Section 22 == *more help*

22.1 = The private lives of participles

Participles are forms of verbs that are trying very hard not to be verbs. They arrange to pass themselves off as either adjectives or adverbs. If they act as adjectives, they are called "restrictive," since they delimit or "restrict" the identity of the person or thing they describe ("Not the smiling boy-- I mean the frowning boy!"). If they act as adverbs, they are called "nonrestrictive," since they describe the manner of action of the verb ("The boy, frowning, left the room") rather than the identity of the subject. Adverbial participles can be located at many different points in a sentence, but in principle they should always be set off by commas from the rest of the sentence.

Urdu participles are a great deal more regular and organized than English ones. And yet I've found them harder to describe, and especially to illustrate, than any of the other verb forms. Part of the difficulty lies in the differences of usage between Urdu and English (which in this case are greatly to the disadvantage of English), and partly in the varying, semantically-influenced ways in which participles are construed, both in Urdu and in English. I'm grateful to my students for their help with finding and framing the best examples.

PRESENT PARTICIPLES: Present participles have the form of the habitual in one of its most common three endings aa , e , ii , followed by hu))aa , hu))e , hu))ii , as appropriate. When the participal is adjectival, these endings behave in all cases exactly like marked adjective endings (since that's basically what they are). When the participal is adverbial, the endings revert to a neutral masculine plural form e . (Although just to make life complicated, some speakers seem to retain agreement with the subject even with adverbial participles.) In colloquial use, moreover the hu))aa , hu))ee , hu))ii may be omitted.

Here's a look at some PRESENT participles.


ADJECTIVAL (restrictive) ADVERBIAL (nonrestrictive)
1) khultaa hu))aa darvaazah , "the opening door" darvaazah , khulte hu))e , "the door, opening , ..."
2) u;Thte hu))e la;Rke , "the getting-up boys" la;Rke , u;Thte hu))e , "the boys, getting up, ..."
3) ha;Nstii hu))ii la;Rkiyaa;N , "the laughing girls" la;Rkiyaa;N , ha;Nste hu))e , "the girls, laughing, ... "
4) paktaa hu))aa khaanaa , "the being-cooked food" khaanaa , pakte hu))ee , "the food, being cooked , ..."
5) bantaa hu))aa ghar , "the being-made house" ghar , bante hu))e , "the house, being made, ..."
1) darvaazah kholtii hu))ii la;Rkii , "the door-opening girl" la;Rkii , darvaazah kholte hu))e , ..."The girl, opening the door, ..."
2) sunte hu))e la;Rke , "the listening boys" la;Rke , sunte hu))e , "The boys, listening, ..."
3) duudh piitaa hu))aa bachchaa , "the milk-drinking child" bachchaa , duudh piite hu))e , "The child, drinking milk, ..."
4) sve;Tar pahantii hu))ii ((aurat , "the sweater-putting-on woman" l((aurat , sve;Tar pahante hu))e , "The woman, putting on a sweater, ..."
5) khaanaa pakaataa hu))aa aadmii , "the food-cooking man" aadmii , khaanaa pakaate hu))e , "the man, cooking food, ..."

And here are some PAST, or PERFECT, participles, which are made with the perfect form in one of its most common three endings aa , e , ii , followed (in principle if not always in practice) by hu))aa , hu))e , hu))ii , as appropriate.

The past participles of (transitive) ne verbs apply to the object of the action, not the doer of the action. (Mostly these forms work the same way in our cruder English system: "the reciting poet" versus "the recited poem," and so on.)

ADJECTIVAL (restrictive) ADVERBIAL (nonrestrictive)
1) khulaa hu))aa darvaazah , "the having-become-open door" darvaazah, khule hu))e , "the door, having become open, ..."*
2) u;The hu))e la;Rke , "the having-gotten-up boys" la;Rke , u;Thte hu))e , "the boys, having gotten up, ..."*
3) jaagii hu))ii la;Rkiyaa;N , "the having-woken-up girls" la;Rkiyaa;N, jaage hu))e , "the girls, having woken up, ..."*
4) pakaa hu))aa khaanaa , "the having-become-cooked food" khaanaa , pake hu))ee , "the food, having become cooked, ..."*
5) banaa hu))aa ghar , "the having-become-built house" ghar , bane hu))e , "the house, having become built, ..."*
1) kholaa hu))aa darvaazah , "the having-been-opened door" darvaazah, khole hu))e , "The door, having been opened, ..."
2) ;Daraa))i hu))ii la;Rkiyaa;N , "the having-been-frightened girls" la;Rkiyaa;N , ;Daraa))ee hu))e , "The girls, having been frightened, ..."*

u;Thaayaa hu))aa saamaan , "the having-been-picked up luggage"
saamaan u;Thaa))e hu))e la;Rke , "the having-picked-up-the-luggage boys"

saamaan , u;Thaae hu))e , "The luggate, having been picked up, ..."
la;Rke , saamaan u;Thaa))e hu))e , "the boys, having picked up the luggage, ..."*


pahanaa hu))aa sve;Tar , "the having-been-put-on sweater"
sve;Tar pahnii hu))ii ((aurat , "the having-put-on-a-sweater woman"

sve;Tar , pahne hu))e , "The sweater, having been put on, ..."
((aurat , sve;Tar pahane hu))e
, "The woman, having put on a sweater, ..."*

pakaayaa hu))aa khaanaa , "the having-been-cooked food"
khaanaa pakaayaa hu))aa aadmii , "the having-cooked-food man"

khaanaa , pakaa))e hu))e , "The food, having been cooked, ..."
aadmii , khaanaa pakaa))e hu))e
,"the man, having cooked food, ..."*

Most of the important permutations of participles are illustrated in the above examples. There's more to be said about particular examples and instances, but for the moment at least I will refrain. If I think of any helpful suggestions over time, I'll add them. And here's a Mirian example that clearly shows the difference between transitive and intransitive perfect participles: M{1507,1}..

22.2 = Participle avoidance syndrome

Urdu/Hindi speakers are not very fond of participles, somehow. Which is a pity, since they're so much more systematic and flexible than their counterparts in English. (Look at all the examples in the charts above that can be framed easily and naturally in Urdu, and awkwardly or not at all in English.) In any case, people seem very ready to avoid participles when they can. Perhaps it's a part of the general tendency of the language to be relatively poor in adjectives and adverbs, and to do more work with postpositional phrases.

kar constructions: Past participles of the nonrestrictive, adverbial kind are much rarer than other kinds of participles. The reason is simple: they're very often replaced by kar constructions. The examples in the past-participle chart above that are followed by asterisks are the kind that would be replaced by kar constructions: in colloquial usage you'd rarely hear khaanaa pakaa))e hu))e , you'd hear khaanaa pakaa kar every time. But in literary writing, you'll find a wider range of grammatical structures, including adverbial past participles.

vaalaa constructions: Learners are often inclined to substitute the nice easy oblique infinitive plus vaalaa constructions for the adjectival present participle, but there's an important difference. A .safaa))ii karne vaalaa aadmii is a man who generally does cleaning, a "cleaner." (Or else perhaps a man who's "about to" clean.) But a .safaa))ii kartaa hu))aa aadmii is a man who's engaged right now in the act of cleaning; nothing about habitualness, etc., is implied.

A note for grammar fans: In principle, forms like la;Rkii jaatii thii can have two readings: the normal one of "the girl used to go," and also a participial one: la;Rkii jaatii hu))ii thii (with the hu))ii permissibly and colloquially omitted), "the girl was in a state of going." What's the difference? Basically nothing. But when we move to past participles, the plot thickens a bit. la;Rkii ga))ii thii can have two readings: the normal one of "the girl had gone," and also the participial one: la;Rkii ga))ii hu))ii thii (with the hu))ii permissibly and colloquially omitted), "the girl was in a state of having gone." Would such a reading make any difference? Usually, hardly any. Once in a while, perhaps quite a bit. For if you see something like la;Rkii ghar dekhii thii , with no ne , it might be an archaism or an eastern-regional dialectical form-- or it might be short for la;Rkii ghar dekhii hu))ii thii , "the girl was in a state of having seen the house" (she was a ghar dekhii hu))ii la;Rkii ), and thus a perfectly standard participial form. If you want to prepare yourself to read complex Urdu, it pays to keep possibilities like this in mind. They may seem esoteric, but sometimes they matter. Here's a Ghalibian example, with discussion: bai;The hai;N in {115,2}.


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