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Verb Conjugation

What is this Tutorial About?

This tutorial deals with basic verbs in the different tenses. We discuss past, present, future, imperative or command, prohibition, and variations on these tenses. We also discuss how to conjugate verbs in each of these in order to reflect voice, gender, plurality, person, and other aspects.

 

For a more detailed picture of where this tutorial fits into Arabic morphology and an introduction to basic concepts, consult the introduction to this section entitled Introduction to Arabic Morphology.

A Cautionary Note

It is not appropriate for a beginner to study this topic, or any topic for that matter, exclusively from a tutorial. A student requires live instruction, real-time answers to questions, and practice with feedback. Therefore, one cannot read this tutorial and expect to have a complete and vivid understanding of the material. These readings are complements to extraordinary and time-tested Arabic courses taught by esteemed scholars.


 

The Conjugation Table

When conjugating verbs, there are three aspects about the subject (i.e. the one doing the verb) to keep in mind:

 

·         person (third, second, and first): The third person is used when you are talking about the subject and the subject is not present, the second person is used when you are addressing the subject, and the first person is used when you yourself are the subject.

·         gender (masculine and feminine)

·         plurality (singular, dual, and plural)

 

Arabic uses all three persons and it uses the masculine and feminine genders with no neutral. Furthermore, plurality in Arabic is of three types: singular, dual, and plural. Dual indicates on two entities and plural indicates on three or more entities.

 

Multiplying 3 persons with 2 genders with 3 pluralities yields 18 conjugations. So we would expect Arabic conjugation tables to look something like the following.

 

Conjugation

English Pronoun

3rd person

Masculine

Singular

He

Dual

They (2 male)

Plural

They (3+ male)

Feminine

Singular

She

Dual

They (2 female)

Plural

They (3+ female)

2nd person

Masculine

Singular

You (1 male)

Dual

You (2 male)

Plural

You (3+ male)

Feminine

Singular

You (1 female)

Dual

You (2 female)

Plural

You (3 female)

1st person

Masculine

Singular

I (1 male)

Dual

We (2 male)

Plural

We (3+ male)

Feminine

Singular

I (1 female)

Dual

We (2 female)

Plural

We (3+ female)

 

However, not all of the conjugations for the first person exist. The actual template for Arabic conjugation tables is as given below.

 

Conjugation

English Pronoun

3rd person

Masculine

Singular

He

Dual

They (2 male)

Plural

They (3+ male)

Feminine

Singular

She

Dual

They (2 female)

Plural

They (3+ female)

2nd person

Masculine

Singular

You (1 male)

Dual

You (2 male)

Plural

You (3+ male)

Feminine

Singular

You (1 female)

Dual

You (2 female)

Plural

You (3 female)

1st person

Masculine & Feminine

Singular

I

Plural

We

 

The Canonical Verb

When we start talking about how verbs look and how they change, we’re going to need an actual example to work with. Since the beginning of Arabic grammar over 14 centuries ago, the root letters ف، ع، ل have been used for this purpose.

 

So if we want to indicate, for example, that the letters ن، ص، ر should have a فتحة on all three letters and there should be an aleph between the first and second letter, we simply say that the word needs to be on the pattern فَاعَلَ. The canonical letters are replaced with the letters we’re working with and we get نَاصَرَ.


 

The Past Tense Verb

The first conjugation of the past tense verb is achieved by placing a given set of base letters on the pattern فَعَلَ, فَعِلَ, or فَعُلَ. For the duration of this tutorial, we will not concern ourselves with these three variations, how they work, and why they exist; that will be discussed in a later tutorial. For now, we assume that taking a set of base letters and placing them on the pattern فَعَلَ will give us the first conjugation of the verb in the past tense.

 

Let’s use the root letters ن، ص، ر which afford the meaning of “helping”. The word نَصَرَ, then, means “he helped”.

 

Conjugation

ن، ص، ر

3rd person

Masculine

Singular

نَصَرَ (he helped)

 

The rest of the conjugations are achieved by adding suffices to this most basic form. Read the table below, studying the endings in each conjugation.

 

Conjugation

Conjugation and Translation

3rd person

Masculine

Singular

نَصَرَ (he helped)

Dual

نَصَرَا (they helped)

Plural

نَصَرُوْا (they helped)

Feminine

Singular

نَصَرَتْ (she helped)

Dual

نَصَرَتَا (they helped)

Plural

نَصَرْنَ (they helped)

2nd person

Masculine

Singular

نَصَرْتَ (you helped)

Dual

نَصَرْتُمَا (you helped)

Plural

نَصَرْتُمْ (you helped)

Feminine

Singular

نَصَرْتِ (you helped)

Dual

نَصَرْتُمَا (you helped)

Plural

نَصَرْتُنَّ (you helped)

1st person

Masculine & Feminine

Singular

نَصَرْتُ (I helped)

Plural

نَصَرْنَا (we helped)

 

Variation in the past tense verb happens in three aspects:

 

·         voice (active and passive): when a verb is active, its subject is mentioned; when it is passive, its object takes the place of its subject. Compare, for example, “I helped” and “I was helped”. In the first instance “I” is the subject while in the second “I” is the object and the subject hasn’t been mentioned

·         negation (affirmative and negative)

·         distance (simple past, present perfect, past perfect): simple past is the past tense without any distance indicated, as in “I helped”; present perfect adds “has/have” to give “I have helped”; and past perfect adds “had” to give “I had helped”

 

Multiplying 2 voices with 2 parities of negation with 3 levels in distance, we get 12 conjugation tables. In reality, however, the active and passive tables for the negative present perfect tense are not used. In other words, we do not use “I have not helped” nor “I have not been helped”; these meanings are conveyed using other methods.

 

Active & Passive

An active past tense verb is rendered passive by using the following algorithm.

 

1.       the last letter is left alone

2.       the second last letter is given a كسرة

3.       all other vowels are changed to ضمة

 

So نَصَرَ, for example, would become نُصِرَ. The resulting verb is conjugated in the exact same way as studied above. A small point to note here is that, in the beginning of this tutorial, mention was made of the fact that the past tense verb may be on one of three patterns. It is important to note that, despite which of those three a verb will use, the passive will always be constructed in the same way; the passive verbs from all three of those patterns look exactly the same.

 

Conjugation

Passive Conjugations

3rd person

Masculine

Singular

نُصِرَ (he was helped)

Dual

نُصِرَا (they were helped)

Plural

نُصِرُوْا (they were helped)

Feminine

Singular

نُصِرَتْ (she was helped)

Dual

نُصِرَتَا (they were helped)

Plural

نُصِرْنَ (they were helped)

2nd person

Masculine

Singular

نُصِرْتَ (you were helped)

Dual

نُصِرْتُمَا (you were helped)

Plural

نُصِرْتُمْ (you were helped)

Feminine

Singular

نُصِرْتِ (you were helped)

Dual

نُصِرْتُمَا (you were helped)

Plural

نُصِرْتُنَّ (you were helped)

1st person

Masculine & Feminine

Singular

نُصِرْتُ (I was helped)

Plural

نُصِرْنَا (we were helped)

 

Affirmative & Negative

An affirmative past tense verb is negated simply by prefixing it with the particle ما.

 

Negative Active

Negative Passive

ما نَصَرَ (he did not help)

ما نُصِرَ (he was not helped)

ما نَصَرَا (they did not help)

ما نُصِرَا (they were not helped)

ما نَصَرُوْا (they did not help)

ما نُصِرُوْا (they were not helped)

ما نَصَرَتْ (she did not help)

ما نُصِرَتْ (she was not helped)

ما نَصَرَتَا (they did not help)

ما نُصِرَتَا (they were not helped)

ما نَصَرْنَ (they did not help)

ما نُصِرْنَ (they were not helped)

ما نَصَرْتَ (you did not help)

ما نُصِرْتَ (you were not helped)

ما نَصَرْتُمَا (you did not help)

ما نُصِرْتُمَا (you were not helped)

ما نَصَرْتُمْ (you did not help)

ما نُصِرْتُمْ (you were not helped)

ما نَصَرْتِ (you did not help)

ما نُصِرْتِ (you were not helped)

ما نَصَرْتُمَا (you did not help)

ما نُصِرْتُمَا (you were not helped)

ما نَصَرْتُنَّ (you did not help)

ما نُصِرْتُنَّ (you were not helped)

ما نَصَرْتُ (I did not help)

ما نُصِرْتُ (I was not helped)

ما نَصَرْنَا (we did not help)

ما نُصِرْنَا (we were not helped)

 

Simple Past, Present Perfect & Past Perfect

A simple past tense verb is rendered into the present perfect tense by prefixing it with the particle قَدْ.

 

Present Perfect Active

Present Perfect Passive

قَدْ نَصَرَ (he has helped)

قَدْ نُصِرَ (he has been helped)

قَدْ نَصَرَا (they have helped)

قَدْ نُصِرَا (they have been helped)

قَدْ نَصَرُوْا (they have helped)

قَدْ نُصِرُوْا (they have been helped)

قَدْ نَصَرَتْ (she has helped)

قَدْ نُصِرَتْ (she has been helped)

قَدْ نَصَرَتَا (they have helped)

قَدْ نُصِرَتَا (they have been helped)

قَدْ نَصَرْنَ (they have helped)

قَدْ نُصِرْنَ (they have been helped)

قَدْ نَصَرْتَ (you have helped)

قَدْ نُصِرْتَ (you have been helped)

قَدْ نَصَرْتُمَا (you have helped)

قَدْ نُصِرْتُمَا (you have been helped)

قَدْ نَصَرْتُمْ (you have helped)

قَدْ نُصِرْتُمْ (you have been helped)

قَدْ نَصَرْتِ (you have helped)

قَدْ نُصِرْتِ (you have been helped)

قَدْ نَصَرْتُمَا (you have helped)

قَدْ نُصِرْتُمَا (you have been helped)

قَدْ نَصَرْتُنَّ (you have helped)

قَدْ نُصِرْتُنَّ (you have been helped)

قَدْ نَصَرْتُ (I have helped)

قَدْ نُصِرْتُ (I have been helped)

قَدْ نَصَرْنَا (we have helped)

قَدْ نُصِرْنَا (we have been helped)

 

Similarly, rendering a verb into the past perfect tense is done by prefixing it with the verb كَانَ. There is an important point to note here. قد, like ما, is simply a particle and it always looks the same. كان, however, is a verb and it must therefore be conjugated alongside the main verb. كان is an advanced verb form and so its conjugation must simply be memorized for the time being.

 

Past Perfect Active

Past Perfect Passive

Past Perfect Active Negative

Past Perfect Passive Negative

كَانَ نَصَرَ

(he had helped)

كَانَ نُصِرَ

(he had been helped)

ما كَانَ نَصَرَ

(he had not helped)

ما كَانَ نُصِرَ

(he had not been helped)

كَانَا نَصَرَا

(they had helped)

كَانَا نُصِرَا

(they had been helped)

ما كَانَا نَصَرَا

(they had not helped)

ما كَانَا نُصِرَا

(they had not been helped)

كَانُوْا نَصَرُوْا

(they had helped)

كَانُوْا نُصِرُوْا

(they had been helped)

ما كَانُوْا نَصَرُوْا

(they had not helped)

ما كَانُوْا نُصِرُوْا

(they had not been helped)

كَانَتْ نَصَرَتْ

(she had helped)

كَانَتْ نُصِرَتْ

(she had been helped)

ما كَانَتْ نَصَرَتْ

(she had not helped)

ما كَانَتْ نُصِرَتْ

(she had not been helped)

كَانَتَا نَصَرَتَا

(they had helped)

كَانَتَا نُصِرَتَا

(they had been helped)

ما كَانَتَا نَصَرَتَا

(they had not helped)

ما كَانَتَا نُصِرَتَا

(they had not been helped)

كُنَّ نَصَرْنَ

(they had helped)

كُنَّ نُصِرْنَ

(they had been helped)

ما كُنَّ نَصَرْنَ

(they had not helped)

ما كُنَّ نُصِرْنَ

(they had not been helped)

كُنْتَ نَصَرْتَ

(you had helped)

كُنْتَ نُصِرْتَ

(you had been helped)

ما كُنْتَ نَصَرْتَ

(you had not helped)

ما كُنْتَ نُصِرْتَ

(you had not been helped)

كُنْتُمَا نَصَرْتُمَا

(you had helped)

كُنْتُمَا نُصِرْتُمَا

(you had been helped)

ما كُنْتُمَا نَصَرْتُمَا

(you had not helped)

ما كُنْتُمَا نُصِرْتُمَا

(you had not been helped)

كُنْتُمْ نَصَرْتُمْ

(you had helped)

كُنْتُمْ نُصِرْتُمْ

(you had been helped)

ما كُنْتُمْ نَصَرْتُمْ

(you had not helped)

ما كُنْتُمْ نُصِرْتُمْ

(you had not been helped)

كُنْتِ نَصَرْتِ

(you had helped)

كُنْتِ نُصِرْتِ

(you had been helped)

ما كُنْتِ نَصَرْتِ

(you had not helped)

ما كُنْتِ نُصِرْتِ

(you had not been helped)

كُنْتُمَا نَصَرْتُمَا

(you had helped)

كُنْتُمَا نُصِرْتُمَا

(you had been helped)

ما كُنْتُمَا نَصَرْتُمَا

(you had not helped)

ما كُنْتُمَا نُصِرْتُمَا

(you had not been helped)

كُنْتُنَّ نَصَرْتُنَّ

(you had helped)

كُنْتُنَّ نُصِرْتُنَّ

(you had been helped)

ما كُنْتُنَّ نَصَرْتُنَّ

(you had not helped)

ما كُنْتُنَّ نُصِرْتُنَّ

(you had not been helped)

كُنْتُ نَصَرْتُ

(I had helped)

كُنْتُ نُصِرْتُ

(I had been helped)

ما كُنْتُ نَصَرْتُ

(I had not helped)

ما كُنْتُ نُصِرْتُ

(I had not been helped)

كُنَّا نَصَرْنَا

(we had helped)

كُنَّا نُصِرْنَا

(we had been helped)

ما كُنَّا نَصَرْنَا

(we had not helped)

ما كُنَّا نُصِرْنَا

(we had not been helped)

 


 

The Imperfect Verb

The past tense verb is referred to as the perfect verb because the action has already taken place. The imperfect verb, on the other hand, is called such because the action has not yet completed. This tense alone is indicative of the present tense, the present continuous, and the future tense. Context will determine which of the three is intended.

 

Let’s take the base letters س، م، ع, which afford the sense of “hearing”. The imperfect verb is constructed by placing these letters on the pattern يَفْعَلُ; we get يَسْمَعُ. This verb can mean “he is hearing”, “he hears”, and “he will hear”.

 

Just as with the past tense verb, this pattern also has three variations. The pattern can be يَفْعَلُ, يَفْعِلُ, or يَفْعُلُ. For our purposes, we will simply work with يَفْعَلُ and ignore the other variations.

 

The conjugation table is given below. Notice that the imperfect verb has both a prefix and a suffix. The prefix is one of ي, ت, أ, or ن. Study the table below.

 

Conjugation

Conjugation and Translation

3rd person

Masculine

Singular

يَسْمَعُ (he hears)

Dual

يَسْمَعَانِ (they hear)

Plural

يَسْمَعُوْنَ (they hear)

Feminine

Singular

تَسْمَعُ (she hears)

Dual

تَسْمَعَانِ (they hear)

Plural

يَسْمَعْنَ (they hear)

2nd person

Masculine

Singular

تَسْمَعُ (you hear)

Dual

تَسْمَعَانِ (you hear)

Plural

تَسْمَعُوْنَ (you hear)

Feminine

Singular

تَسْمَعِيْنَ (you hear)

Dual

تَسْمَعَانِ (you hear)

Plural

تَسْمَعْنَ (you hear)

1st person

Masculine & Feminine

Singular

أَسْمَعُ (I hear)

Plural

نَسْمَعُ (we hear)

 

There are a plethora of variations that can occur for the imperfect verb. Some of these include the following.

 

·         voice (active and passive): compare “I am hearing”, “I hear”, and “I will hear” with “I am being heard”, “I am heard”, and “I will be heard”

·         negation (positive and negative): compare “I am hearing”, “I hear”, and “I will hear” with “I am not hearing”, “I do not hear”, and “I will not hear”

·         limiting to the future (near future and distant future): the only meaning conveyed by the verb now is “I will hear”, or “I will soon hear” in the case of near future

·         emphatically negating the future: “I will never hear”

·         emphatically negating the past: “I have never heard”

·         forming the past continuous: “I used to hear”

·         emphasizing the verb: “I definitely hear” or “I will definitely hear”

 

Appropriately multiplying the above sets of tables gives us a total of 16 conjugation tables.

 

Active & Passive

The active verb is rendered passive by applying the following algorithm.

 

·         The prefix of the imperfect verb will be given a ضمة

·         the very last letter will be left as is

·         all the letters in between that have vowels will have their vowels changed to a فتحة

 

So يَسْمَعُ, for example, will become يُسْمَعُ. And this algorithm applies despite the variation in the middle letter that was mentioned in the beginning of this tutorial.

 

Conjugation

Conjugation and Translation

3rd person

Masculine

Singular

يُسْمَعُ (he is heard)

Dual

يُسْمَعَانِ (they are heard)

Plural

يُسْمَعُوْنَ (they are heard)

Feminine

Singular

تُسْمَعُ (she is heard)

Dual

تُسْمَعَانِ (they are heard)

Plural

يُسْمَعْنَ (they are heard)

2nd person

Masculine

Singular

تُسْمَعُ (you are heard)

Dual

تُسْمَعَانِ (you are heard)

Plural

تُسْمَعُوْنَ (you are heard)

Feminine

Singular

تُسْمَعِيْنَ (you are heard)

Dual

تُسْمَعَانِ (you are heard)

Plural

تُسْمَعْنَ (you are heard)

1st person

Masculine & Feminine

Singular

أُسْمَعُ (I am heard)

Plural

نُسْمَعُ (we are heard)

 

Other Variations

This section briefly describes the method of forming the other variations without going into too much detail and without giving the resulting tables. The reader is highly encouraged to learn the Arabic language through courses and use this tutorial only as a supplement.

 

Both the active and passive tables are negated by simply adding the particle لا to the beginning of each verb. This results in an additional 2 tables for a total of 4.

 

Imperfect Active

Imperfect Passive

Imperfect Active Negative

Imperfect Passive Negative

يَسْمَعُ

(he hears)

يُسْمَعُ

(he is heard)

لا يَسْمَعُ

(he does not hear)

لا يُسْمَعُ

(he is not heard)

 

 

The imperfect verb’s meaning can be limited to the future tense. Adding the prefix سـ (which is a particle that joins onto the verb) will limit the meaning to the near future, giving the meaning “I will soon hear”, and adding the particle سَوْفَ before the verb limits it to the distant future, giving the meaning “I will hear”. These particles are prefixed to both the active and passive verb, but they are not negated. This results in an additional 4 tables.

 

Near Future Active

Near Future Passive

Future Active

Future Passive

سَيَسْمَعُ

(he will soon hear)

سَيُسْمَعُ

(he will soon be heard)

سَوْفَ يَسْمَعُ

(he will hear)

سَوْفَ يُسْمَعُ

(he will be heard)

 

Furthermore, the imperfect verb can be used to emphatically negate the future. This is achieved by prefixing the active and passive verbs with the particle لَنْ. This results in an additional 2 tables. This particle actually has an effect on the verb in the following manner.

 

·         The conjugations without a نون at the end (there are 5 of them) have a ضمة on their final letter. This ضمة will change to a فتحة.

·         All the conjugations with a نون at the end except conjugations 6 and 12 (there are 7 of them) will lose their نون

·         Conjugations 6 and 12 will remain as they are

 

Negative Future Active

Negative Future Passive

لَنْ يَسْمَعَ

(he will not hear)

لَنْ يُسْمَعَ

(he will not be heard)

 

Moreover, the imperfect verb can also be used to negate the past tense emphatically. This is achieved by adding the particle لَمْ before the active and passive verbs. This gives an additional 2 tables. Now لم also affects the verb, just as لن did, in the following manner.

 

·         The conjugations without a نون at the end (there are 5 of them) have a ضمة on their final letter. This ضمة will change to a سكون.

·         All the conjugations with a نون at the end except conjugations 6 and 12 (there are 7 of them) will lose their نون

·         Conjugations 6 and 12 will remain as they are

 

Negative Past Active

Negative Past Passive

لَمْ يَسْمَعْ

(he did not hear)

لَمْ يُسْمَعْ

(he was not heard)

 

Moving forward, the imperfect verb can be used to create the past continuous verb. This is achieved by bringing the verb كان (in its past tense form) before the active and passive imperfect verbs. Remember that, since كان is a verb, it will be conjugated alongside the main verb. This is actually tricky since كان will be conjugated in the perfect tense whereas the main verb will be conjugated in the imperfect. And both of these tables can be prefixed with ما to achieve the negative versions. This gives us an additional 4 tables.

 

Refer to the first conjugation of each table given below. Notice that the verb كان is conjugated in the active voice for both the active and passive tables.

 

Past Continuous Active

Past Continuous Passive

Past Continuous Active Negative

Past Continuous Passive Negative

كَانَ يَسْمَعُ

(he used to hear)

كَانَ يُسْمَعُ

(he used to be heard)

ما كَانَ يَسْمَعُ

(he would not hear)

ما كَانَ يُسْمَعُ

(he would not be heard)

 

Finally, the imperfect verb can be emphasized in one of two ways. Both of these forms of emphasis are actually used most commonly to emphasize the future tense. The first type of emphasis is achieved in the following manner.

 

·         Prefix the verb with the particle لَـ

·         There are 5 conjugations without a نون at their end. These have a ضمة on their last letter; change that ضمة to a فتحة. Now add the suffix ـنَّ

·         There are 4 dual conjugations. Remove their نون suffix and replace it with the suffix ـنِّ

·         For conjugations 3, 9, and 10, remove their نون suffix as well as the long vowel before it. Now add the suffix ـنَّ

·         For conjugations 6 and 12, simply add the suffix ـَانِّ

 

This is done for both the active and passive tables, giving us an additional 2 tables.

 

Emphatic Active

Emphatic Passive

لَيَسْمَعَنَّ

(he will surely hear)

لَيُسْمَعَنَّ

(he will surely be heard)

 

Similar is the case with the other form of emphasis. The difference here is that the conjugations which have an aleph before the نّ will not be present, and the suffix is a نون ساكنة (نْ). These also exist for the active and passive voices, giving us 2 additional tables.

 

Emphatic Active

Emphatic Passive

لَيَسْمَعَنْ

(he will surely hear)

لَيُسْمَعَنْ

(he will surely be heard)

 


 

The Imperative Verb

The imperative verb, also called the command verb, is constructed from the imperfect conjugations. The table is divided into two sections, each with its own method of construction. The first is the active second person conjugations and the other is the third and first person conjugations as well as all the passives.

 

The method of constructing the first set is as follows.

 

·         Start with the imperfect and remove the prefix. E.g. تَسْمَعُ becomes سْمَعُ

·         Add the eliding Hamza. The vowel on this Hamza will be determined as follows

o   If the second base letter has a ضمة, the Hamza will be given a ضمة

o   If the second base letter has either of the other two vowels, the Hamza will be given a كسرة. So in our example, we have اِسْمَعُ

·         The same procedure will be carried out to the end of the new verb as was carried out for the tables with لم. E.g. our example verb will become اِسْمَعْ

 

The method of constructing the other conjugations is as follows.

 

·         Prefix the conjugations with لِـ. This لام may have a سكون in certain situations

·         This لـ will do to the verb what لم did to it

 

Imperative Active

Imperative Passive

 لِيَسْمَعْ(he should listen)

 لِيُسْمَعْ(he should be heard)

لِيَسْمَعَا (they should listen)

لِيُسْمَعَا (they should be heard)

لِيَسْمَعُوْا (they should listen)

لِيُسْمَعُوْا (they should be heard)

لِتَسْمَعْ (she should listen)

لِتُسْمَعْ (she should be heard)

لِتَسْمَعَا (they should listen)

لِتُسْمَعَا (they should be heard)

 لِيَسْمَعْنَ(they should listen)

 لِيُسْمَعْنَ(they should be heard)

 اِسْمَعْ(listen)

لِتُسْمَعْ (you should be heard)

اِسْمَعَا (listen)

لِتُسْمَعَا (you should be heard)

اِسْمَعُوْا (listen)

لِتُسْمَعُوْا (you should be heard)

اِسْمَعِيْ (listen)

لِتُسْمَعِيْ (you should be heard)

اِسْمَعَا (listen)

لِتُسْمَعَا (you should be heard)

اِسْمَعْنَ (listen)

لِتُسْمَعْنَ (you should be heard)

 لأَِسْمَعْ(I should listen)

 لأُِسْمَعْ(I should be heard)

 لِنَسْمَعْ(we should listen)

 لِنُسْمَعْ(we should be heard)

 

Now the imperative can be emphasized using the same two methods of emphasis as in the imperfect verb. The method of construction is the same, except that the لَـ prefix is not added, and the meaning should be obvious. To gain a deep understanding of this, to learn it correctly and see and practice the conjugation tables, one is highly encouraged to learn Arabic through a course and use this tutorial only as a study resource.

 


 

The Prohibitive Verb

The meaning of the prohibitive verb is opposite that of the imperative verb. Where the imperative would mean “listen”, the prohibitive means “don’t listen.” And the other conjugations are similar.

 

The method of constructing this verb is quite simple; again, it too is constructed from the imperfect. The imperfect conjugations are prefixed with the particle لا, and the ending of the verb is the same as the ending given by لم.

 

Prohibitive Active

Prohibitive Passive

لا يَسْمَعْ

(he should not listen)

لا يُسْمَعْ

(he should not be heard)

 

Like the imperative, the prohibition can also be emphasized using the two methods of emphasis explained earlier.

 

The prohibitive verbs mark the end of simple verb conjugation in the language. This tutorial has been a quick overview and introduction. To gain true understanding, one is requested to look to Arabic language courses. And for practice, readers are encouraged to visit the Practice Verbs page.

 



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