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:
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:
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:
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.