Subscribe to receive updates for new Arabic lessons, videos, articles. Updates are sent maximum once weekly, normally once a month.
Madinah Arabic Learn Arabic Online
Learn Arabic Online

Lesson 38 الدَّرْسُ الثَّامِنُ وَالثَّلاثُونَ

Indeclension of the present Verbبِنَاءُ الْفِعْلِ الْمُضَارِعِ

The Present verb when indeclinable on Sukoon - بِناء الفِعْلِ الْمُضارِعِ على السُّكُونِ

  • The Arabic present verb is normally (originally) declinable. Sometimes it is, exceptionally, indeclinable. There only two cases exceptional cases in which the present verb is indeclinable.
  • In this part we will learn the first case; when the present verb is attached to feminine plural pronoun. In this case the verb will have Sukoon on its ending, regardless the grammatical case of the verb (indicative, accusative, or genitive).
  • Consider the following examples:
  • When we look at these examples, we notice that they are all present verbs as follows:






They (fem.) help

They (fem.) examine

They (fem.) play

They (fem.) treat


  • We also notice that all these verbs are attached to (نُونُ النِّسْوَةِ) Noon of feminine plural. Let’s see how the attachment happens and how affects the present verb changing it from declinable to indeclinable:
  • We notice that the verb before the attachment is declinable, i.e. its ending will change according to the grammatical situation. Therefore the present verb, before attachment, could be indicative with Dhammah on its ending, accusative with Fatħa, and jussive with Kasrah.
  • After the attachment of (نون النِسوَة) Noon of feminine plural, the verb will have a constant ending in the three cases. Please, consider the verb (يَلْعَب play) in three cases before and after being attached to (نون النِسوَة) Noon of feminine plural:

After the attachment of Noon of feminine plural

Before the attachment of Noon of feminine plural

Grammatical case


They (fem.) play


He plays

حالة الرفع

Indicative case

لَنْ يَلْعَبْنَ

They (fem.) will not play

لَنْ يَلْعَبَ

He will not paly

حالة النصب

Accusative case

لَمْ يَلْعَبْنَ

لَمْ يَلْعَبْ

He did not play

حالة الجزم

Jussive case

  • You may notice in the above mentioned examples that:
    • When the present verb IS NOT attached to the Noon of feminine plural, it WILL BE affect by the preceding accusative or jussive article and it will be signed with their proper vowel.
    • When the present verb IS attached to the Noon of feminine plural it WILL NOT BE affected by any preceding article, i.e. it will have the same constant ending regardless the grammatical case. This is the meaning of INDECLINABLE verb.  
  • More examples with explanation:

Declinable case

Indeclinable case







The verb here is indeclinable

The Housemaids clean the house

الخَادِمَاتُ لا يُنَظِّفْنَ البَيْتَ

The verb here has Dammah on its ending, as it is indicative (Main case)

The Housemaid clean the house

الخَادِمَةُ لا تُنَظِّفُ البَيْتَ

The verb here is indeclinable

They (fem.) will not continue (keeping) their job.

هُنَّ لَنْ يَسْتَمْرِرْنَ فِي عَمَلِهِنَّ

The verb here is accusative with Fatħah, as it is preceded by an accusative article.

She will not continue (keeping) her job

هي لَنْ تَسْتَمِرَّ فِي عَمَلِها

The verb here is indeclinable

They (fem.) did not have big experience in this work

هُنَّ لَمْ يَأْخُذْنَ خِبْرَةً كَبِيرة فِي العمَلِ

The verb here is jussive singed with Sukoon, as it is preceded by a jussive article.

She did not have big experience in this work

هِي لَمْ تَأْخُذْ خِبْرَةً كَبِيرة فِي العمَلِ

  • Quick notes on the above mentioned examples:
    • In the first sentence the article (لا) meaning (not) is not a jussive article. The jussive article which we studied in lesson 37 is the prohibitive Laa (لا النَّاهِيَةُ) while the one here is the normal negating Laa (لا النَّافِيةُ) and it has no grammatical effect.
    • In the second example, the verb (يسْتَمِرُّ) is ended with double consonant, i.e. Shaddah. When we attach it to the Noon of feminine plural we and put the Sukoon on the final (راء r) we notice that we have to solve the double sound and remove the shaddah (يسْتَمْرِرْنَ) and so the first (راء r) has to be signed with Kasrah.
    • The Sukoon on the verb (يأخُذْ) of the last sentence is a sign of a jussive case, while the Sukoon in the verb (يأخُذْنَ) is constant ending of indeclinable verb.