Speak / Lesson 41

Telephoning and Other Structured Infinitives

In this lesson, we go over some 'structured infinitive sentences'. These are verb structures that include all parts you need to make a full sentence within them. The four verbs we focus on are 'I telephoned ______', 'I am happy with ______', 'I am angry with _______', and 'I am waiting for _______'.


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: Hello and welcome to the fifth Unit of Learn Persian with Chai and Conversation!  We're coming to you from Dallas, Texas, which, as you learned in Lesson 40, is where Matt lives now that he is full time in medical school.

Matt: Hello everyone!

Leyla: How's it going with school and the new baby and everything Matt?

Matt: Good- lots of changes and adjusting but it's an exciting time! Baby Kiyana is growing very quickly and of course it's very fun to see.

Leyla: Wonderful! And listeners, we congratulate everyone who's made it this far in the program. As you all know, lesson 40 presented the conclusion of what we're calling 'volume 1' of Chai and Conversation. Volume 1 was a complete introduction to the Persian language, throwing the listener into conversational speech from lesson 1. Now, we are at the intermediate stage of learning. You should have a good foundation of the Persian language, and you are now ready to get even deeper into it. How are you feeling about your knowledge of the Persian language right now Matt?

Matt: Well, I definitely feel like I can understand a good amount of what my wife's family says when they're having conversations. In the beginning, I felt completely lost when they were talking, but now, even if I don't understand everything, I definitely feel like I have a general idea of what they're saying most of the time.

Leyla: Perfect, that's exactly where we'd like you to be at this point. Hopefully you'll understand more and more and be able to express yourself even better in this next volume of lessons. We also want to let you know, listeners, that we're introducing a writing program to Chai and Conversation. This writing program has been developed my mother, Farzaneh Nouri, over the course of several years, and will be up on the website soon. We've always said on Chai and Conversation that our focus is on conversational Persian only, but I believe that to truly understand a language, it is important to be able to read it as well. The Persian language, in particular, has such a rich history of literature and poetry, that it's well worth the effort to learn the script.

Matt: We'll be discussing the writing program on a later episode. I'm looking forward to learning. Another big change that you'll notice in these next few lessons is that the upcoming lessons will be shorter than the ones in the last volume.

Leyla: That's right- because we're getting into slightly trickier territory, we will have shorter lessons with a mix of grammar and vocabulary. We are calling unit 5 the power series. But for now, let's go ahead and get started with the lesson, Lesson 41- are you ready Matt?

Matt: Ready!

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

Leyla: I want to start off this lesson by saying 'khasteh nabashee to matt!' This is a very popular saying in the Persian language. It literally means don't be tired, but basically it is an appreciation of someone's hard work. So as we said in the introduction, right now, Matt is going to med school, taking care of a baby, and also working on this podcast, so he definitely deserves a big khaste nabashee! And the answer to this pleasantry is salamat bashee, which means may you be healthy. So let's say these together matt- Khaste nabashee

Matt: khaste nabashee

Leyla: And, salamat bashee

Matt: salamat bashee

Leyla: So this is a very common dialogue you'll hear between people. So let's practice saying the dialogue together- Matt, khasteh nabashee

Matt: Salamat bashee!

Leyla: Perfect. And we really do genuinely say this to Matt.

Matt: So today, we're going to begin the lesson with the theme of the telephone.

Leyla: So to being with, there are a couple ways of indicating that you've made a call to someone. One simple way to say 'I made a call' would be to say 'man telephone zadam'

Matt: man telephone zadam

Leyla: We covered this before, and translated literally it means 'I hit a call'. Telephone zadam

Matt: telephone zadam

Leyla: So if you want to say I called my mother, you could say 'man be madaram telephone zadam

Matt: man be madaram telephone zadam

Leyla: Just as there are several ways to express this concept in English, you could express it in different ways in Persian as well. For example, instead of saying I called, you could say I telephoned. So, in other words, I telephoned my mother. It could be structured the same way in the Persian language, becoming 'be madaram telephone kardam.

Matt: be madaram telephone kardam

Leyla: So you could use this structure to express the concept of telephoning. So in other words, if you want to ask someone 'did you telephone peter', you could say 'beh maryam telephone kardee?'

Matt: beh maryam telephone kardee?

Leyla: Matt, how would you say 'did she telephone me

Matt: Beh man telephon kard?

Leyla: Great, exactly, so you just change the subject and the conjugation of kardan.So now keeping with this same structure, there are a few other verbs that acts in this same way. One of those is 'to be happy with'. The verb for to be happy is razi boodan.

Matt: razi boodan

Leyla: You could also translate this as to be satisfied. This uses the same structure. Let's say I'm happy with my car. I would 'az mashinam razi hastam.' So in the case of telephoning, we used the word beh. Beh Maryam telephone kardee. beh means to, and az means from. So in the Persian version of I'm happy with my car, you are more literally saying 'I am satisfied from my car'. This is a common mistake people new to the language make. So let's repeat it together 'az mashinam razi hastam'

Matt: Az mashinam razi hastam

Leyla: Of course we can also shorten this to az mashinam razi-am

Matt: az mashinam razi-am

Leyla: So Matt, how would you say, I am happy with school?

Matt: Az madreseh razi-am

Leyla: Or, you could say I am happy going to school, which is 'az madreseh raftan razi-am

Matt: Az madreseh raftan razi-am

Leyla: what about I'm happy with work?

Matt: Az kar razi-am

Leyla: Exactly, az kar razi-am

Matt: Az kar razi-am

Leyla: Or, are you satisfied with your work? Az karet razee hastee?

Matt: Az karet razee hastee?

Leyla: In this case, it would be grammatically fine to say 'az karet razee-ee' but that would just sound kind of funny, so I would stick with the full drawn out version. Az karet raze hastee?

Matt: Az karet razee hastee?

Leyla: Great. Another sentence wth this form is to be angry with. Again, this uses the preposition from, so to be angry from. The verb for to be angry is asabani boodan

Matt: asabani boodan

Leyla: So let's ask, were you angry with me? Az man asabani boodee?

Matt: Az man asabani boodee?

Leyla: How would you say 'was he angry with Sarah'?

Matt: Az Sarah asabani bood

Leyla: Exactly. Az Sarah Asabani bood?

Matt: Az Sarah asabani bood.

Leyla: Another sentence that uses this structure is to ask a question. The verb for to question is porsidan

Matt: porsidan

Leyla: And you would again use the preposition from in this sentence. So ask a question from someone. So for instance, if you want to say, I asked Sarah, you would say 'az Sarah porsidam'

Matt: Az Sarah porsidam.

Leyla: You asked me would be Az man porsidee

Matt: az man porsidee

Leyla: Ok, let's go over these few different types of verbs again. So the verb for to telephone is telephon kardan

Matt: telephon kardan

Leyla: How would you say I telephoned Martha

Matt: be Martha telephon kardam

Leyla: great. Next, the verb for to be happy is razi budan

Matt: razi budan

Leyla: How would you say I am happy with tea

Matt: ba chai razi-am

Leyla: Oooh, close, but you made the common mistake of translating directly from English. The preposition we want here is az, meaning from, not ba, meaning with. So again, I am happy with tea

Matt: az chai razi-am

Leyla: yes, exactly. Next, to be angry is asabani boodan.

Matt: asabani boodan

Leyla: how would you say I am angry with Martha?

Matt: Az Martha asabani-am

Leyla: Exactly, and here you used the correct preposition- I am angry from Martha. You also shortened 'asabani hastam' to asabani-am. Perfect. Ok, finally in this lesson, we are going to learn another very useful verb that uses this structure, and that is the verb to be waiting. In Persian, to be waiting is montazer boodan

Matt: montazer boodan

Leyla: You can use this in many different circumstances, and it's a verb we haven't used before. For instance, you can use it to say 'I am waiting for lunch'. Montazer-e nahar hastam

Matt: montazere nahar-am

Leyla: So you always add the ezafe to the word montazer in this case. Say you're waiting for your husband. You'd say 'montazere shoharam-am'

Matt: Montazereh shoharam-am

Leyla: So let's say you see someone who is waiting. You can ask them 'what are you waiting for?' In other words 'Montazer-e chee hastee?

Matt: Montazere chee hastee?

Leyla: Can you translate this one Matt- montazere Godot-am

Matt: It means 'I'm waiting for Godot'

Leyla: That's right! So let's try a few different things. How about I am waiting for coffee-

Matt: Montazere ghahveh-am

Leyla: Great. How about I am waiting for dinner

Matt: Montazere sham-am

Leyla: Ok, good. Now let's bring this back to the telephone theme and combine all these in a telephone dialogue.


Salam! Matt hastam!

Salam Matt, merci keh beh man telefon kardee! Montazeret boodam!

Montazereh man boodee?

Areh! Az kareh jadeed razi hastee?

Areh, az kareh jadeed khayli razi-am.

Leyla: So let's just go over a couple of things in this dialogue. First, in the first part, I told matt: 'montazeret boodam' This is short for montazere to boodam. What does this mean matt?

Matt: I was waiting for you

Leyla: Exactly. In this case, I was waiting for you to call. So montazeret boodam is short for motazereh to, and we learned this back when we learned possessive endings. Montazeret boodam

Matt: Montazeret boodam.

Leyla: And az kareh jadeed razi hastee. What does jadeed mean?

Matt: It means new

Leyla: Exactly, so are you happy with the new job. Az kareh jadeed razi hastee?

Matt: Az kareh jadeed razi hastee

Leyla: Wonderful! Now let's go over these 4 verbs one more time. We'll use examples to help us go through them. I telephone you is man beh to telefon kardam

Matt: man beh to telefon kardam

Leyla: I am happy with you is az to razi hastam

Matt: az to razi hastam

Leyla: I am angry with you is az to asabani hastam

Matt: az to asabani hastam

Leyla: and finally I am waiting for you is montazereh to hastam

Matt: montazereh to hastam

Leyla: Ok great. Great, and that brings us to the end of the lesson!

Matt: Thanks so much for joining us!

Leyla: Just a quick reminder to check out our brand new and improved website at www.chaiandconversation .com with CHAI spelled CHAI.

Matt: There you'll be able to become a premium member of Chai and conversation and see all the supplementary learning materials we have to offer.

Leyla: And with that, khodahafez from Leyla

Matt: And beh omeedeh deedar, from Matt