কি করেন? - What do you do?

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In this lesson, we shall discuss the basics of describing people.

কথা[edit]

You are in a café in the middle of Cox's Bazar and get a call from Mustafizur.

বক্তা বাংলা উচ্চারণ ইংরেজি
মুস্তাফিজুর শুভ সন্ধ্যা! আপনি ভালো আছেন? shubho shondha! apni bhalo achhen? Good evening! Are you well?
আপনি হ্যাঁ। আমার খুবই গরম লাগছে। hã. amar khubi gorom lagchhe. Yes. I am feeling quite hot.
মুস্তাফিজুর ঢাকায়ে থাকেন আজকাল? ḑhakae thaken ajkal? Do you stay in Dhaka nowadays?
আপনি না, কক্সবাজারে থাকি এখন। na, kôksbajare thaki ekhon. No, I'm staying in Cox's Bazar.
মুস্তাফিজুর হয়না ঠাণ্ডা ওখানে। hoyna ţhanḑa okhane. It's never cold there.
আপনি এইত, আমার চুল সাদা হয়নি, আমার চোখ এখনো খয়েরি, আর আমার জামা এখনো নীল। eito, amar chul shada hoyni, amar chokh ekhono khôyeri, ar amar jama ekhono nil. Well, my hair isn't yet white, my eyes are still brown, and my clothes are still blue.
মুস্তাফিজুর আচ্ছা, ওটা ভালো। কে আপনার বন্ধু ওখানে? accha, oţa bhalo. ke apnar bondhu okhane? Okay, that's good. Who are your friends there?
আপনি এখনো নেই–আমি খুব লাজুক। চাই যে আরো সুন্দর হই। ekhono nei–ami khub lajuk. chai je aro shundor hoi. I have none yet–I'm very shy. I want to be more beautiful.
মুস্তাফিজুর আরে, আপনি আপসপূর্ণ! সমস্যা নাই! are, apni apôsôpurnô! sômôsya nei! Hey, you're friendly! There's no problem!
আপনি অনেক ধন্যবাদ! পরে কথা হবে! ônek dhônnobad! pore kôtha hôbe! Thank you! We will talk later!

মান[edit]

Again, if the link didn't tip you off, Mustafizur is a Bangladeshi cricketer and Cox's Bazar is a resort city in Bangladesh. (We will do that every time.)

বিশেষণ - adjectives[edit]

Adjectives in Bengali don't form comparatives and superlatives easily; they aren't often separate words save for the conceptually simplest. Using খুব and একটু (ekţu) to mean 'a lot' and 'a little' save a lot of trouble.

অধিকার - possession[edit]

In Bengali, possession is more strongly linked to the person possessing–in other words, there's no word 'to have' and you don't directly 'feel' something. If you wanted to say "I have an idea" or "I feel splendid", a translation would yield "My idea exists" or "My splendidness feels" (for the curious, আমার ধারণা আছে or আমার চমৎকার লাগে).

এটা ও ওটা - this and that[edit]

Demonstrative pronouns follow a very logical pattern. In fact, it is the same pattern that governs the third person pronouns.

ব্যাকরণ[edit]

ধাতুরূপ - conjugation[edit]

If you can't talk about at least the here and now in Bengali, you will have a bad time speaking it. Here, then, is the simple present tense.

করা - to do[edit]

There are three basic verbs (and one verb form) that are critical for getting around in Bengali. Let's start with করা, 'to do' and its simple present tense.

  • আমি করি (kori)। - I do.
  • তুই করিস (korish)। - You (informal) do.
  • তুমি করো (koro)। - You (familiar) do.
  • এ/ও/সে করে (kore)। - He/she/it (nearby/farther/farthest, familiar) does.
  • আপনি করেন (koren)। - You (formal) do.
  • ইনি/উনি/তিনি করেন। - He/she/it (nearby/farther/farthest, formal) does.

Notice the lack of plural forms above; they share the same form as their singulars (i.e. আমরা করি, তারা করে).

Lots of verbs do the same thing করা does; one drops the আ sound from the end and one tacks on ই, ইস, ও, এন, or এ depending on the person (making sure, of course, to adjust the vowel form as needed). When a verb follows this same pattern, we will follow it with (করা).

This also shows how in regular speech, when the subject is obvious, one can drop the pronoun; this is significantly easier for আমি, তুই, and তুমি.

When we need to outline the conjugations for a verb in a single tense, like করা in the simple present tense, it will be shown as follows: করি করিস করো করে করেন. This way of listing, keeping in mind which set of people go with which form, is used on the English Wiktionary.

যাওয়া - to go[edit]

Unfortunately, the other basic verbs don't share the formation scheme described above.

  • আমি যাই (jai)। - I go.
  • তুই যাস (jash)। - You (informal) go.
  • তুমি যাও (jao)। - You (familiar) go.
  • এ/ও/সে যায় (jae)। - He/she/it (nearby/farther/farthest, familiar) goes.
  • আপনি যান (jan)। - You (formal) go.
  • ইনি/উনি/তিনি যান। - He/she/it (nearby/farther/farthest, formal) goes.

This would be outlined as যাই যাস যাও যায় যান.

হওয়া - to be[edit]

Remember that the simple present tense is generally not used except when one needs to emphasize it.

  • আমি হই (hôi)। - I am.
  • তুই হস (hosh)। - You (informal) are.
  • তুমি হও (hôo)। - You (familiar) are.
  • এ/ও/সে হয় (hôe)। - He/she/it (nearby/farther/farthest, familiar) is.
  • আপনি হন (hon)। - You (formal) are.
  • ইনি/উনি/তিনি হন (hon)। - He/she/it (nearby/farther/farthest, formal) is.

This would be outlined as হই হস হও হয় হন.

আছা?[edit]

This would be outlined as আছি আছিস আছো আছে আছেন. (Did you get how it's listed?)

This verb, which you have seen in some of the phrases used in the dialogues, plays a larger role in the formation of other tenses, which we'll get into later.

আর ক্রিয়াপদ - other verbs[edit]

Here, then, are the other verbs introduced in the dialogue.

  • লাগা (to feel, to touch): লাগি লাগিস লাগো লাগে লাগেন
    • This verb has its own rules, the oddities of which will be described later. Verbs following this form will be denoted (লাগা).
  • থাকা (to stay, to remain): (লাগা)Would you look at that?
  • চাওয়া (to want): চাই চাস চাও চায় চান
    • This verb, while looking similar to যাওয়া, actually will end up more regular than যাওয়া, and thus verbs following this form will be denoted (চাওয়া).