Hindi, Urdu: kaaTe nahiiN kaTe


Senior Member
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

    "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. )
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