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Lesson 25 – الدَّرْسُ الْخَامِسُ وَالْعِشْرُونَ

The Declinable and the non-Declinable –الْمُعْرَبُ وَالْمَبْنِيُّ

The declinable nouns – الأَسْمَاءُ الْمُعْرَبَةُ

  • The majority of Arabic nouns are declinable. The general rule of the nouns is that they experience declension, so the indeclinable nouns are an exception to the rule. We will learn in this part the rules related to the declinable nouns In-Shaa’-Allaah (God willing).
  • Any declinable noun has many possible changes (declensions) in its ending according to its grammatical case and to its position in the sentence. There are many positions that the noun can occupy in the sentence. There are also many forms that affect the sign (vowel ending) of the noun. Let’s first study the grammatical cases of the noun and then we can study the different signs of each case.
  1. The grammatical cases of the noun:
    • To understand the vowel ending of a declinable noun you first have to know the grammatical case of the noun. The grammatical case of any noun can be nominative, accusative or genitive depending on the position which the noun occupies in the sentence. In this language course we learn which nouns are in the nominative case, which are in the accusative case and which are in the genitive case.
    • Some examples of nouns in the nominative case (which will be studied in later lessons) are:

Picture

Example

Will be detailed in lesson no.:

The type of noun / position in the sentence which causes it to be the nominative case

English

Arabic

English

Arabic

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The teacher explained the lesson

شَرَحَ الْمُدَرِّسُ الدَّرْسَ.

Lesson 64

The doer (of the verbal sentence)

الْفَاعِلُ

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The cat is beautiful.

الْقِطُّ جَمِيلٌ

Lesson 58

The subject (of the nominal sentence)

الْمُبْتَدَأُ

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The stone is heavy.

الْحَجَرُ ثَقِيلٌ.

Lesson 58

The predicate (of the nominal sentence)

الْخَبَرُ

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The bag was stolen.

سُرِقَتِ الْحَقِيبَةُ.

Lesson 65

The pro-agent (of the passive voice verb)

نَائِبُ الْفَاعِلِ

    • Some examples of nouns in the accusative case (that will also detailed in later lessons):

Picture

Example

Will be detailed in lesson no.:

The type of noun / position in the sentence which causes the accusative case

English

Arabic

English

Arabic

Madinaharabic.com lesson image

The teacher explained the lesson

شَرَحَ الْمُدَرِّسُ الدَّرْسَ.

Lesson 66

The direct object (of the verbal sentence)

الْمَفْعُولُ بِهِ

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Indeed, the cat is beautiful.

إِنَّ الْقِطَّ جَمِيلٌ

Lesson 60

The noun of /inna/ and its sisters

اسْمُ إِنَّ وَأَخَوَاتِهَا

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The stone became heavy.

أَصْبَحَ الْحَجَرُ ثَقِيلا.

Lesson 59

The predicate (of the nominal sentence)

خَبَرُ كَانَ وَأَخَوَاتِهَا

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The boy stayed lonely.

جَلَسَ الْوَلَدُ وَحِيدًا

Lesson 71

The status

الْحَالُ

    • Some examples of nouns in the genitive case (that will also detailed in later lessons):

Picture

Example

Will be detailed in lesson no.:

The position in the sentence which causes the genitive case

English

Arabic

English

Arabic

Madinaharabic.com lesson image

The teacher stood in the class.

وَقَفَ الْمُدَرِّسُ فِي الْفَصْلِ.

Lesson 76

The noun after the preposition (Maĵrūr)

الاسْمُ بَعْدَ حَرْفِ الْجَرِّ

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This is the cat of the girl.

هَذِهِ قِطَّةُ الْبِنْتِ.

Lesson 05

The annexed noun (al muđâf ilaihi)

الْمُضَافُ إلَيْهِ

  • From the above mentioned examples we understand clearly that the noun’s position in the sentence determines its grammatical case and the different positions of the nouns will be the main topics of the coming lessons In-Shaa’-Allaah (God willing).
  • Once we distinguish the noun’s position and grammatical case, we can automatically think about the sign of the ending of the noun. This will be detailed in the next point:
  1. The sign of the ending of the declinable noun:
    • The nominative noun is originally signed with đammah on its end, the accusative is originally signed with fatħah and the genitive is originally signed with kasrah. The original signs occur when the noun is in the basic form. If the noun is not in the basic form (i.e. dual, sound plural etc.) we have to use the secondary signs. Therefore we will have many signs for each case (original signs and secondary signs).
    • The following table summarizes the ending signs of the nouns according to the grammatical cases and different reasons for taking the original sign or secondary sign in each case:

الصُّورَةُ

Picture

مِثَالٌ

Example

السَّبَبُ

Reason

الْعَلامَةُ

Sign

الْحَالَةُ

Case

English

عَرَبِيٌّ

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The book is beautiful

الْكِتَابُ جَمِيلٌ

Main sign

١- الضَّمَّةُ

( ُ)

الرَّفْعُ

Nominative

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The two doctors are clever

الطَّبِيبَانِ مَاهِرَانِ.

الْمُثَنَّى

Dual

٢- الأَلِفُ

(ا)

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The employees attended (came).

حَضَرَ الْمُوَظَّفُونَ.

جَمْعُ الْمُذَكَّرِ السَّالِمُ

Sound masculine plural

٣- الْوَاوُ

(و)

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Your father came.

جَاءَ أَبُوكَ.

الأَسْمَاءُ الْخَمْسَةُ

Five nouns

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I read the book.

قَرَأْتُ الْكِتَابَ

Main sign

١- الْفَتْحَةُ

( َ)

النَّصْبُ

Accusative

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I saw the two teachers.

رَأَيْتُ الطَّبِيبَيْنِ

الْمُثَنَّى

Dual

٢- الْيَاءُ

(يْ)

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These are not employees.

هَؤُلاءِ لَيْسُوا مُوَظَّفِينَ

جَمْعُ الْمُذَكَّرِ السَّالِمُ

Sound masculine plural

٣- الْيَاءُ

(ي)

Long vowel

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I do not have a moustache.

لَسْتُ ذَا شَارِبٍ

الأَسْمَاءُ الْخَمْسَةُ

Five nouns

٤- الأَلِفُ

(ا)

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I saw the clever female doctors.

رَأَيْتُ الطَّبِيبَاتِ الْمَاهِرَاتِ

جَمْعُ الْمُؤَنَّثِ السَّالِم

Sound feminine  plural

٥- الْكَسْرَةُ

( ِ)

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In the book, there is a beautiful lesson.

فِي الْكِتَابِ دَرْسٌ جَمِيلٌ

Main sign

١- الْكَسْرَةُ

( ِ)

الْجَرُّ

Genitive

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This is the house of the two Egyptian men.

هَذَا بَيْتُ الرَّجُلَيْنِ الْمِصْرِيَّيْنِ.

الْمُثَنَّى

Dual

٢- الْيَاءُ

(يْ)

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I talked to the employees.

تَحَدَّثْتُ مَعَ الْمُوَظَّفِينَ

جَمْعُ الْمُذَكَّرِ السَّالِمُ

Sound masculine plural

٣- الْيَاءُ

(ي)

Long vowel

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Go to your brother.

اذْهَبْ إِلَى أَخِيكَ.

الأَسْمَاءُ الْخَمْسَةُ

Five nouns

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This woman is from Damascus.

هَذِهِ الْمَرْأَةُ مِنْ دِمَشْقَ.

الْمَمْنُوعُ مِنَ الصَّرْفِ

diptotes

٤- الْفَتْحَةُ

( َ)

  • Please remember that the above mentioned secondary signs and their reasons will be studied in detail in later lessons In-Shaa’-Allaah (God willing). This summary is supposed to be a guide to the coming lessons and to show you that the declinable nouns have many forms (of declension) based on many factors.