Learning Arabic conjugation is not like learning English conjugation. Learning the conjugation in a general way can put off some. Indeed, when we observe the English conjugation, we see that many tenses are little, if at all, mastered given their numbers and their difficulties.
Being English-speaker, I find it difficult to assimilate them all. Few people know them all apart from linguists and specialists in the English language. Therefore, for many people, conjugation is synonymous with difficulty.
I assure you, for the Arabic language, it is quite different. This is what we will see through this article.
Is the Arabic conjugation difficult?
The Arabic conjugation has only 3 times: The past, the present and the future.
As an English speaker, you probably tell yourself that it will be difficult to learn Arabic conjugation. It’s normal to say that to yourself on board. As mentioned above, our only reference is English conjugation. As we know, it is very complex.
What interests you is whether learning Arabic conjugation is as difficult as English? The answer is no.
Indeed, Arabic conjugation is very easy to assimilate.
The Arabic conjugation only has 3 tenses:
- The past tense (completed Arabic verb) indicates that the action took place in the past and that it is over. For example:
ذَهَبَ الطَّالِبُ إِلى المَدْرَسَةِ
The student went to school
- The present tense to indicate that the action is in progress or about to take place. For example:
يَذْهَبُ الطَّالِبُ إِلى المَدْرَسَةِ
The student goes to school.
- The future tense to indicate that the action will take place later has not yet taken place as we speak. The future in Arabic will be conjugated like the present by adding only one particle before it. So, if you know the conjugation of the present tense in Arabic, you will be able to conjugate in the future very easy. For example:
سَيَذْهَبُ الطَّالِبُ إِلى المَدْرَسَةِ
The student will go to school.
Note: By adding the prefix س before the verb at eh present tense, we get a near future.
سَوْفَ يَذْهَبُ الطَّالِبُ إِلى المَدْرَسَةِ
The student will go to school.
Note: By adding the prefix سوف before the verb at the present tense, we get a far future.
The purpose of this article is not to go into the details of the Arabic conjugation. The goal is to give you a general overview to make you want to go further inshAllah.
After, like all languages, there are regular and irregular verbs. However, I find that the assimilation of the conjugation is simple. You will see for yourself the ease of the Arabic conjugation compared to that of English.
Another question you may ask yourself is, what is the point of learning Arabic conjugation other than conjugating verbs?
It will allow you to learn to read without the vowels. Indeed, most Arabic works are unvocalized, hence the importance of paying special attention to conjugation.
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The al Madina Center for Arabic is the first language school specializing in teaching Arabic to non-Arabic speakers, based in Medina, Saudi Arabia.
The concept of the root in Arabic
Learn Arabic Vocabulary Easier
Arabic is like Hebrew or Syriac. It is a Semitic language. In other words, Arabic works with a system of great importance.
What is it?
This is the notion of root. In fact, the benefit of knowing this will save you a lot of time.
Let’s take an example :
The verb كَتَبَ kataba (he wrote) is the base root. By adding letters before or after this basic root, one can create many vocabulary words such as:
- كَاتِبٌ Kâtib (writer)
- مَكْتُوبٌ Maktûb (written)
- اِكْتِتَابٌ Iktitâb (registration)
- مُكَاتَبَةٌ Mukâtabatun (correspondence)
- كِتَابٌ Kitâb (book)
- مَكْتَبٌ Maktab (office)
We notice that in all these words, the basic root kataba is always present.
You can ask yourself the question and say to yourself, why am I talking to you about this? Because this is part of the Arabic conjugation. With a root, you can create many words without expending a lot of effort.
In other words, knowing the root system will allow you to learn a lot of Arabic vocabulary easily and quickly.
How to learn Arabic conjugation effectively?
What method to use to learn Arabic conjugation?
After the theory, you’ll need to take action.
But how to study Arabic conjugation?
What to start with?
Which method to use?
First of all, you need to know that there is not just one learning method, but many. Just choose what works best for you based on your learning profile. In my opinion, we should start by learning the most used and useful regular verbs.
Why? Because more than 80% of the work will be done. Then you need to focus a little more on the irregular verbs.
Then I have found over the years that there is nothing better than studying Arabic verbs in context.
To say: study the conjugation of a verb, then use it in sentences or texts in the context to assimilate Arabic verbs much more quickly.
Let’s take an example :
Instead of learning, for example, the verb كَتَبَ “kataba” (he wrote) in isolation, we will learn it in context.
كَتَبَ كَرِيمٌ عَلَى الدَّفْتَرِ
kataba Karim ‘ala Daftar (Karim wrote on the notebook)
Above all, don’t make the mistake of learning verb lists in isolation.
Finally, I consider all methods to be good. What really matters is not the method but the way you use it.
Having looked around the question regarding Arabic conjugation, I hope you have found the answers to your questions.
I also hope I have reassured those for whom conjugation was synonymous with difficulty. Feel free to get started. This is the only way you will find that conjugation in Arabic is easy.
The Al Madina Center offers three months of intensive courses to learn the Arabic language for non-Arabic speakers in its institute in Medina, Saudi Arabia. If you would like to join our intensive course, please contact us.