How do you Conjugate Verbs in Gulf Dialect?

Posted in CategoryGulf Dialect Grammar Questions
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    Mohamed Essam Bakry 1 year ago

    Conjugating verbs in Gulf Arabic/Dialect is not so different from the conjugation in Modern Standard Arabic, just make sure to remember the main rule: In Arabic the subject Pronoun is usually omitted, that is because of the nature of Arabic verbs which address the subject, who is the actor of the verb’s action. This rule is applicable when you conjugate any Arabic verb in any of the verb tenses:

    -       Past tense.

    -       Present tense.

    -       Imperative tense.

    1-  Past tense:


    Used for actions that happened in the past and been completed. When  conjugating Past tense verbs, you will add suffixes to the "base" form of the verb.

    In Arabic, an infinitive form of verbs does not exist. Instead, the past masculine third-person is used as a base:

    كِتَبْ (katb) = He wrote / كِتَبْتْ (katabt) = I wrote.


    Arabic has different forms for Feminine Singular and Plural verbs. They are marked by various sets of Suffixes added to the Masculine form. Another way of marking forms is with Prefixes, this will be demonstrated in the following example: 

    كِتَبْ (ketb) = He wrote:

    I wrote أَنَا (ana) كِتَبْتْ ketbt

    He wrote  هُو (hu) كِتَبْ ketb

    She wrote هِي (he) كِتَبَتْ  ketbat

    You wrote اِنْتْ (ent) كِتَبْتْ ketbt

    You wrote اِنْتِ (enti) كِتَبْتي ketbati

    We wrote (hena)  حِنَّا كِتَبْنَا ketbabna

    They wrote (hum)  هُم كِتَبَوا ketabou


    - خَالِدْ كَانْ يِحِبْ المُوسِيقَى مِن لَمَّا كَانْ صْغِيرْ = Khalid loved music since he was little. (Khalid kan yihb almosiqa min lamma kan seghear)


    - Note in the example the form is different.

    Adding كَانْ (kan) before the Present form of the verb turns it into the Past form. Its meaning will change depending on rest of the sentence:


    If you said خَالِدْ كَانْ يِحِبْ المُوسِيقَى (Khalid kan yihb almosiqa-Khalid loved music ) and stopped, it will mean that he used to love music, but not anymore. But here we added مِن لَمَّا (min lamma – Since) which denotes that he used to, and still loves music.



    2-  Present tense in Gulf Arabic:

    When conjugating Present Verbs, you take into consideration that Suffixes and Prefixes are added depending on subject:

    For example: كَتَبْ (katab) = He wrote.

    I write أَنَا (ana) أَكْتِب aktib

    He writes هُو (hu) يِكْتِب yektib

    She writes هِي (he) تِكْتِبْ tiktib

    You write اِنْتْ (ent)  تِكْتِب tiktib

    You write اِنْتِ (enti) تِكْتِبِينْ tikibean

    We write (hena) حِنَّا  نِكْتِبْ niktib

    They write (hum)  هُم يِكْتِبُونْ yiktiboun

    The process of conjugating a Present verb in Arabic is simple:

    1) Determine who the subject is. The subject is categorized by number (Singular, Dual, Plural) and gender (Masculine, Feminine).

    2) Add the necessary suffixes/prefixes to the base verb.


    2b- Future Tense in Gulf Arabic:

    Conjugating the Future tense in Gulf Arabic includes adding the suffix ب  (be)  on the present tense verb for e.g.

    يِكْتِبْ (yekteb) = He writes.     Vs. بيكتب   (byaktub) = He will write.


    He is sitting: يِجْلِسْ

    He sat: جَلَسْ

     He will sit : بِيِجْلِس 


    Simply, the future tense in Arabic is formed by adding the prefix بـ (b) onto the beginning of the present tense verb.


    3-  Imperative Verbs (Command):

    Verbs which indicate a request or a demand to do something. Since we are talking about command, Arabic imperative form is used only when talking about the Second-Person.

    It is possible to sometimes derive the imperative verb from the Present Tense.


    1- In some cases, you simply delete the first letter of the Present Verb:

    - يِرُوح (yerough) = He goes    Delete the يـ (y) in the beginning and it becomes a command  رُوحْ (rough) = Go!

    To use this method for Feminine or Plural, in addition to deleting the يـ (y)  you need to add sets of suffixes:

    Masculine Singular  Go رُوحْ rouh

    Feminine Singular Go رُوحْيِ rouhi

    Plural Go رُوحْوُا rouho


    2- In other cases, you replace the Present يـ (y) with the Command ا (a):

    - يِكْتِب (yektb) = He writes – Replace the يـ (y) in the beginning with ا (a) and it becomes a command اِكْتِبْ (ektb) = Write!

    To use this method for Feminine or Plural, in addition to deleting the يـ (y)  you need to add sets of suffixes:


    Masculine Singular  Write اكْتِبْ ektb

    Feminine Singular Write اكْتِبْي ektbi

    Plural Write اكْتِبْوا ektbo

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