MSA: 'since/for/in' = (منذ) plus past or present tense

Tilmeedh

Senior Member
English (Canada)
Hi all--I was under the impression that (منذ) takes a verb in the present tense if 'since/for/in' is meant and the past if 'ago' is intended. However, all of the examples provided at the relevant Wiktionary entry[1] are in the latter.

- (مَا حَضَرَ مُنْذُ يَوْمَيْنِ.)

'He hasn't shown up for[/in] two days.'

- (لَم أَنَمْ مُنْذُ الخَمِيسِ.)

'I haven't slept since Thursday.'

- (مَا خَرَجَ مِنَ ٱلْبَيْتِ مُنْذُ نَزَلَ ٱلْمَطَرُ.)

'He hasn't left the house since it rained.'

The first of the above three seems entirely ambiguous out of context and could just as well be understood as, 'He didn't show up two days ago [but he did, e.g., yesterday and today].'

It's unfortunate that all the verbs here are in the negative; does this fact make a difference as to which tense is required?

If one creates some new sentences and makes them affirmative, are [ا] and [ب] equally acceptable, or is only one of the two sets below grammatical?

- ا. (غاب في إجازة منذ الأسبوع الماضي.)

ب. (يغيب في إجازة منذ الأسبوع الماضي.)

'He's been away on vacation for the past week.'

- ا. (نمت بشكل رديء منذ الخميس.)

ب. (أنام بشكل رديء منذ الخميس.)

'I've slept poorly since Thursday.'

- ا. (ظلّ داخل البيت منذ نزل المطر.)

ب. (يظلّ داخل البيت منذ نزل المطر.)

'He's stayed inside the house since it rained.'

Thanks in advance.

[1]

منذ - Wiktionary
 
  • bearded

    Senior Member
    'He's stayed inside the house since it rained.'
    Sorry for my ignorance, but can منذ be also a causal conjunction (like in that example, apparently)? I've never come across it in that meaning, and would have thought that is was only temporal (since that time/since he came..). In English the word 'since' can of course be both, but that's English...
     
    Last edited:

    Janulka

    Senior Member
    Czech
    Sorry for my ignorance, but can منذ be also a causal conjunction (like in that example, apparently)? I've never come across it in that meaning, and would have thought that is was only temporal (since that time/since he came..). In English the word 'since' can of course be both, but that's English...
    You're right, it is not causal here, rather it is not translated correctly. A better translation for
    (يظلّ داخل البيت منذ نزل المطر.)
    would be 'He's stayed inside the house since it started raining.'
     

    Romeel

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Hi all--I was under the impression that (منذ) takes a verb in the present tense if 'since/for/in' is meant and the past if 'ago' is intended. However, all of the examples provided at the relevant Wiktionary entry[1] are in the latter.

    - (مَا حَضَرَ مُنْذُ يَوْمَيْنِ.)
    'He hasn't shown up for[/in] two days.'

    - (لَم أَنَمْ مُنْذُ الخَمِيسِ.)

    'I haven't slept since Thursday.'

    - (مَا خَرَجَ مِنَ ٱلْبَيْتِ مُنْذُ نَزَلَ ٱلْمَطَرُ.)

    'He hasn't left the house since it rained.'

    The first of the above three seems entirely ambiguous out of context and could just as well be understood as, 'He didn't show up two days ago [but he did, e.g., yesterday and today].'
    He hasn't shown up since two days ago. (this the only meaning of مَا حَضَرَ مُنْذُ يَوْمَيْنِ)

    As for the other examples I will tell what I think is correct and what's not, but don't ask me why! :)
    When I say incorrect, it may be because of the grammar or because of poor style
    It's unfortunate that all the verbs here are in the negative; does this fact make a difference as to which tense is required?

    If one creates some new sentences and makes them affirmative, are [ا] and [ب] equally acceptable, or is only one of the two sets below grammatical?

    - ا. (غاب في إجازة منذ الأسبوع الماضي.):tick: ذهب better

    ب. (يغيب في إجازة منذ الأسبوع الماضي.):cross:

    'He's been away on vacation for the past week.'

    - ا. (نمت بشكل رديء منذ الخميس.):cross:

    ب. (أنام بشكل رديء منذ الخميس.):tick:

    'I've slept poorly since Thursday.'

    - ا. (ظلّ داخل البيت منذ نزل المطر.):tick:

    ب. (يظلّ داخل البيت منذ نزل المطر.):cross:

    'He's stayed inside the house since it rained.'

    Thanks in advance.

    [1]

    منذ - Wiktionary
     
    Last edited:

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Yes, منذ is followed either by a noun منذ العام الماضي، منذ الأمس.. or a verb in the past منذ رأيتك، منذ سمعت الخبر، منذ بدأ العام الدراسي…
    The other verb in the sentence is in the present because it’s about an action that’s still happening since a point in time till the moment we’re talking about. Even when we use the past form, the meaning is that the action is still happening since that moment:
    يذاكر باجتهاد منذ بدأ العام الدراسي
    He’s studying hard since the beginning of the school year/ since the school year started

    ما زلتُ أفكر فيك منذ رأيتك
    I still think of you since I saw you.

    أشعر بالحزن منذ سمعت خبر وفاته
    I’m still sad since (the moment) I heard of his passing away.

    لم أنم جيدًا منذ أمس
    I haven’t slept well since yesterday.

    لم يخرج من بيته منذ بدأ هطول المطر
    He hasn’t gone out since it started raining.
    The first of the above three seems entirely ambiguous out of context and could just as well be understood as, 'He didn't show up two days ago [but he did, e.g., yesterday and today].'
    Actually it’s not ambiguous at all. ما حضر/لم يحضر منذ يومين means he hasn’t shown up for two days, and until now.
    If one creates some new sentences and makes them affirmative, are [ا] and [ب] equally acceptable, or is only one of the two sets below grammatical?
    Your first example can do without a verb:
    هو في أجازة منذ الأسبوع الماضي and still would mean that he is still on holiday. Even with the verb سافر في أجازة in the past, the meaning wouldn’t change: he’s still away since last week.

    So I think we can look at منذ as a starting point in time for something that is still happening in the moment we’re talking about it. Unless we add elements to the sentence that indicate that a change happened:
    ذاكر باجتهاد منذ بداية العام الدراسي حتى آخر يوم في الامتحان
    He studied hard since the beginning of the school year until the last day of exams.

    أحبها منذ رآها ولكن مشاعره تغيرت مع مرور الوقت
    He loved her since the moment he saw her, but his feelings have changed with time/ with the passing of time.

    كنت أشعر بصداع شديد منذ الأمس ولكني الآن أحسن حالاً
    I was having a bad headache since yesterday, but I’m feeling better now.
     

    Romeel

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    Yes, منذ is followed either by a noun منذ العام الماضي، منذ الأمس.. or a verb in the past منذ رأيتك، منذ سمعت الخبر، منذ بدأ العام الدراسي…
    The other verb in the sentence is in the present because it’s about an action that’s still happening since a point in time till the moment we’re talking about. Even when we use the past form, the meaning is that the action is still happening since that moment:
    يذاكر باجتهاد منذ بدأ العام الدراسي
    He’s studying hard since the beginning of the school year/ since the school year started
    أستاذة شيرين هو لا يسأل عن الفعل الذي بعد منذ إنما عن الذي قبله.

    الموضوع فعلا ليس له قاعدة على ما أعتقد، فقد يستخدم الماضي في بعض الأحيان والحاضر في أحايين أخرى.

    مثلا أستطيع أن أقول

    غاب منذ الخميس
    لكن لا أستطيع أن أن أقول يغيب منذ الخميس ولو كان لا زال غائبا فأنا أجد الأخيرة ركيكة


    في نفس الوقت أستطيع أن أقول ينام منذ الخميس بلا مشكلة

    قد يكون الموضوع متعلقا بالأفعال نفسها لا بمنذ!!

    ما رأيكِ؟
     
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