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Speak / Lesson 26


Lesson 26 teaches prepositions.


how are you?

Note: In Persian, as in many other languages, there is a formal and an informal way of speaking. We will be covering this in more detail in later lessons. For now, however, chetor-ee is the informal way of asking someone how they are, so it should only be used with people that you are familiar with. hālé shomā chetor-é is the formal expression for ‘how are you.’

Spelling note: In written Persian, words are not capitalized. For this reason, we do not capitalize Persian words written in phonetic English in the guides.


I’m well

Pronunciation tip: kh is one of two unique sounds in the Persian language that is not used in the English language. It should be repeated daily until mastered, as it is essential to successfully speak Persian. Listen to the podcast for more information on how to make the sound.

Persian English
salām hello
chetor-ee how are you?
khoobam I’m well
merci thank you
khayli very
khayli khoobam I’m very well
khoob neestam I’m not well
man me/I
bad neestam I’m not bad
ālee great
chetor-een? how are you? (formal)
hālé shomā chetor-é? how are you? (formal)
hālet chetor-é? how are you? (informal)
khoob-ee? are you well? (informal)
mamnoonam thank you
chetor peesh meeré? how’s it going?
ché khabar? what’s the news? (what’s up?)

Leyla: Welcome to lesson 26, we're so glad you've joined us!

Matt: As always, remember that bonus materials, as well as all of our previous lessons can be found on our website at, with CHAI spelled C-H-A-I.

Leyla: And with that, are you ready to begin the lesson Matt?

Matt: Ready!

Leyla: Great! Then let's begin to learn Persian with Chai and Conversation.

Leyla: We're going to take a break from verbs this week, and learn some vocabulary for preposition words. As you know, preposition words allow you to talk about the location of one object in relation to another object. So these are a pretty important part of any languages vocabulary. Let's go through a few prepositional words now. The word for on is roo-ye

Matt: Rooye

Leyla: In conversational speech, the ye gets dropped and the word becomes simply roo

Matt: roo

Leyla: Under is zeer-e

Matt: Zeer-e

Leyla: So let's say 'the book is on the table.' The word for table is 'meez'

Matt: meez

Leyla: So ketab rooye meeze

Matt: Ketab rooye meeze

Leyla: Again, you might also hear ketab roo meeze

Matt: Ketab roo meeze

Leyla: How about the telephone is under the table. Telephon zeere meze

Matt: Telephone zeere meeze.

Leyla: Ok, so on and under, rooye and zeere. Next, in is 'tooye'

Matt: tooye

Leyla: Again, in conversational speech, the ye might be dropped. So too

Matt: Too

Leyla: This is the case for most of these prepositional words, by the way- if they end in a vowel and therefore end in 'ye' the ye sound often gets dropped in conversation. If they end in a consonant and end in an '-e' sound, however, the 'e' sound doesn't get dropped. And really, you'll hear it both ways, sometimes with a 'ye' and sometimes not, so we're going to learn the words both ways. So again, in is 'tooye'

Matt: tooye

Leyla: or 'too'

Matt: too

Leyla: Outside of is beeroone

Matt: Beeroone

Leyla: So let's say you want to say the telephone is in the purse. So telephon tooye keefe

Matt: Telephon tooye keefe

Leyla: So obviously keef is the word for purse. Keef

Matt: keef

Leyla: Or the telephone is outside of the purse. Telephone beeroone keefe

Matt: Telephone beeroone keefe

Leyla: So tooye and beeroone, inside and outside. Next, in front of is 'jelo-ye'

Matt: Jelo-ye

Leyla: Since jeloye ends with a 'ye', sometimes it is said as 'jelo

Matt: jelo

Leyla: And behind is 'poshte'

Matt: Poshte

Leyla: So let's say the chair is in front of the table. Sandalee jeloye meeze

Matt: Sandalee jeloye meeze

Leyla: Or you might hear 'sandalee jelo meeze'

Matt: So how do you say the chair is behind the table?

Leyla: Sandalee poshte meeze

Matt: So jeloye and poshte, in front of and behind.

Leyla: Ok, so we've learned three sets of prepositions so far. Let's go over them. On is rooye

Matt: rooye

Leyla: And under is zeere

Matt: zeere

Leyla: In is 'tooye'

Matt: tooye

Leyla: outside of is beeroone

Matt: beeroone

Leyla: in front of is jeloye

Matt: jeloye

Leyla: behind is poshte

Matt: poshte

Leyla: So now, I want to want to ask you to make phrases out of some words you know and these prepositional phrases. You know the word for computer and for table, how do you say the computer is on the table

Matt: Computer rooye meeze

Leyla: Great, computer rooye meeze. As we've said, this might be said as 'computer roo meeze' also, but Matt chose rooye instead of roo, and that's completely fine, they both mean the same thing. One thing we haven't mentioned in a while is the shortened version of 'to be'. Matt, why do we say 'meeze' instead of the word for table 'meez'?

Matt: Meeze is a combination of meez and hast.

Leyla: Ok, exactly, so computer rooye meez hast, or computer rooye meeze. Now let's try combining this with something we learned in lesson 24. How would you say 'my telephone is on the table'?

Matt: Telephonam rooye meeze.

Leyla: Exactly, very good. telephonam means my telephone. Telephonam rooye meeze.

Ok, let's try another one. How do you say the car is in the garage? You should already know the word for car, and the word for garage in the Persian language is simply garage

Matt: Masheen tooye garag-eh

Leyla: Perfect, exactly. Masheen tooye garageh. The car is in the garage. What's another way you might hear this Matt?

Matt: Masheen too garageh.

Leyla: Yep, masheen too garageh.

Matt: Ok, let's learn a few more. Above or over is 'balayeh'

Matt: Balayeh

Leyla: And below or beneath is payeeneh

Matt: Payeeneh

Leyla: So let's say you want to say that a bird is in the tree. You could use above to express this, as in the bird is above the tree. Parandeh balayeh derakhteh

Matt: Parandeh balayeh derakhteh.

Leyla: Or the dog is below the table. Sag payeeneh meezeh.

To say 'next to' you say 'pahlooye'

Matt: Pahlooye

Leyla: So to say the television is next to the couch you say 'television paylooyeh mobleh'

Matt: Television pahlooyeh mobleh.

Leyla: The word for by, as in by the side of, is 'kenar-e'

Matt: kenar-e

Leyla: So these two have similar meanings and can be interchangeable in a lot fo circumstnaces. So say you want to say the telephone is by the couch. You say 'telephone kenare mobleh'

Matt: Telephone kenare mobleh.

Leyla: So, we've learned that 'tooye' is the word for in. There's another word for inside of that can be used as well, and that is 'dakhele'

Matt: Dakhele

Leyla: this is used often when you're talking about entering spaces yourself. Like, if you want to say I'm inside the store, you say 'dakheleh maghazam

Matt: Dakheleh maghazam

Leyla: To the left of is 'tarafe chap-e'

Matt: Tarafe chap-e

Leyla: And to the right of is tarafe rast-e

Matt: tarafe rast-e

Leyla: So to say, for example, Sara is to the right of Maryam, you say 'Sarah taraf-e rast-e Maryam-e

Matt: Sarah taraf-e rast-e Maryam-e

Leyla: To say David is to the left of john, you say 'david tarafe chape Johne

Matt: David tarafe chape johne

Leyla: So let's go over all of these prepositional words again. On is rooye

Matt: Rooye

Leyla: Under is zeereh

Matt: Zeereh

Leyla: In is tooye

Leyla: out of is beeroone

Matt: beeroone

Leyla: In front of is jeloye

Matt: jeloye

Leyla: and behind is poshteh

Matt: poshteh

Leyla: Next to is pahlooyeh

Matt: pahlooyeh

Leyla: Below or beneath is payeeneh

Matt: Payeeneh

Leyla: And by the side of, or beside, is kenareh

Matt: kenareh

Leyla: Inside of is 'dakhele

Matt: dakhele

Leyla: Another way to say in is tooyeh

Matt: Tooyeh

Leyla: Above or over is balayeh

Matt: balayeh

Leyla: To the left of is tarafe chape

Matt: Tarafe chape

Leyla: And to the right of is tarafe raste

Matt: tarafe raste

Leyla: There's one more we haven't covered and that is opposite of. Opposite of in Perisan is rooberooyeh

Matt: Rooberooyeh

Leyla: Great- this lesson is a bit of a treat, because we're going to leave it at that- short and simple, with some good new vocabulary words for you to practice throughout the week. And that brings us to the end of lesson 26.

Matt: We hope you enjoyed the lesson

Leyla: If you haven't already, we would really appreciate if you could leave us feedback on facebook

Matt: Also, we have been keeping our facebook very active in the past few weeks. Like us there to get the updates the fastest

Leyla: We really appreciate all the feedback and support you have continued to send.

Matt: And until next time, khodahafez, from Matt

Leyla: And beh omeedeh deedar from Leyla