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Madinah Arabic Learn Arabic Online
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Lesson 78 – الدَّرْسُ الثَّامِنُ والسَّبْعونَ

The followers(1) The adjective  -  التَّــوَابِع(١) النَّعْتُ

The definition of the adjective, and its conditions –النَّعْتُ تَعْرِيفُه وَشُرُوطُهُ

  • The adjective (the descriptive) is called in Arabic (النَّعْت), and it can also be called (الصِّفَة). It is a follower that indicates one of the qualities related to a preceding described noun.
  • The adjective follows the described noun in four things as follows:

1-    Gender (masculine or feminine)

2-    Number (singular, dual, or plural)

3-    Definition (or non definition)

4-    Declension case (nominative, accusative or genitive)

Consider the following examples:

The adjective

The described noun

Example

The aspect

English

Arabic

الكَبِيرَةَ

السَّمَكَةَ

I ate the big fish

أَكَلْتُ السَّمَكَةَ الكَبِيرَةَ

Definite

Definition or non definition

كَبِيرَةً

سَمَكَةً

I ate a big fish

أَكَلْتُ سَمَكَةً كَبِيرَةً

Indefinite

الْمُؤَدَّبُ

الْوَلَدُ

The polite boy came

حَضَرَ الْوَلَدُ الْمُؤَدَّبُ

Masculine

Gender

الْمُؤَدَّبَةُ

الْبِنْتُ

The polite girl came

حَضَرَتِ الْبِنْتُ الْمُؤَدَّبَةُ

Feminine

مُفِيدًا

كِتابًا

I wrote a useful book

قَرَأْتُ كِتابًا مُفِيدًا

Singular

Number

أَزْرَقَيْنِ

قَلَمَيْنِ

I gave you two blue pens

أَعْطَيْتُكَ قَلَمَيْنِ أَزْرَقَيْنِ

Dual

الصِّغارَ

الأَطْفالَ

I carried the small children

حَمَلْتُ الأَطْفالَ الصِّغارَ

Plural

مُجْتَهِدٌ

طالِبٌ

This is a hardworking student

هَذَا طالِبٌ مُجْتَهِدٌ

Nominative

The declension

لَذِيذًا

طَعامًا

I ate a useful food

أَكَلْتُ طَعامًا لَذِيذًا

Accusative

وَاسِعَةٍ

شَّقَّةٍ

I live in a spacious flat

أَسْكُنُ فِي شَّقَّةٍ وَاسِعَةٍ

Genitive

  • There are some exceptions of the accordance between the adjective and the described noun in the gender and the number. These exceptions are as follows:
  • The non rational (inanimate) objects  Consider the following examples:
  • The collective plural noun

The collective plural noun is that which is a singular in its form, and plural in its meaning. It refers to more than two items, but it is treated in the sentence as a singular noun. Not all Arabic nouns has a collective plural, but it is commonly used with fruits, foods, and some insects and animals. Consider the following types of plurals giving a certain attention to the collective nouns:

·         The collective nouns in the above mentioned table are respectively: تُفَّاحشَجَرسَمَكبَيْض - دَجَاج. Although these nouns indicate the plural meaning, it will be treated as singular nouns, as in the following examples:

  • The adjective is originally supposed to be a derived noun. There are four kinds of derivatives that can be adjectives as in the following table:

No.

Kind of derivative

Example

Root of the adjective

Adjective

Sentence

English

Arabic

1

Active participle

نَفَع

نافِع

I like the useful book

أحبُّ الكتابَ النافِعَ

2

Passive participle

شَهَرَ

مَشْهُور

This is a famous poet

هَذَا شاعِرٌ مَشْهُورٌ

3

Similar quality

كَرُمَ

كَرِيم

I passed by a generous man

مَرَرْتُ بِرَجُلٍ كَرِيمٍ

4

Superlative noun

فَضَلَ

أفْضَل

This is the best way

هَذَا هو الطَّرِيقُ الأفْضَلُ

  • Sometimes the adjective can be formed of a non-derived noun (i.e. a noun which has no verbal root).
  • The following table shows the kinds of the non-derived nouns that can form the adjective:

Type of non derived noun

Example

Sentence

 

English

Arabic

Demonstrative

هَذَا

Be generous with Ali, this one

أَكْرِمْ عَلِيًّا هَذَا

هَذِهِ

I like Fatima, this one

أُحِبُّ فَاطِمَةَ هَذِهِ

هَؤلاء

Be a friend of these men.

صادِقِ الرِّجالَ هَؤُلاءِ

Relative nouns

الذي

This is Khalid who won the prize

هَذَا خالِدٌ الَّذِي فازَ بالْجَائِزَةِ

التي

This is Fatima who works as a nurse

هَذِهِ فَاطِمَةُ الَّتِي تَعْمَلُ مُمَرِّضَةً

الذين

I hate  the merchants who cheat

أَكْرَهُ التُّجَّارَ الَّذِينَ يَغُشُّونَ

Possessor of

ذُو

This is a student who possesses a knowledge of science

هَذَا طالِبٌ ذُو عِلْمٍ

ذات

And this is a woman who has got money and beauty

وهَذِه اِمْرَأَةٌ ذَاتُ مالٍ وَجَمالٍ

Numbers

خمْسَة

The students entered from five gates

دَخَلَ الطُّلابُ مِنْ أَبْوابٍ خَمْسَة

ثلاثَة

And they exited from three gates

وَخَرَجُو مِنْ أَبْوابٍ ثَلاثَةٍ

  • The adjective can be also formed of a vague indefinite noun (ما mā) to refer to an unknown person or thing (someone or something). We will study this kind of adjective in detail because it is commonly used in Modern Standard Arabic. Consider the following examples (please read from right to left):
  • Example (1)

Khalid ate something

أَكَلَ خَالِدٌ شَيْئًا مَا

مَا

شَيْئًا

خَالِدٌ

أَكَلَ

Adjective

Direct object

Doer

Past verb

 

  • Example (2)

My father travelled for something

سافَرَ أَبِي لِأَمْرٍ ما

ما

أَمْرٍ

لِـ

أَبِي

سافَرَ

Adjective

Genitive noun

Preposition

Doer

Past verb

 

·        Example (3)

Someone exists in the room

رَجُلٌ ما مَوْجُودٌ فِي الغرفة

الغرفة

فِي

مَوْجُودٌ

ما

رَجُلٌ

Genitive noun

Preposition

Predicate

Adjective

Subject

·        The adjective can be separated from the described noun by the annexed noun (مُضَاف إلَيْه), we learnt the annexation structure in lesson 5 of this course. The described noun can be an annexing noun (مُضاف) which is the first part of (iđâfah), so it has to be followed by the (muđâf ilaihi) directly, and then the adjective has to be delayed and placed after the second part of the (iđâfah). Consider the following examples:

·        You may notice in the examples above that the two adjectives (الْكَبِير - الآخَر) are related to the two described nouns (كِتاب - باب) respectively, and they are placed after the annexed nouns.