The accusative case | Arabic free course

Introduction to the accusative case



In the Arabic free course, we are going to see that the accusative case – حَالةُ النَّصَبِ in Arabic treats three points:

  • the objects
  • the noun for state
  • the specification



The objects – الْمَفَاعِلُ


The objects of the verb are in the accusative case- حَالةُ النَّصَبِ. There are five kinds of objects:



1. Direct object – الْمَفْعُولٌ بِهِ


It is used as the direct object of a verb.  




 وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ



If you asked them, “Who created the heavens and earth (29:61)



فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ



So whoever makes Hajj (2:158)



وَإِذَا شِئْنَا بَدَّلْنَا أَمْثَالَهُمْ تَبْدِيلً



 and when We will, We can change their likenesses with a [complete] alteration. (76:28)



مِن قَبْلُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَنزَلَ الْفُرْقَانَ



Before, as guidance for the people. And He revealed the Qur’an. (3:4)


  Some verbs take two or more objects.


وَآتَيْنَاهُم بَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ



And We gave them clear proofs of the matter [of religion].  (45:17)



إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ



Indeed, We have made it an Arabic Qur’an that you might understand. (43:3)


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2. Absolute object – الْمَفْعُولُ المُطْلَقُ


The absolute object is a verbal noun which is in the accusative. It is used in three ways.


  1. In the first case, the absolute object is used to stress the verb. It is a verbal noun which can be of the same root verb used in the sentence. Some examples are given below:


إِنَّا فَتَحْنَا لَكَ فَتْحًا مُّبِينًا 



Indeed, We have given you, [O Muhammad], a clear conquest (48:1)



وَاللَّـهُ أَنبَتَكُم مِّنَ الْأَرْضِ نَبَاتًا 



And Allah has caused you to grow from the earth a [progressive] growth. (71:17)



أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا



Or add to it, and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation. (73:4)



Sometimes the verbal noun, used as an absolute object, can be from a different root verb but of the same meaning such as:



لَن يَضُرُّوكُمْ إِلَّا أَذًى



They will not harm you except for [some] annoyance. (3:111)


  2. In the second case, the absolute object is used to know the number of times a work has been done.



فَيَمِيلُونَ عَلَيْكُم مَّيْلَةً وَاحِدَةً



so they could come down upon you in one [single] attack (4:102)


  3. In the third case, the absolute object is used to describe how the action was done, i.e., an adverb.




 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ



O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him]. (3:102)



3. Object for time and place – الظَّرْفُ / الْمَفْعُولُ فِيْهِ


Nouns which are used to show the time or place of action are called الْمَفْعُولُ فِيْهِ or الظَّرْفُ.


These are also in the accusative case.



قَالَ لَبِثْتُ يَوْمًا أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ



The man said, “I have remained a day or part of a day.” (2:259)



قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي دَعَوْتُ قَوْمِي لَيْلًا وَنَهَارًا



He said, “My Lord, indeed I invited my people [to truth] night and day. (71:5)



قَالَ إِنِّي تُبْتُ الْآنَ



he says, “Indeed, I have repented now”  (4:18)



يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ



He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, (2:255)



  Prepositional phrases may express some accusatives.


  • خَلْفَ – behind
  • تَحْتَ – beneath/under
  • بَعْدَ – after
  • أَمَامَ – in front of
  • فَوْقَ – above
  • قَبْلَ – before
  • وَرَاءَ – behind
  • أَسْفَلَ – lower




وَجَعَلْنَا مِن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ سَدًّا وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ سَدًّا فَأَغْشَيْنَاهُمْ فَهُمْ لَا يُبْصِرُونَ



And We have put before them a barrier and behind them a barrier and covered them, so they do not see. (36:9)



 فَنَادَاهَا مِن تَحْتِهَا أَلَّا تَحْزَنِي قَدْ جَعَلَ رَبُّكِ تَحْتَكِ سَرِيًّا



But he called her from below her, “Do not grieve; your Lord has provided beneath you a stream. (19:24)



 وَالرَّكْبُ أَسْفَلَ مِنكُمْ



and they were on the farther side (8:42)



وَكَانَ وَرَاءَهُم مَّلِكٌ يَأْخُذُ كُلَّ سَفِينَةٍ غَصْبًا



after them a king who seized every [good] ship by force (18:79)



فَبَدَأَ بِأَوْعِيَتِهِمْ قَبْلَ وِعَاءِ أَخِيهِ



So he began [the search] with their bags before the bag of his brother (12:76)



4. Object for aim or purpose – الْمَفْعُولُ لَهُ / الْمَفْعُولُ لِاَجْلِهِ



الْمَفْعُولُ لَهُ is also a verbal noun which is in the accusative case. It expresses the reason for the action of a verb.



 كَالَّذِي يُنفِقُ مَالَهُ رِئَاءَ النَّاسِ



as does one who spends his wealth [only] to be seen by the people  (2:264)



وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَاقٍ



And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. (17:31)



 لَا يَسْأَلُونَ النَّاسَ إِلْحَافًا



They do not ask people persistently [or at all]. (2:273)



 وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْرِي نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّـهِ



And of the people is he who sells himself, seeking means to the approval of Allah. (2:207)



أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ بَدَّلُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّـهِ كُفْرًا وَأَحَلُّوا قَوْمَهُمْ دَارَ الْبَوَارِ



Have you not considered those who exchanged the favour of Allah for disbelief and settled their people [in] the home of ruin? (14:28)



فَأَتْبَعَهُمْ فِرْعَوْنُ وَجُنُودُهُ بَغْيًا وَعَدْوًا



and Pharaoh and his soldiers pursued them in tyranny and enmity  (10:90)



 يَجْعَلُونَ أَصَابِعَهُمْ فِي آذَانِهِم مِّنَ الصَّوَاعِقِ حَذَرَ الْمَوْتِ



 They put their fingers in their ears against the thunderclaps in dread of death.  (2:19)



5. Object for denoting meaning of “with” – الْمَفْعُولُ مَعَهُ



The particle و is used to give the meaning of مَعَ (with). The object which follows و will be in an accusative case.



فَأَجْمِعُوا أَمْرَكُمْ وَشُرَكَاءَكُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَكُنْ أَمْرُكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ غُمَّةً 



o, resolve upon your plan and [call upon] your associates. Then let not your plan be obscure to you. (10:71)



The noun for state



The word الْحَالُ is a peculiarly Arabic construction. It is used to describe the condition or circumstances at the time of the main verb’s action and the circumstance of the subject or object or both.



الْحَالُ is a common noun – النَّكِرَةُ in the accusative form. The subject of the intransitive verb – اللَّازِمُ and the object of the transitive verb – الْمُتَعَدِّي is called ذُو الحالِ, and it is usually a proper noun – الْمَعْرِفَةُ.




وَنَحْشُرُهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَلَىٰ وُجُوهِهِمْ عُمْيًا وَبُكْمًا وَصُمًّا



and We will gather them on the Day of Resurrection [fallen] on their faces – blind, dumb and deaf. (17:97)



رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا



 “My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small.” (17:24)



ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ يَصْلَاهَا مَذْمُومًا مَّدْحُورًا



Then We have made for him Hell, which he will [enter to] burn, censured and banished. (17:18)



رَبِّ إِنِّي نَذَرْتُ لَكَ مَا فِي بَطْنِي مُحَرَّرًا



 “My Lord, indeed I have pledged to You what is in my womb, consecrated [for Your service] (3:35)



وَأَمَّا مَن جَاءَكَ يَسْعَىٰ



But as for he who came to you striving [for knowledge] (80:8)



 وَإِذَا رَأَوْا تِجَارَةً أَوْ لَهْوًا انفَضُّوا إِلَيْهَا وَتَرَكُوكَ قَائِمًا



But when they saw a transaction or a diversion, [O Muhammad], they rushed to it and left you standing. (62:11)



فَخَرَجَ مِنْهَا خَائِفًا يَتَرَقَّبُ



So he left it, fearful and anticipating [apprehension].  (28:21)



Sometimes when و is used between sentences, it is called وَاو الحالِ meaning “while”. The second sentence is a nominal sentence and forms a structure of حَال. Such a sentence is called الجُمْلَةُ الحالِية.




يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقْرَبُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَىٰ



O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated (4:43)



وَكَيْفَ تَأْخُذُونَهُ وَقَدْ أَفْضَىٰ بَعْضُكُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ 



And how could you take it while you have gone in unto each other  (4:21)


  وَاو الحالِ is dropped when a verbal sentence follows.   Example:


وَجَاءَ مِنْ أَقْصَى الْمَدِينَةِ رَجُلٌ يَسْعَىٰ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اتَّبِعُوا الْمُرْسَلِينَ



And there came from the farthest end of the city a man, running. He said, “O my people, follow the messengers. (36:20)



The specification – التَّمْيِيْز



The specification –التَّمْيِيْز is an indefinite accusative noun which is used to clarify what is not clear by the verb of the sentence. It usually explains the verb and may express weight, number, measure or another kind of specification. It is an accusative case, and may also be called التَّمْيِيْز. It answers the question of what/how many?



وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا



and say, “My Lord, increase me in knowledge.” (20:114)



أَنَا أَكْثَرُ مِنكَ مَالًا وَأَعَزُّ نَفَرًا



“I am greater than you in wealth and mightier in [numbers of] men.” (18:34)



 إِنَّا لَا نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ مَنْ أَحْسَنَ عَمَلًا



 indeed, We will not allow being lost the reward of any who did well in deeds. (18:30)



إِنَّ نَاشِئَةَ اللَّيْلِ هِيَ أَشَدُّ وَطْئًا وَأَقْوَمُ قِيلً



Indeed, the hours of the night are more effective for concurrence [of heart and tongue] and more suitable for words. (73:6)



وَوَاعَدْنَا مُوسَىٰ ثَلَاثِينَ لَيْلَةً



And We made an appointment with Moses for thirty nights (7:142)



The noun following كَمْ (how much/how many) is in the singular accusative case. كَمْ can also be used to show that the object has a large number. In this case, كَمْ will not be interrogative, questioning the number but will take the noun following it in the genitive case as in the following ayats:



وَكَم مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَاهَا



And how many cities have We destroyed (7:4)



وَكَمْ قَصَمْنَا مِن قَرْيَةٍ كَانَتْ ظَالِمَةً



And how many a city which was unjust (21:11)



The noun following the numerals will be التَّمْيِيْز. Their plurals will be possessed (mudaf ilayhi) and in the genitive case like the following:



وَالْبَحْرُ يَمُدُّهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ سَبْعَةُ أَبْحُرٍ



and the sea [was ink], replenished thereafter by seven [more] seas (31:27)



The noun counted after the number 13 to 99 is singular and in the accusative case.




إِنَّ هَـٰذَا أَخِي لَهُ تِسْعٌ وَتِسْعُونَ نَعْجَةً



Indeed this, my brother, has ninety-nine ewes, (38:23)


  From a hundred onwards, the counted object التَّمْيِيْز is genitive and singular like in verse:


 فِي كُلِّ سُنبُلَةٍ مِّائَةُ حَبَّةٍ



in each spike is a hundred grains. (2:261)



You have now completed this Arabic lesson. The next one will be insha’Allah about the particles of conjunction in Arabic.


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