Thursday, July 21, 2011

*Easy* Verb conjugations Part 2- To Be

To Be

In Arabic, there is no present tense of the verb "to be."  when describing someone, you simply have to say, she smart, he happy, etc. HOWEVER, to be DOES exist in the past and future! :)

* 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

To be (kaan) - Past
I was - ana kuint
you (m) were - enta kuint
you (f) were - enti kuint 
he was - howa kaan
she was - hiyya kannit
we were - i7na konna
you (pl) were - into konto
they were - homma kannu

To be (kaan) - Future 
A note on the future tense, it is formed by adding "7a-" to the Imperfect form (go to Verb Conjugations Part 1). So basically, you take "kaan" conjugate it in the imperfect, then add "7a-" Also remember the 7 is an aspirated H sound when writing Arabic in English. 

I will be - 7akoon
you (m) will be - 7atkoon
you (f) will be  - 7atkoonee
he will be -  7aykoon
she will be - 7atkoon
we will be - 7ankoon
you (pl) will be - 7atkoono
they will be - 7aykoono

There is/ There were?
Yes, it exists!

There is -  fee
There isn't/ aren't - mafeesh
There were - kaan fee
There wasn't/ weren't -makaansh fee

Credits to Lonely Planet Phrasebooks: Egyptian Arabic.


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