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Lesson 72 – الدَّرْسُ الثَّاني والسَّبْعونَ

The distinctive - الـتَّـمْيِـيِزُ

Introduction - مُقَدِّمَةٌ

  • In the previous lesson we studied the status, which is an accusative supplement that describes the aspect of the concerned in the time of the action.
  • In this lesson we will learn another supplement (dispensable noun) which is called in Arabic (التَّمْيِيِزُ / at tamyīz) meaning the distinctive. The distinctive is used to clear up the ambiguity in the preceding noun (the distinguished), as in the following example: (please read from right to left).

The distinctive





I have fifty pounds

مَعِي خَمْسُونَ جُنَيْهًا

/maξī khamsūna ĵunaihan/

  •  Therefore we will cover the following topics In-Shā’-Allâh (God willing):

1-    The definition of the distinctive, its function, and the difference between the distinctive, the adjective, and the status.

2-    The types of the distinctive. We will learn that the distinctive is divided into two categories:

a-    The distinctive of the isolated (concrete) noun and this is divided into two types: the distinctive of quantities, and the distinctive of numbers, as in the following examples:

Type of distinctive





Distinctive of number


I have twenty books

لَدَيَّ عِشْرُونَ كِتابًا

/ladayya ξishrīna kitāban/

Distinctive of quantities


I bought one kilo of rice

اِشْتَرَيْتُ كِيلاً أُرْزًا

/ishtaraytu kaylan urzan/

b-    The second category of the distinctive is the distinctive of the sentence (or the relation), this type is used to remove the ambiguity of an entire sentence as in the following examples:





Arabic lesson image


How very courageous is Khalid!

مَا أَكْثَرَ خَالِدًا شَجاعَةً

/mā akthara khâlidan shaĵāξatan/ lesson image


I dug the land into wells

حَفَرْتُ الأَرْضَ آبارًا

/ħafartu al arđa ābāran/ lesson image


I cultivated the land with thorns

زَرَعْتُ الأَرْضَ شَوْكًا

/zaraξtu al arđa shawkan/

3-    We will also study some ambiguous words which need distinction, as (كَمْ / kam) either as a questioning particle, or as a predicative particle  meaning how much or how many, as in the following examples:

Predicative /kam/

Interrogative /kam/





How many friends betrayed their friends!!

كَمْ مِنْ صَدِيقٍ غَدَرَ بِصَدِيقِهِ!!

/kam min ŝadīqin ghadara biŝadīqihi/

How many books did you read?

كَـمْ كِتابًا قَرَأْتَ؟

/kam kitāban qara’ta/


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