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Imperatives of देना and लेना

I'm doing the reverse tree for Hindi, and I noticed that the imperatives used for देना and लेना are ले लो and दे दो, whereas I would expect just लो and दो. Is it because those are irregular verbs? Or because the verb stems are too short? Or is it more colloquial/idiomatic this way?

February 11, 2020



ले लो and दे दो are not really the imperative forms of देना and लेना.

Actually, देना and लेना are frequently used in the form of compound verbs 'दे देना' and 'ले लेना' which roughly mean 'Give to someone else' and 'Take for yourself' respectively. Therefore, the imperative forms of the compound verbs in the तुम-level becomes ले लो and दे दो.

Such compound verbs are very common in Hindi. For example, from the base verb खाना, we can make the compound verb खा लेना which roughly means 'eat for yourself' with usage such as 'समय पर खाना खा लो' (Have your food on time). Another example is the compund verb कर देना which roughly means 'do for someone else' implying that the action is for the benefit of someone else and not the doer as in आज तुम मेरा काम कर दो। (Do my work today). You can also have कर लेना which implies that the action is for the doer's benefit as in अपना काम जल्दी से ख़तम कर लो। (Finish your work soon). You can use the verbs by themselves in all the above examples but using such compound verbs introduces an additional layer of clarification and is thus more natural, especially in spoken form.


Ah, compound verbs... I have come across this concept already, but didn't realise that देना and लेना could make compound verbs with themselves so to say... Thank you for your explanation.

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