EA: What life would have been like?

scetis

Senior Member
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
 
  • cherine

    Moderator
    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 ...
     

    scetis

    Senior Member
    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?)
     

    Sun-Shine

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Egypt)
    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?)
    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.
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    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
     

    Sun-Shine

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Egypt)
    Yes, you're right I forget kont
    ايه اللي كان حيحصل لو ما كنتش انضميت للمنتدى دا
     

    Raspberryjam

    Member
    English - UK
    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 ...
    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
     

    Sun-Shine

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Egypt)
    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.
     
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