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Lesson 62 – الدَّرْسُ الثّانِي والسِّتُّونَ

/kāda/ and its sisters - كَادَ وَأخَوَاتُها

Verbs of initiative /afξāl ash shurūξ/ – (أفْعال الشُّروع: بَدَأَ، أَخَذَ، شَرَعَ، جَعَلَ، طَفِقَ، أَنْشَأَ)

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  • This is the third and the last group of the Arabic annuller verbs /kāda/ and its sisters. This group consists of six verbs as shown above.
  • The six verbs of this group add the meaning of initiative to the following sentence, i.e. they mean that the subject started doing the action of the verb which is in the predicate. E.g. when we say (بَدَأ مُحَمَّدٌ يَكْتُبُ) this does not mean that the action of writing is done or finished, instead it means that the doer started doing it.
  • It is obvious that the six verbs are synonyms, i.e. they have approximately the same meaning (to begin or to start). Nevertheless some of them can be used in other meaning. In such case they are not sisters of /kāda/, instead they are normal (regular) verbs, i.e. they need a doer and a direct object, and their sentence is a verbal sentence, please consider the following examples:


Other meaning


Annuller meaning









The student took the book

أَخَذَ الطَّالِبُ الكِتَابَ

/akhadha aŧ ŧâlibu al kitāba/


The student started to write

أخَذَ الطَّالِبُ يَكْتُبُ

/akhadha aŧ ŧâlibu yaktubu/




I changed the cloth into a dress

جَعَلْتُ القُمَاشَ ثَوْبًا

/ĵaξaltu al qumāsha θawban/


Change or make

The teacher started to explain the lesson

جَعَلَ الأُسْتَاذُ يَشْرَحُ الدَّرْسَ

/ĵaξala al ustādhu yashraħu ad darsa/




The engineer build (constructed) a big factory

أَنْشَأَ المُهَنْدِسُ مَصْنَعًا كَبيرًا

/ansha’a al muhandisu maŝnaξan kabīran/

Build or construct

The accountant started to count the money

أَنْشَأَ المُحَاسِبُ يَعُدُّ النُّقُودَ

/ansha’a al muħāsibu yaξuddu an nuqūda/




  • From the above mentioned examples we understand that the three verbs (أَخَذَجَعَلَ - أَنْشَأَ) should mean (started, or set out to) in order to intervene in the nominal sentence and to be annuller verbs. If they don’t mean (started) they will be regular verbs in a normal verbal sentence which is consists of a verb, an agent, and a direct object.
  • Now let’s study together the six verbs with examples in the table below:



Annuller verb


Arabic lesson image

Mohamed started to sleep early

بَدَأَ مُحَمَّدٌ يَنَامُ مُبَكِّرًا

/bada’a muħammadun yanāmu mubakkiran/


/bada’a/ lesson image

The man set out to gobble (swallow up) the food

أَخَذَ الرَّجُلُ يَلْتَهِمُ الطَّعَامَ

/akhadha ar raĵulu yaltahimu aŧ ŧaξāma/


/akhadha/ lesson image

The man set out to fish

شَرَعَ الرَّجُلُ يَصِيدُ السَّمَكَ

/sharaξa ar raĵulu yaŝīdu as samaka/


/sharaξa/ lesson image

The teacher set out to explain the lesson

جَعَلَ الأُسْتَاذُ يَشْرَحُ الدَّرْسَ

/ĵaξala al ustādhu yashraħu ad darsa/


/ĵaξala/ lesson image

The leaves set out to fall down from the trees

طَفِقَ الوَرَقُ يَسْقُطُ من الشَّجَرِ

/ŧafiqa al waraqu yasquŧu min ash shaĵari/


/ŧafiqa/ lesson image

The student started to write his lesson

أَنْشَأَ التِّلْمِيذُ يَكْتُبُ دَرْسَهُ

/ansha’a at tilmīdhu yaktubu darsahu/



  • From the above mentioned table we may notice the following:
    - All the six verbs of this group of annuller verbs are used only in the past tense.
    - The verbal predicate of these verbs is never precede by (
    أنْ/an) the accusative particle meaning (that or to).
  • Nb.: the grammatical effect of the annuller verbs /kāda/ and its sisters is not evident, i.e. their effect on the predicate (to be changed into accusative case) is supposed, because the predicate is not a single noun. It is instead a verbal sentence. The sentence cannot be signed with fatħah. Therefore do not worry about the application of the grammatical rules related to this lesson, because it is just theoretical. You are only requested to understand the changes of the meanings which are added by the annuller verbs.