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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: ?

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

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/

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