speaker of pidgin, it doesn't feel simplified to me at all. if you replace mujhko and mere ko with maiN, then it would be simple.

    I wouldn't say better. You can tell she didn't learn Hindi out of books as is obvious with Snell. Colloquial idioms are a marker of native speech.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2012
  15. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    You will find that most "natives" will not be saying "mere ko" and the rest. She is hardly using colloquial idioms. But each to their own.

    Was that a "colloquial Hindi" course?
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
  16. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    I beg to differ on this one. The first one (peT gaRbaR honaa) sounds very familiar, and the proposed correction (peT meN gaRbaR honii) totally alien to my ears.
  17. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    May I ask who is Neha? I can't figure it out from the thread.
  18. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    She is the lady with whom Professor Rupert Snell was having a little chat on matters of health. I think the link that Tony SaaHib provided seems to have got deleted in combining the threads.
  19. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Thank you, you've been very helpful in solving this tiny mystery for me. tonyspeed SaaHib, could you send the link again?
  20. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I did n't actually write "peT meN gaRbaR honii". Nevertheless, three examples of this usage (two in Urdu, one in Hindi). Whether you consider these "mustanad" or not is another matter.



  21. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Anyway, the feminine form of the infinitive looks rather strange to me in the Urdu or Hindi context. On the other hand, it is in no way a sentence I'd use at all, whether with meN or without! Still, it ought to be rather peT meN gaRbaR hai than peT gaRbaR hai... And yes, without meN it can be yih mu3aamalah gaRbaR hai, as is sometimes heard, but I'm not convinced whether this is language proper.
  22. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    True you did not write "peT meN gaRbaR honii", but I thought that was the general form. I stand corrected that you wrote "aap ke peT meN gaR-baR hotii hai".

    Thanks for the examples. They all sound correct to me, meaning grammatically valid statements. However, they are not idiomatic usages like 'peT gaRbaR honaa', according to my humble opinion. Of course your mileage may vary. Just like in my opinion, while shiin qaaf durust (nah) honaa is the correct idiom, one can argue that shiin qaaf se durust hona is at least not grammatically wrong. Hopefully that clarifies the difference.
  23. gagun Senior Member

    Telugu-TS, Deccani-TS
    in hyderabad people use

    mereku instead of mujhe
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  24. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    All people? Should this be "use"?
  25. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    Yes, all people speaking Deccani Urdu: who are quite a lot in Hyderabad.
  26. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole

    Adding to this conversation, I know a man who lived in Bombay and Madhya Pradesh (educated in Hindi medium) who uses mere ko as the norm. He seems to actually be annoyed at times by the used of mujh ko.

    On reconsidering this mamla, I think the more important question is : "how long has this form existed?" When a grammar is standardised, there are always winners and losers. It is possible that mere ko and mujh ko existed side-by-side, but only one can be picked for a standard.
  27. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Like QP has quoted Ghalib:
    3ishq mere ko nahiiN, vaHshat hii sahii

    So, it's at least 150 years old for sure (at least in Delhi).
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  28. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Dib jii that is not what QP SaaHib is saying! In fact it is the opposite he means! Please have a closer look at his post (#3).

    I know Ghalib could break rules - certain rules - in his poetry but not every rule and definitely he wouldn't go for the grammatically incorrect mere ko instead of the correct mujh ko:

    عشق مجھ کو نہیں وحشت ہی سہی
    میری وحشت تری شہرت ہی سہی
    3ishq mujh ko nahiiN waHshat hii sahii
    merii waHshat terii shohrat hii sahii


    I recall reading that we got mujh ko from Prakrit so it is considered the standard from - and it is very old, while mere ko seems a much later development.
  29. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    oops oops oops... That was really stupid of me! Sorry, I didn't read it carefully. Thanks for correcting me.

    "mujh" is indeed based on Prakrit/Apabhramsha majjha/majjhu in (dative-)ablative-genitive, I guess, from Sanskrit mahya(m) (dative). Prakrit tujjha etc. seems to be an analogical formation.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  30. lcfatima Senior Member

    In a teapot
    English USA
    You know, since this thread, I have realized that the people I asked for opinions on "maine" use were expressing social attitudes, but not really reporting on what they were saying, and I just repeated that here. People don't always say what they say they say, as they say. For example, although my MIL is something of a language purist and dislikes 'maine,' my own husband uses this construction (maine, aapne) very often, especially with our children.
  31. littlepond Senior Member

    Note that in Hyderabadi Urdu, it is "mere ko" that is standard, not "mujhe"!
  32. souminwé Senior Member

    Vancouver, Canada
    North American English, Hindi
    I think there's a continuum depending on what you're trying to convey. Vast majority of the time it's mujhe/mujhko for me, but I might use "mekko" ( a broken down version of "mere ko") when being cute. "mere ko" sounds filmi to me, but I guess that's diasporic Hindi for you - not really exposed to the diverse regional and class markers in India in real life.

    Examples of my spoken Hindi with "mekko":
    "mekko nahiin sabjii khaanii, let's order in!"
    "mekko kaa pata : O "

    I don't consider it wrong so much as a variant with a particular use.
  33. littlepond Senior Member

    "mere ko" for those who are not used to Hyderabadi Urdu may sound filmy: that's understandable, souminwe jii, since I am guessing that Marathi characters are often shown employing that on the screen. However, in Hyd. Urdu that is the norm. In fact, it is more "mere ku" rather than "mere ko", if you go by what you really hear in Hyderabad.
  34. souminwé Senior Member

    Vancouver, Canada
    North American English, Hindi
    Also, reading back through people's arguments, I think the justification that mere ko is incorrect because it's "grammatically unjustifiable" to be a weak one. In the grammatical framework of the Hindi variant that was recorded for commone use, mujh should appear before any postpositions, and mere is a form of the possessive adjective.

    That for some speakers this "postpositional" case was/is collapsing into the possessive means merely that. To also go after the idea that we got mujh ko from Prakrit, this doesn't mean that majjha/majjhu survived to become mujh in every Hindi language that was intermediate between Prakrit and the modern languages (although my intuitions tell me that mere ko is a very modern development, I don't think that is good reasoning).

    Some of the examples Qureshpor used are African American Vernacular English, which has a distinct and reproducible grammatical structure. It might not be the English that we know as the lingua franca of the world but it is perfectly good English and is just as suited to be a global language as mainstream English. It would be quite inflammatory to suggest that AAVE speakers should be "corrected". In my opinion, it would indeed smatter of racism and classism to correct "mere ko" to someone's face, even if they are speaking that way at school. It is more important that they understand how to use mujh for communicating in the common Hindi variant than be shamed for their own. Punjabis seem to manage just fine without speaking like their textbooks.
  35. littlepond Senior Member

    I agree with all that you say, souminwe jii. As I also said in another thread, learning a standard may be useful to seek a middle ground, so that people can communicate effectively on a common platform, but that does not mean that you deride someone's language to be some inferior version, etc. As long as a language has its own consistency and internal structures, there's nothing to elevate some so-called standard above it. In addition, as I have said before in yet another thread, each person in a way has a distinct language: and it is not merely classism and racism, but it is complete disrespect to another person to tell him that "hey, you speak like* I do."

    * The word "like" in itself is interesting; in a way, it confesses: no two people can be the same. "Like" actually implies difference. However, worryingly, it also implies convergence.
  36. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I find your words quite indigestible, it's a grave accusation though there is no culprit. I don't really understand how come you arrived at this conclusion. Racism? Classism? I think it has nothing to do with mujhe and mere ko.

    If a teacher corrects a pupil and urges him or her to speak standard language, it's just that, nothing more than that.
  37. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    However you as a Hindi speaker wish to speak, is entirely your own choice. My views about "mere ko" being incorrect are from the Urdu perspective and as Abu Talha SaaHib asked a direct question in his opening post, I have provided him with a direct answer.
    It is "mujh ko/mujhe" that is taught to learners of Urdu language, be this in a school or here in this forum.

    "What about other postpositions after mere, are they also incorrect? Should mujh be used instead?".

    To a Hindi learner if you wish to respond to him/her that both mujh ko/mujhe and mere ko are equally correct, then please be my guest!

    It matters not to me what route the development of "mujh ko/mujhe" has taken. What matters is that for me "mere ko" is wrong. End of story. Those who wish to use it are free to use it and no one is forcing them to do otherwise.
    Well, the examples that I gave of "you was/we was" have not been taken from "African American Vernacular English" but British English. The British Prime Minister does not speak like this and I don't suppose the Canadian one does so either. What they do speak is the standard language. In the same way, my stand is based on the standard language and not any street slang or colloquial language. I did n't quite follow your reference to the Punjabis. Perhaps you would be kind enough to explain what you mean.

    I shall ignore the "racism" and "classism" charge.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  38. littlepond Senior Member

  39. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    I don't think the problem is Hindi or Urdu. It is prescriptive versus descriptive. "Mujhe/mujh ko" is according to the artificial standard, but "mere ko" is colloquial speech that has evolved naturually.

    There are other forms, at least in Hindi, that also seem to break the formal standard, but are used widely.
    For instance: mujhe khaanaa hai for "I want to eat". It is definitely widespread colloquially, but books invariably seem to teach a meaning of "must" for this form.

    And to add to this thread, when I went to Bangalore, people had no qualms about using "mere ko" there either. In other words, there is a way that you speak formally (according to standard), which is
    different from the way people speak informally.
  40. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Very interesting indeed. So, all those people who have been saying mujh ko/mujhe for centuries (attested examples in Urdu literature) did not arrive at these forms through a natural process. Someone (perhaps from outer space) came and planted mujh ko/mujhe which then took root but still "artificial" whereas "mere ko" is home grown through and through and consequently "natural".
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  41. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    Once you create a standard, you have stopped the natural evolutionary process of language (or at least slowed it down). There is no correct or incorrect in language. There is only correct according to the artificial standard.

    In older times there were often several parallel forms coexisting in Urdu literature. (One example: some authors used ve while others did not) When you create a standard, those parallel forms cease to be written.
  42. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    If you go back to # post 8, third paragraph, you will see that my reply was concerned only with Urdu. Hindi was added to the topic heading later.

    The question you and other friends need to ask is this. If you were a teacher of Urdu or Hindi, what format would you employ for your students? Please don't forget that unless the enquirer has the colloquial/slang in mind, then the default is the standard language. If you wish to call this standard an artificial one, that is fine with me and if you wish to communicate (both in speech and writing) in what you believe is the "natural" language, that too is fine.

    Regarding ye/ve, they became obsolete as far as Urdu is concerned around Mirza Asadullah Ghalib's time. This is attested in one of his letters. I don't believe people were mixing ye/ve with yih/vuh. As the original question from an Urdu speaker was whether "mere ko" is correct or not, we would be going off into a tangent if we continued to discuss ye/ve.

  43. littlepond Senior Member

    In Bangalore, you hear the Hyderabadi Urdu variant, tonyspeed jii, for which "mere ku" is in fact the standard!
  44. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    This is true. In teaching the student, you teach them the variant most widely accepted. They are expected to figure out the rest on their own.
  45. littlepond Senior Member

    ^ But what is the "most widely accepted"? It need not be the most prevalent form. A very good example is standard French itself. Acceptance is always related to politics: which group is dominating whom. Any prescriptivism is only another attempt to reinforce this politically brought about status quo. Any attempt to resist it is good in my view.
  46. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    As far as I'm aware, Hyderabadi Urdu doesn't have a different standard version than northern Urdu. It has its own quirks and deviations in colloquial use just as the Hindi of Bihar does compared to the Hindi of Delhi, for example. Putting aside the issue of language politics, the standard version is what's accepted, promoted, and taught in schools. Whether a person is from the north, south, east, or west, "mere ko" would not be considered acceptable in Hindi or Urdu in any serious writing or speech. If some people choose to use expressions such as "mere ko", "we was" etc. in their daily lives, it's their prerogative, but it doesn't change the fact that they're grammatically wrong.
  47. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Very well said, mundiya Jii. Could n't agree more.
  48. littlepond Senior Member

    What is taught in schools depends on language politics, mundiya jii.
  49. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Not really. Schools teach the accepted standard, and "mere ko" has never been a part of it.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  50. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    If you want to get into language politics then the Hindi of Bihar is not Hindi at all but rather Angika, Bajjika, Bhojpuri, Magahi, and Maithili.

    I agree whole-heartedly with littlepond. The standard only reflects the correct speech of those with political clout. Further discussion of this will be futile until the readers study the history of language a bit more. This discussion on the Panjabi-Hindi conflict in India may be useful in explaining the problems involved. Notice one quote "Hindus argued that Punjabi was not a full-fledged language. It was only a dialect of Hindi without a strong literary tradition and one that could not be raised to the status of a state language due to its backwardness."
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
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