February 27, 2013

Imperfective Participle + आना

One of the three primary continuity idioms in Hindi involves an imperfective participle and a form of आना.

Form

The form is as follows:

[imperfective participle of the main verb] [past form or continuous form of आना]

The imperfective participle and form of आना inflect according to the subject.

This verb form does not exhibit ergative alignment (i.e., it is not used with ने), since आना is an intransitive verb, and the entire construction indicates a progression.

This idiom is usually used with a past perfect form of आना or a continuous form.

This idiom indicates a progression that started in the past and continues to the present. It is therefore similar to the English present perfect continuous verb forms.

Examples

वे काफी समय से ऐसे आरोपों को इनकार करते आये हैं – “They have been denying such allegations for quite some time”

वे इस बात से इनकार करते आये हैं कि वे गलतियों के लिए ज़िम्मेदार हैं – “They have been denying that they are responsible for the mistakes”

पिछले कुछ सालों से सरकार महिलाओं को अधिकार दिलाने के लिए बहुत कुछ करती आई है – “The government has been doing a lot to grant rights to women for the past few years”

मैं दो सालों से हिंदी सीखता आया हूं – “I have been learning Hindi for two years”

मैं यह काम दस साल से करता आ रहा हूं – “I’ve been performing this task for ten years”

  • ” दो सालों से” – isn’t the plural obliqus form for “साल” usually avoided?

    • Hi, Dorothea! It is common to avoid the oblique plural form in certain time expressions such as “दो साल से”. However, “दो सालों से” is certainly correct. That’s a good observation.

  • Divija Sampathi

    hai…In these two sentences

    मैं दो सालों से हिंदी सीखता आया हूं – “I have been learning Hindi for two years”

    मैं यह काम दस साल से करता आ रहा हूं – “I’ve been performing this task for ten years”

    why did u go for 2 different tenses in the end (आया in the 1st and आ रहा in the 2nd ) though both are of same kind? Kindly clarify

    • I am simply demonstrating that this idiom can involve a perfect verb (e.g. “aaya hoon”) or a continuous verb (e.g. “aa raha hoon”). The perfect verb is perhaps more common.