Stuff Moms Need to Say in Arabic Part 2: Commanding Affection

In Part 1 of this series, we went over two simple phrases you can use every day. We also looked at how to change them a bit to get more practice with Arabic grammar and forming sentences in Arabic.

In that lesson, we went over using the verb for “Love” and also forming prohibitions.

Today, we’ll add a little bit more and learn another Arabic grammar rule that you can use at home during the day.

Let’s look at some commands you can use every day.

Listen and repeat.

Saying “You…” Review

To make commands, we have to learn a little bit more about verbs. Hopefully, by now, you have had a chance to practice all of the pronouns from Lesson 5. Don’t worry if you still get things mixed up from time to time. Practice makes progress.

The most important thing is that you know that we change the beginnings of the words to change who the verb is talking about.

For example, to say “I love.” we say:

أُحِبُّ

And to say “You love.” we say:

تُحِبُّ

If you’re with me so far, you’re ready to move on and start adding to what you already know.

Forming Commands in Arabic

We already learned that to make prohibitions in Arabic, we just have to take off the last vowel and make it have sukoon.

Commands are a bit more complicated, but they have a pattern that’s easy to learn with practice. For now, let’s make commands with the verbs that we’ve learned so far.

We’ll start with commanding one child. The general rule is that we take off the ت, put an ا on the front of the verb, and take off the ending vowel.

First, we can tell our kids to do something, this is how we make the command:

تَفْعَلُ —–> اِفْعَلْ

Taf-‘a-lu becomes If-‘al

To tell your child to wash something, we make the command like this :

تَغْسِلُ —–> اِغْسِلْ

Tag-si-lu becomes Ig-sil

The verb for “love” in Arabic is a little bit tricky. It doesn’t work exactly like the two verbs above. To tell your child to love someone (or something), we make the command like this:

تُحِبُّ —–> أَحِبُّ

Tu-hi-bu becomes A-hib-bu

I know, that seems like it came out of nowhere, but trust me, there is a pattern to it. Some day in the future, we’ll learn it, but for now, just memorize the verb.

Let’s add “say” because it’s pretty useful. It also has a different pattern. To tell your kids to say something, you’ll use this command:

تَقُولُ —–> قُلْ

Ta-quu-lu becomes Qul.

Gotta love when words get shorter. You may be wondering why all of the other commands have ا on the front and this one doesn’t. Words in Arabic can’t start with sukoon. If you take off the ت you will just have a word like this:

غْسِلُ

You can’t say this word, so you have to add an alif.

With some verbs, you can take off the ت and the word doesn’t start with sukoon, so you don’t need the alif.

Now, let’s take another look at the command in our video.

قَبِّلْنِي

Give me a kiss.

So, where did all that come from??

Let’s start with our verb.

You kiss. تُقَبِّلُ

Then, we take off the ت and the ٌ and we have:

تُقَبِّلُ —–> قَبِّلْ

Tu-qa-bi-lu becomes Qab-bil

Then, we want the kid to kiss us specifically right? So we add ني, which means “me” and we have:

قَبِّلْنِي

Give me a kiss.

That’s all for today.

The best way to learn how to make commands is to say the word and then the command form over and over. Even if you can’t remember the rules, the patterns will stick.

Check out this post to see how you can command a group of children in Arabic.

Speaking is funner with friends. Spread the word.

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