Verb=akala=to eat, masc=m, feminine=f
English Pronouns Arabic Pronouns Perfect Imperfect
I anaa akaltu a'kulu
Thou (m) anta akalta ta'kulu
Thou (f) anti akalti ta'kuliyna
He huwa akala ya'kulu
She hiya akalat ta'kulu
We nahnu akalnaa na'kulu
You (m) antum akaltum ta'kuluuna
You (f) antunna akaltunna ta'kulna
You two (m,f) antumaa akaltumaa ta'kulaani
They two (m) humaa akalaa ya'kulaani
They two (f) humaa akalataa ya'kulaani
They (m) hum akaluu ya'kuluuna
They (f) hunna akalna ya'kulna

Discussion of Arabic Tenses

There are two main tenses in the Arabic language. 1.Perfect Tense, 2.Imperfect Tense or the Present Tense. The action is completed in the perfect tense. You may also call this as the past tense because the action is completed before the present so it belongs to the past. For example, one may say, "I ate". The action of eating was finished in the past. The past could be a few minutes or a few decades before the present time. Alternately, in the second tense, i.e., the imperfect, the action is still continuing. For example, you knock on the door and walk in. You see he is eating his meal. He says to you, "I am eating". The action is still continuing, he is still eating while talking to you. This is the present tense in English. It is also the "imperfect tense" in Arabic. You look at the table above and locate the pronoun "I" on the left column and follow it to the right to the "imperfect" column. You will see the verb, "akulu". It means, "I am eating" or "I eat".

What about the future tense? Well, there is not such a thing as the future tense in Arabic. This is done by adding the prefix "sa" to the imperfect form of the verb. For example, let's look at the table above to find out the imperfect form of the verb "akala". It is "ya'kulu". Add the prefix "sa" to the "ya'kulu" you get, "saya'kulu" which means "He will eat".

Click on the link Here to go to the next chapter which explains the perfect tense of the verb "akala".

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