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Madinah Arabic Learn Arabic Online
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Lesson 39 – الدَّرْسُ التَّاسِعُ وَالثَّلاثُونَ

Indeclension of the Past Verb – بِنَاءُ الْفِعْلِ الْمَاضِي

Indeclension of the past verb by a fixed fatħah -بِنَاءُ الْفِعْلِ الْمَاضِي عَلَى الْفَتْحَةِ

  • There are three cases in which an indeclinable past verb ends with a fixed fatħah. Let’s summarize the three cases in the following table:
  • View the following ten examples on the cases in which the indeclinable past verb ends with a fixed fatħah:

I reached twenty five years.

بَلَغَ عُمْرِي خَمْسَةً وَعِشْرِينَ عَامًا.

The news reached us after a week.

وَصَلَ الْخَبَرُ إِلَيْنَا بَعْدَ أُسْبُوعٍ.

It was cold yesterday.

كَانَ الْجَوُّ بَارِدًا.

Temperature rose until it reached 40o .

اِرْتَفَعَتْ دَرَجَةُ الْحَرَارَةِ حَتَّى وَصَلَتْ أَرْبَعِينَ دَرَجَةً.

The plane arrived at the airport at dawn.

وَصَلَتِ الطَّائِرَةُ الْمَطَارَ عِنْدَ الْفَجْرِ.

The plane broke down on air and fell in the ocean.

تَعَطَّلَتِ الطَّائِرَةُ فِي الْجَوِّ وَسَقَطَتْ فِي الْمُحِيطِ.

The two students slept and they did not write their homework.

نَامَ الطَّالِبَانِ وَمَا كَتَبَا الْوَاجِبَ.

And went to the school frightened.

وَذَهَبَا إِلَى الْمَدْرَسَةِ وَهُمَا خَائِفَيْنِ.

And found the teacher absent at that day.

فَوَجَدَا الأُسْتَاذَ غَائِبًا هَذَا الْيَوْمَ.

So they were happy and said they should write the homework that day.

فَفَرِحَا وَقَالا: يَجِبُ أَنْ نَكْتُبَ الْوَاجِبَ الْيَوْمَ.

  • Considering the examples above, we find that the past verb falls into three categories:
    1. The first three examples include the following:

سَقَطَ

saqata

كَانَ

Kana

وَصَلَ

waŝala

بَلَغَ

balagha

Verb

fell

(were)

Arrived

reached

Translation

  • This is the first case of the indeclinable past verb ending with a fixed fatħah . This is the simple form of an indeclinable past verb, i.e. when it is neither prefixed nor suffixed, and the subject is a separate (not a suffixed) pronoun.
    1. The second case of indeclinable past verb ending with a fixed fatħah  is when the past verb is suffixed by the Feminine ta'. Consider the second three examples 4, 5 and 6. We notice the following verbs in these sentences:

سَقَطَتْ

/saqata-t/

تَعَطَّلَتْ

/ŧaξattala-t/

وَصَلَتْ

/waŝala-t/

اِرْتَفَعَتْ

/’irtafaξa-t/

Verb

fell

broke down

reached

rose

Translation

  • We notice that these verbs are suffixed by the Feminine ta'.
    1. The third case of indeclinable past verb ending with a fixed fatħah  takes place when the past verb is suffixed by Dual alif. Consider the verbs of the last four examples 7, 8, 9 and 10, which include the following verbs:

وَجَدَا

waĵada-a

فَرِحَا

fariħa-a

قَالا

qāla-a

كَتَبَا

kataba-a

Verb

found

rejoiced

said

wrote

Translation

  • The subject (verb doer) in these verbs is the Dual alif أَلِفُ الاثْنَيْنِ (alif al-ithnayn), which we have learnt in Lesson 35. This is the third case of the indeclension of the past verb – that is, when it is suffixed by the Dual alif.