He or it was. A verb of the class called incomplete, (نَاقِصٌ) because, with the agent which it comprises, or to which it relates, it cannot constitute a complete proposition; i. e., non-attributive. The other verbs of this class are, ظَلَّ أَضْحَى أَمْسَى أَصْبَحَ صَارَ, مَا دَامَ مَااءنْفَكَّ مَا فَتِئَ مَابَرِحَ مَا زَالَ بَاتَ, and لَيْسَ. Each of these governs its noun, or subject, in the nom. case, and its enunciative, or predicate, in the acc. case; as, كَانَ زَيْدٌ قَائِمًا Zeyd was standing.―
(The ن in يَكُنْ and the like is often irregularly elided.)―
كَانَ, divested of all signification of time. is often used as a copula. (See De Sacy 's Gr. Ar. i. 196.) So too is كَائِنٌ; for هٰذَا زَيْدٌ and هٰذَا كَائِنٌ زَيْدًا signify the same. (Mughnee, voce أَنَّ.)―
كَانَ as a complete, i. e., an attributive, verb, see حَصَلَ. in three places.