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 78 – الدَّرْسُ الثَّامِنُ والسَّبْعونَ

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

Types of adjective -  أَنْـواعُ الـنَّـعْـت

  • The adjective can be one of three types as follows:
  • Single noun: In this form the adjective is neither an entire sentence nor a quasi sentence (phrase). The single noun can be either singular, dual, or plural. Consider the following examples (please read from right to left):

Number

Type

Adjective

Example

English

Arabic

Singular

Single

الأَوَّلَ

I will choose the first (best) student

سَأَخْتارُ الطَّالِبَ الأَوَّلَ

Singular

Single

الأُولَى

I will reward the first (best) female student

سَأُكافِئُ الطَّالِبَةَ الأُولَى

Dual

Single

جَدِيدَانِ

These are two new offices

هَذَانِ مَكْتَبانِ جَدِيدَانِ

Plural

Single

الْجُدُد

These are the new students

هَؤُلاءِ هُمُ الطُّلابُ الْجُدُد

plural

Single

الْمُهَذَّبَاتِ

I like the polite female girls

أُحِبُّ الْفَتَيَاتِ الْمُهَذَّبَاتِ

  • You may notice from the above mentioned examples that the adjective might be a single noun (i.e. not a sentence or a phrase) and in this case it can be singular, dual, or plural. Please notice that the Arabic word (مُفرَد) means single and singular. Therefore if you read an Arabic grammatical text you have to understand the difference between them from the context.
  • The single noun adjective is the only type that can be signed with evident grammatical signs (đammah, fatħah, and kasrah), because each of the other two types is not a single word.
  • The phrasal adjective (quasi sentence):
  • We learnt the quasi sentence when we studied the types of the predicate (lesson 58), and when we studied the types of the status (lesson 71).
  • In this type, the adjective consists of two words, but they are not a complete sentence. Therefore this type is neither a single word nor a complete sentence, rather it is a phrase (quasi sentence). It can be formed in two different ways: (preposition + a genitive noun) or (adverb + a genitive noun) as follows:

a-    The prepositional phrase (preposition + a genitive noun): This type is called in Arabic (الجار والمجرور). Consider the following examples:

b-    The circumstantial phrase (adverb + genitive noun): We studied the adverbs of time and the adverbs of place in lesson 69. We learnt that the noun after each of them is in the genitive case, and the adverb with the following noun forms a circumstantial structure (quasi sentence). This phrase can be a part of the sentence (as a predicate or a quasi sentence). The following table shows some examples of the adjective when it is a circumstantial phrase:

  • In the above mentioned examples you may notice that the described noun is an indefinite noun, because the circumstantial phrase is considered in Arabic indefinite, so it cannot be an adjective related to a definite described noun.
  •  You may also notice that the adjective phrase is not signed with any of the grammatical signs which we see on the single nouns. Therefore the sign of the declension of the phrasal adjective is supposed (virtual).
  • The adjective sentence: As we learnt in lesson 58 about the predicate sentence, and in lesson 71 about the status sentence, we learn now the adjective sentence. The adjective can be an entire sentence (nominal or verbal) under the condition that the described noun is an indefinite noun (the same condition as we studied in the phrasal adjective). Consider the following examples (please read from right to left):

Grammatical case

Type of adjective

Adjective

Example

English

Arabic

Accusative

Nominal sentence

مُؤَلِّفُهُ مِصْرِيٌّ

I read a book (which) his writer is Egyptian

قَرَأْتُ كِتَابًا مُؤَلِّفُهُ مِصْرِيٌّ

Accusative

Nominal sentence

لَدَيْهِ مَهارَاتٌ

I saw a player (who) has many skills

شاهَدْتُ لاعِبًا لَدَيْهِ مَهارَاتٌ كَبِيرَةٌ

Accusative

Verbal sentence

يَمْلَؤُها الْحُبُّ

I had a life (which is) full of passion

عِشْتُ حَيَاةً يَمْلَؤُها الْحُبُّ

nominative

Verbal sentence

يَغْرَقُ

In the water, there is a man who sinks

فِي الماءِ رَجُلٌ يَغْرَقُ

  • In the above mentioned examples you may notice that the adjective sentence is always related to an indefinite described noun. If the described noun in any similar structure is definite, the following sentence will be a status sentence, not adjective sentence. Please compare the two following structures:

The verbal sentence here is an adjective sentence because it follows an indefinite noun

In the water, there is a man who sinks

فِي الماءِ رَجُلٌ يَغْرَقُ

The verbal sentence here is a status sentence, because it falls after a definite noun

In the water, there is the man who sinks

فِي الماءِ الرَّجُلُ يَغْرَقُ