June 21, 2014

First Person Verbs in Relative Clauses

In Hindi, a first person verb can be used in a relative clause. This is not the case in English. For instance, in episode 118 of “Sajan Re Jhoot Mat Bolo”, the mother says:

मैं तो वो अच्छी वाली सास हूँ ना जो हर बात में अपनी बहु का साथ दूँ – “I’m the kind of mother-in-law who supports her daughter-in-law in every matter”

Notice that the verb दूँ is a first person verb. The relative clause relates to मैं, and therefore uses a first person verb.

This is not the case in English; if it were, we would say “who support …” and not “who supports …”, etc.

(If you’re wondering why it is a subjunctive verb, see the subjunctive mood.)

  • Divija Sampathi

    Hai David…In the sentence, मैं तो वो अच्छी वाली सास हूँ ना जो हर बात में अपनी बहु का साथ दूँ , what is the use of “ना” and what does it indicate?? And one more..You mentioned we dont use “who supports” in English but we do use it and for that matter we dont use “who support” which is gramatically incorrect…. For eg; we say “I am such a girl who loves fun” but not say “I am such a girl who love fun”. Kindly help..

    • The “na” in the sentence is used to affirm something. So in this sentence it is like “I’m the good kind of mother-in-law, am I not? …”. So the “na” is like saying “right?”, or “am I not?”, or “don’t you think?”, or “don’t you agree?”, etc. We say this even in English; we might say “it was a good movie, no?”. You misunderstood what I wrote regarding the phrases “who supports” and “who support”. It is a contrafactual sentence. I am making a statement which I know is false. I said **if it were** (but it isn’t true), we **would say** (but we do not say) “who support”, and not “who supports”.

  • adeeba

    please provide article on noun clause with hindi language example