Lesson 83 – الدَّرْسُ الثَّالِثُ والثَّمانون

The style of astonishment - أُسْلُوبُ التَّعَجُّبِ

General rules of the two verbs of astonishment أَحْكامٌ خاصَّة بِفَعْلَي التَّعَجُّبِ

  • Let's Continue to learn Arabic through our free Arabic language course. This Arabic course contains Arabic grammar, Arabic syntax, Arabic morphology and more.
  • There are some general rules for each of the two patterns of Arabic astonishment mentioned above, as follows:
  • 1- The noun (which is the object of astonishment in the first pattern, or the agent of the verb of astonishment in the second pattern) has to be definite noun, otherwise (if it is indefinite) it has to be followed by a determiner (adjective or annexed noun).
  • This is because we cannot express that we admire unknown person, or which cannot be determined, i.e. we cannot say (ما أَشْجَعَ رَجُلاً) which means (how courageous is one man) it does not make sense because that man is unknown and cannot be determined. We can either say (ما أَشْجَعَ الرَّجُلَ) which practically means (how courageous is that man), or to say (ما أَشْجَعَ رَجُلَ الْبَيْتِ) which means (how courageous is the man of that house, or (ما أَشْجَعَ رَجُلاً رأيته) which means (how courageous is a man whom I saw) because in each of these two examples the noun is determined by the annexed noun or by the adjective.
  • 2- If the verb of astonishment has weak letter (long vowel) in the middle (i.e. a hollow verb see lesson 32), the long vowel has to be transformed to its origin (wāw or yā’). Consider the following weak verbs:










to excite

to be or become easy (for)

To be lost

English meaning

  • Now let’s see the astonishment forms of the above mentioned verbs:

ما أَرْوَعَهُ

ما أَهْـوَنَهُ

ما أَضْـيَـعَهُ

Astonishment pattern

How exciting is it (he)!

How easy is it!

How losing is he!

English meaning

  • 1- Sometimes, the verb of astonishment has a double consonant as follows:





To respond

To be glorious

To tighten


  • If we use one like the above mentioned verbs in the first pattern of astonishment (ما أفعلَ) there will not be any morphological change as in the following examples:



How strong is Muhammad

ما أَشَدَّ مُحَمَّدًا

How glorious is Islam

ما أَعّزَّ الإِسْلامَ

  • While if we use the above mentioned verbs (with double consonant) in the second pattern of astonishment, we have to break up the two similar consonants (and remove the shaddah), because the first one in the new pattern has to be signed with kasrah (the shaddah occurs when the first is signed with sukūn).
  •  Consider the following examples:



How strong  man is he!

أَشْدِدْ بِهِ مِنْ رَجُلٍ

How glorious religion is it!

أَعْزِزْ بِهِ مِنْ دِينٍ

  • 2- The object of the astonishment shouldn’t be separated from its preceding verb, with exception if the separator is a prepositional or a circumstantial phrase. Consider the following examples:



How good is your speech in the class!

ما أَحْسَنَ فِي الْفَصْلِ كَلامَكَ

How beautiful is the moon in the evening!

ما أَجْمَلَ فِي اللَّيْلِ الْقَمَرَ

How strong is your fight in the war!

ما أَشَدَّ فِي الْحَرْبِ قِتالَكَ