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Speak / Lesson 22

The verb ‘To Have’

Lesson 22 is all about the verb ‘to have', which will come in handy very soon in our upcoming grammar lessons.


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 everyone and welcome back to the 22nd episode of Chai and Conversation

Matt: As you know, we're in unit 3 of Chai and Conversation- the grammar unit!

Leyla: Last week, we learned all about the verb to be, and this week we are going to continue along the same lines and learn the verb 'to do'.

Matt: As you know, you can find all of our previous lesson and bonus materials on the website at

Leyla: And enough of that now, Matt are you ready to begin the lesson?

Matt: Ready!

Leyla: Great, then let's begin to learn Persian with Chai and Conversation.

Leyla: So to begin, last week, we went over the verb, to be. Let's go over the colloquial conjugations for this verb just to get a bit of a refresher. I am is man hastam

Matt: Man hastam

Leyla: You are, informal, is to hastee

Matt: To hastee

Leyla: He or she is is oo hast.

Leyla: We are is ma hasteem

Leyla: You are, formal and plural, is shoma hasteen

Leyla: They are is oona hastan

Leyla: Now, let's go over the negative version of this verb. There are no reduced versions of this form of the verb. In English, we are not can be reduced to we aren't, but the same is not true for the Persian language- you have to say the full word. So, let's go over them.

Leyla: I am not is man neestam

Leyla: You are not, informal is To: neestee

Leyla: He or she is not is oo: neest

Leyla: We are not is ma neesteem

Leyla: You are not, formal or plural, is shoma neesteen

Leyla: They are not is oona neestan

Leyla: The structure of the sentence would be the same as when you are saying you are something. For example, to say I am happy, in the full form, you say 'Man khoshhal hastam.' To say I am not happy you say 'man khoshhal neestam'

Leyla: One we learned in the very first lesson was 'I am not well.' Do you remember how to say that Matt?

Matt: Khoob neestam

Leyla: Exactly. And what about I am not bad

Matt: Bad neestam.

Leyla: So to say we are not well you say 'ma khoob neesteem

Matt: Ma khoob neesteem

Leyla: Or to say 'they are not bad' you say 'Oona bad neestan'

Leyla: You get the hang of it. So let's talk about verbs in Persian for a minute. All Persian verbs in the infinitive form end with the sound –an. So the infinite of the verb 'to be' is 'boodan.' Can you repeat that Matt, boodan

Matt: boodan

Leyla: Today we are going to learn the verb 'to have.' The infinitive of this verb is 'dashtan'

Matt: Dashtan

Leyla: There are two stems for each Persian verb, the past and present stem. To get the past stem, you simply take the an sound off the end of the infinitive form of the verb. So, the past stem for boodan, or to have, is bood

Matt: Bood

Leyla: And the past stem for to have or dashtan is 'dasht'

Matt: Dasht

Leyla: Now let's conjugate the present form of to have. The stem of the present form of dashtan is 'dar'. So I have is man daram

Leyla: You have, informal, is to daree

Leyla: He or she has is oo dare

Leyla: We have is ma dareem

Leyla: You have, plural or formal is shoma dareen

Leyla: They have is oona daran.

Leyla: So the personal endings for the conjugation of this verb are the same as the personal endings of the verb to have, and the stems of most other verbs in the Persian language. Again, let's quickly note that we are learning the colloquial conjugations for the verbs in Chai and conversation. The written conjugations for you have plural or formal and the written conjugation for they have is different than the spoken versions. You have, plural or formal, in the written form is shoma dareed.

Matt: Shoma dareed.

Leyla: They have in the written form is anha darand

Matt: Anha darand.

Leyla: Now let's use this word to say that we possess an object, say a hat. The word for hat in Persian is kolah

Matt: Kolah

Leyla: To say I have hat, you say 'man kolah daram'

Leyla: you have a hat is to kolah daree

Leyla: He or she has a hat is oo kolah dare

Leyla: We have a hat is ma kolah dareem

Leyla: You have a hat, formal or plural is shoma kolah dareen

Leyla: They have a hat is oonha kolah daran

Leyla: Now, let's quickly go over the personal endings, since we will be seeing them over and over again when we conjugate verbs. We'll go over the rule, and then conjugate to be and to have. The personal ending for I is am.

Matt: Am

Leyla: Hastam

Matt: Hastam

Leyla: Daram

Matt: Daram

Leyla: The personal ending for you, informal, is –ee

Matt: Ee

Leyla: Hastee

Matt: Hastee

Leyla: And daree

Matt: Daree

Leyla: The personal ending for he or she is –e

Matt: -e

Leyla: He or she is, is an exception in this case, and is simply hast

Matt: Hast

Leyla: Dare

Matt: Dare

Leyla: The personal ending for we are is –eem

Matt: -eem

Leyla: Hasteem

Matt: Hasteem

Leyla: Dareem

Matt: Dareem

Leyla: The personal ending for you are, plural or formal is –een

Matt: -een

Leyla: Hasteen

Matt: Hasteen

Leyla: And dareen

Matt: Dareen

Leyla: Again, the written version of this personal ending is –eed, making it hasteed and dareed, but we will focus on colloquial. The personal ending for they are is –an

Matt: -an

Leyla: Hastan

Matt: Hastan

Leyla: Daran

Matt: Daran

Leyla: And again, the written verson of this personal ending is –and, making it hastand and darand. So as we learned last week, these personal endings carry the subject with them, making it so that the listener knows what subject the speaker is referring to, and therefore make explicitly stating the subject redundant. Also, these personal endings are exactly the reduced version of the verb –to be, so they are the endings we added to words in the last episode to describe things.

Now, moving on, let's learn the negative version of to have. To make most verbs in the Persian language negative, you simply add a –na to them. Let's go over all of the conjugations with the personal endings. So I don't have is man nadaram

You don't have, informal, is to nadaree

He or she doesn't have is oo nadareh

We don't have is ma nadareem

You don't have, formal or plural, is shoma nadareen

They don't have is oonha nadaran

Let's try going through it with the example of a hat. I don't have a hat is man kolah nadaram

You don't have a hat, informal is To kolah nadaree

I'm going to ask you to try to figure out the rest Matt. He or she doesn't have a hat is:

Matt: Oo kolah nadareh

Leyla: We don't have a hat is

Matt: Ma kolah nadareem

Leyla: You don't have a hat, formal or plural, is

Matt: Shoma kolah nadareen

Leyla: They don't have a hat is

Matt: Oonha kolah nadaran

Let's try another word to practice. What's the word for car

Matt: Masheen

Leyla: So now say I have a car

Matt: Man masheen daram

Leyla: How about we have a car

Matt: Ma masheen dareem.

Leyla: You can use the verb to have to say your age. The question how old are you is literally asked as 'how many years do you have' which is Shoma chand sal dareen

Matt: Shoma chand sal dareen

Leyla: Sal means years, and chand means how many. Shoma chand sal dareen

Matt: Shoma chand sal dareen

Leyla: This of course is the formal version. The informal version is to chand sal daree?

Let's repeat these without the subject. How can you say how old are you in the formal form without the subject

Matt: chand sal dareen

Leyla: And informally?

Matt: chand sal daree

Leyla: So ask me the question matt

Matt: Chand sal daree?

Leyla: Man beest o hasht sal daram. What does this mean?

Matt: I am 28.

Leyla: That's right. And Matt, to chand sal daree?

Matt: Man beest o noh sal daram

Leyla: So matt said 'I am twenty nine. Let's try a few different examples. Matt, how do you say 'I have a computer'

Matt: Man computer daram

Leyla: How about I don't have a computer

Matt: Man computer nadaram

Leyla: How about Sarah has a house

Matt: Sarah khooneh dare

Leyla: And how about Sarah doesn't have a house

Matt: Sarah khooneh nadare

Leyla: How about he is 10 years old

Matt: Oo dah sal dare

Leyla: And we have a podcast?

Matt: Ma podcast dareem

Leyla: Ok good, yeah, I don't know if there's a translation for the word podcast in Persian yet, so that would work. Now let's learn how to ask if someone has something. If I want to ask you if you have a car, informally, I say 'masheen daree?

Matt: Masheen daree?

Leyla: And formally, I say 'masheen dareen?

Matt: Masheen dareen?

Leyla: And how would you answer Matt?

Matt: Baleh, masheen daram

Leyla: Now let's go over how to say what quantity of something you have. Going back, we asked someone how old they are by asking 'chand sal dareen' for formal and chand sal daree for informal. Again, these literally mean how many years do you have. So let's go back to the example of the car. To ask how many cars do you have, you say 'chand ta masheen daree'

Matt: Chand ta masheen daree

Leyla: So chand ta is a new concept, and it means 'how many.' Chand ta

Matt: Chand ta

Leyla: Chand ta masheen daree

Matt: Chand ta masheen daree

Leyla: Chand ta masheen dareen

Matt: Chand ta masheen dareen

Leyla: To answer I have one car, you say 'man yek masheen daram.

Matt: Man yek masheen daram.

Leyla: To say I have two cars, you say 'man do masheen daram

Matt: Man do masheen daram.

Leyla: How would you say I have five cars?

Matt: Man panj masheen daram.

Leyla: There is another way of answering this question how many cars do you have, and that is by answering with the word ta in the answer. So you would say 'man panj ta masheen daram

Matt: Man panj ta masheen daram

Leyla: This can be translated as 'I have five units of cars.' Ta is only used when the quantity of an item can be counted. So you can easily count the number of cars, so you can answer in this way. Also, if someone asks you the quantity of something, you can simply answer by saying 'panj ta'

Matt: Panj ta

Leyla: This just means five units. So Matt, ask me how many cars I have

Matt: Chand ta masheen daree?

Leyla: Panj ta. So again, Matt asked 'how many cars do you have? And I answered something along the lines of 'five units'. Again, you can either have this in your answer, or omit it, both versions are valid.

Leyla: Ok great. Now, let's try having a short conversation to wrap up this lesson. I'll assume the role of Sarah, and Matt, you can be Joe. See if you can understand the conversation. You start

Matt: Salam Sarah. To chand sal daree?

Leyla: Man see sal daram. To chetor?

Matt: Man ham see sal daram. Khooneh daree?

Leyla: Na, khooneh nadaram. Khooneyeh mamanam zendegee meekonam.

Matt: Masheen chetor, masheen daree?

Leyla: Baleh, yek masheen daram.

Matt: Cheh khoob. Man masheen nadaram, vali panj docharkheh daram

Leyla: Chand ta docharkheh daree??

Matt:Panj ta!

Leyla: So you can rewind and listen to this conversation as many times as you need, and you can also read along the transcript on the pdf guide. All of it is using vocabulary we have learned in this lesson, or in previous lessons, so hopefully you understood it all. And that brings us to the end of lesson 22.

Matt: We hope you enjoyed the lesson!

Leyla: We're on the second lesson in unit 3. As we've said before, this unit is all about grammar!

Matt: Remember that bonus materials for this lesson and all the previous lessons can be found on our website at with chai spelled CHAI

Leyla: Please continue to send us feedback, and give us suggestions. Information on how to reach us is on the website.

Matt: And we look forward to you joinng us next time on Chai and conversation. Until then, khodahafez from Matt

Leyla: And beh omeedeh deedar from Leyla!