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«qhC™G øjô°»J øe øeÉãdG ˜ •É‘°T øe ¢ùeÉÿG ˜
fii l-thaamin-i min tishriina l-√awwal-i fii l-xaamis-i min shubaaT-a
on the eighth of October on the fifth of February

2.3 Eleventh through nineteenth
These compound adjectives consist of the tens ordinal numeral plus a masculine
or feminine form of the word for “ten” ¬ashar-a or ¬ashrat-a. Both parts of the com-
pound adjective agree in gender with the noun they modify. However, both
parts of the compound teens ordinal are always in the accusative case, no matter
what the case of the noun they are modifying. The definite article goes on the
first element of the compound only.

eleventh nôn°»nY n¦pOÉ—G nInôr°»nY nánjpOÉ—G
al-Haadiy-a ¬ashr-a al-Haadiyat-a ¬ashrat-a

twelfth nôn°»nY n»pfÉãdG nInôr°»nY nán«pfÉãdG
al-thaaniy-a ¬ashar-a al-thaaniyat-a ¬ashrat-a

thirteenth nôn°»nY nåpdÉãdG nInôr°»nY nánãpdÉãdG
al-thaalith-a ¬ashar-a al-thaalithat-a ¬ashrat-a

fourteenth nôn°»nY n„pHGôdG nInôr°»nY nán©pHGôdG
al-raabi¬-a ¬ashar-a al-raabi¬at-a ¬ashrat-a

fifteenth nôn°»nY n¢ùpeÉÿG nInôr°»nY nán°ùpeÉÿG
al-xaamis-a ¬ashar-a al-xaamisat-a ¬ashrat-a

sixteenth nôn°»nY n¢SpOÉ°ùdG nInôr°»nY nán°SpOÉ°ùdG
al-saadis-a ¬ashar-a al-saadisat-a ¬ashrat-a

seventeenth nôn°»nY n„pHÉ°ùdG nInôr°»nY nán©pHÉ°ùdG
al-saabi¬-a ¬ashar-a al-saabi¬at-a ¬ashrat-a

eighteenth nôn°»nY nøpeÉãdG nInôr°»nY nán¦peÉãdG
al-thaamin-a ¬ashar-a al-thaaminat-a ¬ashrat-a

nineteenth nôn°»nY n„p°SÉàdG nInôr°»nY nán©p°SÉàdG
al-taasi¬-a ¬ashr-a al-taasi¬at-a ¬ashrat-a

Iô°»Y á°ùeÉÿG É¡JQhO ˜
ô°»Y ¦OÉ—G ¦’¦°ùdG ¢Vô©ŸG
q
al-ma¬raD-u l-sanawiyy-u l-Haadiy-a fii dawrat-i-haa l-xaamisat-a ¬ashrat-a
in its fifteenth session
¬ashar-a
the eleventh annual exhibition
Numerals and numeral phrases 359


.ô°»Y ÊÉãdG ¿ô¤dG ¤EG É¡®j QÉJ O’©j
ya-¬uud-u taariikh-u-haa √ilaa l-qarn-i l-thaaniy-a ¬ashar-a.
Its history goes back to the twelfth century.

ôª©dG øe Iô°»Y á©HGôdG ˜ ≈àa
fatan fii l-raabi¬at-a ¬ashrat-a min-a l-¬umr-i
a youth in his fourteenth year (˜the fourteenth [year] of age™)

Iô°»Y á©HGôdG iôcòdG ˜ ¦O“«ŸG ô°»Y ¢ùeÉÿG ¿ô¤dG ˜
q
fii l-dhikraa l-raabi¬at-a ¬ashrat-a fii l-qarn-i l-xaamis-a ¬ashar-a l-miilaadiyy-i
on the fourteenth anniversary in the fifteenth century AD

.Iô°»Y á°SOÉ°ùdG áq«∏™G á¤HÉ°ùŸG íààaG
iftataH-a l-musaabaqat-a l-maHaliyyat-a l-saadisat-a ¬ashrat-a.
He opened the sixteenth local competition.

2.4 Twentieth to ninety-ninth
The ordinals for the group of numerals from twenty to ninety-nine are of two
types: straight tens (“twentieth, fortieth, eightieth”) and compound tens (“twenty-
first, forty-fifth, fifty-third”). In both cases the tens component does not vary from
its numeral shape. That is, twentieth (¬ishruuna ¿hô°»Y) and twenty (¬ishruuna)
look the same. However, as an adjective, ¬ishruuna may take a definite article, and
it agrees in case with the noun it modifies. It remains invariable in gender.

øjô°»©dG ¿ô¤dG ˜ É¡d“¤à°S™ Ú°ùªÿG ó«©dG ˜
fii l-qarn-i l-¬ishriina fii l-¬iid-i l-xamsiina l-istiqlaal-i-haa
in the twentieth century on the 50th anniversary of its
independence

.Ú°ùªÿG ÉgO“«e „¦’«`H π˜à“
ta-Htafil-u bi-yawm-i miilaad-i-haa l-xamsiina.
She is celebrating her 50th birthday.

With the compound tens ordinals, the first part of the compound has the ordi-
nal form of the number and agrees with the following noun in gender. Both parts
of the tens ordinal agree in case and definiteness with the modified noun. Note
that the word Haad-in mOÉM (def. Haadii ¦OÉM) is used to indicate ˜first™ in tens
compounds.

øjô°»©dGh ¦OÉ—G ÉgO“«e ó«Y ˜ øjô°»©dGh ¦OÉ—G ¿ô¤dG ˜
fii ¬iid-i miilaad-i-haa l-Haadii fii l-qarn-i l-Haadii wa-l-¬ishriina
wa-l-¬ishriina in the twenty-first century
on her twenty-first birthday
360 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


øjô°»©dGh á¦eÉãdG IGQÉ‘ŸG ˜ ¿’qà°ùdGh ájOÉ—G iôcòdG
fii l-mubaaraat-i l-thaaminat-i wa-l-¬ishriina al-dhikraa l-Haadiyat-u wa-l-sittuuna
in the twenty-eighth match the sixty-first anniversary

2.5 Hundredth
The ordinal expression for “hundredth” looks like the word “hundred.” It follows
the noun it modifies and agrees in definiteness and case, but not in gender. It
remains invariably feminine.

.á„ŸG ¬‘«JôJ ¿Éc
kaan-a tartiib-u-hu l-mi√at-a.
His ranking was hundredth.

3 Other number-based expressions

3.1 Fractions
With the exception of the word for “half ” (niSf ∞°üf), fractions are of the pattern
fu¬l π©a /√af ¬aal «É©aCG, based on the numeral root. In syntax, the fraction word nor-
mally acts as the first term of an √iDaafa structure.

a half niSf /√anSaaf ±É°ürfnCG/∞r°üpf
a third thulth/√athlaath §“rKnCG / år∏oK
a fourth, a quarter rub¬/√arbaa¬ ´ÉHrQnCG /„rHoQ
a fifth xums/√axmaas ¢SɪrNnCG / ¢ùrªoN
a sixth suds/√asdaas ¢SGór°SnCG /¢Sró°S
o
a seventh sub¬/√asbaa¬ ´É‘r°SnCG /„r‘o°S
an eighth thumn/√athmaan ¿ÉªrKnCG / ørªoK
a ninth tus¬/√atsaa¬ ´É°ùrJnCG / „r°ùoJ
a tenth QÉ°»rYnCG / ôr°»oY
¬ushr/√a¬shaar

¿ÉeµdG øe ¿ôb ∞°üf
áahô©ŸG ´G’fC™G ∞°üf
niSf-u l-√anwaa¬-i l-ma¬ruufat-i niSf-u qarn-in min-a l-zamaan-i
half of the known species half a century of time

¿ôb „HQ ò¦e
«ÉjQ „HQ
rub¬-u riyaal-in mundh-u rub¬-i qarn-in
a quarter of a rial a quarter of a century ago
Numerals and numeral phrases 361


.¢SQ¨¦µdG »°ù∏› ˜ AÉ°†YC™G »ã∏K ¤EG êÉà«j
ya-Htaaj-u √ilaa thulth-ay-i l-a¬Daa√-i fii majlis-ay-i l-kunghris.
It requires two-thirds of the members of both houses of Congress.


3.1.1 Fractions as nouns
A fraction may function as a substantive or independent noun:

øjô°»©dG ¿ô¤dG øe ÊÉãdG ∞°ü¦dG ˜
fii l-niSf-i l-thaanii min-a l-qarn-i l-¬ishriina
in the second half of the twentieth century

.«qhC™G „HôdG ˜ qπbCG ɦ°ù˜fCÉH ɦà¤K âfÉc
kaan-at thiqat-u-naa bi-√anfus-i-naa √aqall-a fii l-rub¬-i l-√awwal-i.
Our self-confidence was less in the first quarter.


3.1.2 Special functions of niSf ∞°üf :
The term niSf may also function as the equivalent of “semi-” or “hemi-”:

q¦ ’¦°ùdG ∞°üf ´ÉªàL™G ˜ q‹Éª°»dG IôµdG ∞°üf
fii l-ijtimaa¬-i niSf-i l-sanawiyy-i niSf-u l-kurat-i l-shimaaliyy-u
in the semi-annual meeting the northern hemisphere

And niSf also indicates the half-hour, as does English “thirty”:

kÉMÉ‘°U ∞°ü¦dGh Iô°T É©dG ≈qàM
Hattaa l-¬aashirat-i wa-l-niSf-i SabaaH-an
until ten-thirty in the morning


3.2 Telling time
The ordinal numbers are used for telling time in MSA. The word “hour” (saa¬a
áYÉ°S) may or may not be mentioned, but the ordinal numeral is in the feminine
form, agreeing with that noun.

á¦eÉãdG áYÉ°ùdG ˜
fii l-saa¬at-i l-thaaminat-i
at eight o™clock (˜at the eighth hour™)

ÉMÉ‘°U Iô°»Y ájOÉ—G áYÉ°ùdG óMC™G „¦’«dG
k
al-yawm-a l-√aHad-a l-saa¬at-a l-Haadiyat-a ¬ashrat-a SabaaH-an
today, Sunday, at 11:00 in the morning

Rather than expressions such as “seven-fifteen” or “seven-twenty” or “seven-
thirty,” Arabic usually uses fractions of the hour: rub¬, thulth, and niSf:
362 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


óZ AÉ°ùe øe „HôdGh á©HÉ°ùdG ˜
fii l-saabi¬at-i wa-l-rub¬-i min masaa√-i ghad-in
at seven-fifteen (˜and the quarter™) tomorrow evening

óZ AÉ°ùe øe kÉ©HQ q™EGp á©HÉ°ùdG ˜
fii l-saabi¬at-i √illaa rub√-an min masaa√-i ghad-in16
at 6:45 tomorrow evening (the seventh [hour] less a quarter)
¢ùeCG AÉ°ùe å∏ãdGh á°ùeÉÿG ˜
fii l-xaamisat-i wa-l-thulth-i masaa√-a √ams-i
at 5:20 (˜five and the third™) yesterday evening
¢ùeCG AÉ°ùe Éã∏K ™GE á°ùeÉÿG ˜
kq
fii l-xaamisat-i illaa thulth-an masaa√-a √ams-i
at 4:40 (˜five less a third™) yesterday evening

„¦’«dG AÉ°ùe ∞°ü¦dGh Iô°T É©dG ˜
fii l-¬aashirat-i wa-l-niSf-i masaa√-a l-yawm-i
at ten-thirty (˜ten and the half ™) this evening (˜the evening of today™)
The word for minute is daqiiqa ᤫbO. In telling time, it is also used with an ordi-
nal numeral:
á°ùeÉÿG ᤫbódGh á©HGôdG áYÉ°ùdG
al-saa¬at-u l-raabi¬at-u wa-l-daqiiqat-u l-xaamisat-u
4:05 (˜the fourth hour and the fifth minute™)17

3.3 Days of the week
Most of the names of the days of the week are based on the numeral system, as
follows:

Sunday al-√aHad óMC™G
Monday al-ithnayn Ú¦K™G
Tuesday al-thulaathaa√ AÉK“ãdG
Wednesday al-√arbi¬aa√ AÉ©HQC™G
Thursday al-xamiis ¢ù«ªÿG
al-jum¬a18
Friday ᩪ·G
al-sabt19
Saturday â‘°ùdG
16
The exceptive particle √illaa (˜less,™ ˜minus,™ ˜except for™) takes the following noun in the accusative
case. The following noun may be definite or indefinite.
17
For further examples of telling time, see Abboud and McCarus 1985, Part 1:301-303 and Schultz et
al. 2000, 212“13.
18
The word for “Friday” is from the root j-m-¬ ˜to gather together.™
19
The root for “Saturday” is cognate with the word “Sabbath.”
Numerals and numeral phrases 363


When used in syntax, the names of the days may occur independently, with the
definite article, or as the second term of an √iDaafa with the word yawm ˜day,™ or
they may be in apposition with a time word, such as “yesterday,” “tomorrow,” or
“today.”

3.3.1 Independent

»°VÉŸG AÉK“ãdG ¦QÉ·G AÉK“ãdG
al-thulaathaa√-a l-maaDiy-a al-thulaathaa√-a l-jaariy-a
last Tuesday next Tuesday

3.3.2 In an √iDaafa with the word yawm or √ayyam (˜day/days™)
˜
¢ù«ªÿG „¦’j óGM™G „¦ÉqjCG ÉgóMh â‘°ùdG „¦ÉqjCG
yawm-a l-xamiis-i √ayyaam-a l-√aaHaad-i √ayyaam-a l-sabt-i waHd-a-haa
on Thursday on Sundays only on Saturdays

3.3.3 In apposition

Ú¦K™G óZ ¬É‘°U IôgɤdG ˜ óMC™G „¦’«dG
fii l-qaahirat-i SabaaH-a ghad-in-i l-ithnayn-i al-yawm-a l-√aHad-a
in Cairo, tomorrow morning, Monday today, Sunday


3.4 Number adjectives
These are adjectival forms of numbers that attribute a numerical quality to the
item being described. They fall into two categories: the fu¬aaliyy q‹É©oa pattern and
the mufa¬¬al πs©n˜oe (PP II) pattern.

3.4.1 thunaa√iyy »FɦK ˜bilateral; two-sided™
iôNCG «hO „e áq«FɦK ¤GógÉ©e
mu¬aahadaat-un thunaa√iyyat-un ma¬-a duwal-in √uxraa
bilateral agreements with other countries

.øjô£¤dG ÚH áq«FɦãdG ¤Éb“©dG ¿É‘fÉ·G ¢Vô©à°SG
ista¬raD-a l-jaanib-aani l-¬alaaqaat-i l-thunaa√iyyat-a bayn-a l-quTr-ayni.
The two sides reviewed the bilateral relations between the two countries.


3.4.2 thulaathiyy
»K“K ˜tripartite; trilateral™; thulaathiyya áq«K“K ˜trilogy™
∞«¦L ˜ áq«K“ãdG ᦩ∏dG áq«K“K «É©aCG
al-lajnat-u l-thulaathiyyat-u fii jiniif √af¬aal-un thulaathiyyat-un
the tripartite committee in Geneva triliteral (lexical) roots
364 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


kÉ«K“K kÉbɘqJG 1978 „¦ÉY â©qbh ô°üe q¿CG
√anna miSr-a waqqa¬-at ¬aam-a 1978 ittifaaq-an thulaathiyy-an
that Egypt signed in the year 1978 a tripartite/trilateral agreement

.¬àq«K“K RÉ‚EG ≈∏Y ¿B™G πª©j
ya-¬mal-u l-√aan-a ¬alaa √injaaz-i thulaathiyyat-i-hi.
He is working now to complete his trilogy.

3.2.3 rubaa¬iyy »YÉHoQ ˜quadriliteral; four-part™

áq«YÉHQ «É©aCG
√af¬aal-un rubaa¬iyyat-un
quadriliteral verb roots

3.2.4 mufa¬¬al πs©n˜oe
This number adjective takes the form of a Form II passive participle and is used
to refer to something with a characteristic number of sides or features:

åq∏ãe „qH ôe
muthallath murabba¬
triangle (n.); threefold (adj.) square (n. and adj.)

É©qH ôe kGÎe’∏«c ¿’K“Kh á„e „HQCGh ±™BG áK“K
thalaathat-u √aalaaf-in wa-arba¬-u mi√at-in wa-thalaathuuna kiiluumitr-an murabba¬-an
3,430 square kilometers

¢Sqó°ùe á‘©d ¢Sqó°ùe
musaddas musaddas-un lu¬bat-un
six-shooter, gun, revolver; also: hexagonal toy gun

4 Expressions of serial order: “last”
We have already seen the use of expressions for “first” and other numerical rank-
ings. The concept of “last” or “final” is expressed by the terms √aaxir or √axiir. They
are both from the same lexical root but are different in form and distribution.

4.1 √aaxir ôNBG ˜last, ¬nal™
The noun √aaxir is an active participle in form, signifying the final part or the end
part of something. Its plural is √awaaxir ôNGhCG if it refers to nonhuman entities,
and √aaxir-uuna ¿hôNBG (m. pl.) or √aaxir-aat ¤GôNBG (f. pl.) if it refers to humans. It is
often used as the first term of an √iDaafa.
Numerals and numeral phrases 365


„¦’WôÿG øe IOQG’dG AÉ‘fC™G ôNBG
áª∏c ôNBG
√aaxir-u kalimat-in √aaxir-u l-√anbaa√-i l-waaridat-i min-a
the last word l-kharTuum-i
the latest/last news (˜arriving™) from
Khartoum

áq«LQÉ®∏d ôjRh ôNBG π‘¤ŸG QGPBG ôNGhCG ˜
√aaxir-u waziir-in li-l-xaarijiyyat-i fii √awaaxir-i √aadhaar-a l-muqbil-i
the last foreign minister in the last [part] of next March

ᘫ«°üdG „e ¬d á∏Hɤe ôNBG ˜ Q’HÉ£dG ôNBG ó¦Y
fii √aaxir-i muqaabalat-in la-hu ¬ind-a √aaxir-i l-Taabuur-i
ma¬-a l-SaHiifat-i at the end of the line
in his last interview with the
newspaper

.¢VÉjôdG ˜ ¬JÉjQÉ‘e ôNBG q¦O’©°ùdG –®à¦ŸG –©d
la¬ib-a l-muntaxib-u l-sa¬uudiyy-u √aaxir-a mubaariyaat-i-hi fii l-riyaaD-i.
The Saudi team played its last match in Riyadh.

4.2 √axiir ’NCG ˜last; ¬nal™
The word √axiir is an adjective meaning ˜final™ or ˜last™ both in the sense of ˜final™
and of ˜past.™ It usually follows the noun and is in concord with it in terms of gen-
der, case, definiteness, and number.

.’NC™G Qɪ°ùŸG „°Vh I’NC™G „¦G’YC™G ˜
I’NC™G á∏ª·G
al-jumlat-u l-√axiirat-u waDa¬-a l-mismaar-a l-√axiir-a fii l-√a¬waam-i l-√axiirat-i
the last sentence He put [in] the last nail. in the last years

4.2.1 In the accusative indefinite, it is used as an adverb meaning “finally”:

.IôgɤdG ¤EG ¤AÉL kG’NCGh
wa-√axiir-an jaa√-at √ilaa l-qaahirat-i.
And finally she came to Cairo.
16
Prepositions and prepositional phrases


1 Overview
In Arabic as in English, prepositions refer to a location (e.g., ˜at, in™ fii ˜, bi- Ü) or
a direction (e.g., ˜to, from™ ¤EG √ilaa, min øe), and the meanings of prepositions can
apply to concepts of space (˜at school™ fii l-madrasat-i á°SQóŸG ˜) or time (˜at five
o™clock™ fii l-saa¬at-i l-xaamisat-i á°ùeÉÿG áYÉ°ùdG ˜).
Prepositions may also be used in abstract or figurative ways (˜at least™ ¬alaa
l-¬aqall-i πbC™G ≈∏Y; ˜by the way™ ¬alaa fikrat-in Iôµa ≈∏Y). They may occur in conjunc-
tion with verbs to convey a particular meaning (e.g., raHHab-a bi- – –qMQ ˜to wel-
come™ or ¬abbar-a ¬an øY ôq‘Y ˜to express™). Arabic has a number of these verb-prepo-
sition idioms, where the preposition used with the verb is essential for expressing
a specific meaning.


1.1 Arabic preposition types
Arabic prepositional expressions fall into two groups, the first group being a rela-
tively small number (ten) of “true” prepositions, and the other group being a
more extensive collection of locative expressions.


1.2 Huruuf al-jarr qô·G ±hôM
According to Arabic grammatical theory, the non-derived prepositions are the
true, fundamental markers of location and direction, and are called Huruuf
al-jarr qô·G ±h ôM, ˜particles of attraction™ because they “attract” a substantive
(noun or adjective) in the genitive case or a suffix pronoun. These non-derived
prepositions are a limited and invariable set of lexical items.


1.3 Zuruuf makaan wa-Zuruuf zamaan ¿ÉeR ±hôXh ¿Éµe ±hôX
The derived prepositions, on the other hand, usually come from triliteral lex-
ical roots that are also the source of verbs, nouns, and other parts of speech.
They are called locative adverbs, or in Arabic Zuruuf makaan wa-Zuruuf zamaan
¿ÉeR ±h ôXh ¿Éµe ±h ôX ˜adverbs of place and adverbs of time.™ These words
denote location in much the same way as prepositions and in this work they are


366
Prepositions and prepositional phrases 367


referred to as semi-prepositions.1 These semi-prepositions may take different case
inflections or, in some cases, nunation.
Each of the two preposition types has particular attributes, but the basic rule
that applies to both classes is that the noun, noun phrase, or adjective object of
the preposition is in the genitive case.2 If the object of the preposition or semi-
preposition is a personal pronoun, it takes the form of a pronoun suffix.3
Prepositions and semi-prepositions are crucial elements in Arabic syntax, play-
ing fundamental syntactic and semantic roles. However, their usage can be highly
idiomatic and may not necessarily correspond to their English equivalents. There-
fore, a wide selection of examples is included here.

2 True prepositions (Huruuf al-jarr qô·G ±hôM)
This small set of lexical items contains the true Arabic prepositions, words that
exist strictly as prepositions. There are only ten of them in Modern Standard Ara-
bic, but they are of great frequency and they each have a wide range of meanings.
They are: bi- li-, ka-, fii, min, ¬an, √ilaa, ¬alaa, Hattaa and mundhu. One of the dis-
tinctive features of this word class is that a true Arabic preposition (Harf al-jarr
qô·G ±ôM) cannot be preceded by another preposition.
Another characteristic is that only this class of prepositions can combine with
verbs to create verb-preposition idioms (such as baHath-a fii ˜discuss™ and baHath-a
¬an ˜search for™).
This set of items can be divided on the basis of orthography into one-letter, two-
letter, and three-letter word groups. Examples are provided to illustrate both spa-
tiotemporal and abstract uses. In certain cases, frequent idiomatic uses are noted
as well.

2.1 One-letter prepositions: bi- `H; li- `d; and ka- c
The three members of this group consist of one consonant plus a short vowel.
This means that they do not exist as independent orthographical items and they
need to be prefixed to the noun that follows.

2.1.1 The preposition bi- ˜at, with, in, by; by means of™
The preposition bi- designates contiguity in its broadest sense. It has a wide range
of uses including spatiotemporal, instrumental, and manner adverbial.

1
In his excellent short reference work Grammaire de l™arabe d™aujourd™ hui, D. E. Kouloughli refers to
this group of words as “quasi-pr©positions” (1994, 152), which is also an appropriate label. Abboud
et al. 1997, 67“68 refer to these words as “noun-prepositions.”
2
For an in-depth semantic and syntactic analysis of Arabic prepositions see Ryding-Lentzner 1977.
3
When the object of the preposition is an invariable or non-inflected word, such as certain demon-
strative pronouns or adverbs (e.g., dhaalika ˜that™ or hunaa ˜here™), it remains invariable, e.g, min
hunaa ˜from here,™ or ba¬d-a dhaalika ˜after that.™
368 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


2.1.1.1 SPATIOTEMPORAL LOCATION
(1) Space: The use of bi- as a spatial locative (˜in, at, on™)

ácQ‘dG ´QÉ°»H »¤jôaE™G «Éª°»dÉH
q
bi-shaari¬-i l-barakat-i bi-l-shimaal-i l-√ifriiqiyy-i
on Baraka Street in North Africa (˜the African
north™)

IôgɤdG á©eÉ©H PÉà°SC™G AÉ°†«‘dG «RɦŸG ¿GQó©H
al-√ustaadh-u bi-jaami¬at-i l-qaahirat-i bi-judraan-i l-manaazil-i l-bayDaa√-i
the professor at the University of Cairo on the white walls of the houses

(2) Personal locative: Used in this sense, bi- may be prefixed to a noun that
denotes a state of being and attributes a condition to or describes the condi-
tion of a person, or it may be prefixed to a noun that denotes an attribute or
temporary state.

.’®H ºJ¦CGh q„¦ÉY qπc ájó«∏¤àdG ¢ùH“ŸÉH «ÉLQ
rijaal-un bi-l-malaabis-i
kull-a ¬aam-in wa-√antum
bi-xayr-in. l-taqliidiyy-i
Many happy returns. men with (wearing) traditional
(˜May you be in wellness every year.™) clothes

(3) Time: An occasion or location in time can be marked with bi-:

.¢ùeC™ÉH ‘GP ¿Éc
kaan-a dhaaka bi-l-√ams-i.
That was yesterday.

´Éaó∏d kGôj Rh ï«°»dG Ú«©J á‘°SɦÃ
bi-munaasabat-i ta¬yiin-i l-shaykh-i waziir-an li-l-difaa¬-i
on the occasion of the appointment of the sheikh as minister of defense

øjódG ¬“°U IÉah ≈∏Y ᦰS á„e ÊɪK Qhôe iôcòH
bi-dhikraa muruur-i thamaanii mi√at-i sanat-in ¬alaa wafaat-i SalaaH-i l-diin-i
on the 800th anniversary of the death of Salah al-Din

2.1.1.2 INSTRUMENTAL bi- (baa√ al-√aala ádB™G AÉH; baa√ al-isti¬aana áfÉ©à°S™G AÉH): The
preposition bi- is used to refer to an instrument (tool, material, body part) with
which an action is accomplished. The instrument can be defined as “an object
that plays a role in bringing a process about, but which is not the motivating
force, the cause or the instigator” (Chafe 1970, 152).
Prepositions and prepositional phrases 369


.º¡JGQÉq«°ùH ÜÉgòdG ¿’©«£à°ùj ™ .«GD’°ùH ¤CGóH
bada√-tu bi-su√aal-in.
laa ya-staTii¬-uuna l-dhahaab-a
bi-sayyaaraat-i-him. I began with (˜by means of ™)
They cannot go in (˜by means of ™) a question.
their cars.

.IôNÉ‘dÉH ó∏‘dG “NO .¬jój Éà∏µH ÜÉ‘dG qó°T
daxal-aa l-balad-a bi-l-baaxirat-i. shadd-a l-baab-a bi-kiltaa yad-ay-hi.
The two of them entered the country He pulled the door with both
by ship. his hands.

(1) bi- for substance: A related use, but not instrumental as such, is bi- meaning
˜with™ in the sense of what constitutes the nature of a filling, a substance or
an accompaniment.

‘G’°TC™ÉH á„«∏e ¢VQCG ïjQÉàdÉH A»∏ŸG ¿ÉµŸG
√arD-un malii√at-un bi-l-√ashwaak-i al-makaan-u l-malii√-u bi-l-taariix-i
ground filled with thorns the place filled with history

.¬É©¦dÉH πq∏µj „ ´É¦©¦dÉH èq∏ãe ¦É°T
lam yu-kallal bi-l-najaaH-i. shaay-un muthallaj-un bi-l-na¬naa¬-i
It was not crowned with success. iced tea with mint

2.1.1.3 The preposition bi- has a wide range of
ABSTRACT/FIGURATIVE USE:
abstract/figurative uses.

ôNBÉH hCG πµ°»H ¢V’ª¨dG –‘°ùH
bi-shakl-in √aw bi-√aaxar-a bi-sabab-i l-ghumuuD-i
[in] one way or another because of /on account of the mystery

¬°ù˜f Ü’∏°SC™ÉH πcÉ°»ŸG qπc qπM ±ó¡H
bi-l-√usluub-i nafs-i-hi bi-hadaf-i Hall-i kull-i l-mashaakil-i
in the same way with the aim of solving all the problems

¬’à˜e ô©°ùH ¿ÉªKC™G ¢üNQCÉH ¦RÉ©àdG qôMCÉH
bi-si¬r-in maftuuH-in bi-√arxaS-i l-√athmaan-i bi-√aHarr-i l-ta¬aazii
at an open price at the cheapest prices with warmest condolences

.º¡°ù˜fCÉH ºgO“H ’°üe GhQqôb
qarrar-uu maSiir-a bilaad-i-him bi-√anfus-i-him.
They decided the fate of their country by themselves.

2.1.1.4 The preposition bi- can be used with a noun to
MANNER ADVERBIAL:
modify a verb phrase by describing the manner in which an action took place.
370 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


When used in this way, the bi- phrase answers the question “how?” and the object
of the preposition is usually an abstract noun.4

.A§‘H G’ª¦J á˜YÉ°†e Iqó°»H ∞b’ŸG øY „aGój ¿CG
ta-nmuu bi-buT√-in. √an yu-daafi¬-a √an-i l-mawqif-i bi-shiddat-in muDaa¬afat-in
They grow slowly to defend the position with redoubled intensity
(˜with slowness™).

When indicating manner, bi- is 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:

Iqôªà°ùe IQ’°üH á˜q«¬‚ IQ’°üH
bi-Suurat-in mustamirrat-in bi-Suurat-in muxayyifat-in
continuously frighteningly

áq«f’fÉb ’Z ¥ô£H „°SG’dG πµ°»dG Gò¡H
bi-Turuq-in ghayr-i qaanuuniyyat-in bi-haadhaa l-shakl-i l-waasi¬-i
in illegal ways in this extensive way

2.1.1.5 bi- AS PREFIX FOR THE PREDICATE OF A NEGATIVE COPULA (al-xabar al-man¬yy
A negative verb of being such as lays-a ˜is not™ or lam ya-kun ˜was not™
»˜¦ŸG ÈÿG):
may be followed by bi- as part of the predicate. This is especially the case when the
predicate involves the use of a demonstrative pronoun:

.áq«qªgC™G √ò¡H øµj „ É¡¦e kGóMCG qøµd
laakinna √aHad-an min-haa lam ya-kun bi-haadhihi l-√ahammiyyat-i.
But none of them was of this importance.

.A’°ùdG Gò¡H ¿É«MC™G qπc ˜ ¢ù«d
lays-a fii kull-i l-√aHyaan-i bi-haadhaa l-Suu√-i.
It isn™t this bad all the time.

2.1.1.6 ˜PER; [FOR] The concept of ˜per™ meaning ˜for every™ may be
bi- EVERY™:
expressed with bi-:

´’‘°SC™ÉH „¦ÉqjCG á©‘°S á„ŸÉH á„e
sab¬at-a √ayyaam-in bi-l-√usbuu¬-i mi√at-u bi-l-mi√at-i
seven days a week a hundred percent

.ᤫbódÉH ¤ÉরS á©HQCG øe CGó‘J
ta-bda√-u min √arba¬at-i sintaat-i bi-l-daqiiqat-i
It starts at four cents a minute.

4
For more on this topic see Chapter 11 on adverbs and adverbial expressions.
Prepositions and prepositional phrases 371


2.1.2 The preposition li- ˜to; belonging to; for; for the purpose of™
The preposition li- is used to express purpose, direction toward (destination), pos-
session, the indirect object or dative concept of ˜to,™ and the benefactive concept
of ˜for™ or ˜on behalf of.™
There are two spelling rules to observe with li-.

(1) When attached to a noun with the definite article, the √alif of the definite
article is deleted and the laam of li- attaches directly to the laam of the defi-
nite article (e.g., li-l-jaami¬at-i á©eÉ©∏d).
(2) When li- is followed by a pronoun suffix, it changes its short vowel to fatHa
and becomes la- (la-ka ‚nd, la-ki ‚nd, la-hu ¬nd, la-haa É¡nd, la-kumaa ɪµnd, la-humaa
ɪ¡nd, la-naa ɦnd, la-kum ºµnd, la-kunna øµnd, la-hum º¡nd, la-hunna ø¡nd) except with
q q
the first person singular pronoun suffix, -ii, which is suffixed directly to the
laam (l-ii ‹ ˜to me, for me™).

2.1.2.1 ˜IN
PURPOSE, CAUSE, REASON, OR MOTIVATION: ORDER TO, FOR THE
(laam al-ta¬liil π«∏©àdG „¦™): This use of li- includes
PURPOSE OF; DUE TO, BECAUSE OF™
expression of the intention for doing something as well as the reason or
motivation for something. “The distinction between intention and reason is made
because in English the two are expressed in different terms: the former is
introduced by a phrase such as ˜in order to™ or ˜for™ whereas the latter is
introduced by a phrase such as ˜because of.™ In Arabic these are both considered to
be under the category of ta¬liil” (Ryding-Lentzner 1977, 132).

(1) Intention:

Ú«q∏™G º¡««q°Tôe ºYód
Iq’¡dG „¦Oôd
li-radm-i l-huwwat-i li-da¬m-i murashshaH-ii-him-i l-maHalliyy-iina
(in order) to fill the gap in order to support their local candidates

(2) Reason:

áq«q¦a ÜÉ‘°SC™
li-√asbaab-in fanniyyat-in
for (˜because of ™) technical reasons

2.1.2.2 (laam MSA does not normally use a verb
‚∏ŸG „¦™):
al-milk
POSSESSION
equivalent to ˜have.™5 The preposition li- is usually used instead to predicate the
concept of belonging in both concrete and abstract senses.6 If the predication

5
To state ownership explicitly, a verb malak-a/ya-mlik-u is used to mean ˜own™ or ˜possess,™ e.g.,
√a-mlik-u HiSaan-an raa√i¬-an ˜I own/possess a splendid horse.™
6
Possession is also expressed by the semi-prepositions ladaa and ¬ind-a (q.v.), although ¬ind-a is
chiefly used in spoken Arabic.
372 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


is other than present tense, an accompanying verb of being or becoming carries
the tense.

(1) Present tense:
.ójÈdG áaôZ ˜ OôW ‚d .kÉ°†jCG É¡Jɨd ¤ÉfG’««∏d
la-ka Tard-un fii ghurfat-i l-bariid-i. li-l-Hayawaanaat-i lughaat-u-haa
You have a package at the mail room. √ayD-an.
Animals have their languages too.

.áq°UÉN á¤jóM «µ¦ª∏d .¬d ≈¦©e ™
li-l-manzil-i Hadiiqat-un xaaSSat-un. laa ma¬anaa la-hu.
The house has a private garden. It has no meaning.

(2) Past tense: A past tense form of the verb kaan-a or sometimes another verb
of being or becoming (Saar-a, baat-a) is used to convey the past tense of a pos-
sessive prepositional construction.

.„jóH «µ¦e É¡d ¿Éc .º¡H «É°üqJG q¦CG ¬d øµj „
kaan-a la-haa manzil-un lam ya-kun la-hu √ayy-u ttiSaal-in bi-him.
badii¬-un. He did not have any contact with them.
She had a wonderful house.

.QhòLh ïjQÉJ ÉqHhQhCG ˜ „¦“°SE“d QÉ°U
Saar-a li-l-√islaam-i fii √uuruubbaa taariix-un wa-judhuur-un.
Islam in Europe has acquired roots and history.

.I’‘c Iô¡°T qø¡°ü©‘d ¤ÉHh
wa-baat-a li-ba¬D-i-hinna shuhrat-un kabiirat-un.
Some of them (f.) came to have great fame.

2.1.2.3 ˜FOR™: The concept of ˜for™ can be used in spatial or temporal time
extensions. When used with persons it often expresses a benefactive or dative
relationship.

.¬d kG’¶f ó‚ ™ Oɵf .πHG’à∏d kÉfµ¬‚ âfÉc
na-kaad-u laa na-jid-u naZiir-an la-hu. kaan-at maxzan-an li-l-tawaabil-i.
We can almost not find a counterpart for him. It was a storehouse for spices.

(1) Time: When used with time expressions li- refers to an extent of time.

¤ÉYÉ°S ÊɪK IqóŸ Iµ«Lh IΘd ¤hC™G Iqôª∏d
li-muddat-i thamaanii saa¬aat-in li-fatrat-in wajiizat-in li-l-marrat-i l-√uulaa
for a period of eight hours for a brief period for the first time
Prepositions and prepositional phrases 373


2.1.2.4 ˜TO™: With the meaning of ˜to,™ li- may be used with persons or places.
When used with places, it conveys much the same directional idea as √ilaa;7
with persons it may express directionality, proximity, benefactive, or dative
relationships.

QÉ°ù«∏d Úª«dG øe kÉY’‘°SCG ¥ô¨à°ùJ ¿É¦‘∏d IQÉjR ˜
min-a l-yamiin-i li-l-yasaar-i fii ziyaarat-in li-lubnaan-a ta-staghriq-u √usbuu¬-an
from right to left on a visit to Lebanon [that] will last a week

§°ShC™G ¥ô°»dG ˜ „¦“°ùdG áq«∏ª©d »qHQ hC™G OÉ«qJ™G §’©‘e
mab¬uuth-u l-ittiHaad-i l-√uurubbiyy-i li-¬amaliyyat-i l-salaam-i fii l-sharq-i l-√awsaT-i
the envoy of the European Union to the process of peace in the Middle East

.É¡d QhÉÛG 󩤟G ≈∏Y ¢ù∏©j
ya-jlis-u ¬alaa l-maq¬ad-i l-mujaawir-i la-haa.
He is sitting on the seat next to her.

.¬q∏d óª—G .‚d kÉ„«¦g ?É¡d §óM GPÉe
al-Hamd-u li-llaah-i. hanii√-an la-ka. maadhaa Hadath-a la-haa?
Praise [be] to God. Congratulations to you. What happened to her?


2.1.2.5 ˜OF™: This is a broad category where li- is used in cases when an √iDaafa
construction is avoided because of indefiniteness or definiteness of the noun prior
to li-. It may not always translate directly into English as ˜of,™ but it often does.

.»YɪàL™G „bG’∏d ¢Sɵ©fG ’g ¬ãjó— kɪàN «Ébh
huwa n¬ikaas-un li-l-waaq¬-i l-ijtimaa¬iyy-i. wa-qaal-a xatm-an li-Hadiith-i-hi
It is a reflection of social reality. he said [in] closing [of] his talk

áqj Q’¡ª·G ¢ù«Fôd q»°SÉ«°ùdGQÉ°»à°ùŸG ¬d áª∏c ˜ «Éb
al-mustashaar-u l-siyaasiyy-u li-ra√iis-i l-jumhuuriyyat-i qaal-a fii kalimat-in la-hu
the political advisor of the president of the republic he said in a speech of his

áq«Hô©dG « hódG á©eÉ· q„¦É©dG ÚeC™G
al-√amiin-u l-¬aamm-u li-jaami¬at-i l-duwal-i l-¬arabiyyat-i
the secretary general of the League of Arab States


7
William Wright (1967, II: 147“48) considers li- to be “etymologically connected with √ilaa (˜to,
toward™) and differs from it only in . . . that √ilaa mostly expresses concrete relations, local or tem-
poral, whilst li- generally indicates abstract or ideal relations . . . Its principal use is to show the
passing on of the action to a more distant object and hence it corresponds to the Latin or German
dative.”
374 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


2.1.3 The preposition ka- n`c ˜like, as; such as; in the capacity of™
This preposition is used for comparison and expresses similarity. It also desig-
nates capacity or function. It is restricted in occurrence because it is not used with
personal (suffix) pronouns; however it can be used with demonstrative pronouns
(e.g., ka-dhaalika ‚dòc ˜like that, thus; likewise.™).

2.1.3.1 DESIGNATION OF FUNCTION: The use of ka- in this sense specifies capacity,
status or function, equivalent to ˜as.™

.„¦“°SE™G øY „aGóªc GóH q»qfOQC™G πgÉ©∏d QÉ°»à°ùªc
badaa ka-mudaafi¬-in ¬an-i l-√islaam-i. ka-mustashaar-in li-l-¬aahil-i l-√urdunniyy-i
He appeared as a defender of Islam. as counselor to the Jordanian monarch

.áªLΪc πª©J ábÉ£∏d Qó°üªc
ta-¬mal-u ka-mutarjimat-in. ka-maSdar-in li-l-Taaqat-i
She is working as a translator. as a source of energy

.q»ª∏Y å«‘c ¥Gô°»à°S™G øY §qó“
taHaddath-a ¬an-i l-istishraaq-i ka-baHth-in ¬ilmiyy-in.
He spoke of Orientalism as scholarly research.

2.1.3.2 The preposition ka- is used to denote likeness or similarity,
SIMILARITY:
equivalent to English ˜like.™

.¥“WE™G ≈∏Y ‚dòc ¢ù«d ôeC™G ∞jô°»dG ôª©c º‚
al-√amr-u lays-a ka-dhaalika ¬alaa l-√iTlaaq-i. najm-un ka-¬umar-in l-shariif-i
The situation is not like that at all. a star like Omar Sharif

Úq«°ù«¤c º¡°ù˜fCG Üô©dG ÚH qºK ¢ùf’àc ó∏H ˜
thumm-a bayn-a l-¬arab-i √anfus-i-him ka-qaysiyy-iina fii balad-in ka-tuunis-a
then among the Arabs themselves like [the] Qays [tribe] in a country like Tunisia

This preposition does not take pronoun suffixes. If there is a need to use the
concept of similarity with a personal pronoun, i.e., “like him,” “like us,” the semi-
preposition mithl-a is used instead of ka-:

.É¡∏ãe áfÉq¦a ‘ɦg ¢ù«d
lays-a hunaaka fannaanat-un mithl-a-haa.
There is no artist like her.


2.1.3.3 ka-maa AS ADVERBIAL ˜AS™: By suffixing -maa, the preposition ka- becomes
an adverbial expression meaning ˜as™ or ˜likewise, as well.™ It is normally followed
directly by a verb.
Prepositions and prepositional phrases 375


. . . §qó«àŸG ôcP ɪc q–“ ɪc
ka-maa dhakar-a l-mutaHaddith-u . . . ka-maa tu-Hibb-u
likewise, the spokesman mentioned . . . as you like

¿’aô©J ɪc á«°VÉŸG ᦰùdG G’∏©a ɪc
ka-maa ta¬rif-uuna ka-maa fa¬al-uu l-sanat-a l-maaDiyat-a
as you (pl.) know like they did last year

2.2 Two-letter prepositions
Prepositions that consist of two letters include: fii, min and ¬an.

2.2.1 ¬i ˜ ˜in; at; on™
The preposition fii is an essential locative preposition in Arabic. It can be used to
express location in space (fii l-jaami¬at-i á©eÉ·G ˜ ˜at the university™) or in time (fii
l-SabaaH-i ¬É‘°üdG ˜ ˜in the morning™), as well as figuratively. It may translate as
˜at,™ ˜in,™ or ˜on,™ depending on the context.

2.2.1.1 SPATIAL USES OF ¬i:
ódÉN ‚∏ŸG ≈˜°»à°ùe ˜ »©eÉ·G „¦ô—G ˜
q
fii mustashfaa l-malik-i xaalid-in fii l-Haram-i l-jaami¬iyy-i
at the King Khalid Hospital on the campus (˜the university grounds™)

.q¦’∏©dG ≥HÉ£dG ˜ â°»Y .ó«°UôdG ≈∏Y ≈¡¤e ˜ G’°ù∏L
¬ish-tu fii l-Taabaq-i l-¬ulwiyy-i. jalas-uu fii maqhan ¬alaa l-raSiid-i.
I lived on the top floor. They sat in a caf© on the sidewalk.

ádJ™G ¢Só¤dG ˜ ´QG’°»dG ¬ô°ùe ˜
fii l-quds-i l-muHtallat-i fii masraH-i l-shawaari¬-i
in occupied Jerusalem in the street theater

2.2.1.2 Used in a temporal sense, fii can express both
TEMPORAL USES:
punctuality and duration, i.e., points in time and extension over a span of time:

Punctual use of fii:
(1)
q»˜«°üdG π°ü˜dG „¦ÉàN ˜
á‘°SɦŸG √òg ˜
fii haadhihi l-munaasabat-i fii xitaam-i l-faSl-i l-Sayfiyy-i
on this occasion at the close of the summer season
–°SɦŸG âb’dG ˜ ôeC™G «qhCG ˜
fii l-waqt-i l-munaasib-i fii √awwal-i l-√amr-i
at the right time/proper time at first (˜at the first of the matter™)
376 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


„¦’«dG AÉ°ùe Iô°TÉ©dG ˜
á¦eÉãdG áYÉ°ùdG ˜
fii l-saa¬at-i l-thaaminat-i fii l-¬aashirat-i masaa√-a l-yawm-i
at eight o™clock at ten o™clock this evening

(2) Durative: The durative meaning of fii results from its use with nouns that
indicate a span of time. Used in this sense it may be equivalent to English
˜during.™

è«∏ÿG ÜôM ˜
¿ô¤dG Gòg ˜
fii haadhaa l-qarn-i fii Harb-i l-xaliij-i
in (during) this century in (during) the Gulf War

I’NC™G „¦G’YC™G ˜ ≥FÉbO ¿’°†Z ˜
fii l-√a¬waam-i l-√axiirat-i fii ghuDuun-i daqaa√iq-a
in (during) recent years [with]in minutes


2.2.1.3 The locative meaning of fii extends to
ABSTRACT/FIGURATIVE USES OF ¬i:
nouns and noun phrases of many types.

i’µ°T q¦CG ádÉM ˜ É°ùfô˜d IQÉjR ˜
fii Haalat-i √ayy-i shakwaa fii ziyaarat-in li-faransaa
in case of any complaint on a visit to France

„¦“°SE™G ô°»f ˜ ºgQhO I’NC™G §GóMC™G A’°V ˜
dawr-u-hum fii nashr-i l-√islaam-i fii Daw√-i l-√aHdaath-i l-√axiirat-i
their role in spreading Islam in the light of recent events

áYGQµdG «É› ˜ .I“°üdG ˜ ¬«dÉ«d »°†¤j
fii majaal-i l-ziraa¬at-i ya-qDii layaalii-hi fii l-Salaat-i.
in the field of agriculture He spends his nights in prayer.


2.2.1.4 AS A MANNER ADVERBIAL: In this idiomatic use, fii is often followed by the
words shakl or Suura ˜way, shape, form.™

q»°SÉ°SCG πµ°T ˜ áqj Q’a IQ’°U ˜
fii shakl-in √asaasiyy-in fii Suurat-in fawriyyat-in
in a basic way immediately

–jôZ πµ°T ˜ øµ‡ πµ°T π°†aCG ˜
fii shakl-in ghariib-in fii √afDal-i shakl-in mumkin-in
in a strange way in the best way possible
Prepositions and prepositional phrases 377


2.2.1.5 MEANING ˜PER™
.áYÉ°ùdG ˜ kGÎe’∏«c Ú©‘°Sh á„e ¤EG ¬ÉjôdG áYô°S â∏°Uh
waSal-at sur¬at-u l-riyaaH-i √ilaa mi√at-in wa-sab¬iina kiiluumitr-an fii l-saa¬at-i.
The wind velocity reached 170 kilometers an hour/per hour.

á«fÉãdG ˜ ¤GÎe’∏«c áqà°S áYô°ùH „¦’«dG ˜ ¤Gqôe ¢ùªN
bi-sur¬at-i sittat-i kiiluumitraat-in fii l-thaaniyat-i xams-a marraat-in fii l-yawm-i
at the rate of six kilometers per second five times a day/per day


2.2.1.6 SPECIAL FORMS OF PRONOUN SUFFIXES: Because of its long vowel ending,
fii has special forms for the pronoun suffixes -ii ˜me,™ -hu ˜him,™ -humaa ˜them
[two],™ -hum, and -hunna ˜them.™ The -ii suffix merges with the -ii of fii and changes
to -iyya; the vowel-shift suffixes, because they come after an -ii sound, change their
-u vowel to -i.8


fii pronoun suffixes

Singular Dual Plural

First person: ˜
s ɦ«a
fiyya fii-naa

Second person: n‚«a ɪoµ«a ºoµ«a
Masculine fii-ka fii-kumaa fii-kum

Feminine p‚«a søoµ«a
fii-ki fii-kunna

Third person: p¬«a ɪp¡«a ºp¡«a
Masculine fii-hi fii-himaa fii-him

Feminine É¡«a søp¡«a
fii-haa fii-hinna



.¬«a –jQ ™
laa rayb-a fii-hi.
There™s no doubt about it (˜in it™).


8
The vowel-shift suffixes are the personal pronoun suffixes of the third person that normally have
Damma after haa√:-hu, -humaa, -hum, and -hunna. This Damma shifts to kasra when preceded by a
front vowel or fronted semivowel (-i- or -ii- or sometimes yaa√). See also chapter 12, 2.1.1.
378 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


2.2.2 The preposition min øe ˜of; from; than™
The preposition min indicates direction away from, or point of departure when used
spatiotemporally. In addition, it is used to denote source, material, or quantity. It
also is used in expressions of comparison, with a comparative adjective where Eng-
lish would use the word “than.” It can be used in figurative or abstract ways as well
as concrete spatiotemporal ways. Because it ends with a sukuun, it sometimes needs
a helping vowel. That vowel is /-a/ before the definite article and otherwise, /-i/.

2.2.2.1 min AS ˜FROM™: Used as a directional preposition, min indicates ˜from™:
.CG’°SCG ¤EG A≈q«°nS øe «q’«àJ
Üô©dG º¡fG’L øe
min jiiraan-i-him-i l-¬arab-i ta-taHawwal-u min sayyi√-in √ilaa √aswa√-a.
from their Arab neighbors It changes from bad to worse.

2.2.2.2 ˜OF; The use of min is especially common in expressions
min AS ONE OF™:
of quantity, measure, or constituent parts.

AGôª—G øe ¢ü°üb .´’¦dG Gòg øe É¡q∏c
qiSaS-un min-a l-Hamraa√-i kull-u-haa min haadhaa l-naw¬-i.
stories of the Alhambra They are all of this type.

¿’fɤdG øe 125 IqOÉŸG .á¤ãdG øe q’L ¬qfCÉH √’˜°Uh
al-maaddat-u 125 min-a l-qaanuun-i waSaf-uu-hu bi-√anna-hu jaww-un min-a
l-thiqat-i.
article 125 of the law
They described it as an atmosphere of trust.

.±’°üdG øe Iµq«ªàe kÉYG’fCG ⣑¦à°SG
istanbaT-at √anwaa¬-an mutamayyizat-an min-a l-Suuf-i.
She discovered distinctive types of wool.

R’¦c øe ∞«àŸG Gòg ¦’à«j Ée
maa ya-Htawii haadhaa l-mutHaf-u min kunuuz-in
what this museum contains [in terms] of treasures

2.2.2.3 min AS ˜AMONG™
‘’°ùdG kÉ°†jCG ¿’¦˜dG √òg øeh
wa-min haadhihi l-funuun-i √ayD-an-i l-siirk-u
and among these arts [is] also the circus

2.2.2.4 min AS ˜THROUGH™
.‘Éq‘°»dG øe πNO
daxal-a min-a l-shubbaak-i.
He came through the window.
Prepositions and prepositional phrases 379


2.2.2.5 ˜THAN™: With comparative expressions, min is used as the
min AS
equivalent of English ˜than.™ For more examples, see Chapter 10 on comparative
adjectives.

.„qb’àŸG øe ÌcCG kÉàbh ¿’°†Á
ya-mD-uuna waqt-an √akthar-a min-a l-mutawaqqa¬-i.
They are spending more time than expected.

.áq«ª∏Y á°SGQO á„e ¢ùªN øe ÌcCG ¤Qó°UCG
√aSdar-at √akthar-a min xams-i mi√at-i diraasat-in ¬ilmiyyat-in.
It has published more than 500 scientific studies.

2.2.2.6 When min occurs before a
THE USE OF min WITH LOCATIVE ADVERBS:
locative adverb (or semi-preposition), it usually changes the inflectional vowel of
the adverb to kasra if the adverb is followed by a noun or pronoun suffix.

º¡eÉeCG øe ’NCÉJ ¿hO øe
min √amaam-i-him min duun-i ta√xiir-in
from in front of them without delay

.¬Mhô°T «“N øe Égó‚
na-jid-u-haa min xilaal-i shuruuH-i-hi.
We find it through his commentaries.

(1) min qabl-u: Used with certain adverbs that end in Damma (such as qabl-u),
min has no effect on the final inflectional vowel as long as the adverb is not
in an √iDaafa with a following noun.9

min qabl-u ˜[ever] before™
min Hayth-u ˜regarding, as to™

2.2.2.7 “DUMMY” min: As a way of introducing a sentence, min
PLEONASTIC OR
may be used with a descriptive term such as a participle or adjective expressing an
introductory observation, just as in English some sentences start with “It is.” This
is a way to avoid mentioning the source of a judgment or evaluation and is
especially common usage in media Arabic, where observations may need to be
general or unattributed.

. . . ¿CG „qb’àŸG øe .IQÉjµH „¦’¤f ¿CG q»©«‘£dG øe
min-a l-mutawaqqa¬-i √an . . . min-a l-Tabii¬iyy-i √an na-quum-a bi-ziyaarat-in.
It is expected that . . . It is natural that we undertake a visit.


9
See Chapter 11, section 4.1.3, and Chapter 7, section 5.3.1.3.
380 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


. . . ᦰS øjô°»Y AÉ°†¤fG q¿CG óqcD’ŸG øe
min-a l-mu√akkad-i √anna nqiDaa√-a ¬ishriina sanat-an . . .
it is certain that the passage of twenty years . . .

.Qɪ©à°SG ‘ɦg ≈¤‘j ¿CG CÉ£ÿG øe
min-a l-xaTa√-i √an ya-bqaa hunaaka sti¬maar-un.
It is wrong for imperialism to remain.

2.2.2.8 WITH qariib –jôb ˜NEAR™: An idiomatic use of min occurs with the adjective
qariib ˜near, close.™ English speakers think of “close to” or “near to” when using
this adjective, but the correct Arabic preposition to use is min.

.É¡ª°SG øe kG óL É‘jôb ¿Éc ¬ª°SG
qk
ism-u-hu kaan-a qariib-an jidd-an min-i sm-i-haa.
His name was very close to her name.


2.2.2.9 SOME SPELLING VARIATIONS: When suffixed with the pronoun -ii ˜me,™ the
nuun in min doubles, so that instead of *min-ii, the phrase ˜from me™ or ˜than me™
becomes minnii »q¦e.
When followed by the pronouns maa ˜what, that, whatever,™ or man ˜whoever,™
the nuun of min is assimilated to the miim of maa, or man√ and doubles, yielding the
contractions mimmaa Éq‡ ˜of/from that, from what™ and mimman øq‡ ˜of/from
whom.™

¬«dEG êÉà«f Éq‡ qπbCG .»q¦e ÈcCG ’g
√aqall-u mimmaa na-Htaaj-u √ilay-hi huwa √akbar-u minnii.
less than [that which] we need He™s older than I.

¬¤‘°S Éq‡ kG’ãc qºgCG
√ahamm-u kathiir-an mimmaa sabaq-a-hu
much more important than what preceded it


2.2.3 The preposition ¬an ˜from, away from; about™
Arabic grammars consider ¬an to be a true preposition, but its syntactic behavior
under certain conditions also allows it to be classified as a noun.10 Its original
meaning, according to Wright (1967, 2:143), was as a noun meaning ˜side.™11


10
E.g., when it serves as the object of the preposition min (see below).
11
Its nominal use survives in the expressions such as min ¬an yamiin-i-ka ˜from your right [side].™ For
discussion of this point see Ryding Lentzner 1977, 94.
Prepositions and prepositional phrases 381


This preposition has two distinct meanings, one having to do with ˜distance away
from,™ and the other with the concept of ˜concerning™ or ˜about.™ As other preposi-
tions, it can have spatiotemporal and abstract uses, as well as idiomatic ones.
In terms of special spelling rules, the helping vowel used with ¬an is /-i/. When
suffixed to a pronoun starting with miim (maa, man) the nuun of ¬an is assimilated
to the miim, and doubles: ¬ammaa ÉqªY, ¬amman øqªY. Likewise, when suffixed with
the first person singular personal pronoun -ii, the nuun doubles: ¬annii »q¦nY.

2.2.3.1 ¬an AS ˜ABOUT, REGARDING, OF, CONCERNING™
øW’∏d A™’dG øY ’‘©J ¥ó°UCG
√aSdaq-u ta¬biir-in ¬an-i l-wilaa√-i li-l-waTan-i
the most sincere expression of devotion to the homeland

q˜É¤ãdG «É°üqJ™G ˜ á©eÉ·G QhO øY èeÉfôH ˜
fii barnaamaj-in ¬an dawr-i l-jaami¬at-i fii l-ittiSaal-i l-thaqaafiyy-i
in a program about the role of the university in cultural contact

.§óM ÉqªY IqóY ¤ÉjGhQ ‘ɦ¡a
fa-hunaaka riwaayaat-un ¬iddat-un ¬ammaa Hadath-a.
There are several stories about what happened.

2.2.3.2 CERTAIN VERBS REQUIRE ¬an:
.º∏©dG QGO øY Qó°U ÜÉàµdG .Ég’Z øY ∞∏à®J
al-kitaab-u Sadar-a ¬an daar-i l-¬ilm. ta-xtalif-u ¬an ghayr-i-haa.
The book was published by (˜issued from™) Dar al-¬ilm. She differs from others.

2.2.3.3 ˜ON With directions, ¬an is used as English
THE RIGHT; ON THE LEFT™:
would use ˜on™:

√QÉ°ùj øYh . . . ¬¦«Á øY
¬an yamiin-i-hi . . . wa-¬an yasaar-i-hi
on his right . . . and on his left

2.3 Three-letter prepositions: ¬alaa ≈∏Y, √ilaa ¤EG, and Hattaa ≈qàM
All three of these prepositions end with √alif maqSuura. A particular spelling fea-
ture of both ¬alaa and ¬ilaa is that the final √alif maqSuura converts to yaa√ when a
pronoun suffix is added to the word. Owing to the shift of the √alif to yaa√, the
third person pronoun suffixes -hu, -humaa, -hum, and -hunna shift their vowel from
/-u/ to/ -i/ and become -hi, -himaa, -him, and -hinna. For a model inflectional chart of
¬alay- and √ilay- plus pronoun suffixes see Chapter 12 section 2.3.
Note that Hattaa does not take pronoun suffixes.
382 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


2.3.1 The preposition ¬alaa ≈∏Y ˜on, upon™
This preposition designates the concept of ˜on™ or ˜upon™ in general, whether spa-
tio-temporal or figurative. In the abstract sense, it conveys also a sense of “incum-
bent upon.”

2.3.1.1 ¬alaa ˜ON; UPON™
(1) Spatial meaning:
.q»ª¶Y πµ«g ≈∏Y ÌY á°ùHÉ«dG ≈∏Y
¬athar-a ¬alaa haykal-in ¬aZmiyy-in. ¬alaa l-yaabisat-i
He stumbled upon a skeleton. on dry land
π«ÿG Q’¡X ≈∏Y «ÉLôdG á°TÉ°»dG ≈∏Y
al-rijaal-u ¬alaa Zuhuur-i l-xayl-i ¬alaa l-shaashat-i
the men on horseback on the screen

(2) Temporal meaning: Used with a word denoting extent of time, ¬alaa has a
durative sense and may indicate passage of time from a particular point in
the past. This can be expressed in English in various ways.

Úe’j ióe ≈∏Y
„¦É©dG QGóe ≈∏Y
¬alaa madaar-i l-¬aam-i ¬alaa madaa yawm-ayni
all year round (˜on the circuit of the year™) for (˜during™) two days
«GµdµdG ´’bh ≈∏Y „¦ÉqjCG áK“K ó©H
ba¬d-a thalaathat-i √ayyaam-in ¬alaa wuquu¬-i l-zilzaal
after three days since the [happening of the] earthquake

2.3.1.2 Used figuratively, ¬alaa can denote a range of
FIGURATIVE MEANING:
meanings, some a direct reflection of the spatiotemporal concepts; others more
abstract. Among those abstract meanings are the sense of ˜according to; as for™
and ˜incumbent upon.™
q¦ô°ü¦Y ’Z ¢SÉ°SCG ≈∏Y qøXCG Ée ≈∏Y
¬alaa maa √a-Zunn-u . . .
¬alaa √asaas-in ghayr-i ¬unSuriyy-in
on a non-racist basis in my opinion; as for what
I think
.„¦“°ùdG ºµ«∏Yh .ºµ«∏Y „¦“°ùdG
al-salaam-u ¬alay-kum. wa -¬alay-kum-u l-salaam-u.
Peace be upon you (pl.). And upon you (pl.) peace.

(1) ˜up to; incumbent upon; must; have to™: Used in this sense, ¬alaa denotes a
required or expected action. It is therefore followed either by the particle
√an plus a subjunctive verb, or by a verbal noun.
Prepositions and prepositional phrases 383


.á°VÉjôdG ≈¦©e º¡˜f ¿CG ɦ«∏Y .ô˜°üdG øe CGó‘f ¿CG ɦ«∏Y
¬alay-naa √an na-fham-a ma¬naa l-riyaaDat-i. ¬alay-naa √an na-bda√-a min-a l-Sifr-i
We have to understand the meaning of sport. We have to begin from zero.

.ɦg ¤EG »JCÉj ¿CG ¬«∏Y
.ÉgQhóH „¦’¤J ¿CG ádhódG ≈∏Yh
wa-¬alaa l-dawlat-i √an ta-quum-a bi-dawr-i-haa. ¬alay-hi √an ya-√tiy-a √ilaa hunaa.
It is up to the state to undertake its role. He has to come here.

2.3.2 The preposition √ilaa ¤EG ˜to, towards™
The general meaning of √ilaa is directional towards an object. It is used spa-
tiotemporally and also in abstract and figurative ways. When used in abstract
senses it often has the sense of ˜addition to.™
Because its final letter is √alif maqSuura, like ¬alaa, its √alif converts to yaa√ when
pronoun suffixes are added (see Chapter 12, section 2.3).

«’‘¦£°SG ¤EG ‘ɦg øe QÉàeCG Iô°»Y áaÉ°ùe ¤EG
min hunaaka √ilaa isTanbuul-a √ilaa masaafat-i ¬asharat-i √amtaar-in
from there to Istanbul to a distance of ten meters

Úª«dG ¤EG ?øjCG ¤EG
√ilaa l-yamiin-i √ilaa √ayna?
to the right Where to?

2.3.2.1 √ilaa: Note that with many verbs of motion, it is
VERBS OF MOTION PLUS
necessary to use √ilaa with the point of destination.

ɦg ¤EG ɦ„L Éeó¦Y
¬inda-maa ji√-naa √ilaa hunaa
when we came (˜to™) here

.»JQób øe ≥KGh »¦qfC™ ɦg ¤EG â„L
ji√-tu √ilaa hunaa li√anna-nii waathiq-un min qudrat-ii.
I came (˜to™) here because I am confident in my ability.

2.3.2.2 ABSTRACT/FIGURATIVE MEANINGS OF √ilaa:
.„jQP π°»a ¤EG â¡àfG .¬à¨d ¤EG ºLÎj
intahat √ilaa fashl-in dharii¬-in. yu-tarjim-u √ilaa lughat-i-hi.
It ended in a devastating failure. He translates into his language.

‚dP ¤EG Éeh AÉ«dG ¤EG ∞dC™G øe
wa-maa √ilaa dhaalika min-a l-√alif-i √ilaa l-yaa√-i
and so forth from beginning to end
(˜from the √alif to the yaa√)
384 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


2.3.3 The preposition Hattaa ≈qàM ˜until, up to™
Hattaa, although it ends with √alif maqSuura like √ilaa and ¬alaa, does not take per-
sonal pronoun objects (suffix pronouns) and therefore it does not change its
shape or spelling. Its meaning as a preposition is closely related to that of √ilaa ˜to,
towards™ except that it designates direction in time rather than in space.
It is important to note that Hattaa has at least two other functions in Arabic syn-
tax other than as a preposition meaning ˜up to™ or ˜until™; it also is an adverb or
preposition with the meaning of ˜even™ and a conjunctive particle used with verbs
meaning ˜in order to.™

¢ùª°»dG ÜhôZ ≈qàM ¢ùeCG ô©a ≈qàM
Hattaa ghuruub-i l-shams-i Hattaa fajr-i √ams-i
until sunset until dawn yesterday

óZ AÉ°ùe ≈qàM øjô°»©dG ¿ ô¤dG øe ¤É¦«©‘°ùdG ≈qàM
Hattaa masaa√-i ghad-in Hattaa l-sab¬iinaat-i min-a l-qarn-i l-¬ishriina
until tomorrow evening up to the seventies of the twentieth century

Úª∏°ùŸG ój ≈∏Y É¡«àa ≈qàM
Hattaa fatH-i-haa ¬alaa yad-i l-muslim-iina
until it was conquered (˜its conquering™) by the Muslims

√ôªY øe øjô°»©dG ≈qàM
Hattaa l-¬ishriina min ¬umr-i-hi
until he was twenty years old (˜until the twentieth [year] of his age™)

2.3.4 The preposition mundhu ò¦e ˜since; ago; for™
o
This preposition has the meaning of distance or extent in time and can be trans-
lated in several ways, depending on context. Like Hattaa and ka- it does not take
personal pronoun objects.

2.3.4.1 ˜FOR; Used to mean ˜for™ or ˜in,™ it denotes a time span
mundhu AS IN™:
during which something goes on. Its object is usually a noun phrase that refers to
a span of time:

á∏°UG’àe ¤G’¦°S ¢ùªN ò¦e ¿ôb „HQ ò¦e
mundhu xams-i sanawaat-in mutawaaSilat-an mundhu rub¬-i qarn-in
for five continuous years for a quarter century

.ºLΪc øjô¡°T ò¦e πª©j
ya-¬mal-u mundhu shahr-ayni ka-mutarjim-in.
He has been working for two months as a translator.
Prepositions and prepositional phrases 385


2.3.4.2 ˜SINCE; When mundhu means ˜since,™ it specifies a
mundhu AS FROM™:
particular point of time in the past where the action began. It can also mean
˜from™ when the beginning of a time period is denoted and an end specified (often
used with Hattaa ˜until, up to™).

.Üô—G ò¦e ≥jOɦ°U ˜ áfqµ¬‚ âfÉc
kaan-at muxazzanat-an fii Sanaadiiq-a mundhu l-Harb-i.
They had been stored in boxes since the war.

.ÈcCG kGQhO òNCÉJ ¤QÉ°U ¤É¦«qà°ùdG ò¦e
mundhu l-sittiinaat-i Saar-at ta-√xudh-u dawr-an √akbar-a.
Since the sixties she has assumed a larger role.

¤É¦«©‘°ùdG „∏£e ò¦e
mundhu maTla¬-i l-sab¬iinaat-i
since the beginning of the seventies

.ôcÉ‘dG ¬É‘°üdG ò¦e Úq˜£°üe G’fÉc
kaan-uu muSTaff-iina mundhu l-SabaaH-i l-baakir-i.
They had been lined up since early morning.

2.3.4.3 ˜AGO™: In the sense of ˜ago,™ mundhu specifies a time in the past measured
from the present time:
¿ÉeµdG øe ¿ôb øe ÌcCG ò¦e «Éb
qaal-a mundhu √akthar-a min qarn-in min-a l-zamaan-i
he said more than a century (˜of time™) ago
.ádÉ°SôH „«HÉ°SCG áK“K ò¦e ¬«dEG å©H ób ¿Éc
kaan-a qad ba¬ath-a √ilay-hi mundhu thalaathat-i √asaabii¬-a bi-risaalat-in.
He had sent him a letter three weeks ago.
ᦰS Ú©HQCG øe ÌcCG ò¦e . . . √O’¡· Gk ôjó¤J
taqdiir-an li-juhuud-i-hi . . . mundhu √akthar-a min √arba¬iina sanat-in
in appreciation of his efforts . . . more than forty years ago

2.3.4.4 An action started in the past
PRESENT PERFECT MEANING WITH mundhu:
and continuing into the present is usually rendered by the present tense in
Arabic, whereas in English, the present perfect is used. The preposition mundhu is
used to specify at which point in the past the action started. This structure may
occur with verbal predications or with equational predications.

.øjô¡°T ò¦e IQGOE™G ˜ πª©j
ya-¬mal-u fii l-√idaarat-i mundhu shahr-ayni.
He has been working in the administration for two months.
386 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


.¤G’¦°S ¢ùªN ò¦e ɦg ¢»«YCG
√a¬iish-u hunaa mundhu xams-i sanawaat-in.
I have been living here for five years.

.»àd’˜W ò¦e Aɦ¨dG i’gCG
√a-hwaa l-ghinaa√-a mundhu Tufuulat-ii.
I have loved singing since my childhood.

2.4 Summary of true Arabic prepositions (Huruuf al-jarr qô·G ±hôM)
One-letter prepositions:
bi- li- ka-
`H `d c
Two-letter prepositions:
fii min
˜ øe øY
¬an

Three-letter prepositions:
Hattaa mundhu
¤EG ≈∏Y ≈qàM ò¦e
√ilaa ¬alaa

3 Locative adverbs or semi-prepositions (Zuruuf makaan wa-Zuruuf
zamaan ¿ÉeR ±hôXh ¿Éµe ±hôX)
These words function in many ways as prepositions but are not “true” preposi-
tions because

(1) they are derived from triliteral lexical roots and
(2) they can be preceded by a true preposition or even another semi-
preposition.

Usually they show accusative case marking with fatHa, to indicate their adver-
bial function. Under certain circumstances, that case marker can change.12 Like
true prepositions, they are normally followed by a noun in the genitive case or a
pronoun suffix.
Semi-prepositions or locative adverbs are used in concrete and figurative ways,
but they do not have the extensive range of abstract meanings that true preposi-
tions have, nor are they normally used in verb-preposition idioms. Included here
are examples of some of the most common ones.

3.1 √amaam-a „¦ÉeCG ˜in front of; facing; in the face of; before; to™
The word √amaam-a refers to a position ˜in front™ or ˜before,™ both spatially and
figuratively:


12
The fact that the case marker may change is considered an indicator of their close relationship to
nouns.
Prepositions and prepositional phrases 387


.¤Éqjó«àdG øe ’ãµdGh ¢Uô˜dG øe ’ãµdG ɦeÉeCG
√amaam-a-naa l-kathiir-u min-a l-furaS-i wa-l-kathiir-u min-a l-taHaddiyyaat-i.
Before us are many opportunities and many challenges.

.á©FGôdG á©«‘£dG »eÉeCG .¢ù∏ÛG „¦ÉeCG «hD’°Sne’g
huwa mas√uul-un √amaam-a l-majlis-i.
√amaam-ii l-Tabii¬at-u l-raa√i¬at-u.
Before me is splendid nature. He is responsible to (˜before™) the council.

3.1.1 √amaam-a as ˜against™ or ˜versus™
Idiomatically, √amaam-a is used in the context of sports teams to express the team
˜against™ which another team is playing.

.Ú°üdG –®à¦e „¦ÉeCG iôNCG IGQÉ‘e ¿’‘©∏j
ya-l¬ab-uuna mubaaraat-an √uxraa √amaam-a muntaxab-i l-Siin-i.
They play another match against the Chinese team.

.ÉjQ’°S „¦ÉeCG º¡JÉj QÉ‘e ¤hCG G’‘°ùc
kasab-uu √uulaa mubaarayaat-i-him √amaam-a suuriyaa.
They won the first of their matches against Syria.

3.1.2 √amaam as forward position
Sometimes, √amaam is used as a noun referring to a forward position. When used
this way it inflects for all three cases.

.„¦ÉeC™G ¤EG iÈc I’£N πqãÁ º¡eÉeCG øe
yu-maththil-u xuTwat-an kubraa √ilaa l-√amaam-i. min √amaam-i-him
It represents a great step forward. from in front of them

3.2 √athnaa√-a nAɦKCG and ¬i √athnaa√-i pAɦKCG ˜ ˜during™
The noun √athnaa√ may be used in the accusative case to indicate ˜during™ or after
the preposition fii (in the genitive case), with the same meaning.

è«∏ÿG áeRCG AɦKCG ˜
¤É°»bɦŸG ¤É°ù∏L ióMEG AɦKCG
√athnaa√-a √iHdaa jalasaat-i l-munaaqashaat-i fii √athnaa√-i √azmat-i l-xaliij-i
during one of the sessions of the debates during the Gulf Crisis

3.3 bayn-a nÚH ˜between; among™

3.3.1 Repetition of bayn-a with pronoun
The semi-preposition bayn-a means ˜between™ two objects and also ˜among™ many
objects. It has the peculiarity that when one or both of the objects are pronouns,
bayn-a must be repeated.
388 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


‚¦«Hh »¦«H É¡¦«Hh ¬¦«H
bayn-ii wa-bayn-a-ka bayn-a-hu wa-bayn-a-haa
between me and (between) you between him and (between) her

.¢»«·G øe AµL ÚHh º¡¦«H ±“ÿG
al-xilaaf-u bayn-a-hum wa-bayn-a juz√-in min-a l-jaysh-i.
The dispute is between them and (between) a portion of the army.

3.3.2 bayn-a plus nouns
If both of the objects of the preposition are nouns, bayn-a is used only once and
the second noun is conjoined to the first with the conjunction wa- ˜and.™ Both
nouns are considered objects of the semi-preposition and both are in the genitive
case. A dual noun or a plural noun may also follow bayn-a.

.„¦ÉMµdG ÚH ´É°V
øjó∏‘dG ÚH
bayn-a l-balad-ayni Daa¬-a bayn-a l-ziHaam-i.
between the two countries He got lost in (among) the crowd.

q‹hódG ó¤¦dG ¥hó¦°Uh q‹hódG ‚¦‘dG ÚH
bayn-a l-bank-i l-duwaliyy-i wa-Sanduuq-i l-naqd-i l-duwaliyy-i
between the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund

q»∏«FGô°SE™G óa’dGh q»¦«£°ù∏˜dG óa’dG ÚH
bayn-a l-wafd-i l-filisTiiniyy-i wa-l-wafd-i l-√israa√iiliyy-i
between the Palestinian delegation and the Israeli delegation

Üô©dG AɪYµdG ÚH AGQB™G «OÉ‘J
tabaadul-u l-√aaraa√-i bayn-a l-zu¬amaa√-i l-¬arab-i
exchange of views among the Arab leaders

·C™G ÚH ºgɘàdG π‘°S OÉ©jE™ á∏«°Sh π°†aCG
√afDal-u wasiilat-in li-√iijaad-i subul-i l-tafaahum-i bayna l-√umam-i
the best method to create ways of understanding among nations

3.3.3 bayn-a after min
After the preposition min, bayn-a becomes bayn-i, as object of the preposition:

qÊɦ‘∏dG –FɦdG º¡¦«H øeh
wa-min bayn-i-him-i l-naa√ib-u l-lubnaaniyy-u
and among them [is] the Lebanese representative

3.4 ba¬d-a nó©H ˜after; in™
This function word is used as a semi-preposition and also as an adverb. As a semi-
preposition, it has a fatHa (accusative case ending) and takes a noun or pronoun
Prepositions and prepositional phrases 389


object. In some cases it might be preceded by a true preposition (usually min or
√ilaa), and its case marker then changes to genitive (final kasra). It still is followed
by a noun or pronoun in the genitive case.


3.4.1 Locative ba¬d-a
The locative use of b a¬d-a includes both time and place.

¿ h ôb á©HQCG ó©H ɪ¡¦HG IO™h ó©H
ba¬d-a √arba¬at-i quruun-in ba¬d-a wilaadat-i bn-i-himaa
after four centuries after the birth of their son

?‚dP ó©H ¬d §óM GPÉe ó¤©dG „«b’J ó©H
maadhaa Hadath-a la-hu ba¬d-a dhaalika? ba¬d-a tawqii¬-i l-¬aqd-i
What happened to him after that? after signing the contract

3.4.2 ba¬d after a preposition
Preceded by a true preposition, ba¬d inflects in the genitive:

π«∏dG ∞°üà¦e ó©‘d ᘫ˜N ¤“cCG ô¡¶dG ó©H ˜
√akalaat-un xafiifat-un li-ba¬d-i muntaSaf-i l-layl-i fii ba¬d-i l-Zuhr-i

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