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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: ?

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

to be Verb

In Persian, each verb has three forms:

– Infinitive
– Present Tense root
– Past Tense root

To make to be verbs in simple present tense we use the following formula: (read from right to left)

Present Tense root + person’s suffix

Present tense root of to be verb is:

هست /hast/

Table of Person’s suffixes

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

To be verbs (simple present tense)

بن مضارع پسوند فعل تلفظ formula Definition
هستـ ـم هستم /hastam/ /hast/+/am/ I am
هستـ ـی هستی /hasti/ /hast/+/i/ you are
هست ـ هست /hast/ /hast/+- he/she is
بن مضارع پسوند فعل تلفظ formula Definition
هستـ ـیم هستیم /hastim/ /hast/+/im/ we are
هستـ ـید هستید /hastid/ /hast/+/id/ you are
هستـ ـند هستند /hastand/ /hast/+/and/ they are

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