Academic Pursuits


root: س-ع-ي / noun / plural: مَساعٍ / definition: pursuit, endeavour

It’s been over a year since my last update about my language learning journey, where I wrote about all the uncertainties surrounding my return to the formal study of Arabic.

And the reason I haven’t given any updates until now is that my plans—like the rest of the population’s—were much too dependent on there not being a pandemic. Ah, the complacency!

Very, very fortunately, I finally have a really exciting update…

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The Absolute Negation in Arabic


root: ن-ف-ي / verbal noun of form I / definition: negation

Do you remember the phrase لا داعِيَ from Wehr Wednesdays #32? Did you wonder why the word داعي ends in a fatha here?

It’s all down to the “لا of absolute negation”…

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Arabic Verbs for “to Look at”


root: ب-ص-ر / noun / plural: أَبْصار / definition: sight

I’m feeling really refreshed as I start this post (perhaps thanks to taking Friday off work and having a little time to breathe)! And as you’ve figured out from the title, it’s another addition to our synonyms series.

Oh, I can’t explain just how much I love these posts: a chance to admire Arabic’s rich lexicon, expand my vocabulary, and share all of this with you, fellow Arabic lovers.

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Using كاد


root: ش-غ-ل / passive participle of form I, feminine / definition: busy

I’ve finally got round to writing this post, as you can see, five or six months after I mentioned I would in Four Arabic Roots to Express the Phrase “on the Verge of”.

But time’s not an issue for us Arabic learners, right? We’ll be spending a lifetime trying to master this language anyway!

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How to Say “Post-” in Arabic


root: ر-ح-ل / noun / plural: مَراحِل / definition: stage, phase

Don’t get confused, it’s not البريد (the post, mail) that we’re talking about this week—we’re actually looking at how to create words with the post- prefix, such as: postcolonial, postmodern, post-pandemic, etc.

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Arabic Headline Analysis #6


root: ش-ه-ر / noun / plural: أَشهُر or شُهور / definition: month

Seeing as it’s the first week of Ramadan (!رمضان مبارك)—and hopefully it still is by the time I finish this post—I’ve chosen a fitting headline to analyse in our latest addition to the series.

Let’s begin our word-by-word vocabulary and grammar explanation of the following headline:

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The Three Types of “If” in Arabic


root: م-ك-ن / noun / plural: إمْكانِيّات / definition: possibility

I intended for this week’s post to be a headline analysis or root exploration—neither of which we’ve had in a while. But then someone mentioned they’d like to see a post about the different types of “if” in Arabic, which happens to be one of the posts queued up in my ever-lengthening to-write list.

So now’s a good a time as any to explore the three conditional particles: لو، إذا and إن!

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Comparing بعض and بضع


root: ح-د-د / verbal noun of form II / definition: specifying

The specifiers بَعْض and بِضْع are another example of the “same root letters, different sequence” phenomenon, as they have shared meanings. However, there’s some key differences between the meanings and grammar of these two words that we should know.

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Dissertation Topic Ideas for Arabic Language Students


root: ر-س-ل / noun / plural: رَسائِل or رِسالات / definition: dissertation

I remember—back in autumn 2018, starting my final year of BA Arabic and Linguistics—I was searching for dissertation ideas. I’m not sure why I was surprised, given the general lack of specific resources for Arabic students, but I didn’t find anything helpful online.

So I thought I’d sit down and write a post now to give other Arabic language students some dissertation topic inspiration.

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Meanings and Uses of غير


root: ع-م-ل / verbal noun of form X / plural: اِسْتِعْمالات / definition: use, application

This week, it’s another grammar explanations post (yay!) which was requested through Instagram. And the question we’re going to answer is: what are the different meanings of the word غير and how can we use it?

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