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Lesson Transcript

Marḥaban ǧamīʿan, ʾanā Carole! Hi everybody! I’m Carole.
Welcome to ArabicPod101.com’s Al-ʿarabiyyah fi ṯalāṯi daqāʾiq. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Arabic.
In the last lesson, we learned how to use the verb ḏahaba which means "to go" in Arabic.
In this lesson, we will continue our series dedicated to very common Arabic verbs.
The second verb in our series is faʿala, which means "to do."
So imagine if someone asks you māḏā tafʿalu?
That means "What are you doing?" In the informal form.
So if you are doing your homework, for example, you will say in Arabic ʾanā ʾadrusu al-dars
[slowly] ʾanā ʾadrusu al-dars
“I am studying the lesson.”
So let’s break down this question:
First we had:
māḏā which is "what"
And tafʿalu or “are you doing” is the 2nd person form of the verb faʿala, which is "to do" in present indicative tense.
Again, if we had sa- at the beginning of the verb it would be transformed into the future
māḏā satafʿalu ġadan?
“What will you do tomorrow?”
But by leaving off the sa- to say, māḏā tafʿalu ġadan?, the meaning is the same.
Remember that in Arabic, we should change the gender of the verb according to the person.
So in case of a woman, we say:
māḏā tafʿalīn?
So now, let’s have a broader look at what you can say with the verb faʿala in Arabic.
To say, “What do you do?” in Arabic, we should use the verb ʿamila which means “work” in English. It stands for "to work" as in māḏā taʿmal? or “What is your job?” and the answer would be ʾanā ṭabīb or “I am a doctor” for a male, and ʾanā ṭabībah for a woman.
To ask “Where do you work?” we would say ʾayna taʿmal?, and the answer would be ʾanā ʾaʿmalu fī šarikah which is "I work in a company".
For a woman we ask ʾayna taʿmalīna?
Now it’s time for Carole’s Tips.
In Arabic, we cannot use the verb faʿala or “to do” as in English; in fact, “what are you doing” to ask about an action and “what do you do?” to ask about work or profession need different verbs.
We often say māḏā sanafʿalu al-laylah? which means “What are we going to do tonight?”
For example, if you are with some friends at night and you haven't decided your plans yet, you can ask this – it will sound very natural:
māḏā sanafʿalu al-laylah?
In this lesson, we learned how to use the verb faʿala and ʿamila. I’m sure these will help you a lot!
Next time, we’ll learn another very useful and romantic verb, ʾaḥabba.
Do you know what this Arabic verb means? I’m sure you have an idea!
I’ll be waiting for you in the next Al-ʿarabiyyah fi ṯalāṯi daqāʾiq!
ʾilā al-liqāʾi qarīban!