In Arabic use
the present continuous
form of the verb for both CASE #1 and Case #2. Easy
to express a habitual occurrence (explained
CASE#2 to express an incident over a period of time in the
In Arabic you only use one verb form, the present
continuous, to express both of the above cases.
English you use two forms:
I run = Case #1 (habitual)
I am running = Case #2
But what does habitual mean?
CASE #1 is used to express "habitual" actions which means the
incident reoccurs frequently in our lives as actions of
An example of a habitual action is " I run to school"
implying a repetitive action which happened in the past, is
happening in the present, and is likely to continue to occur into
the future. Get it? It keeps happening over and over again --
It is important to recognize habitual actions, while learning a
language, so as to use the correct form of the verb. But it's
simple. If it is happening over and over again it is habitual. Again, in
Arabic it is the "present continuous form" that is required for the
The present continuous form is so easy to recognize in Arabic because it begins with a "ba" or "bi" sound.
Important (take a deep breath): But where do we
find the present continuous? Is it under a rock? On a tree branch?
How do we make it? The present continuous verb is DERIVED from the
What are infinitives?
Infinitives are used in both Arabic and English as the "second"
For example: I like
to go to school early. ("to go" = infinitive)
In the above example:
Verb #1 = like
Verb #2 (infinitive) = to go
Subject + Verb #1 + Verb #2 (i.e. infinitive) + the rest of the sentence.
For the above sentence in Arabic, "I like" will use the present
continuous form; and "to go" will use the infinitive form.
Note: In English there is only one infinitive form for any
given verb; however, in Arabic, there are many forms due to
For learning purposes we will first conjugate an infinitive and then
transform the infinitive into the present continuous form (by simply
adding a "ba" or "bi").
Confused? Don't be. Take a deep breath and see it in action below.
But first, let's see it in action in MSA/Classical! If you are not
interested in MSA/Classical move on.
He eats =
The subjunctive mood
(what we care about in
He went out to eat =
He is going out to eat =
He goes out to eat
هو يَخْرُجُ لِيأكُلَ
The jussive mood
inviting someone: let him eat
someone: eat! =