Hindi/Urdu: काटना kaatna کاٹنا


Senior Member
Marathi, Hindi
In the examples below, can somebody explain to me how to idiomatically use the verb 'kaatna' (meaning bitten, cut). Like what examples are there of idiomatically using this word to mean "to pass a certain period of time"? And is this the same as using बिताना or बीत जाना or बीतना (bitaana, bit jaana, bitna)? In the same vain, can one say समय काटना (samay or waqt kaatna)?

जैसे बिरहा (विरह) की रुत (ऋतु) मैंने काटी

काटोरे काटे काटेना

रात काटी/रात काटना

Thanks in advance!
  • Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    Is there confusion due to the fact that the immediate meanings coming to mind of kaaTnaa are to cut/bite, as you have indicated in your opening post...? If this is the case, then it can be seen that kaaTnaa has other meanings as well. In addition, it might be helpful to compare this usage to the English expression to kill time.
    H کاٿنا काटना kāṭnā [kāṭ˚ = Prk. कट्ट(इ) or कट्टे(इ); S. कर्तय(ति), caus. of rt. कृत्], v.t. To cut, clip, lop, prune; to hack, slash, cut asunder, sever, disjoin, disunite, divide; to dissect; to saw; to cleave; to carve, to chisel; to mow, to reap; to clear (land of jungle); to bite; to nip, to sting; to cut or wound with satire; to carp at, find fault with; to make ashamed, to shame, to put to the blush, to confuse; to cut away, to erode; to corrode; to cut out, mark or lay out (a road); to cut out, strike out, erase; to cancel; to exclude; to pass, spend, or while away (time); to waste (time); to tarry, stop, stay, remain; to traverse, or cross, or get over (a road); to extract (colour from anything); to interrupt, or intercept (speech); to refute, rebut; to put an end to, settle, or adjust (a dispute, &c.); to deduct; to liberate; to earn, or gain (money) ...
    Example sentences:
    • hospital meN waqt bitaanaa/guzaarnaa/kaaTnaa us ke liye nihaayat mushkil thaa.
    • woh bachchoN ke saath ziyaadah waqt guzaarnaa/bitaanaa chahtaa thaa/chaahtii thii, is liye manSab se sabuk-dosh ho gayaa/ga'ii.
    • xaalii makaan kaaTne ko dauRtaa thaa aur waqt kaaTe nahiiN kaTtaa thaa. lihaazaa, us ne dusre shahr apne xaandaanii ghar meN jaa kar rehne kaa faisalah kar liyaa.
    • waalidain ne pareshaan beTii/beTe ko kaahaa: waqt palak jhapakte guzar jaa'e gaa aur dekhte hii dekhte ta3liim kaa silsilah mukammal bhii ho jaa'e gaa!

    Urdu literary examples and transliterations:

    ...ایک تصویر دیکھنے میں مشغول ہو جاتا ہے گویا اس طرح وقت کاٹنا چاہتا ہے کہ اتنے میں...

    از تین انگلیاں - سعادت حسن منٹو
    ...ek taSwiir dekhne meN mashGhuul ho jaataa hai goyaa is tarH waqt kaaTnaa chaahtaa hai keh itne meN...

    az tiin ungliyaaN - Saadat Hasan Manto

    زد پہ آ جائے گا جو کوئی تو مر جائے گا
    وقت کا کام گذرنا ہے گذر جائے گا

    اسلم فرخی
    zad peh aa jaa'e gaa jo ko'ii to mar jaa'e gaa
    waqt kaa kaam guzarnaa hai guzar jaa'e gaa

    Aslam Farrukhi

    دکھ کا شب خوں روز ادھورا رہ جاتا ہے
    اور شناخت کا لمحہ بیتتا جاتا ہے

    پروین شاکر
    dukh kaa shab-xuuN roz adhuuraa rah jaataa hai
    aur shanaaxt kaa lamHah biit-taa jaataa hai

    Parveen Shakir

    کٹ ہی گئی جدائی بھی کب یہ ہوا کہ مر گئے
    تیرے بھی دن گزر گئے میرے بھی دن گزر گئے

    عدیم ہاشمی
    kaT hii ga'ii judaa'ii bhii kab yeh hu'aa keh mar ga'e
    tere bhii din guzar ga'e mere bhii din guzar ga'e

    Adeem Hashmi


    Senior Member
    "kaaTnaa" does not mean "bite" here; also, it's not exactly the same as "bitaanaa". "kaaTnaa" in English is "biding" your time.


    Senior Member
    While we are on the subject of kaatnaa -- other than context is there a way we distinguish between cutting and biting?

    The baby bites me everytime she sees me. Jab bhi vo mujhe dekhti hai, vo mujhe kaattii hai-- is that idiomatic? Are you more likely to use kaat lena or kaat dena here? Does the use of lena vs dena imply biting vs. cutting? Or am I just overthinking?


    Senior Member
    Only context tells which "kaaTnaa" is implied. (Remember "kaaTnaa" can also mean "to serve as an antidote": for example, "zehar zehar ko kaaTtaa hai" - poison is an antidote to poison. It can also mean "to act in opposition to someone", etc.) You can use "lenaa" or "denaa" combined with any sense of "kaaTnaa", so nothing there.
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