Active/Passive Participle

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Muwahid

Senior Member
U.S. English
أهلا

So, I'm reading a book regarding passive, and active participles of verbs, and I'm a little confused, especially with the active participles. What I mean is, the active participle is translated as the doer of the action, i.e., 'player', and a verb like 'playing'.

I mean this sentence
يكتب أحمد الرسالة

Can't this mean, Ahmad is writing the letter? How could you use the active participle instead كاتب which the book translates as Writing, and Writer? Am I not getting something here?

Also with passive participles can these be used as both nouns and adjectives? For example مسجون is translated in the book as "Imprisoned", and "Prisoner" so could one say

قال المسجون (The prisoner said...) AND
هو مسجون (He is imprisoned) ??

Thank you!
 
  • the-moon-light

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Saudia) but I'm Yemeni :)
    writing is كتابة
    writter is كاتب (m.) and كاتبة (f.) the person.
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    prisoner is السجين or المسجون it is a noun for the person.

    imprisoned if it is a noun it will be: المسجون or السجين

    but if it is a verb: impresoning, it'll be: يسجنُ

    and the past verb is: سُجـِنَ

    if it's a place (prison) it'll be: السجن

    if it's adgective: مسجون

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Examples:


    سُـجـِـنَ محمدٌ خمس سنوات. (verb past)
    Muhammed impresonied for five years.

    or

    وُضِـعَ محمدٌ في السجن (place)

    Muhammed put in prison.

    or

    السجين قال/ (the person)
    المسجون قال

    The prisoner said

    or

    محمد مسجون (adj.)

    He is imprisoned.
     

    the-moon-light

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Saudia) but I'm Yemeni :)
    السَّـجَّـان jailer

    سجين/ مسجون singular

    سجناء/ سجنى plural

    سجين/ مسجون masculine and feminie

    إمرأة سجين و رجل سجين.

    and we can say also:

    إمرأة سجينة / إمرأة مسجونة
     

    Muwahid

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    writing is كتابة
    writter is كاتب (m.) and كاتبة (f.) the person.
    That is specifically my confusion, since one is a verbal noun that can be used in place of the verb itself, but why would my book be saying kaatib is also used to mean "writing" as an active participle?

    prisoner is السجين or المسجون it is a noun for the person
    Are you saying they mean the same thing? I know masjoon is from the مفعول pattern, is there an alternate pattern like فعيل too, with the same meaning?

    Thanks
     

    the-moon-light

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Saudia) but I'm Yemeni :)
    Are you saying they mean the same thing? I know masjoon is from the مفعول pattern, is there an alternate pattern like فعيل too, with the same meaning?
    المسجون/ السجين same meaning.

    Source: Lisan Al3arab dictionary.
    That is specifically my confusion, since one is a verbal noun that can be used in place of the verb itself, but why would my book be saying kaatib is also used to mean "writing" as an active participle?
    Can you give me the word (writing) in a sentence as an (active participle)? in English, how to say it?


    this is my writings? this way?
     
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    Muwahid

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    No, it wasn't used in the context of a noun. My book didn't give examples with the active participle unfortunately. But in the explanation they said it's equivalent to saying in English "I was whistling" like it's a rough equivalent of adding the -ing to an English verb.

    Thanks
     

    the-moon-light

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Saudia) but I'm Yemeni :)
    so I can say: (I was writing).

    Here (writing) is a verb isn't it? so translation would be:

    كنتُ أكتب

    but can't be كاتب!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There's a verb in Arabic يكاتب (present) كاتَبَ (past).
    And it used (in the old days) when a slave want to free him/her self, they writ (a book كتاب ) and it's actuly a paper like a contract between the Master and the slave, so (the slave) can make him/her self free if he/she accomplished/fullfilled the (money) they a greed both of them about it in the (book كتاب ) or contract.
     

    Muwahid

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    You can say, for example, dakhala-l-ghurfata w-ana kaatib "He entered the room while I was writing".
    OK That makes sense, can it be used in place of a verb or it has it's own specific usage apart from the verb? For example you couldn't use 2aktubu there?
     

    the-moon-light

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Saudia) but I'm Yemeni :)
    You can say, for example, dakhala-l-ghurfata w-ana kaatib "He entered the room while I was writing".
    No, you can't say: wa ana kaatib.

    you'll say: wa ana aktoob.

    و أنا أكتبُ

    And here (aktoob) is a verb. (present tense) فعل مضارع


    OK That makes sense, can it be used in place of a verb or it has it's own specific usage apart from the verb? For example you couldn't use 2aktubu there?
    There's no such (kaatib) as writing!

    Kaatib is writer.

    هو كاتب / هي كاتبة

    and for your book I think there's some thing wrong!
     
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    Faylasoof

    Senior Member
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    That is specifically my confusion, since one is a verbal noun that can be used in place of the verb itself, but why would my book be saying kaatib is also used to mean "writing" as an active participle?
    What you need to remember is that for the simple Arabic verb, form I فعل fa3ala, the active participle is فاعل faa3il. So for your verb, كتب kataba, the active participle as well as the noun of instrument is كاتب kaatib, which in English can be translated both as <writer> and <writing>. In addition to this, the meaning in English of the imperfect يكتب itself can be translated as: He writes / He is writing. Thus:

    يكتب أحمد الرسالة

    Ahmed writes the letter – Simple Present Tense
    Ahmed is writing the letter – Present Progressive Tense

    Very often the above Arabic sentence would be translated as a Present Progressive in English.

    … and yes you can use كاتب to mean <writing>. Here is an example from classical literature:

    فقال له الرجال عندي كثير وليست عندي سفن وأنا كاتب إلى قيصر في البعثة إلى بسفن أحمل فيها الرجال فكتب إلى قيصر

    تاريخ الطبري
    Tabari Vol 1, page 545.

    Just like you can say:


    <I’m going to the city> = أذهب إلى المدينة as well as أنا ذاهب إلى المدينة.
     
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    lukebeadgcf

    Senior Member
    English – US
    So, I'm reading a book regarding passive, and active participles of verbs, and I'm a little confused, especially with the active participles.[...]
    Your book is not mistaken in any way. Active participles can have substantive (nominal), adjectival, or verbal meaning. Faylasoof mentioned the possible use of the active participle ذاهب after a personal pronoun, in the sentence أنا ذاهاب إلى المدينة. This is certainly possible in الفصحى, although it is not altogether common to have a participle acting as the main verb of a sentence.

    The الحال construction or the "circumstantial accusative" (fancy way of saying, "adds or specifies the conditions in which the main verb took place") is a construction that employs participles (usually active ones) very often (especially when the meaning of the action has to do with motion or a state of being, as opposed to a process). Consider the following:

    خرجت الصف باحثًا عن دفتري (I left the class searching for my notebook)

    The تنوين الفتح just have to do with the grammar; there is no weird conjugation going on. You wouldn't see it if I wrote the following:

    خرجت الصف باحثة عن دفترها (She left the class searching for her notebook)

    Anyway, as you learn more Arabic and more grammar, you will become more aware of the verbal role participles can potentially play.

    As for participles being nouns and/or adjectives, it is important to remember that Arab grammarians don't make a distinction between the two. They are both اسم. It is often the case in fact, that it is impossible to determine if a word should be translated into English as an adjective or a noun. As per your example:

    هو مسجون (he is imprisoned/a prisoner)

    Sometimes (as in the above example), translating a participle as a noun or an adjective yields the same meaning, so it is impossible to label it one or the other (that is not to say that in English one might be stylistically preferable over the other).

    Hope that helps!
     
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    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    I wanted to add the above explanations by saying that it appears that there is some confusion about using writing as a verb and using it as a noun. As Faylasoof pointed out "to be writing" is a verbal form, specifically the present progressive. It can be translated with either a فعل, as in his example, يكتب أحمد الرسالة, which can be translated as either "he writes..." or "he is writing...", or an اسم فاعل in certain situations, such as in Lukebeadgcf's example خرجت الصف باحثًا عن دفتري .

    "Writing" (and many other words that end in "ing" such as running, walking, etc.) can also be used as a noun, as in "I love writing," in which it would most often be translated with a مصدر, as in أحب الكتابة.
     
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    clevermizo

    Senior Member
    English (USA), Spanish
    أهلا

    So, I'm reading a book regarding passive, and active participles of verbs, and I'm a little confused, especially with the active participles. What I mean is, the active participle is translated as the doer of the action, i.e., 'player', and a verb like 'playing'.
    In practice, not all active participles are used with verbal force. The usage is dictated idiomatically.

    I would never say هو كاتب الرسالة to mean "He is writing the letter." To me, this only means "He is the author/writer of the letter." يكتب الرسالة means either "he writes the letter" or "he is writing the letter" (although to be honest because it sounds like a specific letter, the progressive sounds like what is meant).

    Typically it doesn't seem to me that the active participles of transitive verbs typically get used with a verbal force except in a حال construction as has been mentioned. However, some classes of intransitives like verbs of motion/translocation do get used this way:

    هو ذاهب إلى المطعم
    He is going to the restaurant (right now).

    Furthermore, some active participles typically get used as adjectives:

    هو غاضب
    He is angry.

    Can't this mean, Ahmad is writing the letter? How could you use the active participle instead كاتب which the book translates as Writing, and Writer? Am I not getting something here?
    Well mind you context is usually the determinant when a word can have multiple meanings. For example طالب can mean both "one who requests" and "a student" depending on context.

    Also with passive participles can these be used as both nouns and adjectives? For example مسجون is translated in the book as "Imprisoned", and "Prisoner" so could one say
    Yes, that's right. Remember this is quite simple in Arabic because nouns and adjectives belong to the same category of words (أسماء). I think all participles in Arabic can be used syntactically like adjectives.

    I think what needs to be realized here is that the basic meaning of the AP is "one who does X" or "one who has the quality of X". However, that said, many words individually have taken on specialized meanings like "author" or "student", etc. Similarly the PP is "one/something that has been Xed", however words individually have taken on specialized meanings.

    Context will dictate whether a word has a specialized meaning or is meant in relation to the verb from which it is derived.

    Also what is very important to point out is the the suffix "-ING" refers to two different things in English. One is a noun ("Writing is learned in school") which in Arabic corresponds to the the مصدر, in this case كتابة. One is a participle used with verbal force, the so-called "present participle" (While writing the book, he received a call from his friend/He is writing a book to his friend, etc.). This does not have a direct equivalent in Arabic.

    The Arabic participles are basically nouns or adjectives which envelope the qualities of doing the meaning implied in X or having it done to them. The English participles are about tense and aspect of the verb X. These are very different concepts and don't correspond 1:1. However, as we've seen, some instances of اسم فاعل in Arabic correspond to English progressive use of participles.
     

    lukebeadgcf

    Senior Member
    English – US
    (especially when the meaning of the action has to do with process, as opposed to a state of motion or being)
    Whoops! I meant the opposite (especially when the meaning of the action has to do with a state of motion or being, as opposed to a process)

    The verb بَحَثَ عن (to look for) is one of a handful of common verbs that can be described as both.
     

    Muwahid

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    Thanks for all the detailed responses guys, really appreciate it. I was wondering what this means "ما أنا عارف" Looks like 3arafa in ism faa3il, but can it be used like this? I saw it in an Arabic newspaper, does it mean something like "I don't know", or "What I know", but that's not in the present progressive, does it mean something else then?

    Thanks
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    I was wondering what this means "ما أنا عارف" Looks like 3arafa in ism faa3il, but can it be used like this? I saw it in an Arabic newspaper, does it mean something like "I don't know", or "What I know", but that's not in the present progressive, does it mean something else then?
    Hi Muwahid,

    Would you please give us more context? One or two more sentences before and/or after this one, where is this newspaper from? Was the article in MSA or a dialect?...etc
     

    aurelien.demarest

    Senior Member
    French
    Hi guys,

    could you tell me please whether we need to drop or not the preposition when switching a sentence from the active form to the passive one?
    I am asking because I have a doubt..:(

    Active voice
    يَدخُلُ فريد الى قاعة الإنتظار

    Passive voice
    تُدخَلُ قاعة الإنتظار
    or
    تُدخَلُ الى قاعة الإنتظار

    :confused:
    I think we should keep it but I am not sure.

    Thank you in advance
    Aurélien
     

    Ibn Nacer

    Senior Member
    French - France
    Je pense qu'il n'y a dans ce cas aucune raison de supprimer la préposition. Quand on passe à la voix passive c'est juste l'agent (faa'il) qu'on ne mentionne plus.
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    In this case you could keep or drop the preposition, because دخل can take either a direct object or a preposition. If you keep the preposition, though, the verb is invariable and it should be يُدخل إلى... and not تُدخل إلى.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect Mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Ibn Nacer and analeeh are both right. Both versions are grammatically correct, but the passive version of the active sentence given by Aurélien would include the preposition.
     
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