Arabic Language Blog

The Verbal Sentence (Part 4) – Subject-Verb Agreement: Gender Posted by on Feb 3, 2013 in Arabic Language, Culture, Grammar, Pronunciation, Vocabulary

        Today we are going to continue our study of the Verbal Sentence الـجـمـلــة الـفـعـلـيـــة . We have already discussed the Verb in more detail and the Subject or doer of the verb. We have also started discussing the subject-verb agreement; how the verb looks like with different subjects. We started with the subject-verb agreement in number. Today, we will be discussing the gender agreement between the subject and the verb. We will focus mainly on when should we use a feminine verb and how does that feminine verb look like. Let’s look at the rules.

B)    Verb-Subject Agreement: Gender

 Rule: A Verb is often  feminine  if its subject is feminine.

Question: How can we get a feminine verb in Arabic?

Answer: Add the Feminine Marker to the verb.

Question: What is the feminine marker for Arabic verbs?

Answer: – If the verb is past, add a Taa Sa’kinah تاء ساكنة  (with Su’koun) to its ending.

             – If the verb is present, start it with a Taa Mutaharrikah تاء متحركة (with Fat’ha or Dammah)  

Now, there are two cases in which the verb should be Feminine:

     1) If the subject of the verb is a visible noun and a real feminine. Here the verb and its subject must not be separated by anything.  

  Ex.أعدتْ الأمُّ الطعام    = The mother prepared the food. (Past Tense)

        –  تمشى البقرةُ ببطء  = The cow walks slowly. (Present Tense)

    In the first example above, the verb أعدت is in the past tense and it has the Feminine Taa as its ending because its subject الأمُّ (the mother) is a real feminine and a visible noun. In the second example, the verb تمشى is in the present tense as it starts with a Taa Mutahirrikah (with a fat’ha). The subject of this verb is the real feminine noun البقرة (the cow).

     2) If the subject of the verb is an invisible pronoun that refers to a real or unreal feminine.   

   Ex.المرأةُ خرجتْ (هي) إلى العمل   = The woman went out to work.

–          الحربُ تــُـهـَـدِّدُ (هي) البشرية  = War threatens all humanity.

       Now, if you look at the first example, you will notice that the verb خرجتْ (went out) is in the past tense and ends in the Feminine Sa’kinah Taa that has a Su’koun on it. What is the subject of this verb? It is the invisible pronoun هي (she) that refers back to the real feminine noun المرأة (The woman). In the second example, we have the verb تــُــهــدد (threatens) in the present and it starts with the Mutahirrikah Taa (with a Dammah). The subject of the verb تهدد is an invisible pronoun هي (she) that refers back to the unreal feminine noun الحرب (the war).  

– Revise the Arabic Nouns!

– Revise the Arabic Pronouns!

– Revise the Arabic Verbs!

– Revise the Nouns Number!

– Revise the Nouns Gender!


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Peace  ســـلام /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. Juan:

    Hi Fisal,

    It is confusing, you are talking abour verbal sentences but the 2 examples given in 2) are not verbal sentences, they are nominal sentences as they start with a noum. What am I missing?