The perfective past indicative tense describes a single completed occurrence (→ perfective aspect) in the past, which is based on the known state of affairs (→ indicative mood). This Persian tense is called “past simple” in other grammar references. However, it has perfective aspect and contrasts with imperfective past tense. In traditional terms, this tense can be referred to as “aorist”. English “past simple” is not exclusively used to express perfective aspect and therefore, it is not an exact equivalent of Persian’s perfective past. For example, in the sentence “I ran every morning” it expresses the imperfective aspect whereas Persian has a difference tense for this aspect.


The perfective past tense is formed according to the following pattern:


Simple verbs

1S رفتم
I went
2S رفتی
You went
3S رفت
He/She/It went
1P رفتیم
We went
2P رفتید
You went
3P رفتند
They went

Compound verbs

1S کار کردم
kâr kardam
I worked
2S کار کردی
kâr kardi
You worked
3S کار کرد
kâr kard
He/She/It worked
1P کار کردیم
kâr kardim
We worked
2P کار کردید
kâr kardid
You worked
3P کار کردند
kâr kardand
They worked

Negative conjugation

The negative form of perfective past is constructed by prefixing ن (“na”) to past stem.

1S نرفتم
I did not go
2S نرفتی
You did not go
3S نرفت
He/She/It did not go
1P نرفتیم
We did not go
2P نرفتید
You did not go
3P نرفتند
They did not go
1S کار نکردم
kâr nakardam
I did not work
2S کار نکردی
kâr nakardi
You did not work
3S کار نکرد
kâr nakard
He/She/It did not work
1P کار نکردیم
kâr nakardim
We did not work
2P کار نکردید
kâr nakardid
You did not work
3P کار نکردند
kâr nakardand
They did not work


دیروز صبح، علی را دیدم
Diruz sobh, Ali râ didam
I saw Ali yesterday morning
پارسال، به ایران سفر کردم
Pârsâl, be Irân safar kardam
Last year, I traveled to Iran
ماشینش را شست
Mâšin-aš râ šost
She washed her car
جلسه نزدیک دو ساعت طول کشید
Jalase nazdik-e do sâat tul kešid
The meeting lasted about two hours