Present continuous and simple present



🔴 See also: Present continuous explained, Examples, Be careful, Drills


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Talk about the Present.


A reoccurring action



English uses TWO forms to express the habitual and the present continuous. Arabic uses only ONE form.

Case #1 =
I run                 
Case #2 =
I am running     
Present continuous

CASE #1 (Habitual) = Habitual actions are incidents reoccurring frequently in our lives as actions of habit.

An example of a habitual action is
"I run to school" which is a repetitive action in the past, in the present, and into the future.

Habitual - Action happens over and over again.

Case #2 (Present continuous) = Present continuous occur over a period of time in the present.

The habitual and present continuous are easy in Arabic because they begin with a "ba" or "bi" sound.

  The present continuous verb, in Arabic, is derived from the infinitive form.

But what are infinitives?

Infinitives in both Arabic and English appear as the "second" verb.

For example: I like to go to school early.

to go = (2nd verb - infinitive)

Verb #1 =
Verb #2 =
to go


Arabic has subject-infinitive agreement.

First conjugate the infinitive and then change the infinitive into the present continuous form (by adding a "ba" or "bi").

Confused? Don't be... go to the next page.


  MSA/Classical (Skip, not really necessary):

In MSA/Classical there are three verb moods referred to as:

1- Indicative (default verb form)
2- Subjunctive (like the English infinitive)
3- Jussive (invite, prohibit, or order)

The indicative mood 

 He eats = هُوَ يَأْكُل

The subjunctive mood (what we care about in this lesson.)

 He went out to eat = خَرَجَ لِيأْكُلَ

 He is going out to eat = هو خارِجٌ  لِيأْكُلَ 

 He goes out to eat = هو يَخْرُجُ لِيأكُلَ


The jussive mood 

Inviting someone: let him eat = لِيأكُلْ

Prohibiting someone: do not eat =  لا تَأْكُلْ

Ordering someone: Eat. = كُلْ


Skip (not really necessary)

In the present continuous the last vowel in the stem of the word is unpredictable. In other words, you don't know if it's a a, i, u.


The verb “dakhal” (he entered) - yidkhul.

The verb “katab” (he wrote) - yiktib.

But don't fuss over these small matters just pick it up as you go.

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