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Lesson 86 – الدَّرْسُ السَّادِسُ والثَّمانون

The style of preference (comparison) - أُسْلُـوبُ التَّفْضِيلِ

The conditions of the verb from which the preference noun is derived–شروط الفعل الذي يشتق منه اسم التفضيل

  • We learnt earlier that the preference noun is always on the pattern (أفعَل), and it is a qualifying noun (i.e. a noun which describes or shows a quality of someone or something).
  • As the verb of astonishment (lesson83) there are many conditions under which we can from the preference noun of its verb (please notice that the verb of astonishment is a verbal derivative on the same pattern of the preference noun (أفْعل).
  • Following are the conditions under which we form the nominal derivative of the preference noun from its root verb:

1-    The verb from which we form (أفْعَل) should be trilateral, i.e. consists of three letters as in the following examples:










Preference noun


More courageous



English meaning










Preference noun


More generous



English meaning

2-    (أفْعَل) has to be formed from a variable verb, i.e. not from an inert verb (the inert verb which is not conjugated in all tenses, as (نِعْمَ) of praise, and (ليْسَ) the negating verb).

3-    It also has to be derived from a complete verb, i.e. not from an annuller verb (the annuller verbs which are not followed by a doer and direct object; rather they come with the nominal sentence (we studied the annuller verbs in lessons: 59 kāna and its sisters, 62 đhanna and its sisters, and 63 kāda and its sisters)

4-    It also should be formed from an active voice verb, not from a passive voice (the active and passive voice will be learnt in lesson 95 In-Shaa’-Allaah (God willing).

5-    It should be formed of an affirmative verb, i.e. not from a negated verb as مازال - ما فَتِئَ - مابَرِحَ, which mean still.

6-    The verb has to be one of those verbs which admit the comparison, i.e. some people make their action thoroughly more than others. Therefore it is not allowed to form this pattern from verbs as (ماتكسر - قتل) which mean respectively (to die – to break – to kill).

7-    The root verb should not indicate color, ornament, or defect, because the similar quality (الصِّفة المشَبَّهة) is formed on this pattern as (أحمرأعمى - أشقر) which respectively mean (red – blind – blond).

To distinguish between the preference noun and the similar quality we look to the feminine, because the feminine of the similar quality is in a different form (pattern) than the feminine of the preference noun as follows:

  • The feminine of the preference noun is on the pattern (فُعْلى) as in the following examples:

Preference pattern








To be high




To be near, or to be down




To be far


·         The feminine of the similar quality is on the pattern (فعْلاء) as in the following examples:

  • Therefore, if the root verb is indicating a similar quality (mostly with the meaning of color, defect or ornament) and its feminine is on the pattern (فعلاء) this means that it is not valid to form a preference noun from.
  • Now we will learn how to make an alternative form for preference noun for those verbs which are incompatible with one or more of the above mentioned seven conditions:
  • To use another preference noun derived from a verb which is compatible with all the seven conditions as (أشدَّأكْبرَأقوى - أعْظمَ)
  • To derive the original noun (المَصْدر) of the word that is incompatible with the conditions mentioned above, and put this (مصدر) after the alternative preference noun mentioned above (the original noun in this case will be a distinctive in the accusative case).
  • Consider the following examples in which we will form the preference structure for the verbs (اِنْكَسَرَقُتِلَ - اِحْمَرَّ) which are not compatible with the conditions of the preference noun:

Alternative preference noun


More/ most


The glass is the most breakable (fragile) thing

الزُّجاجُ أَكْثَرُ الأشْيَاءِ اِنْكِسَارًا

More/ most


The enemies are more killers of children

الأَعْدَاءُ أَكْثَرُ قَتْلاً للأَطْفالِ

More/ most


The rose is more red

الْوَرْدَةُ أشَدُّ اِحْمِرَارًا


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