Modals are verbs that are used with another verb! These MUST agree with subject of the sentence. When modals are used in Arabic, each verb in conjugated based on the subject. For example, "I could write" is literally I was- I can- I write. (kuint a2dar aktib)
* 7 = ح (haa) - sounds like an aspirated "h"
* 2 = أ (hamza) - glottal stop
* 3 = ع ('ain) - a "choked" letter sounding like an "a" you can't represent with the English alphabet
"dar" in the imperfect form is used to express "can." (look up imperfect forms in Easy Egyptian Verb Conjugations Part 1).
I can - a2dar
you (m) can - ti2dar
you (f) can - ti2daree
he can - yi2dar
she can - ti2dar
we can - ni2dar
you (pl) can - ti2daro
they can - yi2daro
This is expressed by putting "to be" (kaan) before the imperfect of (dar) or "can." **Remember Each verb MUST agree in subject. I could write, remember, is "I was- I can- I write"
I could write -kuint a2dar aktib
you (m) could write - kuint ti2dar tiktib
you (f) could write - kuintee ti2daree tiktibee
he could write - kaan yi2dar yiktib
she could write - kaanit ti2dar tiktib
we could write - konna ni2dar niktib
you (pl) could write - konto ti2daro tiktibo
they could write - kanno yi2daro yiktibo
Super easy conjugations-- nothing special about this one!
I (f) want - 3ayza
I (m) want - 3aayiz
you (m) want - 3aayiz
you (f) want - 3ayza
he/it wants - 3aayiz
she/ it wants - 3ayza
we want - 3ayzeen
you (pl) want -3ayzeen
they want - 3ayzeen
In order to use "to want" with another verb, you must use both in the imperfect form.
Masalan (for example)...
She wants to go - 3ayza tiroo7 (she wants- she goes)
We want to go - 3ayzeen niroo7 (we want- we go)
To say that you 'wanted' to do something, you put the past tense of kaan "to be" in front of the imperfect form of ayiz "to want."
I (f) wanted to go - kuint 3ayza aroo7
I (m) wanted to go - kuint 3aayiz aroo7
you (m) wanted to go - kuint 3aayiz tiroo7
you (f) wanted to go - kuintee 3ayza tiroo7ee
he wanted to go - kaan 3aayiz yiroo7
she wanted to go - kaanit 3ayza tiroo7
we wanted to go - konna 3ayzeen niroo7
you (pl) wanted to go - konto 3ayzeen tiroo7o
they wanted to go - kanno 3ayzeen yiroo7o
Must/ Have to/ Need to
All these meanings are represented as mi7taag in Egyptian Arabic. It acts the same was as 'can' and 'want' when used with other verbs. I not quite sure why, but it is conjugated exactly like "to want" except for the masculine... the masculine just stays as mi7taag. But everything else is just like "to want."
Masalam (for example)...
I (f) need a coffee - mi7taaga ahwa
I (m) need a coffee - mi7taag ahwa
you (m) need a coffee - mi7taag ahwa
you (f) need a coffee - mi7taaga ahwa
he needs a coffee - mi7taag ahwa
she needs a coffee - mi7taaga ahwa
we need a coffee - mi7tageen ahwa
you (pl) need a coffee - mi7tageen ahwa
they need a coffee - mi7tageen ahwa
To Like/ To Love
These two words mean the same thing in Arabic. At least they are represented by the same word, which is yi7ibb. It is exactly like the other modals, but you add bi- at the beginning.
I like to travel - ba7ibb asaafir
you (m) like to travel - bit7ibb tisaafir
you (f) like to travel - bit7ibbi tisaafiree
he likes to travel - bi7ibb yisaafir
she likes to travel - bit7ibb tisaafir
we like to travel - bin7ibb nisaafir
you (pl) like to travel - bit7ibboo tisaafiro
they like to travel - bi7ibboo yisaafiro
Credits to Lonely Planet Phrasebooks: Egyptian Arabic.