Exclamations in Arabic Grammar (Ta'jjub)

Exclamations means to express surprise, strong emotion etc. Naturally, we as student of Arabic grammar would love to know

May be Arabic expression of OMG (oh my god)

and other similar questions…

Arabic being a vast and diverse language has a concept of Ta'jjub (تعجُّب) to express similar emotions. We can also see the use of التعجب in Quran,

So without further ado lets discuss exclamations in Arabic Grammar and make it super easy (إن شاء الله)

How exclamations in Arabic work?

There are certain expressions in Arabic language which we can use to express emotions of excitement like how beautiful, how amazing etc. These expressions describe strong feelings in Arabic language.

Excited to drill down??

Let’s make the concept of التعجب super easy in Arabic language.

First things first, lets understand the word التعجب. It is a مصدر (masdar) from word

تعجَّب يتَعَجَّب تعجبْ التَّعَجُّب
meaning to be amazed or astonished (when we see something amazing or rare)

In Arabic, we can express تعَجُّب in many ways e.g.

But exclamations in Arabic (تعَجُّب) can also be expressed using certain styles offered by Arabic language. Which we will discuss below

Style of exclamations in Arabic

أسلوب التعجب

There are 2 styles of expressing تعَجُّب or exclamations in Arabic language,

Exclamations in Arabic

ما أفْعَلَ

The sentence made from above expression is a Nominal Sentence or جملة اسمية. For example to say

Irab of ما أعظمَ العلمَ

اسم تعجب مبني على السكون في محل رفع مبتدأ
فعل ماض مبني على الفتح والفاعل ضمير مستتر تقديره هو
مفعول به منصوب
أعظمَ العلمَ
الجملة الفعلية في محل رفع خبر

أفْعِل بِه

The sentence made from above expression is a Verbal Sentence or جملة فعلية. For example to say

Irab of أعظِمْ بالعلمِ

فعل ماض جاء على صيغة الأمر
حرف جر زائد
فاعل مرفوع وعلامة رفعه الضمة المقدرة

Rules of Exclamations in Arabic

شروط فعل التعجب

  1. Arabic Verb should be three lettered i.e فعل ثلاثي
    • For example, we can’t make التعجب from استغفر. But we can say, ما أعظمَ استغفارَ المؤمن where استغفارَ is مصدر of استغفر
  2. It has to be مُتَصَرِّف i.e. should have ماض, مضارع etc
    • For example, we can’t use ليس Or نعم OR بئس
  3. We can’t use verb with negation i.e. it has to be مُثبَت
  4. It has to be capable of comparison i.e. قابِل للمُفاضلة. To understand this lets take an example
    • When we say ما أجمل الليلة we mean there is beauty in this night and there is beauty in other nights but beauty of this night is more
    • But with مات, it doesn’t have مفاضلة i.e. there no difference between one death or the another one so it is غيرُ قابل للمفاضلة. But we can say,
    • ما أقسى موتَ زيدِ (How cruel/harsh is death of Zaid)
  5. It can’t be a verb which can be used in أفعل فعلاء form. E.g. أبيض بيضاء OR أعمى عمياء. But we can say,
    • ما أشد بياضَ الثوب
    • ما أشد عَمَى الكافر
    • ما أنقى بياض الثوب

That’s all folks !!
Thats pretty neat summary of how exclamations in Arabic work.

But like I see you people are utmost sincere and patient.Remember, Allah is with the patient ان الله مع الصابرين (Ref 2:153). I would like to cover two more emotions viz,


الإغراء comes from the word

أغرى يغري أغر الإغراء

meaning to advice or encourage for something or to incite/instigate to do something i.e.

أن أنصحك بشيء جيد لتلزمه أو لتفعله

To express الإغراء we repeat the same word making it منصوب. For example,

Irab of الصلاةَ الصلاةَ

مفعول به منصوب لفعل محذوف تقديره الزم
منصوب على الإغراء


التحذير comes form the word

حذر يحذر التحذير
i.e. to Warn and is opposite to الإغراء

To express التحذير we repeat the same word making it منصوب. For example,

Irab of اللهَ اللهَ

مفعول به منصوب لفعل محذوف تقديره اِحذَر
منصوب على التحذير

That’s pretty much it people. Now you have a good overview of how to be amazed like an Arab, OR Warn like an Arab or to encourage like an Arab. And if any one asks you why you are making sentences like this, proudly say the phrase
Because Arab said so !!!

haha, Jokes apart. That how exclamations in Arabic Grammar works

Exclamations in Arabic Reference(s)


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