EA: What life would have been like?

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by scetis, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. scetis

    scetis Senior Member

    Canada
    English- Canadian
    I was watching a movie today with a friend (It's a wonderful life) and realized I didn't know how to say the following (in Egyptian Arabic specifically to summarize the one of the main parts of the movie: "He (the angel) showed him what life would have been like if he hadn't been born."

    The part that I'm really struggling with is "would have been" which I just learned is know as a past modal (modal of lost opportunity).

    Could someone please translate the sentence for me and tell me the rule for how we form this specific past modal?

    Thanks kindly
     
  2. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Hi,
    There's a few ways to say this, like:
    الدنيا كان شكلها حيكون إيه لو ما كانش اتولد
    and we can replace eddonya with el3aalam, and 7aykuun with 7ayeb2a. Another possible way to say it is:
    الدنيا كانت حتبقى إزاي
    شكل الدنيا كان حيكون إزاي

    ...
    Regarding the rule, I think we can deduce from the examples that we use the verb kaan + the future particle ح/ه + the verb in the present form
    كان حيعمل، كان حيقول، كان حييجي، كان حيسافر ...
     
  3. scetis

    scetis Senior Member

    Canada
    English- Canadian
    Thank you so much! My Egyptian friend and I have been having a great time this morning talking about things that 'might have happened'!

    So just to make sure I understand, would the following sentence be correct?

    ايه اللي كان حيحصل لومنضمنتش المنتدى دي (What would have happen if I hadn't joined this forum?)
     
  4. sun_shine 331995

    sun_shine 331995 Senior Member

    Arabic (mostly Egyptian)
    ايه اللي كان حيحصل لو منضمتش للمنتدى ده/دا
    some people say حيحصل but I prefer هيحصل using ه not ح . It's not a big deal.
     
  5. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Yes ح vs. ه is a matter of personal choice.

    And your sentence is correct, with sun_shine's corrections and the missing kaan/kont:
    إيه اللي كان حيحصل لو ما كنتش انضميت للمنتدى دا
     
  6. sun_shine 331995

    sun_shine 331995 Senior Member

    Arabic (mostly Egyptian)
    Yes, you're right I forget kont
    ايه اللي كان حيحصل لو ما كنتش انضميت للمنتدى دا
     
  7. Raspberryjam

    Raspberryjam Member

    English - UK
    I just have a question about this rule as to whether the verb kaan + past tense verb would work too?

    E.g. شو كان صار لو ما انضميت للمنتدى

    Would this be wrong, or would it give a different meaning? Or is the structure used more in different dialects, not specifically Egyptian? I thought that the structure 'verb kaan + future particle ه/ح + present tense verb' rendered more of a "...was going to..." meaning, so I'm a little confused seeing it here in this conditional structure giving the meaning "would have + past participle". Thanks
     
  8. sun_shine 331995

    sun_shine 331995 Senior Member

    Arabic (mostly Egyptian)
    I don't know about Levantine Arabic.
    In Egypt we don't say
    ايه اللي كان حصل لو ما انضمتش للمنتدى
    but we say: ايه اللي كان هيحصل لو ما كنتش انضميت

    I think that:
    have + past participle = (فعل ماض (حصل
    (in fusha = قد + فعل ماض)
    would = كان ه
    So, would have + past participle=
    (كان ه+فعل مضارع (كان هيحصل
    because ه doesn't attach to a verb in the past tense.
     
  9. elroy

    elroy Sharp-heeled Mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    :tick:

    This is perfect in Palestinian.
     
  10. Raspberryjam

    Raspberryjam Member

    English - UK
    Thank you sun_shine and elroy! It's useful to know that it is just a dialectal difference.
     

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