Nahw Meer English: 4.1 - Declinable Nouns

A noun can have only three statuses: Nominative رَفْعٌ Accusative نَصْبٌ and Genitive جَرٌّ.


Section 4.1 – Declinable Noun

 فَصْلٌ ٤ . ١  اَلْاِسْمُ الْمُتَمَكِّنُ


As mentioned before in Chapter 2, Declinable Noun اَلْاِسْمُ الْمُتَمَكِّنُ can accept a vowel (harakah) on the last alphabet إِعْرَابٌ under certain conditions. There are two definitions:


1) Triptote اَلْمُنْصَرِفُ: These are Nominative رَفْعٌ by Dammah (ُ), Accusative نَصْبٌ by Fathah (َ), and Genitive جَرٌّ by Kasrah (ِ).

2) Diptote غَيْرُ الْمُنْصَرِفِ: These are Nominative رَفْعٌ by Dammah (ُ) and Accusative نَصْبٌ and Genitive جَرٌّ by Fathah (َ)


Declinable Noun اَلْاِسْمُ الْمُتَمَكِّنُ includes 16 types for flexibility إِعْرابٌ. They can be triptotes, diptotes, or are given their vowels in other ways as described below.


1) Single True Triptote: اَلْمُفْرَدُ الْمُنْصَرِفُ الصَّحِيْحُ[1] as in زَيدٌmeaning “Zaid”

2) Single Non-trueTriptote اَلْمُفْرَدُ الْمُنْصَرِفُ الْغَيْرُ الصَّحيْحُ[2] in as in دَلْوٌ meaning “a bucket”

3) Broken Plural Triptote اَلْجَمْعُ الْمُكَسَّرُ الْمُنْصَرِفُ[3]: As in رِجَالٌ meaning “men”.


These three types are Nominative رَفْعٌ by Dammah (ُ), Accusative نَصْبٌ by Fathah (َ), and Genitive جَرٌّ by Kasrah (ِ). For example:


Nominative رَفْعٌ:

1) جاءَنِيْ زَيْدٌ meaning “Zaid came to me”

2) هٰذَا دَلْوٌ meaning “this is a bucket”

3) جَاءَنِيْ رِجَالٌ meaning “men came to me”


Accusative نَصْبٌ:


1) رَأَيْتُ زَيْدًا meaning “I saw Zaid”

2) رَأَيْتُ دَلْوًا meaning “I saw a bucket”

3) رَأَيْتُ رِجَالًا meaning “I saw several men”


Genitive جَرٌّ:


1) مَرَرْتُ بِزَيْدٍ meaning “I passed by Zaid”

2) مَرَرْتُ بِدَلْوٍ meaning “I passed by a bucket”

3) مَرَرْتُ برِجَالٍ meaning “I passed by several men”


4) Plural Sound Feminine اَلْجَمْعُ الْمُوْنَّثُ السَّالِمُ: It is made Nominative رَفْعٌ by Dammah (ُ) and Accusative نَصْبٌ and Genitive جَرٌّ by Kasrah (ِ) as in هُنَّ مُسْلِمَاتٌmeaning “they are Muslim women”, and مُسْلِمَاتٍ رَأَيْتُmeaning “I saw Muslim women”, and بِمُسْلِمَاتٍ مَرَرْتُ meaning “I passed by Muslim women”.


5) Diptote غَيْرُ الْمُنْصَرِفِ: It is the Noun in which two of the Reasons for Prevention of Full Declension أَسْبَابُ مَنْعِ الصَّرْفِ or one condition that is equivalent to two of them noted below is met.


Reasons for Prevention of Full Declension

أَسْبَابُ مَنْعِ الصَّرْفِ are nine:

1) Transformation اَلْعَدْلُ

2) Descriptive اَلوَصْفُ

3) Feminine Gender اَلتَّانِيْثُ. – This is equivalent to two when gender is feminine with maqsoorah (ىٰ) or mamdoodah (اء).

4) Definite Noun اَلْمَعْرِفَةُ

5) Foreign/Non-Arabic word اَلْعُجْمَةُ

6) Plural اَلْجَمْعُ, Plural of plurals جَمْعُ الجُّمُوْعِ and Ultimate plural مُنْتَهَى الْجُمُوْعِ – These are equivalent to two.

7) A Compound اَلتَّرْكِيْبُ - Some, not all compounds

8) A pattern of a Verb وَزْنُ الْفِعْلِ

9) The Extraneous (ا and ن) زَأَئِدَتَانِ اَلْأَلِفُ وَ النُّوْنُ


For all these, examples are given in the following paragraph. Numbers in parentheses indicate the conditions of declension being met.


- [4]عُمَرُ (1,4(: transformation because this name originally was عَامِرٌ and was changed to عُمَرُ and is a name (Definite Noun).

- أَحْمَرُ (2,4(: descriptive word since it means color red and is also a name (Definite Noun)

- طَلْحَةُ (3,4( uses round ةand is also a name (Definite Noun)

- زَيْنَبُ (4,5(: name (Definite Noun) and also a foreign word/name

- إِبْرَاهِيْمُ (4,5(: name (Definite Noun) and also a foreign name

- مَسَاجِدُ (2,6(: descriptive (a place of worship) and is plural.

- مَعْدِ يْكَرَبُ (4,7(: name (Definite Noun) of a person by combining two names and is a Compound of Declension مُرَكَّبُ الْمَنْعِ الصَّرْفِ

- أَحْمَدُ (4,8(: name (Definite Noun) and is based on pattern أَفْعَلَ

- عِمْرَانُ (4,9(: name (Definite Noun) and uses extraneous (ا) and (ن),زَأَئِدَتَانِ  اَلْأَلِفُ وَ النُّوْنُ.


And Nominative رَفْعٌ is given to a Non-Declinable Noun or a Diptote with a Dammah (ُ) and Accusative نَصْبٌ and Genitive جَرٌّ by Fathah (َ) as in جَاءَ عُمَرُ، وَرَأَيْتُ عُمَرَ، وَمَرَرْتُ بِعُمَرَ


6) The Six Augmentative Nouns [5]اَلْأَسْمَاءُ السِّتَّةُ الْمُتَكَبِّرَةُThese are singular and Possessed مُضَافٌ part of the Possessive Compound مُرَكَّبُ الْإِضَافِيْ without a Speaker Alphabet (ي) or يَاءُ الْمُتَكَلِّمِ. These six are أَبٌ meaning “father”, أَخٌ meaning “brother”, حَمٌ meaning “husband’s brother”, هَنٌ meaning “private parts”, فَمٌ meaning “mouth” and ذُوْ مَالٍ meaning “the one with money”.


These Nouns are given Nominative رَفْعٌ status with the letter (و) and Accusative نَصْبٌby letter (ا) and Genitive جَرٌّby letter (ي) as in [6]جَاءَأَبُوْكَ, أَبَاكَ رَأَيْتُ, and بِأَبِيْكَ مَرَرْتُ meaning from left (your father came) Nominative رَفْعٌ, (I saw your father) Accusative نَصْبٌ, (and I passed by your father) Genitive جَرٌّ.


7) The Dual اَلْمُثَنّٰى: As in رَجُلَانِ meaning “two men” and إِمْرَأَتَانِ meaning “two women”. These are Nominative رَفْعٌ with (ا) and (ن) and Accusative نَصْبٌ /Genitive جَرٌّ with (ي) and (ن) as in رَجُلَيْنِ and إِمْرَأَتَيْنِ.


8) كِلَا وَ كِلْتَا: when these two are Possessed parts مُضَافٌ of the Possessive Compound الْإِضَافِيْ مُرَكَّبُ towards a Pronounاَلْمُضْمَرُ. Examples are given below under step 9.


9) Masculine Dual and Feminine Dual اِثْنَانِ وَ اِثْنَتَانِ:

The three forms are made Nominative رَفْعٌ with letter alif (ا) and Accusative نَصْبٌ and Genitive جَرٌّ by letter (ي) with Fathah on the letter before them.


Examples for definitions 7, 8, and 9 above are given in the two tables below.


Table 4 – Masculine and Feminine Duals


Masculine – اَلْمُثَنّٰى

Feminine – اَلْمُثَنّٰى

كِلَا– Masculine with a pronoun

Nominative رَفْعٌ

جَاءَ رَجُلَانِ

Two men came

جَاءَتْ امْرَأَتَانِ

Two women came

جَاءَ كِلَاهُمَا

Those two males came

Accusative نَصْبٌ

رَأَيْتُ رَجُلَيْنِ

I saw two men

رَأَيْتُ امْرَأَتَيْنِ

I saw two women

رَأَيْتُ كِلَيهِمَا

I saw those two males



مَرَرْتُ بِرَجُلَيْنِ

I passed by two men

مَرَرْتُ امْرأَتَيْنِ

I passed by two women

مَرَرْتُ بِكِلَيْهِمَا

I passed by those two males




Table 5 – Kila and Kilta


كِلْتَا-Feminine with pronoun

Masculine– اِثْنَانِ

Feminine – اِثْنَتَانِ


Nominative رَفْعٌ

جَاءَتْ كِلْتَاهُمَا

Those two females came

جَاءَ اثْنَانِ

Two males came

جَاءَتْ اِثْنَتَانِ

Two females came

Accusative نَصْبٌ

رَأَيْتُ كِلْتَيْهِمَا

I saw those two females

رَأَيْتُ اثْنَيْنِ

I saw two males

رَأَيْتُ اثْنَتَيْنِ

I saw two females

Genitive جَرٌّ

مَرَرْتُ بِكِلْتَيْهِمَا

I passed by those two females

مَرَرْتُ بِاثْنَيْنِ

I passed by two males

مَرَرْتُ بِاثْنَتَيْنِ

I passed by two females


10) Plural Masculine Sound Noun جَمْعُ الْمُذَكَّرِ السَّالِمِ: As in مُسْلِمُوْنَ for Nominative رَفْعٌ and مُسْلِمِيْنَ for Accusative نَصْبٌ and Genitive جَرٌّ.


11) أُولُوْ meaning “all those with”: This is a plural of ذُوْ meaning “one with” without its alphabets: As in

 أُولُوْ الْأُلْبَابِ for Nominative رَفْعٌ and الْأَلْبَابِ أُوْلِي for Accusative نَصْبٌ and Genitive جَرٌّ meaning “those with intellect”.


12) Counts of tens from twenty to ninety: These are given Nominative رَفْعٌ status by the letter (و) with a Dammah (ُ) on the letter before it, and Accusative نَصْبٌ and Genitive جَرٌّ by letter (ي) with a Kasrah (ِ) on the letter before it. See the table below for examples.


Table 6 – Counts Usage








Nominative رَفْعٌ



Muslims came

جَاءَ أُولُوْ مَالٍ

The one with money came

جَاءَ عِشْرُوْنَ رَجُلًا

twenty men came

Accusative نَصْبٌ

رَأَيْتُ مُسْلِمِيْنَ

I saw


رَأَيْتُ أُولِيْ مَالٍ

I saw the one with the money

رَأَيْتُ عِشْرِيْنَ رَجُلًا

I saw twenty men

Genitive جَرٌّ



I passed by Muslims

مَرَرْتُ بِأُولِيْ مَالٍ

I passed by the one with money

مَرَرْتُ بِعِشْرِيْنَ رَجُلًا

I passed by twenty men


13) Maqsoorah Noun اَلاِسْمُ الْمَقْصُوْرُةُ: This is a Noun in which the letter maqsoorah ىٰ is at the end. For example,the names مُوْسٰى and عِيْسٰى, and similarly حُبْلٰى andبُشْرٰى


14) Non-Plural Sound Masculine Noun

 (اِسْمٌ غَيْرُ الْجَمْعِ الْمُذَكَّرِ السَّالِمِ): When this Noun is Possessed مُضَافٌ part of the Possessive Compound مُرَكَّبُ الْإِضَافِيْ towards a speaker (ي) or يَاءُ الْمُتَكَلِّمِ as in from غُلَامٌto غُلَامِيْ”.

These last two examples 13 and 14 above are made Nominative رَفْعٌ by Hidden Dammah الْمُقَدَّرَةُ اَلضَّمَّةُ and Accusative نَصْبٌ by Hidden Fathah اَلفَتْحَةُ الْمُقَدَّرَةُ and Genitive جَرٌّ by Hidden Kasrah الْمُقَدَّرَةُ اَلْكَسْرَةُ. These words appear in the same single form in all situations as shown in the table below.


Table 7 – Flexibility/Eraab in Compounds


Relative Single with Preposition Possessed مُضَافٌ

Possessive Compound – Possessed مُضَافٌ

Nominative رَفْعٌ

جَاءَ مُوْسَىٰ

Musa came

جَاءَ غُلَامِيْ

My servant came

Accusative نَصْبٌ

رَأَيْتُ مُوْسَىٰ

I saw Musa

رَأَيْتُ غُلَامِيْ

I saw my servant

Genitive جَرٌّ

مَرَرْتُ بِمُوْسَىٰ

I passed by Musa

مَرَرْتُ بِغُلَامِيْ

I passed by my servant


15) Imperfect Noun اَلاِسْمُ النَّاقِصُ: It is also called اَلمَنْقُوْصُ. It is a Noun that has a letter (ي) at the end and has a Kasrah before the letter (ي) as in اَلقَاضِيْ meaning “the judge”.

This is given Nominative رَفْعٌ status by Implicit Dammah and Accusative نَصْبٌ by explicit Fathah, and Genitive جَرٌّ by Implicit Kasrah as in الْقَاضِيْ جَاءَ meaning “the judge came”, الْقَاضِيَ رَأَيْتُ meaning “I saw the judge”, and بِالْقَاضِيْ مَرَرْتُ meaning “I passed by the judge” respectively.


16) Sound Male Plural جَمْعُ الْمُذَكَّرِ السَّالِمِ: When it is Possessed مُضَافٌ part of the Possessive Compound مُرَكّبُ الْإِضَافِي towards speaker Yaa الْمُتَكَلِّمِ يَاءُ as in مُسْلِمِيَّ meaning “Muslims”. This is made Nominative رَفْعٌ with Implicit (و)[7] as in مُسْلِمِيَّ هٰوْلَآءِ meaning “these are Muslims” and its original was مُسْلِمُوْنَ. For Possessive Compound مُرَكّبُ الْإِضَافِيُّ towards the speaker (ي), the (ن) was dropped, the silent (و) was changed to (ي) and two (ي) are merged, then Dammah was replaced by a Kasrah on the preceding letter (م) per the requirement for (ي) so this became مُسْلِمِيَّ.

Similarly, it is made Accusative نَصْبٌ and Genitive جَرٌّ by letter Maqsoorah alif (ى) which has a Kasrah before it as in رَأَيْتُ مُسْلِمِيَّ meaning “I saw Muslims”, and مَرَرْتُ بِمُسْلِمِيَّmeaning “I passed by Muslims”






[1] صَحِيْحٌis a Noun of which root alphabets do not have at the end a weak alphabet or

 (حَرْفٌ عِلَّةٍ) which are alphabet (و) or alphabet (ي) at the end in the terms used by Nahvis.

[2] It is that where there is a alphabet (و) or alphabet (ي) at the end with a sakin (ْ) before it.

[3] Fully Declinable Broken Plural (اَلْجَمْعُ الْمُكَسَّرُ الْمُنْصَرِفُ) is added by the author here to separate Non-Declinable Broken Plural ( الْجَمْعُ الْمُكَسَّرُ الْغَيْرُ الْمُنْصَرِفُ  ), as in مَصَابِيْحَ.

[4] Examples for each of the nine categories are: Transformation (عُمَرُ), Descriptive (اَحْمَرُ), Feminine Gender (طَلْحَةُ), Definite Proper Noun (اِبْرَاهِيْمُ), Foreign Word (زَيْنَبُ), Plural (مَسَاجِدُ), A compound (مَعْدِ يْكَرَبُ), Pattern of a Verb (أَحْمَدُ), The Extraneous (ا) and (ن) (عِمْرَانُ)


[5] This is limited to The Six Augmentative Nouns اَلْأَسْمَاءُ الْسِتَّةُ الْمُتَكَبِّرَةُto avoid the situation when these Nouns become diminutive (مُصَغَّرَةُ). As in when you say اُخِيُّكَ جَاءَنِيْ  meaning “your brother came to me” and since these are singular, to avoid the situation when they are dual and plural in which case they are given flexibility for dual and plural.

[6] Benefit 1: When these Nouns are not a Possessed (مُضَافٌ) part of the Possessive Compound, their flexibility (اَلْإِعْرَابُ) are similar to Fully Declinable Single Sound Noun

(اَلْمُفْرَدُ الْمُنصَرِفُ الصَّحِيحُ) as in (جَاءَنِيْ  أَخٌ ) meaning “my brother came to me”, (رَأَيْتُ أَخًا) meaning “I saw my brother”, and (مَرَرْتُ بِأَخٍ) meaning “I passed by my brother”.

Benefit 2: ذُوْ is used without Possessive Compound (إِضَافَةٌ) unless when it is towards a Noun that is present (not a Pronoun). Therefore, it is not allowed to say ذُوْہُ, instead it is ذُوْ مَالٍ meaning “with money”.

Benefit 3: For first four Nouns, the alphabet (و) is eliminated because their originals were

 اَبَوٌ وَ أَخَوٌ وَ هَنَوٌ و حَنَوٌ. The fifth Noun was اَلْفَمُ and its original was فُوْہُ meaning “his mouth” and alphabet (و) is changed with alphabet (م). When it is used as Possessed (مُضَافٌ) of the Possessive Compound, alphabet (و) will return and it will be called فُوْكَ meaning “your mouth”.

[7] Implicit alphabet (based on its original source. And Accusative ( (نَصْبٌand Genitive (جَرٌّ) are accomplished by eliminating alphabet (ن) and alphabet (ي) Mushaddadah with Kasrah ahead of it because of the Possessive Compound ((إِضَافَةٌand merging of alphabets (ي) with (ي).

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