Fi’l Amr in English: Definition and Examples

The study of Arabic grammar encompasses various aspects, including the understanding and usage of Fi’l Amr. It is closely related to Fi’l Mudhari’, as both share similarities in sentence structures. However, there are distinct differences that set Fi’l Amr apart. This article aims to provide a comprehensive exploration of Fi’l Amr.

Origin of Fi’l Amr

Fi’l Amr is one of the three types of verb sentences categorized based on tense. In essence, Fi’l Amr is derived from Fi’l Mudhari’. The process of forming Fi’l Amr begins with the incorporation of the letter lam amr (ل) into the Fi’l Mudhari’, resulting in a change of pronunciation.

The Role of Lam Amr

Lam amr (لامُ ‌الأمر) is a letter lam used to convey commands or instructions. When added to a Fi’l Mudhari’, such as يَضْرِبُ (he hits), it transforms into لِيَضْرِبْ, meaning “let him hit.”

Fi’l Amr Ghaib and Fi’l Amr Hadir

The combination of mudhari’ verbs and lam amr is also known as Fi’l Amr Ghaib (أمرُ الغائب). Additionally, when mudhari’ verbs like تَضْرِبُ are paired with lam amr, they form لِتَضْرِبْ. This combination serves as the foundation for Fi’l Amr Hadir (أمر ‌الحاضر).

The Formation of Fi’l Amr

From لِتَضْرِبْ, the lam amr is eventually omitted for simplicity, resulting in تَضْرِبْ (with a jazm). If left as is, it may be mistaken for the mudhari’ form. To avoid confusion, the mudhoroah letter is removed, leaving only ضْرِبْ. As the initial letter is read with sukun (no vowel), hamzah washol is introduced to enable proper pronunciation, yielding اِضْرِبْ.

Distinct Characteristics of Fi’l Amr

Fi’l Amr can be classified into two categories: amar ghaib and amar hadir. Both share a common attribute of demanding or commanding actions. Notably, Fi’l Amr exhibits specific traits such as future tense, particular structures, acceptance of ya’ muannats mukhotobah (the feminine addressee pronoun), and the absence of the letter lam amr.

Definition of Fi’l Amr

Linguistically, Fi’l Amr signifies an absolute demand or instruction to perform an action. It is a request devoid of considerations regarding the rank or position of the requester. In the field of nahwu (Arabic grammar), various definitions complement one another, emphasizing the imperative nature of Fi’l Amr and its association with specific linguistic forms.

How to Form the Command Verb (Fiil Amr)

After reading the “origin of the command verb” above, you can easily form this type of verb. The key is to first know the base form of the verb (fiil mudhori’). In general, after removing the lam amr and the vowelized letter, there are two possibilities:

  • The initial letter is a consonant (dead letter/sukun).
  • The initial letter has a vowel (living letter/harakat).

If the initial letter is a consonant (dead letter), the hamzah wasl (connecting hamzah) is brought in to make it pronounceable. For example:

  • The base verb تَفْتَحْ (taftaḥ) becomes إفْتَحْ (iftaḥ) which means “open!”
  • تَعْلَمْ (taʿlam) becomes إعْلَمْ (iʿlam) which means “know!”

In addition to the hamzah wasl being pronounced as kasrah (the original vowelization), sometimes it can be pronounced as ḍammah. This happens when the ‘ain fi’il is pronounced as ḍammah. For example, تَنْصُرْ (tansur) becomes اُنْصُرْ (unṣur). The reason why the hamzah wasl is pronounced as ḍammah is because a kasrah before ḍammah is considered heavy in pronunciation (according to the standards of Arabic speakers).

  • Therefore, the command verb of the verb kataba (to write) is اُكْتُبْ (uktub), which means “write!”
  • The command verb of دَخَلَ (dakhala) which means “enter” is اُدْخُلْ (udkhul), which means “enter!”

The second possibility is if the initial letter has a vowel (living letter), then it remains as it is. This means there is no need to bring in the hamzah wasl. For example, تُفَرِّحْ (tufrriḥ) becomes فَرِّحْ (farriḥ), which means “be happy!”

The Rule for Forming Fi’l Amr

So, the rule for forming the command verb (fiil amr) is:

  1. Determine the base form of the verb (fiil mudhori’).
  2. Pronounce the base verb with a jazm (no vowelization).
  3. Remove the lam amr and the vowelized letter.
  4. Add the hamzah wasl if the initial letter is a consonant, and leave it as it is if the initial letter has a vowel.

These steps can be directly applied to all verbs, and the results can be obtained immediately. However, it should be noted that there are some verbs that need to undergo a process called i’lal first, which makes the final result appear different. For example, the command verb of the verb نَامَ (nāma) which means “sleep” becomes ‌نَمْ (nam), which means “sleep!” There are also examples like أَتَى (atā) which becomes اِئْتِ (i’ti) or آتِ (āti), and even تِ (ti). Another example is from the past tense verb وَقَى (waqā) which becomes the command verb قِ (qi) alone. The command verbs قِ and آتِ can be found in the Quran, which is also known as the universal prayer:

رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 201, means: “Our Lord, give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”

Division of the Command Verb

The command verb can be divided into several parts based on its elements/perspectives. It is divided into the hidden command (amr ghaib) and the present command, as mentioned above.

Furthermore, based on its sentence ending, the command verb is divided into three categories:

Shahih Akhir wa Lam Yattasil bi Akhirihi Sy’ain (Correct ending without being followed by any additional letters).

Mu’tal Akhir (ending with an illat letter).

Yattasil bi Akhirihi Sy’ain (connected to its additional letters—af’alul khomsah of the mudhori’).

This division is identical to the division of the base verb (fiil mudhori’) since the command verb is essentially a verbal noun with lam amr. This is useful in determining the grammatical rule for the inflection (mabni) of the command verb.

Grammatical Rules for the Command Verb

The majority of grammar scholars rule that the command verb is mabni (fixed form). Its original form is with a sukun (no vowelization). However, there are exceptions where it is not sukun. Here are the explanations:

a. Mabni Sukun (with sukun) if it is shahih akhir and not af’alul khomsah of the base verb. For example, اِرْجِعْ (irjiʿ) which means “return!” Also mabni sukun when it meets nun jamak inats (nun of the plural feminine form), such as اِرْجِعْنَ (irjiʿna) which means “return (feminine plural)!”

b. Mabni Hadzful Illat (dropping the illat letter) if it is mu’tal akhir. For example, اِرْضَ (irḍa) which means “accept!”

c. Mabni Hadzfun Nun (dropping the nun) if its base verb is an af’alul khomsah. For example, اُكْتُبَا (uktubā) which means “write (dual)!”, اُكْتُبُوْا (uktubū) which means “write (plural)!”, اُكْتُبِيْ (uktubī) which means “write (feminine singular)!”

d. Mabni Fathah (with fathah) if it is followed by two nun taukid (emphatic nun); khofifah and tsaqilah. For example, اُكْتُبَنْ (uktuban) and اُكْتُبَنَّ (uktubanna).

Inflection of the Command Verb

In the inflection (tashrif) of the command verb (hadlir) or the command verb table, it follows the number of addressed pronouns (mukhotob-mukhotobah). For example, the command verb from the base verb kataba is uktub:

  • اُكْتُبْ (uktub) – Addressing a male singular person.
  • اُكْتُبَا (uktubā) – Addressing two persons (dual).
  • اُكْتُبُوْا (uktubū) – Addressing a group of people (plural).
  • اُكْتُبِيْ (uktubī) – Addressing a female singular person.
  • اُكْتُبَا (uktubā) – Addressing two female persons (dual).
  • اُكْتُبْنَ (uktubna) – Addressing a group of female persons (plural).

So, the inflection of the command verb has 6 forms according to the addressed pronouns. For اُكْتُبْ, the required pronoun is اَنْتَ (anta) which means “you (masculine singular).”


Fi’l Amr plays a crucial role in Arabic grammar, offering a means to express commands or instructions in various contexts. Its formation from Fi’l Mudhari’ through the inclusion of lam amr and subsequent modifications highlights its distinct characteristics. By understanding the definition and examples of Fi’l Amr, learners can enhance their comprehension and usage of Arabic grammar.