Plural sentient nouns as singular feminine

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HotIcyDonut

Senior Member
Russian - Russia
A few times, i saw plural of عاقل nouns being treated as singular feminine, as if original noun was غير عاقل, and it happened not just with feminine nouns, but also with masculine ones. So i guess, instead of

الملائكة الذين يُرْسَلُون للناس من قبل الله كل يوم لهدايتهم إلى الحق هم كثيرون

I can simply say something like (and still be understood):

الملائكة التي تُرْسَلُ للناس من قبل الله كل يوم لهدايتهم إلى الحق هي كثيرة

Question: why the phenomenon might occur in first place? Is it influence of غير عاقل plurals? How ungrammatical is it?

Thankfully, i haven't encountered it with any sentient nouns in dual, guess dual is always treated dual even if the sky cracks open :D

شكراً مقدماً
 
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  • Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    What is the source of this, if I may ask?
    I think it is ungrammatical to treat the plural of an عاقل as feminine singular; only plurals of غير عاقل can be treated as feminine singular.
     

    HotIcyDonut

    Senior Member
    Russian - Russia
    What is the source of this, if I may ask?
    I think it is ungrammatical to treat the plural of an عاقل as feminine singular; only plurals of غير عاقل can be treated as feminine singular.
    It was in some YouTube video I saw a while ago, can't find it now, but it was used by the speaker talking in MSA in reference to الملائكة and to الحور العين, although he referred to humans in expected manner (masculine plural).

    The use was rather unexpected them. Later, I read that sometimes it's possible, e.g., we say العرب يقول when we refer to individuals but when we say about ethnic group as a whole, we say العرب تقول because it's جنس جمعي noun, but it's not the case with angels. Or with اسم جمع like ناس.

    I don't know why anyone would decide to treat them as a singular feminine, maybe it's under grammatical influence of اسم جمع/جنس "spilling" onto regular عاقل nouns. But it's only a speculation, I don't know real reasons.
     
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