Two little questions I’m going to answer

  1. How do I know when أنه is needed and when it’s not? Is it very clearcut in amiyya?
  2. How do I conjugate ضيّع in perfect and imperfect in Syrian dialect?

So… here we go…

1. There are two kinds of complemental clauses. Hypotactic, which has a conjunction to introduce it, and paratactic, which does not.  Example of hypotactice: ‘aal ‘inno biddo yruu7. Example of paratactic: ‘aal biddo yruu7. Generally, paratactic is what confuses me more, given that fus7a is more rigid about such matters as conjunctions.

What are the most common conjunctions?
‘inno: that (note, sometimes yalli and illi are actually used as complemental conjunctions as well! That’s very odd to me!)
‘iza : whether (or if)
la- / 7atta : in order to

But in answer to the question, it doesn’t appear to be very clearcut. Instead, I’ll just type all of Cowell’s examples for hypotactic and paratactic and maybe notice a pattern.


فتكرت انك لمعلم.
I thought THAT you were the teacher
رحقول لسمير انه ما يتأخر
I’m gonna tell Samir not to be late (or, THAT he [should] not be late) – interesting.
لسا انا مو متأكد ازا بروح ولا لا
I’m still not sure WHETHER I’m going to go or not
وراح لبلد تانية ليشوف اذا بلاقي زلمة شاطر أو عالم متله
And he went to another town TO see if he could find a man as clever or as learned as himself
فرحت كتير الي رجع ابن عمك
I’m very glad THAT (illi!!!!) your cousin has returned
وانا مبسوط الي كان هيك، أو الي صار معي هالامتحان هادا
And I’m pleased THAT (illi!!) that’s the way it was, – THAT I had that examination (note that “I” was not the subject in the 2nd clause in Arabic… It was the test that happened to me, not I that had the test)
بعترف اني كنت غلطان
I admit THAT I was mistaken (note that it’s kosher to use this with imperfect OR , as in this case, perfect)
وعدنا انه رح يساعدنا
He promised us THAT he was going to help us.
لجنة حكمت عالبناية انها مو صالحة للسكنة
The committee ruled THAT the building was not fit for habitation

وامر الجن يرموني بنص البحر
and he ordered the Jinn (pl.) [TO] throw me into the middle of the sea
بحب كل شهر تبعتولي بيان بحسابي
I want you [TO!!! unstated] send me a statement of my account every month
روح اسئال امك بدها شي
Go ask your mother [IF!!!!] she wants anything—oh god, this is weird
لحقيقة بفضل ما روح لمحل بلاك
The truth is, I’d prefer not [TO!!!] go anywhere without you – weird….
انتني ئليله فايزة جاية
You (f.) tell him Faiza is coming.
خايفلك البيت يحبُط
[I’m!!!!!} afraid [THAT!!!] the house will cave in
كان بدي اشتريها بس ئاللي ما اشتريها
I wanted to buy it, but he told me not to .
If it were up to me, I would have looked at this and interpreted, “I wanted to buy it , but he told me I do not buy it” which is obviously silly.
مرة ومرتين قلبله لا تلعب بالطريق
Time and again I’ve told him not [TO] play in the street
(now this time, it’s written like “I told him do not play in the street” – easier on me that it’s the imperative here honestly…)

Now, question 2….

he Dayya3, yDayye3
she Dayya3t, DDayye3 (Isuspect there is such assimilation in imperfect here.)
they Dayya3u, yDayye3u
we Dayya3na, nDayye3
I, Dayya3t, Dayye3 (bDayye3 indicative)
you male – Dayya3t, DDayye3
you fem – Dayya3ti, DDayye3i
yall – Dayya3tu, DDayye3u

Bold is my guesses about accentuation.

Phonetics terms; consonants

  • Obstruent: formed by obstructing airflow
    • Spirant: has a continuous expulsion of breath
    • Stopall airflow ceases because vocal tract is stopped (made up of a catch, then hold, then release)
    • Sibilant: has a hissing sound
    • Affricative: composed of a stop  followed by a fricative; such as /ch/. So basically air builds up (during the stop) and bursts out in the form of a fricative.
  • Laryngeal aka glottal; consonants that originate in the vocal folds.
    • Continuant; speech sound coming from incomplete closure of the vocal tract
    • catch; involves momentary blocking of some part of the oral cavity.
  • Resonants aka sonorants; produced with continuous nonturbulent airflow in teh vocal tract
    • Nasal; consonant where air comes out of the nose while the mouth is obstructed with either tongue or lips.
    • Lateral; involves raising the tip of tongue to roof of the mouth so air flows past one or both sides of it.
    • Trill; involves vibrations between active articulator and passive articulator (presumably like, tongue and roof of mouth, respectively?)

Linguistics terms from Mark Cowell’s Reference Grammar of Syrian Arabic

  • optative predications/clauses: these project a state of mind; incurs subjunctive mood; Rather subjective
  • assertive predications/clauses: these depict a (real or imaginary) state of affairs; incurs indicative mood. Rather objective.
  • substantivized participle: a verb participle playing the role of a noun. E.g., هو كاتب هالكتاب -> He’s the one who’s written this book.
  • participle-object predication: a participle acting more like an adjective and thereby conveying the state that results from an action. E.g., هو كاتب هالكتاب -> He’s written this book.
  • complemental form of a pronoun: this is the form such as -ni which marks either the direct or indirect object.
  • annexive form of a pronoun: this is the form such as -i which marks possession or social relationships.
  • negative copula: A word used to link the subject with the predicate, and also negate the relationship. I think in fus7a an example is ليس, but of course amiyya is a different story… مال… Oh, my longtime foe.
    •  maalak 3aamel-lak $ii beet $e3@r? Haven’t you composed any verse of poetry?
    • 3am-yedros handase ‘aw fiizya, maali ‘akiid minna. He’s studying engineering or physics – I’m not sure about it.
    • Common examples of copula verbs in English: be (is, am, are, was, were), appear, seem, look, sound, smell, taste, feel, become and get — I should confirm all of these translations in Arabic immediately… كان، بدا ، ظهر، ؟، ؟، ؟ ، حس؟، صار، صار.. The ones I’m not sure about are sound, smell and taste – and feel. As copula verbs. Hmm…
    • Example: hiyye maalha $aa3ra – She isn’t noticing (she + neg. +  A.P.)
    • You can kind of imagine why this negative copula is particularly used along with 3am and ra7a (oh, btw, it’s ra7a rather than just ra7– time to start remembering that). Because we’re  describing states, which are negated apparently in a different way that objects or normal straightforward discrete actions.

Jordanian, Syrian, MSA etc! One hour

First let’s look at verbs from the Jordanian amiyya book I have.

  • xallaS. This is II. Transitive. What’s the diff between xalaS and txallaS?
    • Uh oh! تخلص (V) = to eliminate or get rid of!
    • And xalaS does not seem particularly useful per Reverso.
    • xallaS, as far as I see, is the most useful and widespread of the incarnations of x-l-S. And it’s transitive “to finish” , presumably like he finished the project. Completed.
  • I know 3abba, but how about malla? Same thing: fill up or fill in.
  • Note the key difference between s-m-7 form I and form III: the former means permit, the latter means forgive! sma7li = excuse me (say it while you are interrupting someone who won’t stfu) (I mean, hypothetically..) ; saami7ni is presumably the way to say forgive me. Though I more often hear لا تواخني or بعتذر منك or اسف عالازعاج
  • استفاد actually can mean benefit or gain… Hm! Anything I can gain from that?
  • To Host: staDaaf, yestaDiif. X.
  • To catch or hold: Taab, then presumably yTeeb. biTeeb = he catches. like yimsek? Well, he grasps, so not quite. This is like catching a baseball suddenly, or … hold… hm… Maybe some overlap there actually. Wow this Taab verb must be truly amiyya; not a trace on Reverso.
  • To get beaten (VII) nDarab.
  • xabba , yxabbi = to hide sth. (II, trans.) and Dabb means to hide as well. form I geminate. Is there geminate in the derived forms? Surely, just not coming to mind.
  • 3azza, y3ezzi = to console s.o… II. trans.
  • sab (sabb????) = to curse . yseeb? Hmm. I’m puzzled by the shadda not being written on it.
  • kammil! Imperative, please proceed, continue!
  • stantaj, yestantij = to conclude ( presumably followed by ‘enno)
  • Some attempts to use these words(not guaranteed to be right)
    • Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton ترامب غلب كلينتون
    • Trump decorated the White House with gold. ترامب زيّن البيت الأبيض بالذهب.
    • I cursed when I heard the US had become a dictatorship. سبت وقت سمعت انه امريكا صارت استبداد
    • She convinced him to move to Canada قنّعته ينتقل لكندا
    • They realized that the promises were all empty. أدركو أنه الوعود كانت فاضية كلهن.
    • Who do you have to depend on in this community? من فيك تتكل عليه ب هالمجتمع
    • He ignored (2 ways to do it!!) the election predictions. طنّش أو تجاهل تنبؤات للانتخاب
      • على فكرة ، قد تستعمل تنطيش بمعنى
      • ignoring
    • ليش عم تتجاهل الحقيقة؟ why are you ignoring reality
    • تقليدي can be traditional OR the adjective for “imitative”/”mimicking” I think.
    • Wow, it’s high time I learned انضمّ , which is just what I had been asking about. Form VII (passive, fake passive I mean) AND geminative. Let’s try: Joining a political party is a waste of time. لانضمان بحزب سياسي مضيعة للوقت remember wa’et not waqat.
    • What verb form is اداين? I think just III and they like to stick a starting helping vowel in. Well… another option is VIII potentially. I have no idea. JUst say استقرض instead. You know قروض, now put it in X to get to loan.
      • Will you loan me it so I can drive to Canada? تستقرضني ياها لسوق عكندا
      • Or would it be لكندا? Not sure about which is which. Damn, I miss my book… I left it at work today and that Georgetown book is like my best friend I swear.
    • To intend to: نوّى على. For instance, … I intend to move back to the Middle East . بنوّي ارجع عالشرق الاوسط. By the way, اوساط means like, settings, situations. Instead, I was using the adjective broken plural for “middle”. I guess?
    • اتطلع is not always “looked forward TO”.. Can just be “looked”
    • قفز، فز ، نط – 3 ways to say he jumped. naTT is geminative and amiyya. fez is confusing and I don’t want to take dumb guesses on this. But I have guessed. Then qafaz is MSA for sure.
    • فرشى is he brushed sth. So بفرشي الشعر is presumably I brush my hair.
    • بنقّي means the same as بختار. cool.
    • Fortunately, يحضر الدرس is become a familiar expression or verb for me. حضر form I. No prep. Easy. is it (a, e) or (a, o)? Hmmm.. Probalby the latter.
    • طفى is he turned off, extinguished (fire or light). So let’s conjugate ethat
      • Tafyat? Is that possible for she ? Perhaps just Tafat like MSA.
      • هو طفى
      • احنا طفينا
      • هن طفو
      • انت طفيت
      • انتي طفيتي
      • انا طفيت
    • To explain. I would have said $ara7 but here theey saiy fassar. yfasser. Hm!
    • tafaada , seemingly VI, is to avoid. yitfaadi l-mi$ikle. He will avoid the problem or avoids the problem.
    • faDDa = to empty sth. Empty the pill bottle! faDDi 3olbat ad-dawaa

Iraqi, Ch. 17

$wakit bidat 3indich haadhi l-a3raaD?
When did you begin to have these symptoms?

ifta7i 7algich, wTal3i lsaanich.
Open your (f.) mouth and put out your tongue. (form I, simple as that!)

uxdhi nafas 3amiiq, min faDlich.
Take a deep breath please.

naami 3as-siriir raja’an. ween il-alam?
Lie down on the bed, please. Where is the pain?

baTni tooja3ni hwaaya.
My stomach hurts a lot (i always mix this up with “ID card” and “hobby” – are the first two the same?)

Iraqis say hadhi instead of hai. The feminine noun for “this”.

tlath 7ubuub bil-yoom, il-muddat usbuu3.
3 tablets a day, for (understood) a period of one week.
I always mix up mada and mudda – مدى has a fat7a I believe and مُدة is with Damma. Both are straight out of fus7a and mean the same, I believe.

a7taaj Tabeeb.
I need a doctor.
Note that there’s no preposition here. Does that even work for AP in Syrian dialect?

حالة مستعجلة
حالة اضطرارية
[It is an] emergency.

إسعاف Emergency

سيارة إسعاف Ambulance
Note the usage of sayyaara first. Don’t just say is3aaf if you mean ambulance, like you had been doing!

7aaditha – accident.
sxuuna – fever.
na$la – cold (illness).
gaTra – drops (of meds)
ga77a – cough.
7ubuub mnawwima – sleeping pills.
si77a – health.
3amaliyya – operation. You don’t have to add the adjective jira7iyya.
fa7is – check up , examination. Note the kasra here, interesting!

wija3 Zahar – back pain. Note the kasra again. Iraqi sometimes likes Dammas, sometimes kasras. fat7as seem the third choice, almost! Hardly a default.

How do I say pharmacist (f.) without making it sound like pharmacy??!

3inaaya – treatment.
dakaatra – doctors. This plural is very popular, I hear it nonstop among Syrians too.
$biik – What’s wrong with you? (“What’s in you?”)
a7iss + adj. – I feel adj. You don’t have to do that annoying fus7a thing of b + noun.

7alig- mouth. I swear it meant throat! Then there’s the added confusion of haircut being حلاق شعر. Oy vey!

أوجاع is the plural of wija3.

tongue’s plural, for what it’s worth, is ‘alsina.

7araara 3aalya = high heat / high temperature. 7araara can mean either.
mi3da = stomach.
duwa = drug. Note the Damma here.
mudda = period of time; while.
baTin = abdomen OR stomach.

Any part of the body that consists of two is generally feminine in Arabic even though it won’t have a taa marbuTTa. And you might want to lean towards plural adjectives after dual nouns.

3aZum = bone
rijil = leg.
nugba = neck
xa$im = nose
idd = hand.
iSbi3 = finger.
Sadir = chest.
wajih = face.

Ordinal numbers. If you put ordinal before an indefinite noun, it is understood to be definite. Technically an iDaafa I think. Afterwards, just a standard adj and follows all the agreement rules.

Interesting little note; sometimes you’d think that taa marbuTTa makes no pronunciation difference if there was already a 3 at the end of the word for instance. But look at the preceding 7araka change:
taasi3 = ninth (m). This basically sounds like taasi’. Because 3ayn is unvowelled.
taas3a = ninth (f). This one really has a stronger 3ayn.

Note some stuff you never do with ordinal numbers but which is ok to do!
طالبة ثالثة a third student
مكتبة أولى a first library
طالب عاشر a tenth student

yaa in Iraqi; dual observation; إلخ

Allah yxalliilak yyaaha : God keep (protect) her  for you. For is understood, Indirect object really is what tends to get attached to verb if there’s a choice to be made. Then yaa goes with the direct object pronoun! That tendency of ID + verb bonding is really what necessitates that yaa, it seems!

inTiini yyaaha = Give me it!

Ajiiblich iyyaa = I bring you(f.) it.  Would there normally be a da- in front of this verb, or not? Hm… Da- is not yet entirely clear, nor is ب nor م in Syrian.

When it comes to dual in amiyya, not that it’s not an all-or-nothing implementation. Like, adjectives will probably be plural instead of dual (also note that the non-human plural as singular female gets regularly disregarded). But nouns may be dual for sure.Don’t be surprised by [dual noun] [plural adj] [plural verb]. or [plural participle]

إلخ stands for ‘illa ‘aaxro or “etc.”

A thing I find very tricky still is that “a” possessive pronoun suffix in Iraqi means “his” not her. Example: kull$i b-makaana. Everything in its right place. And of course, كلشي is masculine. So when jumping back and forth between Syrian and Iraqi at work; just keep it in mind.

nuSS can mean hemisphere in Arabic, per an unreliable youtube translation of Before the Flood. Watch that in full before class with Israa next Sat (prb Friday night).

Don’t expect that ب preposition will always have a kasra. “Impolite” or “impolitely” in Iraqi is bala ‘adab (btw,Literature is ‘adaab; that’s the difference). not bila ‘adab as I would have expected.

درس مع إسراء

اليوم قمت بالمحادثة مع أستاذة تبعي اسمها إسراء ، من موقع أيطاكي، واستفادت كتير منها
مثلا تعلمت هالكلمات:

  • تقدير appreciation
  • من وراء via
  • مكثّف fruitful or significant/substantial , I think
  • بالمرة – ever, as in I haven’t gone there ever. Negative emphasizer.
  • مع مرق الوقت – ma3 mara’ il-wa’et ; “with time”, “with the passing of time”, “eventually”
  • يتربى – he grows up?? I misspelled it. maybe يتربأ. Idk.
  • فجأةً faja’tan  . all of a sudden / by surprise.  And I learned that tanween is ok in amiyya.
  • In lebanese one can say li’maa$ for textiles rather than  al’aqmi$a.
  • مُصِم = deaf. مصمين is probably plural deaf. Noun or adjective? Both!
  • ‘eed = handd in amiyya. yed = hand in fus7a.
  • قد ما كنت مريضة given how sick I was / because I was so sick / [since] I was so sick \ [because of ]the extent to which I was sick.
  • 7a’uul = I will say.
  • ihtamm binifsek = take care of yourself
  • bis$7on = I charge [my phone]
  • عقد is not a great choice for “decade’ since it also means contract, and means that MUCH more often.
  • علماني = secular
  • بخار = incense
  • فعال efficient, succinct
  • يفز instead of يقفز for “he jumps” in amiyya. or ينط. Either is ok
  • ‘adreet = I realized. in amiyya. But in fus7a there’s another choice, ‘adraktu. Potentially could say ‘adraket in amiyya though, idk. Not great.
  • bi7aTTem = he/it destroys (trans.) or بيدمّر works too.
  • لساتك in Syrian, بعدك in lebanese. Oooh!
    • example of the latter. بعدك عم بتشتغل بالبنك You are still working in the bank.
  • Allah ye$feeki = Get well soon (to f.) ; or salaamtik.
    • After got better (or got back from trip), Al7amdullah as’salaamtik.
  • mahman kaan = no matter what (can go at the end of the sentence, just like that!)
  • على كيفك as you like