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Some Accusatives

Direct Object: المفعول به

Definition & How to Recognize it

A direct object is that thing upon which an action is enacted. For example, when Zaid hits Amr, Zaid is the one doing the hitting and Amr is the one upon whom the hitting is done. Thus Amr is the object.

 

The following things can become direct objects:

·         a single noun, whether declinable or indeclinable

·         many types of phrases (but not all; e.g. not جار-مجرور directly)

·         a sentence (but it must be introduced by أنّ, for example)

 

And the entities that can have direct objects are:

·         verbs

·         gerunds

·         active participles

·         active participles on the exaggeration patterns

·         passive participles (exercise: how?)

 

The entities that can have direct objects may have one, two or three of them. In the following example, there is one object and it is a sentence introduced by انّ:

 

I heard that you failed your test

سمعت أنّك رسبت في امتحانك

 

In the following, there are two objects, one of which is a phrase:

 

I gave you some of my money

أعطيتك بعض مالي

 

And in the following there are three objects, all of which are single nouns:

 

I made you privy of the fact that Amr is virtuous

أعلمتك عمرا فاضلا

 

Position in the Sentence

1.       The standard position for the direct object is after both the verb and its subject.

2.       It’s not always grammatically possible, but the object can usually be brought before the verb. This has a rhetorical effect; it emphasizes the object in one of many ways. Compare the following examples to see in what ways the object is being emphasized:

 

It was Zaid that I hit (as opposed to someone else)

زيدا ضربت

It is only you we worship (as opposed to you and others)

إياك نعبد

 

3.       The third and final major position that the object can occupy (if possible) is between the verb and its subject. This is for rhetorical effect. But the effect is not on the object; the subject is what’s being emphasized by virtue of being brought last. It keeps the reader in suspense as to who enacted the verb and thus draws attention to it.

 

Can you believe it, it was the professor who erred in reading the text!

ارتكب خطأ في قراءة النص الأستاذ

 

Dropping

A direct object may be dropped if the grammar and the meaning allow it. If this is the case, it is often considered more eloquent to drop since concise speech is eloquent speech. For example:

 

Your Lord did not forsake you, nor does he hate (you).

ما ودعك ربك وما قلى

 

The object’s governor (e.g. the verb) also has the capacity to drop if there is something to indicate on its implicit presence. For example, when someone asks “Whom did Zaid hit,” the answer will simply be “Amr.”


 

Cognate Adverb: المفعول المطلق

Definition & How to Recognize it

A cognate adverb is a gerund with a meaning very similar to a mentioned action. For example:

 

I sat cross-legged

قعدت جلسة التربع

 

Cognate adverbs don’t have to be from the same root as the mentioned action but must have a similar meaning, as the above example illustrates. And they can be in one of the following forms:

 

·         gerunds on their own, often indefinite

·         gerunds in certain phrases ( اضافة, صفة, etc). For example:

 

I sat cross-legged

قعدت جلسة التربع

Don’t turn away altogether

فلا تميلوا كل الميل

 

And the following entities are capable of governing these adverbs:

·         verbs

·         gerunds (can you think of an example?)

·         active participles

·         active participles on the exaggeration patterns

·         passive participles

 

Usage

This adverb is used for one of three purposes

 

·         to explain the manner in which the action takes place. For example:

 

I’m sitting in a manner such that I will be able to get up quickly

انا جالس جِلسة استطيع القيام منها بسرعة

 

·         to provide the multitude in which the action takes place. For example:

 

I hit Zaid twice

ضربت زيدا ضربتين

 

·         to place emphasis on the action. For example:

 

I really rebelled

تمردت تمردا

 

The emphasis expressed through cognate adverbs is usually one of the most intense forms. For example, saying

 

استفدت استفادة

 

is more emphatic than saying any of the following

 

استفدت كثيرا
استفدت إلى حد كبير
...

Position in the Sentence

The cognate adverb must lexically follow its governor. How far it is from the governor is another matter; the following examples illustrate some positions:

 

ضربت ضربة واحدة
وإذا دكت الأرض دكا دكا
يحتفل الطلاب الجامعيون مع زملاءهم في بداية الربيع احتفالا يسمى "سبرنج بريك"

 

In general, we can say that if we want to extensively qualify the cognate adverb with adjectives/etc, it should be delayed.

 

Dropping

It doesn’t make sense to drop cognate adverbs (without leaving a trace).

 

But their governing words are often dropped (provided the purpose of the adverb is not emphasis). In fact, sometimes the grammar necessitates this. Other times, not only is the governing word dropped, but the cognate adverb is dropped as well, leaving an adjective behind to compensate for it.

 

For example, when someone asks

 

How did you fight

كيف كافحت؟

 

an adequate response would be

 

Effectively

فعّالا

 

meaning

 

I fought an effective battle

كافحت كفاحا فعالا

 


Locative Adverb: المفعول فيه

Definition & How to Recognize it

The locative adverb gives the time or place of occurrence for an action. This adverb, however, cannot be used to give the place of action if such a place has well-defined, physical limits. The following sentences, for example, contain valid locative adverbs:

 

Today you forget, eh!

اليوم تنساه

I worked for the ministry of foreign affairs for a time

عملت في وزارة الخارجية دهرا

 

The following sentence, however, does not contain a locative adverb; the place of action must be indicated using a particle since its borders are physically well-defined:

 

There are no windows in the building

لا شبّاك في البناية

 

The following things have the capacity to be locative adverbs

·         single nouns

·         many phrases like اضافة and صفة

 

And the following entities can govern these adverbs

·         verbs

·         gerunds

·         active participles

·         active participles on the exaggeration patterns

·         passive participles

 

Dropping

It doesn’t make sense to drop locative adverbs; either they’re intended or not.

Their governing words may, however, be omitted. In fact this omission is often mandatory as in the following sentences:

 

You have my homework (predicate)

واجباتي عندك

The one behind you stepped forward (relative clause)

قدم الذي خلفك

I passed by a man beside you (adjective)

مررت برجل عندك

I passed by Zaid when/while he was with you (حال)

مررت بزيد عندك

 


 

Causative Adverb: المفعول له

Definition & How to Recognize it

The causative adverb gives the reason for which an action came to be. An example follows:

 

I prayed out of obedience

صليت طوعا

 

The following things have the capacity to be causative adverbs

·         gerunds, almost always indefinite

·         sometimes, gerunds in phrases such as اضافة or صفة

 

And the following entities have the capacity to govern these adverbs

·         verbs

·         gerunds

·         active participles

·         active participles on the exaggeration patterns

·         passive participles

 

Position in the Sentence

Like cognate adverbs, these adverbs must follow their governing word. How close they are to that word is a different matter, but typically they follow closely.

 

Dropping

It doesn’t make sense to drop these adverbs; either they’re intended or not. Neither are their governing words usually dropped, but a few rare situations include the following:

When someone asks

 

لماذا ضربت ابنك؟

 

one may answer

 

تأديبا


 

The Adverb of Accompaniment: المفعول معه

Definition & How to Recognize it

This adverb is simply defined as that which follows the واو in the meaning of مع. It exists in the language to be used when normal conjunction is impermissible or non-preferable. If normal conjunction is impermissible, this adverb must be used instead. If conjunction is permissible but disliked, then this adverb should be used. And finally, if conjunction is permissible and preferable, this adverb should not be used. (Notice that, whether appropriate or not, this adverb can always be used, theoretically speaking.)

 

For example, conjunction in the following sentence is not permissible, thus this adverbial structure must be used:

 

I read my (habitual) prayer, and so did Zaid. (Not: I read my prayer and I read Zaid!)

قرأت وردي وزيدا

 

In the following, conjunction can be used (according to many grammarians), but it is disliked and so this adverb will be used:

 

Zaid and I read (something)

قرأت وزيدا

 

And finally in the following sentence, conjunction can be used and it should be used:

 

Zaid and I read (something)

قرأت انا وزيد

 

This adverb itself can be one of the following things

·         a single noun

·         a phrase like اضافة and صفة

·         sometimes, even a sentence (introduced by أنّ, for example)

 

And the following entities can govern it

·         verbs

·         gerunds

·         active participles

·         active participles on the exaggeration patterns

·         passive participles

 

Position in the Sentence

This adverb must follow its governing word and the thing to which it is conjoined. It typically follows these two things very closely.

 

Dropping

Omitting this adverb does not make sense; it is either intended or not. As for dropping its governing word, this phenomenon has a very limited application.


 

Adverb Cache

The following are a few commonly occurring nouns/phrases/sentences that fall into one of the five مفاعيل along with a brief explanation of their structure.

 

أيضاً

 

“Also”: it is typically accepted to be a cognate adverb from the verb آض/يأيض.

جداً

 

“Very”: in most cases, it is an adjective for a cognate adverb which, along with its governing verb, has been dropped.

حينَئذ

 

“Thereupon”: this includes all nouns that end in ـئذِ. The حين part is a locative adverb which is مضاف towards the إذ, which in turn is مضاف towards the nunation.

أبداً

 

“Ever/never”: this is a temporally locative adverb.

حتماً

 

“Necessarily”: this is not an adverb; it usually acts as حال.

شكراً

 

“Thanks”: this includes many nouns like عفوا. They are cognate adverbs for hidden verbs.

أهلاً وسهلاً

 

“Welcome”: both these words are direct objects for hidden verbs.

 



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