Can you use an additional ن (nun) to give emphasis?

Yes. The letter ن is a more complicated possibility to give em­phasis. There is a “light” and a “strong” form.

You can use the نُون التَّوْكِيد (emphasis with the letter ن) with the present tense (الْمُضارِع) and the imperative (أَمْر) – but you cannot use it with the past (الْماضِي).


Here is how it works:


The light ن

It is formed by adding a ن with a سُكُون

ن خَفِيفة ساكِنة

Obey your parents!

أَطْيَعَنْ والِدَّيْكَ!




The strong/heavy ن

This form is more common. Here is how you build it:

ن ثَقِيلة

  1. Delete the ضمّة on the verb (marker for present tense)

    or delete the final ن if the verb-form belongs to the so called الْأفْعال الْخَمْسة (“five verbs”)

  2. Add a فَتْحة (َ ) on the last letter

  3. Finally, add نَّ → Note: do the same for the imperative

Do you (really) help your friend?

هَلْ تُساعِدَنَّ زَمِيلَكَ؟

A detailed analysis of the “heavy” ن is found in my book “Arabic for Nerds”.


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