C: The Tamyiiz Construction

You have already studied (and mastered) the elative. The elative is quite flexible and can be used for a great number of adjectives as you are aware. However, many adjectives do not easily fit the elative pattern. This is especially true for participles of derived verbs. For example, مُتَقدَّم means “advanced.” If you want to say that the United States is more advanced than Chad with respect to the production of nuclear weapons, you have a problem because the word مُتَقدَّم, does not lend itself to the elative form (as you can see, I hope). How will you say “more advanced”? What is usually done in such a case is that the verbal noun from the form of the verb from which the participle is derived is combined with an appropriate elative.متقدم is from Form V. The verbal noun is تَقَدُّم. “More” in Arabic is أكثر . So we will use أكثر and تَقَدُّم in our sentence.

Remember, we want to say the United States is more advanced than Chad in the production of nuclear weapons. So we get:


الولايات المتحدة اكثر من تشاد تقدُماً في إنتاج الاسلحة النووية.


The verbal noun is placed in the accusative case. Note that the elative is used with the word مِنْ, just as it is with the comparative.

Now here is another example. The word مُخلِص means “sincere.” We want to say that Samiira is more sincere than Samiir. The word مخلص is the active participle of the Form IV verb أخلص The verbal noun of أخلص is إخلاص Can you do it now? The answer is below.


سميرة اكثر من سمير اخلاصا.


Thus we have “Samiira is more sincere than Samiir.” Literally we have something like “Samiira is more than Samiir with respect to sincerity.” This is what is meant by a tamyiiz construction. The word tamyiiz (تَمْييز) is a Form II verbal noun meaning “specification” or “discrimination.” We use the tamyiiz when we want to say that something is different from something else with respect to a certain characteristic.


Often the tamyiiz is used with the verbal noun of derived verbs. This is because the adjectives derived from derived verbs do not fit the elative pattern. You have just seen two examples. However, often the tamyiiz is used with Form I verbal nouns as well. For example عَلِمَ means “to know” or “to learn.” أعلَم is the elative (from عَليم) meaning “more knowing.” It is used for example, in the often-repeated phrase اللهُ أعلم “God knows best.”


However, if we want to say “He knows Arabic better than I do” the word أعلَم does not necessarily provide us with the best way to say what we want. We could say هو أعلم مني بالنسبة الى العربية “He knows more than me with respect to Arabic” but we could also choose another elative and use the verbal noun of عَلِمَ In this case we will take the elative أحسن “better” and the verbal noun عِلْم We can then say هو احسن مني علماً باللغة العربية


Note that in the last Arabic sentence above I have used the preposition ب.

You will use whatever preposition the verb would normally take. If the verb does not normally take a preposition, then لِ is used. Here are a few more examples.


1. They participate in the program more than we do.

١. هم أكثر منّا مشاركةً في البرنامج.

2. The issue of Palestine has a greater impact on the political situation in Jordan than does any other issue.

٢. قضية فلسطين اكبر من أي قضية اخرى تأثيراً على الحالة السياسية في الاردن.

3. He understands Arabic better than she does.

٣. هو احسن منها فهماً للعربية.

In the first sentence, the verb شارك would normally use the preposition في meaning “to participate in something.” Thus, we use في after the verbal noun مشاركة in our tamyiiz construction.

In the second sentence, the preposition على is used with تأثير for the same reason. In the third sentence we are using the verbal noun of the verb فَهِمَ which does not take a preposition. So when we use the verbal noun of this verb in a tamyiiz we attach لِ to what would normally be the object of the verb.

You are almost done with Part II of this book. The next chapter will discuss Forms IX and X as well as some other things. You will then have the vast majority of the verb system down. The same chapter will also discuss quadraliteral verbs (it will be a snap). You will then have completed the core of this book. You have come a long way.




One response to “C: The Tamyiiz Construction”

  1. Azaz ul Haque Avatar
    Azaz ul Haque

    Easy to understand. Thanks.

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