Levantine Arabic/Verbs/Present

Conjugation edit

The present tense (also called b-imperfect) is formed by adding the prefix بـ (b-/bi-) to the subjunctive form.

The b-prefix is pronounced “b-” if the subjunctive prefix is stressed and “bi-” if its unstressed, resulting in the following conjugation:

Person Pronoun Stessed Unstressed
1st sg أنا
بفهم bi-fham (N)
ba-fham (S)
بجيب b-jīb (N)
ba-jīb (S)
pl نحنا / أحنا
منفهم mni-fham منجيب min-jīb
2nd m إنت
you (m)
بتفهم bti-fham بتجيب bit-jīb
f إنتي
you (f)
بتفهمي bti-fham-i بتجيبي bit-jīb-i
pl إنتو
you (pl)
بتفهمو bti-fham-u بتجيبو bit-jīb-u
3rd m هو
بيفهم / بفهم byi-fham (N)
bi-fham (S)
بجيب bi-jīb
f هي
بتفهم bti-fham بتجيب bit-jīb
pl هن / هم
بيفهمو / بفهمو byi-fham-u (N)
bi-fham-u (S)
بجيبو bi-jīb-u
  • North and South Levantine differ in the 1st person singular (I) and 3rd person masculine (he) and plural (they).
  • When the prefix is stressed, the South Levantine 3rd person masculine is the same as the 1st person singular in North Levantine.
  • The 2nd person masculine (you) and 3rd person feminine (she) share the same form.
  • In the 1st person plural (we) the prefix becomes assimilated resulting “mn-/min-”, however some speakers pronounce it as “bn-/bin-”.

Usage edit

Present progressive edit

The present progressive is formed by the particle عم (ʕam) followed by either the subjunctive or present tense of the verb, depending on the region and personal preference.

It is used to emphasize an ongoing action. It's usage is less frequent as in English, as the present tense itself can be used instead.

The present progressive is not used with verbs of motion, where the active participle is used instead.