Past Tense

The use of the Darija Past Tense

The Darija past tense is used the same way as in English except for some cases which will be explained later.

Example 1

Mchit el medrasa f sba7 m3a 8.
I went to school at 8 o’clock in the morning.

Example 2

Tfarrejt f wa7ed lfilm wa3er lbare7.
I watched a great movie yesterday.

The Form of the Darija Past Tense

  • I: Ana VR+t
  • You: Nta VR+ti
  • He: Howa VR
  • She: Hia VR+at
  • We: 7na VR+na
  • You (pl): Ntuma VR+tu
  • They: Huma VR+u

Verb kteb (to write)

  • Ana ktebt
  • Nta/nti ktebti
  • Howa kteb
  • Hia ketbat
  • 7na ktebna
  • Ntuma ktebtu
  • Huma ketbu

For first person singular, we add -t to the end of the verb.
For the second person singular, both masculine and feminine, we add -ti to the end of the verb.
For the third person singular masculine, we leave the verb as it is.
For the third person singular feminine, we change the position of -e- and put it after the first consonant/letter, and add -at to the end of the verb.

For the first person plural, we add -na to the end of the verb.
For the second person plural, we add -tu to the end of the verb.
For the third person plural, we change the position of -e- and put it after the first consonant/letter, and add -at to the end of the verb.

The past tense in the negative form

To negate verbs in the past tense we add ma before the verb and the suffix -sh to the end of the verb.

Example

Ma mshitsh l’ medrasa lyuma 7it 3eyan shi shwia.
I didn’t go to school today, because I was sick.

Ma sheftsh  shnu 6ra.
I didn’t see what happened.

Let’s use the verb kteb ( to write )

• Ana ma ktebtsh
• Nta ma ktebtish
• Howa ma ktebsh
• Hia ma ketbatsha

• 7na ma ktebnash
• Ntoma ma ktebtush
• Homa ma ketbush

So, we add ma before the verb and add the suffix -sh to the end of the verb.

The use of walu, ta 7aja (anything)

We leave ma as it is, remove -sh and add walu or ta 7aja after the verb.

Example

Ma 3raft walu.
I didn’t know anything.

Ma dert ta 7aja.
I didn’t do anything.

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