Passive construction (simplified)

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Placing emphasis on the object.

1- Egyptian Colloquial/Spoken                    2- MSA/Classical



How is the below table simplified regarding the passive construction?

The below table is simplified because only the verb "to clean" is used.

Later in the 'advanced passive construction table' many verbs are used.



Why is learning the passive construction relevant for intermediate and advanced students?

Because we do not always express ourselves using the traditional word order:

subject (the "doer") + verb + object (the "receiver").

The passive is used to place less emphasis on the subject and MORE emphasis on the object.

More emphasis is on the object because of early placement within the sentence.

The passive in English is: object+ verb + subject.

The passive in Arabic is: verb + object (for MSA/Classical) OR/object + verb (for Colloquial/spoken Arabic).



Beware: In Arabic the subject disappears all together in the passive form. To retain the subject the active voice is required.

Also, the "object" in the passive is technically now the subject of the sentence. Therefore, this new subject is in the nominative hence carrying dumma for MSA/Classical. 




Beware: How does the verb form change in the passive construction?

For the form used in this exercise : 

Regarding MSA/Classical...

The passive form for the perfect tense is: فُعِّلَ
The  passive form for the imperfect tense is: يُفَعَّلُ 

Regarding Colloquial/spoken...

The passive form for the perfect tense is: اِتْعَمَّل

The  passive form for the imperfect tense is: بِيِتْعَمَّل








Beware: Arabic derives all of the tenses from the perfect and imperfect forms. To capture the other tenses we are required to use the "nasb" particles along with other particles such as قَدْ
The "nasb" particles are:
  أنْ ، لنْ ، إذنْ ، كيْ renders the imperfect into the accusative form (i.e. the verb ends in a fatha) and conveys the subjunctive mood.
What is the subjunctive mood

A mood that relates not a fact but a desire or a wish.

See the subjunctive particles in action below and compare the MSA/Classical usage with the Colloquial/Spoken usage.









1- Simple Present


1 On Friday, Ibrahim cleans the room.

في يَوْمِ اَلْجُمْعَةِ يُنَظِّفُ إبْراهيمُ اَلْحُجْرَةَ

في يومْ اِلْجُمْعَةْ إبْراهيمْ بِيْنَضَّفْ



2 On Friday, the room is cleaned (by Ibrahim).

في يَوْمِ اَلْجُمْعَةِ تُنَظَّفُ اَلْحُجْرَةُ

في يومْ اِلْجُمْعَةْ اِلْأودَةْ بِتِتْنَضَّفْ

2- Present Continuous


3 Right now, Ibrahim is cleaning the table.

حالِياً إبْراهيمُ يَقومُ بِتَنْظيفِ اَلْمائدَةِ

دِلْوَقْتِ إبْراهيمْ بِيْنَضَّفْ  اِلتَّرابيزَة


4 Right now, the table is being cleaned (by Ibrahim).

حالِياً يُجْرىَ تَنْظيفُ اَلْمائدَةِ

دِلْوَقْتِ اِلتَّرابيزَةْ بِتِتْنَضَّفْ

3- Simple Past


5 Ibrahim cleaned the house.

نَظَّفَ إبْراهيمُ اَلْبَيْتَ

إبْراهيمْ نَضَّفْ اِلْبيتْ


6 The house was cleaned (by Ibrahim).

اَلْبَيْتُ نُظِّفَ

اِلْبيتْ اِتْنَضَّفْ

4- Past Continuous


7 Ibrahim was cleaning the house when Omar came in.

إبْراهيمُ كان يَقومُ بِتَنْظيفِ اَلْبَيْتِ عِنْدَما دَخَلَ عُمَرُ

إبْراهيمْ كانْ بِيْنَضَّفْ اِلْبيتْ لَمّا

عُمَرْ دَخَلْ 

8 The house was being cleaned (by Ibrahim) when Omar came in.

كانَ يُجْرىَ تَنْظيفُ اَلْبَيْتِ عِنْدَما دَخَلَ عُمَرُ

اِلْبيتْ كانْ بِيِتْنَضَّفْ لَمّا عُمَرْ دَخَلْ

5- Present Perfect


9 Omar has cleaned the beach.

لَقَدْ أكْمَلَ عُمَرُ تَنْظيفَ اَلشّاطِئِ

عُمَرْ كَمِّلْ تَنْضيفْ اِلشَّطْ


10 The beach has been cleaned (by Omar).

قَدْ أُكْمِلَ  تَنْظيفُ اَلشّاطِئِ

تَنْضيفْ اِلشَّطْ اِتْكَمِّلْ

6- Present Perfect Continuous


11 Recently, Ahmed has been cleaning his office.

مُؤَخَراً أحْمَدُ يُداوِمُ عَلىَ تَنْظيفِ مَكْتَبِهِ  

أخيراً أحْمَدُ مِداوِمْ عَلىَ

 تَنْضيفْ مَكْتَبُهْ


12 Recently, the office has been being cleaned (by Ahmed).

مُؤَخَراً يُداوَمُ  عَلىَ تَنْظيفِ اَلْمَكْتَبِ

أخيراً اِلْمَكْتَبْ بِيْتْنَضَّفْ دايْماً

7- Past Perfect


13 Omar had cleaned many things before he locked the house.

عُمَرُ كانَ قَدْ أتَمَّ تَنْظيفَ أشْياءٍ عَديدَةٍ قَبْلَ أنْ يُغْلِقَ اَلْبَيْتَ

عُمَرْ كانْ نَضَّفْ حَجاتْ  كِتيرَةْ  قَبْلْ

 ما يِقْفِلْ اِلْبيتْ

13-1 Many things had been cleaned by Omar before he  locked the house.

أشْياءٍ عَديدَةٍ كانَتْ قَدْ أُتِمَّ تَنْظيفُها قَبْلَ أنْ يُغْلَقَ اِلْبَيْتُ

حَجاتْ كِتيرَةْ كانِتْ اِتْنَضَّفِتْ قَبْلْ ما

 يِنْقَفَلْ اِلْبيتْ

8- Past Perfect Continuous


14 Mona had been cleaning the house for two days before she left for her vacation.

مُنىَ كانَتْ قَدْ قامَتْ بِتَنْظيفِ اَلْبَيْتِ لَمُدَّةِ يَوْمَيْنِ قَبْل أنْ تُسافِرَ 

مُنىَ قَعَدِتْ تِنَضَّفْ في  اِلْبيتْ لِمُدِّةْ

 يومينْ قَبْلْ ما تِسافِرْ 

14-1 The house had been being cleanedfor two days (by Mona) before she left. 

اَلْبَيْتُ كانَ قَدْ اِسْتَغْرَقَ تَنْظيفُهُ يَوْمَيْنِ قَبْلَ اَلسَّفَرِ 

 اِلْبيتْ أخَدْ تَنْضيفُهْ يومينْ قَبْلْ اِلسَّفَرْ

9- Simple Future


15 Omar will clean the house tomorrow.

عُمَر سَوْف يُنَظِّفُ اَلْبَيْتَ غَداً

عُمَرْ حَيِنَضَّفْ اِلْبيتْ بُكْرَةْ


16 The house will be cleaned tomorrow.

اَلْبَيْتُ سَوْفَ يَكونُ قَدْ  نُظِّفَ غَداً

اِلْبيتْ حَيْكونْ اِتْنَضَّفْ بُكْرَةْ 

10- Simple Future
be going to 


17 Mona is going to clean the house tonight.

مُنىَ تَنْوي أنْ تُنَظِّفَ اَلْبَيْتَ اَلْلَيْلَةَ

مُنىَ ناوْيَةْ تِنَضَّفْ اِلْبيتْ اِلْليلَةْ

18 The house is going to be cleaned (by Mona) tonight.

اَلنِّيَةُ أنْ يُنَظَفَ اَلْبَيْتُ اَلْلَيْلَةَ

اِلنِّيَةْ إنْ اِلْبيتْ يِتْنَضَّفْ اِلْليلَةْ

11- Future Perfect
will (be going to)

21 They will have cleaned the house before the afternoon.

سَوْفَ يَكونوا قَدْ أتَمّوا  تَنْظيفَ اَلْبَيْتِ قَبْلَ اَلْعَصْرِ

حَيِكونوا نَضَّفوا اِلْبيتْ قَبْلْ اِلْعَصْرْ

22 The house will have been cleaned before the afternoon.

اَلْبَيْتُ سَوْفَ يَكونُ قَدْ أُتِمَّ تَنْظيفُهُ قَبْلَ اَلْعَصْر

اِلْبيتْ حَيْكونْ اِتْنَضَّفْ قَبْلْ اِلْعَصْرْ

12- Would Always


27 Mona would always clean the room no matter what happened.

كانَ مِنْ عادَةِ مُنىَ أنْ تُنَظِّفَ اَلْحُجْرَةَ مَهْما كانَ اَلْأمْرُ

كانْ مِنْ عادِةْ مُنىَ إنَّها

 تِنَضَّفْ اِلْأودَةْ مَهْما حَصَلْ


28 The room would always be cleaned  no matter what happened (by Mona).

اَلْحُجْرَةُ كانَتْ عادَةً تُنَظَّفُ مَهْما كانَ اَلْأمْرُ

اِلْأودَةْ كانِتْ عادَةً بِتِتْنَضَّفْ مَهْما

13- Future in the Past


29 I was sure Ibrahim would clean the house by 5:00 PM.

كُنْتُ مُتَأكِّدٌ أنَّ إبْراهيمَ سَوْفَ يَكونُ قَدْ قامَ بِتَنْظيفِ اَلْبَيْتِ عِنْدَ اَلسّاعةِ اَلْخامِسَةِ

كُنْتْ مِتْأكِّدْ
إنْ إبْراهيمْ

حَيِكونْ نَضَّفْ اِلْبيتْ عَلىَ


30 I was sure the house would be cleaned by 5:00 PM.

كُنْتُ مُتَأكِّدٌ أنَّ اَلْبَيْتَ سَوْفَ  يَكونُ قَدْ  أُتِمَّ تَنْظيفُهُ  عِنْدَ اَلسّاعَةِ اَلْخامِسَةَ

كُنْتْ مِتْأكِّدْ
إنْ اِلْبيتْ حَيِكونْ اِتْنَضَّفْ

 عَلىَ اِلسّاعَةْ خَمْسَةْ


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