Hindi-Urdu: माफ़ māf / माफ़ी māfī

biocrite

Senior Member
English and Hindi
Hello!

Could someone please explain to me the difference between माफ़ māf and माफ़ी māfī?

For example:
1. माफ़ करना māf karnā : To forgive
2. माफ़ी मांगना māfī māṅgnā : To ask for forgiveness (to excuse oneself?)
3. माफ़ी देना māfī denā : To give forgiveness (to forgive).

I feel like they cannot be interchanged but I don't understand why. And what is the difference between examples 1 and 3? Is there a reason behind all this?
 
  • eskandar

    Moderator
    English (US)
    maaf (mo'aaf) means "forgiven, pardoned". Therefore maaf karnaa, 'to forgive', is literally 'to make someone forgiven/pardoned'.
    maafii (mo'aafii) means "forgiveness". Therefore maafii maaNgnaa is quite literally 'to beg/ask for forgiveness'. You couldn't say "maaf maaNgnaa" just as you couldn't say "to ask for forgiven" in English.

    As for the difference between 1 and 3, a native speaker will be able to give you a better explanation than I can. When someone is asking to be forgiven, I feel like I have heard "maaf kar do" (from maaf kar denaa) and "maafi de do" (maafi de denaa) more often than these bare forms.
     
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    biocrite

    Senior Member
    English and Hindi
    Thank you very much, Eskandar!

    Just another little question (I hope it's not too off-topic). In my examples above, should I have cited the verbs using the feminine form of the infinitives ... :

    माफ़ी देनी māfī denī (instead of denā)
    and
    माफ़ी मांगनी māfī māṅgnī (instead māṅgnā)

    ... given that infinitives are usually declined by the direct object's gender (e.g.: मैंने किताब पढ़नी है - maĩne kitāb paṛhnī hai)? Or should verbs always be cited in the masculine singular (-ना -nā)? Citing in the feminine form sounds strange to me.
     

    eskandar

    Moderator
    English (US)
    In my examples above, should I have cited the verbs using the feminine form of the infinitives ... given that infinitives are usually declined by the direct object's gender
    This is not necessarily the case, it varies by dialect. While infinitive gender agreement is the norm in the 'Delhi school' (and, I think, probably most Hindi/Urdu dialects), the infinitive remains undeclined in the 'Lucknow school' (eg. "mujhe kitaab paRhnaa hai" would be correct in Lucknow).
    (e.g.: मैंने किताब पढ़नी है - maĩne kitāb paṛhnī hai)
    Just so you know, using 'maiN ne' in place of 'mujhe'/'mujh ko' is not standard Hindi/Urdu. Of course it's perfectly fine to talk like that, as a great many people do, but you should know that it is considered non-standard/colloquial speech and on this forum you risk offending the sensibilities of some purists by using it. ;)
    Or should verbs always be cited in the masculine singular (-ना -nā)? Citing in the feminine form sounds strange to me.
    I agree that it seems strange; I think the verbs should be cited in the masculine singular, even with a feminine noun. For example Platts gives namāz paṛhnā and not *namāz paṛhnī.
     

    biocrite

    Senior Member
    English and Hindi
    Thank you so much, Eskandar for your help! :)
    I wasn't even aware that dialectal differences between Lucknow and Delhi were so standardized (or that they included something so profound as infinitive agreement:warn:).

    After posting, I looked up infinitive agreement and according to hindilanguage.info, there are rules about when they should be in agreement, when they should not, when they may or may not and when it really doesn't even matter (because nobody will notice :eek:). http://hindilanguage.info/notes/volume-4/infinitives-and-gender/

    Cheers!
     

    Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    eskandar said:
    When someone is asking to be forgiven, I feel like I have heard "maaf kar do" (from maaf kar denaa) and "maafi de do" (maafi de denaa) more often than these bare forms.
    Lyrical examples:

    !کوئی یوں بھی روٹھتا ہے!؟ مانا میری خطاء ہے
    مگر اب مُعاف کر دو، مگر اب مُعاف کر دو
    بخدا یہ سر جھکا ہے، جو سزا بھی دو بجا ہے
    مگر اب مُعاف کر دو، مگر اب مُعاف کر دو

    فلم: آس (١٩٧٣) ؛ نغمہ نگار: مسرور انور، تسلیم فاضلی

    ko'ii yuuN bhii ruuThtaa hai!? maanaa merii xataa' hai!
    magar ab mu3aaf kar do, magar ab mu3aaf kar do!
    ba-xudaa yeh sar jhukaa hai, jo sazaa bhii do bajaa hai!
    magar ab mu3aaf kar do, magar ab mu3aaf kar do!

    Film: Aas (1973); Lyricists: Masroor Anwar, Tasleem Fazli


    مان بھی جاؤ پیارے، للہ دے دو معافی
    اپنے کو یوں تڑپانا، کتنی ہے نا انصافی

    فلم: خاموش رہو (١٩٦٤) ؛ نغمہ نگار: حمایت علی شاعر

    maan bhii jaa'o pyaare! lillah de do mu3aafii!
    apne ko yuuN taRpaanaa, kitnii hai naa-inSaafii!


    Film: Khamosh Raho (1964); Lyricist: Himayat Ali Shair
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    In my examples above, should I have cited the verbs using the feminine form of the infinitives ... :

    माफ़ी देनी māfī denī (instead of denā)
    and
    माफ़ी मांगनी māfī māṅgnī (instead māṅgnā)

    ... given that infinitives are usually declined by the direct object's gender (e.g.: मैंने किताब पढ़नी है - maĩne kitāb paṛhnī hai)?

    This is not necessarily the case, it varies by dialect. While infinitive gender agreement is the norm in the 'Delhi school' (and, I think, probably most Hindi/Urdu dialects), the infinitive remains undeclined in the 'Lucknow school' (eg. "mujhe kitaab paRhnaa hai" would be correct in Lucknow).

    Actually this is not accurate. I don't know of any dialect of Hindi/Urdu where "infinitives" always show number gender agreement (in contrast to some other NIA languages, like Gujarati). As far as I can recall right now, in the dominant Hindi style, and the so-called Delhi-school Urdu style, the "infinitive" shows agreement with the direct object only when used with the verb "to be" in the meaning of "is/are to be done", i.e. in the sense of a "gerundive" (to use the Latin-based Western grammatical terminology) or kṛtya/कृत्य (as it is called in Sanskrit grammar). Otherwise infinitives are always in masculine singular. Thus not only "maafii denaa" as the citation form, but also "maafii dene kaa vaqt". Just to contrast, Gujarati would require feminine accord in both these cases (માફી આપવી, maafi aapvi).

    Or should verbs always be cited in the masculine singular (-ना -nā)? Citing in the feminine form sounds strange to me.

    I'd say, yes, you should always cite Hindi-Urdu verbs in masculine singular (-ना -nā).
     
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    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    After posting, I looked up infinitive agreement and according to hindilanguage.info, there are rules about when they should be in agreement, when they should not, when they may or may not and when it really doesn't even matter (because nobody will notice :eek:). http://hindilanguage.info/notes/volume-4/infinitives-and-gender/

    Oops, sorry. I didn't notice this post before. The link explains it quite nicely, variations and everything. However, one of the given examples sounds plain wrong to me: "हमें अपनी समस्याएँ हल करनी पड़ेगी" should be "हमें अपनी समस्याएँ हल करनी पड़ेंगी". I wonder whether the first version is really acceptable to any Hindi speaker, or whether it was just a typo.
     
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