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Wizard of Glue and Scissors

Week 19, Episode 38

As we have just established in the previous episode, Persian may look Arabic to your eye, but it is not Arabic. And the diffirence, besides vocabulary and pronunciation, lies in the grammar. If in Arabic a verb is changed by roots applied to certain templates, in Persian you create tenses with some "scissors" and "glue."

And there it dawned on me: I saw this technique in the Turkish language! Exactly, it is because Turkish was heavily influenced by Persian and adopted lots of Farsi words. So the more I dove into Persian grammar, the more similarities occured.

The principle is like this: take a verb from a dictionary—infinitive—which in all cases ends either with -dan or -tan (in English, infinitive is a verb with the particle to: to eat, to sleep), cut the last three letters (now you're a wizard of "scissors") making a stem of the verb, and add prefixes or suffixes in a certain sequence (now you're a wizard of "glue")! So simple and creative!

This enables you to say things like "They didn't see us", "I have been thinking" or "Let me read" in one word! Because you glue prefixes for negation (na, ne), personal and object suffixes, prefixes and suffixes for different tenses, etc. to the stem, making a whole phrase out of several given syllables.

Happy news is that the verb conjugation is pretty straight-forward in Persian: you just follow the same rule for all the verbs in a regular manner without a slightest departure from them.

Try your new Cut&Paste skills with nouns and pronouns, only in this case you glue personal, plural, possesive endings and what we call prepositions in English to the end of a word—kind of Lego-like process.

Other grammar presents: there is no gender in Persian, thus no need to match nouns with adjectives; "he" and "she" are same in Farsi—او (u); pluralization is not used after a number or words like "many", meaning that you say "38 parrots" as "38 parrot"; there are no articles (though nouns do have special states—absolute and non-specific).

As for tenses, there are 8 of them: 1 Present, 1 Future, 1 Present-Future that can be applied both to the actions that are happening or will happen, and 5 Past tenses.

Now with the spells to charm yourself into Persian and magical wizard moves, you are ready to become the Gord of the Rings!

!عالی (Ah-lee) Awesome!

" I couldn't be a more magical article! Like me now! "

Read more about Persian and other languages at

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