Blog · Morphology · Speak Arabic

Using Past Tense

Once you’ve learnt the pronouns, the next step is to understand how past tenses are formed in the Arabic language. Arabic has three main tenses: past, present and command. In this post, we are going to learn how to use past tense in Arabic language.

Using Past Tense

Here, we are going to explore the past tense table. As you know from our post on pronouns, in Arabic we have 14 pronouns. Based on those 14 pronouns we can conjugate a verb in 14 different forms as shown in the table below.

We use the verb he did (فَعَلَ) as a standard example in Arabic for all the tenses.

Past Tense Table
Past Tense Table

Make sure you know this table thoroughly. Once you learn this table you can easily conjugate most of the verbs in past tense.

For example, he wrote in Arabic would be كَتَبَ. By replacing فعل with كتب, you can conjugate the whole verb table as above.

The Arabic language is like mathematics. Once you understand the formulae, you can perform any number of calculations with ease. The key here is to take some time to understand the fundamentals properly. The past tense verb table is the formula to conjugate most of the Arabic verbs.

PS: The science of studying the structure of the word (morphology) in Arabic is known as Sarf صرف, whereas the science of studying the structure of the sentence (syntax/grammar) is known as Nahw نحو.

Have you seen our post on how to use the present tense?

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