The fact that Arabic has – strictly speaking – only two tenses doesn’t make it easier. However, the mood of the verb can tell you more about the probability of a situation.
In this blog post, we will have a look at sentences that have a verb in the so called مَجْزُوم-mood. It all depends on the initial word of a conditional sentence if the verb after it has to be مَجْزُوم. Words that put a verb into the مَجْزُوم-mood are called: أَدَوات جازِمة
Notice that مَجْزُوم basically means that the verb ends in a سُكُون – which also means that you have to watch out for weak letters as they might be elided.
|إِنْ||if; used for time or place|
|If you put an effort in your work, you’ll succeed in your life.||إِنْ تَجْتَهِدْ فِي عَمَلِكَ تَنْجَحْ فِي حَياتِكَ.|
|If/when you come to Egypt, you will find beautiful weather.||مَتى تأتِ إِلَى مِصْرَ تَجِدْ جَوَّها جَمِيلاً.|
Notice that the weak letter in أتى/ يَأتي is elided.
|مَنْ||who; for persons|
|ما||who; whoever; which – for animals, trees; non-human things|
|Whoever travels a lot will see different people.||مَنْ يُسافِرْ كَثيرًا يَرَ شُعُوبًا مُخْتَلِفةً.|
The weak letter in رَأَى/ يَرَى is elided. A remark: رَأَى is one of the very few pretty irregular verbs. You cannot conjugate it by using the common rules. The same is true for its IV-form أَفْعَلَ, which looks like أَرَى in its basic form (past tense).
|مَهْما||what; which; whatever|
|What you do for the good of the people will make you happy.||مَهْما تُقَدِّمُوا مِن خَيْرٍ لِلنَّاسِ تُصْبِحُواسَعْداءَ.|
|أيْنَما||what; which; whatever|
|Wherever you travel you will find friends.||أيْنَما تُسافِرْ تَجِدْ أصْدِقاءَ.|
|The way you treat friends the way they will treat you.||كَيْفَما تُعامِلْ زُمَلاءَكَ يُعامِلُوكَ.|
|أَيُّ||every; whoever. For people; places; time;|
Notice that there has to be a noun (اِسْم) after أَيُّ and never a verb; you have to treat it like a إِضافة
|Every worker who works diligently will find the fruits of his work.||أَيُّ عامِلٍ يَعْمَلْ بِجِدٍّ يَلْقَ ثَمَرَةَ عَمَلِهِ.|
Notice that the weak letter in لَقِيَ/ يَلْقَى is elided.
You will find more information about the specialties and meanings of the مَجْزُوم-mood in the book Arabic for Nerds. Are there if-clauses in which you don’t use the مَجْزُوم-mood? Yes, there are! We will check them out in another blog entry.