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How to use the verb صار in Spoken Levantine Arabic

This is the first post in a new series about the different ways you can use the most common verbs in Spoken Lebanese Arabic so that you can make the most out of learning this verb. See the other posts here.

“Saar” means to happen. However, the meaning can vary according to the word or the preposition that precedes or follows the verb. Also, depending on the contextual words in the sentence, “ Saar” can also mean to become.

Some of the different ways to use Saar..

What happened?

شو  صار؟

What’s happening?

شو  عم  يصير؟

What’s going to happen?

شو  رح  يصير؟

What happened to you?

شو  صَرلَك/ شو  صَرلِك/ شو  صَرلكن؟

How long have you been in Beirut?

قدّيش  صرلَك  بِبيروت؟

How long have you been teaching?

قدّيش  صرلِك  بِتعلّمي؟

How long have you been married?

قدّيش  صرلكن  مجَوزين؟

She started to laugh.

صارت  تضحك.

They started to speak Arabic.

صاروا  يحكو  عربي.

His hair turned all white (became all white).

شَعرُه  صار كلُّه  أبيض.

She is now (she became) important in the company.

صارت  مهمّة  بالشّركة.

Did you see the different ways the meaning changed?

  • When “Saar” is preceded by “2addeish” and followed by a “L” + personal pronoun, it means, “For how long have you (I, we, he, she, they…) been…” Note that the medial long vowel alef disappears in this case.
  • If followed directly by a verb, “Saar” it means to start (an activity)
  • If followed by an adjective, “Saar” means  to become

And here is how it is conjugated…

صار in the past and بصير in the present.

Because the long vowel in the middle changes if the verb is in past or present tense we can tell that it is an irregular verb in the medial weak form. In our Verbs Dictionary in Levantine Colloquial Arabic (for sale at ALPS Beirut or online here) we find the verb and notice that it is Form IC and irregular.

Then in this table we see how Form IC irregular verbs are conjugated in the imperative, present and past tenses. The example verb for Form IC uses the verb jeib (to bring) which conjugates the same way as Saar and serves as a pattern for all verbs of form IC.

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