The Verb يتسبّب and its Prepositions

مُتَنَوِّع

root: ن-و-ع / active participle of form V / definition: various


In one of the examples in Arabic Observations: Words with Antonymic Meanings, we saw how changing the preposition following a verb could produce two completely opposite meanings.

While the meaning of the form V verb تَسَبَّبَ / يَتَسَبَّبُ doesn’t change that drastically, it still shifts depending on the accompanying preposition/s.

تسبّب / يتسبّب is derived from the root س-ب-ب, which also gives us the noun سَبَب (“reason, cause”).

Correspondingly, all of the meanings of this form V verb are related to cause or motive.

Take a look at some of the meanings the Hans Wehr gives us:

يتسبّب عن

to be caused/produced by, to be the result of, to arise from

يتسبّب في

to be the cause of, to be at the bottom of, to be instrumental in

يتسبّب إلى

to seek reasons/motives for, to give a reason for, to justify

يتسبّب بـ… إلى

to use (something) as a means for

For me, يتسبّب عن and يتسبّب في are the ones I always stop on and consciously recall the meanings—I have to make sure I know what’s the cause and what’s the result!

Have you encountered any other verbs that can be followed by various prepositions giving rise to different meanings?

!في أمان الله


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