Crystallising Mongolian Grammar
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Expressing haste or brief actions in Mongolian: The verb suffix "-аадах- (-оодох-, -ээдэх-, -өөдөх-)"

9 May 2017 (updated October 2017)

The suffix -аадах- (-оодох-, -ээдэх-, -өөдөх-) is commonly used in spoken Mongolian but is largely ignored by Mongolian grammarians. It is used in two major senses:

The difference is determined by the politeness of the request and the context. When requesting a favour, the meaning is likely to be "Could you just ... for a moment". Where the request is couched in more familiar terms, the sense is likely to be "Hurry up and...".

A. Textbooks
   1. Mongolian Language for Intermediate Students
B. Further notes
   2. Use in other imperatives
   3. Use with verb tenses
   4. Use in expressing unrealistic wishes
   5. Difference from -чих-

1. Bayarmaa Khalzaa (Mongolian Language for Intermediate Students) 2011

Mongolian Language for Intermediate Students by Bayarmaa Khalzaa sets out the use of -аадах (-оодох-, -ээдэх-, -өөдөх-) for first, second, and third person:

-ъя, -ьё, -ье are used to express first person intention to do something, translatable as 'let me...'. The direct imperative using just -аадах (-оодох, -ээдэх, -өөдөх) expresses a familiar direct order to a second person. -аг (-эг, -ог, -өг) are used as a 'third person' imperative, with the meaning 'let him/her, make him/her'.

A range of example sentences is given:

Би цонх хаагаадахъя.
Let me close the window real quick.
Та цонх хаагаадах.
You close the window real quick.
Тэр цонх хаагаадахаг.
Let him close the window real quick.
Би энэ хогийг цэвэрлээдэхье.
Let me clean up this gargage real quick.
Чи энэ хогийг цэвэрлээдэх.
You clean up this gargage real quick.
Тэр энэ хогийг цэвэрлээдэхэг.
Let him clean up this gargage real quick.
Би энэ мөнгийг тоолоодохъё.
Let me count this money real quick.
Чи энэ мөнгийг тоолоодох.
You count this money real quick.
Тэр энэ мөнгийг тоолоодохог.
Let him count this money real quick.
Би нохойд хоол өгөөдөхье.
Let me give food to the dog real quick.
Чи нохойд хоол өгөөдөх.
You give food to the dog real quick.
Тэр, нохойд хоол өгөөдөхөг.
Let her give food to the dog real quick.


2. Use in other imperatives

The suffix -аадах- (-оодох-, -ээдэх-, -өөдөх-) can be used with a general range of imperative and related forms, not restricted to those given in Bayarmaa:

Person / form Ordinary form With -аадах
1st person (intention) Би харъя
'I'll look'
Би хараадахъя
'I'll have a quick look'
2nd person (command) Чи хар
Чи хараадах
'Hurry up and look'
2nd person (command) Чи хараач
Чи хараадахаач
'Hurry up and look'
2nd person (demand) Чи хараарай
'Please have a look'
Чи хараадахаарай
'Please have a quick look'
2nd person (request) Чи харахгүй юү
'Please have a look'
Чи хараадахгүй юү
'Please have a quick look'
3rd person (permission) Тэр хараг
'Have/let him have a look'
Тэр хараадахаг
'Have/Let him hurry and have a look'
3rd person (hope) Тэр хараасай
'I hope he/she looks'
Тэр хараадахаасай
'I hope he/she gives a quick glance (look)'

When the verb is followed by an auxiliary verb, it is the auxiliary verb that carries the suffix:

Person / form Ordinary form With -аадах
1st person (intention) Би оролдоод үзье
'I'll have a try'
Би оролдоод үзээдэхье
'I'll have a quick try'
2nd person (demand) Чи аваад эхэл
'Please start getting it'
Чи аваад эхлээдэх
'Please hurry and start getting it'
2nd person (command) Чи хараад өгөөч
чи хараад өгөөдөхөөч
'Please try having a quick look'
2nd person (demand) Чи хараад өгөөрэй
'Please have a look'
Чи хараад өгөөдөхөөрэй
'Please have a quick look'
3rd person (permission) Тэр аваад өгөг
'Get him/her to get that'
Тэр аваад өгөөдөхөг
'Get him to get that quickly'
3rd person (hope) Тэр бичээд өгөөсэй
'I hope he/she writes (to me)'
Тэр бичээд өгөөдөхөөсэй
'I hope he/she writes something (to me)'

Some examples with this form, hypothetical or actual, include:

Хурдан хоолоо идээдэх!
Hurry up and eat your food!

The following example comes from a story about a wandering monk trying to get a stingy rich man to give alms:

ᠨᠠᠳᠠ ᠢᠳᠡᠬᠦ ᠣᠣᠭᠣᠬᠣ ᠦᠭᠭᠦᠭᠡᠳᠡᠬᠡ!
Надад идэх уух өгөөдөх!
Give me something to eat and drink!

(The story is from an Inner Mongolian source. In Mongolia it would normally be Надад идэх уух юм өгөөдөх!, where юм is 'something'.)

The monk's utterance shows impatience with the rich man's efforts to avoid giving alms as well as a measure of dislike.

3. Use with other Verb Tenses

The suffix -аадах- (-оодох-, -ээдэх-, -өөдөх-) can also be used with other verb tenses. These include:

Tense Ordinary form With -аадах
Past Би харсан
'I looked'
Би хараадахсан
'I quickly looked'
Past Би харлаа
'I just looked'
Би хараадахлаа
'I just quickly looked'
Past Тэр хараажээ
'(I found out) he looked'
Тэр хараадахжээ
'(I found out) he had a quick look'
Future Би харна
'I'll look'
Би хараадахна
'I'll have a quick look'
Habitual Тэр хардаг
'He usually sees'
Тэр хараадахдаг
'He usually catches a glimpse'

4. Use in Expressing Unrealistic Wishes

The suffix -аадах (-оодох-, -ээдэх-, -өөдөх-) can be followed by the modal construction -сан expressing unrealistic desires or imaginings. This is identical with the past tense form (see previous).

-сан in this construction is short for -юмсан, having a similar meaning of unrealistic wishes or longings.

The significance of using -аадах (-оодох-, -ээдэх-, -өөдөх-) here is to emphasise that the speaker would be happy if the wish could be granted even just one time. For example:

Би зүүдэндээ ч болов ээжтэйгээ улзаадах юмсан.
I wish I could meet my mother, even it is only in a dream.

5. Difference from -чих-

This suffix is somewhat similar in meaning to the suffix -чих-, which signals 'completion'. However, -аадах (-оодох-, -ээдэх-, -өөдөх-) cannot be used together with -чих-. Thus the two following forms exist separately and cannot be combined together:

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