Talk:Bengali grammar

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William Radice's Teach Yourself Bengali[edit]

For this article I am drawing heavily from William Radice's superb book Teach Yourself Bengali (listed as a reference). I strongly recommend it for anyone wishing to learn Bengali. — Knowledge Seeker 05:58, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Future Tense[edit]

Since this did not exist, I constructed this table as best as I could from the previous templates. Please excuse any mistakes (especially with 'tui' since I rarely hear the very familiar at home). I'm a native born American and only learned Bengali from my parents, and only use it with them. Hopefully someone with more knowledge can come in, add actual bengali text and fine tune the transliterations.

Also, what about the complex tenses? I mean a tense like: (with kora) korechhilam, korechhila, korechhilo, korechilen. Also, I've sometimes heard my grandmother use phrases like "dekhbar lagchhe" or "hatbar lagchhe". Are these a standard tense or are they a colloquialism? Taajikhan 21:55, 27 Apr 2008 (UTC)


First, great work so far! The second person (formal) and third person (formal) use same conjugation but the two third persons (informal/formal) don't.


তিনি করেন -- আপনি করেন

সে খেলে xx তিনি খেলেন

You are right about numbers though. Conjugation doesn't take into consideration numbers. Some tabulations would help, but I didn't venture into it because I find wikitables complicated and I think others would find my preferred HTML tables complicated....

Could you start up a table? I could copy paste and fill in. We need one with all the pronouns and examples are better presented in tables I think - easier to grasp!

--Urnonav 20:14, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I read your first sentence several times trying to figure out why you were telling me this, until I noticed a comma (and space) were missing from the article. I added them—is that what was concerning you?
Yes, I can start up some tables. I definitely planned to have one for the pronouns, once I started the Pronouns section. What kind of tables do you want for verbs? Actually, maybe we could have one for each tense, using the (seven?) different vowel stems. I'll add some more about specific vowel harmony and set up some tables later on. You can fill in the Bengali characters if you have time (I find it much easier to write Bengali than to type it). I'll look at some other languages for inspiration. — Knowledge Seeker 23:53, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I'm trying to do the same, i.e. seeing what I was telling you. I think I misread something; so, sorry, nevermind. There's a very nice way of typing Bangla. Check out Omicron Lab's site. They created this thing called Avro Keyboard that can nicely type in Bangla as Unicode. It also shows you the layout on screen and does all the junktakkhors and such. -- Urnonav 00:35, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Don't worry about it—if you find it, let me know or go ahead and fix it. Thanks for the Bangla info. My main problem is that (I am embarrassed to say that) I can't figure out how to get my Firefox to properly display Bengali. It uses the Arial Unicode font (I think) not only doesn't the juktos but it improperly puts all vowel signs after the consonant—so it's a bit of an effort to read the Bengali on here and I don't want to post Bengali since I can't tell what it would look like with a normal font. I tried downloading some Bengali Unicode fonts but I can't get Firefox to use them. — Knowledge Seeker 05:06, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Table and transliteration of verbs[edit]

I changed some of the transliterations and added the Bangla script. The transliteration changes were in line with the concept of transliteration being pronunciation based rather than spelling based. In some cases Bangla spelling is not a great indicator of how to pronounce, unfortunately. For example, khāoā is closer to the actual word than khaoya. য় creates a problem because it works as a fill-in for vowel. I would say let's use y to replace য় only when য় is separately pronounced as an ই sound. Does that sound sensible? -- Urnonav 09:51, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I agree about য় not always being pronounced as "y", although in khaoya it still functions as a glide. I think I've seen it represented khāowā. য় is a semi-vowel; it sometimes functions as a vowel, but I don't believe that it is ever pronunced ই, but e, right? Thanks for your excellent work on adding the Bengali forms and updating the transliterations. It looks like a couple are a little off: hôowā and dhowā are the forms listed in my dictionary at least. I'll fix the table and comment out the Bengali forms until you or I have a chance to fix them. — Knowledge Seeker 05:34, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

য় is pronounced as ই when at the end of the word. Actually in that case "e" and "i" would sound identical unless you were deliberately overstressing on the "i" to make it distinct; so I am not sure which English sound it would map to directly. 'khaoya' still doesn't sound right to me. As a native speaker I have no clue how I will ever pronounce that! Wait, are you trying to say "khawaya" i.e. the shuddho form? I'll try to fill in the past table soon. -- Urnonav 05:00, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I disagree with you about "e" and "i" sounding identical at the end of the word—are you saying that khai and khay are pronounced the same? They have different vowels, and sound different to my ear (although I've taken a little phonetics). I agree with you about khaoya; that's why I proposed khaowa instead, which I think makes logical pronunciation sense as well. Is that all right with you? — Knowledge Seeker 05:46, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Oh by the way I'm not sure my choice of model verbs was always the best. If you have suggestions for me to change one or more, let me know, OK? — Knowledge Seeker 09:44, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I have absolutely no objection to khāowā, although the w looks redundant (especially in light of the transliteration convention), it might serve a point. Like I said before, difference between "khay" and "khai" will be impossible to note unless the speaker is deliberately trying to force a distinction. I have said the two several times now and I fail to note the difference, unfortunately, but you might be right though. In day-to-day conversations, native Bengali speakers though would pronounce ending "i" sounds very lightly: the minimum vowel sound needed will be used, I believe. For example, ami khai and se khai are written differently: আমি খাই and সে খায় but the common pronunciations are identical I think, but it's certainly not an এ sound though. Distinguishing is not a bad idea in any case.

As for the verbs, if something comes up in my head that appears to be a better illustration, I'll put it on the discussion page; for now, let's keep what we have. -- Urnonav 04:34, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Habitual past tense[edit]

KS, I think the current version is a mixture of the habitual past tense and the simple past tense. For example, apni chinlen is not habitual. It's a one time event. apni chinten, however, is something that happened over an extended period of time. I'm making changes I feel necessary. If you had a different point that I'm not seeing, please let me know. -- Urnonav 14:05, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Yikes! I must have forgotten to change the rest—I had copied the entries from the table above. Thanks for fixing it! — Knowledge Seeker 16:24, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)


hi all,

just to let you know, i made some changes to the verb tables to keep them consistent with the transliteration scheme. i also have started expanding the postposition section. as is so disgustingly typical of me, i am finding myself just listing postpositions and avoiding a really detailed description. sigh. --SameerKhan 09:53, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Locative for Animate nouns[edit]

Hi, this article is very interesting and well-written. One point, I'm a bit mystified as to why there is no locative case for "the student". Can this be amended, or can it be explained why there is no locative for animate nouns? Wilgamesh 21:58, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Basically, there is no locative form of animate nouns. One could make one, like chhatro-ţa-(t)e, but it would mean nothing. To mean something like "in the student", Bengalis would use other constructions like "in the student's mind" or "inside the student's body". The plain locative would be avoided. It's true that in poetry, forms like amate "in me" are found, but no one would say this in normal speech. This would be replace by amar mone "in my mind/heart" or amar shorirer bhitore "inside my body". Anyhow, I hope that answers your question. The forms either don't exist or are only used in archaic constructions. --SameerKhan 04:32, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
Interesting. Can this be added to both clarify the intentional blank entry, and to demonstrate a feature of the grammar? In contrast, slavic languages, which also make a distinction between animate and inanimate (but only for masculine nouns) and have several declensions, do in fact have a regular locative for animate nouns. e.g. volk (wolf), v volke (in the wolf) On the other hand, perhaps this becomes too detailed. I suspect that some people might find this to be inappropriately boring and detailed to the general wikipedia reader. I'm only suggesting this though because the table looks a bit bizarre with a blank entry and with no explanation. Wilgamesh 06:00, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Non-finite forms[edit]

Looking for non-finite forms of the verb (conjunctive participle, present participle, etc.) No discussion or examples so far. PEHook 02:00, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Added a little something. --SameerKhan 04:54, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Check Bengali script in article[edit]

Could someone please confirm if the Bengali script in this article is all correct? Wiki-uk (talk) 14:47, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Better late than never - looks good to me. Applesandapples (talk) 12:40, 15 November 2014 (UTC)