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Nahw – Methods of reflection for the مُضارع verb

October 11, 2007

We have already learned that an ﺍﹺﺳﻢ can have three grammatical states which will determine whether it is the subject or object in a sentence or whether it exists in a possessive structure. At that time we had also learned that the verb also experiences three grammatical states, the first two being ﺭﻓﻊ and ﻧﺼﺐ and the third one being ﺟﹷﺰﹶﻡﹾ. Also, we know that it is only the ﻣﹹﻀﺎﺭﹺﻉ which experiences these states, the ﻣﺎﺿﻰ being ﻣﹷﺒﹿﻨﻰ on either ﻓﹷﺘﹿﺤﺔ or ﺳﹹﻜﹹﻮﻥ or ﺿﹷﻤﳲﺔ

Note the following for ﻣﺎﺿﻰ and ﺍﻣﹷﺮ :

  • 3rd conjugation of ﻣﺎﺿﻰ is ﻣﹷﺒﹿﻨﻰ on ﺿﹷﻤﳲﺔ ; the 4 ﻣﺎﺿﻰ conjugations (1,2,4, and 5) are ﻣﹷﺒﹿﻨﻰ on ﻓﹷﺘﹿﺤﺔ; and the rest are ﻣﹷﺒﹿﻨﻰ on ﺳﹹﻜﹹﻮﻥ
  • ﺍﻣﹷﺮ is ﻣﹷﺒﹿﻨﻰ on the sign of ﺟﹷﺰﹶﻡﹾ
    • For singular conjugations this sign is ﺳﹹﻜﹹﻮﻥ e.g. ﺍﹺﻓﹿﻌﹷﻞﹾ (You do!)
    • For dual conjugations this sign is denoted by the omission of e.g. ﺍﹺﻓﹿﻌﹷﻼﹶ (You [two males] do!)

It is interesting to note that a verb can never become subject or object in a sentence; it describes the actions being done by or upon an ﺍﹺﺳﻢ but never does an action itself and is never acted upon. Thus, the concept of grammatical states for a verb is quite different from that for an ﺍﹺﺳﻢ. In this post, Insha Allah, I will try to explain what exactly is meant by the grammatical states of a verb and how this concept is useful in the Arabic Language.

As with ﺍﹺﺳﻢ, the goal of having grammatical states for verbs is to remove confusion, but in a different sense. For ﺍﹺﺳﻢ confusion will occur if do not know which one is subject and which one is object and the process of ﺇﹺﻋﹿﺮﺍﺏ is used to remove this confusion. For a verb the change in grammatical state will change the description of the action: in one state the action may be negated and restricted to future tense (as is the case with لن ); in another state the action will be negated and also rendered to the past tense (as is the case with لم ). Also, there is the case where the grammatical states will determine which actions are allowed and which are not in sentences where two or more verbs come one after the other. In such a situation, grammatical state of a verb may turn the final meaning of the sentence into one depicting :

  • ﻧﹷﻬﻰ from doing both actions
  • ﻧﹷﻬﻰ from doing first action only
  • ﻧﹷﻬﻰ from gathering both actions wherein doing each action separately is permissible

As an example of this, consider the following sentence:

ﻻ ﺗﹷﺸﹿﺮﹶﺏﹺﺍﻟﳲﺒﹷﻦﹶ ﻭﹶ ﺗﹷﺎﻛﹹﻞﹺﺍﻟﺴﳲﻤﹷﻚﹶ (Don’t drink milk and don’t eat fish)

The first and second verbs are both in the state of ﺟﹷﺰﹶﻡﹾ because of and this sentence is an example of one which gives the not doing both meaning i.e. Don’t ever drink milk and eat fish.

However, look at the same sentence with a slight variation:
ﻻ ﺗﹷﺸﹿﺮﹶﺏﹺﺍﻟﳲﺒﹷﻦﹶ ﻭﹶ ﺗﹷﺎﻛﹹﻞﹶ ﺍﻟﺴﳲﻤﹷﻚﹶ (Don’t drink milk while eating fish).

Notice the change of ﺇﹺﻋﹿﺮﺍﺏ on ﺗﹷﺎﻛﹹﻞ: The first verb, ﺗﹷﺸﹿﺮﹶﺏ, is still in the state of ﺟﹷﺰﹶﻡﹾ , whereas the second verb, ﺗﹷﺎﻛﹹﻞ, is now in the state of ﻧﺼﺐ , and the meaning changes entirely in this case. The following table details out the different combinations for the scenario where two verbs occur in the same sentence:

Grammatical state of first verb Grammatical state of second verb Meaning
ﺟﹷﺰﹶﻡﹾ ﺟﹷﺰﹶﻡﹾ Prohibition from both actions i.e. don’t do either
ﺟﹷﺰﹶﻡﹾ ﺭﻓﻊ Prohibition from first action but permission for second action
ﺟﹷﺰﹶﻡﹾ ﻧﺼﺐ Prohibition from first action while the second action is being done

After having established the importance of grammatical states for the ﻣﹹﻀﺎﺭﹺﻉ verb we will now go into more details and see how each grammatical state is reflected on different conjugations.

Out of the 14 conjugations for the ﻣﹹﻀﺎﺭﹺﻉ , the two feminine plurals are not considered since these are ﻣﹷﺒﹿﻨﻰ : their ending is ﻥﹶ (i.e.with a ﻓﹷﺘﹿﺤﺔ) which is a pronoun and it never changes e.g. ﻳﹷﻔﹿﻌﹷﻠﹿﻦﹶ or ﻟﹷﻢ ﻳﹷﻔﹿﻌﹷﻠﹿﻦﹶ or ﻟﹷﻦﹾ ﻳﹷﻔﹿﻌﹷﻠﹿﻦﹶ

The rest of the 12, which are معرب, are broken up into:

  • Group of 5 verbs which look the same and all are singulars except one (conjugations 1, 4,7,13, and 14). These 5 could have:
    • regular last letter e.g. ﻳﹷﻨﹿﺼﹹﺮﹸ or ﻳﹷﻀﹿﺮﹺﺏﹸ , in which case the verb is called ﻣﹹﻔﹿﺮﹺﺩ ﺻﺤﻴﺢ
    • aas last letter e.g. ﻳﹷﺪﹾﻋﹹﻮﹾ , in which case it is called ﻧﹷﺎﻗﹻﺺﹾ ﻭﺍﻭﻯ
    • aas last letter e.g. ﻳﹷﺮﹾﻣﹻﻰ , in which case it is called ﻧﹷﺎﻗﹻﺺﹾ ﻳﺎﻱ
    • anas last letter e.g. ﻳﹷﺮﹾﺿﻰٰ , in which case it is called ﻧﹷﺎﻗﹻﺺﹾ ﺍﻟﹿﻔﻰ
  • Group of 7 which have a at its end (the 4 duals and conjugations 3, 9, and 10)
    • ﻳﹷﻔﹿﻌﹷﻼﹶﻥﹺ
    • ﻳﹷﻔﹿﻌﹷﻠﹹﻮﻥﹶ
    • ﺗﹷﻔﹿﻌﹷﻼﹶﻥﹺ , which occurs 3 times
    • ﺗﹷﻔﹿﻌﹷﻠﹻﻴﻦﹶ
    • ﺗﹷﻔﹿﻌﹷﻠﹹﻮﻥﹶ

The following table details out the method of reflection for these categories:

Type of Verb ﺭﻓﻊ ﻧﺼﺐ ﺟﹷﺰﹶﻡﹾ
ﻣﹹﻔﹿﺮﹺﺩ ﺻﺤﻴﺢ ﺿﹷﻤﳲﺔ ﻓﹷﺘﹿﺤﺔ ﺳﹹﻜﹹﻮﻥ
ﻧﹷﺎﻗﹻﺺﹾ ﻭﺍﻭﻯ or ﻧﹷﺎﻗﹻﺺﹾ ﻳﺎﻱ Assumed ﺿﹷﻤﳲﺔ Real ﻓﹷﺘﹿﺤﺔ Drop of ﻻﻡ position
ﻧﹷﺎﻗﹻﺺﹾ ﺍﻟﹿﻔﻰ Assumed ﺿﹷﻤﳲﺔ Assumed ﻓﹷﺘﹿﺤﺔ Drop of ﻻﻡ position
Group of 7 Presence of Omission of Omission of

Examples of ﻣﹹﻔﹿﺮﹺﺩ ﺻﺤﻴﺢ :

  1. ﻳﹷﻨﹿﺼﹹﺮﹸ (he helps) for ﺭﻓﻊ
  2. ﻟﹷﻦﹾ ﻳﹷﻨﹿﺼﹹﺮ (he will never help) for ﻧﺼﺐ
  3. ﻟﹷﻢ ﻳﹷﻨﹿﺼﹹﺮﹾ (he did not help) for ﺟﹷﺰﹶﻡﹾ

Examples of ﻧﹷﺎﻗﹻﺺﹾ ﻳﺎﻱ or ﻧﹷﺎﻗﹻﺺﹾ ﻭﺍﻭﻯ :
ﻳﹷﻐﹿﺰﹸﻭﹾ ﻭﹶ ﻳﹷﺮﹾﻣﹻﻰ (he fights and he throws) for ﺭﻓﻊ – Assumed ﺿﹷﻤﳲﺔ
ﻟﹷﻦﹾ ﻳﹷﻐﹿﺰﹸﻭﹶ ﻭﹶ ﻳﹷﺮﹾﻣﹻﻰﹶ
(he will never fight and never throw) for ﻧﺼﺐ – Real ﻓﹷﺘﹿﺤﺔ

ﻟﹷﻢ ﻳﹷﻐﹿﺰﹸ ﻭﹶ ﻟﹷﻢ ﻳﹷﺮﹾﻡﹺ (he did not fight and he did not throw) for ﺟﹷﺰﹶﻡﹾ – Drop of ﻻﻡ position

Examples of ﻧﹷﺎﻗﹻﺺﹾ ﺍﻟﹿﻔﻰ :

ﻳﹷﺮﹾﺿﻰٰ for ﺭﻓﻊ – (Assumed ﺿﹷﻤﳲﺔ)

ﻟﹷﻦﹾ ﻳﹷﺮﹾﺿﻰٰ for ﻧﺼﺐ – (Assumed ﻓﹷﺘﹿﺤﺔ)
ﻟﹷﻢ ﻳﹷﺮﹾﺽﹶ for ﺟﹷﺰﹶﻡﹾ – (Drop of ﻻﻡ position)

Examples of Group of 7 with :

ﻳﹷﻔﹿﻌﹷﻠﹹﻮﻥﹶ, ﻳﹷﻔﹿﻌﹷﻼﹶﻥﹺ, ﺗﹷﻔﹿﻌﹷﻠﹻﻴﻦﹶ for ﺭﻓﻊ – (Presence of )

ﻟﹷﻦﹾ ﺗﹷﻔﹿﻌﹷﻼﹶ (you will never do) for ﻧﺼﺐ – ( Omission of )
ﻟﹷﻢﹾ ﺗﹷﻔﹿﻌﹷﻠﹹﻮﹾﺍ (you did not do) for ﺟﹷﺰﹶﻡﹾ – ( Omission of )

Hopefully this brief introduction to the grammatical states of verbs in the Arabic Language will be sufficient as the first stepping stone for the students of Nahw, Insha Allah.

  1. Assalamu ‘alaykum warahmatuulahi wabarakatuh

    Masha Allah, Brother, you have most certainly been granted the ability to express seemingly difficult grammatical concepts in clear, concise and crisp language. That is indeed a great ni’mah.
    وأن الفضل بيد الله يؤتيه من يشاءوالله ذو الفضل العظيم

    I think lots of people are benefitting from your blog, so keep it up.

  2. Brother ibn Usman!
    All praise is only for Allah; I am simply transmitting what is being taught by our teacher, Mufti Yousuf, at the Shariah Program.
    I am glad that you like the blog and hopefully, as you have mentioned, people are finding it beneficial towards understanding the language of Quran

    Jazak Allah!

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