منذ - have been X-ing for five years

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by Sidjanga, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. Sidjanga Senior Member

    German;southern tendencies
    Hi,

    I've just read this thread, so I think it's actually clear to me now.

    I'd still like to ask you to confirm this though, if applicable, as I've been told otherwise today.

    Is
    أسكن هنا منذ خمس سنوات
    and appropriate translation for
    I've been living here for five years
    ?
    (in particular with respect to the verb form, i.e. أسكن as opposed to سكنت)

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  2. clevermizo Moderator

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    Yes, because أسكن implies that you still live there. What were you told otherwise? Perhaps they misunderstood the question?
     
  3. uas60 Senior Member

    English; Urdu; Student of Arabic/French
    Just a small point - mundhu khamsin? Is it?
     
  4. Cilquiestsuens Senior Member

    French
    Doesn't it have to be khamsi ?

    khamsi is muDaaf, sanaawaatin : muDaaf ilayhi), I don't think any muDaaf can take tanwiin.... (be it definite or indefinite) Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  5. uas60 Senior Member

    English; Urdu; Student of Arabic/French
    You are correct muDaaf does not take tanween - is this muDaaf though?
     
  6. Cilquiestsuens Senior Member

    French
    According to my humble knowledge, there is a relation of muDaaf-muDaaf ilayhi for numbers+counted things from 3 to 10, and above, the counted thing is tamyiiz, I think....
    Can any expert on na7w confirm that??....
     
  7. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    I'm not sure, but it seems that the number and the counted noun can also have an appositional relationship, besides forming an iDaafa. For example, from the Qur'an Sura 12:46,

     
  8. Cilquiestsuens Senior Member

    French

    yes, but I wouldn't call that appositional relationship.... and this doesn't contradict the iDaafa...

    This is the way it is analyzed in Na7w :

    Fii = 7arf jaarr
    sab3i = ism majroor wa huwa muDaaf
    baqaraatin = muDaaf ilayhi
    simaanin = na3t for baqaraatin and as such agrees in number / gender / definiteness / i3raab with its man3uut (= baqaraatin).
     
  9. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    No, no, I mean the green part.:eek:
     
  10. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    The green part سبعٌ عجافٌ is not an iDaafa structure, so it doesn't work the same way.

    As for أسكن هنا منذ خمسِ سنواتٍ I can't think of any other translation that "I've been living here for five years".
     
  11. Cilquiestsuens Senior Member

    French
    Ha, ha, I see your point now !!!!!! I think it is a good one..... But these specific twists in the rules don't invalidate them....

    You know, this is the Holy Quran, so there are so many things like this if you analyze the grammar of the Noble Qur'an...


    I think that sab3un is with tanwiin because the noun, baqaraat is ma7dhuuf.... (omitted although meant), and 3ijaaf is not muDaaf ilayhi, but simply na3t of sab3un.
    But hey, I think this is really specific to Quraanic Arabic.... I am not sure this is a common feature of MSA....
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
  12. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    Yes, in modern written Arabic the rule I know is to use iDaafa, as you says above in Post #6.
     
  13. Sidjanga Senior Member

    German;southern tendencies
    Thanks for your replies.
    Hm... my question was meant the other way round. :) I wasn't sure if أسكن هنا منذ خمسِ سنوات was a valid translation of "I've been living here for five years".
    Well, it may have been a misunderstanding, of course, though I didn't get that impression; but who knows.

    I was told that منذ could be used with the ماضي only, and that, accordingly, I would have to say سكنت هنا منذ...سنوات even though I still live there.

    And how about these sentences?
    Which tense would you use here in order to convey the idea that the people in question still live there?

    لم أتكلم معها منذ أن تسكن\سكنتْ هناك.
    ...لأنه بيتنا, منذ تقيم\أقامت معنا جدتي أصبح بيت العائلة
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
  14. clevermizo Moderator

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    Are you trying to say: I haven't spoken with her since she's been living there?

    You could avoid the verb issue entirely by saying:

    لم أتكلّم معها منذ سكنها هناك.

    I think this still implies that she lives there. منذ أن تسكن هناك sounds awkward to me, but I'm not sure. Actually, to be honest, I would say:

    لم أتكلّم معها منذ أن انتقلت إلى هناك.
    "I haven't spoken with her since she moved there."

    Anyway, I'm not sure how to use سكن here to imply she still lives there.

    Sorry, I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. "Because it is our house, since my grandmother constructed with us it became the family's house?" ???

    I think I'm now understanding what your informant was telling you about منذ. It means "since" some point in time. That point in time, if a verb, is probably a past tense verb, because these verbs refer to a specific moment something occurred in the past. I'm not sure if you can use the present tense (a continuous tense) after منذ but you most certainly can use it in the clause before منذ.


    Consider:

    I've been living here since the beginning of this year.
    أسكن هنا منذ بداية هذه السنة.

    This uses the present tense in the main clause, and no verb at all in the منذ clause.

    I've been living here since my father got a new job.
    أسكن هنا منذ أن حصل والدي على شغل جديد.

    This uses the present tense in the main clause (since you still live here), but measures the amount of time since a point - the point at which the father gets the job.

    I have a theory now that you can't use the present tense after منذ أن because you can't measure time from something continuous. To be fair, even saying "since I've been living here" sounds a little awkward to me in English.

    As usual we should probably wait for some native speaker contributions.
     
  15. Sidjanga Senior Member

    German;southern tendencies
    Thanks for your reply. I think the whole issue is quite a bit clearer to me now.
    Yes. Or: No he hablado con ella desde que vive allí. :)
    That's interesting. I wasn't aware you could use the مصدر after منذ , but it's actually quite logical.
    Yes, I've thought of that too, but it's not really what I want to say - if there is a way in Arabic to directly express the idea of desde que vivo aquí / "since I've been living here", that is. :)
    It's somewhat funny that that sentence seems to be difficult to understand (thouhg I should have made clear that this is only the second part of a longer sentence, I suppose).
    I also found it strange and somwhat difficult to understand, in particular the logic behind the verb tenses.
    That sentence appears exactly the way it is (with أقامت) in the book and the accompanying dvd I've been working with.
    As far as I understand, it's supposed to mean something like "Since my grandma 'has been living/staying' with us], our house is the 'family house' or Since she moved in with us, our house became the 'family house', i.e. the house where all the family members gather on Friday evenings.
    That was my impression too.
    And, as I said, I would have preferred to simply write Desde que vivo aquí..., or Desde que mi abuela vive con nosotros,...respectively, but I thought the English version would probably allow more people to take part. :)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  16. clevermizo Moderator

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    Well, if it uses أقامت and is intended to mean "since she's been living with us" then that implies we use the past tense after منذ أن and the interpretation can still have relevance in the present, depending on context. I just had trouble understanding it because I didn't know about this idiomatic usage of the verb أقام.

    Yes, Spanish does have a good mechanism for this. In English for "desde que vivo aquí", "since I've been living here" doesn't really sound bad at all, but it just seemed like a mouthful for me. I'd like to know from other contributors whether or not you can use the present tense after منذ أن because in that sense it would work more like the Spanish structure.

    In the meanwhile, I think لم أتكلم معها منذ سكنها هناك might be a good alternative. The English "since her living there" is a little bookish sounding, but is also all right I think.:)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2010
  17. Sidjanga Senior Member

    German;southern tendencies
    Hi again,

    So what do native speakers think of the idea of using the مضارع after منذ (أن) ?

    For example:
    I haven't talked to her since she's been living there.
    No he hablado con ella desde que vive allí.
    Ich habe nicht (mehr) mit ihr gesprochen, seit sie dort wohnt
    .

    Would this sentence work?

    لم أتحدث معها منذ أن تسكن هناك
     
  18. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Hi,
    I believe it's wrong. As far as I know, منذ أن is always followed by the verb in the past form.
     
  19. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    Hi Cherine, in Egyptian we say ba2aa-li khams seniin saaken hena, right? Does this structure also work in fuS7a? Can we say inqaDat khams sanawaat wa-ana askunu hina?
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  20. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Hi,
    Right, except for khams, we say khamas.
    It's technically correct, but the structure I'm more used to is with the verb مضى : we say مضت خمسُ سنوات وأنا أسكن هنا or مضت خمسُ سنوات على سَكَني هنا
    But I think it's more common to use the structure with منذ .
     
  21. Ghabi

    Ghabi Moderator

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    Oops ...:eek: (It's a case of hypercorrection on my part. Since my Egyptian teacher always says khamas, even when he's speaking fuS7a, so I keep reminding myself that "it's khams in fuS7a", and now I even say khams in 3mmiyya!)

    Great! Thanks.:thumbsup: Can I also change the verb to a simple lii? i.e. لي خمسُ سنوات وأنا أسكن هنا This is the structure used in Najdi if I'm not mistaken, and I want to know if it's also acceptable in fuS7a.
     
  22. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    No problem, I think it's more important -for many people- to be correct in MSA than in 3ammeyya. :)
    Yes! برافو عليك :thumbsup: This is correct and is used in MSA.
     
  23. Sidjanga Senior Member

    German;southern tendencies
    Hi,
    So if I understand you correctly, there's no way to tell - other than from the context - if the action mentioned after منذ أن still continues or not, or is there?

    E.g., from this sentence from my textbook alone:

    ...منذ أن أقامت معنا جدتي

    you couldn't tell if his grandma is still living with them or not, could you, because it's منذ أن أقامت in both cases, correct?

    Since my grandma has been living with us...
    Desde que mi abuela vive con nosotros... (= she's still living there)
    --> ...منذ أن أقامت معنا جدتي

    Since my grandma lived with us...
    Desde que mi abuela vivió con nosotros...(= she's not living there any more)
    --> ...منذ أن أقامت معنا جدتي, i.e., the exact same as above, though the situation is clearly different.
     
  24. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    First of all, I don't like this sentence at all (for any context). I would say منذ أن أتت جدتي لتقيم معنا.
    I would use my suggestion above.
    I would say منذ أن كانت جدتي تقيم معنا.
     
  25. Sidjanga Senior Member

    German;southern tendencies
    Many thanks. I really like your suggestions.

    Just two more questions concerning the first sentence, which is the one that actually describes the situation in question (i.e. she's still living with them):

    منذ أن أتت جدتي لتقيم معنا.

    1) Instead of لـ , could you also use a different preposition to convey the idea of "came to live with us / vino a vivir con nosotros"?
    In particular, would كي work here too, or would it make her moving in with them sound too "purposive", like in "in order to live with us"?

    2) Going back to the original sentence,
    ...أمّا في المساء [مساء الجمعة] فلا يمكننا الخروج لأنّ بيتنا, منذ أقامت معنا جدتي, أصبح بيت العائلة

    now "adjusted" according to your suggestion:
    ...لأنّ بيتنا, منذ أن أتت جدتي لتقيم معنا, أصبح بيت العائلة

    Does the part in bold sound idiomatic and logical in the context of the first part of the sentece?
    I mean, أصبح بيت العائلة is a one-time event, isn't it? It "became the 'house of the family' ".

    Maybe that's "thinking too European", but wouldn't it be more logical to either say

    ...لأنّ بيتنا, منذ أن أتت جدتي لتقيم معنا, فهو\يكون(؟) بيت العائلة
    (It has been the 'house of the family' (ever) since my grandma moved in with us.)

    or
    ...لأنّ بيتنا, عندما أتت جدتي لتقيم معنا,أصبح بيت العائلة
    (It became the 'house of the family' when my grandma moved in with us.)

    Or does أصبح have a more flexible or "gradual" meaning, and
    ...لأنّ بيتنا, منذ أن أتت جدتي لتقيم معنا,أصبح بيت العائلة

    rather means something like "it has been growing/turning into the 'house of the family' ever since my grandma came to live with us", or, maybe better expressed in Spanish, "se ha venido haciendo la casa de la familia desde que mi abuela vino a vivir con nosotros"?
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2010
  26. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Urbana-Champaign, IL
    Am. English, Pal. Arabic (See profile)
    1. I would not use كي.
    2. It sounds fine to me with أصبح, although I would prefer قد أصبح. You can't say فهو; it would have to be just هو. And you definitely can't say يكون.
     

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