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Madinah Arabic Learn Arabic Online
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Lesson 66 – الدَّرْسُ السَّادِسُ والسِّتُّونَ

The direct object - الْمَـفْـعُـول بِـه

Placing the object before the verb and the doer – تَقديم المَفعول به على الفعل والفاعل

  • It is possible in Arabic to place the direct object before the verb and the agent on condition that the object has the right of priority, so it has to be in the beginning of the sentence.
  • There are some Arabic nouns which have the right of priority as:
    1- Questioning nouns (
    أَسْماء الاسْتفهام). We studied them in lessons (41, 42, and 43), e.g.:( كَمْ -  ماذا).
    2- Conditional nouns (lesson 87), e.g.: (
    مَنْ).
    3- After the separation particle (
    أَمَّا /ammā/) which means (as for).
  • If the direct object is one of the above mentioned nouns it has to be obligatorily placed at the beginning of the sentence, i.e. before the verb and the doer of the verbal sentence, as in the following examples:

The verb

The object

Example

English

Arabic

دَرَسْنَا

أَيَّ

Which lessons we studied?

أَيَّ دَرْسٍ دَرَسْنَا؟

/ayya darsin darasnā/

قَرَأْتَ

كَمْ

How many books have you read?

كَمْ كِتابًا قَرَأْتَ؟

/kam kitāban qara’ta/

تُساعِدْ

مَنْ

whoever you help, succeeds

مَنْ تُساعِدْ يَنْجَحْ

/man tusāξid yanĵaħ/

تُكْرِمْ

أَيَّ

Whoever you honor, he will like you.

أَيَّ النَّاسِ تُكْرِمْ يُحِبِبْكَ

/ayya annāsi tukrim yuħibibka/

تَقْهَرْ

اليَتِيمَ

As for the orphan, do not oppress (him)

فَأَما اليَتِيمَ فلا تَقْهَرْ

/fa’ammā al yatīma falā taqhar/

تَنْهَرْ

السائِلَ

And as for the beggar, do not repulse.

وأمَّا السائِلَ فلا تَنْهَرْ

/wa’ammā as sā’ila falā tanhar/

  • You may notice in the above mentioned examples that the direct object is placed before both of the verb and the doer, because the object has the right of priority.
    - In the examples number 1 and 2, the direct object is a questioning noun, so it has the right of priority.
    - In the examples number 3 and 4, the direct object is a conditional noun. Also conditional nouns have the right of priority.
    - In the examples number 5 and 6 the direct object falls after (
    أمَّا), so it has to be placed before the verb.