Beginner - Baby talk: be careful

December 7th, 2010 18 comments
In this podcast we teach you a few affectionate phrases that you can use with a child. You will learn words like kiss, beloved and careful among others. This show is hosted by a welcome guest so don't miss it!

  4.5/5 (8 votes)

jenkki says chat
Wed 8th Dec 10@06:16 am

I have to admit... though this was a beginner lesson, there were 3 words I didn't know. Also some sentences with فعل العمر ... don't cry, don't touch, don't fall. By the way, has there been an Arabic Pod lesson which discusses the فعل العمر? I've been listening to the old lessons and every time you guys talk about this verb case, I hear you call it "command" form, but I think the proper term is "imperative"... just FYI. Worthy of it's own lesson, because I think the imperative form in Arabic can be fairly challenging.
b5foan says chat
Wed 8th Dec 10@01:50 pm

I second jenkki suggestion of a grammar lesson about ways of forming and using the imperative - maybe with a great guest host wink
Glamour188 says chat
Wed 8th Dec 10@07:04 pm

Hello, thank you for the Podcasts. I really enjoy listening to them. I´m new here. Would you recommend to learn the letters at first or to learn words by the transcriptions in the beginning?
vinod says chat
Wed 8th Dec 10@09:22 pm

Let me share my beginner level knowledge about the imperative (order) (command) forms of verbs in Arabic.

There is good news. A beginner need to learn only the ‘You masculine singular’ form of the imperative. If you know this, you can easily form the ‘You feminine singular’ form (by adding ي at the end) and the ‘You masculine plural’ form (by adding وا at the end – but ‘alif’ is silent.)

The rules to form the imperative are not that complicated, but to apply these rules, you must have a sound knowledge about the following. (This is bad news!)

1. The root of the verb
2. Whether the verb is regular or irregular (Irregular verbs have و or ي or ء as one of the root letters, or, have the same second and third root letters.)
3. The form of the verb (Form 1 to 10)
4. The two moods (subjunctive and jussive) of the verb

** Imperative of regular verbs / forms 4, 7, 8 & 10 verbs : Make the second person jussive of the verb. Remove the initial letter(s) from it, and intead, use an alif at the beginning.

In regular verbs, vowel of the second root letter in the jussive determines the vowel of the alif (at the beginning) of the imperative. If it is ‘a’ or ’e’, the imperative starts with ‘e’; if it is ‘u’, the imperative also starts with ‘u’. (All examples given for ‘you masculine singular’ form.)

You open (jussive)= تفتح (tafta7) (vowel of the second root letter – ‘a’)
Open! (imperative) = افتح (efta7)
You sit (jussive) = تجلس (tajles) (vowel of the second root letter – ‘e’)
Sit! (imperative) = اجلس (ejles)
You write (jussive) = تكتب (taktub) (vowel of the second root letter – ‘u’)
Write! (imperative) = اكتب (uktub)

In form 4 verbs, the imperative starts with ‘a’. In forms 7, 8, & 10 verbs, the imperative starts with ‘e’.

** Imperative of most of irregular verbs / forms 2, 3, 5 & 6 verbs: Make the second person jussive of the verb. Just remove the initial letter(s) from it.

You eat (jussive) = تأكل (taakul)
Eat! (imperative) = كل (kul)

** Negative imperative: Use لا(laa) before the jussive.

You touch (jussive) = تلمس (talmes)
Do not touch! (imperative) = لا تلمس (laa talmes)

That’s all what I know about imperatives. Correct me if there are any mistakes.
plop says chat
Thu 9th Dec 10@07:27 am

great job vinod - this is a nice rehearsel of what I did learn about the subject - there is more but that will become perhaps a bit to exhaustif - this is largely sufficient to get on the road- thanks a million
jenkki says chat
Thu 9th Dec 10@08:55 am

Vinod, I still don't understand what this jussive case is, either. Is there a lesson on that, too? BTW. ماذا تقول ’جوسيف’ بالعربي؟

vinod says chat
Thu 9th Dec 10@01:06 pm

@plop, You are welcome!

@jenkki, I do not know whether there is a lesson about the jussive in Arabicpod, because I am having only a free membership at present.
The jussive in Arabic is المجزوم (al majzoom).

The subjunctive and the jussive are two variations (‘moods’) of the verb in the standard present tense. The difference between them may be subtle (when written / pronounced), but each has specific indications for usage.

I write = aktubu (standard present) / aktuba (subjunctive) / aktub (jussive) (All are written in the same way, when short vowels are not used– أكتب )

You write (feminine singular) = taktubeena (standard present) / taktubee (subjunctive & jussive)

** The commonest use of the subjunctive is after the linking word أن (an).

** The jussive is used after لا(laa) to make negative commands, and, after لم (lam) to make negative in the past.
أنا لم أذهب = أنا ما ذهبت = I did not go

The jussive is also used to form the imperatives, as mentioned in my previous comment. Hope this explanation helps.
Desmond says chat
Thu 9th Dec 10@01:13 pm

@ jenkki

The jussive isn't a case, jenkki. It's a mood. There's an article on the jussive mood in the English version of Wikipedia.

I'm snowed under with work at the moment, but I'll post some more detailed comments as soon as possible.

Best wishes
Desmond says chat
Thu 9th Dec 10@01:35 pm

@ vinod

You posted your latest comment while I was still typing mine. I greatly appreciate your detailed and informative comments. You are one of the few people who can use grammatical terminology correctly.

I've listened to all the lessons. The jussive mood has been used in dozens of podcasts, including podcasts for beginners, but the term "jussive" has never been employed by the Arabicpod team, and the problems associated with the jussive mood have never been presented systematically (except in one of your own excellent comments).
Desmond says chat
Thu 9th Dec 10@02:16 pm

Perhaps I ought to add that the problems posed by the jussive mood have been presented clearly and simply in an excellent book by Jane Wightwick and Mahmoud Gaatar: Arabic Verbs and Essentials of Grammar (New York: McGraw Hill, 2008), 2nd ed., chapter 13 (pp. 69-79).
jenkki says chat
Thu 9th Dec 10@04:00 pm

يا دسموند، ماذا المختلفة بين كيس و مود؟

i.e. what is the diff between a case and a mood?
Is it that a case applies to nouns while a mood applies to verbs?
Desmond says chat
Thu 9th Dec 10@07:52 pm

@ jenkki

You're on the right track, jenkki. Articles, nouns, pronouns and adjectives may appear in various cases, while verbs may occur in various moods.

Since you speak German and English, I'll cite examples in those languages. The English case system has almost completely disappeared. Thus, for instance, the word "book" has only one case ending ('s). In the noun phrase "the book's cover" "book's" is in the genitive or possessive case. The "'s" indicates that the book possesses something.

The pronominal case system, by contrast, is still intact. "I" is in the nominative or subject case, while "me" is in the accusative or object case. "He" is nominative and "him" is accusative. In "He sees me", "he" (nominative case) is the subject, and "me" (accusative) is the direct object. In "He gives me a book", "me" is in the dative case because it is the indirect object, and "book" is in the accusative case because it is the direct object. The dative and accusative forms of the first person singular pronoun are identical ("me"), and "book" has no case ending to show that it is the direct object.

Unlike English, German has an elaborate and well-preserved case system. Even articles and adjectives are declined. "Der junge Mann" is in the nominative or subject case, so we can say "Der junge Mann wohnt in Berlin" (The young man lives in Berlin). "Den jungen Mann" is in the accusative case, so we can say "Ich kenne den jungen Mann" (I know the young man). "Des jungen Mannes" is in the genitive case, so we can say "das Buch des jungen Mannes" (the young man's book). "Dem jungen Mann" is in the dative case, so we can say "Ich zeige dem jungen Mann die Karte" (I show the young man the ticket).

Arabic has a three-case system. In English these three cases are called the nominative, the accusative and the genitive. Listeners have often asked Ehab and Mohamed why they add vowels like "u" to certain nouns. The answer is quite simple. These vowels are definite or indefinite case endings.

Now let's consider mood. Mood indicates the speaker's attitude towards the factual content of his / her utterance. There are three moods in English and German: the indicative, the subjunctive and the imperative. (Some grammarians would add the optative and interrogative moods to this list.) Basically, the indicative is used to present actions and states as facts, while the subjunctive is used to express vagueness, uncertainty or tentativeness. I say "basically" because the indicative and subjunctive moods can assume a wide range of functions in modern English and present-day German. The imperative is much easier to define. It is used to express commands.

In English it is often hard to recognise the mood of a verb because the vast majority of English verbs have no special forms to indicate mood. The verb "to be", however, is an exception. The present indicative forms are "I am", "you are", "he is", etc. The present subjunctive forms are "I be", "you be", he be", etc. There are also special forms for the past tense ("I were", "you were", "he were", etc.).

In German it's very easy to identify indicative and subjunctive forms. Thus, for instance, "ich bin" is in the indicative mood, while "ich sei" is in the subjunctive mood.

The subjunctive is widely used in German. In newspaper articles, for instance, you often find dozens of sentences with verbs in the subjunctive (er sei, er habe, er könne, etc.). These special verb forms are used in reported speech.

The Arabic mood system is much more complex than the English or German mood systems. In classical Arabic there is an energetic mood which is used to express strong belief or emphasis (e.g. he certainly writes), and in Modern Standard Arabic the jussive mood is generally employed in negative commands (e.g. "Don't cry"), in conditional sentences, and in sentences containing the negative particle "lam" (This negates the past tense").

It is essential that terms such as "tense", "mood" and "case" should be used correctly. Expressions like "imperative tense" and "the jussive case" are absolute nonsense and can cause endless confusion.

Best wishes
vinod says chat
Fri 10th Dec 10@10:50 am

Thanks a lot for acknowledging my comment about the jussive. And, it was a pleasure reading what you have written in a masterly manner about the case system and the moods. Thanks, once again!
vinod says chat
Fri 10th Dec 10@11:33 am


Let me write what I know, based on the phrase ‘ماذا المختلفة بين‘ in your previous comment.

اختلف (e7’talafa /ya7’talif) = to differ, to be different (Form 8 verb) (root خ ل ف)
اختلاف (e7’tilaaf) = difference, dissimilarity (noun)
مختلف (mu7’talif) = different, dissimilar (adjective)

Hence, a better way to say ‘What is the difference between’ would be - ما هو الاختلاف بين (maa huwa al e7’tilaaf bayna).

ما is used before a NOUN to mean ‘what’. ماذا is used before a VERB to mean ‘what’.
jenkki says chat
Fri 10th Dec 10@01:05 pm

شكراً زمئلاي! لدي أسوالٌ كثيراً، ولذلك مساعدتكم ممتزاً جداً. هاولاء موضوعات سعبٌ بدون مساعدة
How do I say "lazy" in Arabic? I was gonna say, I am lazy when it comes to reading the grammar books. If only because, you cannot ask questions to a book wink
Desmond says chat
Fri 10th Dec 10@02:28 pm

@ vinod
Thanks for the compliment!
There is another word for “difference”. Ehab sometimes uses ﻓﺮﻖ (farq), and I’ve often encountered this word in BBC podcasts. The word combination “maa huwa farq bayna + NP wa + NP?” is also extremely common. I’ve heard it hundreds of times.

@ jenkki
“Lazy” can be rendered as ﻜﺴﻮﻞ (kasuul) or ﻜﺴﻼﻦ (kaslaan). Both these words have already been used in the Arabicpod lessons.

Grammar books are less entertaining than Wikileaks, but they're worth reading all the same!
berry says chat
Thu 23rd Dec 10@05:53 pm

opening a tin with a tooth-brush can work, but terms in arabic are the can-do -opener for arabic.
berry says chat
Thu 30th Dec 10@10:14 am

welcome to the pod glamour, for me it has been best to learn both as I like to chat on the web.
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