Damascus Gate Arabic

Toronto, Ontario, Canada 

Tel: 647-914-7085

I want (bidd) ّبد

In Modern Standard Arabic to express “want” you use the verb:

 

He wanted [he wants]arād [yurīd][اراد [يريد

In Levantine Arabic it is much easier. You don’t even have you use a verb. All you need to do is use the word بدّ (bidd) and attach different endings to it depending on the subject. The endings are exactly the same as the endings to express possession.

Below is a chart to show what is meant by that. I have written the attached endings in bold:

 

PhraseTransliterationArabic

I wantbiddiبِدّي

You want (to a male)biddakبِدَّك

You want (to a female)biddekبِدّك

He wantsbiddoبِدّه

She wantsbiddhaبِدّها

We wantbiddnaبِدّنا

You (plural) wantbiddkomبِدّكم

They (plural) wantbiddhomبِدّهم

As you can see, its pretty easy. Here are some examples about wanting a Shawarma – transliterated as šawarma (a common Middle Eastern street food):

I want shawarmabiddi šawarma بِدّي شاورمة

You (male) want shawarmabiddak šawarma بِدّك شاورمة

You (female) want shawarmabiddek šawarma بِدّك شاورمة

He wants shawarmabiddo šawarma بِدّه شاورمة

She wants shawarmabiddha šawarma بِدّها شاورمة

We want shawarmabiddna šawarmaبِدّنا شاورمة

You (plural) want shawarmabiddkom šawarma بِدّكم شوارما

They (plural) want shawarmabiddhom šawarma بِدّهم شوارما

To say you DON’T want something, just add the word ma before bidd.

I don’t want shawarmama biddi šawarmaما بِدّي شاورمة

You don’t (m) want shawarmama biddak šawarmaما بِدّك شاورمة

You don’t (f) want shawarmama biddek šawarmaما بِدّك شاورمة

He doesn’t want shawarmama biddo šawarmaما بِدّه شاورمة

She doesn’t want shawarmama biddha šawarmaما بِدّها شاورمة

We don’t shawarmama biddna šawarmaما بِدّنا شاورمة

You (pl) don’t want shawarmama biddkom šawarmaما بِدّكم شوارما

They (pl) don’t want shawarmama biddhom šawarmaما بِدّهم شوارما

It is also pretty common, but not essential, when negating bidd, for people to attach the suffix –sh. This style is widely used by many Levantine Arabic speakers, particularly in Israel/PA Territories and Jordan. However, it is considered more rough sounding than by just using ma to negate.

You should also know that you will hear some people negate bidd by using only the sh suffix (leaving out ma).
 Ex. Biddish – I don’t want.

I don’t want shawarmama biddīš šawarmaما بِدّيش شاورمة

You don’t (m) want shawarmama biddakš (or ma bidkāš) šawarmaما بِدّكش شاورمة

You don’t (f) want shawarmama biddekš (or ma bidkīš) šawarmaما بِدّكش شاورمة

He doesn’t want shawarmama biddoš šawarmaما بِدُش شاورمة

She doesn’t want shawarmama biddhāš šawarmaما بِدّهاش شاورمة

We don’t shawarmama biddnāš šawarmaما بِدّناش شاورمة

You (pl) don’t want shawarmama biddkomš šawarmaما بِدّكمش شوارما

They (pl) don’t want shawarmama biddhomš šawarmaما بِدّهمش شوارما

Just to review, you can negate bidd in 3 ways, using only ma before, using only sh after, or using both. The best and most versatile choice is to use only ma because its not only widely used and understood, but it sounds the most educated out of the three.

How do you express want in Levantine Arabic? It is much easier than Modern Standard Arabic where you have to use quite a complicated verb:

He wanted

arād

اراد

He wants

yurīd

يُريد

In Levantine Arabic it is much easier. You don’t even have you use a verb. All you need to do is use the word بدّ (bidd) and attach different endings to it depending on the subject. The endings are exactly the same as the endings to express possession.

Below is a chart to show what is meant by that. I have written the attached endings in bold:

Word/Phrase
Transliteration
Arabic

I want

biddi

بِدّي

You want (mascunline)

biddak

بِدَّك

You want (feminine)

biddek

بِدِّك

He wants

biddo

بِدُّه

She wants

bidd

بِدّها

We want

bidd

بِدّنا

You want (plural)

biddkom

بِدّكُم

They want

biddhom

بِدّهُم