Hindi: न, मत

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albondiga

Senior Member
English/USA
Apparently, both न and मत are used to say "not" (as in a negative command: "Do not x")...

1) Are there differences (e.g., formality; would one be used with people who would be "tum" and the other with people who would be "aap," or something like that?)

2) If not, is one used more often than the other?

Thanks!

(please transliterate in your responses, my Devanagari reading skills are non-existant!)
 
  • linguist786

    Senior Member
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    Good question!

    I don't really know how to answer this. I would say they are interchangeable, but something in my mind tells me they are not.

    "Aisaa mat karnaa!"
    "Aisaa na karnaa!"

    They're both the same to me :-s (although intuitively, I would use "mat")

    edit - one thing: "na" can be used in both the negative imperative and in declarative sentences whereas "mat" can only be used in the negative imperative ("Don't..!") and not in declarative sentences. For example:

    hukuumat ne aisaa na karne kaa faislaa kiyaa (The government has decided not to do this) BUT
    *hukuumat ne aisaa mat karne kaa faislaa kiyaa.
     

    albondiga

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    Shukriya!

    edit - one thing: "na" can be used in both the negative imperative and in declarative sentences whereas "mat" can only be used in the negative imperative ("Don't..!") and not in declarative sentences. For example:

    hukuumat ne aisaa na karne kaa faislaa kiyaa (The government has decided not to do this) BUT
    *hukuumat ne aisaa mat karne kaa faislaa kiyaa.
    And "na" can also be used other ways, na? (It's the same "na" as the one that I hear added to the end of sentences for confirmation of sorts, na? :) )
     

    linguist786

    Senior Member
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    Shukriya!



    And "na" can also be used other ways, na? (It's the same "na" as the one that I hear added to the end of sentences for confirmation of sorts, na? :) )
    Yes, that's right. You'll hear "na?" or "hai na?" often. It's like the Chinese "shì bú shì?" or the french "n'est-ce pas?" or the German "oder?"
     

    panjabigator

    Senior Member
    Am. English
    Linguist, which would you use more, personally. I feel like I'd opt for na than mat, but we also had this discussion before where I realized it was Panjabi's influence.
     

    linguist786

    Senior Member
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    Linguist, which would you use more, personally. I feel like I'd opt for na than mat, but we also had this discussion before where I realized it was Panjabi's influence.
    Use more for what? Saying "don't"? I would more often use "mat".

    I guess it all depends on the context of utterance. It's hard to say which one you would "use more" - how can you judge?
     
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