Inna and its sisters / إِنّ وأَخَواتُها

Inna and its sisters / إِنّ وأَخَواتُها

Inna and its sisters (إِنّ وَأَخَواتُها) are accusative particles that can only be followed by a noun, an attached pronouns (ضَمائِر مُتَّصِلة), a demonstrative or a relative pronoun (except ما or مَنْ). Thus, they necessarily introduce a nominal sentence (جُمْلة اِسْميّة).

When preceded by one of these particles:

  • The subject of the nominal sentence (المُبْتَدأ) is called اِسْم إِنَّ (ism inna), and becomes accusative (مَنْصُوب)
  • The predicate (الخَبَر) stays in the nominative case (مَرْفُوع) (if it is a noun or adjective).
إِنَّ وأَخَواتُها  (Inna and its sisters)
certainly / does not translate (a matter of style or a simple syntactic device used to highlight the starting term)إنَّ
as ifكَأَنَّ
if onlyلَيْتَ
maybe / perharps (probability sometimes mixed with a wish)لَعَلَّ


The sun is indeed hotإِنَّ الشَمْسَ حارّةٌ
He declared to be the poet of the tribeصَرَّحَ أَنّه شاعِرُ القَبِيلةِ
She slapped me as if her hand was ironصَفَعَتْنِي كَأَنَّ يَدَها حَدِيدٌ
I am a student but I workأَنا طالِبٌ وَلَكِنِّي أَعْمَلُ
If only we were richيا لَيْتَنا كُنا أَغْنياء
Perhaps victory is nearلَعَلَّ النَصْرَ قَريبٌ

Note: The word لَكِنَّ is often preceded by و, while لَيْتَ is usually preceded by the vocative particle يـا.

Note 2: إِنَّ can be used meaning ‘that’/‘to’ with only two verbs which are قالَ (to say) and أَقْسَمَ (to swear)

He said that the food was deliciousقالَ لي إِنَّ الطَّعامَ لَذِيذٌ
They swore to God that they’re innocentأَقْسَمُوا بِاللّهِ إِنَّهُم أبرياءٌ

Note 3: أَنَّ can follow several prepositions (حُرُوف الجَرّ) to give a new meaning.

despiteمَعَ أَنَّ
howeverعَلى أَنَّ / إِلاّ أَنَّ / غَيْرَ أَنَّ
given thatعِلْمًا بِأَنَّ


They (fem.) drink water because they are thirstyيَشْرَبْنَ الماءَ لأَنَّهُنَّ عَطْشاناتُ 
He likes his job even though his salary is lowيُحِبُّ عَمَلَهُ مَعَ أَنَّ راتِبَهُ مُنْخَفِضٌ
He is strong, however, he is not steadfastهُوَ قَويّ إِلا أَنّه ليس صامدًا
Knowing that he is diligent, I think he will succeed, God willing.عِلمًا بأَنّهُ مُجْتَهِدًا أَظُنُّهُ سَيَنْجَحُ إنْ شاءَ اللّه

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Inna and its sisters

Learn about the Arabic particles "Inna" and its sisters and how they are used to emphasize and introduce new information in a sentence. Explore examples and understand the nuances of these particles with our comprehensive guide.

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