Verbs are a necessary part of any language, they communicate action. They tell you what the subject has done, is doing, or is about to do. Verbs carry so much meaning, and because of this, they can be very complex. Kurdish verbs are no exception. It will take many hours of study for a student to master the Kurdish verb set, so what you see here is only to give you a taste of the richness and depth that will follow when you decide to pour your efforts into studying Sorani Kurdish.

There are three main verb categories in Kurdish: Simple, Compound, and Split. What this means practically is how other grammatical parts of a sentence interact with the different verb types. Below you can see the infinitive (un-conjugated) form of each of these categories. Don’t worry if you don’t understand how they are different just yet, you must see them in context first.

English (Sorani) سۆرانی Audio
Simple To take بردن
Compound To put down دانان
Split To look (at) / Watch سه‌یر كردن

To understand how the verb types behave differently here is a simple sentence with each. Note the verb constituent is highlighted in blue.

English (Sorani) سۆرانی Audio
Simple I took the cup كوپه‌كه‌م برد
Compound I had put it down دامـنابوو
Split I looked at / watched you من سه‌یری تۆم كرد

The three verb categories differ in how they behave when conjugated, mainly where different grammatical constituents are placed.

  • Simple verbs do not split apart, and different grammatical elements can be attached to the beginning of the verb or to the end of the verb.
  • Compound verbs can be split and pronouns can be placed between the first and second half. Compound verbs usually begin with -هه‌ڵ-، دا-، ڕا
  • Split verbs can also be split like compound verbs, but more grammatical elements can be placed in between. Objects also find their way in between split verbs, as in the above example “you – تۆ”

Verbs in Sorani also behave differently depending on tense. You can learn more about this in the Tense section.