Levantine Arabic: راكضين / عم بيركضوا

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raful

Senior Member
Hebrew
مرحبا للجميع
The other day I was watching a group of people running. I asked a bystander what are they doing and he replied: " عم بيركضوا". I asked him - "wouldn't it be more appropriate to say هم راكضين (using the active participle) just like - هم رايحين?" his answer was - "in this case - the verb ركض - we wouldn't use اسم فاعل but I don't know why"
Does anyone here know why?
 
  • Interprete

    Senior Member
    French, France
    Wouldn't then it have a past meaning?
    Something similar was discussed a few weeks ago - but maybe this is a different case.
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I think possibly because rakaD is more describing action than it is motion. But as is often the case in language it's not that practical to ask 'why'.
     

    Ectab

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Iraq
    Participles in Arabic dialects as well as MSA are used for resultative aspect, not progressive.
    I don't speak this dialect, but it is similar to Iraqi.
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Participles in Arabic dialects as well as MSA are used for resultative aspect, not progressive.
    I don't speak this dialect, but it is similar to Iraqi.
    This is true, but not of all verbs. There's no obvious reason why ماشي should work for continuous (or سايق for example) whilst راكض doesn't, that I can think of.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    This is true, but not of all verbs. There's no obvious reason why ماشي should work for continuous (or سايق for example) whilst راكض doesn't, that I can think of.
    There isn't any, and راكض can work for continuous but not in this context.

    In this context, I believe that analeeh's reason would be the closest:

    I think possibly because rakaD is more describing action than it is motion.
    The reason is that the original question is about the action itself - he asked: what are they doing? Had they been walking, the answer would have been عم بيمشوا and not ماشين; had they been driving the answer would have been عم بيسوقوا and so on.

    In a different context, راكض may be used for the continuous. Had the question been something like: لوين راكضين the answer could have been something like: راكضين لعند السور وراجعين (as an example).
     

    oopqoo

    Senior Member
    Hebrew - Israel
    I know there are tons of threads about اسم الفاعل but for some reason your comment, Mahaodeh, might have made it click for me. Let's see if I actually got it:
    Both عم بيفعلو and فاعلين are for this present moment, however the distinction is as such:
    It seems to me like عم بيفعلو describes an action happening right now but for a continuous interval of time. As in some action a person is busy doing. They're busy running, they're busy walking. عم بيركضو، عم بيمشو.

    Whereas فاعلين literally describes at this very fleeting millisecond what one's state is. That's why you hear it more often in questions about what's happening now: Where are you running literally right now in this very moment I caught you running? لوين راكض؟

    1) Is it true that when you and a friend want to leave the house to go somewhere you'd say: يلا، طالعين؟. Instead of يلا منطلع?
    2) Is the distinction I described above correct?

    Thank you in advance :)
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Unfortunately I don't think that's quite it. I think it just depends on the semantics of the verb in question.

    Lots of verbs can have several different meanings, often closely related. سمع for example is 'hear', but سمع بـ is 'hear about/of'. These two verbs' participles have different semantics - سمعان is 'hearing, can hear' but سمعان بـ is 'having heard of'.

    I think with مشي and ركض it's in part just conventional and difficult to pin down to specific rules but my feeling is that when they are acting primarily as verbs of motion expressing a movement from one place to another they are participles, whilst if the emphasis is on the verb as a description of the type of action - as it will be if you ask 'what are they doing' - the participle doesn't work and you need a continuous.

    لوين راكض works because here it's a verb of motion.
     

    oopqoo

    Senior Member
    Hebrew - Israel
    Ohh I see. I was just inclined to make this distinction because I have heard Arabs around me say for example "شو صاير؟" when that's not really a motion verb. I thought it'd fit my paradigm :(
     

    apricots

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I think the semantic difference here is that you have running, as in the type of motion as opposed to walking, crawling, etc and you have running the sport. Someone who is عم بركض is currently engaging in the sport of running whereas someone who is راكض is describing how someone is currently moving.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    1) Is it true that when you and a friend want to leave the house to go somewhere you'd say: يلا، طالعين؟. Instead of يلا منطلع?
    I've heard expressions like this in Jordan, as well as: يلا، طلعنا (in the past as in "come on, we have left"). It's not very common and it's definitely not the proper way to say it, it's sort of figurative. You usually have already decided to leave and the person is trying to hurry you up.

    Whereas فاعلين literally describes at this very fleeting millisecond what one's state is.
    Not necessarily. I would not try to fit the use of اسم الفاعل with the continuous in all cases. Technically, Arabic does not have a continuous verb tense and other expressions are used to describe it, and using اسم الفاعل for it is just one way, you can use the verb also to describe the continuous such as: أنا بحكي وهمة (أو هني) بيسمعوا = I'm speaking and they are listening. Also, اسم الفاعل does not always describe the continuous, such as: ماكلين ولا لسا؟ = have you eaten or not yet?

    Someone who is عم بركض is currently engaging in the sport of running whereas someone who is راكض is describing how someone is currently moving.
    Again, I'd have to say, not necessarily. In the case above, عم بيركضوا is simply saying that they are running, without any further information describing why or where to they are running. They may very well be running to catch the bus not because it's a sport.

    I would say that the main difference is that using the verb describes the action itself, whereas using راكضين more generally describes their state. The example of راكضين لعند السور وراجعين may best be translated to "they are running to the fence and back, but the way it's said describes their state as running rather than their action of running, the latter would be expressed by: عم بيركضوا لعند السور.


    I'm not sure if I expressed what I'm trying to say clearly. Describing semantic differences like this is not really very easy :(
     
    Last edited:

    oopqoo

    Senior Member
    Hebrew - Israel
    I've heard expressions like this in Jordan, as well as: يلا، طلعنا (in the past as in "come on, we have left"). It's not very common and it's definitely not the proper way to say it, it's sort of figurative. You usually have already decided to leave and the person is trying to hurry you up.
    So are you saying that يلا منطلع is more common and I should just stick to that?

    I would say that the main difference is that using the verb describes the action itself, whereas using راكضين more generally describes their state. The example of راكضين لعند السور وراجعين may best be translated to "they are running to the fence and back, but the way it's said describes their state as running rather than their action of running, the latter would be expressed by: عم بيركضوا لعند السور.
    It does seem though like there's an agreement between us that there's a distinction between action and state. I feel like I understand the usage but can't put into words how exactly it's used. Anyway thank you very much for the thorough explanation :)

    I just hope that the whole usage of اسم الفاعل is the same among all PA speakers, and that the confusion didn't arise because I've heard a specific subsect of PA speakers (university students aged 18-30 who are عرب ٤٨) where others may use it differently.
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    No, I'm fairly sure this distinction is approximately the same among all Levantine speakers.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    So are you saying that يلا منطلع is more common and I should just stick to that?
    Yes, this is more common, but I'm not saying that you should just stick to that, just that you should be aware of the difference in use when you use يلا، طالعين.

    I just hope that the whole usage of اسم الفاعل is the same among all PA speakers, and that the confusion didn't arise because I've heard a specific subsect of PA speakers (university students aged 18-30 who are عرب ٤٨) where others may use it differently.
    I'd say it's approximately the same, age and regional differences may exist but I don't think that they are very significant - at least not that I have noticed. It's also more or less the same in other dialects too.
     

    apricots

    Senior Member
    English - US
    (university students aged 18-30 who are عرب ٤٨)
    The only thing I've heard that irks other speakers about عرب ٤٨ speech is the use if اللي with non-definites. It seems that its almost a rule that fi + indefinite is always followed by اللي you hear things like في كتير ناس اللي بتفكر هيك for example. That, however, is a whole nother topic.
     

    oopqoo

    Senior Member
    Hebrew - Israel
    Oh that's great to know! I want to speak like them so I will start doing that. Thank you apricots :)
     

    Sprachenlerner

    Member
    USA - English, Hebrew
    Could it be that because the question was asked using the 3am construction that 3am idiomatically is also expected in the answer even though there's no semantic difference between راكضين and عم بيركضوا?
     
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