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The passive verb in Arabic | Arabic free course

The passive verb in Arabic - الْفِعْلُ الماضِي المَجْهُولُ

Introduction

The active voice verb, known as اَلْفِعْلُ الْمَعْرُوْفُ, is where the subject, or the doer of the action, is explicitly mentioned. We have extensively covered these types of verbs in previous chapters, particularly those following the patterns of فَعَلَ – فَعِلَ – فَعُلَ. However, Arabic also features the concept of an unknown or passive verb.

 

  Example:  

 

 أَن سَخِطَ اللَّـهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَفِي الْعَذَابِ هُمْ خَالِدُونَ

 

That Allah has become angry with them, and in the punishment, they will abide eternally. (5:80)

 

 

 

حَتَّىٰ إِذَا بَلَغَ مَغْرِبَ الشَّمْسِ

 

Until, when he reached the setting of the sun (18:86)

 

 

 

In Arabic, we refer to the passive voice of a verb as الفِعْلُ المَجْهُولُ (the unknown verb). In this form, the subject or the doer of the action is not explicitly specified. Typically, we derive passive verbs from transitive verbs – الفِعْلُ الْمُتَعَدِّي, and they consist of two components: the passive verb itself and the object acting as the subject, as there is no explicit doer (فَاعِل) present. Therefore, the object will take the harakah of the subject, which is usually a dammah. In Arabic, this object is referred to as نَائِبُ الفَاعِل (the deputy of the doer).

 

 

For example:

 

 

وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَابُ

 

 

And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open] (18:49)

 

 

 

 

الْكِتَابُ = نَائِبُ الفَاعِل وُضِعَ= المَجْهُوْلُ  

 

 

 

In Arabic, the formation of a passive verb involves changing the harakah (vowel marking) of the active participle, which follows the pattern فَعَلَ – فَعِلَ – فَعُلَ, to فُعِلَ. This change is consistent across all verbs. Specifically, it involves replacing the original vowel markings with a dammah (ٌ) on the first radical and a kasrah (ٍ) on the second radical.

1. The passive verb of consonants - الصَّحِيحُ

The passive verb of consonants - Arabic free courses

A. Table of رُفِعَ

3rd person masculine

 

Singular

 

رُفِعَ

 

He was raised

 

Dual

 

رُفِعَا

 

They two were raised.

 

Plural

 

رُفِعُوا

 

They all were raised.

 

 

 

3rd person feminine

 

Singular

 

رُفِعَتْ

 

She was raised

 

Dual

 

رُفِعَتَا

 

They two were raised.

 

Plural

 

رُفِعْنَ

 

They all were raised.

 

 

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

 

رُفِعْتَ

 

You were raised

 

Dual

 

رُفِعْتُمَا

 

You two were raised.

 

Plural

 

رُفِعْتُمْ

 

You all were raised.

 

 

 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

 

رُفِعْتِ

 

You were raised

 

Dual

 

رُفِعْتُمَا

 

You two were raised.

 

Plural

 

رُفِعْتُنَّ

 

You all were raised.

 

 

 

First-person (masculine/feminine)

 

Singular

 

رُفِعْتُ

 

I was raised

 

Dual

 

 

Plural

 

رُفِعْنَا

 

We were raised.

 

 

B. Table of نُصِرَ and سُمِعَ:

3rd person masculine

 

Singular

 

نُصِرَ

 

He was helped

 

Dual

 

نُصِرَا

 

They two were helped.

 

Plural

 

نُصِرُوا

 

They all were helped.

 

 

 

3rd person feminine

 

Singular

 

نُصِرَتْ

 

She was helped

 

Dual

 

نُصِرَتَا

 

They two were helped.

 

Plural

 

نُصِرَنَ

 

They all were helped.

 

 

 

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

 

نُصِرَتَ

 

You were helped

 

Dual

 

نُصِرَتُمَا

 

You two were helped.

 

Plural

 

نُصِرَتُمْ

 

You all were helped.

 

 

 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

 

نُصِرَتِ

 

You were helped

 

Dual

 

نُصِرَتُمَا

 

You two were helped.

 

Plural

 

نُصِرَتُنَّ

 

You all were helped.

 

 

 

First-person (masculine/feminine)

 

Singular

 

نُصِرَتُ

 

I was helped

 

Dual

 

 

Plural

 

نُصِرَنَا

 

We were helped

 

 

C. Examples from the Holy Quran Illustrating Passive Verbs

وَجُمِعَ الشَّمْسُ وَالْقَمَرُ

 

And the sun and the moon are joined (75:9)

 

 

 

 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُحَادُّونَ اللَّـهَ وَرَسُولَهُ كُبِتُوا كَمَا كُبِتَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ

 

Indeed, those who oppose Allah and His Messenger are abased as those before them were abased. (58:5)

 

 

 

 وَفُتِحَتِ السَّمَاءُ فَكَانَتْ أَبْوَابًا

 

And the heaven is opened and will become gateways. (78:19)

 

 

2. Passive Hamzated verb

Passive Hamzated verb - Arabic free courses

Introduction

The Passive Hamzated verb is when hamza أ comes as the first, second, or third radical, as in أَكَلَ – سَأَلَ or قَرَأَ. The passive voice is formed on the same pattern as that of فُعِلَ. In this case, the first radical bears a dammah -ُ and the second radical bears a kasrah -ِ. The following tables illustrate their conjugation.

A. Table of the passive hamzated verb  أُمِرَ:

3rd person masculine

 

Singular

 

أُمِرَ

 

He was commanded

 

Dual

 

أُمِرَا

 

They were two commanded

 

Plural

 

أُمِرُوْا

 

They all were commanded

 

 
 

3rd person feminine

 

Singular

 

أُمِرَتْ

 

She was commanded

 

Dual

 

أُمِرَتَا

 

They were two commanded

 

Plural

 

أُمِرْنَ

 

They all were commanded

 

 

 

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

 

أُمِرْتَ

 

You were commanded

 

Dual

 

أُمِرْتُمَا

 

You were two commanded

 

Plural

 

أُمِرْتُمْ

 

You all were commanded

 

 
 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

 

أُمِرْتِ

 

You were commanded

 

Dual

 

أُمِرْتُمَا

 

You were two commanded

 

Plural

 

أُمِرْتُنَّ

 

You all were commanded

 

 
 

First-person (masculine/feminine)

 

Singular

 

أُمِرْتُ

 

I was commanded

 

Dual

 

 

Plural

 

أُمِرْنَا

 

We all were commanded

 

 

 

B. Table of the passive hamzated verb  سُئِلَ:

3rd person masculine

 

Singular

 

سُئِلَ

 

He was asked

 

Dual

 

سُئِلَا

 

They two were asked

 

Plural

 

سُئِلُوْا

 

They all were asked

 

 
 

3rd person feminine

 

Singular

 

سُئِلَتْ

 

She was asked

 

Dual

 

سُئِلَتَا

 

They two were asked

 

Plural

 

سُئِلْنَ

 

They all were asked

 

 
 

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

 

سُئِلْتَ

 

You were asked

 

Dual

 

سُئِلْتُمَا

 

You two were asked

 

Plural

 

سُئِلْنَ

 

 

You all were asked

 

 
 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

 

سُئِلْتِ

 

You were asked

 

Dual

 

سُئِلْتُمَا

 

You two were asked

 

Plural

 

سُئِلْتُنَّ

 

You all were asked

 

 

First-person (masculine/feminine)

 

Singular

 

سُئِلْتُ

 

I was asked

 

Dual

 

 

Plural

 

سُئِلْنَا

 

We all were asked

 

 

C. Table of the passive hamzated verb  هُزِأَ:

3rd person masculine

 

Singular

 

هُزِأَ

 

He was ridiculed

 

Dual

 

هُزِأَا

 

They two were ridiculed

 

Plural

 

هُزِأُوْا

 

They all were ridiculed

 

 
 

3rd person feminine

 

Singular

 

هُزِأَ تْ

 

She was ridiculed

 

Dual

 

هُزِأَ تَا

 

They two were ridiculed

 

Plural

 

هُزِأَ نَ

 

They all were ridiculed

 

 
 

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

 

هُزِأَ تَ

 

You were ridiculed

 

Dual

 

هُزِأَ تَا

 

You two were ridiculed

 

Plural

 

هُزِأَ تُمْ

 

You all were ridiculed

 

 

 

2nd person feminine

 

Singular

 

هُزِأَ تِ

 

You were ridiculed

 

Dual

 

هُزِأَ تَا

 

You two were ridiculed

 

Plural

 

هُزِأَ تُنَّ

 

You all were ridiculed

 

 
 

First-person(masculine/feminine)

 

 

Singular

 

هُزِأَ تُ

 

I was ridiculed

 

Dual

 

 

Plural

 

هُزِأَ نَا

 

We all were ridiculed

 

3. Passive weak Assimilated verb - المِثَالى

Passive weak verb - arabic free courses

Introduction

When و is used as the first radical in place of ف in the active voice, the pattern remains the same as فُعِلَ, and there are no changes in the conjugation.

A. Table of the passive weak verb وُعِدَ

3rd person masculine

 

Singular

 

وُعِدَ

 

He was promised

 

Dual

 

وُعِدَا

 

They two were promised.

 

Plural

 

وُعِدُوْا

 

They all were promised.

 

 
 
3rd person feminine

 

Singular

 

وُعِدَتْ

 

She was promised

 

 

Dual

 

وُعِدَتَا

 

They two were promised.

 

Plural

 

وُعِدْنَ

 

They all were promised.

 

 
 
2nd person masculine

 

Singular

 

وُعِدْتَ

 

You were promised

 

Dual

 

وُعِدْتُمَا

 

You two were promised.

 

Plural

 

وُعِدْتُمْ

 

You all were promised.

 

 
 
2nd person feminine

 

Singular

 

وُعِدْتِ

 

You were promised

 

Dual

 

وُعِدْتُمَا

 

You two were promised.

 

Plural

 

وُعِدْتُنَّ

 

You all were promised.

 

 

 

First-person (masculine/feminine)

 

Singular

 

وُعِدْتُ

 

I was promised

 

Dual

 

وُعِدْتُمَا

 

You two were promised.

 

Plural

 

وُعِدْنَا

 

We were promised

 

 

 

Verbs that have the first radical “ى” are typically intransitive verbs, which are referred to as اَلْفِعْلُ اللَّازِمُ. Consequently, the passive voice of these verbs cannot be formed. For instance, يَئِسَ is an example of such a verb.

B. Passive weak Hollow verbs - الأَجْوَفُ

When و comes as the second radical in place of ع, as in قَالَ, the passive form should theoretically be قُوِلَ according to the rule. However, for the sake of easier pronunciation, it is typically read as قِيْلَ.

Table of the passive hollow verb قِيْلَ
3rd person masculine

 

Singular

 

قِيْلَ

 

He was told

 

Dual

 

قِيْلَا

 

They two were told

 

Plural

 

قِيْلُوْا

 

They were all told

 

 
 
3rd person feminine

 

Singular

 

قِيْلَتْ

 

She was told

 

Dual

 

قِيْلَتَا

 

They two were told

 

Plural

 

قُلْنَ

 

They were all told

 

 
 
2nd person masculine

 

Singular

 

قُلتَ

 

You were told

 

Dual

 

قُلتُمَا

 

Theyboth were told

 

Plural

 

قُلتُمْ

 

You were all told

 

 
 
2nd person feminine

 

Singular

 

قُلتِ

 

You were told

 

Dual

 

قُلتُمَا

 

Theyboth were told

 

Plural

 

قُلتُنَّ

 

You were all told

 

 
 
First-person (masculine/feminine)

 

Singular

 

قُلتُ

 

I was told

 

Dual

 

 

Plural

 

قُلنَا

 

We were all told

 

 

As we can observe from the table above, the passive voice of the third person feminine plural is قُلْنَ. This pattern continues in a similar manner as seen in the past tense conjugation.

Table of the passive hollow verb خِيْفَ
3rd person masculine

 

Singular

 

خِيْفَ

 

He was feared

 

Dual

 

خِيْفَا

 

They two were feared.

 

Plural

 

خِيْفُوْا

 

They all were feared

 

 
 
3rd person feminine

 

Singular

 

خِيْفَتْ

 

She was feared

 

Dual

 

خِيْفَتَا

 

They two were feared.

 

Plural

 

خِفْنَ

 

They all were feared

 

 
 
2nd person masculine

 

Singular

 

خِفْتَ

 

You were feared

 

Dual

 

خِفْتُمَا

 

You both were feared.

 

Plural

 

خِفْتُمْ

 

You all feared

 

 
 
2nd person feminine

 

Singular

 

خِفْتِ

 

You were feared

 

Dual

 

خِفْتُمَا

 

You both were feared.

 

Plural

 

خِفْتُنَّ

 

You all feared

 

 
 
First-person (masculine/feminine)

 

Singular

 

خِفْتُ

 

I was feared

 

Dual

 

 

Plural

 

خِفْنَا

 

We were feared

 

 

 

In the case of خَافَ, which is an exception to the pattern of قَالَ, the third person feminine plural will take the form خِفْنَ. Then, the table continues following the same pattern as in the past tense conjugation.

 

Similarly, when ى comes as the second radical in place of ع, as in بَاعَ, the passive voice should technically be يَبُيِعَ according to the general rule. However, for ease of pronunciation, it is written as بِيْعَ.

Table of the passive hollow verb  باع
3rd person masculine

 

Singular

 

بِيْعَ

 

He was sold

 

Dual

 

بِيْعَا

 

They two were sold

 

Plural

 

بِيْعُوْا

 

They all were sold

 

 

 

3rd person feminine

 

Singular

 

بِيْعَتْ

 

She was sold

 

Dual

 

بِيْعَتَا

 

They two were sold

 

Plural

 

بِعْنَ

 

They all were sold

 

 
 
2nd person masculine

 

Singular

 

بِعْتَ

 

You were sold

 

Dual

 

بِعْتُمَا

 

You two were sold

 

Plural

 

بِعْتُمْ

 

You all were sold

 

 
 
2nd person feminine

 

Singular

 

بِعْتِ

 

You were sold

 

Dual

 

بِعْتُمَا

 

You two were sold

 

 

Plural

 

بِعْتُنَّ

 

You all were sold

 

 
 
First-person (masculine/feminine)

 

Singular

 

بِعْتُ

 

I was sold

 

Dual

 

 

Plural

 

بِعْنَا

 

We all were sold

 

 

 

As observed from the pattern above, the passive form of the third person feminine plural is بِعْنَ, and the conjugation follows the same pattern as in the past tense.

Passive weak defective verbs - النَّاقِصُ

Table of the passive defective verb دُعِيَ
3rd person masculine

 

Singular

 

دُعِىَ

 

He was called

 

Dual

 

دُعِيَا

 

They two were called

 

Plural

 

دُعُوْا

 

They all were called

 

 
 
3rd person feminine

 

Singular

 

دُعِيَتْ

 

She was called

 

Dual

 

دُعِيَتَا

 

They two were called

 

Plural

 

دُعِيْنَ

 

They all were called

 

 
 
2nd person masculine

 

Singular

 

دُعِيْتَ

 

You were called

 

Dual

 

دُعِيْتُمَا

 

You two were called

 

Plural

 

دُعِيْتُمْ

 

You all were called

 

 
 
2nd person feminine

 

Singular

 

دُعِيْتِ

 

You were called

 

Dual

 

دُعِيْتُمَا

 

You two were called

 

Plural

 

دُعِيْتُنَّ

 

You all were called

 

 
 
First-person (masculine/feminine)

 

Singular

 

دُعِيْتُ

 

I was called

 

Dual

 

 

Plural

 

دُعِيْنَا

 

We all were called

 

 

 

When ى takes the place of ل as in رَمَى and لَقَى, the passive verb pattern follows رَمِيَ and لَقِيَ respectively, in accordance with the standard pattern of فُعِلَ.

4. Passive voice of the double lettered verb

double lettered verbs - passive voice | Arabic free courses

Introduction

Double-lettered verbs, also known as doubly weak verbs, like وَقَى, take the form وُقِيَ in the passive voice according to the فُعِلَ pattern, and they follow the standard conjugation pattern.

Double lettered verbs - الْمُضَاعَفُ

Double-lettered verbs such as عَضَّ become عُضَّ in the passive voice and adhere to the standard conjugation pattern.

Table of the double lettered verb عُضَّ

3rd person masculine

Singular

عُضَّ

He was bitten

Dual

عُضَّا

They two were bitten.

Plural

عُضُّوْا

They all were bitten.

00:00
 
 
3rd person feminine

 

Singular

 

عُضَّتْ

 

She was bitten

 

Dual

 

عُضَّتَا

 

They two were bitten.

 

Plural

 

عُضِضْنَ

 

They all were bitten.

 

 

 

2nd person masculine

 

Singular

 

عُضِضْتُ

 

You were bitten

 

Dual

 

عُضِضْتُمَا

 

You two were bitten.

 

Plural

 

عُضِضْتُمْ

 

You all were bitten.

 

 
 
2nd person feminine

 

Singular

 

عُضِضْتِ

 

You were bitten

 

Dual

 

عُضِضْتُمَا

 

You two were bitten.

 

Plural

 

عُضِضْتُنَّ

 

You all were bitten.

 

 
 
First-person (masculine/feminine)

 

Singular

 

عُضِضْتُ

 

I was  bitten

 

Dual

 

 

Plural

 

عُضِضْنَا

 

We all were bitten.

 

 

Examples of Double-Lettered Verbs in the Holy Quran:

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ لَا تُفْسِدُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ

 

 

And when it is said to them, “Do not cause corruption on the earth,” they say, “We are but reformers.” (2:11)

 

 

وَقِيلَ يَا أَرْضُ ابْلَعِي مَاءَكِ وَيَا سَمَاءُ أَقْلِعِي وَغِيضَ الْمَاءُ وَقُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ وَاسْتَوَتْ عَلَى الْجُودِيِّ

 

 

And it was said, “O earth, swallow your water, and O sky, withhold [your rain].” And the water subsided, and the matter was accomplished, and the ship came to rest on the [mountain of] Judiyy. (11:44)

 

 

وَأَشْرَقَتِ الْأَرْضُ بِنُورِ رَبِّهَا وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَابُ وَجِيءَ بِالنَّبِيِّينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُم بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

 

 

 

 

And the earth will shine with the light of its Lord, and the record [of deeds] will be placed, and the prophets and the witnesses will be brought, and it will be judged between them in truth, and they will not be wronged. (39:69)

 

 

وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَابُ فَتَرَى الْمُجْرِمِينَ مُشْفِقِينَ مِمَّا فِيهِ 

 

 

 

And the record [of deeds] will be placed [open], and you will see the criminals fearful of that within it (18:49)

 

 

قُلْ إِنِّي نُهِيتُ أَنْ أَعْبُدَ الَّذِينَ تَدْعُونَ

 

 

Say, “Indeed, I have been forbidden to worship those you invoke besides Allah.” (6:56)

 

Conclusion

This lesson on Arabic nuances concludes here. Insha’Allah, our subsequent session will delve into the double emphasis in Arabic.

 

Al-dirassa Institute invites you on a linguistic journey with our expert teachers to master the Arabic language. Should you wish to further your studies, we welcome your inquiries.

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