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Lesson 87 – الدَّرْسُ السَّابِعُ والثَّمانون

The conditional sentence - جُمْلَة الشَّرطِ

The verb of condition – فِعْلُ الشَّرْط

  • The verb of condition falls originally after the conditional article directly. If the verb is in the present form, all the conditional articles, except (إذا - لوْ), will put it in the jussive case.
  •  Consider the following examples:




The sign of jussive case

Verb of condition


Arabic lesson image



If you live in the city, you will be infected by pollution

إنْ تَسْكُنْ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ تُصَبْ بِالتَّلَوُّثِ lesson image



If you live in the village (small town) you will find few services.

وَإنْ تَسْكُنْ فِي الْقَرْيَةِ تَجِدْ خِدْمَاتٍ قَلِيلَةً lesson image

The elimination of the Nūn


If you leave agriculture, the plants will die 

إنْ تَتْرُكُوا المَزْرَعَةَ فَسَيَمُوتُ الزَّرْعُ lesson image

The elimination of the weak letter


Wherever you see your father, kiss his hand

أَيْنَمَا تَرَ أَبَاكَ فَقَبِّلْ يَدَهُ lesson image



Whatever I see programs, I do not understand

مَهْمَا أُشَاهِدِ الْبَرْنَامَجَ لا أَفْهَم

  • In the above mentioned examples the verb is in the present form, and in the jussive case signed with different signs according to its suffix or last letter.
  • Sometimes the verb of condition is in the past form, but, mostly, the conditional articles put the time of the conditional verb and its answer in the future meaning even if both of them is conjugated in the past. Consider the following examples (please read from right to left):




Its type

Verb of condition


Arabic lesson image

Past verb


If he eats too much he will be fat

إِنْ أَكَلَ كَثِيرًا فَسَيَكُونُ سَمِينًا

  • In this example the verb (أكَلَ) is indeclinable (we learnt in lesson 39 that all the past verbs are indeclinable). The indeclension means that the verb cannot be in the jussive case, or any other cases, because it is not changeable according to the grammatical position in the sentence. Therefore we say that the verb is indeclinable in place of jussive case في مَحَلّ جَزْم.
  • More examples:




Sign of indeclension

Verb of condition


Arabic lesson image

Indeclinable on fatħah


Whenever Khalid remember his father, he cries.

مَتَى تَذَكَّرَ خالِدٌ أَبَاهُ بَكَى lesson image

Indeclinable on sukūn


Whenever I go, the police run after me.

أَيْنَمَا ذَهَبْتُ لاحَقَتْنِي الشُّرْطَةُ lesson image

Indeclinable on đammah


However they practice, they do not play well.

مَهْمَا تَدَرَّبُوا لا يَلْعَبُوا جَيِّدًا

  • The verb of condition in the first example (تَذّكَّرَ) is indeclinable on Fatħah, because it is the original sign of the indeclension of the past verb. The verb of condition in the second example (ذَهَبْتُ) is indeclinable on Sukūn, because it is attached to the (tā’) of the singular doer (تاء الفاعِل). The verb in the third example (تَدَرَّبُوا) is indeclinable on the đammah, because it is attached to the (wāw) of the plural (واو الجماعة).
  • In all these cases the past verb is indeclinable in place of jussive case.
  • We now clearly understand that the verb of condition is an essential part in the conditional sentence, and it has to fall directly after the conditional particle. In some structures the verb of the condition is delayed, and the doer is advanced and placed after the conditional article as in the following example:



If Muhammad comes, I will help him.

إنْ مُحَمَّدٌ حَضَرَ أُسَاعِدْهُ

  • In the above mentioned example we find that the doer of the verb is advanced and placed directly after the conditional article, while the verb (حَضَرَ) is delayed after the doer. This structure is commonly used in Standard Arabic and in literary text and in Holly Qur’an. Consider the following example:

English meaning


When (if) the sun is wound round, and when (if) the stars fall, and when the mountains are made to pass away. And when the pregnant female camels are neglected, and when wild beasts are gathered, and when the seas overflow, and when, and when the souls are coupled, and when the female buried (alive) is questioned: for what sin was she killed?....

إذا الشَّمْسُ كُوِّرَتْ، وإذا النُّجُومُ انْكَدَرَتْ، وإذا الْجِبالُ سُيِّرَتْ، وإذا العِشارُ عُطِّلَتْ، وَإذا الوُحُوشُ حُشِرَتْ، وَإذا الْبِحارُ سُجِّرَتْ،وإذا النُّفُوسُ زُوِّجَتْ، وَإذا الْمَوْءودَةُ سُئِلَتْ بِأيِّ ذَنْبٍ قُتِلَتْ

  • Most Arabic grammarians say that the verb of the condition in the above mentioned examples is omitted (not delayed), and the verb which comes after the doer is a verb of an explanatory sentence (in which the doer is latent pronoun related to the doer mentioned in advance).
  • To understand this clearly consider attentively the following explanation to this example




Conditional article


A doer of the omitted conditional verb of (حَضَرَ) which is interpreted by the following verbal sentence,


A new verb in an explanatory sentence, and its doer is a latent pronoun related to the doer of the conditional sentence


(أُساعِدُ) is the answer to the condition, its doer is latent (أنا), and the (ه) is a direct object

  • You may notice that these explanations do not affect the spoken language, and many modern Arabic grammar schools do not follow this way to avoid the confusion for their students, because of many virtual parts (إن (حَضَر) مُحَمَّدٌ حَضَرَ (هُوَ) أساعِدُهُ). We mentioned this to give our student idea about what he may meet in his advanced study or in traditional grammar schools.
  • There is one case the verb of the condition is practically omitted as follows:



Write the password, otherwise (and if not) you will not be allowed to enter.

اكتُبْ كَلِمَة المُرور، وَإلا لنْ يُسمحَ لكَ بالدُّخُول

  • In the above mentioned example the conditional article is attached to the negating article (i.e. وَإلا = وَإنْ + لا), and the verb of the condition is omitted (it is supposed to be (وَإنْ لا تكْتُبُ كَلِمَةَ المُرور and if you do not type the password…)
  • The verb of the condition cannot be placed before the conditional article, while the sentence of the answer has another rule that we will study later, In-Shā’-Allâh (God willing).
  • The verb of the condition cannot be a part of a question or in the imperative form, and cannot be conjugated in the future with “سَسَوْف” (it can indicate the meaning of the future even if it is conjugated in the past).


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