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Persian/Lesson 5

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فارسی (‹fârsi›, “Persian”)
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ContentsIntroduction
Persian Alphabet lessons: 1 ( ۱ )2 ( ۲ )3 ( ۳ )4 ( ۴ )
Elementary grammar: 5 ( ۵ )6 ( ۶ )7 ( ۷ )8 ( ۸ )9 ( ۹ )
10 ( ۱۰ )11 ( ۱۱ )12 ( ۱۲ )13 ( ۱۳ )14 ( ۱۴ )15 ( ۱۵ )
Intermediate: 16 ( ۱۶ )17 ( ۱۷ )18 ( ۱۸ )19 ( ۱۹ )20 ( ۲۰ )
21 ( ۲۱ )22 ( ۲۲ )23 ( ۲۳ )24 ( ۲۴ )25 ( ۲۵ )26 ( ۲۶ )
Advanced:
Appendix: AlphabetGlossaryHandwriting

Farsi

To continue, your computer must display Persian. The box below should show these Persian letters on the far right: Paa-individua.svgBaa-individua.svgAlif-individua.svg
ا ب پ ت ث ج چ ح خ د ذ ر ز ژ س ش ص ض ط ظ ع غ ف ق ک گ ل م ن و ه ی

If they are different or in the wrong order, see Persian Computing.


In lessons 1 through 4, you learned some greetings and how to read, write, and pronounce Persian words.

In this lesson, you will learn about Persian verbs: their agreement with the subject, their location in a sentence, and how to conjugate the most common one, بودن Look up بودن in Wiktionary ‹budan› (“to be”), in the simple present tense.

Contents

Dialogue: شما کجایی هستید؟ ‹šomâ kojâi hastid?›Edit

Reza and Shirin have just met:

Shirin: ‹xošvaqtam, ârezâ. šomâ kojâi hastid? ›
“Nice to meet you, Reza. Where are you from?”
خوشوقتم، آقا رضا. شما کجایی هستید؟
  Missing audio. If you are fluent in Persian, record and upload your voice.
شيرين:
Reza: ‹man irâniyam. az mašhad hastam. šo cetor?›
“I’m Iranian. I’m from Mashhad. How about you?”
من ایرانیم. از مشهد هستم. شما چطور؟
  Missing audio. If you are fluent in Persian, record and upload your voice.
رضا:
Shirin: ‹man az tehrân hastam.›
“I’m from Tehran.”
من از تهران هستم.
  Missing audio. If you are fluent in Persian, record and upload your voice.
شيرين:
Reza: ‹va â-ye esmit? engelisi-st?›
“And Mr. Smith? Is he English?”
و آقای اسمیت؟ انگلیسی است؟
  Missing audio. If you are fluent in Persian, record and upload your voice.
رضا:
Shirin: ‹xeyr, u âmrikâiy-st.›
“No, he’s American.”
خیر، او آمریکایی است.
  Missing audio. If you are fluent in Persian, record and upload your voice.
شيرين:

If you intend to help complete this dialogue, please see #Exercises and Persian/Planning#Dialogue for suggestions that emphasize this lesson's topic: simple present tense forms of بودن .

Explanation

Shirin and Reza have just met.
While "âqâ" is an honorific used in Persian before Male given names, it is not translated to "Mr." in English.

Vocabulary

  • کجایی   ‹kojâi› — “from where?”
  • ایرانیم   ‹irâniyam› — “(I) am Iranian.”
  • او   ‹u›   /uː/ — “he, she, it”
  • انگلیسی   ‹engelisiy› — “English”
  • خیر   ‹xeyr› — “no”
  • آمریکایی   ‹âmrikâiy› — “American”
  • ما   ‹mâ›   /mɒː/ — “we, us”
  • آنها   ‹ân›   /ɒːnˈhɒː/ — “they”


SubjectsEdit

In both English and Persian, sentences have subjects and verbs. In a sentence that expresses an action, the subject is usually the main actor or agent. In a sentence that makes a comment about a topic, the subject is usually that topic. A verb is a word like talk that expresses an action, or one like is that links the subject to the words that comment about it:

Sentence Subject Verb
“I am a student.” “I” “am”
“Did you complete the assignment?” “you” “Did complete”
“Study this grammar topic!” “(you)”[1] “Study”

Each sentence above, like all complete sentences in English and Persian, has a subject and a verb, even if the subject is only implied. Subjects have grammatical “number” and “person”:

  • First, second, or third person: indicates whether the speaker or addressee is included
  • Singular or plural number: indicates how many people or things are included [2]

Grammatical person and number may be represented by the following pronouns:

Grammatical number and person Number
Singular

(one)

Plural

(more than one)[2]

First person

(the speaker)

من ما
‹man› ‹mâ›
“I” “we”
Second person

(the addressee)

تو شما
‹to› ‹šomâ›
“you” “you”
Third person

(someone else)

او آنها
‹u› ‹ânhâ›
“he/she/it” “they”

Present tense forms of بودن ‹budan› (“to be”)Edit

بودن ‹budan› (“to be”)

Simple present tense, “full” form
Stem: هست‍ ‹hast-›

Number
Singular Plural
First person (من) هستم (ما) هستیم
(‹man›) ‹hastam› (‹mâ›) ‹hastim›
“(I) am” “(we) are”
Second person (تو) هستی (شما) هستید
(‹to›) ‹hasti› (‹šomâ›) ‹hastin›[3]
“(you) are” “(you) are”
Third person (او) هست (آنها) هستند
(‹u›) ‹hast (‹ânhâ›) ‹hastan›[3]
“(he/she/it) is” “(they) are”

Persian verbs are conjugated by adding suffixes, similar to the way English verbs like talk take the suffixes -s, -ed, and -ing to make verb forms like talks, talked, and talking. In Persian, though, the verb’s suffix clearly indicates its grammatical person and number. For example, the table on the right shows the simple present tense “full” forms of the Persian verb بودن   ‹budan› (“to be”), consisting of the stem هست‍ ‹hast-› and various suffixes to indicate the person and number:

  Conjugation
Say each of the personal pronouns from the table above. While saying each one, imagine and point to the people to whom the pronoun might refer. For example, while saying ما   ‹mâ› (“we, us”), imagine another person next to you and point to that person and yourself.
Repeat the personal pronouns as above, but after each one, say the corresponding simple present tense full forms of بودن ‹budan› from the table above. For example, when saying شما   ‹šomâ› (“you (plural)”), point to two imaginary addressees and then say هستید ‹hastin› .[3]

The full simple present tense of بودن ‹budan› appeared as هستید ‹hastin› and هستم ‹hastam› in the first and third lines of the dialogue above.

بودن ‹budan› also appears in abbreviated form above, once as the word است ‹e› [3] and once as the suffix ‍م ‹-am› following ایرانی ‹irâniy› (“Iranian”). That's because the verb بودن ‹budan› has both a full form using the stem هست‍ ‹hast-› and a short form. The long form is a bit more formal in tone and often carries the sense of “exists”.

The short form is used more often than the long form, especially in casual speech. As shown below, most of the short form is written as suffixes (technically clitics since they attach to phrases rather than just words) like ‍ید ‹-in› [3] in چطورید ‹cetorin› (“how are you”), but the third person singular form is written as a separate word: است ‹e› (“is”)[3]:

بودن ‹budan› (“to be”)

Simple present tense, short form

Number
Singular Plural
First person ... + ‍م ... + ‍یم
‹...am› ‹...im›
“(I) am” “(we) are”
Second person ... + ‍ی ... + ‍ید
‹...i› ‹...id›, ‹...in›[3]
“(you) are” “(you) are”
Third person است ... + ‍ند
‹ast›, ‹...e›, ‹...s› [3] ‹...+an›[3]
“(he/she/it) is” “(they) are”

است ‹ast› can be used with singular or plural subjects to express existence, like "there is" or "there are" in English.

For plural “animate” subjects (one that refers to multiple people or to a thing that might be thought to behave figuratively like multiple people), existence can also be expressed with the plural form هستند ‹hastan› .

Some sources disagree with this and say است is only used as a copula, never used for existence.

Colloquially, هستند ‹hastand› may be a suffix pronounced ‹an› after consonant or ‹n› after vowel.

Word orderEdit

As the previous dialogues have shown, the verb usually comes last in a simple Persian sentence. For example, the last word in each Persian sentence below is a form of the verb بودن   ‹budan› (“to be”):

     “I am fine.” 
  من خوب هستم.  
  من خوب هستم  
 ←  ‹man› ‹xub› hastam›  
 ←  “I” “fine” “am”  
     “You are a student.” 
  تو دانشجو هستی.  
  تو دانشجو هستی  
 ←  ‹to› ‹danešju› hasti›  
 ←  “you” “student” “are”  
     “The university is big.” 
  دانشگاه بزرگ است.  
  دانشگاه بزرگ است  
 ←  ‹dânešgâh› ‹bozorg› ‹e›  
 ←  “university” “big” “is”  

Grammatically, subjects are optional in Persian. Since the suffix of a conjugated verb clearly indicates the number and person of the subject, subject pronouns are often omitted from Persian sentences, except when used for emphasis.


ExercisesEdit

  Reading Persian sentences:
(To check your answers, click “[show ▼]”.)
Translate the following Persian sentences into English:
او آرش است.

He is Arash.

آرش خوش است.

Arash is happy.

This exercise is incomplete. Help the English Wikibooks Persian Language course by completing it.
This exercise is incomplete. Help the English Wikibooks Persian Language course by completing it.
  Creating Persian sentences:
(To check your answers, click “[show ▼]”.)

Fill in the blanks.

  • [...] کجاست؟ ‹Where is [...]?› Fill in the blank with someone's name.
  • شما [...] هستید؟ ‹šomâ [...] hastin?› (“Are you a [...]?”) Fill in the blank with an occupation (e.g. دکتز ‹doktor› (“doctor”)), a role (e.g. دانشجو ‹dânešju› (“student”)), or a nationality (e.g. ایرانی ‹irâni› (“Iranian”)).
  • نه، من [...]م. ‹nah, man [...]am.› (“No, I am a [...].”) Fill in the blank with an occupation.
  • شما کجایی هستید؟ ‹šomâ kojey hastin?› (“Where are you from?”)
  • من آمریکاییم. ‹man âmrikâiyam.› (“I'm American.”)
  • من ایرانیم. شما چطور؟ ‹man irâniam. šomâ cetor?› (“I'm Iranian. How about you?”)
  • ببخشید، شما کجایی هستد؟ to ask about someone's nationality
  • من انگلیسیم. ‹man engelisiam.› (“I'm English.”) or other nationalities
  • سما هم انگلیسی هستین؟ ‹šomâm engelisi hastin?› (“Are you also English?”)
  • نه، من انگلیسی نیستم. آمریکاییم. ‹nah, man engelisi nistam. âmrikâiyam.›
Translate the following English sentences into Persian:
He is Hassan.
This exercise is incomplete. Help the English Wikibooks Persian Language course by completing it.
Hassan is my friend.
This exercise is incomplete. Help the English Wikibooks Persian Language course by completing it.
This exercise is incomplete. Help the English Wikibooks Persian Language course by completing it.
This exercise is incomplete. Help the English Wikibooks Persian Language course by completing it.

ReviewEdit

In this lesson, you learned how to conjugate two sets of simple present tense forms of the Persian verb بودن   ‹budan› (“to be”)....

Core vocabulary:
  • کجایی   ‹kojâi› — “from where?”
  • ایرانیم   ‹irâniyam› — “(I) am Iranian.”
  • او   ‹u›   /uː/ — “he, she, it”
  • آمریکایی   ‹âmrikâiy› — “American”
  • ما   ‹mâ›   /mɒː/ — “we, us”
  • آنها   ‹ân›   /ɒːnˈhɒː/ — “they”
...s:
  • ابپثت   ‹abepesete› — “lorem ipsum dolor...”
... words:
  • ابپثت   ‹abepesete› — “lorem ipsum dolor...”
All vocabulary Lessons 1 - 5   edit
English gloss Notes ‹fârsi› فارسی

Letter: [ɒː], [æ], [e], [o]   Lesson 1 ‹alef ا
Noun: gentleman, sir, Mr.   Lesson 2 âqâ› آقا
Adjective: American   Lesson 5 ‹âmriyi› آمریکایی
Pronoun: they   Lesson 5 ‹ân, onâ› آنها
Verb: am, is, are   Lesson 5 ‹am, i, ast, im, in, an› ام، ای، است، ایم، اید، اند
Noun: name   Lesson 4 ‹esm› اسم
Pronoun: he, she   Lesson 5 ‹u› او
Adjective: Iranian   Lesson 5 ‹ini› ایرانی
Letter: [b]   Lesson 1 ‹be› ب
Interjection: excuse me   Lesson 4 ‹bebaxšid› ببخشید
Adjective: bad   Lesson 3 ‹bad› بد
Verb: to be   Lesson 5 ‹budan› بودن
Letter: [p]   Lesson 1 ‹pe› پ
Letter: [t]   Lesson 1 ‹te› ت
Pronoun: you (singular, informal)   Lesson 1 ‹tow› تو
Letter: [s]   Lesson 1 ‹se› ث
Letter: [dʒ]   Lesson 1 ‹jim› ج
Letter: [tʃ]   Lesson 1 ‹ce› چ
Adjective: how   Lesson 2 ‹cetor چطور
Phrase: How are you? (informal)   Lesson 1 ‹cetori?› چطوری؟
Pronoun: what?   Lesson 4 ‹ci› چی
Letter: [h]   Lesson 1 ‹he› ح
Noun: health   Lesson 2 ‹hâl› حال
Noun: your health (informal)   Lesson 3 ‹hâlet› حالت
Letter: [x]   Lesson 1 ‹xe› خ
Phrase: May God keep you. (Goodbye.)   Lesson 2 ‹xofez.› خداحافظ.
Noun: (person) wife, lady, Miss   Lesson 4 ‹xânom› خانم
Phrase: I’m fine.   Lesson 1 ‹(man) xubam.› (من) خوبم.
Phrase: Nice to meet you.   Lesson 4 ‹xošbaxtam› خوشبختم
Interjection: no   Lesson 5 ‹xeyr› خیر
very   Lesson 3 xeyli› خیلی
Letter: [d]   Lesson 2 ‹dâ› د
Letter: [z]   Lesson 2 ‹zâ› ذ
Letter: [ɾ]   Lesson 2 ‹re› ر
Letter: [z]   Lesson 2 ‹ze› ز
Letter: [ʒ]   Lesson 2 ‹že› ژ
Letter: [s]   Lesson 2 ‹sin› س
Phrase: Peace (hello)!   Lesson 1 ‹salâm!› سلام!
Letter: [ʃ]   Lesson 2 ‹šin› ش
Pronoun: you (plural or polite singular)   Lesson 2 ‹šomâ› شما
Letter: [s]   Lesson 2 ‹sâd› ص
Interjection: Good morning   Lesson 3 ‹sobh bexeyr صبح بخیر
Letter: [z]   Lesson 2 ‹zâd› ض
Letter: [t]   Lesson 2 ‹tâ› ط
Letter: [z]   Lesson 2 ‹zâ› ظ
Letter: [ʔ]   Lesson 3 ‹’eyn› ع
Letter: [ɣ], [ɢ]   Lesson 3 ‹qeyn› غ
Letter: [f]   Lesson 3 ‹fe› ف
Letter: [ɢ], [ɣ], [q]   Lesson 3 ‹qaf› ق
Letter: [k]   Lesson 3 ‹kaf› ک
Adjective: from where?   Lesson 5 ‹kojâi کجایی
Letter: [g]   Lesson 3 ‹gaf› گ
Letter: [l]   Lesson 3 ‹lâm› ل
Letter: [m]   Lesson 3 ‹mim› م
Pronoun: us   Lesson 5 ‹mâ› ما
Interjection: thanks   Lesson 1 mersi› مرسی
Pronoun: I, me   Lesson 1 ‹man› من
Letter: [n]   Lesson 3 ‹nun› ن
Verb: (I) am not   Lesson 3 nistam› نیستم
Letter: [v], [u], [ow]   Lesson 4 ‹vâv› و
Conjunction: and   Lesson 3 ‹va, vo, o› و
Letter: [h]   Lesson 4 ‹he› ه
Verb: am, is, are   Lesson 5 ‹hastam, hasti, hast, hastim, hastin, hastan› هستم، هستی، هست، هستیم، هستید، هستند
Noun: Persian New Year’s tradition of “seven S’s”   Lesson 4 ‹haftsin› هفت‌سین
Letter: [j], [i], [ej]   Lesson 4 ‹ye› ی
Symbol: (ligature) lam-alef   Lesson 4 ‹lâ› لا
Symbol: (diacritic) tashdid (“strengthening”)   Lesson 4 ‹tašdid› ّ
Symbol: (diacritic) hamze   Lesson 4 ‹’› ء
Symbol: (diacritic) zabar (“above”)   Lesson 4 ‹a› َ
Symbol: (diacritic) zir (“below”)   Lesson 4 ‹e› ِ
Symbol: (diacritic) pish (“before”)   Lesson 4 ‹o› ُ
Symbol: (diacritic) sokun   Lesson 4 ‹-› ْ

NotesEdit

  1. The word “you” does not usually appear in English commands, but the grammatical subject “you” is implied.
  2. a b The grammatical number may be different from the semantic number. E.g., in “These scissors are dull”, the subject and verb are grammatically plural but semantically indicate a single item. In Persian, there are similar constructions, and both plural pronouns and plural verb forms are often used as a polite version of the singular. More about this will be explained in later lessons.
  3. a b c d e f g h i Note: The Persian script here uses formal spelling, but the transcriptions in angle brackets shows typical colloquial pronunciation. In colloquial speech, for example, the ending ‍ید ‹-id› is often pronounced as ‹-in› and the word است ‹ast› (“is”) is pronounced as ‹e› after a consonant or as ‹s› after a vowel. Other differences between spoken and written Persian will be given in the lessons that follow.

Next: Lesson 6 ( ۶ ), Noun phrases, ezâfe