Thursday, 20 October 2011

Arabic Grammar/Eloquence Gems: Past Tense vs Present-Future Tense

Arabic Grammar & Eloquence (Balaaghah) Gems:

Alot of times people learn grammar in Arabic without knowing why it's so important. But inshaa' Allah after reading some of its Gems, you'll appreciate why you learnt it.

These Gems will be useful for both a beginner of Arabic, and also intermediates.

Past tense (maaDiy) vs Present-Future tense (muDaari'):

Past tense
words can be used to describe;

1 - Past tense - describing an event which happened in the past.

2 - what will NO DOUBT happen in the future, you are so certain that it will happen, that you use a past tense word to argue that it will NO DOUBT happen. ('as true as the past itself' - it is as real as the past was real. (i.e. Judgment Day is sometimes described in the past tense in the Quran to emphasise Certainty of that Day).

Note: a Future tense word will be used with this Past tense word to show that it will occur in the future.


إِذَا الشَّمْسُ كُوِّرَتْ

Idhaa al-shamsu
When (future tense) the sun was Wrapped around (on Judgment Day). [Surah Takweer 81:1]

Present-Future tense (muDaari') describes:

1 - Present-[near]Future - something which is happening now. (I.e. I am eating now, and in the present[near]-future I will still be eating this food).

2 - Present-[long-term]Future - something which is happening now AND will continue in the Long term future.

(I.e. Some sentences are said in this muDaari' [present-future tense] form to show that people are doing an action now, and there will be others doing the same action in the long term future 

يُجَاهِدُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

yuJaahidoona fee sabeel-illah
they are (and will [in the future]) struggle in the path of Allah. [Maa'idah 5: 54] =

= there are people today who struggle/fight in the path of Allah now, and there will continue to be people who struggle in the path of Allah - as long as this Qur'anic ayah/verse remains being recited on Earth.

Note: Click these links to see the Difference between Past, & Present & 'Future' tense (also see the Sarf table.)

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