Gujarati: Asking questions with શું

Pokeflute

Senior Member
English - American
Hi all! I was reading a Gujarati textbook (written in Hindi) and came across the following sentences:

Hindi: क्या वह आ रहा है?
Gujarati: શું તે આવી રહ્યો છે?

Hindi: वह अंदर है क्या?
Gujarati: તે અંદર છે શું?

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever heard શું used this way in Gujarati (i.e. as a question particle). These examples feel like someone directly translating from Hindi.

That said, my Gujarati exposure has been fairly limited (mostly to informal, household talk with my family). So I could be wrong here.

Question - How often is શું used like this in Gujarati? And is this a formal thing or do people talk like this even in casual conversations?
 
  • littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    I am not a native Gujarati speaker, but I think the શું here is correct and is used thus, especially when it comes to the first example. In the second one, more natural for me would be, rather, શું તે અંદર છે?, that is, putting શું at the beginning, though I don't think putting it at the end is incorrect or not acceptable. Of course, casually, people might just drop the "what" part and simply ask તે આવી રહ્યો છે? and તે અંદર છે?, with the rising tone indicating it's a question.
     

    Pokeflute

    Senior Member
    English - American
    I see - yeah in my experience people use intonation to ask questions. Hence why શું seemed so weird to me.

    Interesting - is this something you’ve heard in all settings (casual and formal)?

    EDIT: I was told by my grandmother that “શું” બોલાય, પણ કાઢી નાખવાનું

    So I’m not too sure what to make of that
     
    Last edited:

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Interesting - is this something you’ve heard in all settings (casual and formal)?

    I've heard it in normal speech, so casual settings, but of course, it's not that common as the intonation-based questions.

    EDIT: I was told by my grandmother that “શું” બોલાય, પણ કાઢી નાખવાનું

    That seems sound advice to me. Not removing the શું unnecessarily makes the sentence feel heavier, anyway, and maybe, but Gujarati native speakers need to confirm that, makes the speaker feel pedantic.
     

    SouthGujarat

    New Member
    Gujarati
    Hi, I'm a native speaker. The use of શું in the above sentences is indeed correct. It's just that often, the શું in cases like these is dropped when talking/writing as the the rest of the sentence still makes enough sense on its own. Using શું here makes the sentences more formal sounding, as @littlepond mentioned.

    Although the word શું is still used a lot, just in different contexts to the above. E.g. શું ખાધું? શું કરે? આટલી વાર તેં કર્યું શું?
     
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