Basic Arabic Nominal Sentences

A nominal sentence الجُمْلَة الاِسْمِيَّة is as sentence that starts with a noun, such as البَيْت ‘the house’, الرَّجُل ‘the man’, الجَامِعَة ‘the university’, كِتَابِي ‘my book’ صَدِيْقُهُ ‘his friend’ and so forth. One condition is that this noun, you can see from the examples, is generally definite مَعْرِفَة. That is, it can be indefinite only under one uncommon condition (which will be highlighted later).

A definite noun is a noun that starts with ال ‘the’, such as الكِتَاب, البَيْتَ, and الجَامِعَة; a noun that is followed by an attached possessive pronoun, such as كِتَابِي, بَيْتُهُ, and جَامِعَتُنَا; or a proper noun (i.e. names of people / places) such as مُحَمَّد, سَارَة, and مِصْر ‘Egypt.’

Definite Nouns:

الهَاتِف the phoneالسَّيْدَة the ladyأخِي my brotherزَمِيْلُهُ his classmate
الجَو the weatherشَنْطِتِي my bagالتُّفَّاحَة the appleمَدِيْنَتُكُم your city
اليَمَن Yemenمَدْرَسَتُنَا our schoolاللُّغَة the languageالمَطْعَم the restaurant
هَذَا this (m)الصُّوْرَة the pictureهِيَ sheخَطُّهَا her handwriting
أَنَا Iهَذِهِ this – fتِلْكَ that – fالبَاص the bus

In Arabic grammar, this noun is the subject or topic مُبْتَدَأ. In the simplest form of the nominal sentence, the topic مُبْتَدَأ is followed by either an indefinite noun, an indefinite adjective, or a prepositional phrase. The indefinite noun / adjective or the prepositional phrase is the predicate خَبَر. Hence, the nominal sentence الجُمْلَة الاِسْمِيَّة is composed of the topic المُبْتَدَأ and the predicate الخَبَر.

Indefinite Nouns and Adjectives:

طَالِب a studentجَدِيْد newمُهَنْدِس an engineerكَبِيْر big
جَمِيْل nice / beautifulسَيَّارَة a carذكِيّ smartمَطْعَم a restaurant
صَيْدَلِي pharmacistحَار hotبَارِد coldشَاي tea
لَذِيْذ deliciousخَيْمَة tentسَائِق driverصَعْب difficult

A prepositional phrase شِبْه جُمْلَة  (literally mean semi-sentence) is composed of a preposition حَرْف جَر, such as فِي ‘in’, مِنْ ‘from’, فَوْقَ ‘on’, and alike, followed by a definite noun. The whole phrase (i.e. the preposition and the noun) is the predicate الخَبَر.

Prepositional Phrases:

مِنَ اليَمَنَ from Yemenفِي البَيْتَ in the house
دَاخِلَ الغُرْفَة inside the roomتَحْتَ الشَّجَرَة under the tree
أَمَامَ السَّيَّارَة in front of the carخَلْفَ الَمَدْرَسَة behind the school

To make a basic nominal sentence in Arabic, therefore, we simply start with a definite noun. According to the meaning that we intend to make, the definite is followed by an indefinite noun, an indefinite adjective, or a prepositional phrase.

جُمْلَة اِسْمِيَّة

مُبْتَدَأ

خَبَر

الهَاتِف جَدِيْد. الهَاتِف جَدِيْد
أَنَا مِنَ اليَمَن. أَنَأ مِنَ اليَمَن
الرَّجُل مُهَنْدِس.الرَّجُل مُهَنْدِس
مِصْر فِي أَفْرِيقِيَا.مِصْر فِي أَفْرِيْقِيَا
السَّيَّارَة أَمَامَ البَيْت.السَّيَّارَة أَمَامَ البَيْتَ
التُّفَّاحَة لَذِيْذَة.التُّفَّاحَةلَذِيْذَة
هَذِهِ خَيْمَة. هَذِهِ خَيْمَة
بَيْتُنَا خَلْفَ المَدْرِسَة. بِيْتُنَا خَلْفَ المَدْرَسَة
هِيَ طَبِيْبَة. هِي طَبِيْبَة
هُوَ طَالِب.هُوَ طَالِب
الجَوْ جَمِيْل.الجَوجِمِيْل

Using the list of words in this lesson and the previous lesson, try to write basic simple sentences. Then, try the following test, paying attention to both form and meaning of words.

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