Punjabi: ii/uuN, suu, je, ne affixes


Senior Member
North American English, Hindi
Hello! Long time no talk

Putting aside greetings to jump into the crux of things, I've been trying to teach myself Punjabi lately since my mum's relatives moved next door. I've started to take some pleasure in the dialectal quirks of the language. Specifically one such quirk are "pronominal affixes", discussed with quite a few examples in a PDF on Punjabi grammar I found online. It isn't something I've ever heard in the speech of my mum or those of anyone around her, and combing through my memory, the only instances I can recall that hints at this way of speaking are the couple times I've heard a specific woman mocked for adding "je" at the end of sentences.

I'll list the examples to make what I'm talking about more clear, with the "regular" Punjabi meanings on the right (I've copied and pasted these examples from the source document, so if they have errors, please feel free to go after them):

ii/uuN -

kii hoiaa ii? - tainuuN ki hoiaa?
pio aayaa ii? - teraa pio aayaa e?
ki aakhiaa ii? / ki aakhiaa saa'i? - tuuN ne kii aakhiaa / tuuN ne kii aakhiaa si?
bhraa aavii gaa - teraa bhraa aave gaa
golii laggii - tainuuN golii lagge

aa'e uuN - (i'm telling you!) main aandaa aaN (despite the past tense, apparently)
asiiN khalote ho'e uuN - (i'm telling you!) asiiN khalote ho'e aaN

suu -

maar suu - os nuuN maar
puttar ho suu gaa / puttar hove ga suu - os daa puttar hove gaa
do kuRiyaaN saa suu - os dii do kuRiyaaN
(si? san? saaNR? idk my Punjabi is weak : P Hindi-Urdu equivalent: us kii do beTiyaaN thiiN)

je -

ki je? - ki gall e? (asked of someone whom you would address with "tusiiN")
ki miliaa je? - tuaanuuN ki miliaa?
kitthe jaaNRaa je? - tuaanuuN kitthe jaaNRaa e? (
source document says "tusaaN kitthe jaaNRaa e?" but this seems to be an error to me?)

ne -

kii aakhiaa ne? - ohnaaN kii aakhiaa?
rupayya de'o ne - ohnaaN nuuN rupayya de'o
bhaiNR mar ge'ii ne - ohnaaN dii bhaiNR mar ge'ii

I was curious as to what region of Punjab people speak like this and if it's a marginalised way of speaking? Thanks in advance :)
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  • cherine

    Arabic (Egypt).
    Moderator note:

    We received a couple of reports that this thread is multi-topic. But we, the mods, beg to differ. The thread is not about the discussion of each of these affixes but about the feature of using them, and whether it indicates a particular dialect:
    I was curious as to what region of Punjab people speak like this and if it's a marginalised way of speaking?

    Whoever has the/an answer to this question, please feel free to post. If there's need to discuss each affix separately, then please follow the forum rules and open another thread for each.

    Thank you all,
    Cherine (on behalf of the IIR moderators)


    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    [..] I was curious as to what region of Punjab people speak like this and if it's a marginalised way of speaking? Thanks in advance :)
    In your post you've mentioned a pdf document. If it is this paper by Miriam Butt, then I too have read it.


    If I remember rightly, she associates the usage of some of these suffixes to District Gujrat, Punjab in Pakistan. I have first hand knowledge of this area and I can say there is some truth in this matter. What I find difficult to believe is that it only occurs in this District. I know of a certain Mirza Sultan Baig who is now no more, who was born at Atari in District Amritsar, who uses some if not all of these suffixes in his speech.

    As to whether the speakers of this mode of Punjabi are marginalised in any way, I would say most certainly not. Anwar Masood (Anwar Mas3uud) is one of the top most Punjabi poets from District Gujrat. One of his books is called "melaa akhiyaaN daa". If you read Shahmukhi Punjabi (or if it is available in Gurumukhi), then I think it will satisfy your thirst for all the "oddities" of Punjabi.

    I hope this has answered your question to some degree without going into suffixes, individually. You can search for "su" and "je" in this forum. They have already been discussed.

    I hope Alfaaz SaaHib, shahmukhi SaaHib and mundiya Jii add their life experiences to this thread.

    PS: I have my doubts about "-uuN"
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    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    I'm sure it occurs in Rawalpindi and to a greater extent in Pothwaar. Although I didn't have many contacts with Indian Punjabi speakers, still I daresay these forms are not heard in Eastern Punjabi. In Western Punjabi they are well understood by people not using them and there is absolutely no marginalisation of it (as QP SaaHib said). But yes, "je" is also heard in Sialkot and even in Lahore (when I speak Punjabi, although it is not my mothertongue, I use it freely for accentuating certain contexts). Safe to say that it is mostly a feature of Western Punjabi.


    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    [...] What I find difficult to believe is that it only occurs in this District. I know of a certain Mirza Sultan Baig who is now no more, who was born at Atari in District Amritsar, who uses some if not all of these suffixes in his speech.[...]
    Having looked at my notes which I made a while back listing various "unusual" features of this gentleman's speech, I have to admit that I am wrong about his use of these suffixes.


    Senior Member
    North American English, Hindi
    Sorry about the confusion with multi-topicity (although I suspected the mods would let it pass); the phenomenon was so unheard of to me I assumed it must be some rare dialect or one of those breakaway "Punjabis" like Saraiki, Hindko or Pothowari and was expecting most people to be confused if I wasn't crystal clear.

    Thanks for the clarifications guys, and for the Anwar Masood suggestion, Qureshpor!


    New Member
    Hi everyone!

    I've been confused with this for many years and consequently searching this around actively. I belong to a Punjabi family and live in Lahore. I don't know the technical linguistic jargon, so here's what I have found in simple terms:

    In west Punjab i.e. Lahore, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sheikhupura, Narowaal, Wazirabad etc (exclude the cities like Faisalabad and Sahiwal which are farthest to the south) tend to shorten their sentences in a way which has no counterpart in Urdu or even English. Following are the examples in Urdu's one sentence and its equivalent four in Punjabi according to the context:

    1 -
    Kya kiya hai?

    What has he/she done?

    Ki keeta ee? (2nd person. Someone smaller or of the same age group. Someone you're frank with )
    Ki keeta suu? (3rd person. Smaller/frank. Omitted but known to both the speaker and listener)
    Ki keeta jay? (2nd person. Elder/respectable)
    Ki keeta nay? (3rd person. Elder/respectable. Omitted but understood)

    Same rules apply in another example of past perfect:
    2 -
    Roti kha li thi?

    Had you eaten dinner/lunch?

    Roti khaadee saa ee? (2nd person. Frank )
    Roti khaadee saa su? (3rd person. Smaller/frank)
    Roti khaadee saa jay? (2nd person. Elder/respectable)
    Roti khaadee sann nay? (3rd person. Elder/respectable)

    In the above cases the full sentence would be
    - Tuun/Tusi kee keeta aiy?
    - Adil/Abu ne kee keeta aiy?


    - Tuun/Tusi roti khaadee si?
    - Adil/Abu ne roti khaadee si?

    Now the interesting part. This is not an offshoot of Punjabi but it's spoken right in the heart of Punjab, Lahore; at homes, markets, shops, offices. It's the standard Punjabi dialect. I have relatives and friends in Sialkot, Narowaal, Gujranwala and Rawalpindi and they speak the same. However, I've confirmed with my friends from Faisalabad and Sahiwal that their Punjabi is slightly different and does not include the above (that's much closer to the Jhalandhar/Ludhiaana Punjabi as the majority migrated from there post-partion).

    Another interesting thing. I've ample proof that Indian Punjab has, in some parts (probably Amritsar and surrounding cities), more or less the same Punjabi spoken in Lahore. For this watch film Bhangra, made in India and released 13 years after the partition:
    (Moderator note: Please don't add links to copyrighted materials. Video links are not allowed in the forum. Cherine)

    I can refer two such instances from this movie:
    At 04:49 "O koi maan pehn di gaal kaddee saa suu?" (Kya koi maan bhen ki gaali nikaali thi?). Here the girl, who had beaten the servant, is being referred but not named or mentioned explicitly.

    At another place father tells his daughter to give hot milk to drink to a fainted guy "dudh peya suu". Again the guy is omitted.
    Only someone from Indian Punjab can comment as to why we don't get to hear such Punjabi in any of the Punjabi movies today or has it gone extinct? Since I have given the proof that it did exist in Indian Punjab a decade after partition.
    If I have made a mistake, I would appreciate the correction :)
    PS: One more reference: http://dl.wdl.org/9704/service/9704.pdf (Punjabi grammar written in 1904 has the reference to "suu")
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