Adverbs of time and place / الظُرُوف الزَمان والمَكان

Arabic adverbs of time and place (الظُرُوف الزَمان والمَكان)

Arabic adverbs are referred to as (ظُروف) which directly translates to “vessel” or “container,” indicating the span of time and/or location in which a verb’s action is carried out. They are nouns that are generally declined in the accusative case and, when followed by nouns, serve as 1st term of annexation (مُضاف) while the noun following them is 2nd term (مُضاف إِليه). They are usually divided into two categories (even though other adverbs exist like adverbs of manner, degree, reason, restriction, etc.):

  • Adverbs of place / ظُروف المَكان 
  • Adverbs of time / ظُروف الزَمان 

Note: Adverbs can be preceded by a preposition such as مِنْ/ لِـ/ بِـ then adopt the genitive case structure (مَجْرور).

Note 2: Several adverbs can act as adverbs of time and place at the same time.

Note 3: Certain adverbs can be found in the definite nominative case (مَرفوع مَعْرِفة) without complement, either preceded or not by the preposition مِنْ. This applies to these following adverbs when they are to be found at the end of a sentence with nothing following them.

aheadأَمامَ
behindوَراءَ
overفَوْقَ
belowتَحْتَ
afterبَعْدَ
beforeقَبْلَ

Examples:

He doesn’t know yetلا يَعْرِفُ بَعْدُ
I’ve seen him beforeرَأَيْتُهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ

Adverbs of place / ظُروف المَكان 

There are several adverbs of place (ظُروف المَكان) which can be divided into two categories: declinable (مُعْرَب) and indeclinable (مَبْنِيّ).  Declinable adverbs of place will take the ḍamma, fatḥa, or kasra depending on their position in the sentence. On the other hand, undeclinable adverbs of place have only one ending and remain the same regardless of their positions they are not subjects to noun cases (الإعْراب).

Declinable adverbs of place / ظُروف المَكان المُعْرَبة

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of declinable adverbs of place (ظُروف المَكان المُعْرَبة):

aheadأَمامَ
behindخَلْفَ
belowتَحْتَ
aboveفَوْقَ
withمَعَ
atعِنْدَ
in middle ofوَسْطَ
throughعَبْرَ
betweenبَيْنَ
aroundحَوْلَ

Indeclinable adverbs of place / ظُروف المَكان المَبْنِيّة

atلَدى
fromلَدُنْ
whereحَيْثُ
whereأَيْنَ
hereهنا
thereهُناك
thenثَمَّ

Adverbs of time / ظُروف الزَمان 

There are several adverbs of time (ظُروف الزَمان) which can be divided into two categories: declinable (مُعْرَب) and undeclinable (مَبْنِيّ).  Declinable adverbs of time will take the ḍamma, fatḥa, or kasra depending on their position in the sentence. On the other hand, undeclinable adverbs of place have only one ending and remain the same regardless of their positions they are not subjects to noun cases (الإعْراب).

Some declinable adverbs of time / ظُروف الزَمان المُعْرَبة

Here’s a non-exhaustive list of declinable adverbs of time (ظُروف الزَمان المُعْرَبة):

afterبَعْدَ
beforeقَبْلَ
when/at the time ofحِينَ
when/at the time ofحال
duringأَثْناء
withمَعَ
atعِنْدَ
right at the moment ofفَوْرَ
betweenبَيْنَ
aroundحَوْلَ

Indeclinable adverbs of time / ظُروف الزَمان المَبْنِيّة

yesterdayأَمْسِ
never (used for past events)قَطُّ
while/whilstبَيْنَما
when (used for past events)لَمّا
whenمَتَى
nowالآنَ
since/fromمُذْ / مُنْذُ

Adverbs conveying the concept of possession

While Arabic lacks a verb equivalent to the English ‘to have’, the same notion of ownership or possession can be communicated in a nominal sentence (جُمْلة اِسْمية) by following the noun expressing the owner with either the adverbs عِنْدَ or لَدى (or even preposition لِ and adverb مَعَ). The owned material is then expressed as part of the nominative case, forming a nominal predicate. They are usually followed by a noun or a pronoun


To have
لَدى + اسم / ضمير
عِنْدَ + اسم / ضمير

Examples:

You have mental strengthلَدَيْكَ قُوّةٌ عَقْلِيّةٌ
Samir has a nice carعِنْدَ سَمِيرٍ سَيّارةٌ جَمِيلةٌ

Note: when used with a pronoun لَدى becomes لَدَيْـ


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Adverbs

Adverbs of time and place

Learn about the various adverbs used to describe time and place in Arabic with our comprehensive guide. Perfect for Arabic language learners and enthusiasts.

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