August 30, 2013

Conjunctive Participle + रहना

In Hindi, there is a continuity idiom that involves a conjunctive participle followed by a form of the verb रहना. It is the intransitive counterpart to the “conjunctive participle + रखना” idiom. In general, रहना and रखना are often used as counterparts (e.g. चुप रहो = “keep [oneself] quiet]”, खुला रखो = “keep [something] open”).

This idiom has the following form:

[conjunctive participle] [form of रहना]

The conjunctive participle is the participle of an intransitive verb. This idiom generally indicates a state that persists, instead of an action that is performed continually.

The sense is that the action of the participle is performed, and its effect lasts.


उस आदमी से बचके रहो – “Stay away from that man” (i.e., avoid, and keep avoiding)

आपको संभलके रहना होगा – “You’ll have to be careful” (i.e. take care, and keep taking care)

  • nilaya_shogun

    wow, so many subtleties…
    and does this work with basically any subject and tense?

    लड़कियाँ ध्यान से सुनके रही — “The girls kept listening” (?)
    मुझे उसके ख़त का इंतज़ार करके रहना हो — “I may have to wait for his letter (forever)” (?) (i.e. ‘keep waiting’)

    the difference between the latter sentence and the following must therefore me awfully elusive?!?

    मुझे उसके ख़त का इंतज़ार केना पड़े — “I’l may have to (always) wait for his letter” (?)

    does this also work with -कर instead of -के? and does this make sense?
    वह सोजकर रहती है — “she keeps thinking” (?)

    many thanks!

    • Good questions. You made me realize that I didn’t explain one very important detail: this idiom is only used with intransitive verbs. For transitive verbs, another “continuity idiom” is required, for instance “imperfect participle + रहना” (करता रहना) or “conjunctive participle + रखना” (करके रखना). I’ll update the article. The “imperfect participle + रहना” idiom can be used with intransitive verbs too (e.g. आता रहना). Yes, this works with -कर. The -कर and -के participle forms are usually interchangeable. There’s also a semantic difference: the “imperfect participle + रहना” idiom indicates an ongoing action (e.g. बात करते रहो), whereas the “conjunctive participle + रहना” idiom indicates a state that persists (e.g. बचके रहो means to remain safe or to remain away from something). I’m not sure if this is an absolute distinction, but in general it is true. Thanks again for interacting with the notes and for your thoughtful questions. You’ve helped me to more clearly explain (and understand) these issues.