Persian: Relative Clause with را

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sehrehalal

Member
English - US
Salaam all,

In regards to relative clauses and using را, I was taught (maybe correctly, maybe not) that generally را is unnecessary when the noun being modified is not the object of the main clause verb (even if it is object of the relative clause verb). For example:

ماشینی که کنار ساختمان دیدم خیلی گران بود.
That is, it is best NOT to put:
ماشنی را که کنار ساختمان دیدم خیلی گران بود.

However I am seeing examples where the را is indeed present, even when only the verb of the relative clause is transitive.

کسی را که دیدم استاد دوستم است.
مردی را که در این تصویر می‌بینید٬‌ علی اکبر دهخدا٬ شاعر و ادیب ایرانی است.

Is it perhaps because these refer to people, and people attract را a bit more strongly than objects? (E.g. مردی را دیدم is typical, but صدایی را شنیدم implies a lot of context for that صدا, like you're going to tell a story about it.) Or is it primarily just to avoid confusion of subject / object? Maybe I've just been taught wrong ?

Perhaps another good test would be to see if the following are correct:

کتابی که دیدم جدید بود.
But
خانمی را که دیدم ایرانی بود.

And how possible / impossible do the following feel to you:


کتابی را که دیدم جدید بود.
But
خانمی که دیدم ایرانی بود.

Thanks in advance for your help!!
 
  • mannoushka

    Senior Member
    Iran/Persian
    Hello. I think the raa is only ever inserted in the clause if the verb in the main sentence requires one. Then the raa is placed in the clause to signal the presence of a direct object related to the verb of the main sentence. Consider this: کسی را که دیدم می‌شناسم
    This is an instance of the correct use of the raa, since here the little word goes hand in hand, so to speak, with kassi, which is in fact not only an object for the clause but also, and more importantly, one for the main sentence. It is always the type - transitive or intransitive - of the verb in the main sentence that determines whether or not there ought to be a raa there somewhere.
     

    sehrehalal

    Member
    English - US
    Thank you! That's what I thought as well but then this sentence in my textbook threw me off:

    کسی را که دیدم پدر دوستم بود.

    So in general I guess we are fine / better off leaving the را out here.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Would the sentence کسی که دیدم پدر دوستم بود The person I saw was my friend's father.... be grammatically wrong?
    I’d say yes, however the following is correct:
    کسی که آمد پدر دوستم بود
    The person who came was my father’s friend.
    So it all depends on the verb.
     

    mannoushka

    Senior Member
    Iran/Persian
    In کسی را که دیدم پدر دوستم بود the را is superfluous. However, it is possible, particularly when one is actually saying the sentence in conversation, not to be perfectly certain in advance as to how the relative clause is going to be completed, that is, exactly what sort of verb one is going to use to finish off one’s speech with. This, to my thinking, must account for slipping in the را in the first part. One inserts it inadvertently just in case one will find a need for it later, as, for instance, in the event that main sentence will all of a sudden turn out to be something like
    .... فوری شناختم و گفتم این پدر دوستم است


    One point about را: it has, in addition to its being a grammatical indicator for a direct object, another hidden function which is to stress particularity of the direct object:
    قلم بردار و بنویس
    قلم(ات) را بردار و بنویس

    The intent to emphasize particularity may get the better of a speaker at times, forcing them to resort to the little word where it ought not to appear, so that the speaker may, in the example کسی را که دیدم پدر دوستم بود, have wished to put extra emphasis on the person met being the father of the friend and not just a random guy. Nevertheless the rule of grammar has been flouted there, I personally would argue.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    .... another hidden function which is to stress particularity of the direct object:
    قلم بردار و بنویس
    قلم(ات) را بردار و بنویس
    را in the second sentence is the definite article “the”.
    Take a pen & write - any pen, yours, a red pen we don’t care.
    Take the pen & write - a specific pen, one that both parties know about. so را is not stressing rather then specifying.

    However را in ..... کسی را که دیدم is not the definite article and is required by the verb دیدن. Here ی in کسی is the definite article making it ‘the person’

    Whereas آمدن in ....کسی که آمد does not require را and of course کسی still means ‘the person’.
     
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    mannoushka

    Senior Member
    Iran/Persian
    Persolatin, is کسی که دیدم پدر دوستم بود or خوابی که دیده‌ای خیر باشد incorrect in your view, or is your position that which holds these examples to be fine either with or without a را? If, as you say, the ی in کسی is doing the job of the definite article, then why would you say there was a need (or that it would be good) to put in the را as well?
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Persian Grammar - Ann K.S. Lambton (1953) on page 76 has the following explanation and examples.

    If the antecedent is definite and the direct object of the verb of the principal sentence, and the relative pronoun is the subject of the relative clause, را is optional...

    آن زنیرا کہ دیروز آمد دیدم

    or

    آن زنیکہ دیروز آمد دیدم

    If the antecedent is definite and the subject of the principal sentence and the relative pronoun is the direct object in the relative clause, the antecedent can take را; this, again is optional, e.g

    زنیرا کہ دیدید اینجاست

    کتابیرا کہ بمن دادید گم شدہ است

    or

    زنیکہ دیدید اینجاست

    کتابیکہ بمن دادید گم شدہ است

    By this explanation,

    کسی که دیدم پدر دوستم بود is correct.
     

    mannoushka

    Senior Member
    Iran/Persian
    The grammar reference, while authoritative, is liberal, covering many possibilities, which is actually good; yet it is not exhaustive: one may just as well go for,
    کسی که دیدم را می‌شناسم
    Warning: not so brilliant this shifting of the little word to the outside of the clause. Yet it does happen in life, and it does, I humbly offer, suggest the overriding position of the main verb above whatever verb may be used in the clause. (Point: we never say کسی که دیدم را آدم خوبی‌ست.)

    And while we are at it, this, too, is not unheard of: کسی را که دیدم را می‌شناسم. Definitely over the top. Not fluent at all.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    I can’t really follow those rules about را in grammar books or websites I have seen.

    1 کلاه بیار - bring hat/hats (any)
    2 کلاه را بیار -bring the hat - This is the only sentence where را acts as the definite article.
    3 کلاهش را بیار - bring her hat - In my view را is not required here as ش clarifies which hat, but I am sure it's there to stop confusing it with example 4.
    4 کلاهش بیار - bring a hat for her (poetic)
    5 کسی که آمد/رفت/رسید/پرید/افتاد پدر دوستم بود - intransitive verbs do not require را
    6 کسی را که دیدم/میشناختم/زدم/میپرستیدم پدر دوستم بود - transitive verbs require را
    دیدن is definitely transitive as it needs an object therefore requires را e.g. او را دیدم, او من را دید

    کسی که دیدم را می‌شناسم
    Here را has been placed there to express emphasis, and is valid
    کسی را که دیدم می‌شناسم says: I know the person who I saw
    کسی که دیدم را می‌شناسم says: "I know the person who I saw" i.e. the same as above but implying: I am telling you/I stress I know the person who I saw.
     
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    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    زنیرا کہ دیدید اینجاست:tick: transitive دیدن

    کتابیرا کہ بمن دادید گم شدہ است:cross: does need را

    or

    زنیکہ دیدید اینجاست:cross: needs را

    کتابیکہ بمن دادید گم شدہ است :tick: intransitive دادن
    This suggests 'anything goes'.
     
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    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    ماشینی که کنار ساختمان دیدم خیلی گران بود.
    That is, it is best NOT to put:
    ماشنی را که کنار ساختمان دیدم خیلی گران بود.
    You can get away without را here: ماشینی که کنار ساختمان دیدم خیلی گران بود only because the car position's is given so the third party already knows which car, and of course the version ماشنی را که کنار ساختمان دیدم خیلی گران بود is also correct as را adds stress or further identification, there may well have been other cars near the building.

    Whereas ماشینی که دیدم خیلی گران بود lacks the crucial information about the car, also colloquially it may sound as if را has been omitted but it hardly ever is:
    ماشینیو که دیدم خیلی گرون بود - (here ماشینیو is the short form of ماشینی رو and رو of را)

    A correct example, with a person, extra information and no را:
    مردی که دیروز در خیابان دیدم پدر دوستم بود

    But without را this is not OK مردی که دیدم پدر دوستم بود, which مرد/man is the speaker referring to, does the third party know the man know him. Of course مردی که دیدم پدر دوستم بود will be OK if previously that مرد/man has been identified & is known to all parties, or in the context it's not important that the third party knows the man, just that there was a man.
     
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