Speak / Lesson 42
The Simple Subjunctive
This lesson teaches the simple subjunctive, which will allow you to take definite sentences like 'I am going to the movies tonight' to less definite ones like 'I could go to the movies tonight'.
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.
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.
|how are you?
|I’m very well
|I’m not well
|I’m not bad
|how are you? (formal)
|hālé shomā chetor-é?
|how are you? (formal)
|how are you? (informal)
|are you well? (informal)
|chetor peesh meeré?
|how’s it going?
|what’s the news? (what’s up?)
Leyla: Hello and welcome to the 42nd lesson of Learn Persian with Chai and Conversation! In this lesson, we’re going to be talking about the simple subjunctive tense. This will allow us to communicate in a different way than we were before. For instance, up to this point, we could only simply say things like ‘Tonight I am going to the cinema.’ However, what if you want to say ‘Tonight, I want to go to the cinema'- this will allow us to do just that.
Matt: We got a taste for this type of sentence structure in one of the dialogues- the one where the couple were trying to decide what to do in the evening
Leyla: That’s correct. So at that point, we learned the sentence structure, and now we’re going to learn how to construct other similar sentences.
Matt: Before we start, we’d like to remind you that if you’d like to get even more out of these lessons, you can become a premium member of Chai and Conversation on our website at www.chaiandconversation.com. By doing so, you’ll have access to the pdf guides of these lessons, and many other learning materials.
Leyla: The learning materials for unit 5 include exercise sheets and vocabulary lists that will help you to understand this more advanced material even better. But enough of that for now, let’s dive right into the lesson.
Leyla: So to simply say ‘tonight we’ll go to the cinema’ you say ‘emshab meereem cinema’
Matt: emshab meereem cinema
Leyla: Of course you know this is the same tense we use for tonight we are going to the cinema. emshab meereem cinema
Matt: emshab meereem cinema
Leyla: So, this is a definitive statement- it’s something that’s definitely going to happen. Tonight we’re going to the cinema, simple enough. But, what if the situation isn’t so cut and dry and clear? For instance, what if you want to say ‘tonight we can go to the cinema’. Then, we need another verb, and that is the verb to be able, or tunestan
Leyla: So when this verb is introduced, other changes take place in the sentence as well. Let me explain. So emshab meereem cinema- tonight we’re going to the movies. If you want to say ‘tonight, we can go to the cinema’ you say ‘emshab meetooneem bereem cinema’
Matt: Emsha meetooneem bereem cinema
Leyla: So meetooneem is the first person conjugation of to be able, or toonestan. meetooneem
Leyla: and when we qualify going to the cinema with toonestan, the following verb takes a be prefix- so bereem cinema. emshab meetooneem bereem cinema
Matt: emshab meetooneem bereem cinema
Leyla: so this might sound a little unclear, but let’s try another example. Let’s say emshab sham meekhoreem. this is a definite statement- what does it mean Matt?
Matt: It means tonight we eat dinner.
Leyla: That’s right. Emshab sham meekhoreem
Matt: emshab sham meekhoreem
Leyla: If you want to say tonight we can eat dinner, you say ‘emshab meetooneem sham bokhoreem
Matt: emshab meetooneem sham bokhoreem
Leyla: let’s try another one with a compound verb. emshab kar meekoneem
Matt: emshab kar meekoneem
Leyla: what does this mean matt?
Matt: tonight we will work
Leyla: right. So to change this sentence into we can work tonight we say ‘emshab meetooneem kar bokoneem
Matt: emshab meetooneem kar bokoneem
Leyla: Great. Now let’s go over the conjugations of toonestan so we can make even more sentences. So, as we said before, I can is man meetoonam
Matt: man meetonam
Leyla: you , informal can, is to meetoonee
Matt: to meetoonee
Leyla: he or she can is oo meetooneh
Matt: oo meetooneh
Leyla: we can is ma meetooneem
Matt: ma meetooneem
Leyla: you, formal, can is meetooneen
Leyla: they can is meetoonan
Leyla: Great. Super simple. So let’s use these to construct a few sentences. So let’s use another verb besides raftan or kar kardan. Let’s use the verb avaz khoondan, or to sing. avaz khoondan
Matt: avaz khoondan
Leyla: so again this is a compound verb, but we’ll be able to figure it out quickly. So let’s say a simple I sing. Man avaz meekhoonam
Matt: man avaz meekhoonam
Leyla: Az we learned before, this could also be used to mean I am singing. Man avaz meekhoonam
Matt: man avaz meekhonam
Leyla: If you want to say I can sing, you say ‘man meetoonam avaz bekhoonam
Matt: Man meetoonam avaz bekhoonam
Leyla: So just as before, the second verb drops the mee prefix, and adds be instead. Man meetoonam avaz bekhoonam
Matt: man meetoonam avaz bekhoonam
Leyla: Now, to simply make it negative, you say ‘man nemeetoonam avaz bekhoonam
Matt: man nemeetoonam avaz bekhoonam
Leyla: Great. How about you can sing, informal
Matt: to meetoonee avaz bekhoonee
Leyla: perfect. how about we can sign
Matt: ma meetoneem avaz bekhooneem
Leyla: Ok, I think we got it with the singing.
Leyla: Let’s try another verb- often to be able is used with request. For example, let’s learn how to say can you bring me tea. To say this we have to know the verb to bring. The infinitive of this verb is ovordan. Let’s go over both the present and the subjunctive conjugations of this word. I bring is man meeyaram
Matt: man meeyaram
Leyla: you bring informal is to meeyaree
Matt: to meeyaree
Leyla: he or she brings is oo meeyareh
Matt: oo meeyareh
Leyla: we bring is ma meeyareem
Matt: ma meeyareem
Leyla: you, formal, bring is shoma meeyareen
Matt: shoma meeyareen
Leyla: they bring is oona meeyaran
Matt: oona meeyaran
Leyla: Great. Now let’s go over the subjunctive conjugations. I bring is beeyaram
Leyla: Notice in this case, it switches from be to bee to make the word flow better. man beeyaram
Matt: man beeyaram
Leyla: you, informal bring is to beeyaree
Matt: to beeyaree
Leyla: he or she brings is oo beeyareh
Matt: oo beeyareh
Leyla: we bring is ma beeyareem
Matt: ma beeyareem
Leyla: you, formal bring is shoma beeyareen
Matt: shoma beeyareen
Leyla: they bring is oona beeyaran
Matt: oona beeyaran
Leyla: Ok, so to say can you bring tea, you say meetoonee chai beeyaree
Matt: meetoonee chai beeyaree?
Leyla: and we want to make it a bit more specific by saying can you bring me tea, so we say meetonee barayeh man chai beeyaree?
Matt: meetoonee barayeh man chai beeyaree?
Leyla: Perfect! Now let’s change it to ‘I can bring you tea’ Meetonam barayeh to chai beeyaram
Matt: meetoonam barayeh to chai beeyaram.
Leyla: Great! So because we’re trying to beef up our vocabulary as well as our grammar, we’re going to learn one last verb in this series, and that is to put. The infinite of the verb to put is gozashtan
Leyla: So let’s first go through the present conjugations of to put. I put is man meezaram
Matt: Man meezaram
Leyla: And Matt, I’ll let you go through the other conjugations. You informal put is
Matt: to meezaree
Leyla: He or she puts is
Matt: oo meezareh
Leyla: we put is
Matt: ma meezareem
Leyla: You formal put is
Matt: shoma meezareen
Leyla: and finally they put is meezaran
Leyla: Ok great. So keeping these in mind, how would you change the mee prefix to be for I put. So meezaram to
Leyla: So how would you say I could put
Matt: man meetoonam bezaram
Leyla: Or what about you could put
Matt: meetoonee bezaree
Leyla: So let’s say someone has given you tea, and afterwards, they ask you to put the cup in the sink. The word for cup is leevan. You would say leevan-o meetoonee bezaree too sink
Matt: Leevan-o meetoonee bezaree too sink.
Leyla: In this case, the word for sink is sink. Leevan-o meetoonee bezaree too sink
Matt: Leevan-o meetoonee bezaree too sink.
Leyla: So as you can see, the word leevan got the direct marker object ra. You can leave the cup in the sink. We’re going to review the direct object marker again and go over its many uses in a couple of lessons so you can become more confident in using it. But again, leevan-o meetonee bezaree too sink
Matt: leevan-o meetoonee bezaree too sink
Leyla: Let’s say one more example with gozashtan or to put. Masheeno meetoonam bezaram too garage. What does this mean Matt?
Matt: I can put the car in the garage.
Leyla: Exactly! Masheeno meetoonam bezaram garage
Matt: Masheeno meetoonam bezaram garage.
Leyla: Ok, great. To conclude, let’s go through the examples we learned one more time. First, let’s say a simple sentence again like tonight I go to the cinema. Emshab meeram cinema
Matt: emshab meeram cinema
Leyla: And now change it to tonight I can go to the cinema
Matt: emshab meetoonam beram cinema
Leyla: And then let’s try tonight we can work. emshab meetoneem kar bokoneem
Matt: emshab meetoneem kar bokoneem
Leyla: Next, let’s try ‘can you bring me a jacket’. meetoonee barayeh man jackat beeyaree
Matt: meetoonee barayeh man jackat beeyaree
Leyla: Finally, we learned to put. So let’s say you can put the tea on the table. Meetoonee chai-ro bezaree roo meez
Matt: Meetoonee chai-ro bezaree roo meez
Leyla: Great! There will be more examples and exercises in the premium materials for this lesson, but for now, we’ll leave it at that.
Matt: Thanks again for listening to this lesson of Chai and Conversation
Leyla: As always, you can go to our newly updated website at www.chaiandconversation.com, with CHAI spelled CHAI to listen to previous lessons and to become a premium member of the podcast.
Matt: As a premium member you’ll have access to bonus materials that will help you to understand the language even more.
Leyla: Thanks again for listening and ta dafeyeh baad from leyla
Matt: and khodahafez from matt