Archive for the ‘Arabic Lessons’ Category

Often when words are expressing about time, they come in the “a case” with two fathas, this is because their function is like that of an adverb.

Some examples are:قريبا
for some time/for a long time
for a long time

A point to note about these example words is that they should not be placed at the start of a sentence, rather they are suited to go at the end or later in a sentence.

Another useful word about time is مدّة
which means a length of time/period. It can be used vaguely for example:

بقي هنا مدّةّ طويلة
he stayed here for a long period of time

or more specifically, for example:
بقي هنا لمدّة سنة
he stayed here for a period of one year

A second useful word is منذ
It means “since” and “ago”


هي هنا منذ شهر
she has been here for a month/since one month
كانت هنا منذ شهر
she was here a month ago.

The different meanings above come because the first is in the present, implying that the state is continuing. She was there since one month, and still is there, and may stay longer even. The second one is in the past and finished so it means she was there one month ago.

To make a “continuous past” – something like “he was going” “she was doing”, ie something fitting in the pattern

so & so was ….ing

you use kaana + a present tense (imperfect) verb.

Some examples:

كان يدرس
he was studying
كانت تطبخ
she was cooking
كنا نذهب الى المسجد
we were going to the masjid

It can also indicate a habitual action like:
كان يقرأ في المساء دائما

he always used to read in the evening

This construction can also be used in the negative like this:

لم يكن يكتب
he was not writing


translate the following into Arabic:

1. Maryam has lived in Jordan for ten years
2. Moosa will come to London soon insha Allah
3. Ali was studying in Paris previously
4. Sufyan was sad for a long time.
5. Hasan has been happy since he got married
6. Tariq is working in the airport since last year
7. We used to always eat in the living room
8. He was not looking at the cat
9. The girls were talking
10. The children were playing in the street

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Verbs in which the first root letter is waw و are known as “initial waw verbs” and are subject to certain phonetic changes.
In the past tense they are conjugated normally, the irregularity occurs in the present tense. In this tense, the waw is dropped in the conjugation of form 1. The most common vowel sound found after the 2nd root in these cases is a kasra so the general pattern for an initial waw verb in the present tense becomes:

compared to the common pattern of a regular verb in present tense form 1 – yaf3alu – the difference is mainly that having the 1st root letter (waw) dropped there are only two remaining, and also the kasra.

In other verb forms this does not occur, only with form 1. So an example in form two is the verb wajjaha (to send) which becomes yuwajjihu, the waw has been retained and it’s conjugation is regular.

Some examples of verbs beginning with a waw:

made an obligation


conjugate the verbs in the sentences either keeping or dropping the waw according to what is appropriate, after considering the tense and the form:

1. She is arriving now
2. Are you putting the book on the table?
3. She promised me yesterday
4. He said :” i promise”
5. They are unifying the people
6. Yusuf described the house that he saw
7. Layla is describing the food
8. The merchant is weighing the cotton
9. All the girls are standing up
10. Everyone stood up.
11. He said: “I will not make it an obligation”
12. do you agree with me?
13. why do you trust that boy?
14. have you found my cat?

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إلى كلِّ مسلمةٍ رضيت بالله ربّـاً ، وبالإسلامِ ديناً ، وبمحمدٍ رسولاً

إلى كلِّ فتاةٍ سلكت طريق الحقِّ ، وحملت رسالة الصدقِ ،
إلى كلِّ مربيةٍ جاهدت بكلمتها ، وحافظت على قِيَمِها ، وزكت نفسها

إلى كلِّ أمٍ ربَّت أبناءها على التقوى ، وأنشأتهم على السُّنّة ، وحببت إليهم الفضيلة

إلى كلِّ مهمومةٍ حزينةٍ

اسعدي وافرحي بقرب الفرجِ ، ورعاية الله ، وعظيمِ الأجرِ ، وتكفيرِ السيئات

English meaning:


To every Muslim woman who is content with Allâh as her Lord, Islâm as her religion and Muhamad (Blessings and Peace be upon him) as her Prophet.

To every girl who follows the path of truth, who carries the message of sincerity.

To every teacher who strives by means of her words to convey knowledge and values, and has purified her soul.

To every mother who brings her children up to fear Allâh and to follow the Sunnah, and make virtues dear to them.

To every woman who is burdened with worries and sadness.

Rejoice and receive the glad tidings of a way-out at hand, the care of Allâh, a great reward and expiation of sins.

إلى كلِّ مسلمةٍ رضيت بالله ربّـاً وبالإسلامِ ديناً ، وبمحمدٍ رسولاً
ila = to
kul = every. it is with kasra because ila is harf jar (preposition)
muslima = muslima. Kul and muslima are in idafa together. this phrase “ila kulli muslimatin” is equivilent in meaning to “ila kull il muslimaat” to every muslima, to all the muslimas.. it just has a diffferent form, being in the singular here not plural
radhiyat = this means to be pleased with or satisfied with. its the same word we use to make the dua radhiyallahu anhu/anha/anhum after we mention honourable people from Islam (meaning may Allah be pleased with him/her/them)
bi = this means “with” it comes together with the verb, to be pleased with
Allah = this has kasra because of the bi
rabban = this is in accussative because it means “as Lord.” the “as” aspect of it makes it take this case. Two fathas are always carried on an alif, which is why it appears like this.
wa bil islami deenan = the same as explained above, and with islam as her religion
wa bi muhammadin rasoolan = and with muhammad as prophet.

إلى كلِّ فتاةٍ سلكت طريق الحقِّ
fataatin = girl, a young girl or youth
salakat = follows
Tareeq = path, like siraat
al Haqq = the truth, right way. This Tareeq al Haqq is an idafa
وحملت رسالة الصدقِ
wa hamalat = and carries
risaalata = message. the fatha on the end is because its the object of the sentence
as-sidq – truthfulness, honesty or sincerity. the same root as we hav as-siddeeq the nn of Abu Bakr (r). Again its an idafa
إلى كلِّ مربيةٍ جاهدت بكلمتها ، وحافظت على قِيَمِها ، وزكت نفسها
murabeyatin = teacher. the kasras are for the idafa. this word is from the same root as the verbal noun (tarbiya) for teaching, education and upbringing.
jaahadat = to strive
bi = with
kalamatihaa = her words. the haa is for “her”
wa Haafathat = and preserves (she is preserving them by teaching them and passing them on)
qiyamihaa = her morals and values
wa zakat = and purifies
nafsahaa = her soul
إلى كلِّ أمٍ ربَّت أبناءها على التقوى ، وأنشأتهم على السُّنّة ، وحببت إليهم الفضيلة
umm = mother
rabbat = brought up, educated (the same root from the previous word murabeya)
abnaa2ahaa – her children.
3ala at taqwaa – upon taqwa. it means like on the path of taqwa, which is piousness, fearing Allah
wa ansha2athum – its a synonym for rabbat. hum is them so “brought them up”
3ala-s sunnah – on the sunnah, following the sunnah
wa hababat ilayhim = and made them love
al fadheela – righteousness and virtues
إلى كلِّ مهمومةٍ حزينةٍ
mahooma – troubled person
hazeena – sad person
اسعدي وافرحي بقرب الفرجِ ، ورعاية الله ، وعظيمِ الأجرِ ، وتكفيرِ السيئات
is3adee – be happy
wa ifrahee – and be joyful
bi qurb al faraj – with the closeness of the happy outcome
wa r3aayat illah – and the care of Allah
wa 3adheem al ajr – and the greatness of the reward
wa takfeer as se2yaat – and the removal of sins

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Hollow Verbs

Verbs in which the middle root letter is waw or ya و ي
Are traditionally known as “hollow verbs” and are subject to certain phonetic changes.
In the past tense, this “weak letter” is usually replaced by an Alif, so that we could describe this using the pattern:
for example you will often come across these common verbs which fit the pattern:
he was

he came

he visited

In the present tense the middle letter is the original root middle letter (this can be found out by checking a dictionary, or simply learned.)

So that from the above verbs we get:


These verbs are then conjugated as normal.

nb: It is important to note that because these middle root letters are seen as “weak” sometimes they can be pushed out and there will be no long vowel in the word at all! This happens whenever the long vowel would have been followed by a letter with a sukoon. Eg:

In the past tense first person of كان
we get the conjugation :
This is because of the rule that you never should have a long vowel followed by a letter with a sukoon
The long vowel has been retained in the small way of placing a damma on the kaf. So we can say that in a way the long vowel is squeezed into its equivilent small vowel.

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The main words which can be used to make exceptions are :


Which are basically synomymous. The most famous example which every Muslim will no doubt be familiar with is our declaration:

لا إلهَ إلا الله

There is no god except Allah.

Some other examples made up by me :

ما جاء الأولادُ إلا أحمدُ
maa jaa’a al awlaadu ilaa Ahmad
The boys did not come, except Ahmad
ie: From the boys, only Ahmad came.
Here you must note that Ahmad has damma as he is the logical subject despite being after ilaa

الساعة التاسعة إلا ربعٍ
As-saa3at ut taasi3ah ila rub3in
It is quarter to nine
ie: it is nine o clock, except a quarter

أحبّ كلّ الطلابِ إلا مصطفى
uhebbu kull at tullaabi ilaa mustafa
I love all the students, except Mustafa

After Siwa if you are using a pronoun then it must act like it does when you add a pronoun to words like “inna”. Eg not “huwa” but just the possesive ending “hu”

لم أرَ سواه
lam ara siwaahu
i didnt see anyone except him
لا يتكلّمُ الفرنسيّة سوايَ
laa yatakallam ul faransiyya siwaaya
noone speaks french except me
لم أجدْ سوى الكتب
lam ajid siwaa alkutub
i didnt find anything except the books

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Assalaamu alaykum. This time we are not going to cover a grammatical point, but rather we are going to learn some vocab and read some conversations about everyone’s favourite topic – food – and through this will we be revising some of the structures and points previously learned insha allah.

Read the following sentences and the explanations:

ماذا تريدُ أنْ تأكلَ يا محمّد؟

maadhaa tureedu an ta’kula yaa Mohammed?
what do you want to eat, Mohammed?
notice here that the word given for “what” is “maadha” not “maa”, when the word for “what?” comes with a verb, it is recommended to use “maadha”
Also notice the fatha on the end of the verb. We learnt to put a dama on the end of imperfect (present) verbs like this, however when you see the word “an” before the verb, it puts the verb in a different “mood” called subjunctive – which is usually shown by a fatha.
before we call someone by name, usually you add the word “yaa”

ماذا تريدينَ أنْ تطبجي يا حبيبتي؟

maadhaa tureedeena an taTbakhee yaa Habeebatee?
what do you want to cook, my love?
note all the same points from above apply here. for the “you feminine” the verb loses its final noon as a result of subjunctive.

هل تُحِبُّ الأرزَ يا سلمان؟

hal tuhebb ul uruzza yaa Salmaan?
do you like rice, Salman?
Normally in speech you will just call rice “Ruz” but strictly in fusha it is written with a beginning alif as Uruzz

طعامي المفضّل هو الشروامة

Ta3aamy almufaDDil huw ash sharwaama
My favourite food is sherwama
notice that the adjective agreeing with Ta3aamee has got AL. This is because the possessive endings make the word definite so adjectives following them must have AL.
The huwa here is to make the meaning clearer.
For those who do not know, Sherwama is an Arab dish made from meat. It is quite tasty

لا أحبُّ السمك

Laa uhebb us-samak
I don’t like fish
أمّي طباخةُ جيّدةٌ

Ummee Tabaakhatun Jayyida
My mum is a good cook
Notice all the agreement with the feminine subject
يحبّ يوسف الطعام الآسِيَويَّ

Yuhebbu Yousef aT Ta3aam al aasiyaawiyy
Yousef loves Asian food.
Aasiyaawiyy is an adjective created directly from the place name Aasiya which we previously learned

هل عندكم الطعام العربي في هذا المطعم؟

Hal 3andakum aT Ta3aam ul 3arabiyy fi haadhal maTa3am?
Do you have Arab food in this restaurant?
هل تفضّلينَ الطعام الإنجليزيّ أو الطعام العربيّ يا نورة؟

Hal tufaDDileen aT Ta3aam al ingleeziyya aw aT Ta3aam al 3arabiyy, yaa Noora?
Do you prefer english or arab food Noora?


Here is a vocab list of some foods :
(not every food could be covered obviously since there are so many things)

meat (or can refer specifically to lamb)

لحم البقرة

lahm al baqra
لحم الخنزير
lahm al khinzeer








عصير برتقال
aseer burtuqaal
orange juice




آيس كريم
Ice cream
Ice cream









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In Arabic we have different words to negate sentences in the past, present and future. Negating simply means to change the meaning to include “not” eg:

Ahmed likes dogs
Ahmed does not like dogs – this is a negation of the above sentence

Present tense – Laa

the present tense negater is لا. it comes before the verb which you want to negate, which should be in imperfect indicitive (ie the “usual” present tense verb ending in a damma, “laa” had no effect on the verb apart from negating its meaning)


لا يَكْتُبُ المدّرسُ
the teacher is not writing
يَكْتُبُ المدّرسُ
the teacher is writing

Past tense – Maa and Lam

1.) the easiest past negator to use is ما which should be placed infront of the verb in the perfect (past) tense. This also has no effect on the verb apart from negating meaning.

ما ذَهَبَ الولدُ
the boy did not go

ذَهَبَ الولدُ
the boy went

It is occasionally also used to negate a present tense sentence, but you should not do this yourself. eg

ما يَشْرَبُ
he is not drinking

2.) the other way of negating past is with لم
this comes infront of an imperfect jussive verb (مجزوم) which is formed by ending the verb with sukoon and if there is any long vowel in the verb it will be removed. if the verb had an “ending” eg in 2nd person feminine, the noon will be removed.

لم يَكْتُبْ

he didnt write

لم تذْهَبي

you (female) didnt go

لم يَكُنْ

he wasnt

Future tense

لن is used, this comes before a verb in the subjunctive. This is like the normal imperfect(present) only instead of ending with dhamma on the last letter, it will be fatha. also, when the verb has an “ending” like you female, the noon is removed like in the jussive.


لن يَأْكُلَ
he will not eat

he eats.

To negate an equational sentence, we must use the verb “laysa” لَيْسَ
although this looks like a past tense verb, we should translate it simply as “is not / are not” and do not give it a past tense meaning when translating.

It should be conjugated as any normal past tense verb. Eg

ليس الولدُ ذكيّاً
lays alwaladu dhakiyyan
the boy is not clever

ليست البنتُ مجتهدةً
laysat al bintu mujtahidatan
the girl is not hard working

Note that the predicate of the equational sentence became accusative case due to this verb. This is the same effect that we learned when using the verb Kaana, so we say that laysa is a sister of Kaana.

Also note this difference in the conjugation :
If there is a sukoon on the seen when conjugating the verb normally… then you must remove the ya.
So we are left with…

لَسْتُ كسلانً
lastu kaslaanan
i am not lazy

لَسْتِ في البيتِ
lasti fil bayt
you are not in the house

This is because of the rule that we are not allowed two sukoons next to each other, and there is already a sukoon on the ya so that letter is removed.

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There are ten forms of Arabic Verbs. This means that when you take the three root letters, you may be able to use them in some of the ten different patterns. (All ten patterns are unlikely to be available for one verb! )

These patterns are useful, as they are quite regular so if you see a form three verb for example, you will straight away know how to form its verbal noun (once you learnt ur verb forms that is )

Also it will help you to recognise words and be able to pick out their roots in order to look them up in the dictionary (many good arabic dictionaries are organised by root, such as Hans Weir) (I will give the pattern represented by the root fa 3ayn lam, then an example) (verbs are given in their 3rd person masc singular form)

For beginners it will be a bit confusing to cover all ten patterns in one lesson, so we will start with forms 1 and 2


The most basic form of the verb. It is the only form were certain variations may occur (ie in middle vowel of the imperfect, and in verbal noun pattern)
EG (shariba) means to drink


Past tense (perfect) Fa3ala / Shariba
Present/future tense (imperfect) yaf3alu / yashrabu (form one is the only one were the middle vowel may vary, and must be learned for each verb)


Active participle faa3ilun / shaaribun


Passive participle maf3oolun / mashroobun


Verbal noun There are a few varying patterns of verbal noun for form one, the appropriate one can be found in the dictionary or learnt together with the verb


Is formed by placing a shadda on the middle root letter.
EG (darrasa) means to teach
Past tense (perfect) fa33ala / darrasa


Present/future tense (imperfect) yufa33ilu / yudarrisu


Active participle mufa33ilun / mudarrisun


Passive participle mufa33alun / mudarrasun


Verbal noun taf3eelun / tadreesun

Other words derived from verbs
Active Participle –
The person who does the action of that verb. If the verb was “write” then the activer participle is “writer”

Passive participle – The thing that has had the action done to it. If the verb was “choose” then the passive participle is “chosen”

Verbal noun – this is a naming word that had its origin in a verb. Often it names a concept rather than a specific thing. An example of this is the word “smoking” in the sentence “Smoking is bad for you.

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