Topic 74: मैं जा सकूँ Can I go? (modal verb सकना ‘can’)

Context: The next morning Tara asks her mother about going to India.

Tara talking to her mother

बातचीत

तारा - क्या मैं भारत जा सकती हूँ?

तारा की माँ - पहले यह बताओ कि कब, कैसे, कहाँ, और क्यों?

तारा - मैं जुलाई में रीता के साथ बनारस जाना चाहती हूँ क्योंकि मेरी दोस्त की शादी होगी। मैं आपको रोज़ रोज़ इमैल भेज सकती हूँ और फ़ोन कर सकती हूँ ।

तारा की माँ - यह तो अच्छी बात है, बेटी, तुम ज़रूर जा सकती हो। लेकिन एक शर्त है। क्या तुम भाँप सकती हो कि वह क्या है?

तारा - शायद, माताजी, मुझे वहाँ जाने के लिए अपने लिए पैसा इकट्ठा करना होगा?

तारा की माँ - हाँ, और एक और बात भी है बेटी, मैं भी तुम्हारे साथ आऊँगी।

Conversation

Tara - Can I go to India?

Tara's mother - First, tell me this, when, how, where and why?

Tara - I want to go to Banaras in July with Rita because my friend will be getting married. I can email and phone you every day.

Tara's mother - That is good, daughter, you can certainly go. But, there is one condition. Can you guess what that is?

Tara - Perhaps, mother, I have to get the money myself to go there?

Tara's mother - Yes, and there is one more thing daughter, I will come with you.

Notes: सकना as a modal verb

If you want to say something like ‘I can play the sitar’ you could say.

This is a way of saying that you are physically capable of doing some action that it would be possible to do. To form such sentences use the stem of the verb for an action plus the verb सकना as the finite verb in the sentence.

Note that perfective tenses in this construction do not take ने. So for instance:

Note the use of सकना in the perfective is most often related to actions which could not be performed, if the statement is positive it is more likely to be said in the past imperfective.

Limitations on the use of सकना

Note सकना cannot be used at all with continuous tenses or imperatives. Some speakers also regard its use in the subjunctive or the future when politely making requests and granting permission as a reflection of English usage in contemporary Hindi.

Vocabulary

सकना vi. as modal verb after verb stem ~ सकना, can do/able to ~
क्योंकि cj. because
रोज़ nm. day; adv. daily; रोज़-रोज़, everyday
भेजना vt. to send
शर्त nm. condition
भाँपना vt. to guess, imagine, conceive
इकट्ठा करना vt. to assemble, gather together