Persian: prefix-be

Daffodil100

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

I am learning the prefix-be. It is said be means at, with, by. It is illustrated with the following words.

Could you please tell me what the following three words mean? I don't find them via Google.

بنام =at this name = namely ?

بِروز= on this day?

بدست By hand

Thank you!
 
  • Treaty

    Senior Member
    Persian
    بـ (without ـه) is a rare prefix for making adjectives. It is similar to "on-", "in-" or "up-" prefixes:

    Hence, بنام is "on-fame" (نام also means fame and reputation) = "famous". and بروز berooz = up-to-date.

    However, sometime people write the preposition به attached to the following word. This was more common in past. Now it is not recommended at all. Therefore, it is possible that بنام and بروز are actually به نام (in the name of) and به روز (on/to the day ...), respectively.

    بدست should be definitely written separately as به دست which may mean differently regarding the context (by hand, to hand, ...).

    In addition, بروز can be borooz (= emergence, appearance: from Arabic b-r-z root).
     

    Wolverine9

    Senior Member
    American English
    Also, don't confuse it with the prefix بی (pronounced as be in Dari and Classical Persian), which means "without."
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    This prefix, as far as Classical Persian, Dari and Urdu are concerned is "ba-" and not "bi-".

    Examples..

    ba-naam-i-xudaa (In the name of God)

    ba-aasaanii (with ease), roz ba-roz (day to day/ On a daily basis)

    ba-xaanah (to the house)

    ba-xudaa (by God)

    chashm ba-raah

    ba-vaqt-i-shab (at night time)

    bi- on the other hand, is the verbal prefix ..bi-kun, bi-raft etc

    There is also the Arabic bi- As in "bi_smillah"
     
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    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    In principle this is correct, but if you look at old vocalised manuscripts you will see that there is a lot of fluctuation. This preposition comes from Middle Persian pad (Old Persian pati). In early New Persian texts in Manichaean or Hebrew script it is written p, and p survives even in modern Persian in the words padīd (“in sight”) and pidrām (“in happiness”). Early Persian manuscripts in Arabic script do not as rule distinguish the letters ب and پ , so the chronology of the change from pa to ba is uncertain. I suspect that there was some contamination between Persian pa and Arabic bi.

    In old manuscripts and early printed book the preposition pa/ba is almost always written together with the following word, but the usual practice today is to write به as a separate word, as Treaty has pointed out.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    In principle this is correct, but if you look at old vocalised manuscripts you will see that there is a lot of fluctuation. This preposition comes from Middle Persian pad (Old Persian pati). In early New Persian texts in Manichaean or Hebrew script it is written p, and p survives even in modern Persian in the words padīd (“in sight”) and pidrām (“in happiness”). Early Persian manuscripts in Arabic script do not as rule distinguish the letters ب and پ , so the chronology of the change from pa to ba is uncertain. I suspect that there was some contamination between Persian pa and Arabic bi.

    In old manuscripts and early printed book the preposition pa/ba is almost always written together with the following word, but the usual practice today is to write به as a separate word, as Treaty has pointed out.
    Thank you for this, fdb. I often wondered about the pa in padiid. Also, I agree there is a likelihood of the Arabic "bi" influencing the Persian "ba".

    Edit: As a matter of interest, whilst reading "siyaasat-naamah", I came across "ba-diid aayad" and "ba-diid aamad". I don't know if this is a misprint or not. "pe" is indicated correctly on the whole, in the book although all "gaaf" words are written with a "kaaf".
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Just to renew an older thread since "be" is being discussed in a relatively newer thread.

    Persian: The origins of the verbal prefix 'be/bo/ب'

    I would like to know whether the "ba-" in "ba-naam-i-xudaa" and "bi" as in "bi-kun", "bi-raft" have same origins or are they totally separate. Perhaps the two threads could be merged by the moderators.
     

    Derakhshan

    Senior Member
    Arabic, Persian
    I would like to know whether the "ba-" in "ba-naam-i-xudaa" and "bi" as in "bi-kun", "bi-raft" have same origins
    The به in به نام خدا is from MP pad.

    In برفت etc, it's probably from MP preverb be that originally meant "out", then became an emphatic particle.
     
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