Audio with Theyab's pronunciation

Maybe time to ask: mumkin tsaa:d-nii?

When we arrive at the hotel, the receptionist might ask my husband: mumkin asaa:d-ikOr if I'm by myself, the receptionist will address me: mumkin asaa:d-ich?

Or if the receptionist is polite, both husband and wife will be included in his greeting: mumkin asaa:d-kum?

mumkin    =  is it possible / can
asaa:d       =  I help 
ik              =  you (male)
ich            =  you (female)
kum          =  you (plural)

Hotel Missoni, Kuwait

If I need to go to reception and I ask a question, the phrase must be turned around. Instead of the "I" form of the verb asaa:d (which means "I help") I have to use the "you" form of the verb, which is going to change its spelling depending on whether the receptionist is a man, a woman, or a group of receptionists.

mumkin   =  is it possible / can
tsaa:d       =  you help (to a male)
tsaa:diin   = you help (to a female)
tsaa:duun = you help (to many)
nii            =  me 

This question is a simple sentence: mumkin + verb + possessive. So let's try a longer sentence on the theme of help. How do you say: "my book helps me to learn Arabic"? 

kitaab-ii ysaa:d-nii at:allam :arabii 

(my book he helps me I learn Arabic)

When making sentences, verbs in Arabic work differently to their English equivalents. There are no infinitives - every verb is in the present tense. So whereas in English you'd say of the book "it helps me to learn," in Arabic you'd say "he helps me I learn."

In Arabic, all nouns are either masculine or feminine. Which means when you describe a noun, using a verb, you have to refer to it as he or she, even if your talking about a book. Every last noun has a gender. You will never look at a book the same way again. Another similar sentence:

mudarist-ii tsaa:d-nii at:allam :arabii

(my [female] teacher she helps me I learn Arabic)

My teacher helps me learn Arabic. Actually my teacher is male, a mudaris, but I used the female equivalent, mudarisah just for the above example. 

For the diehards, here is the present conjugation of the verb "to help". The good news is that most Arabic verbs are very regular, with few exceptions, so the way this verb is conjugated is very similar to how other verbs are conjugated, as the coming days will reveal:

asaa:d I help
tsaa:d You help (m)
tsaa:diin You help (f)
tsaa:duun You help (pl)
nsaa:d We help
ysaa:d He helps
tsaa:d She helps
يساعدون ysaa:duun They help