Urdu: The emphatic particle "hii" after personal pronouns

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Senior Member
Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
Friends, in the singular one has the following combinations.

maiN hii
tuu hii
yih/vuh hii

In the plural there appear to be two sets.

ham hii /hamiiN
tum hii / tumhiiN
in hii/un hii / inhiiN/unhiiN

Ignoring the singular set, in what circumstances does one use the first set and when does one use the second set?
  • marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    On the spot, I think it's the second set which is used. The first one was preferred in the Punjab in the early 1900, according to a description. The particle "hii" however being an emphatic particle for focusing attention to the word it precedes, can be used separately, for a double effect.

    Also, @Qureshpor SaaHib, you appear to have forgotten to put the target language(s) in the thread title.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    English, Hindustani
    Even in the singular, the third person pronouns with hii are often rendered orthographically as a single word as well (yahii / wahii), right? For instance, this maqta' from a ghazal by Faiz:

    lo, sunii gaii hamaarii, yuuN phire haiN din ki phir se​
    wahii goshah-e-qafas hai, wahii faSl-e-gul kaa maatam​
    FWIW, I think @marrish's explanation involving shifting emphasis sounds about right to me too. When *speaking*, one sometimes stresses the word hii (eg, if one wants to really emphasize that the word preceding the hii is the *only* thing to which the sentence applies, or something like that). When *writing*, there's no good way to indicate stress. But it seems that the Urdu orthographic tradition (as well as the Nagari orthographic tradition, for that matter) has decided that hii is usually combined with several of the pronouns, unless one explicitly wants to indicate that the hii should be stressed, in which case one might write it separately to indicate this. For example, if Faiz had said

    wo hii goshah-e-qafas hai​

    I would be tempted to read this with the meaning "it is only that thing (and no other thing) that is a goshah-e-qafas," which of course makes no sense in context :)


    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I have managed to find the answer to my query through the good offices of Rasheed Hasan Khan, a renowned scholar of Urdu and a literary critic.

    Set 1.

    maiN hii/ham hii
    tuu hii/tum hii/aap hii
    yih hii/yih hii
    vuh hii/vuh hii

    Set 2.

    mujh hii/ ham hii
    tujh hii/tum hii/aap hii
    is hii/in hii
    us hii/un hii

    Set 3.

    mujh hii > mujhii
    ham hii > hamii > hamiiN
    tujh hii > tujhii
    tum hii > tumhii > tumhiiN
    aap hii > aapii
    yih hii > yihii
    vuh hii > vuhii
    is hii > isii
    us hii > usii
    in hii > inhii > inhiiN
    un hii > unhii > inhiiN

    Rasheed Hasan Khan says that some people just use "ham hii" and "tum hii" without the nasal ending. Then he goes onto say that all these forms are in vogue but the nasal forms are used more so.

    Other relevant words with "hii" are:

    ab hii > abhii; tab hii > tabhii; jab hii > jabhii; kab hii > kabhii and sab hii > sabhii

    ek hii > ekii

    yuuN hii > yuuNhii > yuuNhiiN
    juuN hii > juuNhii > juuNhiiN

    yahaaN hii > yahiiN
    vahaaN hii > vahiiN


    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    Platts also gives "ye-hī" (with an explicit -e- sound, reflected in writing)

    PLATTSयेहीييہيييہي येही ye-hī, = H ييہو येहू ye-hū (dialec.), = H ييئي येई ye-ī, emphat. form of ye, q.v.
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