Lesson 28: Habitual Actions

Lesson 28 teaches how to talk about habitual actions.


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?)

Last week we learned the present simple tense. This can be used to talk about things that are done habitually. So now, we'll learn the vocabulary to make that happen.

So, we're going to use the verb to go to illustrate these phrases, just to keep things simple. Let's go over the present simple tense of the verb to go. First, the infinitive of to go is raftan.

Matt: Raftan

Leyla: So, Matt, you should remember this from last week, hopefully- how do you say 'I go'

Matt: Meeram

Leyla: Great, how about you go, informal

Matt: Meeree

Leyla: Great, and listeners, hopefully you are repeating these along with Matt. So how about he or she goes

Matt: Meere

Leyla: We go

Matt: Meereem

Leyla: You go, formal or plural

Matt: Meereen

Leyla: And finally, they go

Matt: Meeran

Leyla: Ok, so we're going to combine these with to go to work. To say I go to work, you say 'meeram kar

Matt: Meeram kar

Leyla: We go to work, meereem kar

Matt: Meereem kar

Leyla: And etc. So now, let's use this to talk about things we do habitually. So hopefully we remember the word for day. It's

Matt: Rooz

Leyla: Great rooz. So to say every day, you say 'har rooz'

Matt: Har rooz

Leyla: Great, so to say 'every day I go to work' you say 'har rooz be kar meeram

Matt: Har rooz be kar meeram

Leyla: So har rooz means every day. Har hafte means every week. Har hafte

Matt: Har hafteh

Leyla: So we had learned the word for class is kelass

Matt: Kelass

Leyla: And more specifically, kelasse yoga means yoga class. Kelasseh yoga

Matt: Kelasseh yoga

Leyla: So to say Every week I go to yoga class, you say 'har hafteh beh kelasseh yoga meeram

Matt: Har hafteh beh kelasseh yoga meeram

Leyla: So we have har rooz meaning every day and har hafteh meaning every week. Next, har mah means every month. Har mah

Matt: Har mah

Leyla: So let's say every month you go to your mother in laws house. You say 'har mah be khooneyeh madar zanam meeram

Matt: Har mah be khooneyeh madar zanam


Leyla: As you can guess madar zan means mother in law, or literally the mother of my wife. Madar zanam means my mother in law. Madar zanam

Matt: Madar zanam

Leyla: Har mah beh khooneyeh madar zanam meeram

Matt: Har mah be khooneyeh madar zanam meeram

Leyla: Next, let's say every year. In Persian, this is har sal

Matt: Har saal

Leyla: Let's say every year I go to Hawaii. Har saal be Hawaii meeram

Matt: Har saal meeram Hawaii

Leyla: I wish this was the case for me. Har saal be Hawaii meeram

Matt: Har saal beh Hawaii meeram

Leyla: So let's go over all of these again. How do you say 'every day'?

Matt: Har rooz

Leyla: Every week

Matt: Har hafteh

Leyla: Every month

Matt: Harm ah

Leyla: And finally every year

Matt: Har saal

Leyla: Ok great! Next, to say 'each day' you add a ee suffix to the word. So rooz becomes roozee

Matt: Roozee

Leyla: To say once each day, for instance, you say 'roozee yek bar

Matt: Roozee yek bar

Leyla: Bar means time. So you're literally saying 'each day one time' Roozee yek bar

Matt: Roozee yek bar

Leyla: So keeping with our example of to go, you could say 'roozee yek baar beh estakhr meeram

Matt: Roozee yek baar beh estakhr meeram

Leyla: Do you remember what estakhr means? We learned it a while back

Matt: The pool

Leyla: Exactly, the pool. So roozee yek bar means once a day. Can you guess how to say twice a day?

Matt: Roozee do bar

Leyla: Perfect, roozee do bar is twice a day. And if you want to say once every two days, you switch things around a bit. You say har do ruz yek bar.

Matt: Har do rooz yek bar

Leyla: So we're using the word 'har' or every here again. So every two days, one time, basically. Har do rooz yek bar

Matt: Har do rooz yek bar

Leyla: So har do rooz yek baar beh estakhr meeram

Matt: Har do rooz yek baar be estakhr meeram

Leyla: So once every two days, I go to the pool. How would you say once every three days?

Matt: Har she rooz yek baar.

Leyla: Right. har seh rooz yek bar. So next, to say 'each week' you say 'hafte-I'

Matt: Hafte-i

Leyla: So to say once a week, you say hafte-I yek bar

Matt: Hafte-I yek bar

Leyla; Hafte-I yek bar beh kelasseh yoga meeram

Matt: Hafte-I yek bar beh kelasseh yoga meeram

Leyla: How would you say every other week?

Matt: har do haftei yek bar

Leyla: Exactly, har do haftei yek bar. So har do haftei yek bar beh khooneyeh doostam meeram

Matt: Har do haftei yek bar beh khooneyeh doostam meeram

Leyla: So what does that mean?

Matt: Every other week, I go to my friend's house.

Leyla: Next, each month is mahi

Matt: Mahi

Leyla: So once a month would be

Matt: Mahi yek baar

Leyla: Great, you're getting the hang of it. So maahi yek baar beh Dallas meeram

Matt: Maahi yek baar beh Dallas meeram