Nine Nouns That Resemble Verbs

There are nine nouns that resemble verbs, called الأَسْماء المُشَبَّهَة بالأَفعال in Arabic. They indicate that an action has been performed without giving any reference to time.

  1. The infinitve – المَصْدَر: IE إسلام Islam.
  2. The Subject Noun – اسْمُ الفاعِل: The one doing the verb. IE مُسْلِم Muslim, one who submits.
  3. The Object Noun – اسْمُ المَفْعول: The one receiving the verb. IE مُقَدَّس muqaddas means holy.
  4. The Subject Noun-like Adjective – الصِّفَة المُشَبَّهَة باسْمِ الفاعِل
  5. Exaggeration forms – صِيَغُ المُبالغَة: Follows one of these five patterns: مِفْعَال فَعَّال فَعُول فَعِيل فَعِل. IE غفَّار, the very forgiving; شَكور the constantly thankful; سَمِيع the always and all hearing.
  6. Noun of preference/comparison – اسْمُ التَّفْضيل: IE أكبر akbar meaning “greater.”
  7. Noun of place – اسْمُ المَكان: Joined with the next. Take on the same sarf, but could mean either. IE “masjid.”
  8. Noun of time – اسْمُ الزَّمان: IE اصَرَفَ means “he departed” and مُنْصَرَف means “the time or place of departure.”
  9. Noun of the tool – اسْم الاَلَة: IE مِفتاح miftah means a key.

*Note that 7 and 8 are considered the ism zharf (اسم ظرف). Don’t confuse the ism zharf with a zharf, which is one of the mansubaat (منصوبات) and is similar in being of time and place, but different in grammar and the words are different.

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