September 13, 2019 0

Arabic Grammar: Expressing “to want” in Egyptian and Levantine Arabic

Arabic Grammar: Expressing “to want” in Egyptian and Levantine Arabic


Ahlan wa sahlan! In this video we’re going
to talk about how to express the idea of ‘wanting’ in Arabic dialects. In formal
Arabic, we can express this idea using a conjugated verb. One verb that’s often
used is يُريد, present tense third-person singular conjugation for
هو. هو يريد، أنا أريد، أنت تريد etc., using the prefix-suffix
combinations that we’ve encountered in our other work on present tense verbs.
However, the ways in which this idea of ‘wanting’ is expressed is one of the
things that varies most from dialect to dialect. So what we’re going to do
right now is we’re going to focus on how to express the same idea in Levantine
and Egyptian Arabic. In Levantine, we actually use a suffix attached to a stem.
the stem here is بدّ, and you’ll notice that in this chart of suffixes the
suffixes are virtually identical to the possessive suffixes that we’ve also
learned in other contexts. اسمي اسمِك، اسمَك, so if I want to express the idea of ‘wanting,’ if I want to say for example, ‘I
want tea,’ I could say بدّي شاي. ‘I want tea,’ or ‘she wants tea,’ I could say بدّها شاي. we want tea, the both of us, بدّنا شاي.
and as with other, mmm, ‘real’ verbs, you might say, we don’t need to use a pronoun
at the beginning; I don’t need to say أنا بدّي شاي, because this ‘yaa’ tells my
interlocutor beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m talking about myself. In
Egyptian, the story’s a little bit different. In Egyptian, it makes sense to
think of describing the subject using an adjective, someone ‘is wanting,’ I am
wanting, you are wanting, he is wanting. And we use the stem عايز or sometimes
you’ll also hear عاوز, depending on who’s talking and what neighborhood
they’re from, perhaps. So we want to describe someone or something, ‘the wanter,’
using adjectives, as we’ve learned. So if I were going to describe myself, I would
say أنا عايز, as a grammatically masculine entity, عايز, but if I were
describing a woman who wants something I would say عايزة, right I would add a ‘taa marbuuTa’, so that we have that feminine adjectiveal agreement. So if I wanted to
say ‘she wants tea,’ for example I could say هي عايزة شاي, or if we both wanted tea, إحنا عايزين شاي, using that sound plural, right, that regular plural form
that you’ve encountered elsewhere. We’re probably not going to see the ‘waaw-nuun’
variation, because that’s strictly formal Arabic. In Egyptian, it’s a little more
common to hear a pronoun depending on the context, since we might not always
know who’s being referred to, right? If I say عايزة, I could be talking to an أنتِ,
I could be talking to a هي, right, it might not be entirely clear, so if I want
to say ‘she wants tea,’ I could say هي عايزة شاي.

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