Persian Grammar: Lesson Ten (Present continuous in Persian)

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Present continuous in Persian is used to describe actions that are happening right now, or in progress at the moment of speaking. For example, “I am writing” or “You are reading”.

In Persian, present continuous tense was formed by using the present stem of the verb, plus the suffix -می (mi) before the verb, and the personal endings after the verb. For example, the present stem of the verb رفتن (raftan), meaning “to go”, is بر (bar). To say “I am going”, we add -می before بر and -م (am) after بر, and we get میبرم (mibaram).

Here are some examples of how present continuous tense was conjugated in the past

  • مینویسم (minavīsam) = I am writing
  • میخوانی (mikhānī) = You are reading
  • میخندد (mikhandad) = He/she is laughing
  • میخوابیم (mikhābīm) = We are sleeping
  • میبینید (mibinīd) = You are seeing
  • میدوند (midavand) = They are running

However, this is not the way we make present continuous in speaken Persian today. The above forms only refer to present indicative and nothing more. Today, we conjugate the verb dashtan ‘to have’ in present tense and add to the above verbs to make present continuous. That would be:

  • دارم می‌نویسم (daram minavīsam): I am writing now
  • داری می‌خونی (dari mixuni)

and so on. Watch this video to learn how to use present continuous in Persian language. But make sure that you have watched lesson nine, about simple present first.

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