Levantine Arabic: Active Participle / Present Progressive

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clevermizo

Senior Member
English (USA), Spanish
This question goes out to all those speakers of Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian out there.

Active Participles (اسم الفاعل) of verbs of motion/translocation can be used with a present progressive meaning:
وين رايح؟
رايح عالمطعم
etc.
Now, there exists the other way of making the present progressive with other verbs, i.e. عم بيعمل with 3am+present indicative (or عم يعمل in Syria/Lebanon).

My question is, is there ever a situation in which you would prefer * عم بتروح to رايح? Or would the sense "So-and-so is going to..." be expressed exclusively with رايح ? I.e., does such a form as "عم بتروح" practically not exist?

Thanks :)
 
  • elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    .زمان ما كنتش أهتم بالأمور الدينية بس إلي شهر عم بروح على الكنيسة
    I never used to care about religious matters but I've been going to church for the past month.

    كيف أحوال السكري معاكي؟ عم بتروحي عند الدكتور؟
    How's your diabetes? Have you been going to the doctor?
     

    DarrenLamb

    Member
    English - British
    Hi all,

    As I had a question about the same issue I thought it best to open up this thread again even though I am not limiting my question to Levantine Arabic specifically.

    Essentially I am still trying to completely understand the difference between using the active participle (اسم فاعل) and the present progressive (قاعد , جالس , عم ). as I understand it, the active participle is used specifically with verbs of motion such as (ريح، جاي، ماشي..etc) to mean 'going' , 'coming' , 'walking' etc.. Should you want to say 'I am studying, eating, writing' for example, one would say جالس/قاعد ادرس rather than أنا دارس (This is in Khaleeji and Omani as I am not too familiar with Levantine which I would assume is عم بدرس/ عم ادرس). Furthermore I understand the active participle can denote actions that have just taken place for example:
    توني جاي

    However what I want to clear up is the fact that should one want to say 'I cant remember' one would say ماني متذكر or مو متذكر. If one were to say مو قاعد أتذكر instead, how would the meaning be different? I hope I have made myself clear.

    Thanks
     

    DarrenLamb

    Member
    English - British
    So is this the difference between the two? Ive always been lead to beleive that ga3id + verb meant 'in the middle of' , ie "-ing"
     

    إسكندراني

    Senior Member
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    English has changed. Note that some people still say 'I am sat here', because you're not actively working to sit.
    These are dialects at the end of the day, don't expect them to follow fixed rules. In Egyptian:
    'I am going' أنا رايح
    'I go' بروح
    You should find several threads already exist on this.
     

    zloneill

    Member
    English - America
    Hi all-- Have lurked on these forums for a while, but recent study of Lebanese dialect has me confused enough to post!

    I studied Egyptian for a long time, and am just now switching gears to Lebanese. Very puzzled over use of 3am. Comparing with Egyptian, it seems that 3am can be used in some cases where in Egyptian it would be the AP, but also in some cases where it would be a present-tense verb with the bi- prefix.

    Am I correct in thinking this? (Other possibilities include my having forgotten a bit of the nuances of Egyptian, and my current Lebanese teacher really confusing the issue!)

    Also correct that some people in Levantine dialects say 3am-bi-verb? (eg, 3ambiyidrus) It's something our teacher is saying is dead wrong, but I swear even my first Lebanese teacher a few months back used this. I realize the dialects vary even in Lebanon, of course.

    Many thanks.

    editing to add: reading lots of other threads now. Not exactly answering the question of how it compares with Egyptian, but maybe I don't need that frame of reference anymore, as other threads are helping clarify just in the context of Lebanese.
     
    Last edited:

    Ayline

    New Member
    English,Turkish— USA
    [Moderator note: Merged with the previous thread about the same topic. Please don't forget to search the forum before opening a thread. Cherine]

    Could I say "ana 3am brouH" instead of "ana rayHa"? What is the difference?
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    No, they are not interchangeable.

    أنا رايحة = I'm going or I'm going to go
    أنا عم بروح = I've been going (regularly)
     

    Interprete

    Senior Member
    French, France
    No, they are not interchangeable.

    أنا رايحة = I'm going or I'm going to go
    أنا عم بروح = I've been going (regularly)
    But how come شو عم تعمل means 'what are you doing now' (not 'in general)? Does the meaning of عم vary depending on the verb used?
     

    Interprete

    Senior Member
    French, France
    Are there logical lists of verbs having one of the two meanings that 3am can give them, or do you just have to learn them by heart?
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    عم is used to give longer-term continuous meaning to a lot of verbs similar to this (and similar to the English continuous) - 'I haven't been seeing him/seen him' = ما عم شوفو, 'I'm not reading much' ما عم اقرى كتير, etc etc. The weird thing about عم روح is more that it doesn't have an additional normal continuous meaning because that function is taken up by رايح.

    There's at least one case which has both a participle and a 3am-continuous, ساق:

    انا وعم سوق - when I'm driving
    انا وسايق - when I'm driving
    ما عم سوق كتير - I haven't been driving much
     
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