The word ba'a بـَقى

You will often hear the word ba'a بـَقى in Egyptian conversation. The normal translation 'to become' is only very approximate: here are some examples that show the range of possible meanings.

to become

This is the normal translation of ba'a بـَقى:

television has become really boring
iltilifizyoon fiAlan ba'a mumill
ا ِلتـِلـِفـِزيون فـِعلاً بـَقى مـُمـِلّ

Starting and stopping

You can use ba'a بـَقى when you start, stop or change some habitual activity. Used like this, it is a modal, and so you follow it with a verb in the imperfect form.

I started to drink juice
ba'eet 'ashrab AaSeer
بـَقيت أشر َب عـَصير

If you negate ba'a بـَقى, it implies that you stopped something:

I stopped smoking cigarettes
maaba'itsh 'ashrab sagaayar
ما َبـَقـِتش أشر َب سـَجا َيـَر

You can express a change in some activity- from one thing to another, by saying what you used to do and then using ba'a بـَقىfor what you have started to do:

I used to drink coffee but I have started to drink juice [instead]
kunt bashrab 'ahwa wa ba'eet 'ashrab AaSeer
كـُنت با َشر َب قـَهو َة و َ بـَقيت أشر َب عـَصير

You can tell somebody to stop doing something by using a negative imperative:

stop being devious with people
maatib'aesh waaTi maAa ilnaes
ما َتـِبقا َش وا َطي مـَع َ ا ِلنا َس

Usual state or outcome

You can use biyi'ba بـِيـِقبى with words like Aaedan عا َد َةً and Gaelban غا َلـِباً suggest how things usually or probably are.

usually the beach is empty on Sunday
Aaedan ilshaT' biyib'a faaDi yoom il'ahad
عا َد َةً ا ِلشا َطئ بـِيـِبقى فا َضي يوم ا ِلأحـَد

Hypothetical future...

You can suggest how things could or might be using hayib'a هـَيـِبقى

as long as you go to work, you will have money
Tool ma 'inta bitirooh ilshuGl, haeyib'a maAaak filoos
طول ما َ إنت َ بـِتـِروح ا ِلشـُغل، ها َيـِبقى مـَعا َك فـِلوس

You can suggest how things might have been using kaen hayib'a كا َن هـَيـِبقى

things would have been different if Naaser were alive
ilhagaet kaenit hatib'a muKtallifa law naaSir kaenit Aaeyish
ا ِلحا َجا َت كا َنـِت هـَتـِبقى مـُختـَلّـِفـَة لـَو نا َصـِر كا َنـِت عا َيـِش

the duration of a situation

I have been in Egypt for five years
ba'a li Kamas sineen fi maSr
بـَقى لي خـَمـَس سـِنين في مـَصر

to say when something will happen

the workshop will take place at 5 on friday
ilwarsha hayib'a maAadha Kamsa yoom ilKamees
ا ِلو َرشـَة هـَيـِبقى مـَعا َدها َ خـَمسـَة يوم ا ِلخـَميس

Mike Green 09Oct2015

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