اِسم فاعِل root: ف-ع-ل / phrase / definition: active participle If you’d asked me a week ago, I’d have told you that I lead a somewhat minimalist life—I hate having *things* cluttering up spaces around me which could very well be left empty. (This is, of course, ignoring my book-filled shelves and surfaces—books are entirelyContinue reading “Quadriliteral Active Participles in Arabic”
سيرة root: س-ي-ر / noun / plural: سِيَر / definition: biography For this post in the literature translation series, we’ll be going word-by-word through a non-fiction excerpt, taken from بغداد: سيرة مدينة (Baghdad: Biography of a City) by the Iraqi writer نجم والي (Najem Wali).
اِثنانِ root: ث-ن-ي / noun / definition: two We might know of some different ways to say “all of“, but do we know how to say “both” when we’re dealing with dual nouns in Arabic? Let’s take a look at how it’s done!
عَدَد root: ع-د-د / noun / plural: أَعْداد / definition: number I remember learning the grammar for using Arabic numbers at university. It seemed fairly simple as there were essentially three sets of rules: one for the numbers 3-10, one for 11-99, and another for whole hundreds, thousands, etc. But when I looked a littleContinue reading “The Grammar of Using Arabic Numbers”
قَصير root: ق-ص-ر / adjective / definition: short We’ve got a short little grammar post this week about one simple way we can say “whether” in Arabic—let’s take a look!
زَمَن root: ز-م-ن / noun / plural: أَزمان / definition: stretch of time It’s been a long time since our last post in the Root Exploration series. (In all honesty, though, it hasn’t felt long at all to me since I explore roots in the dictionary every day!) I’ve had a few roots written downContinue reading “Root Exploration: ع-ر-ق”
مُسْتَقْبَل root: ق-ب-ل / passive participle of form X / definition: future On this blog, we’ve previously looked at combining كان with a past tense verb and with a present tense verb—but did you know we can place the future tense directly after كان too?
لاحِقة root: ل-ح-ق / noun / plural: لَواحِق / definition: suffix We’re all very familiar with ذا, whether we realise it or not. It’s a component of some of the first words we learn as Arabic students: هٰذا (this) ذٰلك (that) ماذا (what)
مُدَوَّنَة root: د-و-ن / noun / plural: مُدَوَّنات / definition: a blog The Arabic Pages certainly isn’t the only blog out there focused on the Arabic language, and I’ve come across so many brilliant online resources since I started studying Arabic. My intention is to (eventually) make a list of all the best Arabic resourcesContinue reading “Two of My Favourite Arabic Blogs”
مُؤَلِّف root: ء-ل-ف / noun / plural: مُؤَلِّفون / definition: author, writer We’re adding to the literature translation series this week—it’s been a while!—with a short excerpt from عائد إلى حيفا (Returning to Haifa) by غسان كنفاني (Ghassan Kanafani).
مَسْعى 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 myContinue reading “Academic Pursuits”
نَفْي 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”…
مَشغولة 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?Continue reading “Using كاد”
مَرْحَلة 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.
شَهر 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 explanationContinue reading “Arabic Headline Analysis #6”
إمْكانِيّة 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 oneContinue reading “The Three Types of “If” in Arabic”
تَحْديد 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.
اِسْتِعْمال 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?
نَكِرة root: ن-ك-ر / noun / definition: indefinite noun It doesn’t feel like we’ve had a grammar explanations post in a while—perhaps because the last two were focused on less-discussed verb forms (interesting stuff for fellow grammar nerds) rather than syntactic structures. So today, we’re going to look at what effect ما has on anContinue reading “An Indefinite Noun Followed by ما”
وَقْت root: و-ق-ت / noun / plural: أَوْقات / definition: time The first post in the synonyms series was Four Common Words for “to Become” in Arabic. By definition, the verb “to become” is inherently linked to time—it indicates that something first wasn’t and then came to be afterwards. But the synonyms of “to become” inContinue reading “Arabic Observations: Time of Day and “to Become” Synonyms”