How do present tense verbs work in Arabic

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There are a few simple rules for using present tense verbs correctly in Arabic. 

1. The verb needs to be modified to show who is doing the action, this is done using specific prefixes and suffixes to the basic form of the verb. يفعل (he does) is used as the basic model of present tense verb forms in Arabic.
أفعل I do
تفعل You (masculine singular) do
تفعلين You (feminine singular) do
يفعل He does
تفعل She does
نفعل We do
تفعلون You (masculine or mixed group plural) do
تفعلنّ You (feminine plural) do
يفعلون They (masculine or mixed group plural) do
يفعلنّ They (feminine plural) do 

There are also masculine and feminine dual forms (for when two people are doing an action) for the 2nd and 3rd person (you and they) but it is worth learning those alongide the dual forms for nouns and adjectives. 

2. Wherever possible the verb should come at the start of the sentence, or as close to the start as possible. The verb is underlined in this example:
يذهب الولد إلى المدرسة The boy goes to school

3. Whenever the verb comes before the suject (the person doing the action)-which should be most of the time-it will take the singular form in the appropriate gender for the subject, even when the subject is plural. The verb is underlined in the following example: 
يذهب الاولاد إلى المدرسة The boys go to school

4. For all non-human plural subjects we use the feminine singular form of the verb, even when the singular form of the noun is masculine. The verb is underlined in the following examples. 
تذهب الكلاب إلي البيت The dogs go to the house (كلب the singular form of dog is masculine)
تذهب السيارات إلي الكراج The cars go to the garage (سيارة the singular form of car is feminine)

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Charlotte R. GCSE Arabic tutor, A Level Arabic tutor, GCSE English tu...

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