Lesson 50– الدَّرْسُ الْخَمْسُونَ

Verbal Nouns  - أَسْمَاءُ الأَفْعَال

Definition and Usage

  • We are still in lesson fifty of our free Arabic language course. This Arabic course with images and audios will help you learn Arabic.
  • The Arabic verbal noun is a word that does the function of a verb in terms of meaning, but the same rules of the verb do not apply to it. Let’s explain this in the following points:
  • The Arabic verbal noun replaces the verb in terms of meaning, i.e. this noun is indeclinable, but its meaning in the sentence is the verb’s meaning. View the following examples:


Sentence with verb

Sentence with verbal noun


It is impossible to get what you want

بَعُدَ بَيْنَكَ، وَبَيْنَ ما تُرِيدُ.

/baξuda baynaka wa bayna mā turīdu/

هَيْهَاتَ بَيْنَكَ وبَيْنَ مَا تُريدُ.

/hayhāta baynaka wa bayna mā turīdu/


I suffer from this pain

أَتَوَجَّعُ مِنْ هذا الأَلَمِ.

/Atawaĵĵaξu min hādhā al-alami/

آهِ مِنْ هَذا الأَلَمِ.

/āhi min hādhā al-al'ami/


Give Zaydan grace period because he is poor

أَمْهِلْ زَيْدًا؛ فَإنَّهُ فَقِير.

/Amhil zaydan fa-innahu faqīrun//

رُوَيْدًا زَيْدًا فَإنَّهُ فَقِيرٌ.

/ruwaydan zaydan fa-innahu faqīrun//


  • In the table above, you notice that the meaning does not change whether we use the verbal noun itself or the verb that has an equivalent meaning. You notice also that both of them, whether present, past or imperative, have the same influence on the same sentence.
  • We also notice that the difference between the verb and the verbal noun is that the pronoun linked to the verb changes, whether singular, dual or plural, male or female, while in the case of the verbal noun the pronoun never changes and remains as it is in all cases. The following examples show this clearly:

الطَّالِباتُ بَعُدْنَ

/aŧ-ŧâlibātu baξudna/

الطُّلابُ بَعُدُوا

/aŧ-ŧullābu baξudū/

الطَّالبان بَعُدَا

/aŧ-ŧâlibāni baξudā/

بَعُدَتِ الطَّالِبَة

/baξudat iŧ-ŧâlibatu/

الطالب بَعُدَ

/aŧ-ŧâlibu baξuda/

Example with verb

هَيْهَات الطَّالِباتُ

/hayhāt aŧ-ŧâlibātu/

هَيْهَات الطُّلابُ

/hayhāt aŧ-ŧullābu/

هَيْهَات الطَّالبان

/hayhāt aŧ-ŧâlibāni/

هَيْهَات الطَّالِبَة

/hayhāt aŧ-ŧâlibatu/

هَيْهَات الطَّالِبُ

/hayhāt aŧ-ŧâlibu/

Example with verbal noun

It is impossible for the student(s) to …


  • After learning the difference between the verb and the verbal noun in Arabic, we notice that the verbal noun does a function similar to that of the verb, whether it is in the past, present or imperative. However, there is a difference between the use of the verb and the verbal noun in Arabic. Here a question is posed: why do we sometimes use the verb and in other times use the verbal noun?
  • The difference is that the verbal noun gives more intensiveness and a feeling of the meaning given by the verb. For example, when you hear the verbal noun “آه” /ah/ in all languages, this gives you a greater feeling of the extent of the pain one suffers than when you hear the verb أَتأَلَّم (I have a pain).