Lesson 43: Talking about Wants and Possibilities

In this lesson, we build on Lesson 42, and learn how to talk about wants. For instance, 'I want to go to the cinema.' In addition, we learn some special verbs that allow us to construct additional subjunctive sentences. These special verbs include 'must', 'might', 'it's possible', and 'it's better'.


GREETINGS:

salām
hello
سَلام
chetor-ee
how are you?
چِطوری؟

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.


ANSWERS:

khoobam
I’m well
خوبَم

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?)
testeeeee

Leyla: Hello and welcome to the 43rd episode of Learn Persian with Chai and Conversation, the 3rd episode in our power series.

 

We’re so glad to have you with us! We haven’t mentioned this before, but if you’ve checked our website in the past few weeks, you’ll notice that a lot has changed.

 

Matt: That’s right- we have a brand new website at www.chaiandconversation.com. It’s a lot easier to use than the old one, and has an easier system of becoming a premium member and viewing

Leyla: In the last lesson, we learned to combine toonestan, or to be able, with a verb in order to form a simple subjunctive sentence. So for instance you could say man meeram, meaning I go, but by adding meetoonam, as in man meetoonam beram we change it to I can go. Man meetoonam beram

Matt: Man meetoonam beram

Leyla: This same structure is used to form the sentence I want to go. So in this case, we need to learn the new verb, khastan, which is the infinite of to want. Khastan

Matt: Khastan.

Leyla: So khastan is a bit of a tricky verb in that it’s colloquial version is very different than its written one. As always, we’ll just go over the colloquial version so you won’t be confused. We’ve included the literary versions in the PDF Guide so you’ll have it for your information. So I want mikham.

Matt: mikham

Leyla: You want informal is mikhai

Matt: Mikhai

Leyla: He/she wants is mikhad

Matt: mikhad

Leyla: we want is mikhaim

Matt: mikhaim

Leyla: You want formal is mikhain

Matt: mikhain

Leyla: and finally they want is meekhan

Matt: meekhan

Leyla: Great. So in the last lesson’s example, we used the verb to go as our first example, and since we’re very familiar with that verb, let’s do the same this time. So, I go, again is man meeram

Matt: Man meeram

Leyla: Now, just as in the last example, when you change it to I could go, the prefix for the verb to go changes from mee to be. So in that example, it’s man meetoonam beram

Matt: Man meetonam beram

Leyla: I could go. So in this example it’s the exact same. I want to go is man meekham beram

Matt: Man meekham beram

Leyla: You informal want to go would be to mikhai beree

Matt: to mikhai beree

Leyla: He or she wants to go is oo meekhad bere

Matt: oo meekhad bere

Leyla: Let’s pause here for a second- you might notice that these two verbs have different endings- meekhad bere. There is a bit of a twisted explanation for this, but basically, meekhad is the colloquial way of saying the word he or she wants- in written Persian it’s meekhahad. Because the middle h sound has been dropped, the word ends in a vowel, and therefore it adopts the formal ending- meekhad. So again, oo meekhad bere

Matt: oo meekhad bere

Leyla: We want to go is ma meekhaym beereem

Matt: Ma meekhaym bereem

Leyla: You, formal, want to go is shoma meekhayn bereen

Matt: Shoma meekhayn bereen

Leyla: And they want to go is oona meekhan beran

Matt: Oona meekhan beram.

Leyla: Ok, to review let’s try saying a few different sentences, either with could or want. How would you say I could go.

Matt: Man meetoonam beram

Leyla: Great. And how about we want to go

Matt: Ma mekhaym bereem

Leyla: Next, how would you ask could they go?

Matt: Oona meetoonan beran?

Leyla: Exactly. And finally you, formal, want to go

Matt: Shoma meekhayn bereen

Leyla: Yes, perfect!

Leyla: Now, let’s go ahead and learn how to make these sentences negative. In order to say I can’t go, you say, man nemeetoonam beram

Matt: Man nemeetoonam beram

Leyla: Easy. So I don’t want to go, man nemeekham beram

Matt: Man nemeekham beram

Leyla: Exactly. So the word that receives the negative prefix is the first verb in the sentence. How would you say you don’t want to go

Matt: To nemeekhay beree

Leyla: Perfect.

Leyla: Ok, now we’re going to learn a few other vocabulary words that require being followed by simple subjunctive verbs. For simplicity’s sake, we’ll continue to combine these words with the verb to go. First, must or should, is bayad

Matt: bayad

Leyla: So I must go is man bayad beram.

Matt: man bayad beram

Leyla: So as you can see, bayad, must, always keeps its form, and the verb that follows it gets a subjunctive conjugation. So again, man bayad beram

Matt: man bayad beram

Leyla: I must go. So to see you must go, you’d say to bayad beree

Matt: to bayad beree

Leyla: super simple. Next, mustn’t or shouldn’t is nabayad

Matt: nabayad

Leyla: I shouldn’t go is man nabayad beram

Matt: Man nabayad beram

Leyla: So bayad and nabayad. Next, maybe is shayad

Matt: Shayad

Leyla: So I might go is man shayad beram

Matt: man shayad beram

Leyla: In this case, to make the sentence negative, beram changes to naram. Naram means not go. So man shayad naram

Matt: man shayad naram

Leyla: I might not go. Man shayad naram

Matt: Man shayad naram

Leyla: Let’s say them from the beginning. I must go, man bayad beram

Matt: man bayad beram

Leyla: I mustn’t go. Man nabayad beram

Matt: Man nabayad beram

Leyla: I might go, man shayad beram

Matt: man shayad beram

Leyla: I might not go, man shayad naram

Matt: Man shayad naram

Leyla: Next, the word for possible is momken

Matt: momken

Leyla: So momkene is ‘it’s possible’. Momkene

Matt: Momkene

Leyla: I may go is man momkene beram

Matt: man momkene beram

Leyla: So you’re literally saying ‘It’s possible I go’ Man momkene beram

Matt: man momkene beram

Leyla: And I may not go it ‘momkene naram

Matt: momkene naram

Leyla: And finally the word for better is ‘behtareh’

Matt: behtareh

Leyla: So I’d better go is ‘behtareh beram

Matt: behtareh beram

Leyla: And I’d better not go is behtareh naram

Matt: behtareh naram

Leyla: So again let’s go through all these words one more time- must is bayad

Matt: bayad

Leyla: mustn’t is nabayad

Matt: nabayad

Leyla: maybe is shayad

Matt: shayad

Leyla: it’s possible is momkene

Matt: momkene

Leyla: and finally, it’s better is behtareh

Matt: behtareh.

Leyla: So let’s use a couple of verb examples from the last lesson to illustrate these verbs a bit more. Remember the verb to sing Matt?

Matt: Yes, it’s avaz khoondan

Leyla: Exactly. So I have to sing, or I must sing, is man bayad avaz bekhoonam

Matt: Man bayad avaz bekhoonam

Leyla: So as you can see here, again the verb gets the be prefix. Or what about I better not drink tea. That would be behtareh chai nakhoram

Matt: Behtareh chai nakhoram

Leyla: What about I have to drink tea?

Matt: Bayad chai bekhoram

Leyla: Exactly, so again, bekhoram, the be prefix on the verb.

Leyla: Now, we’ve extensively gone over to go, that is raftan. Now, let’s cover to come, oomadan. We’ve covered conjugations of oomadan before- they’re a little tricky because the present stem ends in a vowel. So let’s go over the conjugations together by combining them with to want. So I want to come, man mikham beeyam

Matt: Man meekham beeyam

Leyla: You want to come, to meekhay beeyay

Matt: to meekhay beeyay

Leyla: He or she wants to come, oo meekhad beeyad

Matt: oo meekhad beeyad

Leyla: So see, in this case, both verbs end in vowels, so they both adopt the formal verb ending. again, oo meekhad beeyad

Matt: oo meekhad beeyad.

 Leyla: We want to come is ma meekhaim beeyaym

Matt: ma meekhaim beeyaym

Leyla: You want to come, formal is shoma meekhayn beeyayn

Matt: shoma meekhayn beeyayn

Leyla: They want to come, oona meekhan beeyan

Matt: Oona meekhan beeyan

Leyla: So let’s use these in a few different examples. I want to come home- man meekham beeyam khoone

Matt: man meekham beeyam khooneh

Leyla: I want to go to Italy. Man meekham beram Italia

Matt: Man meekham beram italia

Leyla: He wants to come with us. Oo meekhad ba ma beeyad

Matt: oo meekhad ba ma beeyad

Leyla: Note the word order there. So the ‘with me’ is sandwiched between the two verbs. Meekhad ba ma beeyad. So he wants with us to come. This is different that the English counterpart. So how would you say ‘We want to go with you’.

Matt: ma meekhaym ba to bereem

Leyla: Exactly. Ma meekhaym ba to bereem

Matt: ma meekhaym ba to bereem.

Leyla: And how about I want to go to the cinema

Matt: Man meekham beram cinema

Leyla: And to say I want to go to the cinema with you, you’d say ‘man meekham ba to beram cinema’

Matt: man meekham ba to beram cinema

Leyla: So now, let’s go back to the beginning of the lesson and say ‘I can go to the cinema with you. This would be ‘man meetonam ba to cinema beram’

Matt: man meetoonam ba to cinema beram.

Leyla: And now, to review the special verbs we learned in this sentence, let’s continue with the them of going to the cinema. I should go to the cinema with you is man bayad ba to cinema beram

Matt: Man bayad ba to cinema beram

Leyla: I shouldn’t go to the cinema with you is man nabayad ba to cinema beram

Matt: Man nabayad ba to cinema beram.

Leyla: I might go to the cinema with you is man shayad ba to cinema beram

Matt: man shayad ba to cinema beram

Leyla: I might not go to the cinema with you is man shayad ba to cinema naram

Matt: man shayad ba to cinema naram

Leyla: It’s possible that I go to the cinema with you is man momkene ba to cinema beram

Matt: Man momkene ba to cinema beram

Leyla: The opposite, I might not go to the cinema with you is man momkene ba to cinema naram

Matt: man momkene ba to cinema naram

Leyla: Finally, I better go to the cinema with you is man behtareh ba to cinema beram

Matt: man behtareh ba to cinema beram

Leyla: And finally, I better not go to the cinema with you, man behtareh ba to cinema naram

Matt: man behtareh ba to cinema naram

Leyla: And there you go, that is the end of our lesson!

Matt: thanks again for listening to yet another of our program!

Leyla: And we’re looking forward to you joining us on yet another lesson of learn Persian with Chai and Conversation.

Matt: Until then, khodahafez from Matt

Leyla: and beh omeedeh deedar from Leyla!