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8.1.4 Form IV QAP: muf¬alill qπp∏n©r˜oe

serene, calm muTma√inn dusky, gloomy mukfahirr
qøp„nªr£oe qôp¡n˜rµoe
8.1.5 QAPs in context
.IQ ’góàe áq«°U «ÉM ˜ ºg
hum fii Haal-i SiHHat-in mutadahwirat-in.
They are in a deteriorating state of health.

Ú°S󦡟G q»M ¤ÉjɦH
binaayaat-u Hayy-i l-muhandis-iina
the buildings of the Muhandisin (˜engineers™) quarter

8.2 Quadriliteral passive participle (QPP)

8.2.1 Form I passive participle: mufa¬lal πn∏r©n˜oe

camp mu¬askar embellished muzarkash
ônµr°ùn©oe ¢»nµrQnµoe
series musalsal crystallized mubalwar
πn°ùr∏n°ùoe Qn’r∏n‘oe
old-timer muxaDram electrified mukahrab
„¦nôr°†n®oe Ünôr¡nµoe
8.2.2 Form II QPP: mutafa¬lal πn∏r©n˜nàoe
This form is rare.

8.2.3 Form III and Form IV QPP
These are rare.

8.2.4 Quadriliteral PPs in context
ójóL π°ù∏°ùe
musalsal-un jadiid-un
a new series
á«Hô©dG øe áe©ôàe â™É¤e
maqaalaat-un mutarjamat-un min-a l-¬arabiyyat-i
articles translated from Arabic
34
Moods of the verb I: indicative and
subjunctive
Mood or “mode” refers to the Arabic verb properties indicative, subjunctive, and
jussive.1 These categories reflect or are caused by contextual modalities that
condition the action of the verb. For example, the indicative mood tends to be
characteristic of straightforward, factual statements or questions, while the sub-
junctive mood reflects an attitude toward the action such as doubt, desire, intent,
wishing, or necessity, and the jussive mood, when used for the imperative, indi-
cates an attitude of command, request, or need for action on the part of the
speaker.
In Arabic, mood marking is only done on the present tense or imperfective
stem; there are no mood variants for the past tense. The Arabic moods are
therefore non-finite; that is, they do not refer to points in time and are not dif-
ferentiated by tense. Tense is inferred from context and other parts of the
clause.2


1 The indicative mood: al-muDaari¬ al-marfuu¬ ´’aôŸG´QÉ°†ŸG
The indicative mood is considered the basic mood; it is used in factual statements
or straightforward questions. It is also used in statements about the future, either
with the future markers sa- `n °S or sawfa n±r’n°S, or in a context that refers to a future
action. A full paradigm of the indicative mood for a regular Form I verb is as
follows:



1
An additional mood, the “energetic” exists in Classical Arabic but not in MSA. It denotes an
intensified affirmation of action. See Wright 1967, I:61ff. and Fischer 2002, 110 and 118 for more
on the energetic mood.
2
The question of mood marking (on verbs) is a central one in traditional Arabic grammar, along
with case marking (on nouns and adjectives). Moods fall under the topic of morphology because
they are indicated in Arabic word structure, that is, they are usually marked by suffixes or
modifications of suffixes attached to the present tense verb stem. Moods also, however, fall
under the topic of syntax because their use is determined either by particles which govern their
occurrence, or by the narrative context in general, including attitude of the speaker and intended
meaning. They are therefore referred to in some reference works and theoretical discussions as
“morphosyntactic” categories, combining features of morphology and syntax.


606
Moods of the verb I: indicative and subjunctive 607


1.2 Indicative mood paradigm
Present tense stem -¬rif- - ±pôY - ˜know™

Singular Dual Plural


o±pôrYnCG o±pôr©nf
First person
na-¬rif-u
√a-¬rif-u

o±pôr©nJ p¿Éapôr©nJ n¿’apôr©nJ
Second person
m. ta-¬rif-u ta-¬rif-aani ta-¬rif-uuna

nÚapôr©nJ p¿Éapôr©nJ nørapôr©nJ
f.
ta-¬rif-iina ta-¬rif-aani ta-¬rif-na

o±pôr©nj p¿Éapôr©nj n¿’apôr©nj
Third person
m. ya-¬rif-u ya-¬rif-aani ya-¬rif-uuna

o±pôr©nJ p¿Éapôr©nJ nørapôr©nj
f.
ta-¬rif-u ta-¬rif-aani ya-¬rif-na



It is the suffix on the verb that indicates the mood. The indicative mood shows
the full form of the suffixes, and that is one reason why it is considered the base
form. Particular indicators of the indicative are:

1. the short vowel Damma (-u-) suffix on five of the persons (I, we, you m.sg., he
and she);3
2. the /-na/ suffix after the long vowel /-uu- / in the second and third persons
masculine plural and after /-ii-/ in the second person feminine singular;
3. the /-ni/ suffix after the long vowel /-aa-/ in the dual.

1.3 Examples of indicative in context

1.3.1 Statements
.A»°T qπc o±ô©J .ɦ¦FÉHµH o–qMôf
ta-¬rif-u kull-a shay√-in. nu-raHHib-u bi-zabaa√in-i-naa.
She knows everything. We welcome our customers.


3
It is this Damma suffix that leads to the name of the mood, because the Damma mood marker
resembles the Damma case marker on nouns. Both the indicative mood and the nominative case
are called marfuu¬ in Arabic.
608 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


.„¦’«dG IôgɤdG QOɨj .èeGÈdG ˜ É¡nf’LQój
o
yu-ghaadir-u l-qaahirat-a l-yawm-a. yu-drij-uuna-haa fii l-baraamij-i.
He leaves Cairo today. They include it in the programs.

.ÚàYÉ°S ôªà°ùJ
.o±qô°»àf q
na-tasharraf-u. ta-stamirr-u saa¬at-ayni.
We are honored. It lasts two hours.

1.3.2 Questions
?π©˜J GPÉe ?¬q‘“ GPÉŸ
maadhaa ta-f¬al-u? li-maadhaa tu-Hibb-u-hu?
What does it (f.) do? Why do you like it (m.)?

1.3.3 Future tense

1.3.3.1 WITH FUTURE MARKER
.kÉYɪàLG ¿h󤩫°S
.øq°ù«àj ±’°S
sawfa ya-taHassan-u. sa-ya-¬qud-uuna jtimaa¬-an.
It will get better. They will hold a meeting.

1.3.3.2 BY CONTEXT
.GóZ ᪰UÉ©dG QOɨj
yu-ghaadir-u l-¬aaSimat-a ghad-an.
He leaves (will leave) the capital tomorrow.

1.3.4 Passive indicative
The indicative may occur in the passive voice, for example:

!¥qó°üoJ ™ QÉ©°SCG .¥GQhC™G „¦°üd „¦ó®à°ùoJ
√as¬aar-un laa tu-Saddaq-u! tu-staxdam-u li-San¬-i l-√awraaq-i
Unbelievable prices! It is used to make papers.
(˜prices that are not believed™)


2 The subjunctive mood: al-muDaari¬ al-manSuub Ü’°ü¦ŸG ´QÉ°†ŸG
The subjunctive mood is a form of the present tense, or imperfect, that occurs
under specific circumstances in Arabic, taking the form of a distinct subset of
inflectional endings on the imperfect verb stem, in other words, a separate con-
jugation. It has the following features: the short inflectional vowel suffix is fatHa
(instead of the Damma of the indicative). For the longer verb suffixes, such as
Moods of the verb I: indicative and subjunctive 609


/-uuna/, /-iina/, and /-aani/, the nuun and its short vowel are dropped, so the suffixes
are left as long vowels /-uu/, /-ii/, /-aa/.4
Because of the use of fatHa instead of Damma as the short vowel suffix, the sub-
junctive mood is referred to in Arabic as al-muDaari¬ al-manSuub ´QÉ°†ŸG
Ü’°ü¦ŸG, using the same term for the subjunctive as for the accusative case on
nouns and adjectives (al-manSuub Ü’°ü¦ŸG).

Subjuctive mood paradigm
Present tense stem -¬rif- ±pôY - ˜know™

Singular Dual Plural

n±pôrYnCG n±pôr©nf
First person
na-¬rif-a
√a-¬rif-a

n±pôr©nJ Éapôr©nJ G’apôr©nJ
Second person
m. ta-¬rif-a ta-¬rif-aa ta-¬rif-uu

˜pôr©nJ Éapôr©nJ nørapôr©nJ
f.
ta-¬rif-ii ta-¬rif-aa ta-¬rif-na

n±pôr©nj Éapôr©nj G’apôr©nj
Third person
m. ya-¬rif-a ya-¬rif-aa ya-¬rif-uu

n±pôr©nJ Éapôr©nJ nørapôr©nj
f.
ta-¬rif-a ta-¬rif-aa ya-¬rif-na



In general, the subjunctive mood is determined by an attitude toward the ver-
bal action such as volition, intent, purpose, doubt, attempting, expectation, per-
mission, hope, ability, or necessity. In Arabic, the subjunctive is also syntactically
determined by the presence of particular ˜subjunctivizing™ particles. Those par-
ticles include lan ønd, which negates the future; a series of particles that express
purpose (li- p`d, kay r»nc, li-kay r»nµpd, Hattaa ≈qàM), and the subordinating conjunction
particle √an, which links a subordinate clause to a main clause. The subjunctive
mood may also occur in the passive voice.

2.1 Negative particle: lan rønd ˜will not; shall not™
After the negative particle lan the subjunctive is used. This combination of lan
subjunctive yields a future negative.

4
For the history and development of the Arabic subjunctive, see Testen 1994.
610 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


.kÉHôY G’f’µj ¿CG øe ºg’©¦Á rød .≈°ù¦f rød
lan ya-mna¬-uu-hum min √an ya-kuun-uu ¬arab-an. lan na-nsaa.
They will not prevent them from being Arabs. We will not forget.

2.2 Particles of purpose
These particles are subordinating conjunctions that denote the sense of ˜in order
to™ or ˜in order that.™ With certain particles a verbal noun may be substituted for
the subjunctive verb.

2.2.1 li- p`d ˜for; to; in order to, in order that™
The purpose particle li- p`d may be followed by a verb in the subjunctive, or by a ver-
bal noun in the genitive case.

2.2.1.1 WITH SUBJUNCTIVE
ágµf ˜ √nòNB™ Ohó—G πNGO G’¤∏¨¦«d
li-√aaxudh-a-hu fii nuzhat-in li-ya-nghaliq-uu daaxil-a l-Huduud-i
in order that I take him for a walk in order that they be closed inside
the borders

2.2.1.2 WITH VERBAL NOUN
¬°ù˜f øY ´Éaó∏d
li-l-difaa¬-i ¬an nafs-i-hi
in order to defend himself

2.2.2 kay r»nc ˜in order that, in order to™
¿É«àe“d qó©à°ùf »c
kay na-sta¬idd-a li-l-imtiHaan-i
in order for us to get ready for the exam

2.2.3 kay laa ™ r»nc ˜in order not to™
. . . n«’bCG kÉqj ’b ≈¤r‘nj ™ »c
™ »c
kay laa √a-quul-a . . . kay laa ya-bqaa qawiyy-an
in order that I not say . . . so that it not remain strong

2.2.4 li-kay r»nµpd ˜in order to; in order that™
√O“H ¤EG nO’©j »µd ¬©b’e ≈∏Y ßaÉ«j »µd
li-kay ya-¬uud-a √ilaa bilaad-i-hi li-kay yu-HaafiZ-a ¬alaa mawqi¬-i-hi
in order to return to his country in order to maintain his position
Moods of the verb I: indicative and subjunctive 611


„É©dG Ghôq«¨j »µd
li-kay yu-ghayyir-uu l-¬aalam-a
in order to change (˜that they change™) the world

2.2.5 li-kay-laa “r«nµpd ˜in order not to™
–ൟG nπNóJ “«µd
li-kay-laa ta-dxul-a l-maktab-a
in order that she not enter the office

2.2.6 Hattaa ≈qàM ˜in order that™
The particle Hattaa has other meanings, as well (˜until™ or ˜even™), but when used
with a verb in the subjunctive it indicates purpose.

πª©dG Gòg áH’©°U n‘Qóf ≈qàM
Hattaa nu-drik-a Su¬uubat-a haadhaa l-¬amal-i
in order that we realize the difficulty of this work

2.2.7 Hattaa laa ™
≈qàM ˜in order not to; so that . . . not™
ÜÉ«°ùf™G ó«jCÉJ ˜ s§°»j ™ ≈qàM
Hattaa laa ya-shuTT-a fii ta√yiid-i l-insiHaab-i
so that it does not go too far in supporting withdrawal

2.3 Subordinating conjunction: √an r¿nCG subjunctive
The particle / √an/ ¿CG follows certain types of verbs in order to conjoin a complement
clause to the verb. These verbs (sometimes called “matrix” verbs) usually denote atti-
tudes or feelings toward the action such as liking, disliking, expecting, deciding,
intending, wanting, wishing, requesting, possibility, attempting, needing.5 For
example:

to like, love to be possible √amkan-a √an
r¿CG q–MCG r¿CG øµeCG
√aHabb-a √an
to decide qarrar-a √an to be able istaTaa¬-a √an r¿CG ´É£à°SpG
r¿CG Qqôb
to want to be able qadar-a √an
r¿CG OGQCG r¿CG Qób
√araad-a √an
to be on the √awshak-a √an to be able tamakkan-a r¿CG øe øqµ“
r¿CG ‚°ThCG
verge of min √an
to try to Haawal-a √an to intend qaSad-a √an
r¿CG «hÉM r¿CG ó°üb
5
Cantarino states: “after verbs that present their objects as something striven for or simply as a
possibility or capability of a future action, only √an will be used” (1975, III:107). See his extensive
section on √an 1975, III: 107“16. Compare these verbs to verbs followed by the particle √anna, which
is used to report factual information in a subordinate clause (see Chapter 19, section 2.3).
612 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


In most cases, the √an r¿CG subjunctive structure is replaceable with a verbal
noun. Thus it is possible to have sentences such as:

.nCGô¤f r¿CG –«f
t
nu-Hibb-u √an na-qra√-a.
We like to read (lit. ˜we like that we read™).6
or
.IAGô¤dG –«f
t
nu-Hibb-u l-qiraa√at-a.
We like to read (lit. ˜we like reading™).
Sentences in English may use the infinitive (e.g., “to read”) as the equivalent of
either structure. For example:

.≈°ù¦f r¿CG oój ôf ™
laa nu-riid-u √an na-nsaa.
We don™t want to forget (˜that we forget™).

.¬n∏©˜f r¿CG o„«£à°ùf
na-staTii¬-u √an na-f¬al-a-hu.
We are able to do it (˜we are able that we do it™).

.óZ ó©H óY’ŸG n¿ ’µj r¿CG â‘∏W qºK
thumm-a Talab-at √an ya-kuun-a l-maw¬id-u ba¬d-a ghad-in.
Then it requested that the appointment be [the day] after tomorrow.

2.3.1 qabl-a √an r¿CG π‘b ˜before™ and ba¬d-a √an r¿CG ó©H ˜after™
The particle √an also follows certain semi-prepositions so that they may be fol-
lowed by a verb phrase or entire clause.7

2.3.1.1 qabl-a √an ¿CG π‘b ˜BEFORE™:
The semi-preposition qabl-a π‘b by itself must
be directly followed by a noun or a pronoun suffix. Using √an as a buffer, qabl-a
may be followed by a verb in the subjunctive mood. Tense is inferred from context.

(1) Present tense meaning:

‚dòH nôqµ˜f ¿CG π‘b Üô—G ¬nbqµ“ ¿CG π‘b
qabl-a √an nu-fakkir-a bi-dhaalika qabl-a √an tu-mazziq-a-hu l-Harb-u
before we think of that before war rips it apart

6
For more detailed description of the use of the verbal noun in such structures, see Chapter 5,
section 1.3.
7
Normally, prepositions and semi-prepositions are followed by a noun in the genitive case or by a
pronoun.
Moods of the verb I: indicative and subjunctive 613


(2) Past tense meaning:

.áH’¤©dG n∞q˜®j ¿CG π‘b ‚dP «Éb
qaal-a dhaalika qabl-a √an yu-xaffif-a l-¬uquubat-a.
He said that before he lightened the penalty.

2.3.1.2 r¿CG ó©H ˜AFTER™:
The phrase ba¬d-a √an ¿CG ó©H may be followed
ba¬d-a √an
either by a verb in the subjunctive mood or by a past tense verb. It requires a verb
in the subjunctive if the situation is not yet an actual fact, that is, if the situation
is in the future or is still a possibility.
However, if the situation is in the past and has already taken place, ba¬d-a √an
¿CG ó©H is followed by a past tense verb. The latter case is one of the few situations
where the particle √an ¿CG is followed by anything other than a subjunctive.8

(1) Describing the past:

ôeBÉàdÉH º¡ª¡qJG ¿CG ó©H
ba¬d-a √an-i ttaham-a-hum bi-l-ta√aamur-i
after he accused them of conspiracy

(2) Discussing the future:

.n¢SQóf r¿CG ó©H oπcCɦn°S
sa-na-√kul-u ba¬d-a √an na-drus-a.
We will eat after we study.


2.3.2 Impersonal verbs subjunctive
Certain impersonal verbal expressions followed by /√an/ r¿CG plus a verb in the sub-
junctive indicate necessity or possibility:

ya-jib-u √an9
it is necessary that r¿CG –©j
it ought to be that ya-nbaghii √an r¿CG »¨‘¦j
it is possible that yu-mkin-u √an r¿CG øµÁ
min-a l-mumkin-i √an r¿CG øµªŸG øe

8
Al-Warraki and Hassanein (1994, 51) state it clearly: “If ba¬d-a √an is preceded by a perfect
[verb] in the main clause, it is also followed by a perfect; if it is preceded by imperfect or
future in the main clause, it is followed by a subjunctive.” They devote an entire chapter to
ba¬d-a √an and qabl-a √an.
9
The phrase ya-jib-u an may include the use of the preposition ¬alaa to specify for whom the action
is necessary, e.g., ya-jib-u ¬alay-naa √an nu-faawiD-a ¢Vhɘf ¿CG ɦ«∏Y –©j ˜We have to negotiate (it is
necessary/ incumbent upon us that we negotiate™).
614 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


.qïa ¤EG «q’«àJ ¿CG øµÁ .IQÉjµH „¦’¤f ¿CG –©j
yu-mkin-u √an ta-taHawwal-a √ilaa faxx-in. ya-jib-u √an na-quum-a bi-ziyaarat-in.
It could turn into a trap. It is necessary that we undertake
a visit.

.¥É˜qJ™G ºYóJ ¿CG Ió«qàŸG ¤Éj™’dG ≈∏Y –©j
ya-jib-u ¬alaa l-wilaayaat-i l-muttaHidat-i √an ta-d¬am-a l-ittifaaq-a.
It is necessary for the US to support the agreement.

.º¡àn°SÉ«°S øe CGµ©àj ™ kGAµL í‘°üj ¿CG »¨‘¦jh
ya-nbaghii √an yu-SbiH-a juz√-an laa ya-tajazza√-u min siyaasat-i-him.
It ought to become an indivisible part of their policy.

2.3.2.1 involves prefixing the negative particle laa
NEGATION OF NECESSITY
before the verb of necessity:

?ɦ°ù˜fCG øY „aGóf ¿CG ɦ«∏Y –©j ™CG
√a-laa ya-jib-u ¬alay-naa √an nu-daafi¬-a ¬an √anfus-i-naa?
Isn™t it necessary (˜for us™) that we defend ourselves?

2.3.2.2 NEGATION OF ACTION involves prefixing the negative particle laa before the
subjunctive verb. Sometimes √an laa ™ ¿GC is contracted into one word: √allaa ™GCn :
r q
.≥∏¤H ô©°»j ™ ¿CG »¨‘¦j .kGó¤f „aóoJ ™ r¿CG –©j
ya-nbaghii √an laa ya-sh¬ar-a bi-qalaq-in ya-jib-u √an laa tu-dfa¬-a naqd-an.
He must not feel anxious. It must not be paid in cash.

.¬¦Y ô¶¦dG q¢†¨j q™CG –©j
ya-jib-u √allaa ya-ghiDD-a l-naZar-a ¬an-hu.
It is necessary that he not disregard it.

2.3.2.3 These impersonal verbs are put into
PAST TENSE OF IMPERSONAL VERBS:
the past tense through the use of the past tense verb kaan-a as an auxiliary verb:

ºp¡pàqnüpM øª°V ¿’µJ ¿CG –©j ¿Éc ] ¢VGQCG[
[√araaDin] kaan-a ya-jib-u √an ta-kuun-a Dimn-a HiSSat-i-him
[lands which] should have been [included] within their portion

2.3.3 ¬alaa √an r¿CG ≈∏Y + subjunctive
The preposition ¬alaa may indicate necessity or incumbence “upon” someone to
do something. It may be used with a pronoun suffix or with a noun in the geni-
tive, followed by √an and a verb in the subjunctive.
Moods of the verb I: indicative and subjunctive 615


.ô˜°üdG øe CGó‘f ¿CG ɦ«∏Yh .ÉgQhóH „¦’¤J ¿CG ádhódG ≈∏Yh
wa-¬alay-naa √an na-bda√-a min-a l-Sifr-i. wa-¬alaa l-dawlat-i √an ta-quum-a
We must begin from zero. bi-dawr-i-haa.
It is incumbent upon the state
to assume its role.

2.3.4 Adjective √an ¿CG + subjunctive
The particle √an may be used with an adjective or participle used to express a feel-
ing, expectation, or opinion.

.ÉfO“H q–«f ¿CG kGqóL q»©«‘W
Tabii¬iyy-un jidd-an √an nu-Hibb-a bilaad-a-naa.
[It is ] very natural that we love our country.

.ôqNCÉàf ¿CG Üô¨à°ùŸG
al-mustaghrab-u √an na-ta√axxar-a.
[It is] strange that we delay.

.πHɦ¤dG ¤É©bô˜ŸG AGÈN ôq©˜j ¿CG Qq ô¤ŸG øeh
wa-min-a l-muqarrar-i √an yu-fajjir-a xubaraa√-u l-mufarqi¬aat-i l-qanaabil-a.
It has been determined that explosives experts will detonate the bombs.
35
Moods of the verb II: jussive and imperative


1 The jussive: al-jazm „¦µ·G
The jussive mood is restricted in occurrence. It does not carry a particular semantic
content; rather, it is a mood of the verb required in written Arabic under specific
circumstances. The distinctive feature of jussive inflection is the absence of a
final short inflectional vowel. Where the indicative mood inflects with Damma
and the subjunctive mood inflects with fatHa, the jussive mood inflects with
sukuun.
Like the subjunctive, the jussive shortens the longer verb suffixes, such as /-uuna/,
/-iina/, and /-aani/, by deleting the nuun and its short vowel, so those suffixes are
left as long vowels /-uu/, /-ii/, /-aa/. Again, as with the subjunctive and indicative,
the /-na/ of the second and third persons feminine plural is retained.

1.1 Jussive mood paradigm: sound Form I verb

- ±pôrY - ¬rif - ˜know™

Singular Dual Plural

r±pôrYnCG r±pôr©nf
First person
na-¬rif
√a-¬rif

r±pôr©nJ Éapôr©nJ G’apôr©nJ
Second person
m. ta-¬rif ta-¬rif-aa ta-¬rif-uu

˜pôr©nJ Éapôr©nJ nørapôr©nJ
f.
ta-¬rif-ii ta-¬rif-aa ta-¬rif-na

r±pôr©nj Éapôr©nj G’apôr©nj
Third person
m. ya-¬rif ya-¬rif-aa ya-¬rif-uu

r±pôr©nJ Éapôr©nJ nørapôr©nj
f.
ta-¬rif ta-¬rif-aa ya-¬rif-na



616
Moods of the verb II: jussive and imperative 617


The absence of an inflectional vowel in the first person singular and plural, the
second person masculine singular and the third persons feminine and masculine
singular causes certain pronunciation and spelling changes in geminate, hollow,
and defective verbs.


1.2 Jussive mood paradigm: geminate Form I verb
When the jussive mood is used with geminate verbs, the deletion of the inflec-
tional short vowel in the first person singular and plural, the second person
masculine singular, and the third persons feminine and masculine singular
causes a consonant cluster to occur at the end of the inflected verb, and this
violates the phonological rule against word-final consonant clusters in MSA. To
counteract this, a short vowel /-a/ is added to these persons of the verb in order
to make them pronounceable. However, the addition of the short vowel /-a/
has the effect of making the jussive of geminate verbs look exactly like the
subjunctive.




- qOoQ - rudd - ˜return; reply™

Singular Dual Plural

sOoQnCG sOoônf
First person
na-rudd-a
√a-rudd-a

sOoônJ GqOoônJ GhqOoônJ
Second person
m. ta-rudd-a ta-rudd-aa ta-rudd-uu

¦qOôJ
on GqOoônJ n¿rOoOrônJ
f.
ta-rudd-ii ta-rudd-aa ta-rdud-na

sOoônj GqOoônj GhqOoônj
Third person
m. ya-rudd-a ya-rudd-aa ya-rudd-uu

sOoônJ GqOoônJ n¿rOoOrônj
f.
ta-rudd-a ta-rudd-aa ya-rdud-na




1.3 Jussive mood paradigm: hollow Form I verb
Hollow verbs inflected in the jussive mood have both a long vowel stem and a
short vowel stem. The long vowel stem is only used when the inflectional suffix is
a vowel, as follows:
618 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


1.3.1 Hollow-waaw verb


-qul / quul - ˜say™

Singular Dual Plural

rπobnCG rπo¤nf
First person
na-qul
√a-qul

rπo¤nJ ™’o¤nJ G’d’¤nJ
Second person
m. ta-qul ta-quul-aa ta-quul-uu

‹’o¤nJ ™’o¤nJ nør∏o¤nJ
f.
ta-quul-ii ta-quul-aa ta-qul-na

rπo¤nj ™’o¤nj G’d’o¤nj
Third person
m. ya-qul ya-quul-aa ya-quul-uu

rπo¤nJ ™’o¤nJ nør∏o¤nj
f.
ta-qul ta-quul-aa ya-qul-na




1.3.2 Hollow yaa√ verb


- bi¬- / - bii¬- ˜buy™

Singular Dual Plural

r„pHnCG „‘f
r pn
First person
na-bi¬
√a-bi¬

„‘J
r pn É©«‘nJ G’©«‘nJ
Second person
m. ta-bi¬ ta-bii¬-aa ta-bii¬-uu

»©«‘nJ É©«‘nJ nør©p‘nJ
f.
ta-bii¬-ii ta-bii¬-aa ta-bi¬-na

„‘j
r pn É©«‘nj G’©«‘nj
Third person
m. ya-bi¬ ya-bii¬-aa ya-bii¬-uu

„‘J
r pn É©«‘nJ nør©p‘nj
f.
ta-bi¬ ta-bii¬-aa ya-bi¬-na
Moods of the verb II: jussive and imperative 619


1.3.3 Hollow √alif verb


-nam- / -naam- ˜sleep™

Singular Dual Plural

rºnfnCG rºn¦nf
First person
na-nam
√a-nam

rºn¦nJ ÉeɦnJ G’eɦnJ
Second person
m. ta-nam ta-naam-aa ta-naam-uu

»eɦnJ ÉeɦnJ nørªn¦nJ
f.
ta-naam-ii ta-naam-aa ta-nam-na

rºn¦nj Éeɦnj G’eɦnj
Third person
m. ya-nam ya-naam-aa ya-naam-uu

rºn¦nJ ÉeɦnJ nørªn¦nj
f.
ta-nam ta-naam-aa ya-nam-na




1.4 Jussive mood paradigm: Defective Form I verb
The effect of the sukuun of the jussive on certain inflectional forms of defective
verbs is to shorten the long vowel ending to a short vowel. As a short vowel it
usually does not appear in written text.

1.4.1 Jussive of yaa√-defective verb (-aa/-ii)


- bni- / -bniy- ˜build™

Singular Dual Plural

pørHnCG pør‘nf
First person
na-bni
√a-bni

pør‘nJ É«¦r‘nJ G’¦r‘nJ
Second person
m. ta-bni ta-bniy-aa ta-bnuu

»¦r‘nJ É«¦r‘nJ nÚ¦r‘nJ
f.
ta-bn-ii ta-bniy-aa ta-bnii-na
620 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic



- bni- / -bniy- ˜build™

Singular Dual Plural

pør‘nj É«¦r‘nj G’¦r‘nj
Third person
m. ya-bni ya-bniy-aa ya-bnuu

pør‘nJ É«¦r‘nJ nÚ¦r‘nj
f.
ta-bni ta-bniy-aa ya-bnii-na




1.4.2 Jussive of yaa√-defective verb (-ii/-aa)


-nsa- / -nsay- ˜forget™

Singular Dual Plural

n¢ùrfnCG ¢ùr¦f
nn
First person
na-nsa
√a-nsa

¢ùr¦J
nn É«n°ùr¦nJ Gr’n°ùr¦nJ
Second person
m. ta-nsa ta-nsay-aa ta-nsaw

r»n°ùr¦nJ É«n°ùr¦nJ nør«n°ùr¦nJ
f.
ta-nsay ta-nsay-aa ta-nsay-na

¢ùr¦j
nn É«n°ùr¦nj Gr’n°ùr¦nj
Third person
m. ya-nsa ya-nsay-aa ya-nsaw

¢ùr¦J
nn É«n°ùr¦nJ nør«n°ùr¦nj
f.
ta-nsa ta-nsay-aa ya-nsay--na




1.4.3 Jussive of waaw-defective verb


-bdu- / -bduw- ˜seem, appear™

Singular Dual Plural

oórHnCG ór‘f
on
First person
na-bdu
√a-bdu
Moods of the verb II: jussive and imperative 621



-bdu- / -bduw- ˜seem, appear™

Singular Dual Plural

ó‘J
orn Ghoó‘J
rn Ghór‘J
n
Second person
m. ta-bdu ta-bduw-aa ta-bduu

¦ór‘J
n Ghoó‘J
rn ¿hór‘J
nn
f.
ta-bdii ta-bduw-aa ta-bduu-na

ó‘j
orn Ghoó‘j
rn Ghór‘j
n
Third person
m. ya-bdu ya-bduw-aa ya-bduu

ó‘J
orn Ghoó‘J
rn ¿hór‘j
nn
f.
ta-bdu ta-bduw-aa ya-bduu--na




Full paradigms of verbs in all moods are found in chapters on the respective verb
forms (I“X).


1.5 Use of the jussive
The jussive is used in essentially five ways: with conditional sentences, with the
negative particle lam rºnd; with the negative imperative particle laa ™, the indirect
imperative particle /li/ p`d, and as a basis for forming the imperative.
Most often, the jussive mood in MSA is used with the negative particle lam to
negate the past tense, and with the imperative.


1.5.1 In conditional sentences
The jussive in conditional sentences occurred rarely in the MSA database covered
for this analysis. This particular function of the jussive is more common in
literary and classical texts.1 For discussion of this use of the jussive see Chapter 39
on conditional and optative expressions.

.‚©e r–gPCG ,»‘gòJ r¿EG
√in ta-dhhab-ii, √a-dhhab ma¬-a-ki.
If you (f.) go, I™ll go with you.


1
See, for example, Cantarino™s extensive description of conditional clauses in literary Arabic,
Cantarino 1975, III:311“71, and Haywood and Nahmad 1962, 290“300.
622 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


.oô°ùµoJ ¬q¦°ùa ,ôN˜G qø°S ¿É°ùfEG rô°ùµj r¿EG
√in ya-ksir √insaan-un sinn-a √aaxar-a, fa-sinn-u-hu tu-ksar-u.2
If a person breaks the tooth of another, (then) his tooth shall be broken.

1.5.2 With lam „
The negative particle lam is used to negate the past tense. However, it is not used
with a past tense verb. Instead, it is used with the jussive form of the verb,
conveying a meaning of past tense. In Arabic grammatical terms if is said to
“transform the [meaning of] the verb following it to the past.”3

.¿B™G ≈qàM rí©¦J „
.p¤CÉf „
lam na-√ti. lam ta-njaH Hattaa l-√aan-a
We did not come. She has not yet succeeded.

ÚeÉY ò¦e rπªàµJ „ ¤ÉM“°UEG
.rºnfCG „
lam √a-nam. √iSlaaH-aat-un lam ta-ktamil mundh-u
I didn™t sleep. ¬aam-ayni
renovations that haven™t been completed
in two years

.QÉ©jE™G o„aóJ røoµJ „ .ºgA“eR G’¨∏‘oj „
lam ta-kun ta-dfa¬-u l-√iijaar-a. lam yu-bligh-uu zumalaa√-a-hum.
She didn™t used to pay the rent. They did not notify their colleagues.

For further examples of lam „ plus the jussive, see Chapter 37 on negation and
exception, section 2.2.1.


2 The imperative: al-√amr ôeC™G
The imperative or command form of the verb in Arabic is based upon the imper-
fect/present tense verb in the jussive mood. It occurs in the second person (all
forms of “you”), for the most part, although it occasionally occurs in the first
person plural (“let™s”) and the third person (“let him/her/them”).


2.1 To form the imperative
The general rule for forming the imperative is to take the second person form of
the jussive verb and remove the subject marker (the ta- or tu- prefix). If the remaining

2
From Ziadeh and Winder 1957, 160.
3
¬Abd al-Latif et al. 1997, 307: “wa-ta-dull-u [lam] ¬alaa l-nafii, wa-tu-qallib-u l-muDaari¬-a ba¬d-a-haa √ilaa
l-maaDii wa-li-dhaalik-a yu-Tliq-u ¬alay-haa l-mu¬rib-uuna: “Harf-u nafii wa-jazm-in wa-qalb-in.” [The
particle] lam indicates negation, and it transforms the present-tense verb after it into the past
tense and therefore grammarians call it the particle of negation, jussive, and transformation.”
Moods of the verb II: jussive and imperative 623


verb stem starts with a consonant-vowel (CV) sequence, then the stem is left as it
is because it is easily pronounceable. If the remaining stem starts with a conso-
nant cluster, then it needs a helping vowel prefix. The nature of the helping vowel
depends on the verb form and (in Form I) the nature of the stem vowel.
For example, the verb katab-a ˜to write™ in the present tense, jussive mood,
second person is:

you (m. sg.) write ta-ktub r–oàrµnJ
you (f. sg.) write ta-ktub-ii »‘oàrµnJ
you two write ta-ktub-aa É‘oàrµnJ
you (m. pl.) write ta-ktub-uu G’‘oàrµnJ
you (f. pl.) write ta-ktub-na nør‘oàrµnJ
To create the imperative, the ta- prefix is dropped, leaving:

*ktub r–oàc
*ktub-ii »‘oàc
*ktub-aa É‘oàc
*ktub-uu G’‘oàc
*ktub-na nør‘oàc
Because these forms start with consonant clusters, they violate a phonological
rule in Arabic that prohibits word-initial consonant clusters. They therefore need a
helping vowel to be pronounceable. The helping vowel selected in this case is /u/
because the stem vowel of the verb is /u/. However, another rule in Arabic prohibits
words from starting with vowels, so the /u/ vowel is preceded by hamza, and the
hamza plus short vowel sit on an √alif seat. This yields the pronounceable forms:

Write! u-ktub! ! r–oàrcoG
u-ktub-ii! !»‘oàrcoG
u-ktub-aa! ! É‘oàrcoG
u-ktub-uu! ! G’‘oàrcoG
u-ktub-na! ! nør‘oàrcoG
This helping vowel is used with hamzat al-waSl, that is, elidable hamza, which is
normally not written and drops out if it is preceded by another vowel, as in:

Read and write! i-qra√ wa-ktub! ! r–oàrcGnh rCGnôrbpG
624 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


Note that although the prefix hamza drops out in pronunciation, the √alif seat
remains in the spelling of the word.
The deletion of the subject-marker prefix (ta- or tu-) does not always leave a stem
that starts with two consonants. For example, in the Form II verb fassar-a nôs°ùna ˜to
explain™:

you (m. sg.) explain tu-fassir rôu°ùn˜oJ
you (f. sg.) explain tu-fassir-ii ¦ôu°ùn˜oJ
you two explain tu-fassir-aa Gôu°ùn˜oJ
you (m. pl.) explain tu-fassir-uu Ghôu°ùn˜oJ
you (f. pl.) explain tu-fassir-na n¿rôu°ùn˜oJ
The imperative forms stripped of the subject marker are:

Explain! fassir! !rô°ùna
u
fassir-ii! ! ¦ôu°ùna
fassir-aa! !Gôu°ùna
fassir-uu! !Ghôu°ùna
fassir-na! ! n¿ rôu°ùna
These are pronounceable just as they are, so they need no initial helping vowel
and are left as they are in the imperative.

2.1.1 Summary
The word-initial helping vowel is needed in the imperative of Forms I, IV, VII, VIII,
and X of the verb. Forms II, III, V, and VI do not need helping vowels in the imper-
ative. The specifics of the Forms are summarized here.

2.2 Form I imperatives
Form I imperatives usually require initial helping vowels, either /i/ or /u/. The
nature of the helping vowel is determined by the stem vowel of the present tense.
If the stem vowel is fatHa or kasra, the helping vowel is kasra; if the stem vowel
is Damma, the helping vowel is Damma.

2.2.1 Sound verbs

2.2.1.1 STEM VOWEL fatHa
!º°ùª°S Éj rínàrapG !‚jój r„narQpG .‹ r»p«nªr°SpG
i-ftaH yaa simsim-u! i-rfa¬ yad-ay-ka! i-smaH-ii lii!
Open, Sesame! Raise your (two) hands! Permit (f. sg.) me!
Moods of the verb II: jussive and imperative 625


2.2.1.2 STEM VOWEL kasra
!ɦg ô˜MGp .ÊrQpòrYpG
rpr
i-Hfir hunaa! i-¬dhir-nii.
Dig here! Forgive me/Excuse me.

2.2.1.3 STEM VOWEL Damma
!kGóq«L rôo¶rfoG
!rπoNrOoG
u-dxul! u-nZur jayyid-an!
Enter! Look well/ look closely!

2.2.2 Hamzated verbs
Form I verbs with initial hamza tend to drop the hamza entirely in the imperative
in order to avoid less acceptable phonological sequences that involve two hamzas
in sequence such as *√u√ kul or *√u√xudh:

.Qµ·G πoc !√òg òN
ro
kul-i l-jazar-a. xudh haadhihi!
Eat the carrots. Take this!

Verbs with medial hamza may behave as regular verbs or may drop the initial
hamza:

!«nCÉr°SpG !rπn°S .áª∏c q¦CG ≈¦©e øY r«nCÉr°SpG
i-s√al! sal! is√al ¬an ma¬naa √ayy-i kalimat-in.
Ask! Ask about the meaning of any word.

Verbs with final hamza behave regularly in the imperative:

!rCGnôrbpG !»FnórHpG
i-qra√! i-bda√-ii!
Read! Begin(f. sg.)!

2.2.3 Geminate verbs
Form I geminate verbs are mixed as to whether or not they take a helping vowel pre-
fix. They do not take the hamza prefix in the forms that end with a long vowel, but
they may or may not take the hamza in the second person masculine singular. If the
hamza is omitted, the imperative in this person takes a final fatHa in order for it to
be pronounceable. A hamza prefix is used in the second person feminine plural.

Respond! rudd-a u-rdud! sOoQ rOoOrQoG
rudd-ii ¦qOoQ
rudd-aa GqOoQ
626 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


rudd-uu GhqOoQ
u-rdud-na! n¿rOoOrQoG

2.2.4 Assimilated verbs
Most verbs whose initial root consonant is waaw or yaa√ (such as waDa¬-a/ ya-Da¬-u
˜to put, place™) delete that consonant in all moods of the present tense. Therefore
when the subject prefix is deleted from the jussive mood in order to form the
imperative, it leaves a very short but pronounceable stem. For example:

Put! Da¬ ! !r„n°V
Da¬-ii! !»©n°V
Da¬-aa! !É©n°V
Da¬-uu! !G’©n°V
Da¬-na! !nør©n°V
.‚HÉàc ˜ É¡r©°V .r∞pb ‚∏°†a øe
n
Da¬-haa fii kitaab-i-ka. min faDl-i-ka qif.
Put it in your book. Please stop.

2.2.5 Hollow verbs
Form I hollow verbs, just as regular verbs, make the imperative based on the
jussive forms without the subject-marker prefix. There are two stem variants in
the jussive of hollow verbs, short-vowel and long-vowel. Both stems are
pronounceable without the need for a helping vowel prefix. For example:

2.2.5.1 HOLLOW waaw VERB: qaal-a n«Éb/ya-quul-u o« ’¤nj ˜TO SAY™
Say! qul! ! πb
ro
quul-ii! !‹’b
quul-aa! ! ™’b
quul-uu! ! G’d’b
qul-na! ! nør∏ob
2.2.5.2 HOLLOW yaa√ VERB: baa¬-a n´ÉH/ya-bii¬-u o„«‘nj ˜TO SELL™
Sell! bi¬ ! ! „H
rp
bii¬-ii! ! »©«H
Moods of the verb II: jussive and imperative 627


bii¬-aa! ! É©«H
bii¬-uu! ! G’©«H
bi¬-na! ! nør©pH
.Q’°ùdG IGPÉ«Ã Gh’°S
siir-uu bi-muHaadhaat-i l-suur-i.
Go (m. pl.) alongside the wall.

2.2.5.3 HOLLOW √alif VERB: naam-a „¦Éf/ya-naam-u o„¦É¦nj ˜TO SLEEP™
n
Sleep! nam! ! rºnf
naam-ii! ! »eÉf
naam-aa! ! ÉeÉf
naaam-uu! ! G’eÉf
nam-na! ! nørªnf

2.2.6 Defective verbs
Defective verbs have either waaw or yaa√ as their final root consonant. In the
jussive mood, this consonant undergoes shifts in length and quality. The impera-
tive of defectives is based on the jussive form, with no changes except the deletion
of the subject marker and the addition of the helping vowel prefix. As with
regular verbs, the nature of the short helping vowel prefix depends on the stem
vowel of the verb.

2.2.6.1 Yaa√-DEFECTIVE VERBS: The yaa√-defective verbs are of two types: ones that
end in -aa (√alif maqSuura IQ’°ü¤e ∞dCG) and ones that end with yaa√ in the past
tense. The ones ending in -aa usually inflect the present tense with -ii; the ones
that end with yaa√ in the past tense take -aa in the present tense. These verbs take
kasra as their imperative prefix helping vowel.

/-aa-ii/ verb: ramaa ≈enQ /ya-rmii »erônj ˜to throw™
(1)

Throw! i-rmi! ! p„¦rQpG
i-rm-ii! ! »eQpG
i-rmiy-aa! ! É«peQpG
i-rm-uu! ! G’eQpG
i-rmii-na! ! nÚeQpG
628 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


/-ii-aa/ verb: nasiy-a n»p°ùnf / ya-nsaa ≈°ùr¦nj ˜to forget™
(2)

Forget! i-nsa! ! ¢ùrfGp
n
i-ns-ay! ! r»n°ùrfpG
i-nsay-aa! ! É«n°ùrfpG
i-ns-aw! !Gr’n°ùrfpG
i-nsay-na! ! nør«n°ùrfpG

2.2.6.2 Waaw-DEFECTIVE VERBS: The waaw-defective verbs end in -aa (√alif Tawiila
á∏j’W ∞dCG) in the past tense citation form, and in waaw in the present tense. In the
jussive mood, the waaw shifts and sometimes shortens. The prefix helping vowel
for these imperative forms is Damma.

/-aa-uu/ verb: shakaa ɵn°T/ ya-shkuu ’µr°»nj ˜to complain™
(1)

Complain! u-shku! ! o‚r°ToG
u-shk-ii! ! »µr°ToG
u-shkuw-aa! ! G’oµr°ToG
u-shk-uu! ! G’µr°ToG
u-shkuu-na! ! n¿ ’µr°ToG
2.2.7 Doubly defective verbs
Doubly defective verbs have semi-consonants and/or hamza in two places, sometimes
as the first and third consonants, and sometimes as the second and third. Their
imperatives are defective in more ways than one. Two examples are given here,
the verb ra√aa iCGnQ / ya-raa iônj ˜to see™ and the verb wa¬aa ≈Ynh / ya-¬ii »©nj ˜to heed,
pay attention.™

2.2.7.1 IMPERATIVE OF ra√aa iCGnQ / ya-raa iônj4
See! ra rah! ! nQ √nQ
ray! ! ¦n Q
r
ray-aa! ! Éjn Q
raw! ! Grh nQ
ray-na! ! nørj nQ

4
Taken from Wright 1967, I:93. Note that the verb ra√aa is used primarily in written Arabic and is
not normally used in the vernacular forms of the language.
Moods of the verb II: jussive and imperative 629


2.2.7.2 IMPERATIVE OF wa¬aa ≈Ynh / ya-¬ii »©nj

Pay attention! ! p´
¬i!

! »Y
¬ii!

! É«pY
¬iy-aa!

! G’Y
¬-uu!

! nÚY
¬ii-na!


2.2.8 Replacive imperative verb: ta¬aal «É©nJ ˜come!™
The verb jaa√a nAÉL / ya-jii√-u oA»©nj ˜to come™ has a different form in the imperative,
based on another root entirely:5

Come! ta¬aal-a! ! n«É©nJ
ta¬aal-ay! !r»ndÉ©nJ
ta¬aal-aa! ! ™É©nJ
ta¬aal-aw! ! Gr’ndÉ©nJ
ta¬aalay-na! !nør«ndÉ©nJ
! ɦg n«É©J
ta¬aal-a hunaa !
Come here!

2.3 Form II imperative
Form II imperatives do not require the addition of an initial helping vowel.
Examples include:
!Êrô‘N .¬∏cCÉJ ɪ«a rôqµa
q
xabbir-nii! fakkir fii-maa ta-√kul-u-hu.
Tell me! Think about what you eat.

.¬«∏Y ‹ º∏°S .ºµ‘àc Ghôqµ°S
rq
sallim lii ¬alay-hi. sakkir-uu kutub-a-kum.
Greet him for me. Close (m. pl.) your books.

2.4 Form III
Form III imperatives do not require the addition of an initial helping vowel.
Examples include:
5
Based on the Form VI defective verb ta¬aalaa/ya-ta¬aalaa ˜to rise, ascend, be sublime.™ For discussion
of this “suppletive imperative” see Testen 1997.
630 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


! áq«fÉHÉ«dG „FÉ°†‘dG „WÉb .ºcpJ¦jóe áaɶf ≈∏Y G’¶aÉM
qaaTi¬-i l-baDaa√i¬-a l-yaabaaniyyat-a! HaafiZ-uu ¬alaa naZaafat-i
Boycott Japanese goods! madiinat-i-kum!
Preserve the cleanliness of your city!

.É¡b“ZEG ¤EG ´pQÉ°S .¬H –«MÎdG ˜ Ê’cQÉ°T
saari¬ √ilaa √ighlaaq-i-haa. shaarik-uu-nii fii l-tarHiib-i bi-hi.
Hasten to turn it off. Join me in welcoming him.


2.5 Form IV
Form IV verbs are prefixed by the vowel /a/ (fatHa) and a non-elidable hamza
(hamzat al-qaT¬):

!º°ùª°S Éj r≥∏ZCG .¤É‘LG’dG Ê’£YCG
√aghliq yaa simsim! √a¬T-uu-nii l-waajibaat-i.
Close, Sesame! Give (m. pl.) me the homework.

! ‹GD’°S øY –LCG .«GD’°ùdG ¦ó«YCG
√ajib ¬an su√aal-ii! √a¬iid-ii l-su√aal-a.
Answer my question! Repeat (f. sg.) the question.


2.6 Form V
Form V imperative verbs do not require a prefix vowel.

.«’NódÉH πq°†˜J ! rQ q’°üJ
tafaDDal bi-l-duxuul-i. taSawwar!
Please come in. Imagine!


2.7 Form VI
Form VI imperative verbs do not require a prefix vowel.

! G’fhÉ©J
ta¬aawan-uu!
Cooperate (m. pl.)!


2.8 Form VII
Form VII verbs require a prefixed /i/ vowel (kasra) and hamzat al-waSl.

.ɦg øe r±ô°üfpG
inSarif min hunaa.
Leave here.
Moods of the verb II: jussive and imperative 631


2.9 Form VIII
Form VIII verbs require a prefixed /i/ vowel (kasra) and hamzat al-waSl.

! ɦg øY Ghó©àHpG ! ᤫbO rô¶àfpG
ibta¬id-uu ¬an hunaa! intaZir daqiiqat-an!
Get away (m. pl.) from here! Wait a minute!

2.10 Form IX
This form is rarely used in the imperative.

2.11 Form X
Form X verbs require a prefixed /i/ vowel (kasra) and hamzat al-waSl.

.¬Éà˜ŸG Gòg rπª©à°SpG ! r¬pΰSpG ! rπ©©à°SpG
ista¬mil haadhaa l-miftaaH-a. istariH! ista¬jil!
Use this key. Relax! Hurry up!

2.12 Quadriliteral imperatives
Using the identical process of stripping the subject prefix from the second person
jussive verb forms, one gets, for example, in the Form I quadriliteral verb tarjam-a
nºnLrônJ ˜to translate™:
Base form jussive:

you (m. sg.) translate tu-tarjim rºpLrônàoJ
you (f. sg.) translate tu-tarjim-ii »ªpLrônàoJ
you two translate tu-tarjim-aa ɪpLrônàoJ
you (m. pl.) translate tu-tarjim-uu G’ªpLrônàoJ
you (f. pl.) translate tu-tarjim-na nørªpLrônàoJ
The imperative forms stripped of the subject marker are:

Translate! tarjim! ! rºpLrônJ
tarjim-ii! ! »ªpLrônJ
tarjim-aa! ! ɪpLrônJ
tarjim-uu! ! G’ªpLrônJ
tarjim-na! ! nørªpLrônJ
These are pronounceable so they need no initial helping vowel and are left as
they are in the imperative. Form I is by far the most frequent in usage, since the
632 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


quadriliteral Form II (for example, tabalwar-a nQ n’r∏n‘nJ ˜to be crystallized™) is often
reflexive or passive in meaning.

.GóZ ‹ ø˜∏J .á∏ª·G √òg »ªLôJ
r
talfin lii ghad-an. tarjim-ii haadhihi l-jumlat-a.
Phone me tomorrow. Translate (f. sg.) this sentence.

3 The permissive or hortative imperative: laam al-√amr ôeC™G „¦™
An “indirect” type of imperative may be used to exhort or enjoin someone to do
something. This may occur in the first (I, we) or third (he, she, they) persons. In
this type of imperative structure, the jussive verb is used (no deletion of subject
marker), preceded by the particle /li-/ p`d, implying the idea of permission or encour-
agement to do something:

.áq∏°ùdG ˜ rô¶¦¦pd
li-na-nZur fii l-sallat-i.
Let™s look in the basket.

Sometimes the / li-/ p`d particle is preceded by the particle /fa-/ `n a, in which case
the vowel is dropped from /li-/ making it just /l-/.

r–gò¦r∏na .r´ô°ù¦r∏na
fa-l-na-dhhab. fa-l-na-sri¬ .
(So) let™s go. Let™s hurry.

4 The negative imperative: laa ™ jussive
The negative imperative is formed by using the negative particle laa plus the
jussive form of the (second person) verb. Note that in the negative imperative, the
jussive verb form preserves its prefix.

Don™t go back!

m. sg. laa ta-rji¬ ! ! r„pLrônJ ™
f. sg. laa ta-rji¬-ii! ! »©pLrônJ ™
dual laa ta-rji¬-aa! ! É©pLrônJ ™
m. pl. laa ta-rji¬-uu! ! G’©pLrônJ ™
f. pl. laa ta-rji¬-na! ! nør©pLrônJ ™
Examples:

.‘Éq‘°»dG »«à˜J ™ ! n¢ù¦J ™ .øqNóJ ™
laa ta-ftaH-ii l-shubbaak-a. laa ta-nsa! laa tu-daxxin.
Don™t (f. sg.) open the window. Don™t forget! Don™t smoke.
Moods of the verb II: jussive and imperative 633


! G’aÉ®J ™ .Ghô¶à¦J ™ .rπ©©à°ùJ ™
laa ta-xaaf-uu! laa ta-ntaZir-uu. laa ta-sta¬jil.
Don™t (m. pl.) be afraid! Don™t (m.pl.) wait. Don™t hurry.

.‚°ù˜f
.ó¨dG ¤EG „¦’«dG πªY rπqLD’J ™ rèYµJ ™
laa tu-√ajjil ¬amal-a l-yawm-i √ilaa l-ghad-i. laa tu-z¬ij nafs-a-ka.
Don™t postpone today™s work to tomorrow. Don™t disturb yourself/don™t bother.
36
Verbs of being, becoming, remaining,
seeming (kaan-a wa-√axawaat-u-haa)
Verbs of being, becoming, and remaining have special status in Arabic. Because
these verbs resemble each other in meaning and in syntactic effect, they are
referred to as “sisters” of the verb ˜to be,™ kaan-a ¿Éc (√axawaat-u kaan-a ¿Éc ¤G’NCG). All
n
of them describe states of existence (e.g., being, inception, duration, continuation)
and each of them requires the accusative marker on the predicate or complement
(xabar kaan-a ¿Éc ÈN), e.g., kaan-a za¬iim-an ɪ«YR ¿Éc ˜He was a leader.™ The subject
n
k
of kaan-a (ism kaan-a ¿Éc º°SG) and her sisters, if mentioned specifically, is in the nom-
inative case (e.g., kaan-a l-rajul-u za¬ iim-an, ɪ«YR πLôdG ¿Éc ˜The man was a leader™.1
n
k o
Another special characteristic of kaan-a and her sisters is that they function as
auxiliary verbs. In particular, kaan-a is used for forming compound tenses such as
past progressive and future perfect. Some examples of this are offered here, but
the topic is presented in detail in Chapter 21.
Verbs of seeming or appearing also mark their complements with the accusa-
tive case, but they are not usually classified among the “sisters” of kaan-a.

1 The verb kaan-a n¿Éc /ya-kuun-u o¿’µnj ˜to be™
This verb is unusual in that it is not generally used in the present tense indicative.
It is omitted from the syntax of a simple predication.

1.1 Omission of kaan-a in simple present tense predication
These verbless sentences are usually termed “equational” sentences in English
descriptions of Arabic syntax; in Arabic they are called “nominal sentences” ( jumal
ismiyya áq«ª°SG πªL).2 For more on equational sentences, see Chapter 4, section 2.

.lóqcCÉàe ÉfCG .láX’¶¬ »g
√anaa muta√akkid-un. hiya maHZuuZat-un.
I [am] certain. She [is] fortunate.

1
For more extensive discussion of kaan-a wa-√axawaat-u-haa in Classical Arabic, see Wright 1967,
II:99“109.
2
Arab grammarians actually term any sentence that starts with a noun a “nominal sentence” even
if it includes a verb. Following the practice of Cantarino (1974, I:2), I use the terms “nominal
sentence” and “equational sentence” as equivalents.


634
Verbs of being, becoming, remaining, seeming 635


.o‚∏ŸG ’g .n¿hôqNCÉàe ºg
huwa l-malik-u. hum muta√axxir-uuna.
He [is] the king. They [are] late.


1.2 Use of kaan-a n¿Éc
The verb kaan-a enters when the predication is anything but present tense indica-
tive. It takes a subject in the nominative and it requires that the complement be
in the accusative case.


1.2.1 Past tense

.kGóqcCÉàe oâr¦oc .káX’¶¬ rânfÉc.
kun-tu muta√akkid-an. kaan-at maHZuuZat-an.
I was certain. She was fortunate.

.nøjôqNCÉàe G’fÉc .n‚∏ŸG n¿Éc
kaan-uu muta√axxir-iina. kaan-a l-malik-a.
They were late. He was the king.


1.2.2 Future tense

.kGóqcCÉàe o¿ ’cnCÉn°S .káX’¶¬ o¿ ’µnà°S
n
sa-√a-kuun-u muta√akkid-an. sa-ta-kuun-u maHZuuZat-an.
I will be certain. She will be fortunate.

.nøjôqNCÉàe n¿’f’µn«n°S .n‚∏ŸG o¿’µn«n°S
sa-ya-kuun-uuna muta√axxir-iina. sa-ya-kuun-u l-malik-a.
They will be late. He will be the king.

1.2.3 Further examples
Here are some examples of kaan-a in various tenses and moods:

1.2.3.1 PAST TENSE

.kÉ°S’°SÉL ¿Éc .Ú∏q©°ùe º¡¦e ¿h’ãc ¿Éc
kaan-a jaasuus-an. kaan-a kathiir-uuna min-hum musajjal-iina.
He was a spy. Many of them were registered.

.ɦndRɦe âfÉc √òg .πHG’à∏d kÉfµ¬‚ ¿Éc
haadhihi kaan-at manaazil-a-naa. kaan-a maxzan-an li-l-tawaabil-i.
These were our homes. It was a storehouse for spices.
636 A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic


1.2.3.2 NEGATIVE PAST WITH lam rºnd+ JUSSIVE MOOD OF Kaan-a n¿Éc

.kÉqj Qhô°V røoµnj „ ´ÉªàL™G Gòg q¿EG «’¤dG øµÁ
yu-mkin-u l-qawl-u √inna haadhaa l-ijtimaa¬-a lam ya-kun Daruuriyy-an.
It could be said that this meeting was not necessary.

.kÉqjOÉY kɪ∏M røoµnj „
lam ya-kun Hulm-an ¬aadiyy-an.
It was not a regular dream.

1.2.3.3 PAST TENSE FOR OPTATIVE/CONDITIONAL

!AGó©°S Éq¦oc ºc
kam kun-naa su¬adaa√-a !
How happy we would be!

1.2.3.4 FUTURE TENSE

.áqª¤dG øY kÉ‘FÉZ o¿’µn«n°S ¿É¦‘d
lubnaan-u sa-ya-kuun-u ghaa√ib-an ¬an-i l-qimmat-i.
Lebanon will be absent from the summit [meeting].

1.2.3.5 SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD

.kÉq«HôY n¿’µnj ¿CG øµÁ ™
laa yu-mkin-u √an ya-kuun-a ¬arabiyy-an.
It is not possible that he is an Arab.

1.3 The use of kaan-a as auxiliary verb
An important function of kaan-a is as an auxiliary verb in conjunction with main
verbs to construct compound verb forms that convey different temporal mean-
ings. Compound verbs are discussed at greater length in Chapter 21, section 2.

1.3.1 Past progressive
For habitual or continual action in the past, the past tense of kaan-a is used with
the present tense of the main verb. Both the main verb and the auxiliary are
inflected for person, number, and gender.

.á¦jóŸG ˜ oπª©J râfÉc á∏FÉY øe ÉfCG
oπeCÉf Éq¦c
kun-naa na-√amal-u √anaa min ¬aa√ilat-in kaan-at ta-¬mal-u fii l-madiinat-i.
we were hoping I am from a family that used to work in the city.
Verbs of being, becoming, remaining, seeming 637


1.3.2 Pluperfect or past perfect
To express an action in the past that is over with and which serves as a background
action for the present, the past tense of kaan-a is used with a past tense of the main
verb. The particle qad r ónb may be optionally inserted just before the main verb.

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