chapter  12
inbasáTt fi faránsa? Did you enjoy yourself in France?
Pages 13

When talking about completed actions, Arabic uses the past tense. This is formed by adding endings to a past stem as shown in the table below:

Ending yínzil (to go/get down) (past stem = nizil)

ána (I) -t nizílt

ínta (you, masc.) -t nizílt

ínti (you, fem.) -ti nizílti

húwwa (he) nízil

híyya (she) -it nízlit

íHna (we) -na nizílna

íntu (you, pl.) -tu nizíltu

húmma (they) -u nízlu

The past stem varies somewhat from the present stem. In basic verbs the three root letters are separated by vowels, most commonly i. This means each verb has a past and a present stem:

yínzil (to go down/get off) past stem = nízil

yíshrab (to drink) past stem = shírib

yíwSal (to arrive) past stem = wíSil

In other types of verbs the vowels vary and additional letters may appear around the root. More detail of these changes will be given in Unit 13. For the moment, try to remember each verb individually.