Persian Grammar: Lesson five (To be verb in past tense)

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In this lesson, we learn how to make sentences with to-be verbs in the past tense. To do it, we just need to add the subject endings to the end of the verb.

The ‘to be’ verb in Persian is بودن (būdan) has two infinitives: one for the present tense and one for the past tense. The past tense infinitive is بودن (būdan). The present tense infinitive is هستن (hastan). The past tense of the verb ‘to be’ in Persian language is derived from the past tense infinitive. You drop the last letter ن (nun), add the personal endings of the verbs. For example, بودم (būdam) means “I was”, بودی (būdī) means “you were” (singular), and بودند (būdand) means “they were”

The ‘to be’ verb in Persian can function as either a main or an auxiliary verb in a sentence. As a main verb, you can use it to describe the state or identity of a noun or an adjective. For example, او دانشجو است (u dānešjū ast) means “he/she is a student”. من خوبم (man khūbam) means “I am fine”. As an auxiliary verb, you can use it to form the perfect tenses with the past participle of another verb. For example, من رفته ام (man raftam) means “I have gone”. تو آمده ای (to āmadī) means “you have come”.

You can use clitics instead of the ‘to be’ verb in Persian language. Clitics are shorter and more informal forms of the verb. For example, instead of saying او دانشجو است (u dānešjū ast), you can say او دانشجوست (u dānešjūst). It means the same thing but is more colloquial. The clitics for the ‘to be’ verb in Persian are as follows: ام (am) for “I am”, ی (ī) for “you are” (singular), است (ast) or -st for “he/she/it is”, ایم (īm) for “we are”, اید (īd) for “you are” (plural), and اند (and) or -nd for “they are”

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