Lesson 4الدَّرْسُ الرَّابِعُ

The Nominal Sentence - الْجُمْلَةُ الاسْمِيَّةُ

  • In this part, we will learn about Arabic sentence, In-Shā'-Allâh (God willing). The Arabic verbal sentence and the Arabic nominal sentence are essential topics that help you learn Arabic through our free Arabic language course.
  • In Arabic language there are two types of sentences:
    • The Nominal Sentence meaning /Al ĵumla tul Ismiyya/ - this sentence starts (mostly) with a noun.
    • The Verbal Sentence meaning /Al ĵumla tul Feξliyya/ - this sentence starts (mostly) with a verb.
  • Please read the following carefully and note the difference between the sentences:


The Nominal Sentence

"Al ĵumla tul Ismiyya"

الْجُمْلَةُ الاسْمِيَّة

The Verbal Sentence

"Al ĵumla tul Feξliyya"

الْجُمْلَةُ الفِعْلِيَّةُ


أحْمَدُ ذَهَبَ إلَى الْجَامِعَةِ.

ذَهَبَ أحْمَدُ إلَى الْجَامِعَةِ.


/Aħmadu dhahaba ilal /ĵāmiξati/

Dhahaba Aħmadu ilal /ĵāmiξati/

Literary Reading

Ahmad went to the university

Went Ahmad to the university


الْمُدَرِّسُ خَرَجَ مِنْ فَصْلٍ.

خَرَجَ الْمُدَرِّسُ مِنْ فَصْلٍ.


Al mudarrisu kharaĵa min faŝlin

Kharaĵa al mudarrisu min faŝlin

Literary Reading

The teacher went out of a class

Went out the teacher of a class

  • Two of the sentences in the above table are the nominal sentences and the other two are verbal sentences.
  • A nominal sentence is called /al ĵumla tul Ismiyya/ and a verbal sentence is called /al ĵumla tul Feξliyya/ 
  • A nominal sentence /al ĵumla tul Ismiyya/ follows the following rules:
    • It (originally) starts with a noun or a pronoun.
    • It has two parts. The first part is the “subject” of the sentence and is called /Mubtada’/ and the second part is the “predicate” and called /Khabar/.
    • The subject /Mubtada’/ should always be a noun or a pronoun but it is not necessary for the predicate /Khabar/ to be a noun or a pronoun so it may or may not be a noun.
    • Each of the subject /Mubtada’/ and the predicate /Khabar/ are originally in the nominative case i.e. the last letter takes a single /đammah/ if definite (with definite article /al/) and takes two /dhammas/ if indefinite (without the definite article al). 
    • /Mubtada’/ is the subject of the sentence i.e., it represents a person or thing which is described in a sentence and the /Khabar/ is the description or the explanation of the /Mubtada’/ e.g., when it is said Muhammad is standing then “Muhammad” is the subject and "is standing" describes his condition and is the predicate. Similar is the case with Arabic sentences.  The subject is highlighted in red below, the rest of the sentence is the predicate.




Ahmad is a student

/Aħmadu ŧâlibun/

أَحْمَدُ طَالِبٌ.

He is a good student.

/Huwa ŧâlibun ĵayyidun/

هُوَ طَالِبٌ جَيِّدٌ.

Muhammad went out of the university.

/Muhammadun kharaĵa minal ĵāmiξati/

مُحَمَّدٌ خَرَجَ مِنَ الْجَامِعَةِ.

Khalid is in the hospital.

/Khâlidun fil mustashfā/

خَالِدٌ فِي الْمُسْتَشْفَى.

  • In the above sentences all the words appearing in red are the /Mubtada’/ which must be noun or pronoun while the remaining parts of the sentences in black are the /khabar/. A /mubtada’/ must be in the nominative case and takes –originally- single /đammah/ when definite and two /đammas/ when indefinite.
  • Therefore the subject /Mubtada’/ is always a single noun or pronoun, while the predicate /Khabar/ can be of the following types:

Types of /Khabar/



A Noun


Muhammad is a student.

مُحَمَّدٌ طَالِبٌ.

A nominal Sentence

/ĵumla Ismiyya/

Ahmad's father is intelligent.

أحْمَدُ وَالِدُهُ ذَكِيٌّ.

A verbal Sentence

/ĵumla Fiξliyya/

Khalid went to the hospital.

خَالِدٌ ذَهَبَ إلَى الْمُسْتَشْفَى.

An expression with a preposition

/ĵār wa Maĵrūr/

Fatima is in the kitchen.

فَاطِمَةُ فِي الْمَطْبَخِ.

  • When the /Khabar/, is a nominal sentence (/ĵumla ismiyyah/), a verbal sentence  (/ĵumla fīξliyya/) or a prepositional phrase ( /ĵār wa maĵrūr/) it will not be signed with the main sign of the nominative case (a /đammah/ or /đammatain/) because each word in these structures will be signed according to its own position in the small sentence.
  • In this section we have learned many principles and rules. Please go over this section a few times as the rules we have learned are very important for understanding later lessons. Please remember that revision is a very important part of the learning process and you have to have a foundation to build upon and progress. If that foundation is weak, then learning the language will become more difficult. Our goal is to make the learning process an easier and more enjoyable one, In-Shā'-Allâh (God willing). We will continue revising these principles so please do not worry if everything is not clear or understood at this stage.
  • In the next part of the lesson /In-Shā'-Allâh/ we will take some exercises to test your understanding of the lesson.