- The Broken Plural is the plural form of a word in which the original form of the word is changed to a great extent - i.e. it is a change in the word rather than an extension of the word:
o E.g. For English Nouns
§ Man ======> Men
§ Woman ======> Women
- In Arabic, a word is generally formed on the pattern of three basic letters /fa/ فَ, /ξa/ عَ, and /la/ لَ -
/fa ξa la/ فَعل i.e. نَجْمٌ ,جَبَلٌ etc.
- Unlike in English, the broken plural is very widely used in Arabic. There are more than twenty patterns of the broken plural. For example "A word falls into one of a number of 'patterns'. Once we know the pattern group that a word belongs to, we know how the word will change in plural form. This is done by mapping each letter of the word in the singular form to it's plural form and may involve adding letters to the word in the process."
- We will cover what we mean by pattern and how we are using the middle column (below) a bit later In-Shā’-Allâh (God willing). Some of these patterns are given below: