Verb Tenses Overview

Past Tense Verb

فِعلٌ مَاضِي

The past tense verbs usually closely resemble the root of the word. Sometimes they are derived from the root, with minor additions to create related meanings. The past tense verbs are divided into different forms based on person, gender and number.

Third Person(They wrote) كَتَبُوا(They wrote) كَتَبَا(He wrote) كَتَبَM
(They wrote) كَتَبْنَ(They wrote) كَتَبَتَا(She wrote) كَتَبَتْF
Second Person(You wrote) كَتَبْتُم(You wrote) كَتَبْتُما(You wrote) كَتَبْتَM
(You wrote) كَتَبْتُنَّ(You wrote)كَتَبْتُمَا(You wrote) كَتَبْتِF
First Person(We wrote) كَتَبْنَا(I wrote) كَتَبْتُM & F

M: Male F: Female

Examples of Usage:

قَرَأَ الطَّالِبُ الكِتَابَ

The student read the book.

قَرَأَتْ الطَّالِبَةُ الكِتَابَ

The student (female) read the book

الطَّالباتُ قرأْنَ الكِتابَ

The students (female) read the book.

Present Tense Verb

فِعلٌ مُضَارِعٌ

The imperfect verb is used to describe the present and is also derived from the root in predictable patterns.

The present tense verbs have 14 forms according to person, gender and number:

Third Person(They write) يَكْتُبُونَ(They write) يَكْتُبَانِ(He writes) يَكْتُبُM
(They write) يَكْتُبْنَ(They write) تَكْتُبَانِ(She writes) تَكْتُبُF
Second Person(You write) تَكْتُبَونَ(You write) تَكْتُبَانِ(You write) تَكْتُبُM
(You write) تَكْتُبْنَ(You write) تَكْتُبَانِ(You write) تَكْتُبِينَF
First Person(We write) نَكْتُبُSame as Plural(I write) أَكْتُبُM & F

يأكُلُ حَامِدٌ السّمَكَ

Hamid is eating the fish

أقرأُ صفحَتينِ كُلَّ يومٍ

I read two pages every day

أُحِبُّ السّفر

I love travelling

Future tense


To indicate the future tense, سَ ‘sa’ or سَوفَ ‘sawfa’ is simply added to the beginning of the imperfect verb.

سأَذهَبُ إلى المَسجِدِ

I will go to the masjid

سَوفَ أَرجِعُ

I will return

سَأَكتُبُ الدَّرسَ

 I will write the lesson

Command Tense / Imperative

فٍعلُ أَمرٍ

The imperative or command tense verb is always used in the second person. Therefore each verb can occur in all these forms:

You = أنتَاُكّتُبْM
You = أنتِاُكْتُبِيF
You = أنتمااُكْتُبَاM & F
You = أنتماُكْتُبُواM
You = أنتنَّاُكْتُبْـنَF


سَيَزُورُ عَلِيٌّ جَدَّهُزُرْ يَا عَلِيٌّ جَدَّكَيَزُورُ عَلِيٌّ جدَّهُزَارَ عَلِيٌّ جدَّهُ
سوفَ تَأكُلُ الغَدَاءَكُلِي الغَدَاءَتَأكُلُ الغَدَاءَأَكَلَتِ الغَدَاءَ
سَيَنَامُ أَلأَطْفَالُ مُبَكِّرَاًنَاموا مُبَكِّرَاً !يَنَامُ الأَطْفالُ مُبَكِّرَاًنَامَ الاطْفالُ مُبَكِّرَاً
سَنَقرَأُ الكِتَابَاِقْرَؤا الكِتَابَنَحْنُ نَقْرَأُ الكِتَابَنَحْنُ قَرَأنَا الكِتَابَ

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