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Adjectives in Persian

Word order for adjective-noun phrases in Persian is different from English.
In English adjective comes first, followed by noun, i.e.:
Adjective + Noun
beautiful + day
Whereas, in Persian noun comes first followed by e-link and adjective:
Noun + e-link + Adjective
/ruz/ + /e/ + /zibā/
روز زیبا

Examples:

اتاق بزرگ Listen /otāq-e bozorg/ big room
دوست خوب Listen /dust-e xub/ good friend
پزشک مهربان Listen /pezešk-e mehrabān/ kind doctor
نوزاد خوشگل Listen /nozād-e xošgel/ cute baby
انتخابات محلی Listen /entexābāt-e mahalli/ local election

“E” Link

We use “e-link” to link a noun (or a noun phrase) to the following word(s).
The use of e-sound after a noun often signals to the listener that he/she is about to be given further information about the noun.
This information may indicate ownership, origin, description, name, and so on.

Note:
The use of e-link is usually very similar to “of” in English:
Bank of England → /bānk-e Englis/ بانکِ انگلیس
Colour of sky → /rang-e āsemān/ رنگِ آسمان

Note:
If the word immediately before the e-link is a vowel, we use -ye instead of e for ease of pronunciation.

غذای ِ من
/qazāye man/
my food

Examples

Ownership

کتاب من Listen /ketābe man/ my book
خودکار من Listen /xodkāre man/ my pen

Origin

فرش ایرانی Listen /farš-e Irani/ Persian rug
ساعت سوییسی Listen /sa’at-e Swissi/ Swiss watch

Description

گل قرمز Listen /gol-e qermez/ red flower
هواپیمای بزرگ Listen /havāpeymā-ye bozorg/ big aeroplane

Name

فیلم تایتانیک Listen /film-e Titanic/ Titanic movie
ماشین هوندا Listen /māšin-e Honda/ Honda car

Article for Objects in Persian

In English a definite article (the) comes immediately before a known object:
I am reading the book.
In Persian, the definite article is:
/rā/ را

It (almost) always follows the object and comes immediately after that.

The simple structure of a sentence in English is as below:
SUBJECT + VERB + the (article) + OBJECT

This structure in Persian is slightly different:

SUBJECT + OBJECT + rā (article) + VERB

Example:
English: I read the the book.
Persian: /man ketāb rā xāndam/
من کتاب را خواندم.

Example:
English: I broke the window.
Persian: /man panjare rā šekastam/
من پنجره را شکستم.

Past Simple verbs in Persian (Negative)

Making negative verbs in Past Simple is similar to Negative Present Simple tense.
The only difference is, in Present Simple you add NE (ن) in the beginning of the verb, while in Past Simple, you add NA (ن) in the beginning of the verb.

In fact in both you add the same letter (i.e. /n/) but with different following vowel.


Example:

(Right to Left) ←

Tense Prefix Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
- نخورد م نخوردم
- نخورد ی نخوردی
- نخورد - نخورد
Tense Prefix
Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
- نخورد یم نخوردیم
- نخورد ید نخوردید
- نخورد ند نخوردند

(Left to Right) →

Tense Prefix Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
- naxord am naxordam
- naxord i naxordi
- naxord - naxord
Tense Prefix Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
- naxord im naxordim
- naxord id naxordid
- naxord and naxordand

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: ?

Past Simple verbs in Persian

The structure of past simple verbs in Persian is very similar to present simple verbs.
In order to generate a past simple verb in Persian, we are taking steps introduced in this lesson.

Please note that in Past tenses, we need to use Past Tense root of the verb.

  1. Tense prefix (WHEN?)
  2. Past Simple tense has no Tense Prefix. It means that the verb starts with Past Tense root.

  3. Past tense root (WHAT?)
  4. Making past tense root in Persian is very easy.

    All infinitives in Persian, end in /an/ (ن). Not to mention that the letter “a”, is a vowel and is not an actual letter in Persian script.

    All you have to is, drop N from the end of the infinitive and you will have the Past tense root.

    Example:

    Infinitive: To Eat /xordan/ خوردن

    Past tense root: /xord/ خورد

  5. Person suffix

Introduced in this lesson

Exception: Singular Third person does not take its Person’s suffix (i.e. “D”).

All infinitives in Persian end in either /DaN/ or /TaN/, while majority of them end in /DaN/. It means that if the Singular Third person’s suffix was applied to Past Simple verb, the verb would be:

/xordad/ خوردد

The example above illustrates that the same letter /d/ (د) would be repeated at the end of the verb. Repetitive letters do not sound very nice in Persian language, and possibly due to this hypothesis, the repetitive letter of /d/ has been dropped in order to make the verb easier to be pronounced.


Example:

(Right to Left) ←

Tense Prefix Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
- خورد م خوردم
- خورد ی خوردی
- خورد - خورد
Tense Prefix
Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
- خورد یم خوردیم
- خورد ید خوردید
- خورد ند خوردند

(Left to Right) →

Tense Prefix Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
- xord am xordam
- xord i xordi
- xord - xord
Tense Prefix Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
- xord im xordim
- xord id xordid
- xord and xordand

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: ?

Present Simple verbs in Persian (Negative)

Making negative verbs in Present Simple is very easy.

What you have to is  add NE (ن) in the beginning of the verb.


Example:

(Right to Left) ←

Tense Prefix Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
نمی خور م نمی خورم
نمی خور ی نمی خوری
نمی خور د نمی خورد
Tense Prefix
Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
نمی خور یم نمی خوریم
نمی خور ید نمی خورید
نمی خور ند نمی خورند

(Left to Right) →

Tense Prefix Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
nemi xor am nemixoram
nemi xor i nemixori
nemi xor ad nemixorad
Tense Prefix Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
nemi xor im nemixorim
nemi xor id nemixorid
nemi xor and nemixorand

Can you do the same for these verbs:
To drink: /nušidan/ imperative form: /benuš/
To see: /didan/ imperative form: /bebin/
To read: /xāndan/ imperative form: /bexān/
To say: /goftan/ imperative form: /begu/

Present Simple verbs in Persian

In order to generate a present simple verb, we are taking steps introduced in this lesson. Hence, we need to identify three elements which make a verb in this tense:

  1. Tense prefix (WHEN?)
  2. می /mi/

  3. Verb tense root (WHAT?)
  4. In most verbs, drop the letter ب and its following vowel /b[a]/ or /b[e]/ or /b[o]/from the beginning of imperative form*

    Example:

    Infinitive: To Eat /xordan/ خوردن

    Imperative: Eat /boxor/ بخور

    Present tense root: /xor/ خور → بخور

    * Almost all of imperative verbs start with /b/

  5. Person suffix

Introduced in this lesson


Example:

(Right to Left) ←

Tense Prefix Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
می خور م می خورم
می خور ی می خوری
می خور د می خورد
Tense Prefix
Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
می خور یم می خوریم
می خور ید می خورید
می خور ند می خورند

(Left to Right) →

Tense Prefix Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
mi xor am mixoram
mi xor i mixori
mi xor ad mixorad
Tense Prefix Tense Root Person Suffix Verb
mi xor im mixorim
mi xor id mixorid
mi xor and mixorand

Can you do the same for these verbs:
To drink: /nušidan/ imperative form: /benuš/
To see: /didan/ imperative form: /bebin/
To read: /xāndan/ imperative form: /bexān/
To say: /goftan/ imperative form: /begu/

Introduction to Verbs in Persian

In Persian, any verb can be interpreted independent of other parts of the sentence. This means that if a verb is extracted from the sentence, it can answer three questions about the action:

  • WHEN?
  • WHAT?
  • WHO?

These questions are answered by three elements, which usually come in this order:

  • Tense prefix (can be absent)
  • Verb tense root
  • Person suffix:

(read from right to left)

Tense prefix + Verb tense root + person’s suffix

Tense prefix (WHEN?) [can be absent in some tenses]

This prefix is the same across each tense, regardless of the person for which the verb is used.

Verb tense root(WHAT?)

In Persian, you need to learn 2 forms of each verb:

  • Infinitive
  • Imperative

The root for different tenses (e.g. present simple, past perfect) can be easily generated from these two forms. This topic will be expanded in next lessons under each tense lesson.

Person suffix(WHO?)

You learned person suffixes for to-be verbs here. The person suffixes for other verbs are precisely the same as person suffixes for to be verbs, except for singular third person (he/she).

The person suffix for singular third person (he/she) is /d/. However, some tenses do not need any person suffix for singular third person (he/she). Hence the universal person suffix table will be as below:

مفرد تلفظ Used for
ـم /-am/ I
ـی /-i/ you [singular]
د یا -* /-d/ or /NONE/* he/she
جمع تلفظ Used for
ـیم /-im/ we
ـید /-id/ you [singular]
ـند /-and/ they

* in some tenses it is dropped, but in others it is /-d/

I am fine

In this lesson, we learn how to say: “I am fine” and also you are fine, he is fine, etc.

مفرد تلفظ Used for
من خوب هستم /man xub hastam/ I am fine
تو خوب هستی /to xub hasti/ you are fine [singular]
او خوب هست /u xub hast/ he/she is fine
جمع تلفظ Used for
ما خوب هستیم /mā xub hastim/ we are fine
شما خوب هستـید /šomā xub hastid/ you are fine [plural]
ایشان خوب هستـند /išān xub hastand/ they are fine

In colloquial Persian, it is common to drop /hast/ and join the adjective person’s suffix together:

مفرد تلفظ Used for
من خوبم /man xubam/ I am fine
تو خوبی /to xubi/ you are fine [singular]
او خوب هست * /u xub hast/ * he/she is fine
جمع تلفظ Used for
ما خوبیم /mā xubim/ we are fine
شما خوبـید /šomā xubid/ you are fine [plural]
ایشان خوبـند /išān xuband/ they are fine

to be Verb (Negative)

The formula for negative to be verb is similar to what we learned in this post:

Negative Present Tense root
+ person’s suffix

Negative Present tense root of to be verb is:

نیست /nist/

Negative To be verbs (simple present tense)

بن مضارع پسوند فعل Verb formula Definition
نیستـ ـم نیستم /nistam/ /nist/+/am/ I am not
نیستـ ـی نیستی /nisti/ /nist/+/i/ you are not
نیست ـ نیست /nist/ /nist/+- he/she is not
بن مضارع پسوند فعل Verb formula Definition
نیستـ ـیم نیستیم /nistim/ /nist/+/im/ we are not
نیستـ ـید نیستید /nistid/ /nist/+/id/ you are not
نیستـ ـند نیستند /nistand/ /nist/+/and/ they are not

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