A note about the imperative Posted by aziza on Mar 20, 2011 in Grammar
In this post, I give a useful note about the imperative (الأمر). I taught the imperative to my students recently, and as I explained before that the imperative of regular form I verbs (that do not have vowels) is formed by following the pattern (افعل). It is sometimes vowels with a short /o/ on the first letter, e.g. (اُكتب)’write’ and (اُخرج) ‘get out’; and sometimes marked with a short /i/, e.g. (اِفتح) ‘open’ and (اِحمل) ‘carry’.
Native speakers of Arabic depend on their intuition to know the voweling of the verb, but what clues are there in the verb that can help the non-native speaker to choose the appropriate vowel?
There is a simple rule that refers to the present tense verb (the imperfect). If the medial letter of the imperfect is vowelled by a short /o/ (ضمة), then the verb begins short /o/ as well, e.g. (يكتُب / اُكتب) and (يخرُج /اُخرج). If the medial letter of the imperfect is vowelled by a short /a/ or a short /i/, then the verb begins short /i/ (كسرة) as well, e.g. (يفتَح / اِفتح) and (يحمِل /اِحمل).
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Excellent rule for non-natives.
Are there exceptions to this rule with common used verbs or can we say that this rule is always true?
@Juan As far as I know the rule is true of all regular verbs, i.e. verbs that do not have a vowel in the root!
@Juan Ahlan Juan,
Please refer to comment from Josef about the same post which explains useful points regarding your question.
Excellent and what I understood that to make imperative change ي with همزه الوصل and last letter ح put sakoom like يفتح to become اقتح Am I right?
@Rajapk Ahlan Rajapak,
In order to decide the voweling of the first letter of the imperative, it is important to look at the middle letter of the present tense verb, i.e. the letter before last, e.g. in يفتح, the letter that matters is the ت. It carries a short /a/, therefore the imperative begins with short /i/.
I enjoy the Arabic Blog and I’m learning a lot from it.
@David Sarile Shukran David!
Indeed very useful. I always struggle with imperatives.
What about derived form verbs?, are they regular in the imperative?
I can’t wait ..
@Juan Ahlan Juan,
For other verb forms, please check my previous posts about the imperative:
مرحبا يا عزيزة
The rule is true for all regular verbs, i.e. verbs that do not have a vowel in the root, with the exception of the following:
– regular verbs whose first root is the consonant hamza ( like أخذ and أكل ) are listed in your previous post https://blogs.transparent.com/arabic/imperative/
– regular verbs whose second and third root are the same. For example, the imperative of قَصَّ “to cut” is قُصَّ and the imperative of دَلَّ “to show” is دُلَّ
@Scheich Josef Shukran Josef, indeed! I will point your comment to Juan who asked about this point!
Yes, thanks Aziza and Josef for your help.
I got it.
Hello, can someone help me?
I have to translate 3 words correctly in imperative: Feel the wind/breeze.
Wind means life, so appreciate life or feel that you are alive. I Need the answer in one hour so hopefully someone is reading this