March 17, 2014

Noun + आना

There is an idiom in Hindi that involves a noun and the verb आना. There are notes about specific instances of this idiom: नज़र आना and काम आना.

In this idiom, a new verb is formed by combining a noun and the verb आना. Grammatically, it behaves like a compound verb. It is not technically a compound verb, since compound verbs are made from two verbs, not a noun and a verb. It is not an indirect verb construction either, since the subject remains in the direct case. Thus, it is a unique idiom.

Consider a few examples:

उस समारोह में बहुत सितारे नज़र आये – “Many celebrities appeared at the event”

The verb नज़र आना is similar to दिखना, i.e. “to appear”, “to be visible”, “to be seen”, “to show”, etc.

यह किताब हिंदी सिखने के लिए बहुत काम आएगी – “This book will be very useful for learning Hindi”

The verb काम आना is similar to उपयोगी होना, i.e. “to be useful”, to “come in handy”, etc.

महमानों के साथ तमीज़ से पेश आया करो – “Behave with good manners with guests”

The verb पेश आना means “to behave”, or “to treat”. It literally means something like “to present (oneself)”. The verb पेश करना means “to submit”, “to present”, etc. पेश आना can be used in the passive voice. If it is used in the passive voice, it means “to be treated”.

वह अपनी बीवी के साथ प्यार से पेश आता है – “He treats his wife with love”

Here’s another example, in the passive voice:

जब मैं भारत में था, तब मुझसे बहुत सम्मान से पेश आया जाता था – “While I was in India, I was treated with great respect”

The previous sentence is a bit unusual; it simply demonstrates that this idiom can be used in the passive voice. Hindi speakers tend to prefer the active voice however, i.e., they would probably say “जब मैं भारत में था तब लोग मुझसे बहुत सम्मान से पेश आते थे” instead.

This idiom shouldn’t be confused with indirect verb constructions (e.g. समझ आना), conjunctive participle constructions (e.g. निकल आना), etc. This idiom is only used with a few nouns. नज़र, काम, and पेश are the most common nouns used with this idiom.