Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi: habitual continuous-manaa rahaa hotaa

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by marrish, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Dear Urdu-, Hindi- and Punjabiphone friends,

    Quite recently I have become aware of a grammatical construction which you might use in your daily speech. I must say that I've been hearing it for a long time but never paid attention to it. Now it seems it is on the tongues of many and I hear it all the time.

    Here is a joke I found as an example of this usage:​

    بستر مرگ پر شوہر اپنے گناہوں کا اعتراف کرتے ہوئے بیوی سے بولا “میں مرنے سے پہلے تمہیں سچ بتانا چاہتا ہوں کہ میں نے تمام عمر تمہیں دھوکے میں رکھا۔ میں جب کام کا بہانہ کر کے رات دیر سے گھر آتا تھا تب میں دوسری عورتوں کے ساتھ رنگ رلیاں منا رہا ہوتا تھا۔ میں نے ایک دو نہیں کئی عورتوں کے ساتھ راتیں بسر کیں۔

    اس کی بیوی نے سکون سے اس کی طرف دیکھا اور بولی “تمہارا کیا خیال ہے میں نے تمہیں ایسے ہی زہر دیا ہے؟”۔

    ... and the transliteration:

    bistar-e-marg* par shauhar apne gunaahoN kaa i3tiraaf karte hu'e** biiwii se bolaa: ''maiN marne se pahle tumheN sach bataanaa chaahtaa huuN kih maiN ne tamaam 3umr tumheN dhoke meN rakhaa. maiN jab kaam kaa bahaanah kar ke raat der se ghar aataa thaa tab maiN duusrii 3auratoN ke saath rang-raliyaaN manaa rahaa hotaa thaa. maiN ne ek do nahiiN, ka'ii 3auratoN ke saath raateN basar kiiN''.

    us kii biiwii ne sukuun se us kii taraf dekhaa aur bolii: ''tumhaaraa kyaa xayaal hai maiN ne tumheN aise hii zahr diyaa hai?

    * deathbed
    ** to confess

    Under which circumstances is this construction applicable?

    Would you say this tense is "correct" and used by even the best speakers of the language in speech and writing or do you think some aliens have planted this construction on the tongues and pens of Urduphones?

    Is this construction known in Hindi or Punjabi?

    NB The grammar term as given in the thread title is a mere indication.

    Thank you.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2012
  2. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    I don't see any reason whatsoever to call this tense incorrect: it's a highly used construction in both Urdu and Hindi, with nothing ungrammatical about it.
  3. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I thought I would wait for a wider participation from our Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi speaking friends before I chipped in with my penny's worth. Perhaps we might get some response now.

    I shall attempt to answer your questions, in the reverse order.

    3) Yes, it is used in Punjabi.

    2) I would say this tense is perfectly correct and logical formation. I don't know if I'll be able to find any written or audio occurrences of the tense but I can not imagine it is not preserved in both these media.

    1) If one takes your quoted sentence and leaves out "hotaa", we would get..

    maiN jab kaam kaa bahaanah kar ke raat der se ghar aataa thaa tab maiN duusrii 3auratoN ke saath rang-raliyaaN manaa rahaa thaa.

    we can see that it does not quite work. "rang-raliyaaN manaa rahaa thaa" describes one continuous act not the regular, habitual occurrence. The "kar rahaa hotaa thaa" tense maps nicely onto the set below, moving from the past time, through the present to the future.

    kar rahaa thaa
    kar rahaa hai
    kar rahaa ho
    kar rahaa ho gaa...and

    kar rahaa hotaa. (Irrealis)

    The "problem" that one can face with this construction is similar to the "hu'aa hu'aa" constructions that we have discussed in the past. If we were to add habit to the above set, we would get..

    kar rahaa hotaa thaa
    kar rahaa hotaa hai
    kar rahaa hotaa ho
    kar rahaa hotaa ho gaa

    kar rahaa hotaa hotaa! See what I mean?

    The other sense in which this sense is used is in the "narrative".

    (kyaa hotaa hai kih) ek qaazii raat ke pichhle pahar, bi_lkul tanhaa, qabristaan se kisii baaGh kii taraf jaa rahaa hotaa hai. kyaa dekhtaa hai kih ek chor dhuu'eN kii tarH us kii jaanib baRh rahaa hai. (For these sentences, my "inspiration" is a shi3r from Maulana Rumi's Masnavii-i-Ma3navii.

    qaazii-e tanhaa shab-e me-raftah buud
    suu-i-bustaaN diid duzd-e hamcho duud
  4. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    could we also see this as a general statement? as in:

    magar bahut tez hote haiN (crocs are (generally) fast)

    tab main ... rang-raliyaaN manaa rahaa hotaa thaa. (i was (usually/generally) enjoying the company of women)
  5. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Are you asking if "rang raliyaaM manaa rahaa thaa" could be a general statement or "rang raliyaaN manaa rahaa hotaa thaa"?
  6. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Thank you for noticing the thread, as till now it hasn't enjoy too much popularity, probably because the first answer makes an impression of having solved the matter definitely, which I don't believe is the case anyway, otherwise I wouldn't have posted this topic.

    The indication of ''narrative'' usage of this tense fits in with my experiences so far. The logical reference to ''hu'aa hu'aa'', which we've done before, is also quite justified.

    I hope the discussion has just begon so there will be more occasions to summarize the developments in the due course.
  7. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    It would be nice to "populate" this thread with instances of the usage in both audio and written media.
  8. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Good idea, QP SaaHib. I shall look for the examples tonight, and don't hesitate to share if you by chance hear or read something yourself.
  9. charsi New Member

    India - Hindi & English
    I think the grammar is weak in the first part of the sentence. This sounds better to me..
    There is probably also a 'ko' missing between raat and der but it is quite commonly dropped in similar sentences.

    The part in bold I am no longer sure if it actually does sound okay or if it is because I have repeated it too many times in the head.
    I did try searching google for some similar constructions
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  10. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Firstly, may I take this opportunity to welcome you to the forum.

    I am not sure why you think that "..jab maiN raat (ko) der se aataa thaa.." needs to be replaced with "..jab maiN raat (ko) der se aayaa kartaa thaa..". I feel "aataa thaa" conveys the meaning perfectly adequately in that he is saying "..when I used to come home late at night..."
  11. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    marrish SaaHib, I have to concur with others that I don't see anything inherently wrong with the use of 'manaa rahaa hotaa thaa', although I must admit I would tend to use 'manaayaa kartaa thaa' to convey habitual, past continuous action but that said, I see no issue here in the use of the construction you've queried. I would go further and say that 'manaa rahaa hotaa thaa' has a more vivid fell to it! So, no it hasn't been planted by ''aliens''!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  12. charsi New Member

    India - Hindi & English
    I don't think it 'needs to be' changed.. just have a hunch a hindi grammer nazi might prefer "aaya karta tha" over "aaya tha" for some reason. I will myself have no problem using either form.
  13. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Here are a few instances of this construction, either with the verb manaanaa or with the most basic verb which I thought to use for the searches in order to get more results of this construction, i.e. karnaa.

    manaa rahaa hotaa

    شاعر اپنے طور پر ہر وہ تکلیف بیان کرتا ہے جو وہ صرف اپنے محبوب کیلئے برداشت کررہا ہوتا ہے سب سے زیادہ اس بات کی تکلیف ہے کہ اس کا محبوب اُس کے دشمنوں کے ساتھ اُس کے
    سامنے خوشیاں منا رہا ہوتا ہے صنف نازک کو وہ کسی بھی قسم کی تکلیف دینے کیلئے تیار نہیں بلکہ وہ اس کی تکلیف خود اُٹھانے کیلئے تیار ہوتا ہے

    Transliteration: shaa3ir apne taur par har vuh takliif bayaan kartaa hai jo vuh sirf apne maHbuub keli'e bardaasht kar rahaa hotaa hai sab se ziyaadah us baat kii takliif hai kih us kaa maHbuub us ke dushmanoN ke saath us ke saamne xushiyaaN manaa rahaa hotaa hai, sinf-e-naazuk ko vuh kisii bhii qism kii takliif dene keli'e taiyaar nahiiN bal-kih vuh us kii takliif xud uThaane keli'e taiyaar hotaa hai.

    ...آئے دن کوئی سوگ منا رہا ہوتا ہے تو کوئی احتجاج اور ہڑتال کروا رہا ہوتا ہے۔ دو چار گاڑیاں جلا دیتے ہیں

    There is a new twist to this issue, I've come across a new type of the grammar description which I was not familiar with before, i.e. I've not noticed it in the grammar works yet, but apparently this is a new development. The source is a WP-related page that unfortunately doesn't contain any indication towards the sources or the authors, but nevertheless I found it interesting enough to be shared here:

    conjugation of انتظار کرنا with masculine forms (after having opened the link, go to the bar with this text):


    present انتظار کر رہا ہوں
    past انتظار کر رہا تھا
    subjunctive انتظار کر رہا ہوں
    presumptive انتظار کر رہا ہوں گا
    contrafactual انتظار کر رہا ہوتا

    It is not clear to me whether this is the form which we have been talking about, but the grammar terms are somewhat different, though. In case we reach a conclusion that the form under question is not the one, then the example can serve as an illustration of neglecting the form in grammar descriptions.

    Here is a link to various net results for this phrase "کر رہا ہوتا ہے"228,000 results
    and in Hindi: "कर रहा होता है" - 593,000 results
    Here you can find some books containing this Hindi phrase, I leave it to the discretion of Hindi speakers to indicate whether any reliable literary examples can be found in there.

    Another example from Urdu:

    ۔بچہ۔ نشوونما پا رہا ہوتا ہے- گویا ایک زندگی کے اندر ایک زندگی کے پردے میں دوسری زندگی فروغ پا رہی ہوتی ہے
    Transliteration: [...] (bachchah) nashv-o-numaa paa rahaa hotaa hai. goyaa ek zindagii ke andar, ek zindagii ke parde meN duusrii zindagii furoGh paa rahii hotii hai.
  14. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    marrish SaaHib, though any written or audio examples count for this thread, you will no doubt appreciate that to give some authenticity to the verb form under discussion, examples from authoritative sources would be most useful.

    The "intizaar karnaa examples that you have provided are exactly the same as the non-habitual continuous forms that I quoted in post 3. Only the habitual forms of this are what we are discussing in this thread. By the way, the link that you have provided for this does have conjugation errors.
  15. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    QP SaaHib, I'd appreciate any examples but the authoritative ones, especially from the bulk of literary works be it in Urdu or in Hindi, or interviews with respected authors or known experts on the language when they would have used this form, have my preference. On the other hand, any description of this form which can be found in any text book or grammar would be also very welcome. I haven't yet found any literary source in Urdu, however I did provide a number of Hindi works but I'm unable to take stand about their authoritativeness. So it is better that people who are in the know in the field of Hindi literature can say something more for that part.

    Re. conjugation errors, it was bound to have them as it is an open source! I hadn't paid too much attention to the rest but now I can see for example that in the plural part there is ی instead of ے.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2013
  16. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ Here is an example from Ahmad Nadeem Qasimi's short story "gaNDaasaa".
    تمھاری آواز میں چاندی کی کٹوریاں بجتی تھیں ۔ ایسی کھنک کہ تم چپ بھی ہو جاتی تھیں تو جب بھی چار طرف سے جھنکار سی اٹھتی رہتی تھی۔ پھر یوں ہوا
    کہ پہلے تم آیت پڑھتی تھیں اور تمھارے بعد تمھاری ہم سبقوں کی آوازیں آتی تھیں ۔ یوں جب تم اکیلی پڑھ رہی ہوتی تھیں تو گلی میں سے گزرنے والوں کے قدم رک جاتے تھے اور چڑیوں کے غول منڈیروں پر اتر آتے تھے۔

    tunhaarii aavaaz meN chaaNdii kii kaToriyaaN bajtii thiiN. aisii khanak kih tum jab chup bhii ho jaatii thiiN to jab bhii chaar taraf se jhankaar sii uThtii rahtii thii. phir yuuN hu'aa kih pale tum aayat paRhtii thii aur tumhaare ba3d tumhaarii ham-sabaqoN kii aavaazeN aatii thiiN. yuuN jab tum akelii paRh rahii hotii thiiN to galii meN se guzarne vaaloN ke qadam ruk jaate the aur chiRiyoN ke Ghol muNDeroN par utar aate the.

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