; An English Guide to Classic Qur'anic Arabic: 8.4 – Imperfect Tense Specific to Future Tense


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8.4 – Imperfect Tense Specific to Future Tense

Section 8.4 – Imperfect Tense Specific to Future Tense


In Arabic two Particles are used for future when applied to Imperfect Tense فِعْلِ الْمُضَارِعِ:


1- (سَ sa) is used to express near future, as in أَذْهَبُ إِلَى الْعَمَلِ غَدًا adh-habu ilal ama-li gha-danmeans “I go to work tomorrow or I will go to work tomorrow”. Now adding (سَ  sa) to أَذْهَبُ az-ha-bu, (سَأَذْهَبُ  sa-az-ha-bu) means “I will go, to work (الْعَمَلُ al-ama-lu) tomorrow (غَدًا gha-dan). So, if you want to indicate that something will happen in near future (mus-taq-bil qareeb) or after a short period and you're sure of it happening, then use (سَ sa).


2- (سَوْفَ saw-fa) as in سَوْفَ أُسافِرُ إِلٰى مِصَرَ saw-fa u-saa-fi-ruilaa mis-a-ra means I will travel to Egypt this summer. It is used to express something 1) that will happen after a long time (mustaqbilbayeed) and you are not sure that it will be done or you have a doubt or 2) it has already been done that it will definitely occur but after a long time.


Other examples:


1) تَعْلَمُوْنَ  ta-la-moona means you know or you will know. When سَوْفَ  saw-fa is added سَوْفَ تَعْلَمُوْنَ  saw-fa ta-la-moo-na, then meaning becomes “soon you will know”. سَوْفَ  saw-faa also adds the meaning of soon implying the future. Says SWT in Surah At-Takaathour - Verse 3 كَلَّا سَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ kal-la saw-fa ta-la-moo-na meaning “definitely not (meaning of كَلَّا  kal-la) you will surely know”.


2) Now, تَعْلَمُوْنَ  ta-la-moona can also be futurized by adding alphabet س  seen with a fathah (َ) as in سَتَعْلَمُونَ  sa-ta-la-moo-nawhich also means soon you will know. Says SWT in Surah Al-Mulk, Verse 17فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ كَيْفَ نَذِيرِ  fa-sa-ta-la-moona kai-fa na-dh-eer which means “And you will come to know what my warning means”. Alphabet (فَ  fa) here is the additive Particle meaning “And”.





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