Arabic Language Blog

The Semi-sisters of Kana; Kada and its Sisters (Part 1) Posted by on Mar 29, 2012 in Arabic Language, Culture, Grammar, Pronunciation, Vocabulary

      We have already been introduced to the special verb Kana and its sisters كان و أخواتها and we have known that these verbs start the nominative sentence الجملة الاسمية and cause the mubtada المبتدأ (subject) to be their noun (Ism اسم) and the khabar الخبر (predicate) to be their khabar. Only the khabar changes its case from nominative to accusative which means that we apply a Fat’ha فتحة on its ending. We have also known the meanings of these verbs. Today we will be introduced to some other verbs that are considered sisters of the verb Kana; that is to say that they do the same job as the verb kana and its sisters. These verbs are called Kada and Sisters       كاد و أخواتها . In the Arabic language these verbs have their own names that are determined according to their meaning. These semi-sister verbs of Kana or the verb Kada and its sisters can be classified into three categories:

1)      The Verbs of Approaching (Muqarabah) أفــعـــــال الــمــُــقـــَــــــاربــَـــــــــة 

              These Muqarabah verbs, as their name indicates, means that the Khabar is about to happen; it is approaching. There are three of these verbs and they are كاد / أوشك / كرب and all of them mean the same; the khabar is near or about to happen.

                 Ex.كادَ النهر (أن) يجف   = The river was about to dry.

                      –  كادت السفينة (أن) تغرق   = The ship was about to sink.

                      –  أوشك المريض (أن) يشفى    = The patient was about to recover.

                     –  كربت الشمسُ (أن) تــُــشــرق   = The sun was about to rise.   

2)      The Verbs of Hope  (Wish = Rajaa) أفــــعــــَـــــــــال الــَّرجـــــــَـــــــاء 

         These verbs, as it is clear from their name, refer to an action that is hoped to happen; there is a hope that the predicate will happen. There are three of these verbs: عسى  / حرى / اخلولق

           Ex. – عسى الله أن يرحمكم   = I wish that Allah would have mercy on you.

                 – حرى الطب أن يعالج كل الأمراض   = I wish that medicine could cure all diseases.

                –  أخلولق الطالب أن ينجح   = I wish that the student could succeed.

3)      Verbs of Start (Shoroo’)  أفــعــَــــــال الــشـــُّـــــروع  

          These verbs refer to the start of an action; here the predicate is starting to happen. There are so many verbs in this last category. Some of these verbs are: أخذ  / شرع / هبَّ / قامَ / أنشأ طـفـِـقَ / جعل /  بدأ 

         Ex.  – أخذ المطر يسقط بغزارة  = The rain started to fall down heavily.

                 –  شرع المهندسون يخططون للعمل   =  The engineers started to plan the work.

                – بدأ الجرس يدق   = The bell started to ring.

To Be Continued


 To listen to the pronunciation of these verbs, visit our Arabic Transparent Youtube channel at; 

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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. Juan:

    Thank you very much for this lesson,
    I have been looking for this topic very long as it has been difficult for me to translate some sentences containing those verbs.

    I understand from the article that the gramatical changes on the sentences are similar to what happpens with كان.

    Can we use the same gramatical names in this case as اسم كاد. or خبر كاد ?


    • Fisal:

      @Juan Hi Juan,
      Yes, you are absolutely right. you can use the same grammatical terms in this case as اسم كاد or خبر كاد . I will be posting another blog article about the predicate of Kada and sisters 🙂
      You are very welcome

  2. Juan:

    Hi again,

    I was not able to find the video about kada at the Arabic Transparent Youtube channel.


  3. Juan:


    Thank you for your reply.
    I got the video. Ready for Part 2.


  4. Juan:

    Hi Fisal,

    I am subscribed to the Arabic Blog and receive immediate notice of new posts. I recommend it to other learners.
    Thanks anyway,

    Now, let’s go get it!


  5. Yusuf Abdulkadir:

    In my first day of visit this site i have discover a lot and improve my Arabic understanding, thank you for your effort to make Arabic more easy to us