August 29, 2013

Bare Conjunctive Participle + Verb

Consider the following verb phrases: ले आना, ले जाना, निकल आना,  घुस आना, बच निकलना. They look like compound verbs, but they are not compound verbs. The difference is that the auxiliary verb in a compound verb loses its meaning and imparts a nuance to the main verb whereas in each of the verb phrases above, both verbs contribute meaning. In each of the above examples, there is a “bare” conjunctive participle followed by a verb (in infinitive form). A conjunctive participle can assume one of three forms:

  • Verb stem + के, e.g लेके
  • Verb stem + कर, e.g लेकर
  • Verb stem, e.g. ले

The “bare” conjunctive participle has the same form as the verb stem. It is commonly used when forming verb phrases, such as the examples above. In these verb phrases, each verb lends its own meaning to the overall expression, and the two verbs are often closely related.

ले आना means “to bring”, whereas ले जाना means “to take away”. This makes sense, since the literal meaning is “to take and come” and “to take and go”, respectively.

क्या तुम मेरी किताब ले आओगे? – “Will you bring my book?”

मैं तुम्हें दफ्तर से कब लेके जाऊं? – “When should I pick you up from the office?”

निकल आना literally means “to go out and come”, i.e. to emerge, to reappear, to come out, etc. It can sound like निकलाना, but the context will make it clear which is intended. निकलाना is transitive, and means “to take (something) out”, whereas निकल आना is intransitive, and means “to come out”, etc.

चांद निकल आया है – “The moon has come out”

The phrase घुस आना means “to barge in”:

वह हमेशा घर में घुस आता है – “He always barges into the house”

बच निकलना means “to escape”, “to emerge safely”, etc.

वह अपने दुश्मनों के हाथ से बच निकला – “He escaped from the hands of his enemies”

All of the idioms discussed above can be used with other forms of their respective participle (e.g. लेकर आना). The bare participle is very common, perhaps because it is succinct.

  • Matthew Chang

    For instances of bare conjunctive participle + verb which are transitive, is there a possibility that they could be intransitive? Like, we could turn तुम मेरी किताब लेकर आए (You brought my book) into किताब लेकर आती है (The book is brought)? मैं किताब लेके गया (I picked up the book) – किताब लेके जाती है (The book is picked up).

    • Although लेकर आना acts like a transitive verb in some respects, it isn’t “really” a verb; आना is an intransitive verb, so it has no passive form. Instead, you could use the passive form of लाना, for instance. However, जाना is a unique exception; although it is intransitive, it actually does have a special form that is used to form passive verbs, e.g. ले जाया गया. Also, see this note:

  • Divija Sampathi

    Hai David..I have a question on this topic..In one of your previous notes, you mentioned that ‘निकलना’ (to come out or be out) is intransitive and ‘nikaalna'(to take out) is transitive..Does that mean “निकलाना” (transitive as u mentioned here) is similar to “nikaalna”?? Can we use one in place of other ? Kindly clarify

    • I meant to write “निकालना”. It was just a typographical error. Thanks.