Imperative In Moroccan Arabic

In this lesson, we will talk about the imperative in Moroccan Arabic, and how to use it in both positive and negative forms.

Imperative In Moroccan Arabic

The Imperative In Moroccan Arabic

To form the positive imperative in Moroccan Arabic, we drop ka/ta and the prefix -t from the singular and plural “you” pronouns in the present tense.

Example: ktb (write)

You (masc. sing.)Katktb / كتكتبktb! / كتب
You (fem. sing.)Katktbi / كتكتبيktbi! / كتبي
You (plural)Katktbo / كتكتبوKtbo! / كتبو

Example: gls (to sit)

You (masc. sing.)Katgls / كتجلسgls! / جلس
You (fem. sing.)Katglsi / كتجلسيglsi! / جلسي
You (plural)Katglso / كتجلسوglso! / جلسو

Example: msha (to go)

You (masc. sing.)Katmshi / كتمشيmshi! / مشي
You (fem. sing.)Katmshi / كتمشيmshi! / مشي
You (plural)Katmshw / كتمشيوmshiw! / مشيو

In some areas in Morocco, people use Mshi! Mshiw! but in the majority of areas, you will hear Sir! Siri! Siro! instead (only in the positive form!), so this is something to keep in mind.

Example: gal (to say)

You (masc. sing.)Katgul / كتقولgul! / قول
You (fem. sing.)Katguli / كتقوليguli! / قولي
You (plural)Katgulo / كتقولوgulo! / قولو

Example: kla (to eat)

Kul is an irregular verb also in the imperative form:

You (masc. sing.)Katakul / كتاكلkul! / اكل
You (fem. sing.)Katakli / كتاكليkuli! / اكلي
You (plural)Kataklo / كتاكلوkulo! / اكلو

Example: ja (to come)

Notice how the irregular ja requires adding A in the beginning:

You (masc. sing.)Katji / كتجيaji! / اجي
You (fem. sing.)Katji / كتجيaji! / اجي
You (plural)Katjw / كتجيوajiw! / اجيو

Note: you can practice what you’ve learned here, and learn how to pronounce each of the words in our Memrise course here, don’t know how to use the platform or sign up? we’ve got you covered in this easy-to-follow tutorial here.

The Negative Imperative In Darija

Similar to what we talked about in the lesson about negation, the negative imperative will have the markers mat- and -sh with the positive imperative in between:

Example: ktb (write)

PronounPresentNegative Imperative
You (masc. sing.)Katktb / كتكتبmatktbsh! / متكتبش
You (fem. sing.)Katktbi / كتكتبيmatktbish! / متكتبيش
You (plural)Katktbo / كتكتبوmatktbosh! / متكتبوش

Example: gls (to sit)

PronounPresentNegative Imperative
You (masc. sing.)Katgls / كتجلسmatglssh! / متجلسش
You (fem. sing.)Katglsi / كتجلسيmatglsish! / متجلسيش
You (plural)Katglso / كتجلسوmatglsosh! / متجلسوش

Example: msha (to go)

PronounPresentNegative Imperative
You (masc. sing.)Katmshi / كتمشيmatmshish! / متمشيش
You (fem. sing.)Katmshi / كتمشيmatmshish! / متمشيش
You (plural)Katmshw / كتمشيوmatmshiwsh! / متمشيوش

There is no matsirsh, matsirish, matsirosh!

Example: gal (to say)

PronounPresentNegative Imperative
You (masc. sing.)Katgul / كتقولmatgulsh! / متقولش
You (fem. sing.)Katguli / كتقوليmatgulish! / متقوليش
You (plural)Katgulo / كتقولوmatgulosh! / متقولوش

Example: kla (to eat) -irregular-

PronounPresentNegative Imperative
You (masc. sing.)Katakul / كتاكلmatakulsh! / متاكلش
You (fem. sing.)Katakli / كتاكليmataklish! / متاكليش
You (plural)Kataklo / كتاكلوmataklosh! / متاكلوش

Example: ja (to come) -irregular-

PronounPresentNegative Imperative
You (masc. sing.)Katji / كتجيmatjish! / متجيش
You (fem. sing.)Katji / كتجيmatjish! / متجيش
You (plural)Katjw / كتجيوmatjiwsh! / متجيوش

Happy learning!

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