Hindi: Use of Verb Forms of 'Tum' with the 'Aap'

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Illuminatus, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. Illuminatus Senior Member

    Mumbai, India
    India, Hindi, English, Marathi
  2. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    What's the difference between "aap yahaa bethe" and "aap yahaa bethiye", if any?
  3. lcfatima Senior Member

    In a teapot
    English USA
  4. Illuminatus Senior Member

    Mumbai, India
    India, Hindi, English, Marathi
    You will not hear this very often in India, at least in the Non-Urdu region, but we'll understand it and won't find it very unnatural.
  5. BP. Senior Member

    This mal-conjugation is gramatically totally wrong and is pretty often used by the anglophyllic elite in Pakistan. I find it very offensive, and I'm not alone.

    In Urdu there are 4 registers of formality, two of them using aap.

    1 - aap yahaaN tashreef rakhiyay (bathna is impolite in formal conflab)

    2 - aap yahaaN tashreef rakhaiN

    3 - tum yahaaN baitho

    4 - too yahaaN/id'har baith
  6. Illuminatus Senior Member

    Mumbai, India
    India, Hindi, English, Marathi
    Hmm, I can see it being frowned upon even in my place if the situation warrants a proper formal speech. Urdu has much more adab and I think the mal-conjugation will be considered very rude.

    However, the usage is very very common in Colloquial Hindi. I would be mildly surprised if someone who is just a year younger than me says Kya Aap Aaenge? At the same time, I will take offence if he says Tum Aaoge Kya or Tu aaega kya? both of which will be rude. The most common socially heard sentence in this scenario would be Aap Aaoge kya?

    All this does not mean that I am saying this form is grammatically correct. But, linguistic purism should not blind us from acknowledging a widespread form of speech.
  7. BP. Senior Member

    The registers 1- and 2- should probably be merged into 1-a- and 1-b- because they both use aap, and differ only when talking with respect to a complete stanger or a familiar person respectively.

    Illuminatus, Aap Aaoge kya? is wrong, there's no doubt about that. but people seem to have invented it to manage formality and personal familiarity. I've always heard my mom say 'aap aayiay gaa?', not even 'aap aaiN gay kya'. Putting kya at the end is pretty informal, putting it in the beginning is proper and not saying it at all (as in the implied question 'aap aayiay gaa?') is somehow super polite!

    We never even say 'maiN' referring to I, but 'hum' eg 'hum aaiN gay' as in plural. I gave up talking like this because some bully at school laughed at it. Looking back, I shoudn't have.
  8. Illuminatus Senior Member

    Mumbai, India
    India, Hindi, English, Marathi
    It depends on the Social Scenario then. The use of Hum instead of I is characteristic of UP and Bihar and sounds odd to me too. Though I don't use it myself and find it irritating when someone uses it, I acknowledge it as a form of speech used by millions (and it can, therefore, safely be called a dialect, if nothing else).

    Likewise, I have been hearing the conjugation switch for years in the place I grew up, and so I find it acceptable to use in specific scenarios, just like millions use Hum.

    Yeah, I agree that putting Kya at the end is informal, but then, that was my point.
  9. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    The combination of the Tum form with Aap is very common in north India, and you'll encounter it frequently in Delhi and Panjab. But it's nonstandard and so I expect school instruction would not promulgate anything but modern standard Hindi/Urdu.

    I never heard it in Lucknow, however, and so I really had to take care to not use it.
  10. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    I think I’d agree with BelligerentPacifist’s suggestion of merging registers 1 and 2. All the same we’d still be left with 4 registers as the really, really polite way here would be to say: Aap yahaaN tashreef farmaa hooNآپ یہاں تشریف فرما ہوں This is reaching the very heights of Urdu adab - the stratosphere and beyond!Regarding the use of Aap + informal Aao etc. is, as we all agree, grammatically incorrect but, again as we all know, is used widely esp. in Punjab, but elsewhere too e.g. NWFP. When I first encountered it in my travels, I was taken slightly aback but got used to it. Often the accompanying body language is very important too and that made all the difference. The body language and gestures often were very very polite. So I didn’t mind.
  11. ihsaan Senior Member

    As a non-native speaker, will it be considered "too polite" (=stiff or pretentious) if I use the aap form (with the proper conjugation according to aap, and not the merged colloquial form as mentioned here) with people who are my age or younger than myself? Should I rather use the "tum" form? Can the use of "aap" create a sort of gap between myself and people my age in social settings?
  12. Illuminatus Senior Member

    Mumbai, India
    India, Hindi, English, Marathi
    It is perfectly fine to use tum with people who are younger than you (unless your relation is of some other type, say Boss-Subordinate etc.)

    You don't need to use aap with them. As I said, the merged conjugation of aap is usually a characteristic of a social-setting where tum/tu would be rude but where the gap isn't enough to warrant a pure aap.

    For instance, my juniors in college address me using aap and the merged conjugation, as you call it. I would find it rude if they used tu/tum with me (and I would tell them as much). Using pure aap forms would be weird only if a person who generally addressed me using the merged form suddenly started using the pure form. It would sound sarcastic then. But I have juniors who always use the pure form with me, so it's not unusual with them.

    In general, the pure form is never considered pretentious.
  13. ihsaan Senior Member

    Ok, I see. Thank you. You mostly talked about people younger than me, but what about people my age (the same age or just a couple of years older)? Would the same apply (it being preffered to say "tum")?

    Sometimes I feel it is easier to use aap with everyone, because it´s hard grammatically to switch between tum and aap. I don´t think I will use the merged construct as I´m having a hard time enough as it is with my poor Urdu. :)
  14. Illuminatus Senior Member

    Mumbai, India
    India, Hindi, English, Marathi
    It depends on the kind of relationship you have. For situations where there is a clear hierarchy (say in schools/colleges/jobs), you'd say Aap to people who're older. If they are good friends and there isn't any hierarchy, tum is OK.
  15. ihsaan Senior Member

    Thanks for the clarification! :thumbsup:
  16. Abu Talha Senior Member

    Something that I find funny is when you first meet someone your own age, say in college, or a new town, and you address him as aap. Somewhere along the line, if you end up being friends, that changes to tum. And it's amusing to note the transitional period where you'll start saying tum, but for very direct questions or statements you'll still say aap.

    However, I've seen that many people stick to aap even with very close friends, so maybe it does not convey that formality for them and is just a mark of polite speech.

    Another thing I find funny is how sometimes parents even scold their young kids saying aap, and speak using register 1 above. Of course, it is just perception. I would find aap a little funny there, while they would find tum plain rude.

    Yet another amusing situation is when two brothers hang out with the same set of friends and address the friends as even tu because that's how their friends speak to each other, yet the brothers, when addressing each other, say aap, even in the same conversation, because that's how they've been taught to speak at home.

    It's all good!
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  17. Abu Talha Senior Member

    I agree with this because I have often noted this myself. How strange that a language with already four registers feels the need for yet another! With no research, and just musing, I might be bold enough to say that this may be because registers 3 and 4 are increasingly being perceived as impolite in all settings. So a new one is needed to take their place.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  18. ihsaan Senior Member

    Well, to me, the usage of "aap" to children is not that strange. I was told that many parents speak this way to their own children from a young age to make sure the children learns how to speak polite at a very early age.
  19. hindiurdu Senior Member

    Hindi-Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri
    Seems like a really old thread, but what the heck, I'll post a comment anyway. One interesting thing about the Bihari lehja is this:

    - Ham ne tum se kaha tha. - STANDARD
    - Ham tum se kahe the. - BIHARI LEHJA
    - Ham ne tum se kahi thi. - (WEST?) UP LEHJA

    Actually it is a bit shocking that no ones done a proper dialect assessment and dictionary of these regional variances for such a vast language. I think it's because people are so hung-up on identity politics in the subcontinent, they don't have time to do things which would be considered normal in terms of linguistic assessment. I was recently looking at the Dictionary of American Regional English project (http://dare.wisc.edu/). Too bad we don't have anything like this for Hindi-Urdu or Punjabi. I was was looking at specific examples here (http://dare.wisc.edu/?q=node/163) and was quite jealous. How delicious it would be for the people on these boards to see this stuff for H/U/P and find unexpected words and sentence forms.
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  20. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ I too go through moments of distress over our indifference for the need to preserve and record a wide array of disciplines which are ultimately linked to language and culture. There is so much diversity that if this is not recorded, whether we have Urdu and Hindi in mind or Punjabi or any other of our languages, whatever knowledge we possess in our minds will die with us. My grasp over language and cultural issues is a lot less than my parents' and my children's grasp is a great deal less than mine. I would like to name every bit of flora and fauna of the land but those who have the knowledge are either dead or will soon join those that are.

    If someone were to ask an elder from our village regarding its beginnings, they will no doubt exaggerate and put its age touching Raja Porus's times but I know of only one house which is possibly over a hundred years old. Everyone else has demolished the older buildings and built and rebuilt newer ones attempting to outdo one another. If I asked a youngster in my village what a "phalaa" is, I am 100% certain that he/she would not know what I am talking about. All the agricultural implements would normally be exhibited in a museum but with us, no one cares!

    I suppose when our stomachs are full, our life and property secure, dignity for all human beings irrespective of colour, race, religion, gender, disability, age and sexuality, only then will our minds be at ease to care for our language, culture and the physical and biological environment around us.
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  21. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    The above is a question which Tony SaaHib posted in another thread which has now been closed.

    In "kal ho nah ho", the "ho" is in the third person singular and is essentially "ho'e/hove" whereas in "aap kaise ho", the "aap" is a third person pronoun and "ho" is a second person plural verb (to be, in the present tense).

    kal ho nah ho = (ho saktaa hai kih) kal ho (yaa) nah ho = (It is possible that) tomorrow may come or not = Tomorrow may never come! (Let's make the most of today!)

    aap kaise ho? = aap kis Haal meN ho? = What state are you in? = How are you?
  22. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    I think I see what you are getting it. If it were subjunctive, it should be "Aap kaise hoN?"
  23. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Yes, but with a slight change..aap kaise bhii hoN (maiN aap kii 3izzat karnaa nahiiN chhoRuuN gaa)!
  24. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    By the way, "kal ho naa ho" may not mean only "Tomorrow may or may not be"; it may also mean "Something might or might not happen tomorrow".
  25. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Here is an example from the poet Shah Naseer. I believe, one can take the use of "aap" in two ways.

    aap to zahr meN shakar kaa mazah chaahte ho
    gaaliyaaN dete ho aur ham se du3aa chaahte ho
  26. amiramir Senior Member

    As an aside, I've always really liked the Aap + Tum conjugation of the verb. I think it provides a lovely nuance. It combines respect with familiarity. For example I use it all the time with my brother in law -- he's still an in-law, hence aap, but we're the same age and have a close relationship, hence the tum conjugation. Aap+aap conjugation would be completely over the top for me in terms of formality.

    Anyway, I know it is decried as nonstandard, the deathknell of adab and sanskaar, but I think it's a handy piece of linguistic ingenuity that adds a layer of nuance to a wonderful language.

    In Punjabi I don't have any such recourse, but in Hindi-Urdu we can.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  27. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    ^ Great point, amiramir, and most of us do use this aap+tum construction: I personally think it as an elegant way to work out things when aap+aap, as you say, is over the top, and tum or tu is not really acceptable.
  28. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    No one should have any problem with your choice of usage. If you feel comfortable, that is all that matters.

    In Urdu poetry, this kind of mixing is called "shutur-gurbah" (camel-cat) and I suppose the choice of words indicates that this is a mismatch and hence disapproved. Having said this, well known poets have indulged in this "camel-cat" game but that may have been out of poetic necessities.
  29. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I am not sure if anyone has attempted to answer your question.

    Frankly, I don't remember anything specific in Urdu books of my day. All I will say is that "aap yahaaN baiTheN" is a genuine Urdu form used as an imperative which lies between "tum yahaaN baiTho" and "aap yahaaN baiThiye" on the politeness scale. If you are able to get hold of Urdu books used in Pakistani schools, you should find this form.

    If you type the word سیکھیں and carry out a search on the net, you will find numerous books entitled x سیکھیں . This confirms that this form in the imperative is a common occurrence in Urdu.
  30. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
  31. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I was listening to the renowned Urdu scholar Shamsur Rahman Faruqi when he said..

    "aap kah rahe ho"...."bhaiyaa aap jaante ho nah...". His audience, as far as I could gather were mainly Hindi speakers because I noticed he was using more words in his lecture which one would normally associate with Hindi. Just type "Pratiman Release: Lecture by Shamsur Rehman Faruqi on Urdu. Go straight to 26:30
  32. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Just after 23:55 he says:
    "aur tum uskaa copy hai. aur us copy ke tum copy kar rahaa hai, jab tum poem likh rahaa hai to"

    He is also using an Eastern colloquialism here.
  33. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I would suggest he is imitating "goraa style" Urdu here and hence the mix up. It is quite possible that even in my quote he is producing a certain style that he is familiar with and through it he is possibly aiming to inject informality in his speech.
  34. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    True. Could be that too.
  35. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    One of my university friends is an Urdu speaker from Indore, India and his in-laws are from Hyderabad, India. Today, he visited us with his family including his mother in-law. She is 86 years of age. I was paying particular attention to the Urdu speech of my friend's wife and his mother-in-law. On one occasion the wife said "aap piyo" and on the other occasion, the mother-in-law said, "aap fikar nah karo".

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