Lesson 29الدَّرْسُ التَّاسِعُ وَالْعِشْرُونَ

Tenses of the Verb (Past, Present and Future Tense In Arabic) - زَمَن الفِعْل (الماضي، وَالْمُضارِع، والمُسْتَقْبَل)


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  • In the previous parts of this lesson we discussed the past, present and future tenses and their forms. Now we are going to discuss the words that indicate these tenses.
  • There are words relating to time periods that indicate the tense being used.

1-    The past tense الزمن الماضي

English Sentence

Arabic Sentence



My brother slept late yesterday

نامَ أخِي أَمْس  مُتَأَخِّراً



I went to the club the day before yesterday

ذَهَبْتُ إلى النَّادي قَبْلَ أمْس

The day before yesterday

قَبْلَ أَمْسِ

I prayed an hour ago

صَلَّيْتُ قَبْلَ سَاعَةٍ

An hour ago

قَبْلَ ساعة

I have wrote the homework since one hour

كَتَبْتُ الواجِبَ مُنْذُ ساعَةٍ

An hour ago

مُنْذُ ساعَةٍ

I haven't seen my friend since two days

مَا رَأَيْتُ صَدِيقِي مُنْذُ يَوْمَيْن

Two days ago

مُنْذُ يَوْمين

  • The most well-known words indicating the past tense include yesterday أمس, since قبل/منذ as in:

قَبْلَ سَنَة

قَبْلَ شَهْرٍ

قَبْلَ أُسْبُوع

قَبْلَ يَوْمٍ

قَبْلَ ساعَةٍ

مُنْذُ سَنَةٍ

مُنْذُ شَهْر

مُنْذُ أُسْبُوعٍ

مُنْذُ يَوْمٍ

مُنْذُ سَاعَةٍ

2-    The present tense الزمن الحاضر (المضارع)

English Sentence

Arabic Sentence



My friend is writing his lesson now.

صَديقي يَكْتُبُ دَرسَهُ الآنَ



The new year starts today.

يَبْدَأُ العامُ الجَدِيدُ اليَوْمَ



Work is going to start at this moment.

يَبْدَأُ العَمَلُ فِي هذا الوَقْتِ

At this moment

في هذا الوقت

I go to school every day.

أذْهَبُ إلى المَدْرَسَةِ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ

Every day

 كُلَّ يَوْمٍ

I spend my holiday (break) at home every week.

أَقْضِي عُطْلَتِي كُلَّ أُسْبُوعٍ في بَيْتِي

Every week

 كُلَّ أُسْبُوع ٍ

  • The key words indicating the present tense include now الآن which is the only word that indicates the time of speaking. The same applies to the expression (at this moment في هذا الوقت). The word today اليوم sometimes expresses the present i.e. an action that is happening today at the time of speaking. However, it also sometimes indicates the future, as in the following examples:

English Sentence:

Arabic Sentence:

My father is expected to arrive from Pakistan today.

سَيَحْضُر أبي اليَوْمَ من باكِستان

My father is going to go on ‘Umrah pilgrimage today.

سَيُسَافِرُ أبي اليوْمَ إلى مَكَّة َ لِلْعُمْرَةِ

  • In the two above examples, the meaning is that the verb (action) is to happen today, but not at the time of speaking, rather after some time – e.g. in an hour or more after the time of speaking.
  • The present verb is also used to express continuity of the verb – e.g. an action that is performed daily.  The key word indicating the continuity is the word “every” كل + a time adverb, such as every day, week, month … etc:

كُلَّ شَهْرٍ

كُلَّ أُسْبُوعٍ

كُل يَوْم

3-    The Future Tense زمن المُستقبل:    

English Sentence

Arabic Sentence



The academic year will start tomorrow

سَيَبْدَأ ُ العَامُ الدِّراسِيُّ غَداً



I will go to school after an hour

سَأذْهَبُ إلى المَدْرَسَةِ بَعْدَ سَاعَةٍ

After an hour

بَعْدَ سَاعَةٍ

I will travel back to my country after a day or two.

سَأُسَافِرُ إلى بَلَدِي بَعْدَ يَوْمٍ أو يَوْمَيْنِ

After a day

بَعْدَ يَوْم

I will go on pilgrimage next year, God willing.

سَأَحُجُ في العامِ القادِمِ إن شاء الله

Next year

في العام ُ القادِمُ

  • These are some words (above) that indicate the future tense. These words include (tomorrow غدا) which clearly indicates future. Another word is (after بعد + any word indicating time) such as: after an hour, after a day, after a month, after a year). A third word is (next القادم) preceded by a word indicating time such as:

السَّنَةُ القادِمَةُ

العامُ القادِمُ

الشَّهْرُ القادِمُ

الأُسْبُوع القادِم