You are on page 1of 8

128 Moroccan Arabic

At the Post Office

The Post Office

Objective: By the end of the chapter, you will be able to: buy stamps and send letters and parcels use prepositions correctly with verbs
Stamps are available at tobacco stores in addition to the post office. It is best to mail your letters at the mail slot outside the post office since pick-ups can be infrequent at other mail boxes. When sending packages out of the country, you are required to fill out a customs declaration form. Be sure to leave the package open because an official is required to see the contents before it is sealed.

post office envelope letter stamp stamps registered letter postman post box box (for a package)

l-bosta jwa bra tanbr tnabr bra rikomandi l-faktur

ladrisa address post card l-unwan

kart ppostal

money order l-manda package normal express customs tape glue kulya

ixpres d-diwana s-skot

bwat ppostal kartona



to send to paste to fill in (a form)

sift lssq mmr

to close / seal to receive


twssl b


I want a stamp for the US / Morocco please. I want to send this letter / this package. How much will I pay to send this...? How much time will it take for it to arrive to ... ? Why dont letters arrive quickly?

bit wad t-tanbr dyal mirikan / l-mrib afak. bit n-sift had l-bra / had l-kulya. bal ... ?

/ . /

adi n-sift had

... .


al d l-wqt kay-xs ba t-wsl l ... ?

la l-brawat

Peace Corps / Morocco 129

ma-kay-wslu- diya.

f l-bosta Judy: bit t-tnabr, lla y-xllik. l-muwddaf: fin adya t-sifti l-brawat? Judy: bit n-sift wda adiya l mirikan u wda rikumandi hna f l-mrib. l-muwddaf: waxxa a lalla, ndk 22.50 drhm. Paul: ana bit n-sift kulya l mirikan. l-muwddaf: ara n-uf nu fiha. Paul: hak a sidi. l-muwddaf: mmr had l-mtbu afak.
. . : : : . . . . .

: : : : :

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ l-muwddaf: we t-siftha adi wlla ixpres? Paul:

: : :

ir adi afak.

l-muwddaf: waxxa a sidi, ndk 250 drhm. Paul & Judy: ukran, bslama. l-muwddaf: lla y-awn. 1. nu kat-dir Judy f l-bosta? 2. we bat t-sift l-brawat ixpres? 3. nu ba y-sift Paul? 4. nu xssu y-dir?

. .

: :

.1 .2 .3 .4

Exercise: Make as many sentences as you can using the following words. You may need to add some of your own words.
mit ma mat mina mau mitu l l-bosta la bau bina ra af xda

kulya tnabr mirikan

qqa bit
bat ba bitu

sift srf

bwat ppostal

130 Moroccan Arabic

Using Prepositions with Pronoun Endings & Verbs

Learning how to use prepositions correctly can sometimes be tricky. First, the prepositions dont always correspond directly to English prepositions . Thus, at different times in Moroccan Arabic we will use different prepositions for what would be the same preposition in English. Second, prepositions sometimes change in meaning depending upon the verb they are used with. This is true in English, too: She spoke on the rights of homeless people. (on means on the subject of) I put the book on the table. (on means on top of) With these challenges, it may take awhile for you to be a master of Darija prepositions. But with continued use and exposure, they will become natural for you, just as greetings are now natural for you. In this section, we will look at two aspects of prepositions: 1. how to connect prepositions with pronoun endings, and 2. which verbs use certain prepositions. Some prepositions you have already learned (such as dyal) simply add the normal pronoun endings (ex. dyali, dyalk, etc.). The following prepositions, however, change slightly when pronoun endings are added:
to / for on / about with in / at / about with / by
The Preposition l The preposition l ( ) often means

ma f b

to (ex. I gave something to you) or for (ex. I did something for you). It may also be used with certain verbs simply to express the meaning of the verb; in these cases, it doesnt translate into anything in English. To add the pronoun endings:
to / for to / for me to / for you (sing.) to / for him to / for her to / for us to / for you (plur.) to / for them l liya / li lik lih / lu liha lina likum lihum

/ /

Some verbs that go with this preposition:

excuse sm l send (to)

sift (l)

( )

Peace Corps / Morocco 131

explain (to) say (to)

fssr (l) gal (l)

( ) ( )

bring (to) to be possible (for...)

jab (l) ymkn (l)

( ) ( )

Some examples:
Kristin sent a letter to Chad. Kristin sent a letter to him. Thomas bought a present for Jessica on her birthday. Thomas bought it for her. Excuse me. Can I (i.e. is it possible for me) talk with you? Kristin l Chad. Kristin

siftat bra

. .

siftat bra lih. Thomas ra wad l-kadu l Jessica f id l-milad

dyalha. Thomas rah liha. sm liya. we ymkn liya n-hdr mak?

. . .

I cant (i.e. it is not possible for me) go out ma-ymkn- liya n-xrj deba. now.

As you can see in the example Excuse me above, sometimes the Arabic verb requires the preposition in order to be equivalent to the English verb. In these cases, the English translation doesnt have a preposition, but the Arabic still requires it. The Preposition la The preposition la is used with many verbs and expressions, and as a result it translates into many English prepositions, including: on, about, to, at, and others. With pronoun endings:
on (and others) on me on you (sing.) on him on her on us on you (plur.) on them

la liya lik lih liha lina likum lihum

Some verbs that go with this preposition:

defend look/search (for) speak (about) daf

( )

lie (to) laugh (at) to love (i.e. to be dying for)

kdb (la)

qllb (la) tkllm (la)

dk (la)
mat (la)

132 Moroccan Arabic

la does not have an English translation since it is required in order to translate the Arabic verb into defend. In the second verb, look/search, however, the preposition la is basically equivalent to the English for. Some examples:
In the first verb, defend, the preposition

Did we talk about the role of Peace Corps in Morocco? Yes, we talked about it. Are you looking for a house to rent? Yes, Im looking for one. I love (am dying for) pizza. I love it. Dont lie to me. Hes laughing at me.

we tkllmna la d-dawr dyal hay'at s-salam f l-mrib? iyeh, tkllmna l-kra? iyeh, kan-qllb kan-mut kan-mut

lih. we kat-qllb la dar l liha.

. .

la l-pitza. liha liya.

ma-tkdb- kay-dk


The Preposition ma

The preposition ma almost always translates into the English with. With pronouns:
with with me with you (sing.) with him with her with us with you (plur.) with them ma maya mak mah maha mana makum mahum

Some verbs that go with this preposition:

laugh (with) be helpful (with) shake hands (with)

dk (ma)
tawn (ma) tsalm (ma)

meet (with) stay (with) argue (with)

tlaqa (ma) bqa (ma)

txasm (ma)

Some examples:
I met (with) Samir in the post office. I met (with) him in the post office. tlaqit ma Samir f l-bosta. tlaqit mah f l-bosta.

Peace Corps / Morocco 133

Im just kidding! (with you) Would you like to come to the movies with me?
The Preposition f

ir kan-dk mak! biti t-mi l s-sinima maya?

Like la, the preposition f has many different English translations, including: in, about, at, on, and others. When used with pronouns:
in in me in you (sing.) in him in her in us in you (plur.) in them f fiya fik fih fiha fina fikum fihum

Some verbs that go with this preposition:

ask (about) think (about) talk (about) a person suwl (f) fkkr (f)

( ) ( ) ( )

participate (in) take care (of) trust (in)

ark (f) thlla (f) taq (f)

( ) ( ) ( )

hdr (f)

Some examples:
I came over (asked about you) yesterday, but I didnt find you. We trusted (in) him, but he betrayed us. Take care of yourself. suwlt fik l-bar, welakin ma-lqitk-. tqna fih, u

. . . . . . .

dr bina.

thlla f rask.

This preposition, with pronouns, can also have the meaning of the verb to be.
I am hungry. I am thirsty. He has a fever. fiya j-ju. fiya l-t. fih s-sxana. had d-dar fiha xmsa d l-byut.

And sometimes it takes the meaning of to have in the expression to have in it/them.
This house has five rooms.

134 Moroccan Arabic

meaning of with (I eat with my hands), but can also be used for: by, in, about, for, and others. With pronouns:
with with me with you (sing.) with him with her with us with you (plur.) with them b biya bik bih biha bina bikum bihum
The Preposition b The preposition b usually has the

Some verbs that go with this preposition:

believe (in) dream (about) be responsible (for) amn (b)

( ) ( ) ( )

marry (with) welcome

tzuwj (b) rb b

( ) ( )

lm (b)
tkllf (b)

want to be sepasxa (b) rated (from)

Some examples:
She married (with) him last year. They welcomed me into their house. I dreamed about him. tzuwjat bih l-am l-li fat. rbu biya f

. . .


lmt bih.

Exercise: Replace the underlined nouns with the corresponding pronouns. Sometimes you will need to use a preposition and pronoun together.
Example: l-qt kla l-ut. 1. Tony rb l-lib. 2. Ahmed ra tumubil. 3. l-mutatawwiin mau l s-suq. 4. Latifa ddat d-drari l l-mdrasa. 5. we nsiti l-magana f d-dar? 6. Greg ta l-flus l Amy. 7. d-drari safru ma sabhum. 8. Sara ma-kat-akul- l-lm. 9. sllm la mwalin d-dar. l-qt klah.

. . .

. .

. .

.1 .2 .3 .4 .5 .6 .7 .8 .9

Peace Corps / Morocco 135

10. Jerry kay-xaf mn Tom.


Exercise: Make all of the above verb forms negative.