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Moroccan Arabic Grammar: The Future Tense

Conjugating the Future Tense

If you already know the present tense form, it’s easy to conjugate the future tense. You can just remove the “ka” and replace it with “ghaadee”.

There are four categories of verbs in Moroccan Arabic (Darija) and they are all congugated with the same prefixes and suffixes:

Person (Engish)Person (Darija)Future prefixes and suffixes
I‘anaaghaadee n …
you (s, m)ntaaghaadee t …
you (s, f)nteeghaadee t … ee
hehowaghaadee ee … / ghaadee y …
sheheeyaghaadee t …
wehnaaghaadee n … oo
you (pl)ntoomaaghaadee t … ou
ilshomaaghaadee ee … oo / ghaadee y … oo

CCC & CC verbs

Most verbs in Moroccan Arabic (Darija) fall into the category of CCC verbs (Consonant, Consonant, Consonant), for example:
qt3 (to cut)
n3s (to sleep)
shrb (to drink – sh is one consonant in arabic script)
qllb (to look for – “ll” is one letter with a shedda on it, in arabic script)
ftr (have breakfast)
lbs (get dressed)
gls (sit down)
khrj (go out)
etc.

Some verbs have the CC form (Consonant, Consonant), for example:
chdd (to take)
Hll (to open)
sdd (to close)
kbb (to pour)
etc.
Note: all of these are written with just two letters (two consonants) in Arabic script – with a shedda on the second consonant.

To conjugate CCC & CC verbs, we just add the future tense prefixes and suffixes:

Person (English)Person (Darija)Conjugation of the verb “shrb”
I‘anaaghaadee nshrb
you (s, m)ntaaghaadee tshrb
you (s, f)nteeghaadee tshrbee
hehowaghaadee eeshrb
sheheeyaghaadee tshrb
wehnaaghaadee nshrboo
vous (pl)ntoomaaghaadee tshrboo
theyhomaaghaadee eeshrboo

CCV et CVC verbs

There are some verbes that fall into the CCV category of verbs (Consonant, Consonant, Vowel), for example:
mshaa (to go)
shraa (to buy)
tlqaa (to meet)
nqaa (to clean)
etc.

There are also CVC verbs (Consonant, Vowel, Consonant), for example:
gaal (to say)
kaan (to bee)
baan (to appear)
taar (to fly)
etc.

To conjugate CCV and CVC verbs, some of the verbs keep the “aa” vowel, while other verbs have their “aa” vowel replaced by “ee” or “oo”. For example the verb “mshaa” becomes “mchee” and then we add the future tense prefixes and suffixes:

Person (English)Person (Darija)Conjugation of the verb “mshaa”
I‘anaaghaadee nmshee
you (s, m)ntaaghaadee tmshee
you (s, f)nteeghaadee tmsheeee
hehowaghaadee eemshee
sheheeyaghaadee tmshee
wehnaaghaadee nmsheeoo
you (pl)ntoomaaghaadee tmcheeoo
theyhomaaghaadee eemcheeoo

Here is an example using the verb “gaal” CVC category. The verb “gaal” becomes “gool” and then we add the future tense prefixes and suffixes.:

Person (English)Person (Darija)Conjugation of the verb “gaal”
I‘anaaghaadee ngool
you (s, m)ntaaghaadee tgool
you (s, f)nteeghaadee tgoolee
hehowaghaadee eegool
sheheeyaghaadee tgool
wehnaaghaadee ngooloo
you (pl)ntoomaaghaadee tgooloo
ilshomaaghaadee eegooloo

In our dictionary, we have indicated if the vowel changes by putting that change in brackets, for example: “mshaa (mchee) CCV” and “gaal (gool) CVC”.

Irregular verbs

There are just two irregular verbs in the future tense: “klaa” (to eat) and “khdaa” (to take). Here are their future tense conjugations:

Person (English)Personne (Darija)Conjugation of the verb “klaa”Conjugation of the verb “khdaa”
I‘anaaghaadee nakolghaadee nakhod
you (s, m)ntaaghaadee takolghaadee takhod
you (s, f)nteeghaadee takoleeghaadee takhodee
hehowaghaadee yakolghaadee yakhod
sheheeyaghaadee takolghaadee takhod
wehnaaghaadee naklooghaadee nakhodoo
you (pl)ntoomaaghaadee taklooghaadee takhodoo
ilshomaaghaadi yakloughaadi yakhodou
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