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 ‘anaa ghaadee n …
you (s, m) ntaa ghaadee t …
you (s, f) ntee ghaadee t … ee
he howa ghaadee ee … / ghaadee y …
she heeya ghaadee t …
we hnaa ghaadee n … oo
you (pl) ntoomaa ghaadee t … ou
ils homaa ghaadee 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)

Some verbs have the CC form (Consonant, Consonant), for example:
chdd (to take)
Hll (to open)
sdd (to close)
kbb (to pour)
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 ‘anaa ghaadee nshrb
you (s, m) ntaa ghaadee tshrb
you (s, f) ntee ghaadee tshrbee
he howa ghaadee eeshrb
she heeya ghaadee tshrb
we hnaa ghaadee nshrboo
vous (pl) ntoomaa ghaadee tshrboo
they homaa ghaadee eeshrboo

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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)

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

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 ‘anaa ghaadee nmshee
you (s, m) ntaa ghaadee tmshee
you (s, f) ntee ghaadee tmsheeee
he howa ghaadee eemshee
she heeya ghaadee tmshee
we hnaa ghaadee nmsheeoo
you (pl) ntoomaa ghaadee tmcheeoo
they homaa ghaadee 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 ‘anaa ghaadee ngool
you (s, m) ntaa ghaadee tgool
you (s, f) ntee ghaadee tgoolee
he howa ghaadee eegool
she heeya ghaadee tgool
we hnaa ghaadee ngooloo
you (pl) ntoomaa ghaadee tgooloo
ils homaa ghaadee 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 ‘anaa ghaadee nakol ghaadee nakhod
you (s, m) ntaa ghaadee takol ghaadee takhod
you (s, f) ntee ghaadee takolee ghaadee takhodee
he howa ghaadee yakol ghaadee yakhod
she heeya ghaadee takol ghaadee takhod
we hnaa ghaadee nakloo ghaadee nakhodoo
you (pl) ntoomaa ghaadee takloo ghaadee takhodoo
ils homaa ghaadi yaklou ghaadi yakhodou