Persian: داشتن

Ali Smith

Senior Member
Urdu - Pakistan
سلام

Is داشتن used in formal Persian to denote the continuous tense? For example,

بہ والدین خود محبت کنید
شما آنقدر مشغولِ بزرگ شدن ھستید
کہ فراموش می کنید آنہا دارند پیر می شوند

Love your parents
You are so busy growing up
That you forget that they are getting old.

Thanks!
 

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  • Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Thanks! My textbook says that the use of داشتن to denote a continuous tense is confined to colloquial Persian, e.g. دارم می خورم 'I am eating.'

    I was under the impression that one could not say دارم می خورم in formal Persian, and one would have no choice but to use می خورم, which could also mean 'I eat.' (just like French Je mange. could mean either 'I am eating.' or 'I eat.').
     

    mannoushka

    Senior Member
    Iran/Persian
    I am more inclined to think of داشتن کاری کردن as an informal construction. But I feel it would readily fall into place in formal speech and writing if it were given a chance.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Of course for دارم میخورم you can say, دز حال خوردن هستم but to me that’s formal for the sake of it, I find these rules about calling actual fully Persian terms colloquial, baffling, just because something is used by everyone from all classes in every type of setting, doesn’t lower its register.

    پدر و مادرت دارن پیر میشن is colloquial & impolite, not because of داشتن but because of دارن and مادرت instead of دارند & مادرتان.
     
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    mannoushka

    Senior Member
    Iran/Persian
    PersoLatin, you make a valid point about what has been termed Faarsi e Shekaste (فارسیِ شکسته) being in effect the high point of informality and the overshadowing feature in all colloquial utterances. This chipped and chiseled Persian is being used all over the media for spoken and written communication as if it were standard, and yet the more it feels like a compelling force, the more it is perceived as exhibiting less authority. می‌شوند and دارند are somehow well established and are not "getting old" and dying out, not just yet. But to go back, our grammar books do continue to pronounce the construction in question colloquial, perhaps because, unlike خواستن, there is no logic in using داشتن as an auxiliary in the construction of the continuous tenses. I don't know about a possible etymological reason, but the present meaning of the verb certainly doesn't justify its use, whereas with خواستن, the notion of intention and future action is already hidden in the meaning. Still, and this is just a personal feeling, داشتن to signal continuous action will not sound so jarring in any context or register, if only because there isn't any other verb in the lexicon that can better serve the purpose. All our verbs, as far as I can see, are equally inadequate, and داشتن just got there first.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    our grammar books do continue to pronounce the construction in question colloquial
    There lies the problem, they tend to copy one another, no one offers an alternative formal way of saying it, only word for word repetition of the same thing without explaining why.

    unlike خواستن, there is no logic in using داشتن as an auxiliary in the construction of the continuous tenses. I don't know about a possible etymological reason, but the present meaning of the verb certainly doesn't justify its use, whereas with خواستن, the notion of intention and future action is already hidden in the meaning.
    Ok how do you otherwise say 'I am/was doing x' without داشتن, in Persian?

    می‌شوند and دارند are somehow well established and are not "getting old" and dying out, not just yet.
    Can you please explain this, I don't understand what you mean.
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I have mentioned this before and will mention it again. I have read in a scholarly paper that "First appearance of continuous tense with داشتن is observed in 1888". I made a note of this but unfortunately did not write down the paper in question.

    It appears therefore that this usage with داشتن is 133 years old, at least in print. In speech it could be much longer. Bearing this in mind, I would say it is about time it stops being labelled as "colloquial" and is given a respectable place in the modern Persian language of Iran.

    Urdu has a similar development. If I wanted to write "He used to say" or "He was saying", there was only one form which provided this meaning and one could work out from the context which tense was being implied.

    وہ کہتا تھا vuh kahtaa thaa.... He used to say/He was saying... می نوشت

    Then another tense came into existence which provided only the continous meaning.

    وہ کہہ رہا تھا vuh kah rahaa thaa..... He was saying.... داشت می نوشت

    The verb used to provide this continuous meaning is equivalent to the Persian verb ماندن to remain.
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Ok how do you otherwise say 'I am/was doing x' without داشتن, in Persian?

    I think in the right context, می کنم / می کردم could mean " I am doing/I was doing.

    In the OP's quote..

    بہ والدین خود محبت کنید
    شما آنقدر مشغولِ بزرگ شدن ھستید
    کہ فراموش می کنید آنہا دارند پیر می شوند

    کہ فراموش می کنید could be interpreted as both "that you forget" AND "that you are forgetting".
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    I have mentioned this before and will mention it again. I have read in a scholarly paper that "First appearance of continuous tense with داشتن is observed in 1888". I made a note of this but unfortunately did not write down the paper in question.
    I seem to remember this, thank you.

    Someone needs to tell only one text book author about this, the rest will follow.

    It appears therefore that this usage with داشتن is 133 years old, at least in print. In speech it could be much longer. Bearing this in mind, I would say it is about time it stops being labelled as "colloquial" and is given a respectable place in the modern Persian language of Iran.
    I am sure it has been in colloquial use for much longer, like many other so called 'colloquial' words that play a key role in spoken Persian, yet they are excluded from formal Persian e.g. the suffix e/é which is definite article marker, as in "mardé âmad/The man arrived", to avoid this they often rephrase it as "ân mard âmad/That man arrived", or "mardi ké...", that's ridiculous.

    I remember you found another scholarly study that said about this marker.
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I have found the article.

    (PDF) Have-progressive in Persian: A case of pattern replication?

    Have-progressive in Persian: A case pattern replication? Narges Nematollahi (The University of Arizona)

    "Modern Persian, also known as Farsi, has recently developed a periphrastic verbal construction to express the progressive aspects which uses the auxiliary daashtan (inf) /daar (pres.stem) "to have". This construction was first reported in colloquial Persian by Zhukovskij (1888) and according to Windfuhr & Perry, it has not yet fully integrated into literary Persian...."

    My mistake (see post 8). Reading this article, it appears that in 1888 Zhukovskij reported the existence of this form in the colloquial language. So, it is quite conceivable that it was there before 1888. According to this article, this progressive tense can not be negated, amongst other restrictions! (see the article)

    More on this from FROM OLD TO NEW PERSIAN (page 49)

    "The post-classical creation of a progressive present and past with the auxiliary dāštan ‘to have’ is also relevant:

    dār-am mi-rav-am ‘I am going’, dāšt-am mi-raft-am ‘I was going’.

    This periphrasis probably originated from northern or central Persian dialects and is little at-tested in the literary language (Jeremiás 1993)."

    Regaring the definite article suffix, see page 50 onwards..from FROM OLD TO NEW PERSIAN
     
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    mannoushka

    Senior Member
    Iran/Persian
    There lies the problem, they tend to copy one another, no one offers an alternative formal way of saying it,
    There are alternatives on offer. But I agree with you that داشتن as an auxliary is a good extra tool.
    Ok how do you otherwise say 'I am/was doing x' without داشتن, in Persian?
    My point is, there isn't another verb that can be applied which will work better than داشتن.
    Can you please explain this
    This is not directly about داشتن and may be forgotten about. You pointed out that فارسی شکسته was what made the auxiliary verb in question appear colloquial. So I was thinking about your remark.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Thanks for the references Qureshpor sir.

    dār-am mi-rav-am ‘I am going’, dāšt-am mi-raf-am ‘I was going’.
    Yes.

    These also have a different use : "داشتم می رفتم /I was about to go" as well as "I was going", same applies to the present tense.

    According to this article, this progressive tense can not be negated, amongst other restrictions! (see the article)
    Negating it in present tense doesn't make sense in Persian.

    There's a negated version (where the main verb is negated as expected) داشتم ‏نمی رفتم which means "I nearly changed my mind about going"

    There's another tense (third person singular only) "داشته می رفته/she had been about to go", as opposed to "داشت می رفت/she was going/about to go". I couldn't see the tense I just mentioned in the article although داشته باشه is mentioned but strangely I can't make a meaningful sentence with it, only when if داشته باشه means 'to have', also داشته بوده is missing & you can make meaningful sentences: شاید داشته بوده میرفته/perhaps she was about to leave
     
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