Persian چرا ندانم؟

Ali Smith

Senior Member
Urdu - Pakistan
السلام علیکم

I asked a non-Iranian who lived in Iran, "فارسی می دانید؟"

He replied, "چرا ندانم؟"

Was he reply idiomatic? Why didn't he say چرا نمی دانم؟?

By the way, I think what I said was not very idiomatic, for native speakers usually ask فارسی بلدید؟ rather than فارسی می دانید؟ :oops:

خیلی ممنون
 
  • Aryamp

    Senior Member
    Persian
    چرا نمیدانم is like wondering to yourself why you don't know something.

    چرا ندانم is "why shouldn't I know".


    So his response was idiomatic given your question, but yes it's more natural to ask فارسی بلدید. or میتونید فارسی حرف بزنید
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    چرا نمیدانم is like wondering to yourself why you don't know something.

    چرا ندانم is "why shouldn't I know".


    So his response was idiomatic given your question, but yes it's more natural to ask فارسی بلدید. or میتونید فارسی حرف بزنید
    Your response is interesting. I would have thought ندانم would be thought as belonging to the usage of an older time. In other words, archaic usage.
     

    Aryamp

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Your response is interesting. I would have thought ندانم would be thought as belonging to the usage of an older time. In other words, archaic usage.
    Do you mean the pronunciation or the negative subjunctive? I was just going with the OP's formal style, as I figured the focus is on the grammar rather than the pronunciation. Otherwise you're right, in colloquial speech we would say نمی دونم / ندونم
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Do you mean the pronunciation or the negative subjunctive? I was just going with the OP's formal style, as I figured the focus is on the grammar rather than the pronunciation. Otherwise you're right, in colloquial speech we would say نمی دونم / ندونم
    No, I didn't have the colloquial pronunciation in mind. Just the grammatical form without می.
     

    Aryamp

    Senior Member
    Persian
    No, I didn't have the colloquial pronunciation in mind. Just the grammatical form without می.
    Now I see what you mean, yes it would sound archaic to use the present indicative without می like ,ندانم کجایی, which looks identical to subjunctive. But it's normal to use the subjunctive form when subjunctive is needed. شاید ندانم.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    I asked a non-Iranian who lived in Iran, "فارسی می دانید؟"

    He replied, "چرا ندانم؟"
    To me this seems to be a response from a Persian speaker who is surprised the question was asked in the first place, basically saying: "why should I? of course I do/what else?/why do you ask?".

    Imagine someone is intending to tell someone something serious the next day and the person asking is making sure & asks:
    هنوز این حرف رو بهش میزنی؟ / are you still telling him that? (hanuz in harf ro beheŝ mi-zani? )
    چرا نزنم؟/ why shouldn't I? (ĉerâ na-zanam?)

    They could also respond this way:
    چرا نمیزنم؟ "why wouldn't I?/ I will" (ĉerâ nemi-zanam?)
     
    Last edited:

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Yes, the subjunctive is required when you're trying to say "Why shouldn't...?", e.g.

    گربہ دوست دارید؟ Do you like cats?
    چرا نداشتہ باشم؟ Why shouldn't I (like cats)?
     
    • Agree
    Reactions: Dib

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    To me this seems to be a response from a Persian speaker who is surprised the question was asked in the first place, basically saying: "why should I? of course I do/what else?/why do you ask?".

    Imagine someone is intending to tell someone something serious the next day and the person asking is making sure & asks:
    هنوز این حرف رو بهش میزنی؟ / are you still telling him that? (hanuz in harf ro beheŝ mi-zani? )
    چرا نزنم؟/ why shouldn't I? (ĉerâ na-zanam?)

    They could also respond this way:
    چرا نمیزنم؟ "why wouldn't I?/ I will" (ĉerâ nemi-zanam?)
    Why do you say 'Why wouldn't I?"?, please? I mean why do you use 'would' here?
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Imagine someone is intending to tell someone something serious the next day and the person asking is making sure & asks:
    هنوز این حرف رو بهش میزنی؟ / are you still telling him that? (hanuz in harf ro beheŝ mi-zani? )
    چرا نزنم؟/ why shouldn't I? (ĉerâ na-zanam?)

    They could also respond this way:
    چرا نمیزنم؟ "why wouldn't I?/ I will" (ĉerâ nemi-zanam?)

    Why do you say 'Why wouldn't I?"?, please? I mean why do you use 'would' here?
    It's the presence of می which requires the use of 'would', چرا نمیزنم؟ is a short way of saying چرا فکر نمکینی که بزنم؟ as the question implies doubt (subjunctive mood).

    It will help if you tell me what you would have said or expected instead, e.g. "why won't I?" can only be correct if the question was هنوز این حرف رو بهش خواهی زد؟
     
    Last edited:

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    It's the presence of می which requires the use of 'would', چرا نمیزنم؟ is a short way of saying چرا فکر نمکینی که بزنم؟ as the question implies doubt (subjunctive mood).

    It will help if you tell me what you would have said or expected instead, e.g. "why won't I?" can only be correct if the question was هنوز این حرف رو بهش خواهی زد؟
    I would have said "Why don't I" :)
    Thank you so much for the great explanation!
     
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