Persian Lesson 12 – Compound Verbs in Simple Past Tense

Persian Lesson 12 – Compound Verbs in Simple Past Tense

Hello everyone, welcome back!

As you remember, we started learning simple past tense last week. From today, we are going to practice with this tense to make sure that it is clearly understood. Try to make the foundation of your building as strong as possible! To do this here, we need to practice a lot.

Last week, we learned that all infinitives in Persian ended with /nu:n/. Example: . We also learned that we’d have a verb in simple past tense by simply deleting from infinitives. Example: . Correct?

Then, we learned that we could combine verbs in simple past tense with subjective pronouns. Doing this, we found that we had to add something to the end of the verbs to match that verb with each pronoun. Example: + = . Clear?

All right. Now, let’s see what do we have for today.

Before we start, let me tell you something. As you have probably noticed, in some cases the pronunciation of the words you hear is a little bit different from the phonetic alphabets you find with each word. The example I can mention here is this: . The phonetic alphabet written next to this word is /didi/, but when you listen to the recorded sound it is pronounced as /di:di:/. (Long /i:/ instead of short /i/). It is because I am trying to pronounce the words as slowly and clearly as possible. Basically, there is no big difference with these different pronunciations. All these three pronunciations are acceptable: /didi/- /didi:/- and /di:di:/. Don’t pay too much attention on these minor differences. I would certainly let you know if the difference was big enough to be mentioned.

Note: One of the problems with Persian verbs is that there are a considerable amount of compound verbs instead of single verbs. These compound verbs have apparently imposed a negative flexibility on creating new words in Persian. Although attempts have been made to change these compound verbs into single ones, less progress has been achieved till now. Most probably it comes from the dominant Arab language that has changed the structure of Persian language quite negatively. Statistics presented by some great linguists show that the capability of Persian language in generating new words was unbelievingly higher if we could re-separate the structure of Persian language from Arabic, which are totally different from each other in origin.

Let’s see an example.

‘To speak’ means /sohbæt kærdæn/.

sohbat kardan

As you see in the above example, we have two words in Persian for one English word. This is what I am talking about. Quite fortunately, this problem has nothing to do with us as beginners! Still, we can apply the same rule here. In all cases, we need to change the second part, not the first one. Here we have to change /kærdæn/.

Now, let’s apply the rule. Delete from and you’ll have /sohbæt kærd/, which is in simple past tense. Now try it with the subjective pronouns. You’ll say:

I spoke = /mæn sohbæt kærdæm/.

Man sohbat kardam

You spoke = /to sohbæt kærdi/.

To sohbat kardi

He and she spoke = /u: sohbæt kærd/.

Oo sobat kard

It spoke == /a:n sohbæt kærd/.

An sohbat kard

We spoke == /ma: sohbæt kærdim/.

Ma sohbat kardim

You spoke == /shoma: sohbæt kærdid/.

Shoma sohbat kardid

They spoke == /a:nha: sohbæt kærdænd /.

anha sohbat kardand

And /i:sha:n sohbæt kærdænd/.

Ishan sohbat kardand

All right. As you see nothing can break our rules!! (Except some exceptions that might happen once in a thousand!)

Now let’s learn some new words today. We will need some words to start making sentences. Please try to learn these words before we see each other next week!

Door = /dær/.


And /dærb/.


Window = /pænjereh/.


Yesterday = /di: ru:z/.


Today = /em ru:z/.