Hindi, Urdu: kaaTe nahiiN kaTe

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MonsieurGonzalito

Senior Member
Castellano de Argentina
In some threads, the verb कटना / کٹنا has been discussed, with the sense of "pass / spend time".
The expression kaaTe + (negative word) + kaT... is also used to express that the time is spent with difficulty (awake, pining for love, etc).
It is used in several poems and songs.

Some examples:

xaalii makaan kaaTne ko dauRtaa thaa aur waqt kaaTe nahiiN kaTtaa thaa (this is from the thread above)
kaaTe na kaTe haiN aab ratiyaaN
(from the song Tajdaar-e-Haram)
kaaTe na kaTe re ratiiyaa saiyaaN intizaar meiN (from the song "kaaTe na KaTe" in Coke Studio)
kaaTe nahiN kaTe ye din ye raat (from the song of the same name, in the movie "Mr India")

My question is: what verbs forms are involved, and with what part of the sentence do they agree?
(The second term seems to be the past participle of kaTnaa agreeing in gender and number with the subject, but what about the first term, kaaTe? It is evidently from kaaTnaa, but what?)
Thanks in advance.
 
  • Frau Moore

    Member
    Deutsch
    "waqt kaaTe nahiiN kaTtaa thaa"

    Monsieur Gonzalito, the first term kaaTe is an imperfective participle in invariable "e"-form.

    This construction is not only possible with kaaTnaa and kaTnaa but with other combinations of related transitive/intransitive word pairs also.

    The transitive verb expresses that an action is attempted while the negated intransitive verb means that the attempt failed.
    The transitive verb is either in the form of an imperfective participle in -e, a perfective participle in -e or an absolutive (its subject can be implicit as in your sentence, same as with other -e participles, ghar aate aate der ho gaii for example ) . The intransitive verb normally agrees with its subject ( here waqt. )
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    The intransitive verb normally agrees with its subject ( here waqt. )
    In the song "Tere Bina", I found that, apparently, kaaTnaa can also work transitively, i.e., one can "pass the night" with difficulty, instead of the night being what "passes".

    yah ratiyaa
    kaaTuuN re kaTe kaTe na
    ab tere binaa sajnaa sajnaa kaaTe kaTe na


    And of course, it is always "ratiyaa", that is mandatory :D
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    In the song "Tere Bina", I found that, apparently, kaaTnaa can also work transitively, i.e., one can "pass the night" with difficulty, instead of the night being what "passes".
    "kaaTnaa" is always transitive: of course, the object need not be specified always! @Frau Moore, I believe, was referring to "kaTnaa", not "kaaTnaa", as the intransitive verb.
     
    Last edited:

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    That is "kaaTe-kaTe", rather than independent "kaaTe" and "kaTe". Just like other such combinations, which intensify the movement: "bhaagte-bhoogte", "chalte-chalaate", etc.
    Oh, then:

    "kaaTe na kaTe": it passes with difficulty
    "kaaTe kaTe na": it doesn't pass at all


    correct?
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    Relevant Urdu literary example (each couplet contains -aa'e nah -e form): غالبؔ - نکتہ چیں ہے، غمِ دل اُس کو سُنائے نہ بنے
    I thought the "with difficulty" meaning was obtained only with the causative and non-causative forms of the same verb
    (in your example, only بنائے نہ بنے and اُٹھائے نہ اُٹھے)
    Are you saying the effect is obtained just by virtue of the pattern -aa'e nah -e, even if they don't belong to the same verb family?
    I ask out of ignorance.
     

    bakshink

    Senior Member
    punjabi
    बहलाए- बहले ना मन मेरा, ऐसा उलझा तेरे प्यार में- Bahalaaye- bahale na Mann mera aisa uljha tere pyaar mein.
    लगाए, लगे ना ध्यान मेरा कहीं और करूँ मैं क्या, मुझे बता ? Lagaaye, lage na dhyan mera kahin aur karoon main kya, mujhe bata?
    बीते न बिताई रैना, बिरहा की जाई रैना- Beete na bitayi raina, Birha ki jaaee raina ( This is the first line of a Hindi song)
    रोके, रुके ना, बह ही निकले आँसू... Roke na ruke, bah hi nikale aansu
    Using different verbs the sentences can be made, though their use may not be so frequent like
    "बुलाए- आए ना कान्हा, मीरा रही प्यासी,
    अंखियों में नीर लिए, दिल में उदासी"- Bulaaye, aaye na kanhaa, Meera rahi pyasi, Akhiyon mein neer liye dil mein udasi (Couplet composed by me at this instant to give you an example.)
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Oh, then:

    "kaaTe na kaTe": it passes with difficulty
    "kaaTe kaTe na": it doesn't pass at all


    correct?
    The first "kaaTe" (in red above) didn't need to be included there, as it could be even absent without change in meaning with respect to result; "na kaTe" or "na kaTte" automatically implies difficulty or not passing at all. The first "kaaTe" simply signifies that the singer did make an effort to "kaaT".

    "kaaTe-kaTe na" acts as synonym of "na kaTe", there's no distinction: the singer has used it simply fit the metre.
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    Using different verbs the sentences can be made, though their use may not be so frequent
    Thanks for the examples and couplet, @bakshink, I think I get it.

    "na kaTe" or "na kaTte" automatically implies difficulty or not passing at all
    This is my main takeaway from your answer, @littlepond: that the line between difficulty and impossibility blurs in this kind of construction. (which wasn't obvious to me).
    Other than that, it seems that the poet is deliberately playing with those words, going back and forth between those 2 nuances, in a way a competent speaker can understand better. For me, it suffices to get the general sense that the night is becoming long for that person. :)
     
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