The “Unknown Past”

“रहेछ” (rahechha) is a conjugated form of the verb “रहेनु” (rahenu) whose direct translation is “to exist.” However, when conjugated to “रहेछ” (rahechha) it is used uniquely in Nepali language to express the “unknown past.” For example, if you did not know that a village had no teashops, then you could express this unknown past information as “यो गाउँमा चिया पसल छैन रहेछ” which directly translates to “in this village there are no teashops, rahechha.” The rahechha adds the element of “this was unknown to me in the past until now.”  Another example would be if there has been a long string of unexpected unfortunate events that happen to you. In this case, you may say “म धेरै अभागी रहेछ” which translates to “I am very unfortunate, raheccha.” Again, the rahechha adds the element of “I am just realizing how unfortunate I am,” or “I guess I am very unfortunate,” where this is was not previously known in the past. Notice here, though, that “रहेछ” (rahechha) is the only verb used in this sentence.


“म धेरै अभागी रहेछ”


Normally, for this sentence we would conjugate the verb “hunu” (to be) as “म धेरै अभागी छु.” However, because “rahechha” is used you can see here that rahechha is used in place of छु.

It gets a bit more complicated as well, as sometimes “rahechha” is used as the conjugated verb, sometimes it is added on to an already conjugated verb (as seen in the first example with the teashops!), and sometimes it is used in combination with the verb it is paired with. An example of this would be if you just realized that you are a bad dancer (maybe before you have always thought you were great, and then you watched yourself in a mirror and discovered otherwise  ). This would be expressed as:

म धेरै नराम्रो नाच्दैरहेछ

Here, rahechha is added on to the verb stem “to dance” or “nach-”  + “-dai”. So, in some cases, “verb stem” + “dai” + “rahechha”  is used.

Lastly, another form of rahechha can be used when we are discovering something with a negative presence, such as the example of realizing there were NO teashops in the village. In this case, “rahenachha” is the combined version of “chhaina + rahechha” or to realize that there are none. Let’s look at that example one more time.

यो गाउँमा चिया पसल रहेनछ

यो गाउँमा चिया पसल छैन रहेछ

छैन रहेछ = रहेनछ

Yikes, that’s a lot to keep track of! But, rachechha is a very colloquial term that is used often, so it is helpful to understand the basics.

Look at the vocabulary from the comparisons lesson to practice the following flashcards effectively!



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Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.