Lesson 55 – الدَّرْسُ الخامِسُ وَالْخَمْسُونَ

The dual -  الْمُثَنَّى

Declension of the dual – (إعْراب المُثَنَّى /Iξrâb-ul-muthannā/)

  • We are still in lesson fifty five of our free Arabic language course. This Arabic course with images and audios will help you learn Arabic.
  • We mentioned before that the Arabic dual is a declinable noun indicating two masculine or feminine units of the singular noun, and since the dual is declinable, we are going to apply the declension rules which we studied in the earlier lessons. In these lessons we learnt that there are four original grammatical cases and signs, we summarise them again to remember:







(grammatical case)
















  • The nominative and accusative cases are related to both nouns and verbs, I.e. while the verb can be nominative and accusative, ending with đammah and fatħah, the noun can also have the same endings (lesson 22).
  • We have also learnt that the genitive case comes only with nouns, i.e. there is no genitive verb, only nouns can be genitive. On the other hand, the jussive case comes only with verbs, i.e. there is no jussive noun, only the verb can be jussive.
  • Now we will learn the declension of the dual In-Shā’-Allah (God willing) and its grammatical signs (vowel endings) in the different cases.
  • We now clearly understand that the dual is a noun (not verb) so its grammatical cases are nominative, accusative and genitive case. You know also that the original signs of these cases are the đammah, the fatħah, and the kasrah, these original signs are used for the singular noun.
  • However in the case of the dual we also add some additional signs. These signs of the declension of the dual will not be on its final letter, it will be on the penultimate letter, i.e. the letter before the final. This letter will be alif (ا / ā/) in the nominative case, and yā’ (ـيـ /y) in the accusative and genitive cases.
  • So the dual noun will end with (ان /ān/) when it is nominative and it will end with (ين /ayn) when it is accusative or genitive. You can see all of these cases and signs clearly in the following examples:









Nominative with alif

The two students are hardworking

الطَّالِبَانِ مُجْتَهِدَان

/aŧŧâlibāni muĵtahidāni/


Nominative with đammah

The student is hardworking

الطَّالِبُ مُجْتَهِدٌ

/aŧŧâlibu muĵtahidun/

Nominative with alif

The two houses are big

البَيْتَانِ كَبِيرَانِ

/al baytāni kabīrâni/

Nominative with đammah

The house is big

البَيْتُ كَبِيرٌ

/al baytu kabīrun/

Nominative with alif

The two lessons are useful

الدَّرْسَانِ مُفِيدَانِ

/ad-darsāni mufīdāni/

Nominative with đammah

The lesson is useful

الدَّرْسُ مُفِيدٌ

/ad-darsu mufīdun/

Accusative with yā’

I wrote the two lessons

كَتَبْتُ  الدَّرْسَيْنِ

/katabtu ad-darsayni/

Accusative with fatħah

I wrote the lesson

كَتَبْتُ  الدَّرْسَ

/katabtu ad-darsa/

Accusative with yā’

I ate two fishes

أَكَلْتُ  سَمَكَتَيْنِ

/akaltu samakatayni/

Accusative with fatħah

I ate a fish

أَكَلْتُ  سَمَكَةً

/akaltu samakatan/

Accusative with yā’

I slept for two hours

نِمْتُ سَاعَتَيْنِ

/nimtu sāξatayni/

Accusative with fatħah

I slept for one hour

نِمْتُ سَاعَةً

/nimtu sāξatan/