Arabic Language Blog

Verbal Sentence: The Subject/Doer (Part 2) Posted by on Sep 17, 2012 in Arabic Language, Culture, Grammar, Vocabulary

      Today we are going to continue our study of the second element in the Verbal Sentence الـجـمـلــة الـفـعـلـيـــة ; the subject. We have already known that the subject or the doer الــفــاعــِــل of an action is a noun (or a pronoun) that is in the Nominative Case حــَــالــَــةُ الــرَّفــْــعِ and is preceded by an active verb and this noun or pronoun refers to whoever did the action or what the verb did. The question now is what are the different shapes of the subject? That is to say what the possibilities of the subject are. Let’s look at these three examples:

     Ex. 1- تــَــفـــَــــتـــَّــحَ الــزَّهـــْـــرُ = The flowers bloomed.

2- غــَــســـَـــلــْــنـــَـــا ســَـــيــَّـــارَتـــَــــنــــَـــا = We washed our car.

3- الــيــَـــأسُ يـــَـــقــــْـــتــــُــــلُ الأمـــَـــمَ = Despair kills nations.

Now, if we look ate the first example, we will notice that the sentence is a verbal one. It starts with the active past verb تفتح (bloomed) and the subject of this verb is the word الزهرُ (The flowers). So, the subject in this example is a visible noun اسم ظاهر . That is the first possibility of a subject in the verbal sentence.

     The second example is a bit more complicated because it contains visible inseparable pronouns. The sentence starts with the past verb غسلَ (washed) with the visible inseparable pronoun نا (we) of the speakers attached to it. So, who washed? نا (we). That is an example of the second possibility of the subject of the verbal sentence; to be a visible inseparable pronoun.

     The third example is the most complicated because it starts with a noun, so the whole sentence is a Nominal sentence. The verbal sentence forms the predicate of this nominal sentence. We will focus on the subject of this verbal (predicate) sentence. The sentence starts with the noun اليأسُ (Despair) which is the Mubtada. The predicate or Khabar of this mubtada is the verbal sentence that starts with the active verb يقتل (kills). Now, what is the subject of this verb? What or who kills? It هو . (It هو) what? What does it refer to? (It هو) refers back to the visible noun اليأسُ (despair). So, (it هو) is the subject of the verb يقتل (kills). Yes, and this subject is invisible but understood from the context and refers to a previous visible noun which is the mubtada اليأسُ (despair). That is the third possibility of the subject of the verbal sentence; to be an invisible pronoun that refers back to a visible noun.

  • To sum up, there are three cases or possibilities of the subject in a verbal sentence.
  • The subject can be:

1- A Visible Noun اسم ظاهر or pronoun ضمير  (e.g. ذهبَ محمدٌ or ذهبَ هو )

2- AVisible Inseparable Pronoun ضمير ظاهر متصل (e.g. ذهبنا or ذهبتُ or ذهبوا … etc.)

3- An Invisible Pronoun ضمير مستتر (e.g. التدخين يسبب (هو) الوفاة = Smoking causes death.)

– Revise the Arabic Pronouns (Here)!

To be continued …..


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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.