Thursday, July 21, 2011

*EASY* Verb Conjugations! - Part 1

Arabic has 2 real tenses (imperfect - present or future) and the (perfect - past).

Just add the prefixes and suffixes to form the imperfect of the root verb! This root verb is consisted of three or more consonants. For instance, ktb for katab. Some have more than three consonants, but the three or (trilateral) is the most common. In essence, you are simply taking out the vowels of the word. Another note, when working with three letter stem verbs, the first two letters stay together, like: I write - aktib. This form is very useful to know, because many other conjugations are added to this conjugation!

* 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

                Prefixes & Suffixes

I              a - 
you (m)  ti -
you (f)    ti - ... -ee
he           yi -
she          ti -
we          ni -
you (pl)  ti - ... - o
they        yi - ... - o

Masalan (for example)...

I write - aktib
you (m) write - tiktib 
you (f) write - tiktibee
he writes - yiktib
she writes - tiktib
we write - niktib
you (pl) write - tiktibo
they write - yiktibo

Imperfect - Present 
All you do here-- add "bi-" to the beginning of the basic conjugated verb. 

Masalan (for example)...

I write - baktib
You (m) write - bitiktib
You (f) write - bitiktibee
He writes - biyiktib
She writes - bitiktib
We write - biniktib
You (pl) write - bitiktibo
They write - biyiktibo

Imperfect - Future
This is simply formed by adding the prefix "Ha-" at the beginning of the imperfect form of the verb. *Now remember the aspirated "H" is denoted with a 7, when writing Arabic in English.

Masalan (for example)...

I will write - 7aktib
You (m) will write - 7atiktib
You (f) will write - 7atiktibee
He will write - 7ayiktib
She will write - 7atiktib
We will write - 7aniktib
You (pl) will write - 7atiktibo
They will write - 7ayiktibo

Perfect - Past 
Verbs that have been completed, done with, finished. In this tense, we only add suffixes, and the "he" or third person singular has no suffix. 

I                 - t
you (m)     - t
you (f)       - tee
he              -
she            - it
we             - na
you (pl)     - to
they           - o

Masalan (for example)...

I wrote/ have written - katabt 
You (m) wrote/ have written - katabt 
You (f) wrote/ have written - katabtee  
He wrote/ has written - katab
She wrote/ has written - katabit 
We wrote/ have written - katabna
You (pl) wrote/ have written - katabto
They wrote/ have written - katabo 

Credits to Lonely Planet Phrasebooks: Egyptian Arabic.