Learn Arabic Grammar – Lesson 1

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(1) http://www.islamictreasure.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Lesson-1.pdf
or
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Table of Contents

a) Parts of Speech
b) 3 Cases of Nouns in Arabic
c) Vocabulary 1
d) The Indefinite Particle
e) Preposition
f) Example from the Qur’an
g) The Verb “to be” i.e. “is/are/am”

a) Parts of Speech 

In English language there are 8 Parts of Speech namely:

•   Noun
•   Pronoun
•   Verb
•   Adjective
•   Adverb
•   Preposition
•   Conjunction
•   Interjection

The Arabic language is made up of كَلِمَاتٌ (words) and these words are of 3 types i.e. In Arabic language there are 3 Parts of Speech, but these three Parts encompass all eight Parts of Speech of the English Language. They are known as:

1) حَرْفٌ - Particle/Letter
2) فِعْلٌ - Action/Verb
3) اِسْمٌ - Noun

1) حَرْفٌ - Particle/Letter

•   Preposition
•   Conjunction

Example:   إِلى - (ila) meaning “to” في - (fee) meaning “in” وَ - (wa) meaning “and”

2) فِعْلٌ - Action/Verb

Verb (same as in English)

Example:    ذَهَبَ - (duhaba) meaning “to go/went”

3) اِسْمٌ - Noun

•   Noun
•   Pronoun
•   Adjective
•   Adverb
•   Interjection

Example:    بَيْتٌ - (baytu-n) meaning “a house”

Note: More examples will be given as we move on and learn each of the parts of speech separately Insha’Allah. As of now in the beginning, we will be focusing on Nouns and Particles and not Verbs.

b) 3 Cases of Nouns in Arabic Arabic nouns have three cases:

1) Nominative Case: مَرْفُوْعٌ (marfoo’).

Generally indicated by a dhammah or dhammataan on the last letter – This is the normal case of nouns

Example: بَيْتٌ/ الْبَيْتُ (al-baitu / baitu-n)

2) Accusative Case: مَنْصُوْبٌ (mansoob).

Generally indicated by a fatha or fathataan on the last letter.

Example: بَيْتاً / الْبَيْتَ (al-baita / baita-n)

3) Genitive Case: مَجْرُوْرٌ (majroor).

Generally indicated by a khasrah or khasrataan on the last letter.

Example: بَيْتٍ/ الْبَيْتِ (al-baiti / baiti-n)

c) Vocabulary

أنَا (ana) which means “I”
نَحْنُ (nahnu) which means “We”
بَيْتٌ (baytu-n) which means “A House / home”
بُيُوتٌ (buyootu-n) which means “Houses / homes”

Note: Learn the Vocabulary before proceeding further. Arabic nouns are either definite or indefinite.

d) The Indefinite Particle حَرْفٌ نَكِرَةٌ

There is no word in Arabic corresponding to “a” in English as in “A book”. Indefinite nouns are indicated by doubling the last vowel of the noun tanween (nunation) (ٌ) , which is generally translated as ‘a/an’. It is equivalent to adding an “n” to the last vowel of the noun.

Example : A House – بَيْتٌ (Baytu-n)

e) Preposition: في - (fee)

In Arabic prepositions are called (harfu jarr) حَرْفُ الْجَرِّ

The Most commonly used word in Arabic is the preposition Fee في, although it has many translations depending on context, the most common translation is ‘in’.

Important Point to Note:

A noun which appears after a preposition will be in the Genitive Case i.e; Prepositions like fee, min etc changes the state of the noun to the Genitive case مَجْرُوْرٌ (majroor), meaning the dhammah on the last letter of the noun changes into kasrah/kasrataan.

Example: When we write fee before baitu-n, it will become فِيْ بَيْتٍ  “fee baiti-n” and NOT بَيْتٌفِيْ “fee baitu-n”. The dhammahtaan at the end changes to a khasrataan. In a similar way, “Fee Buyutun” becomes “Fee Buyutin”.

 

f) Example from the Qur’an:

(…فِى بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ ٱللَّهُ) (Fee Buyutin ‘Adhina Allahu…)

Translation: “In houses which Allah has ordered…” [Qur’an 24:36]

Note: It is not “Fee Buyutun” but “Fee Buyutin” because of the presence of the Preposition “Fee” which changes the case of the noun into a Genitive one.

g) The Verb “to be” i.e. “is/are/am” 

The Arabic verb ‘to be’ in its present tense “is/are/am” is not written in Arabic, rather it is understood to be there by default.

Example: أنَا فِيْ بَيْتٍ  “Ana fee baytin”, though it literally means “I in a house”, but it would mean – “I am in a house”

Similarly,

نَحْنُ فِى بُيُوتٍ - “Nahnu fee buyutin” meaning “We are in houses”
نَحْنُ فِى بَيْتٍ- “Nahnu fee baytin” meaning “We are in a house”
أنا خالِدٌ- “Ana Khaalid” meaning “I am Khaalid”

Note: أنَا فِى بُيُوتٍ “Ana fee buyutin” meaning “I am in houses” is wrong grammatically both from the English as well as Arabic perspective, as this sentence doesn’t make any sense. One cannot be at many houses at a time.

Advice:

We are here to help you and waiting to answer your queries Insha’Allah.
Anyone having any queries after they go through Lesson 3 can post his/her questions/queries here: http://islamictreasure.com/forums/index.php?topic=12.0 or contact us Insha’Allah.

Note:

(1) Don’t feel shy that your question may sound silly or something like that. We are here to help you learn the language properly Insha’Allah, and if you don’t clear even your minutest doubt then you will be building on a weak platform. You need to master the fundamentals and basics to build the whole building of learning Arabic Grammar.

(2) Few questions will soon be posted related to Lesson 1, to test what you have learnt Insha’Allah.

(3) Those who are following or taking up the course are requested to write down the vocabularies and the sentences in Arabic which they find in the lesson on a piece of paper insha’Allah. (Even if you take printouts, you should still write down the vocabulary and sentences in Arabic on a piece of Paper).

You will yourself notice why we recommend this Insha’Allah.

May Allah ease our path of seeking Knowledge. Aameen.

JazakAllahu khayran.
wa’as salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

2 Comments

  1. ASA dear bro/sis,

    My question is about the genitive case. I see you say the genitive case is formed with the khasra/khasratan on the last letter of the word. But in Surah 2:2 the word muttaquina (referring to those who fear Allah) has a fatah on it. I read that the word is an active participle in the 8th form genitive case. Does this have something to do with the reason why the fatah is on the nuun instead of a khasrah? Please explain to me what concept I’m missing inshallah. I am striving to learn quranic Arabic on my own as such I really need to understand patterns and rationales behind grammatical marks.

    thank you in advance As Salam Alakium

    • Walaykum Assalaam,
      In Arabic, masculine nouns whose plural ends with the suffix ونَ (-oona), become genitive by adding the suffix ينَ (-eena).
      This is why in the Qur’an Surah al-Baqarah (2):2, you have : لِلْمُتَّقِينَ (lil-muttaqeena) because of the preposition ‘li’ and not (lil-muttaqoona) or (lil-muttaqoonee)
      May Allaah keep you steadfast in learning this beautiful language.

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