Drinking always, drinking never, or just drinking

Today I learned how to say that one either always or never drinks something.

ma bishrab shay abidan. I never drink tea.
bishrab ahweh daa’iman. I always drink coffee.

Great! But when I was taught how to say that “I would like to drink tea,” the main verb for “to drink” was slightly different:

b’7eb ishrab shay.

I realize that in Eastern Arabic (Levantine, Shami, Palestinian, etc) the ‘b’ at the beginning of a verb is the “I” (1st person singular) indicator. Does it travel to the front helping verbs like 7eb if used in conjunction? So IOW, if a verb is by itself, it takes the ‘b’ at the beginning. Right?

And if that’s the case, then why am I learning other verbs like ruu7 (I go) that don’t take a ‘b’ at all?

Thanks, as always.


2 thoughts on “Drinking always, drinking never, or just drinking”

  1. The ‘b’ at the beginning of the verb is just a marker for the present/future indicative. The form without the ‘b’ marker is the subjunctive form. Syrian Arabic doesn’t really have an infinitive form so the subjunctive is used instead. Think of it like saying “I would like that I drink tea” instead of “I would like to drink tea.” The same goes for all persons, so you would say biddak truu7 (you want that you go, ie. you want to go) vs. bitruu7 (you go, you’re going).

  2. Hey Miguel – thanks again. One bit of clarification:

    “we drink” in present/future indicative is nishrab, right? How, then, do you say “we like that we drink”? You don’t remove the ‘n’, right? Or do you?

    It’s becoming clearer, but there’s still a bit of mud. 🙂

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