December 9, 2012

सकना in Participles

The verb सकना can be used in participles. It often corresponds to the English suffix -able/-ible:

रोकी जा सकने वाली दुर्घटना – “An accident that can be prevented” / “A preventable accident”
भुलाई न जा सकने वाली चीज़ – “A thing that cannot be forgotten” / “An unforgettable thing”

(Note the use of to negate, often corresponding the English prefix “un-“, “in-“, etc.).

अलग न किये जा सकने वाले दोस्त – “friends that cannot be separated” / “Inseparable friends”
व्यक्त न की जा सकने वाली भावना – “Inexpressible feeling”
आसानी से पढ़ी जा सकने वाली किताब – “A book that can be read easily”

Of course, such sentences can be expressed in other ways, such as with relative clauses:

भावना जो व्यक्त नहीं की जा सकती – “An emotion that cannot be expressed”

  • Dorothea Kettler

    How common is this construction in spoken language?

    • That’s a great question. You can type “जा सकने वाला” OR “जा सकने वाली ” OR “जा सकने वाले” into Google search to find examples of its usage. My impression is that it is not common in spoken Hindi, but that it’s not so stilted that it would be odd to use it.

  • nilaya_shogun

    does this mean the basic construction would be:
    (compound/conjunct) (न) [perfective participle of ‘possible’ verb] [form of जा सकनेवाला] [subject] ?? (inflections according to subject)
    as in saying:
    ‘a bread that cannot be eaten/inedible bread’ — न खाई जा सकनेवाली रोटी (न + simple verb)
    ‘a pain that can’t be endured’/’an unendurable pain’ — सहन न किया जा सकने वाला दर्द (conjunct + masculine)
    ‘this easily read book’ — यह आसानी से पढ़ी जा सकने वाली किताब (use of यह/यही)
    ‘a love that cannot be learned alone’ — अकेले न सीखी जा सकनेवाली प्यार (adverb)
    ‘a love that cannot be learned (when) alone — (जब/अगर) अकेला (हुआ/होता?) (तब/तो) न सीखी जा साकनेवाली प्यार (when clause) —> [general question], not sure about the अकेले/अकेला though

    good to learn these things! thanks for the post, and corrections are of course highly appreciated!

    • Hi, Tim! Thanks for commenting. I really appreciate your participation in this website.

      Yes, you are exactly right about the basic form.

      The most basic construction is:

      [perfect participle] जा सकने [form of वाला]

      The perfect participle and the form of वाला both agree with the word they modify, as you noted. This construction can be negated by placing न before or after the perfect participle. The participle of a conjunct verb can be used also. If a conjunct verb is used, न is usually placed after the noun or adjective of the conjunct.

      This construction is a special example of a “habitual participle”. It is a habitual participle that is passive and uses सकना.

      I will write a note about habitual participles soon.

      Now, regarding your examples, they are all correct (except that प्यार is masculine, but that is a minor matter). Yes, your adverbial use of अकेले is correct.

  • Divija Sampathi

    Hai David..Could you explain the word “रोकी” in रोकी जा सकने वाली दुर्घटना?? Is it feminine perfect participle of ‘rokhna’? If so what are the other forms of ‘rokhna’ infinitive? Kindly help

    • “रोकी” is indeed the feminine perfect participle of “रोकना”. रोकी is feminine here because दुर्घटना is feminine. You can think of it like this: रोकी = “stopped”, रोकी + जा = “to be stopped”, रोकी + जा + सकने वाली = “able to be stopped / stoppable”. The infinitive only has the forms रोकना, रोकनी, रोकने, रोका जाना, रोकी जानी, and रोके जाने. There are many verb forms for रोकना – too many to list here! You can read the articles about verbs to find more forms, or if you want to know a specific form, I can tell you.