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Lesson 27 – الدَّرْسُ السَّابِعُ وَالْعِشْرُونَ

The Maqŝūr, Manqūŝ and Mamdūd Nouns - الاسْمُ الْمَقْصُورُ والْمَنْقُوصُ والْمَمْدُودُ

The maqŝūr noun - الاسْمُ الْمَقْصُورُ

  • In Arabic we call a noun that fulfils the following criteria a Maqŝūr noun [a noun ending with a long fatћah '']:
    • The noun ends with the alif Maqŝūrah (e.g. مُرْتَضَى)
    • The letter before the alif Maqŝūrah has a fatħah on it.
    • The noun is a declinable noun (اسْمٌ مُعْرَبٌ). Thus, the word (عَلَى) "ξalā' is not a maqŝūr noun, because it is a preposition, not a noun. The same also applies to the word (يَسْعَى) "yasξā" because it is a verb and the demonstrative noun (هَذَا) "hādhā" because it is an indeclinable noun.
  • We have learnt that when a word is affected by declension as a result of a certain rule in grammar, the last letter is normally affected by taking a certain diacritical mark (e.g. fatħah, đammah, kasrah).  For example, “ξalā al maktabi” – upon the table, “al maktabi” takes a Kasrah on the last letter because it is preceded by a preposition (“ξala meaning “on”). 
  • However, in this lesson we learn that in certain cases there is an “assumed” declension – i.e we assume that the word is in a certain case but we do not see the physical Kasrah as the example above shows.  This may appear to be a difficult concept to grasp but it is quite simple – i.e. we do not put the normal diacritical mark on the letter but we assume that it is there.
  • The diacritical signs of declension are assumed and do not appear on the long Alif of the maqŝūr noun. For example:

مَرْفُوعٌ بِضَمَّةٍ مُقَدَّرَةٍ

(لَيْسَتْ ظَاهِرَةً)

It is nominative case with an assumed đammah (not visible)

Murtada attended the meeting.

حَضَرَ مُرْتَضَى  الاجْتِمَاعَ

ћađara Murtađâ al-iĵtimāξa


مَنْصُوبٌ بِفَتْحَةٍ مُقَدَّرَةٍ

(لَيْسَتْ ظَاهِرَةً)

It is accusative case with an assumed fatћah

I saw Murtada in the school.

رَأَيْتُ مُرْتَضَى فِي الْمَدْرَسَةِ

Ra’aytu Murtađâ fi al-Madrasah


مَجْرُورٌ بِكَسْرَةٍ مُقَدَّرَةٍ

(لَيْسَتْ ظَاهِرَةً)

It is genitive case with an assumed kasrah

I went with Murtada to the club.

ذَهَبْتُ مَعَ مُرْتَضَى  إِلَى النَّادِي

A dhahabtu maξa Murtađâ ilā al-nādī

  • The word Murtađâ is a masculine noun in the nominative case in the first sentence. The sign of the nominative case is an assumed đammah, because it is the verb doer – i.e. the subject of the verbal sentence.
  • In the second sentence, the same word is in the accusative case because it is the object of the verbal sentence – i.e. the thing / person upon which the action is done. In the third sentence the word is in the genitive case. In all of them, the sign of declension is (مُقَدَّرَةٌ) "muqaddarah" assumed or virtual. This means that the three signs are not spoken and this is called (إِعْرَابٌ تَقْدِيرِيٌّ) "iξrâb taqdīrī", i.e. assumed or virtual declension – that is, it does not appear on the word-final.
  • This applies to all maqŝūr nouns. For example:


Sentence lesson image

نَامَتْ سَلْمَى مُبَكِّرَةً

nāmat salmā mubakkiratan

Salma slept early. lesson image

هَذِهِ أُخْتِي لَيْلَى

hādhihi ukhtī laylā

This is my sister Layla. lesson image

البَيْتُ هُوَ مَأْوَى الأُسْرَةِ

al-baytu huwa ma’wā al-usrah

Home is the shelter of the family. lesson image

اِسْمُ أَخِي مُوسَى

ismu akhī musā

My brother's name is Musa.

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