Lesson 33– الدَّرْسُ الثَّالِثُ وَالثَّلاثُونَ

Transitive and Intransitive Verbs – الفِعْلُ المُتَعَدِّي والْفِعْلُ اللازِمُ

Cases of transitive verbs – أَنْوَاعُ الْفِعْلِ الْمُتَعَدِّي

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  • We have already learnt that the Arabic intransitive verb does not have a direct object. Here we will discuss in detail the cases of the Arabic transitive verbs, as follows:
    1. Transitive verbs with one direct object.
    2. Transitive verbs with two direct objects.
    3. Transitive verbs with three direct objects.

The object





Muhammad put the clothes on

لَبِسَ مُحَمَّدٌ الثَّوْبَ

With one direct object.



Ibrahim dressed Muhammad [with] the garment

أَلْبَسَ إبْرَاهِيمُ مُحَمَّدًا الثَّوْبَ

With two direct objects.




The teacher told the student [that] the exam is difficult

أخْبَرَ الأُسْتَاذُ الطُّلابَ الامْتِحَانَ صَعْبًا

With three direct objects.

  • The examples above show that there are three cases of the transitive verb:

A.   Transitive verb with one direct object:




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The teacher smelled sweet odour in the class

شَمَّ الأسْتاذُ في الفَصْلِ رَائحَةً طَيِّبَةً

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The student understood the lesson

فَهِمَ الطَّالِبُ الدَّرْسَ

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The guests ate the food

أَكَلَ الضُّيُوفُ الطَّعَامَ

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The friends drank the juice

شَرِبَ الأَصْدِقاءُ العَصِيرَ

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The student did his homework

كَتَبَ التِلْمِيذُ وَاجِبَهُ

B.   Transitive verbs with two objects:

  •  The second case is that the transitive verb has two direct objects, as in the following example:

أعطى إبْرَاهِيمُ مُحَمَّدًا كتابًا

Ibrahim gave Muhammad a book.

  • In this example, the action of the verb “أَعْطَى” affects two objects, namely “Muhammad” and “a book” in this example.
  • Study the following similar examples of transitive verbs with two objects:




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The rich man gave alms to the poor man

أَعْطَى الغَنِيُّ الفَقِيرَ صَدَقَةً

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The director awarded a prize [to] the teacher

مَنَحَ المُدِيرُ الأسْتَاذَ جَائِزَةً

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Khalid dressed the poor man [with] a garment

كَسَا خَالِدٌ الفَقِيرَ ثَوْبًا

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The student thought the exam [is] easy

ظَنَّ الطَّالِبُ الامْتِحانَ سَهْلا

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People realized [that] the truth [is] painful

عَلِمَ النَّاسُ الحَقَّ مُرًّا

C.   Transitive verbs with three objects:

  •  The third case, which is rare in Arabic, is when a transitive verb has three objects. This verb is usually formed by prefixing the verbs that has two objects with a hamza. This rule can be summed up as follows:

Hamza+a verb with two objects = verb with three objects

أ  +  فِعْلٌ يَنْصِبُ مَفْعُولَيْنِ   =  فِعْلٌ يَنْصِبُ ثَلاثَةَ مَفَاعِيلَ

  • Examples:

أ  +    عَلِمَ                     =   أَعْلَمَ

أ  +    خَبَرَ                    =  أَخْبَرَ

أ  +    رَأَى                    =  أَرَى

  • View the following examples:




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I told the people success [is] easy

أَعْلَمْتُ النَّاسَ النَّجَاحَ سَهْلا

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The radio told the people the celebration [had been] postponed

أَخْبَرَتِ الإذاعَةُ النَّاسَ الحَفْلَ مُؤَجَّلا

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I told the illiterate person [that] reading [is] useful

أَعْلَمْتُ الأُمِيَّ القِرَاءَةَ مُفِيدَةً