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Compound Verbs

In the Sanskrit-based languages, including Bangla, compound verbs (CV) sequences are formed when two verbs (V1 and V2) are present. The Bangla CV sequence is a two-member construction in which
  1. the first member (V1) chooses between the third-person, simple past tense, conjunctive participial form (-e) and third-person, habitual past tense, infinitive form (-te) and
  2. the second member (V2) bears the inflection caused by the Subject of the sentence.

The -e ending of V1 is used in this example.

Verb 1Verb 2Compound Verb
ওড়া -> উড়ে
ORa -> uRe
V1=fly
যাওয়া -> গেল
JaOya -> gelo
V2=to go
উড়ে গেল
uRe gelo
CV=flew away




পাখিটা উড়ে গেল
pakhiTa uRe gelo
The bird flew away

The -te ending of V1 is used in this example.

Verb 1Verb 2Compound Verb
ঘুমানো -> ঘুমাতে
ghumanO -> ghumate
V1=sleep
যাওয়া -> গেল
JaOya -> gelo
V2=to go
ঘুমাতে গেল
ghumate gelo
CV=went off to sleep, retired to sleep




ছেলেটি ঘুমাতে গেল
chheleTi ghumate gelo
The boy went off to sleep

The following rules apply to compound verbs (CV)

  • Every V1 does not combine with every V2. The combinatorial well-formedness depends on the semantic compatibility between the two Vs. A study of semantic compatibility is beyond the scope of this post, except to say that the number of V2s is quite limited in Bangla. One linguist, Soma Paul, suggests that only 16 V2s participate in CVs. They are

    Verbs that can be used as V2 in Compound Verbs

    আসা asa come যাওয়া JaOya go
    দেওয়া deOya give নেওয়া neOya take
    দাঁড়ানো dan^RanO stand পড়া poRa fall
    বসা bosa sit ওঠা OTha rise
    তোলা tOla lift ফেলা phela drop
    রাখা rakha keep ছাড়া chhaRa leave
    পাঠানো paThanO send আনা ana bring
    বেড়ানো beRanO roam মরা mora die

    Examples of V1 + V2 => CV

    Root V1 + Root V2 => Usual form of V1 and Conjugated form of V2
    হওয়া+আসা => হয়ে এলোভাঙা+জাওয়া => ভেঙে গেলোখোঁজা+দেওয়া => খুঁজে দিলবলা+দেওয়া => বলে দিলাম
    ঘুমানো+নেওয়া => ঘুমিয়ে নিইকাজ করা+দারানো => কাজ করে দারালখাটা+পড়া => খেটে পড়ল

    Examples of Compound Verbs in Actual Use

    Verb 1Verb 2Compound Verb
    হওয়া -> হয়ে
    hoOya -> hoye
    V1=become
    আসা -> এলো
    asa -> elO
    V2=to come
    হয়ে এলো
    hoye elO
    CV=is approaching towards event denoted by V1


    মিনু ঘড়ে এলো
    minu ghoRe elO
    Minu appeared in the room
    সন্ধ্যা হয়ে এলো
    sondhYa hoye elO
    The evening approached

    Verb 1Verb 2Compound Verb
    ভাঙা -> ভেঙে
    bhaNga -> bheNge
    V1=break
    জাওয়া -> গেলো
    jaOya -> gelO
    V2=go
    ভেঙে গেলো
    bheNge gelO
    CV=the breaking has happened
    ও লাঠি ভেঙে দুই ভাগ করল
    O laThi bheNge dui bhag korolo
    He broke the stick into two parts
    ও বাড়ি গেল
    O baRi gelo
    She went home
    ওর হাথ থেকে পরে গ্লাসটা ভেঙে গেল
    Or hath theke pore glasoTa bheNge gelo
    The glass fell from her hand and broke

    Verb 1Verb 2Compound Verb
    খোঁজা -> খুঁজে
    khOn^ja -> khun^je
    V1=search
    দেওয়া -> দিল
    deOya -> dilo
    V2=give
    খুঁজে দিল
    khun^je dilo
    CV=doing something for others-no change of possession takes place


    ও মিনুকে একটা বই দিল
    O minuke ekoTa boi dilo
    She gave a book to Minu
    ও মিনুকে বাড়ি খুঁজে দিল
    O minuke baRi khun^je dilo
    She found a house for Minu

    Verb 1Verb 2Compound Verb
    বলা -> বলে
    bola -> bole
    V1=speak
    দেওয়া -> দিলাম
    deOya -> dilam
    V2=give
    বলে দিলাম
    bole dilam
    CV=Normal use of deOya implies something of concrete value is handed over. When deOya is the V2 in a CV, the literal sense of giving is lost. Instead, the V2 suggests a sense of ‘doing something for others’.


    আমি মিনুকে দশটা বই দিলাম
    ami minuke doshoTa boi dilam
    I gave Minu ten books
    আমি মিনুকে একটা শারি কিনে দিলাম
    ami minuke ekoTa shari kine dilam
    I bought Minu a sari

    Verb 1Verb 2Compound Verb
    ঘুমানো -> ঘুমিয়ে
    ghumanO -> ghumiye
    V1=to sleep
    নেওয়া -> নিই
    neOya -> nii
    V2=take
    ঘুমিয়ে নিই
    ghumiye nii
    CV=to do something for one's own benefit-take the opportunity to speak


    আমি বাক্স হাতে নিই
    ami bakso hate nii
    I carry the box in my hand
    আমি প্রথমে বলে নিই, পরে তোমার পালা
    ami prothome bole nii, pore tOmar pala
    I will speak first, then its your turn

    Verb 1Verb 2Compound Verb
    কাজ করা -> কাজ করে
    kaj kora -> kaj kore
    V1=to work
    দারানো -> দারাল
    daranO -> daralo
    V2=to stand
    কাজ করে দারাল
    kaj kore daralo
    CV=The V2 daranO contributes a meaning of coming to the state of V! and remain in such a state.


    চেলেটা বেনচের ওপর দাড়াল
    cheleTa benocher Opor daRalo
    The boy stood on the bench
    ব্যাপারটা খুব জটিল হয়ে দাড়াল
    bYaparoTa khub joTil hoye daRalo
    The matter turned out to be very serious

    Verb 1Verb 2Compound Verb
    খাটা -> খেটে
    khaTa -> kheTe
    V1=work hard
    পড়া -> পড়ল
    poRa -> poRolo
    V2=to fall
    খেটে পড়ল
    kheTe poRolo
    CV=fall asleep-there is an unpreparedness in the V1 activity


    গাছ থেকে ফল পড়ল
    gachh theke phol poRolo
    The fruit fell from the tree.
    মিনু ঘুমিয়ে পড়ল
    minu ghumiye poRolo
    Minu fell asleep