Derived Nouns and
Prerequisite for ALL GCL Intermediate and
Advanced Arabic Courses
Prepared by CTI2 Doris Espelien
Why do I need to know this?
Many words in Arabic are descended
from verbal roots.
Understanding the patterns can expand
your vocabulary without having to resort
to those pesky little vocab drill cards.
What will I learn in this lesson?
Nouns of Place and Time
Nouns of Instance
Nouns of Intensity and Profession
Nouns of Instruments, Vehicles or Vessels
Relative Adjectives (Nisba)
Nouns of Concepts (Feminine Nisba)
First, a few ground rules…
Arabic does not have as many classifications for
grammar as English does. Thus, most words can be
broken into three categories: Verbs, Nouns and
These items can be easily identified by their Arabic
names: افعال اسماء حروف
Just because something is labeled “noun” does not
mean it will always behave as a noun. It can also
behave verbally or adjectively.
Just keep these ideas in the back of your head as you progress through the presentation.
Nouns of Place and Time اسماء المكان والزمان
These nouns indicate the place or time of the action of their root verb:
To sit A place of sitting (chair)
To seek a cure A place of seeking a cure (hospital)
To rise A time of rising, start
مس ّق ب
To precede Preceding, previous
Forming the Noun of Place and Time:
Measure I has three common patterns for this noun:
ٌ َ ْمق ٌ َ ْ مف
َ ْلس ٌ ِ ْ مف
ٌ َ ََدْر
م سة ٌ َ مفْع
Measures II – X follow the same pattern as the passive participle
(covered in class), which means you will have to use common
sense in your translation: “Does this word mean ‘a place to seek
treatment’ or ‘treatment was sought’?”
The pattern is as simple as starting with a “Moo”, adding the verb
in its current measure (less any alifs at the beginning), and putting
a fatha over Radical 2 (the 2nd letter of the root).
Convert the verb root to a common noun of place and time!
factory ٌ َ َص
م ْ َب
vessel ٌ َرك
center ٌ مَرك
م ْ َ ْبل
future ٌ َ ُستق
ُ ْ َعل
اختبر (مفت َ ٌ)
مخْت َ ٌ laboratory
َصْر ٌ bank َ ْعل
صرف (مف ِ ٌ)
َ ْ ََة
دخن (مفعل ٌ)
مْ َ ة
َدخنَ ٌ chimney
مخْر ٌ exit َ َج
خرج (مخْر ٌ)
Nouns of Instance اسماء المرة
These nouns indicate one instance of the action being done.
A hit to hit
These nouns are very simple to form: Take the verb as it is
found in Measure I and add a ةon the end.
a hit/punch ٌ لَكْم
َة to hit/punch لكم
a session ٌ َجلْس
َ ة to sit جلس
Nouns of Intensity and Profession
These nouns, which also sometimes function as
adjectives, indicate that something is done very well or
is done as a profession.
Verb Active participle Noun of Intensity
To do Doer Effective (done very well)
َفَعَل ٌ ِ فَا
عل ٌ ف َّا
َطَ َخ ط بخ
ٌ ِ َا ٌ ط َّا
To cook cook/cooking chef For other, less
The other most common pattern is عل
ٌ :فَ ِي see A Student
Grammar of Modern
َّ ط بب
ٌ طَ ِي
Standard Arabic by
Application: carry these verbs through the
progression of meaning from verb to active
participle to noun of intensity.
َ َ َخ بز
ٌ ِ خَا ٌ خ َّا
To bake s.o. who bakes baker
َ َقَن نص
ٌ ِ قَا ٌ ق َّا
To shoot Shooter sniper
َ ََ مل
ٌ جَ ِي
To be pretty Pretty
َ َ َخ ر
To know well Expert (s.o. who knows a lot)
Nouns of Instruments, Vehicles and Vessels (Device)
اسماء اآللة والوعاء
The feminine form of the اسم مبالغةoften denotes the
device used for performing that action:
To dive = professional diver = submarine
)غ َّاصة = غ َّاص = غاص (غوص
To wash = launderer (profession) = washing machine
س َس َس
َغ َّالة = غ َّال = غَ َل
There are several other common patterns, available in the Schulz book, pg. 77-79.
However, using the above pattern usually indicates that the device being used is
the largest and most powerful: Look up جرفand notice the difference between
,ج ّافةwhich comes from the noun of intensity, and ,مجرفةwhich does not.
* Some common patterns include the active participle, ف ل معة م عل م ل
ٌ َِعَا ٌ, ِفْ َلَ ٌ, ِفْ َا ٌ , ِفْع
If فتحmeans to open, the ٌ ِفتاmost likely
If قدحmeans to strike fire (with a flint), قداحةmost
If كنسmeans to sweep, مكنسةmost likely means:
The Relative Adjective النسبة
One of the easiest and most common ways to form an
adjective is to add a ّ يor يّةto the end of a noun. (Make
sure the adjective agrees with the noun it modifies in gender!)
بغداديّ \ بغداديّة بغداد
If a noun ends in ,ةdrop the ةand add the appropriate ending:
جامعيّ \ جامعيّة جامعة
If a noun ends in ,اdrop the اand add the appropriate ending:
امريكيّ \ امريكيّة امريكا
If a noun takes ,الbut the noun it modifies does not, drop the ال
and add the appropriate ending:
اللهجة القاهريّة ّرجل قاهري القاهرة
Nouns of Concept ّ
The noun of concept looks EXACTLY like the feminine
form of the relative adjective, which is why it is known
as the feminine nisba.
You must be careful when you look at a word to
determine if you are looking at a noun or an adjective,
and this will aid your translation.
A noun of concept is an abstract noun, which in English
usually ends in –ism, -ence, -ance, -ness, -ty and –cy
Determine whether the following are
nouns of concept or relative adjectives:
. االشتراكيّة نظريّة سياسيّة
R.A. N.O.C. N.O.C.
Socialism is a political theory.
. العبوديّة كانت سائدة في روما أيام اإلمبراطوريّة الرومانيّة
R.A. N.O.C. N.O.C.
Slavery was prevalent in Rome during
the days of the Roman Empire.
All the Arabic You Never Learned the First Time Around
by Jim Price
A Student Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic
by Eckehard Schulz
Please proceed to the assessment.
Don’t forget to print your certificate!
* All students will be expected to demonstrate applied
knowledge on the first day of all MSA and Arabic
Last updated: Dec. 2007