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Verb of the Day: ذَهَبَ

Dhahaba

ذَهَبَ

In our verb series, we continue to learn about new Arabic verbs. Today’s verb is ذَهَبَ /Dhahaba/

This is a common verb that you will find yourself needing to use for everyday actions and situations.

You use it mainly to talk about going to a place, but since Arabic is a rich language, you will see in our blog the many ways you can use it and its different meanings within different contexts.

Main Meaning

The verb essentially means “to go”. In the Present tense, the form is يَذْهَب /Yathhabu/, and in the past, it is: ذَهَبَ /Dhahaba/

Other meanings indicated by the verb are: going, taking off, leaving, and disappearing.

Let’s check the following past tense examples and the different meanings in each one:

My father went to the market

Dhhba abī ilá alswqi

ذهبَ أَبِي إلى السوقِ

This is an example of the main meaning, which is “going or leaving”.

The fever went away from me

Dhhbati alḥumá ʻany

ذهبَتِ الحُمَى عَنْي

This verb means he was cured and the fever disappeared and left.

His work is gone

Dhahaba ʻmalahu

ذَهَبَ عملُه

Here it is used to mean that his effort was lost in vain and was useless.

His efforts were in vain

Dhhab jhduh sudan

ذهَبَ جهدُه سُدًى

This expression means that his work did not yield any fruitful results.

He went with someone’s opinion

Dhahaba ilá qwli fulānin

ذَهَبَ إلى قولِ فلانٍ

It means that he adopted and embraced it.

Verb Conjugation with Pronouns

English

Transcription

Arabic

I go

Anā adhhabu

أَنا أَذهَبُ

We go

Naḥnu nadhhbu

نَحنُ نَذهبُ

He goes

Huwa yadhhabu

هُوَ يَذهَبُ

They go (P/M)

Hum yadhhbwn

هُم يَذهبون

She goes

Hya tadhhbu

هيَ تَذهبُ

They go (P/F)

Hunn yadhhbna

هُنّ يَذهبنَ

You go (S/2nd)

Anta tadhhbu

أنتَ تَذهب

They go (P/F)

Hunn yadhhbna

هُنّ يَذهبنَ

You go (P/2nd)

Antum tadhhbwn

أَنتُم تَذهبون

You go (S/2nd)

Anta tadhhbu

أنتَ تَذهب

You go (P/F)

Antunn tadhhbna

أَنتُنّ تَذهبنَ

You go (D/F)

Antumā tadhhbāni

أَنتما تَذهبانِ

They go (D/M)

Humā yadhhbāni

هُما يَذهبانِ

*S = Singular, P = Plural, M = Masculine, F = Feminine, D = Dual

Let’s check the following present tense examples:

My father goes to work early

Ydhhbu Wālidī ilá ʻamalih bākran

يذهبُ والدي إلى عمله باكرًا

I go to school every day

ʼdhhbu kulla yawm ilá al-Madrasah

أذهبُ كلَّ يوم إلى المدرسة

In the Quran

One example of the use of the verb /Dhahaba/ ذَهَبَ (to go) to mean (to leave) can be found in the Quran in the Almighty’s saying:

falammā dhahaba ʻanۡ ibۡraāhīma lrrawۡʻu wajāʼatۡhu lۡbushۡráā yujaādilunā fī qawۡmi lūṭin

فَلَمَّا ذَهَبَ عَنۡ إِبۡرَٰهِيمَ ٱلرَّوۡعُ وَجَآءَتۡهُ ٱلۡبُشۡرَىٰ يُجَٰدِلُنَا فِي قَوۡمِ لُوطٍ [هود: 74]

The English translation of the verse is as follows: “Then when the fear had gone away from (the mind of) Ibrahim (Abraham), and the glad tidings had reached him, he began to plead with Us (Our Messengers) for the people of Lout (Lot). 74.” [Hud: 74]

The meaning of the verb as used in the above verse is to “leave”, “disappear” and “depart”.

In Poetry

 We have an example also from poetry:

فَعَلَى الصِّبَا وَعَلَى الزَّمَانِ سَلامُ

ذَهَبَ الصِّبَا وَتَوَلَّتِ الأَيَّامُ

Dhahaba alṣiibā watawalaati alʼayaaāmu faʻalá alṣiibā waʻalá alzaamāni salāmu

The English translation of the verse is as follows: “Then when the fear had gone away from (the mind of) Ibrahim (Abraham), and the glad tidings had reached him, he began to plead with Us (Our Messengers) for the people of Lout (Lot). 74.” [Hud: 74]

The meaning of the verb as used in the above verse is to “leave”, “disappear” and “depart”.

More Examples

Let’s look at some more examples of the verb ذهب used in the main sense to mean “to go” or “move” physically to a destination:

The student went to school

Dhahba alṭṭālibu ilá almadrasti

ذَهبَ الطّالِبُ إلى المَدرَسةِ

They went to work

Hum dhahbwā ilá ʻamalihim

هُم ذَهبوا إلى عَمَلِهِم

Do you go to the cinema on weekends?

Hal tadhhabwna ilá alssīnmā fī alʻuṭlh?

هَل تَذهَبونَ إلى السِّينما في العُطلة؟

Where will you go to complete your studies?

Ayna satadhhabu litukmila drāsataka?

أَينَ سَتَذهَبُ لِتُكمِلَ دراسَتَكَ؟

The English translation of the verse is as follows: “Then when the fear had gone away from (the mind of) Ibrahim (Abraham), and the glad tidings had reached him, he began to plead with Us (Our Messengers) for the people of Lout (Lot). 74.” [Hud: 74]

The meaning of the verb as used in the above verse is to “leave”, “disappear” and “depart”.

Derivations

Now, we are going to look at different derivations from the root word ذَهَبَ:

Going

Dhāhib

ذَاهِب

This is a noun that refers to the subject doing the action of going.

Sect

Madhhab

مَذْهب

This is also a noun but it refers to something else. It means a sect, or a small religious group.

Departing

Dhahaban

ذَهَابًا

This word is a noun describing the action of leaving.

Synonyms

Let’s also look at synonyms of the common verb ذهب that can be helpful when we want to give a similar meaning to it. We have two main synonyms:

to head to

Itaajaha

اِتَّجَهَ

This verb focuses on directing yourself toward the destination you are headed to. So the action “going” is there too but we can visualize someone facing his destination with the meaning this verb carries.

intended

Qaṣada

قَصَدَ

This verb is similar to ذهب and it also carries in it the word “destination” as it is the root word of مقصد which means “target” or “destination”.

Examples

In the following examples, you can see the two verbs used in the same sense like the verb ذهب:

He went to the garden

Dhahaba ilá alḥadyqti

ذَهَبَ إلى الحَديقةِ

He headed to the garden

Ittjaha ilá alḥadyqti

اِتّجَهَ إلى الحَديقةِ

He intended to go to the garden

Qaṣada alḥadyqata

قَصدَ الحَديقةَ

Opposites

There are two main opposites to the verb ذهب and both mean “to return” or “to come back”

to return

ʻĀda

عَادَ

This is a noun that refers to the subject doing the action of going.

to come back

Rajiʻa

رَجِعَ

This is also a noun but it refers to something else. It means a sect, or a small religious group.

Examples

Ahmad went to the garden and returned before sunset

Dhahaba aḥmadu ilá alḥadīqti wʻāda qabl ghurwb alshshmsi

ذَهَبَ أَحمَدُ إلى الحَدِيقةِ وعادَ قَبل غُروب الشّمسِ

My father went to work, but he came back early

Dhhaba aby ilá alʻamli lakinaahu rajaʻa bākiran

ذهَبَ أَبي إلى العَملِ لَكِنَّهُ رَجَعَ باكِرًا

Final word

Now, our dear friends, we hope you like our verb for today.
Do you have suggestions for new verbs to talk about?
Don’t forget to download our app to get more practice learning Arabic.

Dania Ghraoui
Dania has worked as a language instructor and translator for almost 10 years. She has a special interest in the Arabic language and learning methods.
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