Kana and Sisters; Verb Types

Posted on 17. Feb, 2012 by in Arabic Language, Grammar, Language, Vocabulary

      The verb Kana كان   and its sisters are special verbs in the Arabic language. They start the Nominal sentence and case the subject to be their noun (Ism اســـْـــم) with a dammah and cause the predicate to be their Predicate (Khabar خـــَــبـــَــر) with a Fat’ha on its end.

      Now the question is what are the different forms (conjugations تــَـصــْـريــفـــَــــات) of the verb Kana and its sisters? Can these verbs change their form like most other normal verbs? In today’s post, we will answer this question.                

      We have learnt before that all Arabic verbs fall into two main categories. They are all either Declinable Verbs أفــْـــعــَـــال مـُـــتــَــصــَـــرِّفـــَــة  or Indeclinable Verbs أفــْـــعـَـــال جــَـــامــِـــدَة . The first category means that the verb can be used in different forms or can be conjugated or used in all tenses whereas the second category means that the verb is solid or can not be conjugated to other forms other than itself, so the verb has only one form.

       The following table shows the verb Kana and its Sisters and their possible conjugations;

  Kana and Sisters كـان و أخــواتــهـــا

الأمر Imperative

المضارع Present

الماضي Past

كـــُــــن

يــَـــكـــــُـــون

كـــَـــــان

أصــْــبــــِـــحْ

يــُــصــْــبـــِــــح

أصــْــبــَـــح

أضــــْــــحِ

أضــْـــحـــَــــى

أضــْــحــَــى

ظـــَــــــلْ

يــَــــظـــَــــل

ظـــَـــــلَّ

أمـــْــــسِ

يــُـــمــْـــســِــــى

أمــْــســـَــى

بــــِـــــتْ

يــَــبــيـــــــــتُ

بـات

صـــِـــــرْ

يــَـــصـــِــــيــر

صـار

——

——-

لـيـس

——

ما يــَــزالُ

مـا زال

——

ما يـــَــبــرح

مـا بـرح

——

ما يــَـــنـــفــــَــــكُ

مـا انـفـك

——

ما يــَـــفـــْــــتـــَـــأ

مـا فـتـئ 

——

—–

مـا دام

        From the table above, we notice that Seven verbs only of kana and sisters can be used in the past, present and imperative and they are called Fully Declinable Verbs أفــْـــعـــَــــال تـــَـــامــَــــة الـــتـــَّـــصــَـــرُّف   

   Ex. – كـــَـــانَ الــجـــَـــوُ مُــمــْــطـــِـــرَاً بــِــالأمـــْــــسِ = It was rainy yesterday. (Past)

        -  يــَــكـــُــونُ الــجــَــوُ جــَـمــِــيـــلاً فــِـي الــرَّبــيــــع = The weather is beautiful in spring.  (Present)

       – كـــُـــنْ لـــَـــطــِــفــَـــاً مــَــعَ الآخــَــريـــن = Be nice to others.  (Imperative)

      From the above table also, we notice that there are Four verbs of Kana’s sisters that are used in the past and present only. These verbs are those of continuation and are called Partially Declinable Verbs أفـــْــعــَــال نــَــاقــِـــصـــَـــة الـــتـــَّـــصــَـــرُّف  .

     Ex.  – مــَــا زالَ مـُــحــَــمَّــدً مــُـــســْــتــَــيــقــِــظــــاً حــتــَّــى الـــصــَّـــبــَـــاح  

             = Muhammad was still awake till morning.  (past)

             -  لا يــَــزَالُ الــنــِّـــيــــلُ يــَــجـــرى .  = The Nile is still running. (Present)

        Finally, the above table has Two verbs of only One form; ليس  /ما دام  . These two verbs are used only in the past tense and they are called; Indeclinable Verbs أفــْـــعــَـــالٌ جــَـــامـــِـــدَة  .

To learn more about the Declinable and Indeclinable verbs, click on the following link; http://blogs.transparent.com/arabic/verb-type-%d9%86%d9%88%d8%b9-%d8%a7%d9%84%d9%81%d8%b9%d9%84/

For meanings of kana and sisters, click the following link; http://blogs.transparent.com/arabic/kana-and-sisters-part-3/

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Peace سلام /salam/

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About Fisal

Well, I was born near the city of Rasheed or Rosetta. Yes, the city where the Rosetta Stone was discovered. It is a small city on the north of Egypt where the Nile meets the Mediterranean. I am a Teacher of EFL. I got my BA in Education from Alexandria University Majoring in the English Language in 1999. I did some advanced studies and got a Professional Diploma in Education Technology in 2002. Then, in 2003 I got a Special Diploma in Education with a major in Curricula and Methodologies. I travelled for an Advanced Training Course at Strathclyde University, Glasgow, U.K. in 2006. In 2007 - 2008 I was a Fulbright Fellow - Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (FLTA Program) at Marlboro College, Vermont, USA. I have the ICDL Certificate.

2 Responses to “Kana and Sisters; Verb Types”

  1. zainab 3 December 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    Is there any reference,books where I can get the syntax and semantics of these verbs? Thanks in advance.

  2. Waseem 12 March 2014 at 12:44 am #

    Thank you so much! This is very helpful for my arabic class!


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