Lesson 72 – الدَّرْسُ الثَّاني والسَّبْعونَ

The distinctive - الـتَّـمْيِـيِزُ

The Distinctive of the Relation – تَـمْـيِـيز الـنِّـسْـبَة

  • We are still in lesson seventy two of our free Arabic language course. This Arabic course with images and audios will help you learn Arabic.
  • In part (4) we learnt the distinctive of the isolated Arabic noun, and we studied its four types.
  • In this lesson we will learn the distinctive of the Arabic sentence (or the relation) In-Shā’-Allâh (God willing).
  • The distinctive of the relation is the accusative noun which removes the ambiguity in the relation between the essential parts of the Arabic sentence.
  • For example, when we say:

How beautiful is the color of the sky!

مَا أَجْمَلَ السَّماءِ لَوْنًا

/mā aĵmala as samā’a lawnan/

  • The word (لونًا) is a distinctive of the sentence of astonishment (مَا أَجْمَلَ السَّماءِ). This is as if you say (how beautiful is the sky!!) then you added (I mean its color).
  • Therefore the distinctive here removes the ambiguity not in an isolated noun, rather in the meaning of the entire sentence.
  • This type of distinctive is divided into two types:

a-    Transposed distinctive: the structure in this type is transposed from another Arabic structure, in which there is no distinctive noun.

·         The transposed distinctive can be in three categories:

1-    Transposed from an agent (doer), as in the following examples:

Transposed from

Supposed structure




The agent

نبتَ زَرْعُ الأرْضِ

/nabata zarξu al arđi/

The plants of the ground grew

نَبَتَتِ الأَرْضُ زَرْعًا

/nabatat al arđu zarξan/

انْهَمَرَ مَطَرُ السَّماءِ

/inhamara maŧaru as samā’i/

It rained heavily

اِنْهَمَرَتِ السَّماءُ مَطَرًا

/inhamarat as samā’u maŧaran/

  • In the above mentioned examples we notice that there is another supposed way to express the same meaning. In the supposed expression we use the doer of the verb, while in the main expression we use the distinctive instead of the doer.

2-    The second category of the transposed distinctive is that which is transposed from the direct object, as in the following examples:

Transposed from

Supposed structure




Direct object

قَرَأْتُ فُصُول الكتابِ

/qara’tu fusūla al kitābi/

I read the chapters of the book

قَرَأتُ الكِتابَ فُصُولاً

/qara’tu al kitāba fuŝulan/

قَطَعْتُ ثَمَرَ الأشْجارِ

/qaŧaξtu thamara al ashĵāri/

I cut the fruits of the trees

قَطَعْتُ الأَشْجارَ ثَمَرًا

/qaŧaξtu al ashĵāra thamaran/

3-  The third category is the distinctive transposed from the subject. Consider the following examples:

Transposed from

Supposed structure





مالي أكثرُ من مالكَ

/mālī aktharu min mālika/

I have more money than you

أَنا أَكْثَرُ مِنْكَ مالاً

/anā aktharu minka mālan/

جَمالُ فاطِمَةَ أكْثَرُ مِنْ جمالِكِ

/ĵamālu fāŧimata aktharu min ĵamāliki/

Fatima is more beautiful than you

فاطِمَةُ أَكْثَرُ مِنْكِ جَمالاً

/fāŧimatu aktharu ĵamālan minki/

  • You may notice that in the supposed structure we used the subject; this means that the distinctive is transposed from the subject.
  • You may also notice that all the transposed types of distinctive are always in the accusative case.

b-    The second type of the distinctive of the sentence is the non-transposed from anything. This means that there is only one structure which is used with the distinctive. Consider the following examples:





Khalid exceeded his friends in the courage

فَاقَ خالِدٌ أَصْدِقَاءَهُ شَجَاعَةً

/fāqa khâlidun aŝdiqâ’ahu shaĵāξatan/


My heart is full of love towards Muhammad

اِمْتَلأَ قَلْبِي لِمُحَمَّدٍ حُبًّا

/imtala’a qalbī li muħammadin ħubban/


How generous man is Salim

أَكْرِمْ بِسَلِيمٍ مِنْ رَجُلٍ

/akrim bisalīmin min raĵulin/


My bags are full of books

اِمْتَلأَتْ حَقَائِبِي كُتُبًا

/imtala’at ħaqâ’ibī kutuban/

  • You may notice that this type of distinctive can be in the accusative case or in the genitive case after a preposition
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