Kaana and its sisters


كَانَ and its sisters ( صَارَ لَيْسَ أصْبَحَ أمْسَى – أضْحَى – ظَلَّ بَاتَ and additionally some negatives such as ما دَامَ and ما زَالَ ) change the predicate (خَبر ) of the sentence. The khabr is what tells about the subject (مُبْتَدأ ) and the mubtada (subject) is what’s being talked about (in the khabr). An example of mubtada and khabr in the following nominal sentence (as opposed to a sentence which starts with a verb):

البَيْتُ نَظِيْفٌ The house is clean

In this sentence, البيتُ is the subject (mubtada)

and نظيفٌ is the predicate (khabr-it tells about the subject)

كان and its sisters change the ending of the khabr (predicate) of the sentence, but NOT the subject. Ex:

كَانَ البَيْتُ نَظِيْفاً The house was clean

So نظيفٌ which is marfoo’ became نظيفاً -which is mansoob- when كان was added to the sentence.

The “sisters” of kaana do the exact same thing. They change the ending of the khabr (predicate ) of the sentence and NOT the ending of the subject. Refer to the attached lesson taken from Naho Wadih 1 below

Do not think of كان and its sisters in terms of what the words mean, but think of it in terms of how they change the ending of the predicate.

It is important to note that when كان is used with Allah (God-The Creator), it does not mean only “was”. Rather it conveys continuity and emphasis.

كَانَ اللهُ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً

This sentence conveys emphasis. Allah is definitely All-Knowing, All-Wise.

And it means continuity. He has always been and will always be All-Knowing and All-Wise.

The same rule of kaana and its sisters applies to the other conjugations of the verbs as well. Ex:

إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِيْنَ

so the 2nd person, masculine, plural form of كان (which is كنتم ) causes مؤمنون

– which is marfoo- to change to مُؤْمِنِيْنَ – which is mansoob (this is how mansoob and majroor is formed in the sound masculine plural words – oon ون is changed to een ين )

لَسْتُ مُدَرّساً I am not a teacher (مدرسٌ becomes مدرساً )

Meanings of the sisters of kaana:

ليس negation – is not

صار to become (change from one thing to another)

أصبح to become (or to spend the morning …)

أمْسى to spend the evening ….

أضحى to spend the afternoon….

ظَلَّ to spend the day ….

بات to spend the night….

ما زال to not cease/stop

ما دام as long as

 Kaana and its sisters

Above file taken from p.63-65 of the pdf file Naho Wadih 1 found here: https://sughayyirah.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/grammer-in-arabic/

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