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nisba suffix is added. Definite articles, final long vowels, and final taa√ marbuuTas
are generally eliminated. It is here that one can see the origin of English adjecti-
val terms ending in /-i/ such as ˜Yemeni™ and ˜Iraqi,™ which are modeled on the
Arabic nisba.

4.4.1 Countries

¿OQC™G qÊOQCG ¿GO’°ùdG qÊGO’°S
al-√urdunn al-suudaan suudaan-iyy
√urdunn-iyy
Jordan Jordanian Sudan Sudanese

âj’µdG q»àj’c ¿Éf’«dG ÊÉf’j
q
al-kuwayt kuwayt-iyy al-yuunaan yuunaaan-iyy
Kuwait Kuwaiti Greece Greek

Ú°üdG q»¦«°U ¢ùf’J q»°ùf’J
al-Siin Siin-iyy tunis tunis-iyy
China Chinese Tunisia Tunisian

É°ùfôa q»°ùfôa
faransaa farans-iyy
France French

4.4.2 Cities

IôgɤdG q¦ôgÉb OGó¨H q¦OGó¨H
al-qaahira qaahir-iyy baghdaad baghdaad-iyy
Cairo Cairene Baghdad Baghdadi

¤h’H »Jh’H
q
bayruut bayruut-iyy
Beirut Beiruti

4.4.3 Geographical areas

¦ó‚
q q¦RÉ©M q»©«∏N
najd-iyy Hijaaz-iyy xaliij-iyy
from Nejd from Hijaz from the (Arabian) Gulf

4.4.4 Exceptions
With a few place names, a final √alif is retained in the nisba, in which case a waaw
or nuun is inserted between the √alif and the nisba suffix:
Adjectives: function and form 265


¦hÉ°ù°
q qÊÉ©¦°U
nimsaa-w-iyy San¬aan-iyy
Austrian from San¬aa√

4.5 Names of nationalities or ethnic groups
Certain terms, especially those referring to Middle Eastern groups, have non-nisba
masculine plurals, but revert to the nisba form in the feminine plural. See also
section 4.15.

m. sg. m. pl. f. pl.

»HôY ÜôY ¤É«HôY
Arab
¬arab-iyy ¬arab ¬arabiyy-aat

¦Oôc OGôcCG ¤ÉjOôc
Kurdish
kurd-iyy ™akraad kurdiyy-aat

»côJ ‘ôJ ‘GôJCG ¤É«côJ
Turkish
turk-iyy turk turkiyy-aat
√atraak


4.6 Nisba from biliteral nouns
Nouns with only two root consonants usually insert a waaw before the affixation
of the nisba suffix. The waaw is preceded by fatHa:

¦’NCG ¦’HCG ¦hój
yada-w-iyy
√axa-w-iyy √aba-w-iyy
fraternal paternal manual

If the biliteral noun has a taa√ marbuuTa suffix, that is deleted when the waaw is
added:
¦’¦°S ¦’„e
sana-w-iyy mi√a-w-iyy
annual centigrade; percentile

Examples:
q¦’HCG Q’©°T ¦’NC™G QG’—Gh QhÉ°»àdG
q
shu¬uur-un √abawiyy-un al-tashaawur-u wa-l-Hiwaar-u l-√axawiyy-u
paternal feeling consultation and fraternal conversation
áqjhój á∏‘¦b á„e Úª∏°ùª∏d áj’„ŸG á‘°ù¦dG
mi√at-u qunbulat-in yadawiyyat-in al-nisbat-u l-mi√awiyyat-u li-l-muslimiina
a hundred hand grenades the percentage of Muslims
266 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


4.7 Nisbas from quadriliteral nouns
¦ôµ°ùY ¦µeôb »FÉHô¡c ¦Q’¡ªL
qirmiz-iyy kahrabaa√-iyy jumhuur-iyy
¬askar-iyy
military crimson red electrical republican

4.8 Nisbas from quinquiliteral nouns
»©°ù˜¦H
banafsaj-iyy
violet; purple

4.9 Nisbas from borrowed nouns
Derivation of an adjective from a borrowed noun is accomplished in several ways.
For example, the English word “diplomatic” is rendered in Arabic as diibu-
umaasiyy:

.»°SÉe’∏‘jódG ‚∏°ùdG ó«ªY ’g
huwa ¬amiid-u l-silk-i l-diibluumaasiyy-i.
He is the dean of the diplomatic corps.

4.9.1 Nouns ending in -aa or -aa√
If the borrowed noun ends in -aa or -aa√, the final vowel may be deleted, or the
hamza deleted and the -aa buffered by a waaw:

chemical q¦hÉ«ª«c
kiimyaa-w-iyy ( from kiimyaa√ AÉ«ª«c ˜chemistry™)

musical q»¤«°S’e
muusiiq-iyy ( from muusiiqaa ≈¤«°S’e ˜music™)

4.9.2 hamza insertion
The foreign noun ending in -aa may get an additional hamza as a buffer between
the stem and the suffix:

cinematic, film q»Fɪ¦«°S
siinamaa√-iyy (from siinamaa ɪ¦«°S ˜movies, cinema™)

4.9.3 Intact stem
The foreign noun stem may be left intact and suffixed with -iyy:

q»˜«°TQCG q»∏«eôH q‹É˜fôc
barmiil-iyy karnifaal-iyy
√arshiif-iyy
archival barrel-like carnival-like
Adjectives: function and form 267


4.10 Nisbas from borrowed adjectives
In the following words, an English adjective ending in “-ic” or a French adjective
ending in “-ique” has been borrowed and used as a stem. The nisba suffix is
attached to it in order to convert it into an Arabic adjective:

q»µ«eɦjO q»µ«JÉe’JCG q»µ«°S“c
diinaamiik-iyy kilaasiik-iyy
√utuumaatiik-iyy
dynamic automatic classic

4.10.1 Nisba ending as replacive suf¬x
In the following instances, the adjective stem is borrowed but the “-ic” or “-ical”
suffix is replaced by the Arabic nisba suffix:

q»©«JGΰSG q»ÁOÉcCG q»L’d’µ«°S
istiraatiij-iyy siikuuluuj-iyy
√akaadiim-iyy
strategic academic psychological

4.11 Nisbas from particles and pronouns
Prepositions, adverbs and other particles may also have a nisba suffix:

q»¦«H q»ªc q»˜«c
bayn-iyy kamm-iyy kayf-iyy
inter- (in compounds) quantitative qualitative; discretionary

q»eÉeCG q»˜∏N q»JGP
xalf-iyy dhaat-iyy
√amaam-iyy
front; frontal rear; hind self- (in combinations)

Examples:

.áq«eÉeC™G óYɤŸG ˜ ø°ù∏©j ¿Éàq«˜∏N ¿Éeób
ya-jlis-na fii l-maqaa√id-i l-√amaamiyyat-i. qadam-aani xalf-iyyat-aani
They (f.) sit in the front seats. two hind feet

q»JGòdG Aɘàc™G ≥«¤“
taHqiiq-u l-iktifaa√-i l-dhaatiyy-i
achieving self-sufficiency

4.12 Nisbas from set phrases or ¬xed expressions
Technically, in traditional Arabic grammar, a nisba adjective cannot be formed
from a phrase, only from a single word. Sometimes, however, a certain phrase is
used so often that it becomes a fixed expression, behaving semantically and
268 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


syntactically as a morphological unit or compound noun. The following phrases
and compound words with nisba suffixes occurred in data gathered for this
study.

˜Middle Eastern™ »£°ShCG ¥ô°T
sharq √awsaT-iyy (from §°ShC™G ¥ô°»dG al-sharq-u l-√awsaT-u ˜the Middle East™)


Examples:

»£°ShC™G ¥ô°»dG „¦É¶¦dG á«£°ShC™G ¥ô°»dG ¥G’°SC™G ¤EG
√ilaa l-√aswaaq-i l-sharq-i l-√awsaTiyyat-i
al-niZaam-u l-sharq-u l-√awsaTiyy-u
the Middle Eastern system to Middle Eastern markets

˜never-ending; everlasting™ q»FÉ¡f ™
laa nihaa√-iyy (from AÉ¡f ™ laa nihaa√-a ˜there is no end™)

áq«FÉ¡f “dG ¬JG’¨J ÈY
¬abr-a taghayyuraat-i-hi l-laa nihaa√iyyat-i
through its never-ending transformations


4.13 Nisbas from compound words
Compounding has traditionally been a very minor component of Arabic deriva-
tional morphology, but it is resorted to more often in MSA, especially when there
is a requirement for coining technical terms. Relative adjectives are sometimes
created from these compound stems:17

capitalistic q‹Éª°SCGQ
ra√smaal-iyy (from «Ée ¢SCGQ ra√s maal ˜capital™)

amphibian q»FÉeôH
barmaa√-iyy (through compounding from the words barr ˜land™ and maa√ ˜water™)

Recently coined technical terms sometimes make use of the shortened forms of
qabl-a (qab-) ˜before™ and fawq-a ( faw-) ˜above™ to express the concepts of “pre-” and
“super-.” Sometimes these are combined with Arabic stems and sometimes with
stems from other languages, suffixed with -iyy:

¦O“«ª‘b
q q»®jQÉà‘b q¦Èªµ‘b q»J’°U’a
qab-miilaad-iyy qab-taariix-iyy qab-kambr-iyy faw-Sawt-iyy
Before Christ (BC) prehistoric Precambrian supersonic


17
For more in-depth discussion of compounding in Arabic, see Ali 1987, Emery 1988, and Shivtiel
1993.
Adjectives: function and form 269


4.14 Special use of nisba
Where in English one noun may be used to describe or modify another noun, in
Arabic such a phrase often uses a nisba adjective:

¿’q«©eÉL Ü“W ¿’q«£˜f AGÈN
Tullaab-un jaami¬iyy-uuna xubaraa√-u nifTiyy-uuna
university students oil experts

á«fG’«M „¦É¶Y áq«¦eR ≥Wɦe
¬iZaam-un Hayawaaniyyat-un manaaTiq-u zamaniyyat-un
animal bones time zones

4.15 Nisba plurals
The preponderance of nisba plurals are sound, using the sound masculine or sound
feminine plurals when referring to human beings. However, a few nisbas take bro-
ken or truncated plurals, especially when referring to ethnic or religious groups.

4.15.1 Truncated nisba plural

m. sg. m. pl.

»HôY ÜôY
Arab
¬arabiyy ¬arab

¦hóH hóH
bedouin
badawiyy badw
¦O’¡j O’¡j
Jewish
yahuudiyy yahuud
¦ôHôH ôHôH
Berber
barbariyy barbar

4.15.2 Broken nisba plural

m. sg. m. pl.

»‘¦LCG –fÉLCG
foreign
√ajnabiyy √ajaanib

ÊGô°üf iQÉ°üf
Christian
naSraaniyy naSaaraa
¦Oôc OGôcCG
Kurdish
kurdiyy √akraad

»côJ ‘GôJCG , ‘ôJ
Turkish
turkiyy √atraak/turk
270 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


5 Color adjectives
Color adjectives are of three types in Arabic: pattern-derived, nisba, and borrowed.

5.1 Pattern-derived color adjectives
The essential colors of the spectrum have a special pattern or form √aCCaC or √af¬al
π©aCG in the masculine singular, CaCCaa√ or fa¬laa√- A“©a in the feminine singular,
and CuCC or fu¬l π©a in the plural. Here is a list of the most commonly occurring
derived color adjectives. It includes black and white and brown as well as the pri-
mary colors: red, blue and yellow. It also includes green, but not orange or purple.

m. sg. f. sg. m. pl. f. pl.

O’°SCG AGO’°S O’°S ¤GhGO’°S
black
sawdaa√ suud sawdaawaat
√aswad

¥QRCG AÉbQR ¥QR ¤GhÉbQR
blue
zarqaa√ zurq zarqaawaat
√azraq

ôª°SCG AGôª°S ôª°S ¤GhGôª°S
brown
samraa√ sumr samraawaat
√asmar

ô°†NCG AGô°†N ô°†N ¤GhGô°†N
green
xaDraa√ xuDr xaDraawaat
√axDar

ôªMCG AGôªM ôªM ¤GhGôªM
red
Hamraa√ Humr Hamraawaat
√aHmar

¢†«HCG AÉ°†«H ¢†«H ¤GhÉ°†«H
white
bayDaa√ biiD bayDaawaat
√abyaD

ô˜°UCG AGô˜°U ô˜°U ¤GhGô˜°U
yellow
Safraa√ Sufr Safraawaat
√aSfar

There are three things to note and remember about these color adjectives. First,
the masculine singular pattern √af¬al is diptote and is identical in form to the
comparative adjective pattern (for example, √akbar ˜bigger™ or √aTwal ˜longer™),
which is also diptote. Second, the feminine singular pattern fa¬laa√ is also diptote.
Third, the plural form is primarily used to refer to human beings, since the femi-
nine singular would be used for modifying a nonhuman noun plural, in keeping
with rules of gender and humanness agreement.18 Examples include:
18
One instance of the plural form of the adjective used with a nonhuman plural noun appeared in
the corpus of data used for this text:
ô°†ÿG z¢SÈ°ùcEG ¿Éc’eCG{ ¤ÉbÉ£H
biTaaqaat-u “√amiirkaan ikisibris” l-xuDr-u
green American Express cards
Adjectives: function and form 271


5.1.1 Masculine phrases

¥QRC™G ¤’—G ¢†«HC™G â«‘dG
al-Huut-u l-√azraq-u al-bayt-u l-√abyaD-u
the blue whale the White House

ôªMC™G ô«‘dG ôªMC™G –«∏°üdG
al-baHr-u l-√aHmar-u al-Saliib-u l-√aHmar-u
the Red Sea the Red Cross

5.1.2 Feminine phrases

AÉ°†«H ᦑL AÉ°†«‘dG É«°ShQ
jubnat-un bayDaa√-u ruusiyaa l-bayDaa√-u
white cheese White Russia

AGô°†N á£∏°S AÉbQR ádóH
salaTat-un xaDraa√-u badalat-un zarqaa√-u
green salad a blue suit

AGO’°ùdG áªFɤdG ˜ AGO’°ùdG ¥’°ùdG ˜
fii l-qaa√imat-i l-sawdaa√-i fii l-suuq-i l-sawdaa√-i
on the black list in the black market

5.1.3 Plural phrases

O’°ùdG ¿’ª∏°ùŸG ôª—G ’ªÿG
al-muslim-uuna l-suud-u al-ximiir-u l-Humr-u
black Muslims the Khmer Rouge

¥QµdG ¤É©‘¤dG ôª—G O’¦¡dG
19
al-qubba¬aat-u l-zurq-u al-hunuud-u l-Humr-u
the blue berets (UN troops) Red Indians

¤GhGôª°S AÉ°ùf
nisaa√-un samraawaat-un
tawny-skinned women

5.2 Physical feature adjectives
The √af ¬al pattern is used to denote not only color but also certain physical char-
acteristics:

19
Although the word qubba™aat ˜berets™ is technically nonhuman, the reference is to human beings.
272 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


m. sg. f. sg. m. pl.

ô¤°TCG AGô¤°T ô¤°T
blond
shaqraa√ shuqr
√ashqar

≈ªYCG AÉ«ªY »ªY ¿É«ªY
blind
√a¬maa ¬amyaa√ ¬umy ¬umyaan

¢TôWCG AÉ°TôW ¢TôW
deaf
Tarshaa√ Tursh
√aTrash

êôYCG AÉLôY êôY ¿ÉLôY
lame
√a¬raj ¬arjaa√ ¬urj ¬urjaan

¢SôNCG AÉ°SôN ¢SôN ¿É°SôN
dumb, mute
xarsaa√ xurs xursaan
√axras

≥ªMCG AɤªM ≥ªM
stupid
Hamqaa√ Humq
√aHmaq



ô¤°TCG ¦ój’°S øWG’e AGô¤°»dG Aɦ°ù—G
al-Hasnaa√-u l-shaqraa√-u
muwaaTin-un suwiidiyy-un √ashqar-u
a blond Swedish citizen (m.) the blonde beauty (f.)

≈ªYC™G –°ü©àdG
al-ta¬aSSub-u l-√a¬maa
blind fanaticism

5.3 Nisba color adjectives
Another process for deriving names of colors in Arabic is to identify the color of a
naturally occurring substance, such as ashes, roses, oranges, or coffee beans, and
then to affix the nisba ending -iyy onto that noun. Sometimes the base noun is of
Arabic origin, and sometimes it is of foreign derivation.


Item name Color

OÉeQ q¦OÉeQ
ashes
ramaad ramaad-iyy
gray

«É¤JôH q‹É¤JôH
orange
burtuqaal burtuqaal-iyy
orange
Adjectives: function and form 273


Item name Color

IOQh ¦OQh
q
rose
warda ward-iyy
pink

øH
q q»¦H
coffee beans
bunn bunn-iyy
brown

è°ù˜¦H q»©°ù˜¦H
violet
banafsaj banafsaj-iyy
purple; violet

µfhôH ¦µfhôH
q
bronze
buruunz buruunz-iyy
bronze


Inflection of these nisba adjectives follows the general rules for nisbas: adding a
taa√ marbuuTa for feminine agreement (including nonhuman plurals), and adding
the sound masculine or sound feminine plural for plural (human) agreement.

q‹É¤JÈdG ÜÉàµdG ájOÉeôdG ÜÉFòdG
al-kitaab-u l-burtuqaaliyy-u al-dhi√aab-u l-ramaadiyyat-u
the orange book the gray wolves
¦µfhÈdG ¢SCGôdG
al-ra√s-u l-buruunziyy-u
the bronze head

5.4 Borrowed color adjectives
In recent times, the practice has been to borrow directly names of certain colors
or particular shades of colors that do not already exist in Arabic. These come
mainly from European languages and do not inflect for number, gender, or case:
beige mauve turquoise
è«H ±’e RG’côJ
biij muuf turkwaaz

6 Non-derived adjectives
Rarely, an Arabic adjective is non-derived and simply exists on its own, without
relation to a productive lexical root:

á¤dɪY / ¥“ªY PGòaCG Phòa /  qòa
√afdhaadh fudhuudh / fadhdh
¬amaaliqa/ ¬imlaaq
gigantic; super unique, extraordinary
274 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


Examples:

ᤓª©dG ∞MGhµdG òa êP’°
al-zawaaHif-u l-¬imlaaqat-u namuudhaj-un fadhdh-un
the giant reptiles a unique example

7 Compound adjectives
In order to express complex new concepts, compound (two-word) adjectival
expressions are sometimes used in MSA. They occur primarily as adjective
√iDaafas, or, for negative concepts, as adjectives in construct with the noun ghayr.

7.1 The active participle muta¬addid Oqó©àe ˜numerous™
To express the concept of “multi-” as the first component of an Arabic compound,
the AP muta¬addid is normally used.

±GôWC™G Oqó©àe ¤™Éª©à°S™G Oó©àe
muta¬addid-u l-√aTraaf-i muta¬addid-u l-isti¬maalaat-i
multilateral multi-use

᪶fC™G Oó©àe ¤É«°ù¦·G Oó©àe
muta¬addid-u l-√anZimat-i muta¬addid-u l-jinsiyyaat-i
multi-system multinational

Examples:

¤É«°ù¦·G IOó©àŸG ¤GóYÉ°ùŸG èeÉfÈd
li-barnaamaj-i l-musaa¬adaat-i l-muta¬addidat-i l-jinsiyyaat-i
for the program of multinational assistance

.¤G’£N ¤É«°ù¦·G IOó©àŸG ¤Écô°»dG ò®àJ
ta-ttaxidh-u l-sharikaat-u l-muta¬addidat-u l-jinsiyyaat-i xutuwaat-in.
The multi-national companies are taking steps.

–fG’·G IOó©àŸG á«°†¤dG √òg ˜
fii haadhihi l-qaDiyyat-i l-muta¬addid-i l-jawaanib-i
in this multi-sided issue

7.2 The noun ghayr ¬non-; un-, in-, other than™
To express negative or privative concepts denoting absence of a quality or attrib-
ute, the noun ghayr is used.
The noun ghayr ˜other than™ becomes the first term of a construct phrase modi-
fying the noun and carries the same case ending as the noun being modified. It
does not, as the first term of the √iDaafa, ever have the definite article. The second
Adjectives: function and form 275


term of the construct is an adjective or participle in the genitive case which
agrees with the noun being modified in gender, number, and definiteness. See
also Chapter 8, section 1.9.3.

–°Sɦe ’Z ô°TÉ‘e ’Z q»e“°SEG ’Z
ghayr-u munaasib-in ghayr-u mubaashir-in ghayr-u -√islaamiyy-in
unsuitable indirect non-Islamic

≥‘d ’Z ¦OÉY’Z ¢Sqó¤e ’Z
ghayr-u labiq-in ghayr-u ¬aadiyy-in ghayr-u muqaddas-in
tactless unusual unholy

Examples:

IOqó©àŸG ’Z „¦ÉÿG OG’ŸG
al-mawaadd-u l-xaam-u ghayr-u l-mutajaddidat-i
non-renewable raw materials

áq«f’fÉb ’Z ¥ô£H
bi-turuq-in ghayr-i qaanuuniyyat-in
by illegal means

“ãe ¦hÉ°TôdÉc áYhô°»ŸG ’Z ¤É©aódG
al-dafa¬aat-u ghayr-u l-mashruu¬at-i ka-l-rashaawii mathal-an
illegal payments such as bribes, for example

á°Sqó¤e ’Z á«bɘqJG
ittifaaqiyyat-un ghayr-u muqaddasat-in
an unholy agreement

ôjhµà∏d á∏HÉb ’Z
ghayr-u qaabilat-in li-l-tazwiir-i
non-counterfeitable
11
Adverbs and adverbial expressions


A good general definition of adverbs is found in Hurford (1994, 10): “The most
typical adverbs add specific information about time, manner, or place to the
meanings of verbs or whole clauses.” Adverbs may also add information to adjec-
tives (“very easy”) or even other adverbs (“late yesterday”). An essential characteris-
tic of adverbs is that they are additive; that is, they are external to the core propo-
sition in a clause or sentence. They are, as Stubbs has noted, “an optional element
in clause structure” (1983, 70).
Arabic refers to this optional status as faDla á∏°†a ˜extra™ or ˜surplus™ parts of a
sentence rather than part of the kernel or core predication. This optionality has
meant that adverbs have traditionally received less attention from linguistic
research than the major form classes (nouns and verbs), despite the fact that they
are very common in both spoken and written discourse.1
This class of words and phrases is also very heterogeneous in terms of its
composition. Adverbial modification may be accomplished with single words
(daa√im-an ɪFGO ˜always,™ jidd-an GóL ˜very™) or with phrases (√ilaa Hadd-in maa Ée óM ¤EG
k kq q
˜to a certain extent,™ ¬aajil-an √aw √aajil-an k“LBG hCG k“LÉY ˜sooner or later™). Arabic
adverbials also include grammatical structures such as the cognate accusative
(al-maf¬uul al-muTlaq ≥∏£ŸG «’©˜ŸG) and Haal «ÉM (˜circumstantial™) phrases.
In Arabic, few words are adverbs in and of themselves; but there are some (such
as faqaT §¤a ˜only™ or hunaa ɦg ˜here™).2 Most words that function as Arabic adverbs
r
are adjectives or nouns in the accusative case (e.g., √aHyaan-an kÉfÉ«MCG ˜sometimes,™

1
Stubbs notes that adverbs are one of three areas which have resisted traditional treatment in
grammar (in addition to coordinating conjunctions and “particles”) and that none of these areas
“fit neatly into the syntactic and semantic categories of contemporary linguistics” (1983, 70).
Furthermore, he states (1983, 77): “Adverbs then, and certain items in particular, provide problems
for sentence based grammars but are of great interest in a study of discourse sequences, since
their functions are largely to do with the organization of connected discourse, and with the
interpretation of functional categories of speech acts.”
2
Cowan (1964, 63) starts his section on adverbs with the observation that “the Arabic language is
exceedingly poor in adverbs,” referring to the fact that few Arabic words are inherently and solely
adverbs. Haywood and Nahmad (1962, 426) open their chapter on “adverbial usage” with the
statement: “Arabic has no Adverbs, properly speaking” (emphasis in original). They go on to explain
that “this lack is hardly felt owing to the inherent flexibility and expressiveness of the language.”


276
Adverbs and adverbial expressions 277


ghad-an kGóZ ˜tomorrow,™ al-yawm-a ˜today™ n„¦’«dG); some adverbials occur with a
Damma ending (e.g., ba¬d-u ó©H ˜yet™) and at least one ends consistently in kasra (√ams-i
o
p¢ùeCG ˜yesterday™). Still other adverbial expressions are compound words consisting
of a noun and a demonstrative suffix, e.g., yawm-a-dhaak ‘Gòne’j ˜that day.™3
Placement of adverbs within an Arabic sentence is flexible to a certain extent,
but sometimes particular adverbs have preferred positions. Several adverbs or
adverbial expressions may occur in the same sentence. In the following one, for
example, are four adverbs:
.´’°V’ŸG «’M ¤Éa“N “ãe „¦’«dG ‘ɦg
hunaaka l-yawm-a mathal-an xilaafaat-un Hawl-a l-mawDuu¬-i.
There [are] today, for example, disagreements about the subject.
The first adverb is the locative hunaaka n‘ɦg, ˜there is/are™; the second is the
time adverbial l-yawm-a n„¦’«dG ˜today™; the third is mathal-an “ãe ˜for example™;
k
and the fourth is the locative adverb Hawl-a n«’M ˜about.™
Most Arabic adverbials can be divided into four major groups according to
their semantic function: degree, manner, place, and time. There are also some
important categories that do not fall within these four groups, but which have key
functions in Arabic, such as adverbial accusatives of cause or reason (maf¬uul li-
√ajl-i-hi ¬∏LC™ «’©˜e or maf¬uul la-hu ¬d «’©˜e) and the accusative of specification
(tamyiiz µ««“). Within each of these categories there are several kinds of adverbial
components. Given the heterogeneous and multifunctional nature of this class of
expressions, the examples provided here are by no means exhaustive; but they
represent a broad sample of occurrences in modern written Arabic.

1 Adverbs of degree
Adverbs of degree describe and quantify concepts such as intensity (“very,”
“considerably,” “particularly”), measurement (“one by one”), or amount (“a little,”
“a great deal,” “completely”). In some respects, they are a subcategory of manner
adverbials, but they constitute a substantial group of their own.

1.1 Basic adverbs of degree

1.1.1 faqaT r§¤a ˜only, solely™
This adverb of degree is a commonly used expression of limitation. It is invari-
able in form and ends with sukuun. In terms of its placement in a sentence, it
3
In discussing the Arabic morphological category of adverb, Wright (1967, I:282) notes that “there
are three sorts of adverbs. The first class consists of particles of various origins, partly inseparable,
partly separable; the second class of indeclinable nouns ending in u; the third class of nouns in the
accusative” (emphasis in original). He includes an exhaustive list of particles, including interroga-
tives, negatives, and tense markers in his first category. In this book these particles are discussed
according to their separate functions.
278 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


tends to occur at the end of the phrase or clause it modifies, but this is not
absolute.

.§¤a IOhó©e ¤Éª∏c º∏©J .§¤a “«©°ùJ øµJ „
ta¬allam-a kalimaat-in ma¬duudat-an faqaT. lam ta-kun tasjiil-an faqaT.
He only learned a [limited] number of words. It was not only documentation.

.§¤a ÚàYÉ°S ¤EG êÉà“ ¢ùf’J ¤EG ∞«¦L øe á∏MôdG
al-riHlat-u min jiniif √ilaa tuunis-a ta-Htaaj-u √ilaa saa¬at-ayni faqaT.
The trip from Geneva to Tunis takes only two hours.

.§¤a ÚরS ɪ¡LGhR ôªà°SG
istamarr-a zawaaj-u-humaa sanat-ayni faqaT.
Their marriage lasted only two years.

.§¤a ógÉ°»e áK“K ˜ ÉH’àµe QhódG ¿Éc
kaan-a l-dawr-u maktuub-an fii thalaathat-i mashaahid-a faqaT.
The role was written into three scenes only.

á«°†˜dG á«∏Gó«ŸG ≈∏Y §¤a º¡d’°üM ºZQ
raghm-a HuSuul-i-him faqaT ¬alaa l-miidaliyyat-i l-fiDDiyyat-i
despite their only winning the silver medal


1.2 Degree nouns and adjectives in the accusative
Adverbial modification is often managed in Arabic using nouns or adjectives in
the accusative case. Certain accusative adverbials are used so frequently that they
have become idiomatic. This is especially true of degree adverbials. Note that most
of them occur in the indefinite accusative.


1.2.1 jidd-an GqóL ˜very™
This adverbial expression is of frequent occurrence in written Arabic. It follows
the phrase that it modifies.

.¬‘«f ¿CG GqóL q»©«‘W GqóL ∞°SD’e A»°T
Tabii¬iyy-un jidd-an √an nu-Hibb-a-hu. shay√-un mu√sif-un jidd-an
It is very natural that we love it. a very distressing thing

1.2.2 kathiir-an G’ãc ˜much; a lot; greatly™
.¬¤‘°S ɇ G’ãc ºgCG Gòg
haadhaa √ahamm-u kathiir-an mimmaa sabaq-a-hu.
This is much more important than what preceded it.
Adverbs and adverbial expressions 279


.G’ãc ¬«dEG ¥Éà°TCG ÉfCGh ôaÉ°ùe »¦HG
ibn-ii musaafir-un wa-√anaa √a-shtaaq-u √ilay-hi kathiir-an.
My son is traveling and I miss him greatly.


1.2.3 muTlaq-an ɤ∏£e ˜absolutely™
.ɤ∏£e º∏µàdG „«£à°SCG ™
laa √a-staTii¬-u l-takallum-a muTlaq-an.
I absolutely cannot speak.

1.2.4 qaliil-an “«∏b ˜a little bit; a little™
.“«∏b º¡aCG
√a-fham-u qaliil-an.
I understand a little.

1.2.5 tamaam-an ÉeÉ“ ˜exactly; completely™
k
.ÉeÉ“ ¥É˜J™G ºYóJ ¿CG É¡«∏Y –©j
ya-jib-u ¬alay-haa √an ta-d¬am-a l-ittifaaq-a tamaam-an.
It must support the agreement completely.

1.2.6 xuSuuS-an É°U’°üN ˜especially™
R’ŸÉH ≥∏©àj Ée ˜ É°U’°üN
xuSuuS-an fii maa ya-ta¬allaq-u bi-l-mawz-i
especially in what relates to bananas


1.2.7 √ajma¬-a „ªLCG ˜all; entirely; all together™
This adverbial accusative of degree is a comparative adjective. It is not nunated
because the word √ajma¬ is diptote.

„ªLCG „É©dG AÉ«fCG ˜
fii √anHaa√-i l-¬aalam-i √ajma¬-a
in all parts of the world

1.2.8 Repeated noun of measurement 4
In these expressions, a noun in the accusative is repeated in order to indicate
gradual sequencing.

4
¬Abd al-Latif et al. (1997, 340) refer to this structure as al-Haal al-jaamida IóeÉ·G «É—G, ˜solid Haal™
or ˜inflexible Haal.™
280 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


.GOôa GOôa º¡∏«‘¤àH „¦Éb
qaam-a bi-taqbiil-i-him fard-an fard-an.
He kissed (˜undertook kissing™) them one by one (˜individual by individual™).

êôMóàj ¿CG øµÁ É„«°»a É„«°T ¬fCG
√anna-hu shay√-an fa-shay√-an yu-mkin-u √an ya-tadaHraj-a
that it could gradually (˜thing by thing™) deteriorate

1.3 Adverbial phrases of degree
There are many of these types of phrases consisting of two or more words. These
examples show some of the most frequently occurring ones.

5
1.3.1 bi-l-DabT §‘°†dÉH ˜exactly, precisely™
?§‘°†dÉH É¡¦e ±ó¡dG ’g Ée .§‘°†dÉH √ó°übCG Ée Gòg
maa huwa l-hadaf-u min-haa bi-l-DabT-i? haadhaa maa √a-qsid-u-hu bi-l-DabT-i.
What is the aim of it precisely? That is exactly what I mean.

1.3.2 bi-kathiir-in ’ãµH ˜by a great amount; much™
This expression is usually used in the context of comparison or contrast.

.ÉgôªY øe ’ãµH ô¨°UCG hó‘J
ta-bduu √aSghar-a bi-kathiir-in min ¬umr-i-haa.
She seems much (˜by a great amount™) younger than her age.

1.3.3 laa siyyamaa ɪq«°S ™ ˜especially; particularly™
This phrase literally means ˜there is nothing similar.™6

á°ùª°»ŸG „¦ÉjC™G ɪq«°S ™
laa siyyamaa l-√ayyam-a l-mushmisat-a
especially on sunny days

áYɪL ¦CG ¤EG »ªàfCG ™ »¦fCG ɪq«°S ™
laa siyyamaa √anna-nii laa √a-ntamii √ilaa √ayy-i jamaa¬at-in
especially since I do not belong to any [particular] group

1.3.4 li-l-ghaayat-i ájɨ∏d ˜extremely; to the utmost™
.ájɨ∏d É„«°S „°V’dG ¿Éc
kaan-a l-waD¬-u sayyi√-an li-l-ghaayat-i.
The situation was extremely bad.

5
This expression is often pronounced ˜bi-l-ZabT,™ as though it were spelled with a Zaa√ instead of a Daad.
6
See also Cantarino 1976, III:195-96.
Adverbs and adverbial expressions 281


1.3.5 √ilaa Hadd-in maa Ée óM ¤EG ˜to a certain extent; kind of; sort of™
q
√ilaa Hadd-in kabiir-in ’‘c óM ¤EG ˜to a great extent™
q
.’‘c qóM ¤EG óYÉ°ù«°S
sa-yu-saa¬id-u √ilaa Hadd-in kabiir-in.
It will help to a great extent.

1.3.6 ba¬D-a l-shay√-i A»°»dG ¢†©H ˜somewhat™
.A»°»dG ¢†©H G’«‚
najaH-uu ba¬D-a l-shay√-i.
They succeeded somewhat.

1.3.7 √akthar-a min-a l-laazim „¦R“dG øe ÌcCG; √akthar-a min-a l-luzuum-i „¦hµq∏dG øe ÌcCG
˜too; over-; too much; more than necessary™
.„¦hµ∏dG øe ÌcCG »°ù˜f øe ɤKGh â¦c ÉÃQ
rubba-maa kun-tu waathiq-an min nafs-ii √akthar-a min-a l-luzuum-i.
Perhaps I was overconfident.


1.3.8 ¬alaa l-√aqall-i qπbC™G ≈∏Y ˜at least™
πbC™G ≈∏Y Iµ«Lh IΘd πbC™G ≈∏Y ¢UÉ®°TCG á°ùªN πàb
li-fatrat-in wajiizat-in ¬alaa l-√aqall-i qutil-a xamsat-u √ashxaaS-in ¬alaa l-√aqall-i
for a brief time, at least at least five persons were killed

πbC™G ≈∏Y á∏MôŸG √òg ˜
fii haadhihi l-marHalat-i ¬alaa l-√aqall-i
at this stage, at least


1.3.9 wa-Hasb-u –°ùMh, fa-Hasb-u –°ù«a ˜only; that™s all™
.–°ùMh ô£b OhóM ≈∏Y ô°üà¤J ™
laa ta-qtaSir-u ¬alaa Huduud-i qaTar-a wa-Hasb-u.
It is not limited to the borders of Qatar only.

2 Adverbs of manner
Manner adverbials provide a wide range of options for describing the state,
condition, circumstances, manner, or way in which something is accomplished or
happens.

2.1 Basic adverbs of manner
The members of this group are related to demonstrative pronouns.
282 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


'
2.1.1 haakadhaa Gòcg ˜thus; and so; in such a way™
This adverb of manner indicates both comparison and consequence.

'
.øª«dGh „¦É°»dG µcGôe ÚH π¤¦àJ âfÉc Gòµg
haakadhaa kaan-at ta-tanaqqal-u bayn-a maraakiz-i l-shaam-i wa-l-yaman-i.
Thus it moved between the centers of Syria and Yemen.

'
.kCÉ£N ¬f’ªLÎjh zOÉ¡·G{ ߘd ¿’«HQhC™G ±ô«j Gòµg
haakadhaa yu-Harrif-u l-√uurubbiyy-uuna lafZ-a ˜l-jihaad-u™
wa-yu-tarjim-uuna-hu xaTT-an.
Thus do the Europeans distort the expression “jihad” and translate it literally.

2.1.2 ka-dhaalika ‚dòc ˜likewise; as well; also™
á∏ª©à°ùe âdGR Ée »àdG ¤Éq°»¤ŸG ‚dòch
wa-ka-dhaalika l-miqashshaat-u llatii maa zaal-at musta¬malat-an
and likewise the brooms which are still used

.º∏«a ôj’°üàd ‚dòc ó©à°ùj
ya-sta¬idd-u ka-dhaalika li-taSwiir-i fiilm-in.
He is also preparing to film a motion picture.


2.2 Nouns and adjectives in the accusative
Many nouns and adjectives are used in the accusative case to amplify a statement
adverbially. Adverbs of manner are the most frequent, but many accusative adver-
bials do not fit that category precisely. In most cases, the indefinite accusative is
used on the singular base form of the noun or adjective.

.kGóHCG ≈°ù¦f ød .«ÉŸG ´’°V’e kÉ°†jCG ‘ɦgh
lan na-nsaa √abad-an. wa-hunaaka √ayD-an mawDuu¬-u l-maal-i.
We will never forget. And there is also the subject of money.

.kÉjô°üH ÉgôcPCG .kGQ’a ôaÉ°SCÉ°S
√a-dhkur-u-haa baSriyy-an. sa-√u-saafir-u fawr-an.
I remember it visually. I will depart at once.

.káaÉ°VEG QɦjO á„e „aój ¿CG ¬«∏Y
¬alay-hi √an ya-dfa¬-a mi√at-a diinaar-in √iDaafat-an.
He has to pay 100 dinars in addition/additionally.

„¦“°ùdG πLCG øe πª©f É©«ªL ɦfEG
k
√anna-naa jamii¬-an na-¬mal-u min √ajl-i l-salaam-i
that we are working together for peace
Adverbs and adverbial expressions 283


.kGóq«L Gòg ¿’aô©j .kÉjqóL ôqµa
ya-¬rif-uuna haadhaa jayyid-an. fakkar-a jiddiyy-an.
They know that well. He thought seriously.

2.3 Manner adverbial phrases
There are four general ways to express manner adverbials in phrases: using the
Haal structures, the cognate accusative, other accusative phrases, and prepositional
phrases.

2.3.1 The circumstantial construction: al-Haal «É—G
The Haal (literally ˜state™ or ˜condition™) or circumstantial accusative structure is a
way of expressing the circumstances under which an action takes place. It is often
structured using an active participle in the indefinite accusative to modify or
describe the circumstances of the action. The participle agrees with the doer of
the action in number and gender.7

.kÉ°ùeÉg ¬dCÉ°S .kÉYô°ùe –ൟG ‘ôJh
sa√al-a-hu haamis-an. wa-tarak-a l-maktab-a musri¬-an.
He asked him, whispering. He left the office quickly/in a hurry.

.kGOô˜¦e áÁô·G √òg –µJQG ób
qad-i rtakab-a haadhihi l-jariimat-a munfarid-an.
He committed this crime on his own/alone (˜individually™).

2.3.1.1 If the Haal active participle is from a transitive verb, it may take a noun
object in the accusative case:

.ájQ’¡ª·G ¢ù«FQ “㇠ô“D’ŸG íààaGh
k
wa-ftataH-a l-mu√tamar-a mumaththil-an ra√iis-a l-jumhuuriyyat-i.
He opened the conference representing the president of the republic.

.ÚdhD’°ùŸG ¢†©H kɪ¡àe –àµj
ya-ktub-u muttahim-an ba¬D-a l-mas√uul-iina.
He writes accusing some officials.

2.3.1.2 Occasionally, a passive participle is used in the Haal structure:
.kIQ ’Yòe âµab
qafaz-at madh¬uurat-an.
She jumped, frightened.

7
For more examples and discussion of the Haal circumstantial structure in modern written Arabic,
see Abboud and McCarus (1983) Part I:535“39, and Cantarino (1975) II:186“96 and III:242“54.
284 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


2.3.1.3 An adjective may also be used in the circumstantial accusative structure.
.kG’¨°U »eCG ¤ó¤a
faqad-tu √umm-ii Saghir-an.
I lost my mother [when I was] young.

2.3.1.4 The circumstantial accusative is occasionally expressed with a verbal
noun in the accusative:8

.’˜°ùdG øY káHÉ«f áª∏c ≈¤dCG
√alqaa kalimat-an niyaabat-an ¬an-i l-safiir-i.
He gave a speech in place of (˜substituting for™) the ambassador.

. . . «GD’°ù ≈∏Y kGqOQ «Ébh . . . §OÉ—G ≈∏Y kɤ«∏©Jh
wa-qaal-a radd-an ¬alaa su√aal-in . . . wa-ta¬liiq-an ¬alaa l-Haadith-i . . .
he said, responding to a question . . . commenting on the incident . . .

. . . Úeó¤dG ≈∏Y kG’°S . . . π«àZCG ób ¿Éch
wa-kaan-a qad ughtiil-a . . . sayr-an ¬alaa l-qadam-ayni . . .
He had been assassinated [while] walking (˜on two feet™) . . .

2.3.1.5 Haal EXPRESSING CAPACITY OR FUNCTION: A noun or participle may be
used in the accusative to express the idea of “in the capacity of ” or “as”:

.kÉq«HOCG GkQ ô¬ πª©j
ya-¬mal-u muHarrir-an √adabiyy-an.
He works as a literary editor.

2.3.1.6 (waaw Another way of
hGh «É—G hGh):
Haal CLAUSE WITH waaw al-Haal
expressing the circumstances under which an action takes place is to use the
connecting particle wa- followed by a pronoun and a clause describing the
circumstances.

.–£—G „£¤j ’gh …L’ah
wa-fuuji√-a wa-huwa ya-qTa¬-u l-HaTab-a.
He was surprised while he was cutting wood.

.kÉq«e“°SEG kÉqj R ¿ÉjóJôj ɪgh “NO
daxal-aa wa-humaa ya-rtadiy-aani ziyy-an √islaamiyy-an.
The two of them entered wearing Islamic garb.


8
Cantarino (1975, II:193-96) lists five form classes that may be used with the circumstantial
accusative: adjectives, active participles, passive participles, substantives, or “infinitives”
(i.e., maSdars; verbal nouns).
Adverbs and adverbial expressions 285


.m≥jôW íàa «hÉ«j ’gh ¬«∏Y Iô©°T ⣤°S
saqaT-at shajarat-un ¬alay-hi wa-huwa yu-Haawil-u fatH-a Tariiq-in.
A tree fell on him while he was trying to open a road.


2.3.1.7 Haal WITH PAST TENSE: If the circumstances referred to by the Haal
structure precede the action noted by the main verb, and especially if they form a
background for the main verb, the waaw al-Haal is used with qad and a past tense
verb. Abboud and McCarus state that “this construction indicates a completed
action whose results are still in effect” (1985, Part I:537).

.»H ô©dG ¦OɦdG ¬ªq¶f óbh . . . ÊÉãdG ô“D’ŸG ¢ùeCG ≈¡àfG
intahaa √ams-i l-mu√tamar-u l-thaanii . . . . wa-qad naZZam-a-hu l-naadii l-¬arabiyy-u.
Yesterday the second conference ended . . . having been organized by the
Arabic club (˜the Arabic club having organized it™).

2.3.1.8 Haal CLAUSES WITHOUT waaw: In yet another form of Haal, a main verb may
be followed directly by another verb that gives a further description of either the
agent or the object of the main verb. Most often, the main verb is past tense and
the following verb in the present tense, but not always.

. . . «’¤j ≈°†eh .A“W ¢Tôj ¬JógÉ°T
wa-maDaa ya-quul-u shaahad-at-hu ya-rushsh-u Talaa√-an.
He went on, saying . . . She saw him spattering paint.

.ô¶à¦J n‚cÎJ ™
laa ta-truk-u-ka ta-ntaZir-u.
It does not leave you waiting.


2.3.2 The cognate accusative: al-maf¬uul al-muTlaq ≥∏£ŸG «’©˜ŸG
The cognate accusative is an elegant way of emphasizing or enhancing a previ-
ous statement by deriving a verbal noun from the main verb or predicate (which
may also be in the form of a participle or verbal noun) and modifying the
derived verbal noun with an adjective that intensifies the effect of the state-
ment. The verbal noun and its modifying adjective are usually in the indefinite
accusative.


2.3.2.1 VERBAL NOUN ADJECTIVE:

.kÉ«∏c kÉcGQOEG ‚dP ‘QóJ
tu-drik-u dhaalika √idraak-an kulliyy-an.
It realizes that fully.
286 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


.kádÉq©a ácQÉ°»e É¡«a ‘QÉ°»j
yu-shaarik-u fii-haa mushaarakt-an fa¬¬aalat-an.
He is participating effectively in it.

.kÉqj QòL “M ´’°V’ŸG π—
q
li-Hall-i l-mawDuu¬-i Hall-an jidhriyy-an
to solve the problem fundamentally

.kGójó°T kÉMôa ‚dòd ¬ô˜a
fa-fariH-a li-dhaalika faraH-an shadiid-an.
He was extremely happy at that.

.kIóq«L káaô©e kÉ°†©H º¡°†©H G’aô©j ¿CG Ú¦WG’ŸG ≈∏Yh
wa-¬alaa l-muwaaTin-iina √an ya-¬rif-uu ba¬D-u-hum ba¬D-an ma¬rifat-an jayyidat-an.
It is necessary for citizens to know each other well.


2.3.3.2 The cognate accusative structure may also have
VERBAL NOUN IN √iDaafa:
the verbal noun as the second term of an √iDaafa construction whose first term is
a qualifier or quantifier in the accusative case:

.±“àN™G sπc ∞∏à®j
ya-xtalif-u kull-a l-ixtilaaf-i.
It differs completely.

.âeób Ée ≈∏Y ôµ°»dG n≥«ªY ‘ôµ°TCG
√a-shkur-u-ka ¬amiiq-a l-shukr-i ¬alaa maa qaddam-ta.
I thank you deeply for what you have offered.


2.3.4 Other phrasal manner adverbials
Phrases that function adverbially are of two sorts: accusative adverbials or prepo-
sitional phrases.

2.3.4.1 ˜ALONE, The adverbial
óMh
nr n
waHd-a PRONOUN SUFFIX BY ONE™S SELF™:
expression waHd-a plus pronoun suffix is used in apposition with a noun to
indicate or specify the meaning of ˜alone,™ ˜on one™s own,™ or ˜by one™s self.™ It is
invariably in the accusative case, no matter what case its head noun is in, and is
suffixed with a personal pronoun that refers back to the head noun.

o√nórMnh »°SÉ‘©dG ’eC“d .ídÉ°üdG „LôŸG √nórMnh ’g
li-l-√amiir-i l-¬abbaasiyy-i waHd-a-hu huwa waHd-a-hu l-marji¬-u l-SaaliH-u.
for the Abbasid amir alone He alone is the competent authority.
Adverbs and adverbial expressions 287


.»˜µJ ™ ÉgnórMnh ᦰù—G ¤É«¦dG .¿ÉcódG ¤EG √nórMnh –gP
al-niyaat-u l-Hasanat-u waHd-a-haa laa ta-kfii. dhahab-a waHd-a-hu √ilaa l-dukkaan-i
Good intentions alone are not enough. He went to the shop by himself.

2.3.4.2 PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES: A prepositional phrase may function as manner
adverbial.
(1) bi- `H or fii ˜: The preposition bi- is often used with a noun to modify a verb
phrase by describing the manner in which an action takes place.

.¿’¦©H É¡q‘MCG .⪰üH É¡«dEG ô¶¦j
√aHabb-a-haa bi-junuun-in. ya-nZur-u √ilay-haa bi-Samt-in.
He loved her madly. He looks at her in silence/silently.
.Ió°»H ´hô°»ŸG â°†aQ .áYô°ùH «É©J
rafaD-at-i l-mashruu¬-a bi-shiddat-in. ta¬aal-a bi-sur¬at-in!
It refused the plan forcefully. Come quickly!

When indicating manner, bi- or fii are sometimes prefixed to a noun such
as Suura ˜manner,™ Tariiqa ˜way,™ or shakl ˜form™ followed by a modifier that
provides the exact description of the manner:
„°SG’dG πµ°»dG Gò¡H »°SÉ°SCG πµ°T ˜
bi-haadhaa l-shakl-i l-waasi¬-i fii shakl-in √asaasiyy-in
in this extensive way in a fundamental way
¦QòL πµ°T ˜ áeÉY IQ’°üH
fii shakl-in jidhriyy-in bi-Suurat-in ¬aammat-in
in a radical way generally
á«°SɪM IQ’°üH ájQ’a IQ’°üH
bi-Suurat-in Hamaasiyyat-in bi-Suurat-in fawriyyat-in
enthusiastically immediately
Iô°TÉ‘e ’Z á¤j ô£H á«f’fÉb ’Z ¥ô£H
bi-Tariiqat-in ghayr-i mubaashirat-in bi-Turuq-in ghayr-i qaanuuniyyat-in
indirectly in illegal ways
(2) Other prepositions may also occur in manner adverbial phrases:
.OGô˜fG ≈∏Y á«°†b qπc ˜ ò®à«°S QGô¤dG
al-qaraar-u sa-yu-ttaxadh-u fii kull-i qaDiyyat-in ¬alaa nfiraad-in.
Decision will be made on each issue individually.
.IOÉ©dÉc á‘ൟG ˜ ¢SQóJ
ta-drus-u fii l-maktabat-i ka-l-¬aadat-i.
She is studying in the library, as usual.
288 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


3 Place adverbials

3.1 One-word adverbs of place

3.1.1 hunaa ɦog and hunaaka n‘ɦog ˜here™ and ˜there™
These two adverbs are deictic locatives, that is, they indicate proximity or
remoteness from the speaker. They are also considered locative pronouns. In
addition to indicating relative distance, the adverb hunaaka n‘ɦog ˜there™ is used
figuratively for existential predications to indicate the concept “there is” or
“there are.” These adverbs are invariable; they always end with fatHa. A variant of
hunaaka ‘ɦog indicating slightly greater distance is hunaalika n‚pdɦog ˜(over) there.™

3.1.1.1 hunaa ɦg ˜HERE™
.º∏—G CGó‘j ɦg ɦg ¤EG ɦ„L Éeó¦Y
hunaa ya-bda√-u l-Hulm-u. ¬ind-a-maa ji√-naa √ilaa hunaa
Here begins the dream. when we came here
.»Jô°SCG „e ɦg ¢»«YCG !ɦg øY ó©àHÉa
√a-¬iish-u hunaa ma¬-a √usrat-ii. fa-bta¬id ¬an hunaa!
I live here with my family. So you get away from here!

3.1.1.2 hunaaka ‘ɦg ˜THERE™ (SPATIAL LOCATIVE)
.‘ɦg ¤EG ó©°üj ¿CG ójôj .óHC™G ¤EG ‘ɦg π¶J ød
yu-riid-u √an ya-S¬ad-a √ilaa hunaaka. lan ta-Zall-a hunaaka √ilaa l-√abad-i.
He wants to go up there. It won™t stay there forever.

3.1.1.3 hunaaka ‘ɦg ˜THERE IS; THERE ARE™ (EXISTENTIAL LOCATIVE)
.á«MÉ«°S –Jɵe á©HQCG ‘ɦg . . . «’¤j øe ‘ɦg
hunaaka √arba¬at-u makaatib-a siyaaHiyyat-in. hunaaka man ya-quul-u . . .
There are four tourist offices. There are [those] who say . . .
.q»∏«FGô°SEG q»¦«£°ù∏a ¥É˜JG ‘ɦ¡`a
fa-hunaaka ttifaaq-un filisTiiniyy-un-israa√iiliyy-un.
There is a Palestinian-Israeli agreement.
.QG’L ø°ùM áb“Y ‘ɦg ¿’µJ ¿CG »¨‘¦j
ya-nbaghii √an ta-kuun-a hunaaka ¬alaaqat-u Husn-i jiwaar-in.
There ought to be a good neighbor relationship.

3.1.1.4 This variant of hunaaka is very similar in meaning
‚dɦg:
hunaalika
although sometimes it indicates a more remote distance (actual or figurative).
.–©°»dG ¢ù∏› «’Nód Iôµa ‚dɦg âfÉc
kaan-at hunaalika fikrat-un li-duxuul-i majlis-i l-sha¬b-i.
There was (remotely) an idea of entering the house of representatives.
Adverbs and adverbial expressions 289


3.1.2 thammat-a náqªK ˜there is; there are™
The word thammat-a náqªK has fatHa as an invariable ending and predicates existence
in much the same way as hunaaka n‘ɦg.

á˜∏ଂ º«b áqªãa . . . ¿GC ¿ hó¤à©j Aɪ∏Y áqªK h
q
fa-thammat-a qiyam-un muxtalifat-un wa-thammat-a ¬ulamaa√-u ya¬-taqid-uuna √anna . . .
for there are different values and there are scholars who believe that . . .

.ºFɪM hCG Q’¤°U áqªK ôeC™G ˜ ¢ù«d
lays-a fii l-√amr-i thammat-a Suquur-un √aw Hamaa√im -u.
There are neither hawks nor doves in the matter.

?‚dP ¤EG ¤ÉaÉ°VEG áqªK πg
hal thammat-a √iDaafaat-un √ilaa dhaalika?
Are there additions to that?

3.1.3 Hayth-u å«M ˜where™
The connective adverb Hayth-u denotes the concept of ˜where™ or ˜in which™ and
connects one clause with another. It has an invariable Damma suffix.9

¢SQóJ å«M á«∏c ˜ åjó—G „e §∏à®j Ëó¤dG å«M
fii kulliyyat-in Hayth-u tu-darris-u Hayth-u l-qadiim-u ya-xtaliT-u ma¬-a l-Hadiith-i
in a college where she teaches where the old mixes with the new

≥jô£dG –Fô°»J å«M
Hayth-u ta-shra√ibb-u l-Tariiq-u
where the road stretches

3.2 Accusative adverbial of place
A noun may be marked with the indefinite accusative in order to indicate direc-
tion or location.

?k™Éª°T hCG kɦ«Á ¤ô°S πg
hal sir-ta yamiin-an √aw shimaal-an?
Did you go right or left?

3.3 Locative adverbs or semi-prepositions (Zuruuf makaan
wa-Zuruuf zamaan ¿ÉeR ±hôXh ¿Éµe ±hôX)
These adverbs are actually nouns of location marked with the accusative case,
functioning as the first term of an √iDaafa, with a following noun in the genitive,
or with a pronoun suffix. The location may be spatial or temporal. Although close

9
Note that the question word “where?” is different: √ayna nøjCG (see Chapter 17, section 1); see also
Chapter 18, section 6.1.
290 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


to prepositions in both meaning and function, these words are of substantive
(usually triliteral root) origin and may inflect for genitive case if they are pre-
ceded by a true preposition.10

Q’¡°TCG á©HQCG ó©H ÚরS π‘b
ba¬d-a √arba¬at-i √ashhur-in qabl-a sanat-ayni
after four months two years ago

.AÉŸG â“ ¢»«©J á«‘°»N I󰆦e â“ øe
ta-¬iish-u taHt-a l-maa√-i. min taHt-i minDadat-in
They live under water. xashabiyyat-in
from under a wooden table

3.4 Phrasal adverbs of place
Adverbial expressions of place often occur in the form of prepositional phrases.

.á∏à™G ¢Só¤dG ˜ ¬JÉYɪàLG CGóH ódÉN ‚∏ŸG ≈˜°»à°ùe ˜
bada√-a jtimaa¬aat-i-hi fii l-quds-i l-muHtallat-i. fii mustashfaa l-malik-i xaalid-in
He began his meetings in occupied Jerusalem. at King Khalid Hospital

‹hódG ó«©°üdG ≈∏Y
∞«°UôdG ≈∏Y ≈¡¤e ˜
fii maqhan ¬alaa l-raSiif-i ¬alaa l-Sa¬iid-i l-duwaliyy -i
at a caf© on the sidewalk on the international level

4 Time adverbials
Adverbial expressions of time fall into four categories: basic adverbs, single nouns
and adjectives in the accusative, compound time demonstratives, and phrases.

4.1 Basic adverbs of time
These words denote particular points in time and tend to remain in one form
without inflecting for case or definiteness.

4.1.1 √ams-i ¢ùeCG ˜yesterday™
The invariable adverb √ams-i is unusual in that it ends in kasra. It does not take nuna-
tion even when it lacks the definite article. According to Wright, the kasra is not a
case ending, but an anaptyctic vowel, added to ease pronunciation.11 In terms of
placement within a sentence, it is flexible because it is a short word and it is often
inserted prior to a longer phrase; the only place it does not occur is in initial position.


10
See also Chapter 16 on prepositions and semi-prepositions, section 3.
11
“The kesra is not the mark of the genitive but merely a light vowel, added to render the
pronunciation easy” Wright 1967, I:290. Note that if the definite article is attached to √ams, it
becomes fully inflectable.
Adverbs and adverbial expressions 291


.p¢ùeCG IôgɤdG ¤EG OÉY .p¢ùeCG §¤°ùe ¤EG ¿É°ù«FôdG π°Uh
¬aad-a √ilaa l-qaahirat-i √ams-i. waSal-a l-ra√iis-aani √ilaa masqaT-a √ams-i.
He returned to Cairo yesterday. The two presidents arrived in Muscat yesterday.

. . . ¢ùeCG ¬É‘°U ¿É¦‘d ¤’°U ’jOGQ ôcP
p
dhakar-a raadyuu Sawt-u lubnaan-a SabaaH-a √ams-i . . .
the radio [station] “The Voice of Lebanon” mentioned yesterday morning . . .

4.1.1.1 OCCASIONALLY, √ams IS USED WITH THE DEFINITE ARTICLE.
.p¢ùeC™ÉH ‘GP ¿Éc
kaana dhaaka bi-l-√ams-i.
That was yesterday.

4.1.1.2 Because it is used adverbially, √ams-i is considered to be a “virtual”
accusative (despite the presence of kasra), so that when it has a modifier, or noun
in apposition, that modifier or noun is in the accusative case:

n«qhC™G p¢ùeCG Égòq˜f IQÉZ ˜
fii ghaarat-in naffadh-a-haa √ams-i l-√awwal-a
in a raid it carried out the day before yesterday

4.1.2 al-√aan-a n¿B™G ˜now™
The expression al-√aan-a is invariable as an adverb, remaining in the accusative
even after a preposition:

!n¿B™G íàaG .Écΰ»e «ÉªYCG «hóL n¿B™G ¿Gójôj
iftaH-i l-√aan-a! yu-riid-aani l-√aan-a jadwal-a √a¬maal-in
Open now! mushtarik-an.
They (two) now want a shared agenda.

.á∏ÛG øe GOóY ¿’°ùªNh á°ùªN n¿B™G ≈àM ô¡Xh
wa-Zahar-a Hattaa l-√aan-a xamsat-un wa-xamsuuna ¬adad-an min-a l-majallat-i.
Up to now 55 issues of the magazine have appeared.

4.1.3 ba¬d-u oó©H ˜yet; still™
The word ba¬d-u, with the Damma inflection and no nunation, acts as an adverb in
negative clauses to mean ˜not. . . yet,™ ˜still . . . not.™ When inflected with the
Damma, it cannot be the first term of a genitive construct.12
12
The Damma is not thought to represent the nominative case here but is rather an archaic form of
Semitic locative “un ancien cas adverbial en -u qui n™est pas le nominatif” (Lecomte 1968, 90).
Similar forms such as qabl-u ˜before,™ fawq-u ˜above,™ and taHt-u ˜beneath™ also exist, with the
restriction that they may not occur as the first term of an √iDaafa. On this topic see also Fleisch
1961, I:280, and Chapter 16, section 3.4.3.
292 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


.oó©H º¡àj’g ∞°»µJ „ .oó©H º„à∏J „ ÉMhôL ‘ôJ
lam tu-kshaf huwiyyaat-u-hum ba¬d-u. tarak-a juruuH-an lam ta-lta√im ba¬d-u.
Their identities have not yet been It left wounds that still have not healed.
revealed.

.oó©H √óY’e Oó«j „
lam yu-Haddad maw¬id-u-hu ba¬d-u.
Its date has not yet been set.

.Újô°üŸG ¤’«H øe á∏b ¤EG i’°S oó©H π°üj „
lam ya-Sil ba¬d-u siwaa √ilaa qillat-in min buyuut-i l-miSriyy-iina.
It has still reached very few Egyptian households. (It still hasn™t reached but a
few Egyptian households.)

4.1.3.1 ˜LATER™: The idiomatic expression fii-maa ba¬d-u
oó©H ɪ«a
¬i-maa ba¬d-u
means ˜later; later on.™

.‚HÉàc ˜ oó©H ɪ«a É¡©°V ºK .oó©H ɪ«a ‚d ø˜∏JCÉ°S
thumm-a Da¬-haa fii-maa ba¬d-u sa-√u-talfin-u la-ka fii-maa ba¬d-u.
fii kitaab-i-ka. I will telephone (˜to™) you later.
Then put it later in your book.

4.1.4 thumm-a sºK; min thumm-a sºK øe ˜then; after that; subsequently™
Both of these expressions denote sequential action. Note that thumm-a invariably
ends with fatHa.

.á©eÉ·G ˜ πª©dG ¤EG sºK øe π¤àfG .ȦŸG ¤EG ó©°U sºK
intaqal-a min thumm-a thumm-a Sa¬ad-a √ilaa l-minbar-i.
√ilaa l-¬amal-i fii l-jaami¬at-i. Then he went up onto the dais.
After that he transferred to
work in the university.

4.2 Time nouns and adjectives in the accusative
Specific times or time nouns are marked for the accusative. They may be definite
or indefinite.

4.2.1 Inde¬nite accusative time nouns
?kGóHCG πNóàf ™ hCG πNóরS πg
hal sa-na-tadaxxal-u √aw laa na-tadaxxal-u √abad-an?
Shall we interfere or never interfere?

.IôgɤdG ¤EG ¤AÉL kG’NCGh .É¡©e áb“Y ≈∏Y ɪFGO G’fÉc
k
kaan-uu daa√im-an ¬alaa ¬alaaqat-in ma¬-a-haa.
wa-√axiir-an jaa√-at √ilaa l-qaahirat-i.
And finally she came to Cairo. They were always in touch with her.
Adverbs and adverbial expressions 293


.πª©dG „bG’e kGóZ ó¤˜àj ¢ù«FôdG
al-ra√ iis-u ya-tafaqqad-u ghad-an mawaaqi¬-a l-¬amal-i.
The President inspects work sites tomorrow.

.á«°ù¦·G ≈∏Y ÉãjóM â∏°üM .kÉqj’¦°S ÚYɪàLG ó¤©à°S ᦩ∏dG
k
HaSal-tu Hadiith-an ¬alaa l-jinsiyyat-i. al-lajnat-u sa-ta-¬qud-u jtimaa¬-ayni sanawiyy-an.
I recently obtained citizenship. The committee will hold two meetings yearly.

kÉY’‘°SCG ¥ô¨à°ùJ É«°ù«fhófE™ IQÉjR ˜
fii ziyaarat-in li-√induuniisiyaa ta-staghriq-u √usbuu¬-an
on a visit to Indonesia that lasts a week

.kGóMGh kÉe’j ôªà°ùJ Ihó¦dG
al-nadwat-u ta-stamirr-u yawm-an waaHid-an.
The seminar lasts one day.

4.2.2 De¬nite accusative time nouns
á«°VÉŸG π‘b á∏«∏dG
n¢ù«ªÿG n„¦’«dG n
al-yawm-a l-xamiis-a al-laylat-a qabl-a l-maaDiyat-i
today, Thursday the night before last

.»°VÉŸG p¿ô¤dG n„∏£e É¡eGó®à°SG ôq«¨J
taghayyar-a stixdaam-u-haa maTla¬-a l-qarn-i l-maaDii
Its use changed at the onset/beginning of the last century.

4.3 Compound time adverbials

4.3.1 -dhaaka n‘GP- expressions
Time nouns in the accusative suffixed with the pronominal -dhaaka are equivalent
in meaning to a locative demonstrative phrase, e.g., “that year,” “that day.”

4.3.1.1 √aan-a-dhaaka n‘GòfBG ˜AT THAT TIME™
.„¦Éªàg™G øe kGQÉq«J n‘GòfBG ¬HÉàc ≥∏WCG
√aTlaq-a kitaab-u-hu √aan-a-dhaaka tayyaar-an min-a l-ihtimaam-i.
His book set off a wave of interest at that time.

.¥É˜J™G ¤EG πq°U’àdG ‚°Th ≈∏Y º¡qfEG n‘GòfBG «Éb
qaal-a √aan-a-dhaaka √inna-hum ¬alaa washk-i l-tawaSSul-i √ilaa l-ittifaaq-i.
He said at that time that they were on the verge of arriving at the agreement.

4.3.1.2 yawm-a-dhaaka n‘Gòne’j ˜THAT DAY™
.n‘Gòne’j §OÉ—G ≈¡àfG .§ó—G øY n‘Gòne’j G’Kó“
intahaa l-Hadath-u yawm-a-dhaaka. taHaddath-uu yawm-a-dhaaka ¬an-i l-Hadath-i.
The incident ended that day. That day they spoke about the event.
294 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


4.3.1.3 sanat-a-dhaaka n‘GònরS AND ¬aam-a-dhaaka n‘GòneÉY ˜THAT YEAR™
.’‘µdG §ó—G ¿Éc n‘GònরS ɵjôeCG ±É°»àcG
iktishaaf-u √amriikaa sanat-a-dhaaka kaan-a l-Hadath-a l-kabiir-a.
The discovery of America that year was the great event.

.Q™hO ¿’«∏H øjô°»Yh á©‘°S n‘GòneÉY ⤤M
Haqqaq-at ¬aam-a-dhaaka sab¬at-an wa-¬ishriina bilyuun-a duulaar-in.
It realized that year 27 billion dollars.

4.3.2 -√idhin òF- expressions
m
These are more common in literary Arabic than in day-to-day journalistic prose.

ba¬d-a-√idhin mòFnó©H ˜after that™

.ôgÉe QGO ¤EG π¤àfG mòFnó©Hh
wa-ba¬da-√idhin intaqal-a √ilaa daar-i maahir-in.
And after that he moved to Mahir™s house.

4.4 Adverbial time phrases
A noun denoting either a point in time or a period of time may occur in the
accusative to denote that it is functioning adverbially. The nouns may be indefi-
nite or definite, depending on the structure. For an expression of time in general,
the indefinite accusative is used:

.kGQÉ¡fh k“«d ≈©°ùj
ya-s¬aa layl-an wa-nahaar-an.
He hurries night and day.

For specific expressions of time the accusative may be used with demonstrative

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