Subscribe
Subscribe to receive updates for new Arabic lessons, videos, articles. Updates are sent maximum once weekly, normally once a month.
Madinah Arabic Learn Arabic Online
Learn Arabic Online

Lesson 58 – الدَّرْسُ الثَّامِنُ وَالْخَمْسُونَ

The nominal sentence  - الجُمْلَةُ الاِسْمِيَّةُ

The nominal sentenceالجُمْلَةُ الاِسْمِيَّةُ

  • The Arabic sentence is divided into two types, the nominal sentence and the verbal sentence.
  • The nominal sentence is that which consists of subject (noun) and predicate (noun or sentence or quasi sentence )
  • The verbal sentence is that which consists originally of a verb (فِعْل /fiξl/) and an agent of that verb (فاعِل /fāξil/), the agent has to come after the verb.
  • The nominal sentence never begins with a verb, it can begin with a noun, an adverb, or a preposition, as the following examples:

Starting with

Predicate

Subject

Nominal sentence

English

Arabic

Noun (the subject)

جَمِيلٌ

الْجَوُّ

The weather is beautiful

الْجَوُّ جَمِيلٌ

/al ĵawwu ĵamīlun/

Preposition

جَمِيلٌ

الْجَوُّ

In Egypt the weather is beatiful

فِي مِصْرَ، الْجَوُّ جَمِيلٌ

/fī miŝra al ĵawwu ĵamīlun/

Adverb (of time)

جَمِيلٌ

الْجَوُّ

Today, the weather is beautiful.

الْيَوْمَ الْجَوُّ جَمِيلٌ

/al yawma al ĵawwu ĵamīlun/

  • The nominal sentence cannot start with a verb as we notice from the example above.  However, it sometimes contains a verb in the middle, when the predicate is a verbal sentence. To clear this point we can compare the following two sentences:

Type of sentence

English meaning

Arabic sentence

Verbal sentence

Ahmed came

حَضَرَ أَحْمَدُ

/ħađara aħmadu/

Nominal sentence

Ahmed came

أَحْمَدُ حَضَرَ

/aħmadu ħađara/

  • The first sentence shown above is a verbal sentence because it starts with a verb, while the second one is a nominal sentence which has the predicate verbal sentence.
  • Let’s now see some examples of the nominal sentence:

Picture

English meaning

Arabic nominal sentence

Madinaharabic.com lesson image

The weather is beautiful

الجَوُّ جَمِيلٌ

/al ĵawwu ĵamīlun/

Madinaharabic.com lesson image

The sky is clear

السَّمَاءُ صَافِيَةٌ

/as samā’u ŝafiyatun/

 

Madinaharabic.com lesson image

This is the spring season

هَذَا فَصْلُ الرَّبِيعِ

/hādhā faŝlu ar-rabīξi/

Madinaharabic.com lesson image

The weather is cold

الْجَوُّ بارِدٌ

/al ĵawwu bāridun/

Madinaharabic.com lesson image

(The sky) it rains

السَّماءُ تُمْطِرُ

/as samā’u tumŧiru/

Madinaharabic.com lesson image

This is the winter season

هَذا فَصْلُ الشِّتاءِ

/hādhā faŝlu ash-shitā’i/

  • In the above mentioned examples, you may notice that all of the sentences consists of two parts; the subject and the predicate.
  • The subject is called in Arabic (الْمُبْتَدَأ /al mubtada’/) this word is from the root (بَدَأَ /bada’a/) meaning to start. The literal meaning of the word (الْمُبْتَدَأ /al mubtada’/) is the thing with which we start. To clarify this point, it does not mean the word that we start speaking with, rather it means the word that we start thinking with.  As you saw above, we can start the nominal sentence without the subject, i.e. we can start it with a preposition or an adverb, and sometimes we start with the predicate.
  • The second part of the nominal sentence is called in Arabic (الْخَبَر /al khabar/) this word means in the Arabic dictionary: the news or the information. We can therefore understand that this part means the information that we provide about the subject which we started the sentence with in our thought process.
  • As we will see in this lesson, the predicate does not always come after the subject, there are some cases in which it is allowed to put the predicate first.
  • Therefore, it is important to remember that we cannot recognize the two parts by their order in the sentence, but by the meaning.  If the word indicates something or someone who is central to the sentence and with whom we have started our thought process when creating the sentence, it is a subject.  If it indicates information about the subject, it is a predicate – irrespective of the order of the words in the sentence.
  • In the following table there are some examples of the nominal sentence, illustrating its two parts; the subject and the predicate:

Predicate

الخَبَر

Subject

المُبْتَدَأ

English meaning

Arabic sentence

جَمِيلٌ

/ĵamīlun/

الجَوُّ

/al ĵawwu/

The weather is beautiful

الجَوُّ  جَمِيلٌ

/al ĵawwu ĵamīlun/

صَافِيَةٌ

/ŝâfiyatun/

السَّمَاءُ

/as samā’u/

The sky is clear

السَّمَاءُ صَافِيَةٌ

/as samā’u/ ŝâfiyatun/

 

فَصْلُ الرَّبِيعِ

Faŝlu ar /rabīξī/

هَذَا

/hādhā/

This is the spring season

هَذَا  فَصْلُ الرَّبِيعِ

/hādhā faŝlu ar rabīξī/

بارِدٌ

/bāridun/

الجَوُّ

/al ĵawwu/

The weather is cold

الجَوُّ بارِدٌ

/al ĵawwu bāridun/

تُمْطِرُ

/tumŧiru/

السَّماءُ

/as samā’u/

(The sky) it is raining

السَّماءُ تُمْطِرُ

/as samā’u tumŧiru/

فَصْلُ الشِّتَاءِ

/faŝlu ash shitā’i/

هَذا

/hādhā/

This is the winter season

هَذَا فَصْلُ الشِّتاءِ

/hādhā faŝlu ash shitā’i/