Never have I ever

During a recent Darija lesson, I learned the construction “ما عمّرني” meaning “I have never….” It uses the base word عمّر meaning to fill, with a suffix in agreement with the person (thus, for “I” (first person singular) the suffix is “ني”). Sentences are then constructed by adding the verb you have never done in its completed form (conjugated in agreement with the person). To demonstrate, in order to say “I have never yelled,” we will start with “ما عمّرني” and then finish with yell in its past first person singular form, “غوت” which gives us: “ما عمّرني غوت”. For an example from an actual Moroccan, I found this post from “Humans of Ifrane.” The subject says, “ما عمرني قريت” I have never studied. Another example discovered via twitter: “ماعمرني شفت شي تلفازة” I have never watched any television.

This grammar construction would be a great way to practice past-tense conjugation and agreement. Naturally, you can use this construction for other forms than the first person singular (I/me). These are all of the forms with their respective suffixes:

I have never

ما عمّرني

You have never

ما عمّرك

He has never

ما عمّره\عمّرو

She has never

ما عمّرها

We have never

ما عمّرنا

You (pl.) have never

ما عمّركم

They have never

ما عمّرهم

To make it an affirmative statement (example: I have drunk tea. عمّرني شربت الاتاي), you leave out the ما. To make it a question (example: Have you ever drunk tea? واش عمّرك شربتي الاتاي؟), you add واش to the start.

Here are some further examples found online. Notice how the “action” verb is conjugated in agreement with the person:

I have never watched any television

ماعمّرني شفت شي تلفازة

You have never heard her

ما عمّرك سمعتِها

We have never gone

ما عمّرنا مشينا

You (pl.) have never tried the “Baik” pastries

ما عمركم جربتوا معجنات البيك

They have never visited Spain

ما عمرهم زاروا اسبانيا

The armchair arabist also covered this topic here. Additionally, some kind soul (not me) created a quizlet for practicing.

واش عمّركم قريتوا الدارجة؟

!طبعا

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