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Urdu, Hindi: Usage of past tense form for present

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Qureshpor, May 10, 2014.

  1. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Friends,

    There is a famous couplet from the Persian poet Sa'di from his well known book called "gulistaan".

    farq-i-shaahii-o-bandagii bar-xaast
    chuuN qazaa-i-nabishtah aamad pesh

    This can be translated as:

    baadshaahii aur Ghulaamii kaa farq xatm ho gayaa
    jab likhii hu'ii taqdiir saamne aa ga'ii

    You will have noticed that xatm ho gayaa and saamne aa ga'ii are in the past tense. I have kept the tense the same since in the Persian the tense is also in the past. The more idiomatic translation would no doubt be:

    baashaahii aur Ghulaamii kaa farq xatm ho jaataa hai
    jab likhii hu'ii taqdiir saamne aa jaatii hai

    Whilst listening to a song from the film "haNste zaxm", I noticed the following comparable structure.

    baiTho nah duur ham se dekho xafaa nah ho
    qismat se mil ga'e ho mil ke judaa nah ho

    merii kyaa xataa hai hotaa hai yih bhii
    kih zamiiN se bhii kabhii aasmaaN mil gayaa

    ya3nii..

    kih zamiiN se bhii kabhii aasmaaN mil jaataa hai

    Do we use this kind of past tense for present in ordinary speech? Can you think of any more written (in this case Kaifi Azami) examples?
     
  2. littlepond Senior Member

    Hindi
    ^ Is it really present tense? Ok, it is, but it's only a repetitive present tense: that is the event keeps on happening (and, by implication, has happened before as well). So one can use past tense or present tense, whatever: and it's very much there in ordinary speech as well.
     
  3. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    mil gayaa: mil gayaa ho. One of interpretations. I'm sorry for this short message but I wrote many examples and they got lost when I had to log in again.

    mil gayaa hai, ho, thaa, ho gaa.... all is there.
     
  4. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    marrish SaaHib, just as in the Persian example where the past is used for a kind of universal truth, the same is being done here in this Urdu song.

    merii kyaa xataa hai? hotaa hai yih bhii
    kih zamiiN se bhii kabhii aasmaaN mil gayaa

    ya3nii..

    aise bhii hotaa hai kih zamiiN se bhii kabhii aasmaaN mil jaataa hai.

    (zaahir hai kih Hero xud ko zamiin samjh rahaa hai aur jise vuh dil-o-jaan se chaahtaa hai, use "aasmaaN" kah rahaa hai.)

    There is a grammatical name for this tense but I can't think of it at the moment.

    Can you think of any every day examples of such usage?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  5. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    After rethinking and reading this sentence of yours: "aise bhii hotaa hai kih zamiiN se bhii kabhii aasmaaN mil jaataa hai." I have to retract my words and say that the sole possibility is to substitute "jaataa hai". No examples come to my mind at the moment.

    Theoretically though, I can think of "aise bhii hotaa hai kih zamiiN se bhii kabhii aasmaaN mil gayaa (hu'aa) hotaa hai or mil gayaa (hu'aa) paayaa jaataa hai."
     
  6. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Still present habitual.
     

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