Today, we're here to shed light on the unique roles of two seemingly similar words: 'هست' (hast) and 'است' (ast).
They're both conjugated form of the verb بودن /budan/ "to be" for third person singular.
/Hast/هست tells us whether something exists or is present. It's like a spotlight, shining on the things around us and confirming their existence.
We use 'هست' when we want to say "there is" or "there are(usually with generic nouns*)."
- ماشین هست. /Māshīn hast/ - There is a car.
- در یخچال آب هست. dar yakhchāl āb hast/ - There is water in the fridge.
Think of this word as the identity checker. It tells us "what is." It's like introducing someone at a party – it lets us know who or what something is. We use 'است' to describe qualities, states, or conditions.
- او پزشک است. (Ū pezeshk ast.) - He/she is a doctor.
- آسمان آبی است. (Āsmān ābī ast.) - The sky is blue.
The Distinction: Here's the magic: 'هست' (hast) focuses on existence, while 'است' (ast) unveils identity. Remember, 'هست' is all about things being there, like a detective confirming a presence. On the other hand, 'است' is about revealing the essence of something, unveiling its true nature.
Negation: The negated version of both 'هست' and 'است' is the same: 'نیست' (nist). So when something doesn't exist or is not there, you'll use 'نیست' with both verbs.
- While 'هست' (hast) can stand alone, 'است' (ast) often joins hands with another word, like "پزشک است" (pezeshk ast) – "is a doctor." The two create a dynamic duo, revealing the true identity of the subject.
Descriptive Nature of 'است': 'است' (ast) acts as a descriptive verb, linking the subject to its description. This is why it answers questions about how something is. It's your key to describing qualities and conditions.
In Spoken Persian:
In spoken Persian, you'll mostly find a shortened form of 'است' (ast), frequently represented as '-e' at the end of a word. However, 'هست' (hast) remains unchanged in both spoken and written Persian.
«اسم من شیرین است.» (Spoken: /esm-e man Shirin-e/اسم من شیرینه) translates to "My name is Shirin."
«او بچه است.».(Spoken:/un bacheast/ اون بچهست.) translates to "he/she's a child."
However, /hast/هست remains unchanged:
در کتابحانهی من کتاب هست. spoken: /tu ketābkhune-ye man ketāb hast/ translates to: "My library there are books."
So, there you have it. In a nutshell, 'هست' /hast/ and 'است' /ast/ team up to tell us if something is present (existence) and what it truly is (identity).
Stay curious and keep exploring the beauty of the Persian language. Until next time!
*A generic noun is a noun that is used to refer to a whole class of things (or people, places, etc.). For instance, saying در خانهی من کتاب هست./tu khuneye man KetAb hast/