The active participle is literally just that: the doer of the action that is going to be done in the sentence. Arabic grammar lesson right here.
اسم الفاعل /ism al fa’il/, which translates to the name of the doer, is the active participle that is our lesson for today.
It takes the verb and changes it to the same form or structure or the word فاعل. In other words, it makes it look and sound like the word فاعل.
Let’s take a look at this example:
كسر /kasara/ Break
كاسر /kasir/ Breaker
كتب /kataba/ Write
كاتب /katib/ Writer
Notice that an alif أ is added to make the active participle resemble the word فاعل.
Now some words don’t function the same such as the following:
صرّح /sarrah/ (he) stated
مصَرِح /mosarrih/ Stater
استأنف /ista’nafa/ (he) appealed
مستأنِف /mosta’nif/ Appealer
Notice that in these examples, it is not possible to turn them into فاعل form so we add a م /meem/ and place a kasra to the second last letter.
This is similar to the English verb tenses where an –ing is placed for an ongoing action, or an –ed for something that happened in the past. Also, the addition of have or had and pretty much any change onto the verb to allow its use according to the proposed meaning.
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