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Verb-Like Particles (continued)

Hoping & Whishing

The remaining two verb-like particles are:


It is hoped that

It may be that



It is wished that




 la"all(a) لَعَلَّ  or "all(a) عَلَّ

A commonly used verb-like particle, la"all(a) indicates the hope as well as the expectation of the speaker about something. Sometimes it indicates the mere expectation (including bad expectations).

la"all(a) is used only with nominal sentences, and the subject of the sentence will be in the accusative case just like for the rest of verb-like particles.


لَعَلَّ رِيْمَاْ تَأْتِيْ غَدًا

 la"all(a) reemaa ta'<tee rada(n)

= it is hoped that Rima come tomorrow

Translation: I hope Rima will come tomorrow


لَعَلَّ الْمَرِيْضَ قَدْ مَاْتَ

 la"all(a) ('a)l-mareed(a) qad maat(a)

= maybe the patient has died

Translation: maybe the patient has died


عَلَّ الْمَرِيْضَ قَدْ مَاْتَ

"all(a) ('a)l-mareed(a) qad maat(a)

= maybe the patient has died

Translation: maybe the patient has died


لَعَلَّهَاْ تُمْطِرُ الْيَوْمَ

 la"alla-haa tumter(u) ('a)l-yawm(a)

= it is hoped that her will rain today

Translation: I hope it will rain today




 layt(a) لَيْتَ

layt(a) is also a commonly used word. It indicates that the speaker is whishing that what he says happen or be true. layt(a) works just like the other verb-like particles as far as grammar is concerned.


لَيْتََ الشَّبَاْبَ يَعُوْدُ يَوْمًا

layta ('a)sh-shabaab(a) ya"ood(u) yawma(n)

= it is wished that the youth returns a day

Translation: I wish if I be young again one day



لَيْتَنِيْ كُنْتُ هُنَاْكَ

layta-nee kunt(u) hunaak(a)

= it is wished that me was there

Translation: I wish I was there



Verb-Like Particles + maa

Verb-like particles can be used regularly with nominal sentences that begin with relative pronouns such as that, who, what, etc.

Example from classical poetry, the poet is showing pride of his people:

إِنَّ الَّذِيْ سَمَكَ الْسَّمَاْءَ بَنَىْ لَنَاْ

بَيْتًاْ دَعَاْئِمُهُ أَعَزُّ وَأَطْوَلُ

'inna ('a)l-lathee samak(a) ('a)s-samaa'(a) banaa la-na bayta(n) da"aa'imu-h(u) 'a"azz(u) wa-'atwal(u)

= it is true that who raised the heaven built for us a house (the) foundations (of) him (are) more excellent and taller

Translation: he who raised the heaven has built for us a house, the foundations of which are higher and more excellent

'al-lathee is a general relative pronoun that can mean who, whom, or which.

Example on other relative pronouns:

إِنَّ مَنْ فَعَلَ هَذَاْ قَدْ أَصَاْبَ

'inna man fa"al(a) haathaa qad 'asaab(a)

= truthfully who did this has done right

Translation: he who did this has done right


إِنَّ مَاْ تَفْعَلُهُ هُوَ الصَّوَاْبُ

'inna maa taf"alu-h(u) huw(a) ('a)s-sawaab(u)

= truthfully what (you) are doing he (is) the right (thing)

Translation: what you're doing is the right thing


Now to the main point, verb-like particles can be combined with the relative pronoun maa = "what" to give a single word with a reduced meaning.

Verb-Like Particles With maa

اِتِّصَاْلُ الأَحْرُفُ الْمُشَبَّهَةُ بِالْفِعْلِ بِمَاْ الْكَاْفَّةِ

إِنَّ + مَاْ = إِنَّمَاْ

'inna + maa = 'inna-maa

It is true that what ... → it is true that ...

أَنَّ + مَاْ = أَنَّمَاْ

'anna + maa = 'anna-maa

That it is true that what ... → that it is true that ...

لَكِنَّ + مَاْ = لَكِنَّمَاْ

laakinna + maa = laakinna-maa

But it is true that what ... → but ...

كَأَنَّ + مَاْ = كَأَنَّمَاْ

ka'anna + maa = ka'anna-maa

Like that it is true that what ... → it is like that ...

لَعَلَّ + مَاْ = لَعَلَّمَاْ

la"all(a) + maa = la"alla-maa

It is hoped that what ... → it is hoped that ...

It is may be that what ... → it is may be that ...

لَيْتَ + مَاْ = لَيْتَمَاْ

layt(a) + maa = layta-maa

It is wished that what ... → it is wished that ...


Verb-like particles plus maa were so commonly used in classical Arabic that they lost their primary meanings and became just emphatic versions of the bare verb-like particles. Verb-like particles plus maa will have no effect what so ever on the case-declensions in the following sentence, regardless of the syntax. Moreover, VLP plus maa will be used with verbal sentences just like with nominal sentences.

maa is this case is called in Arabic "inactivating maa" مَاْ الْكَاْفَّةُ .


إِنَّمَاْ هُوَ إِلَهٌ وَاْحِدٌ

'inna-maa huw(a) 'ilaah(un) waahid(un)

= truthfully what he (is) (is) a god a one

truthfully he (is) a god a one

Translation: he is only one God



إِنَّمَاْ تَقُوْلُ الْحَقَّ

'inna-maa taqool(u) ('a)l-haqq(a)

= truthfully what (you) say (is) the truth

truthfully (you) say the truth

Translation: what you say is nothing but the truth


كَأَنَّمَاْ وَجْهُهَاْ الْبَدْرُ

ka'anna-maa wajhu-haa ('a)l-badr(u)

= it is like that what (the) face (of) her (is) (is) the full moon

it is like that (the) face (of) her (is) the full moon

Translation: her face is like the full moon (beautiful)


لَعَلَّمَاْ يُشْفَىْ الْمَرِيْضُ

la"alla-maa yushfaa ('a)l-mareed(u)

= it is hoped that what (he) be healed (is) the patient

= it is hoped that (he) be healed the patient

Translation: I hope the patient will get well



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