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Chapter V

Comparison of Letter Sounds in Arabic and in English

If compared with the English alphabet, some of the Arabic letters have alike sounds. Only a few Arabic letter sounds either differ a little or are inexistent in English. Let us make a simple comparison between the Arabic letter sounds and those of the English ones:

The first letter (a ) is similar even in the diversity of (a) sounds occurring in apple, man, and car. But it is inexistent in Arabic as it is in care and bare.

The second letter (b) is exactly the same (b) book and boy in English.

The third letter ( t) is acceptably like (t) if the tip of the tongue touches the upper teeth.

The fourth letter (t˙) is the same (th) of thief and thin.

The fifth letter ( j) is the same (J) in Japan.

The sixth letter (h) is a pharyngealized (H) sound. It is inexistent in English.

The seventh letter ( h˙) is also inexistent in English. It might be like (x)-ch of Loch and Rannoch.

The eighth letter ( d) is also acceptably like (d) if the tip of the tongue touches the upper teeth in addition to the alveolar ridge.

The ninth letter ( d˙) is the same (th) sound in (this and that.)

The tenth letter ( r) is the same English (r) if not retroflexed.

The eleventh letter ( z) is exactly the same English (z).

The twelfth letter (s) is the same English (s) in seven.

The thirteenth letter ( ŝ) is the same (sh) in she and sheep.

The fourteenth letter (S) is the (S) in sun and summer.

The fifteenth letter (D) is approximately the (D) in done.

The sixteenth letter(T) is also approximately the (T) in time and constable.

The seventeenth letter(Z) is approximately the (Z) if the tongue was interdentally positioned. It is inexistent in English.

The eighteenth letter(A) is like the (A) when pharyngealized. It is also inexistent in English.

The nineteenth letter(g) is approximately (g) when pharyngealized. It is not found in English.

The twentieth letter(f) is the same (f) in fine and fifty.

The twenty- first letter(q)is approximately (q) or (c) when followed by (o) in come and quote. It is not found in English.

The twenty-second letter(k) is the same (k) and (c) in kick, cock and cat.

The twenty-third letter(l) is exactly the same clear and pharyngeal (l) in let and call.

The twenty-fourth letter(m) is exactly the same (m) in me and madam.

The twenty-fifth letter(n) is also the same (n) in nine and none.

The twenty-sixth letter(h) is the same (h) in honey , hear and hospital.

The twenty-seventh letter(w) is the same (w) in win , wind and window.

The twenty-eighth and last letter(y) is the same (y) in yellow, you and yesterday.

Chapter VI

The Letter Outlets in Arabic:مخارج الحروف في العربيّة

Letters are formulated at three zones :

The Pharynx, The Mouth, and The Lips.

In the pharynx, there are three letter outlets:

1.The pharynx extremity next to chest where alhamza (a) and the (h) come out.( ء , هـ )

2. The middle of the pharynx where the (A), and (h ) come out ( ع, ح),and

3. The part of the pharynx nearest to the mouth, where the (h˙) and (g) , ( خ, غ) come out.

On the Tongue, there are ten letter outlets:

1.Tongue extremity next to the pharynx, where the letter (q)( ق ) comes out.

2. Tongue extremity near the mouth where the letter (k), (ك) comes out.

3.The middle of the tongue where the letters (j),  (ŝ ), and (y)(ج ، ش ، ي ) come out.

4.The dorsum of the tongue with the origins of the upper incisors where the letters (t ), (T), and (d ) ( ت ، ط ، د ) come out.

5.The dorsum of the tongue with the tips of the upper incisors where the letters (t˙) , (z), and (d˙) , ( ث ، ز ، ذ )  come out.

6.The edge of the tongue with the origins of the upper incisors where the letter (n), ( ن )comes out.

1.      1.      The edge of the tongue with the origins of the upper incisors near the dorsum where the letter ( r ), ( ر )  comes out.

2.      2.      The apex of the tongue with the origins of the upper incisors where the letters (z), (S), and (s), ( ز ، ص ، س ) come out.

3.      3.      The edge of the tongue with juxtaposition with what is parallel of upper molars where the letter (D) , (ض)  comes out.

4.      4.      The anterior edge of the tongue with juxtaposition with what are parallel of teeth where the letter (l) , ( ل )  comes out.

From the lips, There are two outlets :

1.      1.      In between the lips where the letters (b), (ب) and (m) , ( م ) come out when occluded, and the letter (w) , ( و ) comes out without occlusion.

2.      2.      The lower lip in juxtaposition with the tips of the upper incisors where the letter (f), ( ف) comes out.

In addition , there are : the nasal outlet and the cavity outlet what complete the letter outlets into seventeen in number as illustrated in the following figures 1 and 2.

Figure 1 shows the locations and figure 2 shows the letters produced.

Chapter VII

Revealing and Concealing of Letters in Reciting

There is some discrepancy between writing and reading in Arabic. This has led to the existence of the rules of dictation that must be applied if one has to write. E.g. the rules of the definite article (al) where either the (a), or the (l) is dropped, or both are dropped in reading. As I intend to apply my method of transcribing Arabic in Latin letters with the purpose of enhancing the correct pronunciation of Arabic to the non-Arab, I am going to overlook applying the rules of dictation and write Arabic as it is uttered and not as it is usually written in standard Arabic dictation. I recall in this respect what have Mark Twain and George Bernard Shaw once objected to the rules of dictation in English. I would like only to give an example about the possibility of modernizing Arabic writing and leave the subject matter to the brave new generation to settle the subject matter if they could.

On returning to the subject of the definite article (al), we notice that it is pronounced as (a) only if the definite noun is to be started with, e.g. asّ msُ الشمس - the sun, and it is pronounced as (l) only if the definite noun was preceded by any vocalized letter, e.g. jaaَ laَwْ ladُجاء الأولاد the boys came.. Or it is totally dropped when the definite noun is not begun with and the noun begins with anyone of the following letters which must be stressed in that case. These letters are: t, , d, , r, z, s, ŝ, S, D, T, Z, and n. e.g.TَlَAَ tِ sّ msُطلعتِ الشَّمسThe sun rose. Jaaَ tِّ lmy d˙ جاء التلميذ – the student came . kَtَbْtُ dّrsَ- كتبتُ الدّرسI wrote the lesson.

Other than the definite article (al-), there are the silent (n) and the ennation (n).

A.The Rule of the Quieted (n) and the Ennated (n) :

 The silent (n) is annexed to the letters , nouns, and verbs e.g. mِ nمنْ– from , aِ nْ إن– if, lَ n لنْ– not, Aِ nْd َ عند– at, al-aَnbaaُ الأنباء– the news, al-aَnbyaaُ-الأنبياءThe prophets.

The ennation (n) is annexed to the nouns only e.g. Azyzٌ عزيزٌ– haughty, gfwrٌ غفورٌ– forgiving, ahdٌ أحدٌ– the only one, azwajً أزواجاً– husbands,or couples, gasqٍ غاسقٍ– dusk commer…where it is revealed in pronunciation though concealed in writing .

Silent (n) and ennation (n) follow four rules :

1.Revealing the (n) in pronunciation without humming before six letters : alhamzt  ء,hهـ, Aع-, h ح-, gغ-, and h˙خ-.e.g. mَnْ ãmَnَ-من آمنwho believes, mِ nْ hadٍمن هادwith no guide, mَn ْAَmِl َمن عملwho works or does, mَnْ hَ mَlَمن حملwho bears , mِnْ gِlٍّّمن غلّof grudge, mَn ْafَمن خافwho fears.

2.Incorporating the (n) where the (n) is incorporated in the succeeding letter that it is not pronounced, but the succeeding letter becomes stressed of six letters combined in the word (yrmlwnيرملون-). The humming is revealed with four letters of them( y, w, m, and n), and without humming with the( l) and( r) letters :

Examples : mَnْ yَAْmَlمن يعمل= who does is pronounced : myَّ Aْmَl ميّعمل-. mِnْ wَlَdٍمن ولد-ٍ– of a child or a son, is pronounced mwَّ ldٍ موّلد, aَnْ lَwْ أن لو-– that if, is pronounced alَّ wألّو -, h˙yrً yَrh خيراً يره-of good , he shall see is pronounced h˙yrَ   yَّrَhْ .خيريّرَه - qwlٌ mArwfقولٌ معروفٌ, a good saying, is pronounced qwlmَِّ Arwfقولمَّعروف-

The Rule of similar letters and homogeneous ones: In combining any two letters in Arabic, they can be either similar, homogeneous, approximated, or segregated :

If they have the same outlet and quality, they are considered similar e.g. b, and b; m and m; l and l ,e.g. aِ d˙hb bِktaby إذهب بكتابي,Go carrying my letter, the successive b’s are pronounced (bِّ )إذهبِّكتابي, ql la aَsaَlkm قل لا أسألكم-, Say I do not ask you, the successive l’s are pronounced (lّ )قلاّ أسألكم, wَ kَmْ mِnْ mَlَkٍ- وكم من ملك How many an angel, the successive m’s are pronounced (mِّ )وكمّملك .

If the successive letters agreed in outlets, but differed in qualities, they are said to be homogeneous , such as the t and T, the l and r, the t and d˙, e.g.fa~mَnَtْ Tّaaِfَtٌ فآمنت طائفةفآمنطّائفةA group have believed, wَ qُlْ rَbِّ rْhَ mْ, و قل ربِّ ارحم- وقرَّبّرحمSay, my God may have mercy, ylht˙ d˙alِkَ يلهث ذلكيلهذّالكpanting that.

The rule for the similar or homogeneous letters, are to be incorporated:

If the successive letters were near in outlet and different in qualities they are said to be adjacent, and they should be pronounced without incorporation, they should be revealed e.g. qd sَmِAَ lّ ahُ قدسمع الله-– God has heard, wَ lَqَdْ jaْaَhُmْو لقدجاءهم-و لقجّاءهمone has come, aِْ taْtyhِmإذ تأتيهم -ْإتَّأتيهم  when it comes.

3.Converting i.e. making the silent n and the ennation n pronounced as an m letter. This m sound is concealed when followed by a b. e.g. mَnْ bَِِlمن بخلَ – who is a miser is pronounced mm bَِlممبخلَ, aَnْbَaَkَ أنبأك– who tells you is pronounced ambaَkأمبأك, smyAٌ bَSyrْ سميع بصير– all listening and all seeing, is pronounced smyAٌmbَSyrسميعمبصير. mُnْfَTِrٌ bِhِ منفطر به– is pronounced mnfTrُmbِhمنفطرمبه,zَwjٍ bَhyjزوج بهيج- a merry couple, is pronounced zwjmbَhyjزوجمبهيج, mŝّaْaٍ bِnَmym مشّاء بنميم– wandering backbiting, is pronounced mŝّaaِmbِnَmymمشّاءٌمبنميم.

4.Concealing i.e. hiding the( n ) sound in the succeeding letter in a way between revealing and concealing preserving the humming at the following 15 letters : S, d , t , j , s , s , d , T , z , f , t , D , Z .e.g. mn SَlْSalمن صلصال- from mud, mn d˙َhَb من ذهب– of gold, mn t˙َmَrَt من ثمرة– of a fruit, mn jahd من جاهد– who fights for, mn sr من شرّ– of evil, fan qatlwkm فإن قاتلوكم– If they fight you, aِn saَlk إن سألك– if they asked you, an dAwtkm إن دعوتكم– If I summoned you, mn Taam من طعام– of food, aِn zAmtm إن زعمتم– If you pretended, mn fِaَtٍ – of a group, mَn tab – who repented , mn Dlَّ – who went astray, mn Zhyr – of a supporter.

B. The Rule of the Quieted (m) :

As for the quieted m, it can be incorporated, concealed or revealed.

1.It is incorporated in its sequel i.e. of succeeding m. e,g, lhm mgfrtلهم مغفرة – They are forgiven.

2.Concealed in a succeeding b letter e.g. klbhm basT كلبهم باسطٌ– Their dog is lying stretching, and

3.The quieted m is revealed at the rest of the 26 letters .

As for the stressed n or m, they are slinked in the succeeding letters with duely humming effect wherever they come.

As for the r sound, it is usually quieted after an opening, a rounding or a breaking.It should be pharyngealized when opened or rounded and it is lightened when broken or coming after a (y).

As for the l sound, it is pharyngealized in the word alh اللهand alhm اللهمّwhen preceded by an opening or a rounding, but it is cleared after a breaking.

For the definite article al, refer to the previous section


a, w, and y are prolonged . w is prolonged when quieted and preceded by a rounded sign. The y also is prolonged when quieted and preceded by a breaking sign e.g. nŵhÿhã نوحيها what we reveal. Normal Prolongation of the previous three letters is of two points duration, but it becomes of four to six points duration when the letter is quieted and is followed by a hamza (a) e.g. jaaَ جاءَ, came, ŝaaَ شاء wanted or wished ,almَlaaِkَtُ الملائكة-The angels, asّwaُ السّوء alfaaِzwn الفائزونthe winners. Due to connecting the hamza to the preceding letter, such prolongation is called the Connected Prolongation. When the hamza is disconnected from the previous prolongation letter and is connected to the following word Prolongation is only of four to five points duration and is called the Disconnected Prolongation e.g. ma aُnzِlَما أُنزِلَ  What was revealed. qw aَnfُsَkُm قوا أنفسكمProtect yourselves against, aِtَّbِAwny aَhdِkُm اتَّبِعوني أهدكم Follow me that I guide you right .

We have previously mentioned that prolongation is caused by two factors : the hamza (a) and the quiescence when they come after a prolongation letter i.e. (a, w, and y). Now let us discuss the case of quiescence :

When quiescence remains fixed unaffected by prolonging the previous prolongation letter such prolongation is said to be necessary e.g. aDّ~alّ~yn الضّالّين  the prodigals , a~laَ~n   ء الآن Is it now, qaf, ق, Beginning letters of some Qur’anic Suras . Necessary prolongation has a six point duration.

Casual quiescence is an outcome of an optional stop. It drops on joining e.g. rَbِّ lAalmyn ربِّ العالمين Lord of the world, the y is prolonged when we stop and prolongation is dropped when we continue lAalmynَ rَّ h man

العالمين الرحمن of the world The Most Gracious. Casual prolongation can be of two, four, or six points duration.

Referential (h), when joined to a letter, a noun or a verb it can be prolonged of two points duration or it can be shortened when falling between two quieted letters or between a motivated letter and a quieted one. E.g. aِla ahlhِإلى أهلهTo his parents (prolonged) , aِ lyh lmSyr إليه المصير To Him the end, lhُ lmُ lk له الملك to Him ownership returns.


We can stop in reciting at the end of every Qur’anic verse to take the breath.. In long verses we can stop where the meaning admits.


The pause is used where it is effective and meaningful.

Chapter VIII
Some Characteristics of the Arabic Language

بعض مميزات اللغة العربية

Arabic is characterized by the following :

تتصف اللغة العربية بما يلي : 

The standard Arabic sentence begins with the verb, followed by the subject, then comes the complement, e.g. yaklُ lwldُ tfّahtً يأكل الولد تفّاحةً– The boy eats or is eating an apple.

تبدأ الجملة العربية النظامية بالفعل يتبعه الفاعل و تليه التكملة ، مثال يأكلُ الولدُ تفّاحةً.

The adjective usually comes after the qualified noun coordinating with it in gender, number and syntax e.g. bnayَtٌ jَdydَt بنايةٌ جديدةٌ– A new building.

تأتي الصفة عادة بعد الاسم الموصوف موافقة له في الجنس و العدد والإعراب مثال بناية جديدة .

The subject of the verb can be implied, or denoted only by a certain prefix or suffix letter referring to the implied subject of the verb e.g. akltُ tُfّ ahَtً   أكلتُ تفّاحةً- I ate an apple..

يمكن لفاعل الفعل أن يكون مضمرا" أو مبيّنا" فقط بحرف بادئ أو لاحق يشير إلى فاعل الفعل المتضمن .

Syntax is governed by an ending letter vocalazation , or by adding certain affixes or inflections to the basic word e.g. aَtَyْna mُtَaَh˙ِّryn أتينا متأخرين– We came late.

يضبط الإعراب بحركة الحرف النهائي أو بإضافة ملحقات معينة للكلمة الأساسية.

Some Arabic sentences can be formed of a subject and a predicate  which is not necessarily to be a verb, it might be an adjectival predicate e.g. albhr wasAٌ-البحر واسعٌ The sea is wide.

يمكن لبعض الجمل في العربية أن تتشكل من المبتدأ و الخبر الذي قد لا يكون فعلا" بالضرورة ، فقد يكون خبرا" وصفيا" .

There is no indefinite article in Arabic, but there is a definite article (al) denoting (the) in English e.g. rَjُlٌ kَrymٌ رجلٌ كريمٌ– A generous man, atِّlmyd˙ُ lmُ jِdُّ التلميذ المجدُّThe hardworking student .

لا توجد في العربية أداة نكرة غير انه توجد أداة التعريف (ال) شأن أداة التعريف بالانكليزية مثال رجلٌ كريمٌ. التلميذ المجدُّ .

There is no neuter gender in Arabic. All nouns are either masculine or feminine , the matter which necessitates that all related words to the noun have to accord with it in number, gender and grammatical function.e.g. alkِtabُ mُfydٌ _الكتاب مفيدٌ The book is useful.

لا يوجد جنس محايد بالعربية فكل الأسماء تكون إما مذكرا" أو مؤنثاً مما يقتضي توافق كل الكلمات المتعلقة بذلك الاسم معه في العدد و الجنس و الإعراب مثال الكتاب مفيد.

Arabic dialects are but stereotypes of standard Arabic which is understood everywhere as long as it is kept in the Qur’an and the Arabic anthology.

ليست اللهجات العربية سوى تصحيفات عن اللغة الفصحى المفهومة في كل مكان طالما هي محفوظة في القرآن و المختارات العربية .

This is only a glimpse about Arabic and further characteristics will be noted during the course.

إن هذه مجرد لمحة عن العربية و ستلحظ مميزات أكثر خلال البرنامج .

Chapter IX

The Personal Pronouns and Verb Conjugations

الضمائر الشخصية و تصاريف الفعل .

Pronouns in Arabic can be pronounced or implied, separate from the verb or attached to it, usually indicated by affixes of prefixed letters or suffixed inflections

يمكن للضمائر في العربية أن تكون بارزة أو مضمرة ، منفصلة عن الفعل أو متصلة به و يدل عليها عادة إضافات من أحرف بادئة أو لاحقة.

  1.Table of Nominative Separate Personal Pronouns

1.جدول بالضمائر الشخصية المنفصلة في حالة الرفع :

Speaker: (ana) أناI , feminine and masculine singular

(nَhْnُ) نحنWe, dual and plural, masculine and feminine المتكلم : أنا للمؤنث و المذكر المفرد ، نحن للمذكر و المؤنث المثنى و الجمع

Addressed:(antَ)أنتَ, masc. singular, (antِ) أنتِfem. sing.(antma) أنتماyou , masc. & fem. dual.

(aَntُm)أنتم you, masculine plural, (antُnَّ)أنتنَّyou, feminine plural

المخاطب : أنتَ للمذكر المفرد، أنتِ للمؤنث المفرد ؛ أنتما للمذكر و المؤنث المثنى و أنتم لجمع المذكر و أنتنّ لجمع المؤنث .

Absent, 3rd. person: (hُwَ)هو , masculine singular, (hِyَ)هي ,fem.sing.,(hُma)هما,masc. & fem.dual, (hُmْ)هم masc. plural, (hُnَّ)هنَّ Fem. plural.

الغائب : هو للمذكر المفرد ، هي للمؤنث المفرد؛ هما للمثنى المذكر و المؤنث ، هم للمذكر الجمع ، و هنّ للمؤنث الجمع .

Note : Nominative  Pronouns usually come in response to the question : Who , What, or which?

يأتي الفاعل جوابا لسؤال : من ، ما ، أو أيّ ؟

  2.Table of Nominative Pronounced and Joined Pronouns : 

 2, جدول بضمائر الرفع البارزة و المتصلة

Nominative joined pronouns are linked to the verb in two tenses : the Past Tense (at the end of the verb, and the Present Tense (both at the beginning of the verb and at its end ). As for the Imperative Tense, the nominative pronoun must be concealed. Those pronouns can only be displayed in the course of conjugation of a verb in a verb tense.

Verb Tenses and Conjugations:

أزمنة الفعل و تصاريفه في الماضي و المضارع و الأمر

There are only Three Verb Tenses in Arabic : The Past, The Present and the Imperative.

Before beginning, it is ,at this stage of the course,  worth noticing that we have mainly three persons : the speaker, the addressed and the absent, or : the first person, he second person and the third person.

الضمائر ثلاث : متكلم و مخاطب و غائب و تكون مفرداً و مثنى و جمعاً، مذكراً و مؤنثاً .

In number, we have also three numbers : the singular number, the dual number, and the plural number.

As for gender, we have only two genders : the masculine gender and the feminine gender, taking into consideration that we do not have a neuter gender in Arabic and the matter of gender is a linguistic one and not a natural one. Some nouns can be considered as having either gender correctly e.g. (aTَّryq)الطَّـريق, the road which can be treated as masculine or feminine on the par.

This is of great importance in dealing with verb conjugation, where suffixed joined pronoun indicators refer to person, number and gender.

I am going to display those endings, or combined suffixes in tables where the inflections will be hyphenated  to clarify the syntactical significance of each added suffix .

For conjugating any verb in the past tense :

The Past Affixes لواحق الماضي 

 We may notice in advance that suffix (-t) refers to the masculine and feminine first person singular, whereas (-na) also refers to both masculine and feminine dual, and plural as well, and all of which are in the subjective case.

Suffix (-t) refers to the second person masculine singular and (-t) refers to the feminine second person, but the combined suffix (-t-ma) refers to the dual of both genders, and (-t-m) refers to the masculine plural whereas (-t-n) refers to the feminine plural, also in  the subjective case.

As for the third person, suffix (-a) refers to the dual number, and (-w) refers to the masculine plural, but suffixes (-t), (-t-a) and (-n) refer to the feminine third person singular, dual and plural, in the subjective case as well.

This , is the case with the past tense of the verb and the subjective pronounced and joined pronouns.

As for the present tense, the affixes are prefixes at the beginning of the root verb and the combined suffixes at its end. Let us write R to represent the root verb which is the same past form of the verb in Arabic . As such we have the following formulas in conjugations:

لواحق المضارعThe Present Affixes  For the first person, (a-R) for both masculine and feminine singular genders. (n-R) for both dual and plural numbers, masculine and feminine genders.

For the second person, we have (t-R)for the masculine singular and (t-R-yn) for the feminine , but we have (t-R-an) for the masculine and feminine duals and (t-R-wn) for the masculine plural and (t-R-n) for the feminine plural.

For the third person, we have ( R ) for the masculine singular and(t-R) for the feminine, but (y-R-an) for the masculine dual and (t-R-an) for the feminine dual. For the plural, we have (R-wn) for the masculine and (t-R-n) for the feminine.

الأمر و تصريفهThe Imperative Conjugation

As for the imperative tense , we have a contracted form of the root with suitable suffixes added only to the second person because the imperative tense can not be applied to other persons. As such , we add nothing to the masculine singular, and add (-a) for the dual and (-w) for the plural numbers, but we add (-y) for the feminine singular, and only (-a) for the feminine dual, and (-nَ) for the feminine plural.

Pronominal Adjuncts In Arabic Verbs

In Addition to its outstanding system of sounds, Arabic has a certain specificity in conjugated verbs. The subject and objects can be pronounced or implied in the verb or sometimes both in emphatic forms.

There are three verb tenses in Arabic, the Past, the Present and the Imperative.

The pronominal adjuncts refer to the implied subject or object. If we dealt with one verb, we can apply the same endings to all other verbs similarly.

There are three persons in Arabic, the speaker, the addressed and the absent.

There are three numbers in Arabic, the individual, the dual and the plural.

There are two genders in Arabic, the masculine and the feminine, but there is no neuter gender in Arabic.

There are two cases in Arabic, the subjective and the objective.

Accordingly, the pronominal adjuncts can refer to person, number, gender and case simultaneously.

To classify those adjuncts manifested in one letter two or more letter additions to the verb root which is usually in the past tense, we have to set a table with tense, person, number and gender headings.

As this may be perplexing to be done in one table, I am going to set a separate table for each set of pronominal adjuncts:

1.                 1.     The Past Tense:

Let us apply the conjugation on the verb (aَ kَ lَ = ate):

For the First –speaker pronoun, masculine and feminine gender singular number, we add (tٌ ) as a suffix to the verb past root to become (aَ kَ lْ tٌ =I ate). For the dual and the plural numbers, we add (na) to become (aَ kَ lْ na = we ate).

For the addressed, the Second Person pronoun masculine singular, we add (tَ ) to become (aَ kَ lْ tَ = You ate masculine), and for the addressed feminine singular, we add (tِ ) to become (aَ kَ lْ tِ = You ate Feminine), for the addressed dual masculine and feminine, we add (tٌ ma ) to become (aَ kَ lْ tٌ ma = You dual, masculine of feminine ate). For the addressed masculine plural, we add (tٌ m) to become (aَ kَ lْ tٌ m = you masculine plural ate), and for the feminine plural, we add (tٌ nَّ ) to become (aَ kَ lْ tٌ nَّ = you feminine plural ate).

For the third person masculine, the pronominal subject is implied without any additions, so in the verb (aَ kَ lَ ) the implied subject is he, but for the feminine, the addition is the silenced (t ْ ) to become (aَ kَ lَ t ْ = she ate ). For the masculine and feminine dual, we add silenced (a) to become (aَ kَ la = the masculine dual ate), and for the feminine dual to become (aَ kَ lَ ta = the feminine dual ate). For the masculine third person plural, we add silenced (w) to become (aَ kَ lw = They masculine ate) and for the feminine plural, we add (nَ ) to become (aَ kَ lْ nَ = they feminine ate).

2.                 2.     The Present Tense:

Certain beginning letters indicate the present tense in Arabic verbs. These letters are combined in the word (ATYN), A- for the first person singular both masculine and feminine gender. T- for the second person singular and plural masculine and feminine. Y- for the third person singular and plural masculine and feminine. N- for the first person plural, both masculine and feminine gender. This as a prefix, but for the significant suffixes, we have the following:

For the first person: (aَ aْ kٌ lٌ = I eat, or I am eating ) for both masculine and feminine speakers. We usually combine the two prefixes a's by elongated (ậ) to become (ậ kٌ lٌ ). For the dual and the plural, we say (nَ aْ kٌ lٌ = we, dual and plural eat or are eating).

For the second person masculine singular, we say (tَ aْ kٌ lٌ = you eat or are eating). For the addressed feminine singular, we have to add the suffix (ynَ ) to become (tَ aْ kٌ lynَ = you, feminine, eat or are eating). For the addressed masculine and feminine dual we have to add the suffix (an) to become (tَ aْ kٌ lan). But for the addressed masculine plural we add the suffix (wnَ ) to become (tَ aْ kٌ lwnَ = you eat or are eating). But for the feminine plural we only add the suffix (nَ ) to become (tَ aْ kٌ lْ nَ = you feminine plural eat or are eating).

For the third person (absent) masculine or feminine singular we do not add any suffix : ( yَ aْ kٌ lٌ = He eats, or is eating), and (tَ aْ kٌ lٌ = she eats or is eating). For the dual masculine and feminine we add the suffix (an) to become (yَ aْ kٌ lan = the dual eat or are eating). For the dual feminine we say (tَ aْ kٌ lan = the dual feminine eat or are eating). But for the plural masculine we add the suffix (wnَ ) to become (yَ aْ kٌ lwnَ = They, masculine plural eat or are eating), and for the feminine plural we say (tَ aْ kٌ lْ nَ = They feminine plural eat or are eating.).

3.                 3.     The Imperative Tense:

In the imperative, the verb is usually contracted to its minimal root form, but there are still a few suffixes to refer to the subject especially to denote the gender and number of subject of the verb.

To return to our root verb which is in the past tense (aَ kَ lَ ), we find it contracted to (kٌ lْ = Do eat!) for the masculine singular, and (kٌ ly) for the feminine singular, (kٌ la) for the masculine and feminine dual. (kٌ lٌ w) for the masculine plural, and (kٌ lْ nَ ) for the feminine plural.

The previous system can be applied approximately to any verb conjugation.

It might be suitable to denote as well that the present in Arabic expresses both simple and continuous in English.

Let us now conjugate the verb (aَkَlَ), ate, with its nominative joined pronouns which are usually joined at the end of the root verb which is the past root in Arabic ,noticing that no two silenced consecutive letters are possible in Arabic, reasoning why the opened end of the root past verb is silenced when joined to the nominative pronoun indicator, and taking into consideration that any verb in its past root receives an opening sign at its beginning letter and at its ending letter as well:

1-Conjugation of the verb (akl), ate, in the Past Tense

1-تصريف فعل أكل في الزمن الماضي

Verb Root, Nominative Joined Pronouns, Meaning in English 

aَkَlْ-tُ (Speaker,singular masculine &fem.)I ateأكلتُ

akl tَ(Addressed  “ “) You ateأكلتَ

akl tِ  ( “ ” feminine ) You ateأكلتِ

akl tُma ( “ dual masc. & fem) You ateأكلتما.

akl  – ( Absent sing.masc) he ateأكلَ.

akl  tْ ( “ “ feminine) She ateأكلتْ

akl a  ( “ dual masculine) They ateأكلا

aklَ  ta  ( “ “ feminine )They ateأكلتا

aklْ  na (Speakers plural masc. & fem) We ateأكلنا.

akl tُmْ (Addressed plural masculine )You ateأكلتم

akl  tُnَّ ( “ “ feminine ) You ateأكلتنَّ

akl   (Absent “ masculine ) They ateأكلوا

akl nَ  ( “ “ feminine) They ate أكلن

2.Conjugation of the verb (aَkَlَ), to eat, in the Present Tense

2-تصريف فعل أكل في المضارع

In the Present Tense , the verb root in the past is supplied with affixes as joined pronounced pronouns, taking into consideration that the verb in the Present Tense takes an opening movement sign at the beginning letter in conjugation .

Joined Prefixed Pronoun, Verb Past Root, Joined suffixes, Meaning

a aْkl( a~kl) - I eat (masc.& fem.)أأكل - آكل

nَ akُl - We eat(dual & pl.)نأكل

tَ akُl - You eat (masc.sing.)تأكلُ

tَ aْkُl  yn You eat (fem. sing.)تأكلين

tَ aْkُl  an You eat (masc.& fem dual)تأكلان

tَ akُl wn You eat(تأكلون

tَ aْkُlْ nَ You eat (fem. pl.)تأكلن

yَ aْkُlُ  - He eats (masc.sing.)يأكلُ

tَ aْklُ - She eats (fem.sing.)تأكلُ

yَ aْkl an They eat (masc.dual)يأكلان

tَ akُl an They eat (fem.dual)تأكلان

yَ akُl wn They eat (يأكلون

tَ akُlْ nَ  They eat (تأكلن

Note : The present tense in Arabic indicates both uses of the simple present and the present continuous in English.

3. Conjugation of the verb (akl) ,to eat, in the Imperative Tense.

3- تصريف فعل أكل في الأمر

In the imperative the subjective pronoun must be omitted though it is implied.

 Suffix Meaning

Kُlْ  - (Eat !)كُلْ ! (masc. sing.)

Kُl  y (Eat!)كُلي (fem.,sing.)

Kُl  a (Eat !)كُلا  (masc.& fem dual)

Kُl  w (Eat !)كلوا  (masc. pl.)

Kl n (Eat !)كُلنَ (fem.,pl.)

If we want to conjugate the imperative with pronouns other than the addressed ones , we may use the prefix imperative (l-) with silencing the verb ending letter e.g., l-aklلْآكلُ, l-t-aklلْتأكلْ, l-t-akl-ynلتأكلين, l-t-akl-anلتأكلان, l-y-aklليأكل, l-y-akl-anليأكلان, l-t-akl-anلتأكلان, l-y-akl-wليأكلوا, l-y-akl-nليأكلن, l-n-aklلنأكلْ.

See also: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

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