Arabic Language Blog

Arabic Diptotes: Names Posted by on Feb 17, 2011 in Grammar

In this post, I explain more about diptotes (الممنوع من الصرف), i.e. words that do not take nunation (التنوين) when indefinite, and that are marked by (ـُ) for the nominative case and with (ـَ) for both accusative and genitive cases.

There are lots of names that are diptotes. All feminine names are diptotes, i.e.

–          names that end in (ة), e.g. (سميرة، فاطمة، عائشة، منيرة )

–          names ending in (اء) e.g. (أسماء، هيفاء، ميساء )

–          names ending in (ى) e.g. (ليلى، منى، سلمى).

–          feminine names that are of more than 3 letters, e.g. (مريم، كوثر، زينب).

Many types of masculine names are also diptotes, e.g.

–          foreign names e.g. (مايكل، جورج، جون)

–          pre-Islamic names e.g. (إبراهيم، اسحق، زكريا)

–          masculine names ending in (ة) e.g. (حمزة، معاوية، طلحة)

–          names ending in (ان) e.g. (رمضان، شعبان، عثمان)

–          names that have the form of verbs e.g. (أحمد، أشرف، يزيد)

–          names that have the same pattern as (فُعَل), e.g. (هُبل، زُحل)

What applies to names of people also applies to names of places, so all foreign names of places are diptotes, and also compound names of places are also diptotes, e.g. (بورسعيد، حضرموت)

It should be noted that not all names are diptotes, e.g. names that are formed like regular adjectives and participes are not diptotes, and they take regular case markings including nunation e.g. (خالد، سعيد، محمد، عادل)

Consider the following examples:

أنا من حضرموتَ.

تكلمت مع عثمانَ.

أحمدُ شخصٌ محترمٌ.

هل أنت مريمُ؟

هو خالدٌ.

قابلت ابراهيمَ وسعيداً في الجامعة.

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