Meanings of منذ

رِحْلة

root: ر-ح-ل / noun / plural: رِحلات / definition: a trip


My mini summer getaway is just around the corner… and my dissertation deadline is almost just as close. I’ll try not to stress just yet, but with roughly 10,000 words left to write, I’m sure that the adrenaline will come in handy when I need to type my way to the finish line.

Like me, the word مُنذُ has a lot going on. It can be translated as “since”, “ago”, or “for” (…or “from” or “in”) depending on the context and the tense of the verb it relates to.

So I think the easiest way to get to know this little word and understand how to translate it is to see it in context.

With the present tense

When we use منذ with a present tense verb, we translate the verb using “have”/”has” and منذ is usually translated as “for“.

أَسكُنُ هُنا مُنذُ خَمسِ سَنَوات

I have lived here for five years

Note that منذ is a preposition, so the following noun is مجرور.

And if you’re wondering why the number five is written as خمس rather than خمسة, check out The Grammar of Using Arabic Numbers!

تَعمَلُ مَعَهُ مُنذُ سِتَّةِ أَشهُر

she has worked with him for six months

But when منذ is followed by a non-specific time period, we can translate it as “since“:

يُحِبُّ القِراءَةَ مُنذُ صِغَرِهِ

he has loved reading since he was little

With the past tense

When we use منذ with the past tense, منذ can be translated in a number of ways: “for”, “since”, “ago”, “in”, and “from”. The right choice will be obvious from the context.

اِتَّصَلتُ بِها مُنذُ ثَلاثَةِ أَيّام

I called her three days ago

لَم أَرَهُ مُنذُ عِدَّةِ أَسابيع

I haven’t seen him for/in a few weeks

لِأَوَّلِ مَرَّةٍ مُنذُ اِندِلاعِ الحَربِ، زاروا عائِلَتَهُم

for the first time since the war broke out, they visited their families

لِأَوَّلِ مَرَّةٍ مُنذُ أَربَعِ سَنَواتٍ، عانَقتُه

for the first time in four years, I hugged him

مُنذُ مَطلَعِ السِّتّيناتِ حَتَّى نِهايةِ الثَّمانينات، عَمِلَ في نَفسِ الشَّرِكة

from the beginning of the 60s until the end of the 80s, he worked in the same company

I think that we as Arabic students have it quite easy really, just one word in Arabic for all of these different ones in English!

That’s all for this week, في أمان الله!


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