February 16, 2013

Participle + जाना

One common idiom in Hindi involves the use of a participle with a form of जाना.

It is one of the three main continuity idioms in Hindi.

This idiom has the following form:

[participle form of the main verb] [form of जाना]

This idiom is used with both imperfective participles and perfect participles.

Imperfective Participle + जाना

The imperfective participle will either have a fixed masculine singular oblique form (i.e., ending in –ते regardless of the subject of the verb) or will agree with the subject of the verb in gender and number (i.e., ending in –ता / –ते / –ती).

जाना will inflect according to tense, aspect, and mood, and will agree with the subject in  gender, person, and number.

The imperfective participle + जाना idiom indicates a gradual progression from one state to another.

Similar English idioms include “getting X”, “going X”, “becoming X”, etc.

बढ़ते प्रदुषण संकट के कारण शहरी क्षेत्रों में रहना बड़ा कठिन होते जा रहा है – “Because of the increasing pollution crisis, it’s becoming difficult to live in urban areas”

इस शब्द का प्रचलन कम होते जा रहा है – “This word is becoming less common”

यह प्रथा अलोकप्रिय होते जा रही है – “This practice is becoming unpopular”

युनिकोड को मानक के रूप में अपनाना अघिक होते जा रहा है – “The adoption of Unicode as a standard is increasing”

In all of the previous examples, an invariant masculine singular oblique participle was used. This usage is common, but more colloquial.

The participle can inflect also. An inflected participle is more proper and formal.

उपचारों का प्रभाव कम होता जा रहा है – “The effect of the treatments is decreasing”

काम करने वालों की संख्या अब कम होती जा रही है – “The number of workers is now decreasing”

Although this idiom is commonly used with a continuous form of जाना, other forms can be used too:

जैसेजैसे बच्चे बड़े होते जाते हैं वैसेवैसे हमें उनको अधिक ज़िम्मेदारी देनी चाहिए – “As children grow older, we should give them more responsibility”

Perfect Participle + जाना

If a perfect participle is used, then this construction incidentally has the same form as a verb in the passive voice. The context will make it clear which form is being used.

The perfect participle + जाना idiom indicates an action in progress, generally toward some final state.

The participle usually inflects, but can occasionally be in the invariable masculine singular oblique form.

पानी उबला जा रहा था – “The water was boiling” (However, this is not common; more common is “पानी उबल रहा था“)

वह इस गम से मरा जा रहा है – “He is dying from this sorrow”

This usage is less common that the imperfective participle, which more naturally fits the idiom, since it indicates a progression.

Common Expressions

The perfect participle + जाना is used in a variety of stereotyped expressions. Although these expressions exhibit the same form, they do not necessarily imply any sort of progression, or if they do, it is too subtle or vague to clearly perceive.

चला जाना

The expression चला जाना means “to go away” / “to go” / “to leave”.

मैंने उससे चले जाने के लिए कहा – “I told him to go away”


  • Divija Sampathi

    Hai…In the sentences mentioned above under imperfective+’jana’ , is there any rule which is to be followed so as to know whether we should use inflected participle or just ‘hote’..like how u mentioned in the following examples. Pls explain

    इस शब्द का प्रचलन कम होते जा रहा है – “This word is becoming less common”

    उपचारों का प्रभाव कम होता जा रहा है – “The effect of the treatments is decreasing”

    And one more question..Pls lemme know the meaning of ‘ho ja raha hai’ and its usage with an example..thanq

    • Either can be used. “होते” is perhaps more common in colloquial Hindi. The inflected form (e.g. “होता जा रहा है”) is perhaps more common in formal Hindi. “ho ja raha hai” is not a verb form in Hindi. The rule is that compound verbs (e.g. “ho jaana”) are not used in continuous verb forms (i.e. the “- raha hai” forms).

      • Divija Sampathi

        thnq 🙂