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Lesson Transcript

Intro

Hi everybody! Nora here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Arabic questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: What are the possible forms of a verb in Arabic?
Explanation
Modern Standard Arabic has different conjugations for gender, number, and tense, resulting in very long conjugation tables. Starting with the conjugations you use most, perfecting them, and then moving to another set of conjugation is a good way to go about memorizing these long tables.
Let's take a look at how different a verb can look depending on its conjugation in Arabic. We’re only going to show one verb so that we’ll be able to see the differences very clearly.
We chose the verb “to go" because it is a simple verb that’s also commonly used when people start learning a language.
Let’s see what verbs look like for different subjects in the present form.
Present tense conjugation (table in script)
أَذهَب
ʾaḏhab
“I go”
تَذهَب
taḏhab
“You go”
يَذهَب
yaḏhab
“He goes”
تَذهَب
taḏhab
“She goes”
نَذهَب
naḏhab
“We go”
يَذهَبون
yaḏhabūn
“They go” (masculine)
يَذهَبان
yaḏhabān
“They (dual masculine) go”
تَذهَبان
taḏhabān
“They (dual feminine) go”
يَذهَبْنَ
yaḏhabna
“They (feminine) go”
Let’s take a look at how it looks in a sentence:
العامِلونَ يَذهَبونَ إلى العَمَل.
al-ʿāmilūna yaḏhabūna ʾilā al-ʿamal
“The workers go to work.”
Now let’s take a look at the past tense conjugation
ذَهَبتُ
ḏahabtu
“I went”
ذَهَبتَ
ḏahabta
“You went”
ذَهَبتِ
ḏahabti
“You (feminine) went”
ذَهَبَ
ḏahaba
“He went”
ذَهَبَت
ḏahabat
“She went”
ذَهَبوا
ḏahabū
“They went” (masculine)
ذَهَبا
ḏahabā
“They (dual masculine) went”
ذَهَبَتا
ḏahabatā
“They (feminine dual) went”
ذَهَبنَ
ḏahabna
“They (feminine) went”
Let’s see what this looks like in a sentence:
أَنا و مارك ذَهَبنا إلى النادي.
ʾanā wa mārk ḏahabnā ʾilā al-nādī.
“Mark and I went to the sports club.”
Next we have the imperative tense conjugation
اِذهَب
iḏhab
“(you) go”
اِذهَبي
iḏhabī
“(you feminine) go”
اِذهَبا
iḏhabā
“(you dual) go”
اِذهَبوا
iḏhabū
“(you plural) go”
اِذهَبنَ
iḏhabna
“(you feminine plural) go”
Finally, let’s see what the imperative looks like in a sentence:
اِذهَبي إلى المُحاضَرَة!
iḏhabī ʾilā al-muḥāḍarah!
“Go to class!” (directed to a female)

Outro

Conjugation is perhaps the trickiest thing for Arabic learners, but it’s one of those things that will feel easier the more you practice. Also don’t forget that these conjugation tables are for Modern Standard Arabic, but conjugation tables for most spoken Arabic dialects are much shorter and easier.
So that’s it for our lesson, if you have any more questions, please leave a comment below!
Bye! إلى اللقاء (ʾilā al-liqaāʾ)

3 Comments

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ArabicPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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What Arabic learning question do you have?

ArabicPod101.com
Sunday at 09:56 PM
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Hi Neil,


Please check out our Arabic Grammar Bank:

https://www.arabicpod101.com/arabic-grammar/


These lessons are focused on the future tense:

https://www.arabicpod101.com/lesson/beginner-23-what-would-you-do-with-one-million-egyptian-pounds/

https://www.arabicpod101.com/lesson/lower-intermediate-1-preparing-for-a-deadline-in-egypt/


Hope this helps! In case of any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Sincerely,

Cristiane

Team ArabicPod101.com

Neil
Wednesday at 05:35 PM
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What about the future tense?