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Home > Article > The Arabic Defective Verb كان: Some Syntactic/ Semantic Problems in Translation with Reference to the Glorious Quran
In translation, there are different kinds of problems which the translators face: linguistic and non- linguistic. When a translator is not a complete master of both the source language and the target language, linguistic difficulties may arise. The defective (substantive, incomplete, relative) verb كان is syntactically and semantically problematic for it is illusionary; in form it indicates past, and in Arabic it is called فعل ماضي ناقص (past defective verb). Consequently, it is often rendered by most translators into the past. But the question is: Does it always indicate past or it can show other syntactic and semantic functions?