Arabic Language Blog

Arabic Adverbs (Part 2) Posted by on Sep 9, 2009 in Grammar

In the previous post, I explained that adverbs describe verbs, and that we can derive adverbs from verbs, e.g. كثيراًis derived from كثير“much”. In this post, I present 2 constructions that are used as adverbs in Arabic. The first one is a prepositional phrase. If we use the preposition (ب) followed by the verbal noun, we have an adverbial, e.g. بسرعة“fast”,بكثرة “much”, etc.

لا تدخن بكثرة.

“Do not smoke a lot.”

القطار يسير بسرعة.

“The train moves fast.”

Two types of nouns: active participle (اسم الفاعل) and the passive participle (اسم المفعول) can be used as adverbs. Because they are nouns, they must be in the accusative case and take (تنوين الفتح) if they are singular or the appropriate suffix for dual and plural; consider the following examples:

خرج الطالب حاملاً حقيبته.

“The student left carrying his bag.”

جلس الرجل مفكِراً في المشكلة.

“The man sat thinking about the problem.”

وجد الشرطي الرجل مقتولاً في الشارع.

“The policeman found the man dead/murdered on the road.”

خرج الطلاب حاملين كتبهم.

“The students left carrying their books.”

It is often possible to express the same meaning using different types of adverbials, e.g.

خرجت من الغرفة سريعاً / بسرعة /مسرعة.

“I left the room quickly.”

There is still more to learn about adverbials in Arabic. Keep following!

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