Hieroglyphs tutorial; Past and Present tense

The endings of verbs are always;

  • “y” for the singular personal verbs (“I”)
  • “k” for second person singular male verbs (you)
  • “T” (tj) for second person singular female verbs (you)
  • “f” for third person singular masculine verbs (he)
  • “s” for third person singular verbs
  • “n” for first person plural verbs (we)
  • “Tn” (tjn) for second person plural verbs
  • “sn” for third person plural verbs

Present tense

The present tense uses the standard stem of each class of verb (see verb stems) with the endings listed above. For example, the present tense of the verb sDm (to hear) is as follows;

I hearsDm.ksDm.k
You (masc) hearsDm.TsDm.T
You (fem) hearsDm.fsDm.f
He (it) hearssDm.ssDm.s
She (it) hearssDm.nsDm.n
We hearsDm.TnsDm.Tn
You hearsDm.snsDm.sn
They hear

Past Tense

The past tense is often known as the “sDm.n(=f)” (or “sedjemenef”) tense as this is the form used to write the first person singular (ie “he”) of the standard strong verb (“sDm” – “to hear”). The “n” is separated from the verb stem by a dot to show that it is the verbal ending and not part of the stem.

The stem of strong, weak and extra weak verbs remains unchanged, but the last consonant of doubling verbs is sometimes omitted.

Strong verbssDm.n=(f)sDm.n=(f)
he heardDoubled verbsmA.n=(f)mA.n=(f)
he sawWeak verbsmr.n=(f)mr.n=(f)
he lovedExtra weak verbsrdi.n=(f)rdi.n=(f)
he gave, he placed

The “sDm.n=f” form is often preceded by an auxilliary word such as “iw”. This term is not translated as there is no equivalent in English. The term is most often found in recorded speech as it implies an involvement in the events being described.

(auxiliary term)iw Hbs.n=i HAyiw Hbs.n=i HAy
I clothed the naked

Hieroglyphs Resources

copyright J Hill 2010