Various unorthodox verbs

1. The verb (not to be) – لَيْسَ



It is used only in the perfect tense and gives the meaning of the imperfect. Like كَانَ (noun or adjective) of لَيْسَ will be الْمَنْصُوبُ (accusative case).


Past tense conjugation of لَيْسَ:  


3rd person masculine












3rd person feminine












2nd person masculine











2nd person feminine












First-person (masculine/feminine)












وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَسْتَ مُرْسَلًا



And those who have disbelieved say, “You are not a messenger.” (11:43)



وَلَا تَقُولُوا لِمَنْ أَلْقَىٰ إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلَامَ لَسْتَ مُؤْمِنًا



and do not say to one who gives you [a greeting of] peace “You are not a believer,” (4:94)



إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ



Indeed, My servants – no authority will you have over them (15:42)



 يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاءِ



O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women.  (33:32)



Note: if a sentence without a verb and negated by لَيْسَ is introduced by the preposition بِ; then the predicate will be in the genitive case.




أَلَيْسَ اللَّـهُ بِأَحْكَمِ الْحَاكِمِينَ



Is not Allah the most just of judges? (95:8)



أَلَيْسَ ذَٰلِكَ بِقَادِرٍ عَلَىٰ أَن يُحْيِيَ الْمَوْتَىٰ



Is not that [Creator] Able to give life to the dead? (75:40)



أَلَيْسَ اللَّـهُ بِكَافٍ عَبْدَهُ



Is not Allah sufficient for His Servant [Prophet Muhammad]?  (39:36)



Book your free trial lesson


In addition to the free Arabic courses, we offer you to begin your journey to fluency in Arabic right now for free with a graduated Egyptian teacher.

2. The verbs of praise and blame – أَفْعَالُ المَدْحِ و الذمِّ



the verb نِعْمَ is used for praise and بِئْسَ is used for blame. These verbs like لَيْسَ only occur in the past tense and have the meaning in the imperfect tense. They exist only in the third person form. the feminine of نِعْمَ is نِعْمَتْ and the feminine of بِئْسَ is بِئْسَتْ.



 وَوَهَبْنَا لِدَاوُودَ سُلَيْمَانَ ۚ نِعْمَ الْعَبْدُ ۖ إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ



And to David We gave Solomon. An excellent servant, indeed he was one repeatedly turning back [to Allah]. (38:30)



وَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ مَوْلَاكُمْ ۚ نِعْمَ الْمَوْلَىٰ وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ



But if they turn away – then know that Allah is your protector. Excellent is the protector, and Excellent is the helper. (8:40)



وَنِعْمَ أَجْرُ الْعَامِلِينَ



and excellent is the reward of the [righteous] workers. (3:136)



بِئْسَ الشَّرَابُ وَسَاءَتْ مُرْتَفَقًا



 Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place. (18:29)



لَبِئْسَ الْمَوْلَىٰ وَلَبِئْسَ الْعَشِيرُ



how wretched the protector and how wretched the associate. (22:13)



جَهَنَّمَ يَصْلَوْنَهَا ۖ وَبِئْسَ الْقَرَارُ



[It is] Hell, which they will [enter to] burn, and wretched is the settlement. (14:29)



3. The verbs of wonder – أَفْعَالُ التَّعَجُّبِ




The verbs used to express wonder about something good or bad are on two patterns مَا أَفْعَلَهُ and أَفْعِلْ بِهِ.



قُتِلَ الْإِنسَانُ مَا أَكْفَرَهُ 



Cursed is man; how disbelieving is he. (80:17)



 فَمَا أَصْبَرَهُمْ عَلَى النَّارِ



How patient they are in pursuit of the Fire! (2:175)



أَبْصِرْ بِهِ وَأَسْمِعْ



How Seeing is He and how Hearing!  (18:26)



أَسْمِعْ بِهِمْ وَأَبْصِرْ 



How [clearly] they will hear and see ( 19:38)



  This above pattern is the most beautiful form found in the Holy Qur’an.  



4. the verb – عَسَى


The verb عَسَى has the meaning “it may be”, “perhaps” “very likely to be” or “it is well hoped to”. It is a supporting verb that is used in the perfect tense. It is followed by a sentence in the subjunctive introduced by أَنْ, the subject of which is also the subject of عَسَى.




عَسَىٰ أَن يَكُونُوا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُمْ



perhaps they may be better than them (49:11)



وَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ ۖ وَعَسَىٰ أَن تُحِبُّوا شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُو



But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not. (2:216)



وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ عَسَىٰ أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا



And from [part of] the night, pray with it as additional [worship] for you; it is expected that your Lord will resurrect you to a praised station. (17:79)



عَسَىٰ رَبُّكُمْ أَن يَرْحَمَكُمْ



[Then Allah said], “It is expected, [if you repent], that your Lord will have mercy upon you. (17:8)



قَالَ عَسَىٰ رَبُّكُمْ أَن يُهْلِكَ عَدُوَّكُمْ



He said, “Perhaps your Lord will destroy your enemy (7:129)



You have now completed this Arabic lesson about the various unorthodox verbs. The next one will be insha’Allah about the five magnified nouns in Arabic.

Al-dirassa centre offers you the possibility to study the Arabic language efficiently with a qualified teacher. If you are interested, do not hesitate to consult us.

Recommended Posts

1 Comment

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *