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The imperative verb in Arabic | الْفِعْلُ الأَمْرُ

Introduction

In Arabic, the imperative refers to the command form of a verb. This command can be categorized into:

 

  1. Direct Command: Addressed to the second person.
  2. Indirect Command: More subtle or implied.

For the Direct Command, here are some examples:

 

اِضْرِبْ

(you) hit

 

 

 

اُنْظُرْ

(you) look

 

 

 

اِشْرَبْ

(you) drink

 

 

 

In Arabic, commands can also be directed towards the first or third person. This form is termed the indirect command, or الْأَمْرُ لِلْغَائِبِ و الْمُتَكَلِّمِ.

 

Illustrative examples include:

 

لِيَضْرِبْ

He should hit

 

 

 

لِأَنْصُرْ

I should help

 

 

 

لِأَشْرَبْ

I should drink

 

 

 

1. Direct Imperative - أَمْرٌ لِلْمُخَاطَبِ

As previously mentioned, the direct imperative is derived from the imperfect tense in the second person, for both masculine and feminine forms. Let’s explore how the second person imperfect tense transitions into the imperative verb form.

A. The imperative form of فَعَلَ

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

تَفْعَلُ

You do / will do

 

Dual

تَفْعَلانِ

You both do / will do

 

Plural

تَفْعَلُوْنَ

You all do / will do

 

 

 

 

2nd person feminine

Singular

تَفْعَلِيْنَ

You do / will do

 

Dual

تَفْعَلانِ

You both do / will do

 

Plural

تَفْعَلْنَ

You all do / will do

 

 

 

Step 1: Refer to the provided imperfect tense table and remove the indicator of the second person imperfect tense, “تَ”, as illustrated in the table below:

 

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

فْعَلُ

 

 

Dual

فْعَلانِ

 

Plural

فْعَلُوْنَ

 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

فْعَلِيْنَ

 

 

Dual

فْعَلانِ

 

 

Plural

فْعَلْنَ

 

 

Step 2: Replace the ‘ت’ with a hamza. If the second radical of the imperfect tense carries a fatha or kasrah, the prefixed hamza will take a kasrah. If the second radical has a dammah, the prefixed alif will also have a dammah. Note that the prefixed hamza in the command form will never have a fatha.

 

2nd person masculine

Singular

اِفْعَلُ

 

 

Dual

اِفْعَلانِ

 

 

Plural

اِفْعَلُوْنَ

 

 

2nd person feminine

Singular

اِفْعَلِيْنَ

 

 

Dual

اِفْعَلانِ

 

 

Plural

اِفْعَلْنَ

 

 

The prefixed hamza is termed as ‘hamzatul wasl’ – هَمْزِةُ الْوَصْلِ, meaning ‘the joining hamza’. While it is represented in writing, it isn’t pronounced. Instead, it seamlessly connects the preceding word to the subsequent one.

 

Step 3: In the masculine singular form, the final letter will have a sukoon. All instances of the letter ‘nun’ ن are omitted, except in the feminine plural. The resulting command form will appear as follows:

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

اِفْعَلْ

Do

 

 

Dual

اِفْعَلا

Do (you both)

 

 

Plural

اِفْعَلُوْا

Do (you all)

 

 

 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

اِفْعَلِيْ

Do

 

 

Dual

اِفْعَلا

Do (you both)

 

 

Plural

اِفْعَلْنَ

Do (you all)

 

 

 

B. The imperative form of فَتَحَ

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

اِفْعَلِيْ

Do

 

 

Singular

اِفْتَحْ

Open

 

 

Dual

اِفْتَحَا

Open (you both)

 

 

Plural

اِفْتَحُوْا

Open (you all)

 

 

 

Dual

اِفْعَلا

Do (you both)

 

 

 

Plural

اِفْعَلْنَ

Do (you all)

 

 

 

 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

اِفْتَحِيْ

Open

 

 

Dual

اِفْتَحَا

Open (you both)

 

 

Plural

اِفْتَحْنَ

Open (you all)

 

 

 

C. The Imperative form of ضَرَبَ

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

اِفْتَحِيْ

Open

 

 

Dual

اِفْتَحَا

Open (you both)

 

 

Plural

اِفْتَحْنَ

Open (you all)

 

 

 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

اِضْرِبِيْ

Strike

 

 

Dual

اِضْرِبا

Strike (you both)

 

 

Plural

اِضْرِبْنَ

Strike (you all)

 

 

D. Imperative form of نَصَرَ

2nd person maculine

 

Singular

اُنْصُرْ

Help

 

 

Dual

اُنْصُرَا

Help (you both)

 

 

Plural

اُنْصُرُوا

Help (you all)

 

 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

اُنْصُرِيْ

Help

 

 

Dual

اُنْصُرَا

Help (you both)

 

 

Plural

اُنْصُرْنَ

Help (you all)

 

Example of the direct command of the imperative verbs in the Holy Quran

 

وَأَنِ اعْبُدُونِي ۚ هَـٰذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ

 

 

And that you worship [only] Me? This is a straight path. (36:61)

 

 

 

ارْكُضْ بِرِجْلِكَ ۖ هَـٰذَا مُغْتَسَلٌ بَارِدٌ وَشَرَابٌ 

 

 

 

[So he was told], “Strike [the ground] with your foot; this is a [spring for] a cool bath and drink.” (38:42)

 

 

 

 وَقُلْنَا يَا آدَمُ اسْكُنْ أَنتَ وَزَوْجُكَ الْجَنَّةَ

 

 

And We said, “O Adam, dwell, you and your wife, in Paradise (2:35)

 

2. The Hamazated verb at the imperative form

The imperative fof Hamzated verbs - Arabic free courses

A. First radical hamza

In Arabic, the imperative is constructed by eliminating the prefix ت, which indicates the imperfect tense. Additionally, for verbs beginning with a hamza, this initial hamza is also omitted. Unlike other verbs, there’s no need to add a prefixed hamza when forming the imperative for such verbs.

The imperative form of hamzated verb أَكَلَ

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

كُلْ

Eat

 

 

Dual

كُلَا

Eat (you both)

 

 

Plural

كُلُوْا

Eat (you all)

 

 

 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

كُلِيْ

Eat

 

 

Dual

كُلَا

Eat (you both)

 

 

Plural

كُلْنَ

Eat (you all)

 

 

 

Examples of the hamzated verbs of the imperative form used in the Noble Quran

 

فَكُلِي وَاشْرَبِي وَقَرِّي عَيْنًا

 

 

So eat and drink and be contented (19:26)

 

 

 

خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً تُطَهِّرُهُمْ وَتُزَكِّيهِم بِهَا وَصَلِّ عَلَيْهِمْ

 

 

Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [Allah ‘s blessings] upon them (9:103)

 

 

 

وَكُلَا مِنْهَا رَغَدًا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا

 

 

and eat therefrom in [ease and] abundance from wherever you will. (2:35)

 

 

Some hamzated verbs, however, diverge from this standard pattern and adopt the hamzatul wasl when crafted into the imperative form.

 

 

The imperative form of hamzated verb أَذِنَ

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

اِئْذَنْ

Permit

 

 

Dual

اِئْذَنَا

Permit (you both)

 

 

Plural

اِئْذَنُوْا

Permit (you all)

 

 

 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

اِئْذَنِي

Permit

 

 

Dual

اِئْذَنَا

Permit (you both)

 

 

Plural

اِئْذَنَّ

Permit (you all)

 

 

B. Second radical Hamza

The imperative form of the hamzated verb سَأَلَ

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

سَلْ – اِسْأَلْ

Ask

 

 

Dual

سَلَا – اِسْأَلَا

Ask (you both)

 

 

Plural

سَلُوْا- اِسْأَلُوْا

Ask (you all)

 

 
2nd person feminine

 

Singular

سَلِي – اِسْأَلِيْ

Ask

 

 

Dual

سَلا – اِسْأَلا

Ask (you both)

 

 

Plural

سَلْنَ – اِسْأَلْنَ

Ask (you all)

 

 

The pattern for سَأَلَ can be formulated either with the inclusion of hamzatul wasl or without it, as illustrated in the preceding table.

 

Examples of Hamzated Verbs from the Holy Quran

 

سَلْ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ كَمْ آتَيْنَاهُم مِّنْ آيَةٍ بَيِّنَةٍ

 

 

Ask the Children of Israel how many a sign of evidence We have given them.  (2:211)

 

 

 

وَاسْأَلِ الْقَرْيَةَ الَّتِي كُنَّا فِيهَا 

 

 

And ask the city in which we were (12:82)

C. Third radical Hamza

The imperative form of the hamazated verb قَرَأَ

2nd person masculine

Singular

اِقْرَأْ

Read

 

 

Dual

اِقْرَءَا

Read (you both)

 

 

Plural

اِقْرَءُوْا

Ask (you all)

 

 

 
2nd person feminine

 

Singular

اِقْرَئِي

Read

 

 

Dual

اِقْرَءَا

Read (you both)

 

 

Plural

اِقْرَئْنَ

Ask (you all)

 

 

 

 

Example used in the Noble Quran

 

اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ

 

 

Recite in the name of your Lord who created (96:1)

 

3. Formulating the Imperative for Weak Verbs in Arabic

Imperative form of weak verb | Arabic free courses

A. Weak verbs: First radical و or ى

For weak verbs beginning with و, the ت from the imperfect tense is omitted, resulting in the formation of the Arabic imperative without incorporating the hamzatul wasl.

The imperative form of the weak verb  يَئِسَ

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

إِيْئَسْ

Grieve

 

 

Dual

إِيْئَسا

Grieve (you both)

 

 

Plural

إِيْئَسْنُوْا

Brieve (you all)

 

 
 
2nd person feminine

Singular

إِيْئَسِي

Grieve

 

 

Dual

إِيْئَسَا

Grieve (you both)

 

 

Plural

إِيْئَسْنَ

Brieve (you all)

 

 

For weak verbs where the first radical is ى, the ت from the imperfect tense is eliminated, and the imperative is then formed by introducing the hamzatul wasl

The imperative form of the weak verb  وَعَدَ

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

عِدْ

Promise

 

 

Dual

عِدَا

Promise (you both)

 

 

Plural

عِدُوْا

Promise (you all)

 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

عِدِي

Promise

 

 

Dual

عِدَا

Promise (you both)

 

 

Plural

عِدْنَ

Promise (you all)

 

 

 

3. Formulating the Imperative for Hollow Verbs in Arabic

The imperative form of   قَالَ

In this case, the imperative is created by omitting the ت from the imperfect tense, without adding the hamzatul wasl.

2nd person masculine

Singular

قُلْ

Say

 

 

Dual

قُولَا

Say (you both)

 

 

Plural

قُولُوْا

Say (you all)

 

 

 
2nd person feminine

Singular

قُولِي

Say

 

 

Dual

قُولَا

Say (you both)

 

 

Plural

قُلْنَ

Say (you all)

 

The imperative form of  بَاعَ

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

بِعْ

Sell

 

 

Dual

بِيْعَا

You sell (you both)

 

 

Plural

بِيْعُوْا

Sell (you all)

 

 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

بِيْعِي

Sell

 

 

Dual

بِيْعَا

You sell (you both)

 

 

Plural

بِعْنَ

Sell (you all)

 

 

 

 

4. Formulating the Imperative for Defective verbs in Arabic

In this instance, the ت from the imperfect tense is omitted, and the imperative form is prefixed with hamzatul wasl. For both masculine and feminine singular forms, the weak letters of the verb are excluded.

A. The imperative form of the weak verb  دَعَا

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

أُدْعُ

Call

 

 

Dual

أُدْعُوَا

Call  (you both)

 

 

Plural

أُدْعُوْا

Call (you all)

 

 

 

 

2nd person feminine

Singular

أُدْعِي

Call

 

 

Dual

أُدْعُوَا

Call  (you both)

 

 

Plural

أُدْعُوْنَ

Call (you all)

 

 

 

B. The imperative form of   رَمَى

2nd person masculine

Singular

إِرْمِ

Throw

 

 

Dual

إِرْمِيَا

Throw (you both)

 

 

Plural

إِرْمُوْا

Throw (you all)

 

 

 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

إِرْمِي

Throw

 

 

Dual

إِرْمِيَا

Throw (you both)

 

 

Plural

إِرْمِيْنَ

Throw (you all)

 

 

 

C. The imperative form of the weak verb  لَقِيَ

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

اِلْقَ

Meet

 

 

Dual

اِلْقَيَا

Meet (you both)

 

 

Plural

اِلْقُوْا

Meet (you all)

 

 

 
2nd person feminine

 

Singular

اِلْقِي

Meet

 

 

Dual

اِلْقَيَا

Meet (you both)

 

 

Plural

اِلْقَيْنَ

Meet (you all)

 

 

 

 

D. The imperative form of the weak verb  رَأَى

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

رَ

See

 

 

Dual

رَيَا

See (you both)

 

 

Plural

رَوْا

See (you all)

 

 

 
2nd person feminine

Singular

رَيْ

See

 

 

Dual

رَيَا

See (you both)

 

 

Plural

رَيْنَ

See (you all)

 

 

 

 

Since رَأَى is a hamzated weak verb, it exhibits a unique pattern deviation.

Examples of Imperative Forms of Weak Verbs Found in the Holy Quran

 

كُلُوا وَارْعَوْا أَنْعَامَكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّأُولِي النُّهَىٰ 

 

 

Eat [therefrom] and pasture your livestock. Indeed, in that are signs for those of intelligence. (20:54)

 

 

 

قُلْ فَأْتُوا بِالتَّوْرَاةِ فَاتْلُوهَا إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

 

 

“So bring the Torah and recite it, if you should be truthful.” (3:93)

 

 

 

 ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ

 

 

Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. (16:125)

 

 

4.Imperative Conjugation of Doubly Weak Verbs

Doubly weak verbs | Imperfect tense - Arabic free courses

In this case, the imperative is constructed by omitting the weak letter ى and the indicator of the imperfect tense, ت.

A. The imperative form of وَقَى

2nd person masculine

Singular

قِ

Save

 

 

Dual

قِيَا

Save (you both)

 

 

Plural

قُوْا

Save (you all)

 

 

 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

قِيْ

Save

 

 

Dual

قِيَا

Save (you both)

 

 

Plural

قِيْنَ

Save (you all)

 

 

 

Examples from the Holy Quran

 

  وَمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

 

 

But among them is he who says, “Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” (2:201)

 

 

5. Imperative for doubled verbs

The imperative is made by prefixing hamzatul wasl after dropping the sign of the imperfect tense ت.

The imperative form of غَضَّ

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

أُغْضُضْ

Lower your voice /eyes

 

 

Dual

أُغْضُضَا

Lower (you both) your voice /eyes

 

 

Plural

أُغْضُضُوا

Lower (you all) your voice /eyes

 

 

 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

أُغْضُضِ

Lower your voice /eyes

 

 

Dual

أُغْضُضَا

Lower (you both) your voice /eyes

 

 

Plural

أُغْضُضْنَ

Lower (you all) your voice /eyes

 

 

 

Examples used in the Holy Quran

 

  وَاقْصِدْ فِي مَشْيِكَ وَاغْضُضْ مِن صَوْتِكَ ۚ إِنَّ أَنكَرَ الْأَصْوَاتِ لَصَوْتُ الْحَمِيرِ

 

 

 

 

And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys.” (31:19)

 

6. Indirect Command of the imperative verb

The imperative verb | indirect Command - Arabic free courses

The indirect command is conveyed using the third and first-person imperfect tense. This is achieved by prefixing the jussive with the letter لِ. This specific prefix is termed the ‘lam of command’ or لَامُ الْأَمْرِ.

Indirect form of the imperative verb - فَعَلَ

3rd person masculine

Singular

لِيَفْعَلْ

He should do

 

 

Dual

لِيَفْعَلَا

They both should do

 

 

Plural

لِيَفْعَلُوْا

They all should do

 

 

 

3rd person feminine

 

Singular

لِيَفْعَلْ

He should do

 

 

Dual

لِيَفْعَلَا

They both should do

 

 

Plural

لِيَفْعَلْنَ

They all should do

 

 

 

 

1st person masculine/feminine

Singular

لِأَفْعَلْ

I should do

 

 

Dual

 

 

Plural

لِنَفْعَلْ

We should do

 

 

 

When the ‘lam of command’ (لِ) is added to the imperfect tense, the final letter of both the third-person singular and first-person singular and plural takes a sukoon.

 

For the dual and plurals, the ن is omitted, with the exception of the third-person feminine plural.

 

Examples of Indirect Commands from the Holy Quran

 

وَنَادَوْا يَا مَالِكُ لِيَقْضِ عَلَيْنَا رَبُّكَ ۖ قَالَ إِنَّكُم مَّاكِثُونَ

 

And they will call, “O Malik, let your Lord put an end to us!” He will say, “Indeed, you will remain.” (43:77)

 

 

Note: When lam of command لِ is preceded by a و or a ف, the kasrah of the لِ is changed to sukoon.

 

 

فَلْيَعْبُدُوا رَبَّ هَـٰذَا الْبَيْتِ

 

 

Let them worship the Lord of this House, (106:3)

 

 

 

قُلْ مَن كَانَ فِي الضَّلَالَةِ فَلْيَمْدُدْ لَهُ الرَّحْمَـٰنُ مَدًّا ۚ

 

 

Say, “Whoever is in error – let the Most Merciful extend for him an extension [in wealth and time] (19:75)

Conclusion

Concluding our Arabic Lesson: We have now wrapped up this lesson on Arabic commands. In our upcoming session, insha’Allah, we will delve into transitive and intransitive verbs in Arabic.

 

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My Qur’an teacher is fantastic, she teaches me in a loving and kind way where I look forward to the lessons and learn so much. My Arabic teacher is equally as nice and has a lot of patience with me, she has great expertise in the field and I’ve progressed really quickly with her. Thank you Al-dirassa!

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1 year ago
Anonymous
Anonymous
Verified ownerVerified owner
3/5

Some of the teacher are very good

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2 years ago

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Rated by our students: 4.7 / 5
4.7/5

Arabic For Beginners for FREE

GET NOW YOUR EBOOK FOR FREE

free arabic book

Al-dirassa Institute offers you a gift to help you begin your journey to being fluent in Arabic and learning the Quran.

Arabic For Beginners for FREE

GET NOW YOUR EBOOK FOR FREE

free arabic book

Al-dirassa Institute offers you a gift to help you begin your journey to being fluent in Arabic and learning the Quran.