Arabic Language Blog

Kana and Sisters (Part 3) Posted by on Jan 20, 2012 in Arabic Language, Culture, Grammar, Vocabulary

Kana and Sisters (Part 3) كانَ و أخواتها

     Kana and its sisters are special verbs in the Arabic Grammar. These verbs come at the  beginning of the  nominative sentence. The Mubtada of the nominative sentence becomes the noun subject (Ism) of Kana and sisters wheareas the Khabar becomes the Khabar of Kana and sisters. The case of the Khabar changes from the nominative case to that of the accusative and hence the Dammah changes to a Fat’ha. In the previous post, we discussed the sisters of kana that refer to time;

Today, we will discuss the other verbs (sisters of Kana) and their meanings.

* صارَ  : This verb refers to CHANGE and MODIFICATION. It means “to turn into”

              Ex. – صارَ البرتقالُ عصيراً  = The ornage turned into juice.  

                    –  صارَ الماءُ بُـخاراً  = The water turned into vapor.

* ليسَ   : This verb refers to NEGATION. It means “Not”.

.             Ex.  – ليسَ الأمـرُ سِــراً  = The matter is not a secret.

                      –  ليسَ السُـؤالُ صعباً  = The question is not difficult.

مازالَ / ما بَرحَ / ما فتئَ / ما انفكَّ / ما دامَ   :

  • These four verbs refer to CONTINUOUS ACTIONS. They all mean “still” or “to continue”.
  • The verb ما دامَ  means “as long as” and can refer to a “period of time”.
  • These verbs must be preceded by a negation particle such as;  ما / لا / لم   in order to do the job of Kana.
  • The predicate (Khabar) of these verbs can often be a verbal sentence جملة فعلية .   

              Ex.  – ما زالَ السلامُ أملاً لكل الشعوبِ  = Peace is still a hope for all nations.

                     – ما برحَ الولدُ جائعاً   = The boy is still hungry.

                     –  ما فتئَ المطرُ منهمراً  = Rain is still pouring.

                     –  ما انفكَّ العـُـمـّـالُ يعملون بجدٍ  = The workers continued to work hard.

                     –  سأحبكِ ما دُمتُ حياً  = I will love you as long as I am alive.

كانَ  : This verb refers to the PAST. It means “to be”.

  • It is the most famous verb of these verbs.

              Ex. – كان الفضاءُ لغزاً  = Space was a mystery.

                     – يكون الجوُ حاراً في الصيفِ  = The weather is hot in summer.

                     – سأكونُ مُسافراً غداً  = I will be traveling tomorrow. 



Next time, In Sha’a Allah,  we will learn more information about these verbs.


Check us back soon

Peace  سلام /Salam/

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About the Author: Fisal

Well, I was born near the city of Rasheed or Rosetta, Egypt. 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.


  1. ادوريان:

    Fantastic! Thank you!!!

  2. Irfan:


  3. Mahmuda:

    جزاك الله خيرا في الدنيا والآخرة .
    كدا فهمت الحمد لله

    • Fisal:

      @Mahmuda You are welcome, Mahmuda 🙂

  4. aysha sulaikha: