Unlike English and many other languages, Arabic uses specific verbs to denote that one is eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Native English speakers might have a tendency to translate a sentence like “I want to eat breakfast” similar to how they would say the phrase in English, “بدي أكل الفطور”. As you know from previous posts, بدي (biddee) means “I want”, أكل (akl) means “I eat”, and الفطور (al-fiToor) means “breakfast”. It might make sense from an English language syntax, however in Arabic, the word for “eat breakfast” would be أفطر/ يفطر (yifTar/afTar).
To have breakfast:
أنا أفطر/أفطرت (ana afTar/afTaret)
أنت تفطر/أفطرت (inta tifTar/afTaret)
إنتي تفطري/افطرتي (inti tifTari/afTarti)
هو يفطر/أفطر (huwa yifTar/afTar)
هي تفطر/أفطرت (heya tifTar/afTarat)
إحنا نفطر/ افطرنا (iHna nifTar/afTarna)
إنتو تفطرو/افطرتو (intu tifTaru/afTartu)
يفطرو/أفطرو (hum yifTaru/afTaru)
افطرت ولا لا؟ (afTaret wala la?) translates to “did you eat breakfast yet?”
اليوم أفطرت بكير (alyom afTaret bakeer) translates to “I had breakfast early today”.
إفطر معي (ifTar ma3y) translates to “Come have breakfast with me.” In this particular instance, the verb is a command and thus it is pronounced “ifTar” as opposed to “afTar”.
To have lunch:
أنا أتغدى/تغديت (ana atghadda/tghaddayt)
أنت تتغدى/تغديت (inta titghadda/tghaddayt)
إنتي تتغدي/تغديتي (inti titghaddi/tghaddayti)
هو يتغدى/تغدى (huwa yitghadda/tghadda)
هي تتغدى/تغدت (heya titghadda/tghaddat)
إحنا نتغدى/تغدينا (iHna nitghadda/tghaddayna)
إنتو تتغدو/تغديتو (intu titghaddu/tghaddaytu)
يتغدو/تغدو (hum yitghaddu/tghaddu)
وين تغديت مبارح؟ (wayn tghaddayt imbaari7?) translates to “Where did you have lunch yesterday?” The translation is pretty self-explanatory. وين is the Palestinian/Jordanian equivalent of Modern Standard Arabic’s أين.
بدك تتغدي معي؟ (bidduck titghadda ma3y?) translates to “Do you want to get lunch with me?”
To have dinner:
أنا أتعشى/تعشيت (ana at3asha/t3ashayt)
أنت تتعشى/تعشيت (inta tit3asha/t3ashayt)
إنتي تتعشي/تعشيتي (inti tit3ashi/t3ashayti)
هو يتعشى/تعشى (huwa yita3sha/t3asha)
هي تتعشى/تعشت (heya tit3asha/t3ashat)
إحنا نتعشى/تعشينا (iHna nit3asha/t3ashayna)
إنتو تتعشو/تعشيتو (intu tit3ashu/t3ashaytu)
يتعشو/تعشو (hum yit3ashu/t3ashu)
تعشيت عندهم (t3ashayt 3indhum) translates to either “I ate dinner with them” or “he ate dinner with them”. The context in which this is spoken will determine which pronoun is used.
بدي أتعشى هسا (biddee at3asha hessa) translates to “I want to eat dinner now”. Note that the term for now, “هسا”, can be used interchangeably with “هلق” (hella). I’ve noticed that هسا is used pretty frequently in northern Jordan.
One thought on “Verbs for eating breakfast (فطور), lunch (غدا), and dinner (عشا)”
this post is very instructive as the other ones. I really enjoy this website, and I was wondering if you could make a post about “converse with Arabs while having difficulities to understand” and to develop on how to say different expressions like:
Can you explain this word?
I have never heard this word.
What the meaning of … when used with …
Why did you just said … and not …
What is the difference between … and …
Is that an Arabic expression? what does it mean?