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Grammar In Poetry: فوددت تقبيل السيوف

فَوَدَدتُ تَقبيلَ السُّيوفِ لأَنَّها

لَمَعَت كَبارِقِ ثَغرِكِ المُتَبَسِّمِ

— عنترة بن شدّاد


The word تقبيل conveys an action, but it’s actually a مصدر (verbal noun) and here functions as the مفعول به (direct object), which is why it’s in the accusative case. The sentence effectively translates to, “I wished to kiss the swords,” but literally it says, “I wished kissing of the swords.” The two words تقبيل السيوف are an إضافة (possessive construction). السيوف is the مضاف إليه, which is why it’s in the genitive case.


Another way to write this sentence is

فَوَدَدتُ أَنْ أُقَبِّلَ السُّيوفَ


This is one of the very few instances where a verb is in the accusative case, and that’s because it is originally a مصدر in the position of the مفعول به (as we saw above). The أن here is called أن المصدرية, and it turns a مصدر into a verb. السيوف in this sentence is in the accusative case, because it’s the مفعول به.


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