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    Masdar: The Verbal Noun

    By ArabicTree | April 12, 2008

    In English, we have something called “the verbal noun.” This is when you have adverb, and you refer to the act of doing that verb. Since we’re talking about the act of that verb, the verbal noun is a noun.

    For example, if the verb is “run,” the verbal noun is “running”–the act of running. (In general, in English, the verbal noun takes the pattern of “verb” + “ing.”)

    In Arabic, this is called the masdar (مَصدَر). The masdar takes the pattern of فُعُول (fu’ool). And, like in English, the masdar is a noun, not a verb.

    So for the verb kharaja, the masdar is khurooj (خُرُوج). For dakhala, the masdar is dukhool (دُخُول). For sajada, the masdar is sujood (سُجُود). For raka’a, the masdar is rukoo’ (رُكُوع).

    Since the masdar is a noun, it can take any tashkeel–damma, fatha, or kasra.

    If you have a bus with two doors–like they have in Sa’udi Arabia, or in Toronto–you might see the following sign:

    هَاذَا البَابُ لِدُخُولٍ وَ ذَالِكَ البَابُ لِخُرُوجٍ

    Translation: This door is for entering, and that door is for exiting.

    And here, notice, the masdar is majroor–because li is harful-jarr! The masdar is a noun, and so, it can take any case–marfoo’, majroor, and mansoob.

    Let’s look at another example, where the masdar is the mudaf ilayh:

    هَاذَا بَابُ دُخُولٍ وَ ذَالِكَ بَابُ خُرُوجٍ

    Translation: This is the door of exiting, and that is the door of entering.

    Notice, again, the masdar is majruwr, because it’s mudaf ilayh.

    How abot an example with a mansoob masdar? Check this out:

    رَأيتُ دُخُولَ المُدِيرِ

    Translation: I saw the entrance of the principal.

    Here, the masdar is the maf’ool bihi–the thing that we saw. It’s also definite (with single tanween), because it’s mudaaf.

    And that’s a brief introductry look at the masdar. For more advanced topics, check out the related posts.

    Topics: Grammar, Intermediate | 14 Comments »

    14 Responses to “Masdar: The Verbal Noun”

    1. What is Tayyib? « Tayyibaat Says:
      September 4th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

      [...] is said to be from 3 meanings: 1- plural of tayyibah 2- masdar of tayyib 3- feminine version of atyab اطيب‬‬ [...]

    2. Tooba! - Ilm Fruits Says:
      September 9th, 2008 at 8:51 pm

      [...] is said to be from 3 derivatives: 1- plural of tayyibah 2- masdar of tayyib 3- feminine version of the superlative, atyab [...]

    3. Nidaa Says:
      December 9th, 2008 at 3:25 am

      In the example where the Masdar is Mudaaf Ilaihi, why aren’t “dukhool” and “khurooj” definite? (Why not “baab-UL-Dukhooli” instead of “Baabu Dukhoolin”?)

    4. ArabicTree Says:
      December 9th, 2008 at 11:06 am

      I cannot comment, except to say: This is what’s in the Medinah Arabic books. I can speculate, though.

      When you add alif-lam, that makes it definite. If you add that to dukhool, you might roughly translate as “the door of THE entering.” But does that make sense? Can a masdar be definite? Allahu ‘alim. I don’t know.

    5. 3arabiyy wa 'amriiikiyy Says:
      February 14th, 2009 at 11:03 pm

      An iDaafa can be either definite OR indefinite. This is determined by whether or not there is an alif-laam before the LAST noun in the phrase. There would never be an alif-laam before any of the other nouns in the iDaafa. (Regardless of the definiteness of the iDaafa)

      a door for entering:
      باب لدخول

      the door for entering:
      باب للدخول
      (in this case, because of the لِ, the alif is dropped)

    6. ArabicTree Says:
      August 27th, 2009 at 12:41 pm

      Jazakumullahu khayran; you’re absolutely right.

    7. Tayyibaat » Blog Archive » Increase in Istighfar Says:
      November 28th, 2009 at 3:58 pm

      [...] is said to be from 3 meanings: 1- plural of tayyibah 2- masdar of tayyib 3- feminine version of atyab اطيب‬‬ [...]

    8. abdullah Says:
      June 16th, 2010 at 11:12 pm

      answer for nidaa..
      it is not dukhuli and it is dukhulin because it does not have ‘alif lam’

    9. What is Tayyib? | Ilm Centre Says:
      November 1st, 2010 at 3:50 am

      [...] is said to be from 3 meanings: 1- plural of tayyibah 2- masdar of tayyib 3- feminine version of atyab اطيب‬‬ [...]

    10. huda Says:
      February 21st, 2011 at 5:59 am

      You many grammatical and spelling mistakes. you need to change all what you have incorrectly written above. For example the word “this” should not be written “هذا” “هاذا”. and many more.

    11. carla Says:
      May 4th, 2011 at 4:20 am

      Could anubody help me to get a list of masdars
      of the I derivate verbs, like to ask etc.
      since these are irregular. thanks a lot.

    12. Jance Says:
      June 11th, 2011 at 7:28 am

      so if I wanted to say
      “I changed my mind about going to the cinema”
      I write the Masdar of “go”?
      Am I right?
      reply will be appreciated.

    13. jen Says:
      August 31st, 2011 at 8:12 am

      may I ask why are some “masdar” not in dicitionaries?
      Like for example,”To give hope” = “am-ma-la”
      What’s the masdar for this?

    14. Hanna Says:
      December 7th, 2011 at 6:58 pm

      what is the masdar for