Archive for the ‘Grammar’ Category

Subjunctive mood in Action-2

As mentioned in previous post, Subjunctive mood in Persian is used in two occasions. This mood is used when more than one verb is used, and in the case of uncertainty (i.e. after šāyad (maybe), agar (if), bāyad (must) and so on. The first usage of this mood was covered in the previous post, and the latter is explained in this post:

2. In the case of uncertainty

(i.e. after šāyad (maybe), agar (if), bāyad (must) and so on.

a- Present

– May / Might


من شاید امروز به مدرسه بروم

/man šāyad emruz be madrese(h) beravam/
I might go to school today.

Note: There is no negative form for šāyad. To make the above sentence negative, we make the Subjunctive mood verb negative by replacing /be-/ with /na-/:

من شاید امروز به مدرسه نروم

/man šāyad emruz be madrese(h) naravam/
I might not go to school today.

– Should / Have to / Must / Ought to


حالت خوب نیست. تو باید به دکتر بروی.

/hālet xub nist. to bāyad be doktor beravi./
You are not ok. You have to go to the doctor. (=You have to see a doctor)

Note: Negative form for Bāyad is Nabāyad. To make the above sentence negative we change /bāyad/ to /nabāyad/ and do not touch the rest of sentence.

حالت خوب نیست. تو نباید به مدرسه بروی

/hālet xub nist. to nabāyad be madrese(h) beravi./
You are not OK. You must not go to school.

b- Past

The subjunctive mood is not used for šāyad and Bāyad in past tense.

Past Imperfective form of the verb comes after šāyad and Bāyad in Past Tenses.

تو باید به او می گفتی

/to bāyad be u migofti/
You should have told her.

Download the Homework here

Subjunctive mood in Action-1

Broadly speaking, the subjunctive form [be-/bo-] is used:

1- If there are more than one verb in a sentence (no matter past or present) the following verbs will be in subjunctive form.

2. in the case of uncertainty (i.e. after shāyad (maybe), agar (if), bāyad (must) and so on.

1- More than one verb

In other words, when you have to use infinitive form (“to VERB”) or ing form (“VERBing) for the following verbs in English, you have to use subjunctive form (“be-“) of verb in Persian.

می خواهم سیبی بخورم.

Present: “Mixāham sibi boxoram”
(I want to eat an apple)

می خواستم سیبی بخورم.

Past: “Mixāstam sibi boxoram”
(I wanted to eat an apple)

In the past tense, you can also use”Xāstam” instead of “Mixāstam” for “I wanted”

Note: xāstam and mixāstam are two different tenses. xāstam means “I wanted” mixāstam means “I used to want”.


I like/love VERBing
من دوست دارم زبان یاد بگیرم.
“man dust dāram Farsi yād begirem” (“I love learning Farsi”)

I tried to VERB
من تلاش کردم حقیقت را به او بگویم.
/man talāš kardam haqiqat rā be u beguyam/
I tried to tell him/her the truth.

I hate VERBing
من بدم می آید جمعه ها کار بکنم.
/man dadam miāyad Jom’ehā kār bekonam./
I hate working on Fridays.

I started/finished VERBing
من پارسال شروع کردم زبان فارسی را یاد بگیرم.
/man pārsāl šoru kardam zabān-e Farsi rā yād begiram/
I started learning Persian language last year.

An Introduction to Subjunctive mood in Persian

The subjunctive mood is a verb mood typically used in dependent clauses to express wishes, commands, emotion, possibility, judgment, opinion, necessity, or statements that are usually contrary to fact at present.

The subjunctive mood is Persian is made of the subjunctive form of the verb.

be + Present root

بـ + بن مضارع


Examples of subjunctive form for first person:

b(e) + kon (am)
b(e) + xor (am)
b(e) + rav (am)
b(e) + nush (am)
b(e) + nevis (am)


If the first letter of the Present root was a vowel (except for /i/), bi would be used instead of be:

bi + aay (am)
bi + aamuz (am)

If the first letter was /i/: (istaadan)

be + ist (am)

The Subjunctive form of to be verb does not have any subjunctive prefix (be or bi):

‘ra’ for definite direct objects

Object Marker (rā)

را ‘rā’ (Object Marker) is used after a definite direct object.

What is a definite direct object?

See this example:

I bought him a book.

There are two objects used in this sentence:
– him (indirect object)
– book (direct object)

‘book’ is the direct object, because the action of verb (bought) is directly affecting ‘book’ (not him).

When you say ‘ bought him the book’, the word ‘book’ is definite, because it is a specific book. Therefore, it must be followed by ‘rā’ (را) when translated to Persian.

/man ketāb rā barāte u xaridam/ من کتاب را برای او خریدم

However, the translation of the following sentence would not need ‘rā’ as the direct object is not definite and is general:

I bought him a book

من یک کتاب برای او خریدم
/man yek ketāb barāye u xaridam/

Example 1:
/man har šab televizion mibinam/ من هر شب تلویزیون می بینم
(I watch TV every night)

* ‘rā’ is not needed after the object (/televizion/) as it refers to TV in general.

/man har hafte(h) televizion rā tamiz mikonam/ من هر هفته تلویزیون را تمیز می کنم
(I clean the TV every week)

* ‘rā’ is needed after the object (/televizion/) as it refers to a specific TV set.

Example 1:

/man mamulan sā’at-e 9 qazāyam ra mixoram/
من معمولا ساعت 9 غذایم را می خورم


By its nature, ‘ra’ is used only in sentences with a transitive verb.

What is a Transitive verb?

The definition and usage of transitive verbs in Persian are very similar to English.

A transitive verb is a verb that requires one or more (direct) objects (as well as a direct subject)

– Amin saw Sara. /Amin Sārā rā did/ (Sara is the direct object of “saw”)
– I like nature. /Man tabi’at rā dust dāram/ (nature music is the direct object of “like”)

In contrast, an Intransitive verb does not take an object. In other words, an intransitive verb has only one argument (the subject)

– She laughs /u mixandad/


22/09/2009 Handout 02

Contracted forms of to be verb

In an informal situation, written or spoken, using contracted form of to be verbs is recommended. However, similar to English, it is recommended not using contracted form of to be verbs in a formal situation.

Contracted forms of to be verb are as follow. Having read them, you might have realised that they are very similar to person suffix for present tense studied in this post. The only exception is in third single person.

تلفظ Used for
ـم /-am/ I
ـی /-i/ you [singular]
است* /ast/ he/she
جمع تلفظ Used for
ـیم /-im/ we
ـید /-id/ you [singular]
ـند /-and/ they


بن مضارع پسوند فعل تلفظ formula Definition
خوبـ ـم خوبم /xubam/ /xub/+/am/ I‘m fine
خوبـ ـی خوبی /xubi/ /xub/+/i/ you‘re fine
خوب است* خوب است* /xub ast/ /xub/+/ast/ he/she‘s fine
بن مضارع پسوند فعل تلفظ formula Definition
خوبـ ـیم خوبیم /xubim/ /xub/+/im/ we‘re fine
خوبـ ـید خوبید /xubid/ /xub/+/id/ you‘re fine
خوبـ ـند خوبند /xuband/ /xub/+/and/ they‘re fine

Past Imperfective Tense in Persian

What is an Imperfective Tense?
The imperfective aspect refers to an action that is considered as ongoing, habitual, or repeated.

How to make a Past Imperfective Verb in Persian
Making a Past Imperfective verb in Persian is quite easy. You just need to add “mi” to the beginning of the Past Simple form of the verb.

mi+ Past Root + Person’s suffix

Although there is not an exact equivalent for this tense in English, Past Progressive (Past Continuous) tense can be considered as the closest tense in English to Past Imperfective Tense in Persian.

I was playing tennis yesterday.
/man diruz tennis bāzi mikardam./

When I was young, I was travelling a lot.
/vaqti javān budam, xeyli mosāferat miraftam./

(Right to Left) ←

Tense Prefix Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
می رفت م می رفتم
می رفت ی می رفتی
می رفت می رفت
Tense Prefix
Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
می رفت یم می رفتیم
می رفت ید می رفتید
می رفت ند می رفتند

(Left to Right) →

Tense Prefix Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
mi raft am miraftam
mi raft i mirafti
mi raft miraft
Tense Prefix Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
mi raft im miraftim
mi raft id miraftid
mi raft and miraftand

Can you do the same for these verbs:
To drink: /nušidan/ past tense root: nušid
To see: /didan/ past tense root: ?
To read: /xāndan/ past tense root: ?
To say: /goftan/ past tense root: ?
To jump: /paridan/ past tense root: ?

How to ask a question in Persian-1

Yes/No Questions

In Yes/No questions the answer is either yes or no. For instance, “Did you see Tom?” is a Yes/No question in English.

To make a Yes/No question in English we need an auxiliary verb (e.g. do, did, have, etc.) which normally comes in the beginning of the sentence.

Did you see Tom?

In Persian we do not need to change the structure of the statement in order to make a question. All we need to do is put the word “āyā” in the beginning of the sentence.

Statament: man be madrese raftam. (I went to school.)
Question: āyā to be madrese rafti? (Did you go to school?)

Statament: Ali ruznāme xarid. (Ali bought a newspaper.)
Question: āyā Ali ruznāme xarid? (Did Ali buy a newspaper?)

Statament: Sara dar London zendegi mikonad. (Sara lives in London.)
Question: āyā Sara dar London zendegi mikonad? (Does Sara live in London?)

More examples:

Question: āyā (to) xodkār-e man rā didi? (Did you see my pen?)
Na, man xodkār-e to rā nadidam. (No, I didn’t see your pen)

Question: āyā (to) Tom Cruise rā mishenāsi? (Do you know Tom Cruise?)
bale, man Tom Cruise rā mishenāsam (Yes, I know Tom Cruise)

Question: āyā (to) dišab mosābeqe-ye football ra didi? (Did you watch the match last noght?)
Na, ān ra nadidam. āyā mosābeqe-ye xubi bud? (No, was that a good game?)
āre, āli bud. Perspolis 2-0 bord. (Yes, that was great. Perspolis won 2-0)

Prepositions in Persian

There are two types of prepositions in Persian:

Type 1:

They never occur with “e-link”.

There are only 4 prepositions in Type 1.

واژه تلفظ معنی
در Listen /dar/ in/at
به Listen /be/ to
تا Listen /tā/ until/to [time]
از Listen /az/ from


/man dar Landan hastam/ I am in London.
/man parsāl be ālmān raftam/ I went to Germany last year.
/bāzār 5 bāz ast/ The market is open until 5.
/In rā az Hend xaridi?/ Did you buy it from India?

Type 2:

They might occur with “e-link” when followed by a complement.
There are two sub-classes in Type 2:

Type 2a: prepositions with optional e-link

واژه تلفظ معنی
تو Listen /tu/ in
رو Listen /ru/ on
جلو Listen /jelo/ in front (of)
پهلو Listen /pahlu/ beside/next to
زیر Listen /zir/ under


/man xodkār-e Parker-e to rā tu(-ye) kifam nagozāštam./ I did not put your Parker pen in my bag.
/ru(-ye) divār či nevešti?/ What did you write on the wall?
/man hamiše dar parvāzhāyam pahlu-ye panjare minešinam./ I always sit next to the window in my flights.

Type 2b:prepositions with obligatory e-link

واژه تلفظ معنی
داخل ِ Listen /dāxel-e/ inside
بالای ِ Listen /bālā-ye/ on top of
سر ِ Listen /sar-e/ on top of
پشت ِ Listen /pošt-e/ behind
نزدیک ِ Listen /nazdik-e/ near
پایین ِ Listen /pāin-e/ below
خارج ِ Listen /xārej-e/ outside
بیرون ِ Listen /birun-e/ outside
میان ِ Listen /miān-e/ between
دور ِ Listen /dour-e/ around

/dāxel-e komod rā didi?./ Did you see inside the wardrobe?

/birun-e šahr yek daryāče-ye zibā hast./ There is a beautiful lake outside the city.

* As mentioned before, if the first word ends in a vowel, we will use “ye” instead of “e”.

Common Verbs in Persian- Set 1

مصدر Present root Past root Infinitive
کردن Listen /kon/ /kard/ to do
دادن Listen /dah/ /dād/ to give
داشتن Listen /dār/ /dāšt/ to have
زدن Listen /zan/ /zad/ to hit
خوردن Listen /xor/ /xord/ to eat
رفتن Listen /rav/ /raft/ to go
آمدن Listen /āy/ /āmad/ to come
آوردن Listen /āvar/ /āvard/ to bring
بردن Listen /bar/ /bord/ to take
دیدن Listen /bin/ /did/ to see
شنیدن Listen /shenav/ /šenid/ to hear
بوییدن Listen /buy/ /buid/ to smell
چشیدن Listen /češ/ /češid/ to taste
لمس کردن Listen /lams kon/ /lams kard/ to touch

Common Adjectives in Persian

List of most common Adjectives

واژه تلفظ معنی
خوب Listen /xub/ good
بد Listen /bad/ bad
درست Listen /dorost/ true
غلط Listen /qalat/ false
زیبا Listen /zibā/ beautiful/pretty
زشت Listen /zešt/ ugly
بزرگ Listen /bozorg/ big/large
متوسط Listen /motevasset/ medium
کوچک Listen /kučak/ small
بلند Listen /boland/ high/tall
کوتاه Listen /kutāh/ šort
روشن Listen /rošan/ bright
تاریک Listen /tārik/ dark
سنگین Listen /sangin/ heavy
سبک Listen /sabok/ light
مفید Listen /mofid/ useful
مضرّ Listen /mozerr/ harmful
خوشمزه Listen /xošmazze/ delicious
بیمزه Listen /bimazze/ tasteless (food)
بدمزه Listen /badmazze/ bland (food)
ارزان Listen /arzān/ cheap
گران Listen /gerān/ expensive

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