Pseudo-conditional sentences

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by פפאיה, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. פפאיה Senior Member

    I have a question concerning pseudo-condition sentences in spoken Arabic. By "pseudo-condition sentences" I mean condition sentences, without the usual condition words (like لو, اذا), but with a tone that indicates that they are condition sentences (I hope I'm using the correct terms).
    My question is, what is best to say / possible to say out of the following examples:

    تدرس - تنجح


    ادرس - تنجح


    تدرس - بتنجح


    بتدرس - تنجح

    or any other form you know that is possible. I would also be glad to know why some form(s) is more correct / not correct, if it can be explained.

    *I'm specifically asking about the Palestinian dialect, but maybe this is true to all/more dialects, I don't know.

    Thanks! :)
  2. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).

    I can only speak of the Egyptian dialect. Here we use the prefixe indicating the future حـ H :
    حتذاكر حتنجح = you'll study, you'll succeed.
    I think the past is also used ذاكرت حتنجح if you studied you'll succed

    But let's wait for more opinions.
  3. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    In Palestinian Arabic, we would say ادرس بتنجح (imperative + regular present tense).
  4. פפאיה Senior Member

    Thank you both!
    So, it's impossible to use an imperfect verb (with no prefix) in any of the two parts of the condition sentence?
  5. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    Welcome backe elroy, long time no see!

    In MSA you can say أُدْرُس تَنْجَح.

    It's basically فعل الأمر first then الفعل المضارع; If you wanted to use other forms then you need a conditional word such as لو، إن، إذا or at least use مَن as in: مَنْ يَدْرُس يَنْجَح or مَنْ جَدَّ وَجَدَ ومَنْ زَرَعَ حَصَدَ ومَنْ سَارَ عَلَى الدَرْبِ وَصَل. Naturally, you can replace مَنْ with الذي (or اللي in collequal).
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2009
  6. פפאיה Senior Member

    Is it the same in spoken Arabic? I know that sometimes during speech, as I said above, you don't have to use conditional words in order to use a condition sentence, because your tone indicates that it is. So I was wondering if in the spoken language, where verbs with no prefix have a different meaning than usual (like منصوب in فصحى), you can still use them, or if you have to add that prefix / imperative form so that your listener will understand your meaning.
  7. clevermizo Senior Member

    St. Louis, MO
    English (USA), Spanish
    You're asking, could you say "udros tinja7" in spoken Arabic without saying something like "udros btinja7" or "7atudros 7atinja7" as have been given.

    Well in Levantine Arabic the b- prefix is an integral part of the present tense (indicative), so you can't omit it except after certain particles (3am عم, ra7 رح, etc) which could themselves be analyzed as prefixes.

    What you're asking is can you use the so-called "subjunctive" forms for this structure, and from what I can tell, you cannot.

    Now in dialects that don't integrate a prefix into the basic present tense, I'm sure you could say such a sentence without any special prefix markers.

    In terms of intelligibility, if you said "udros tinja7" or something similar, I'm sure anyone would understand you. However, depending on dialect this may be less correct or uncommon. I can't think of a different meaning for "udros tinja7" compared to "udros btinja7" except for the latter is the norm (at least in Palestinian, by Elroy's post above), so I don't think "udros tinja7" would be misunderstood as something else.
  8. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Yeah, in PA it has to be "btinja7." Depending on the context, "udros tinja7" might be understood, but it's not correct.

    Thanks for the welcome back, Maha! :)
  9. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    In Iraqi Arabic you do; you do not use the present prefex "da".
  10. פפאיה Senior Member

    I see.
    And تدرس - بتنجح, for "if you learn, you will succed"? Can "تدرس" without prefixes + indicative tone be understood as a beginning of a condition sentence?
  11. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Not in Palestinian Arabic.
  12. פפאיה Senior Member

    Ok. Thanks for your answers and patience... :)

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