The verb هم/يهم

If you plan on learning Arabic, especially colloquial, then it’s important to know the verb هم/يهم (hemm/ihemm) as you’ll be hearing it pretty frequently. Among its many definitions are to worry, to concern, to matter, to interest. In terms of the verb conjugations, you can note the present and past tenses below

أنا أهم/هميت (ahemm/hemeyt)

أنت تهم/هميت (inta tehemm/hemeyt)

إنتي تهمي/ هميتي (inti tehemmi/hemeyti)

هو يهم/هم (huwa ihemm/hemm)

هي تهم/همت (heya tehemm/hemmat)

إحنا نهم/همينا (i7na nehemm/hemeynaa)

إنتو تهمو/ هميتو (intu tehemmu/hemmeytu)

هم يهمو/همو (hum yehemmu/hemmu)

One phrase that you’ll certainly here in any Arabic speaking country will be:

ولا يهمك (wala ihemmuk), meaning “don’t worry”. It is the colloquial equivalent of MSA’s “لا تقلق”. Also note that you would say the word as if the “ي” was silent (ihemmuk rather than yihemmuk).

هادا إللي بهمنا (haada illy behemmnaa) translates to “that’s what worries us”. The sentence is pretty straight forward; don’t forget that إللي is the colloquial equivalent to الذي or التي.

المبارات ما بتهمني (il-mubaaraat ma bet-hemmni) translates to “the sports games don’t really interest me”. Again, pretty straight forward. Alternatively, you could also say “المبارات ما بتهمنيش”, which would have the same meaning, only adding a “ش” at the end.

بهمش (bihemmish) translates to simply “it’s not important” or “it doesn’t matter”. You can use it with a sentence such as بهمش أتدخل؟ (bihemmish atadakhul) which is asking “may I get a word in?” Note that the literal translation is “it doesn’t matter [if] I interfere?”

Now you’ll rarely see the verb used in the past tense, which pretty much negates the “past” conjugations above (but it’s still nice to know!). When you’re speaking about the past, then you should preface the verb with whatever derivative of “كان” that’s grammatically correct.

كان يهمني (kaan ihemmny) translates to “it used to interest me” or “it used to worry me”.

كان الوضع يهمها (kaan ilwaD3a yehemmha) translates to “the situation used to worry her”.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!


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