Active Participle

: The active participle is kaAtib(un) كاتبٌ fa`ala(t)(un) فَعَلةٌ and fu“aAl(un) فُعّالٌ are common forms for the plural. When derived from a transitive verb, it can take an object, and being a noun, it takes its object in the genitive case. It is obvious that this participle easily passes into a noun or adjective.Passive ParticipleThe passive participle is mak.tuwb(un) مَكْتُوبٌ the plural is makaAtiybu مَكَاتِيبُ. In themselves the participles contain no idea of time.

Passive ParticipleThe passive participle is mak.tuwb(un) مَكْتُوبٌ the plural is makaAtiybu مَكَاتِيبُ. In themselves the participles contain no idea of time.

. There is no fixed form for the infinitive of the simple stem; fa`.l(un) فَعْلٌ is common but the infinitive of each verb has to be learnt. Many verbs of motion have the form fu`uwl(un) فَغَولٌ. As the infinitive is a noun, it can govern a genitive which may be either or object of the verbal idea. When both subject and object are mentioned, the subject is put in the genitive and the object in the accusitive. The object can always be put in the accusative.


: The distinction between a definite and indefinite noun is fundamental. 1. The article noun n is put at the end of the noun, is not expressed by a consonant, but it indicated in one class of nouns by nunation. For inflection the noun falls into four classes, but as two of them are indeclinable, they cannot be called declensions. The u is the nominative declension. 2. One way of making a noun definite is to give the definite article eal- ألْ, which is written in front of the noun and joined to it. The vowel of the article is only a helping vowel, liaison, so in connected speech it is replaced by the final vowel of the preceding word. 3. If a noun begins with a dental, sibilant, r ر, lل, n ن t ت th ث d د dh ذ r ر z ز s س sh شS ص D ضT ط Z ظ that letter similates to itself the l of the article in pronunciation though the l is still written. The assimilating consonant takes shadda ّ. No noun can be both definite and indefinite at the same time, so nunation must be dropped when the definite article is present. 4. An adjective, which qualifies a noun, follows it, agrees with it in gender (if it is singular), in case, and in definiteness. 5. The verb ‘is’ and ‘are’ not expressed. 6. The subject must be definite, unless the sentence is negative or interrogative, and the predicate must be indefinite. 7. Questions are asked by prefixing one of the particles ea or hal- هَلْ to the sentence; ea أ is connected with the word it precedes.


. There are two genders, masculine and feminine, so gender is not co-extensive with sex as it is in English. The commenest feminine ending is at َت with case ending and nunation, which is written t(un) ةٌ تٌ. Some nouns and adjectives form a feminine in this way; the most feminine nouns have no masculine correlative. Some nouns have t ت، ة as feminine ending. Names of males are masculine even when they have the feminine ending. Otherwise all nouns with feminine ending are feminine. Names of females, those of towns and countries and some collectives are feminine. Some feminine nouns have no feminine ending: names of females. Names of towns and countries: Parts of the body which occur in pairs: The feminine ending has other uses. From collective names it forms a noun of unity. It forms emphatic nouns: Vocative. If the noun has the article, it is put in the nominative and eayyuhaA أيُّهَا is prefixed; before a feminine noun eayyatuhaA أيَّتُهَا. If the noun stands alone, it is put in the nominative with nunation and exclamatory vowel particle is yaA يَا. Proper names, which have the definite article, lose it after yaA يَ.


All propositions, with one partial exception, govern the genitive. Those, which consist of one consonant, are written as the word they govern. bi by, with; li to, ka as, like. After li the ‘alif’ of the definite article is omitted and if the noun begins with lthe l of the article also. There is no verb ‘have’; the idea is expressed by a preposition. ‘The man has a book’ can be said in three ways with shades of meaning: lilrrajuli kitaAb(un) لِلرَّجُلِ كِتَابٌ (the fact of possession). `in.da (a)lrrajuli kitaAb(un)عِنْدَ آلرَّجُلِ كِتَابٌ ‘he has book on him’. ma`a (a)lrrajuli kitaAb(un) مَع ‘he has book on him’. The subject can be indefinite because the predicate is a prepositional phrase. min مِنْ ‘of, from’ becomes mina مِنَ before the definite article and mini مِنِ in any other liaison. With min- مِنِ and `an- عَنْ , the n is assimilated to the m of a following monosyllable; mimman- مِمَّنْ , from whom; mimma مِمّا, from what. After li لِ, maA مَا is often shortened; lima لِمَ or limaA,لِمَا for what.

Construct state

When one noun governs another in the genitive, the first is said to be in the construct state. The governing noun comes first and loses nunation. This first noun, being definitive by position, does not need and cannot have the definite article. Nothing can come between the construct and its genitive; hence the name. An adjective agreeing with the first noun must come after the second. If the construct is definite, the adjective must be definite also; there is only one way of making an adjective definite, giving it the definite article.


‘The house is big’ may be translated in two ways: _al.bay.tu kabiyr(un) _inna (a)l.bay.ta kabiyr(un) A degree of emphasis, which can be translated, is got by using einna with the particle la. This l also appears in the definite article and in some demonstrative pronouns. _inna (a)l.bay.tu lakabiyr(un) إنَّ الْبَيْتُ لَكَبِيْر. the house is indeed big. This la must not be confused with negative laA.

Nouns Declension Case

There are three cases; the familiar names, nominative, accusative, and genitive fit them well through these use of the accusative and genitive is wider rhan in English. Nouns of both genders which have nunation, have three case endings: u nominative, a accusative, and i genitive. Indefinite masculine nouns add ‘alif’ A to the accusative unless the word ends in e preceded by A. This ‘alif’ is a letter of prolongation and is due to the fact that in Mecca as final (an) was often pronounced A. 

Broken Plural

. Nearly all masculine and many feminine nouns use the broken plural. This is made by a change in the word. No rules can be given for the simplest nouns and the plural must be learnt with the singular, it is all memory work. Many nouns have more than one plural; as a rule one form is the favorite or one form may be allotted to a special meaning.

`ab-duN عَبْدٌslave, servant; `abiyduN slave, servants; `abaAduN عَبَادٌ slaves of God, worshippers, men; The commonest forms for the plural of short nouns are:
1. eaf-`aAluN أفْعَالٌ
2. fa`auwluN فَعٌولٌ
fi`aAluN فِعَالٌ fu`uluN
For some forms
eaf-`uluN أفْعُلٌ
fu`alaAe_uN فُعَلَاءٌ
eaf-`ilat_uN أفْعِلَهٌ
mafaA`ilu مَفَاعِلُ
mafaA`iylu مَفَاعِيلُ
fi`AluN فِعالٌ
All. There is no adjective meaning ‘all’ which has to be expressed by kulluNكُلٌّ, totality. Of course, this governs the genitive.
kulluu rajuliN كُلُّ رَجُلٍ every man

kullu (a)lrrijaAliكُلُّ آلرِّجَالِ. As the accusative is the adverbial case so: kulla yaw-miN كُلَّ يَوْمٍ every day, daily.
kulla (a)l-yaw-maw-miN كُلَّ الْيَوْمِ wa ‘and’ is written with the following word. It was enough for the Arabs to join two contrasting phrases by ‘and’ where we must use ‘but’.


: There are three numbers, singular, dual, and plural. The dual is formed by cutting off the case ending from the singular and adding aAni َانِ for the nominative and ayni َيْنِ for the accusative or genitive. There is no nunation. When a noun has only one form for these two cases, it is convenient to call it the oblique case.
`ay-n(un) عَيْنٌ eye, spring (of water); `ay-naAni عَيْنَانِ eyes. `ay-nay-ni عَيْنَيْنِ eyes. qiT-`at_(un) قِطْعَةٌ piece; qiT-`ataAni قِطْعَتَانِ pieces; qiT-`atay-ni قِطْعَتَيْنِ pieces;. The construct state is made by cutting off the ni نِ
`ay-naA (a)l-bin-ti عَيْنَا آلْبِنْتِ the (two) eyes of the girl. The A is shortened in liaison.`ay-nayi (a)l-bin-ti عَيْنَيِ آلْبِنْتِ. The dipthong resolved in liaison.

Masculine plural.

Most participles and a few nouns make an external plural by cutting off the case and adding uwna َونَ for the nominative and iyna ِيْنَ for the oblique case. There is no nunation. Note the altercation of vowels in a dual and the masculine plural. khaAdim(un) خَادِمٌ servant;khaAdimuwna خَادِمٌونَ servants;khaAdimiyna خَادِمِيْنَ servants. The construct state is formed by cutting off na نَ. The long vowels are shortened in liaison. Adjectives agreeing with the external masculine plural usually takes the external plural themselves.


There are two ways of forming the plurals, the sound or external and the broken or internal. The external plural of nouns with the feminine ending is made by lengthening the a before the t ت which is written as t ت , not as t_.ة khaAdimat_(un) خَادِمةٌ maid servant; khaAdimaAt(un)خَادِمَاتٌ maids. This plural has two cases, u for the nominative and i. It takes nunation.

Broken Plural II.

: The commonest forms for the plural of short nouns are:
(a) eaf-`aAl(un) أفْعَالٌ (b) fa`auwl(un) فَعُولٌ (c) fi`aAl(un) فِعالٌ (d) fu`ul(un) فُعُلٌ (e) eaf-`ul(un) أفْعُلٌ
1. For some forms of the plural rules can be given.
eaf-`ilaAe_(un) أفْعِلَاءٌ is a plural of fa`iyl(un) فَعِيلٌ.
2. fu`alaAe_(un)فُعَلَاءٌ is a plural of fa`iyl(un) فَعِيلٌ when it has become a noun:
3. eaf-`ilat_(un) أَفْعِلَاةٌis a plural of nouns with three consonants and a long vowel in the second syllable.
4. mafaA`ilu مَفَاعِلُ is a plural of maf-`al(un) مَفْعَلٌ or maf-`alat_(un) مَفْعَلَةٌ whatever the vowels may be:
5. mafaA`iylu مَفَاعِيلُ is a plural of nouns with four consonants, two syllables and a long vowel in the second whether they have the feminine ending or not.
6. fawaA`ilu فَوَاعِيلُ is a plural of faA`ilat_(un) فَاعِلَةٌ and sometimes of faA`il(un) فَاعِلٌ
7. fa`aAeilu فَعَائِلُ is plural of feminine nouns with three consonants and a long vowel in the second syllable.
8. fi`Al(un) فِعالٌ is plural of fi`alat_(un) فِعََلَةٌ.
9. fu`al(un) فُعَلٌ is a plural of fu`alat_(un) فُعَلَةٌ .
10. All broken plurals are grammatically collective nouns in the feminine singular adjectives. [p. 45]

Second Declension

Several of the broken plurals end in u without nunation. These and similar nouns form the second declension which has two case endings, u for the nominative and a for the oblique, when they are indefinite. When definite, they have the three terminations of the first declension.
The second declension has a in the oblique case while the second feminine plural has i
All proper nouns, which end in t_ ة, belong to the second declension.
Nouns which end in A , whether written with ‘alif’ or y , are indeclinable.
The A in these words is a feminine ending which is spelled with y ى, unless the third radical is y when ‘alif’ is used for variety. The same ending occurs in the ‘relative adjective’.

Irregular Nouns

: Three nouns are half way to having three radicals.

1. _abuNأَبٌ , ‘father’

2. _akhuNأَخٌ , ‘brother’

3. HamuN حَمٌ, ‘father’_aH-maAe_uNأحْمَاءٌ , ‘ husband\’s father’

4. In the final construct state the final owel is lengthened

_abuw أَبُو – _abiy أَبِي – _abaA أَبَا

and the dual is _ab-waAni أَبْوَانِ

5. The pronominal prefixes are added to the construct state: _abuwka أَبُوكَ ‘your father’

_abaAhu أَبَاهُ ‘his father’ (acc.) _abiyhi أَبِيهِ ‘his father’ (gen.), but _abiy أبِي’ ; my father’ (all cases)

6. When a man has a son, he is known by his not known by has own name but as the father of his son.

7. dhuw ذُو, dhaAtu ذَاتُ sing

8. dhawaA ذَوَا, dhaAtaA ذَاتَا dual.

9. _auwluw dhawuw اُولُو ذَوُو, dhawaAtu ذَوَاتُ plural.