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Kaana and Inna

Lesson twenty : كان وإنّ

We will deal with these in the context of “equational sentences” (see lesson four)
Both of these words can be placed at the start of an equational sentence and then slightly change the following grammar.
We will firstly take إنّ
This word does not really need to be translated, but if you want to you can translate it as “indeed” or “verily”. Its purpose is to add emphasis to a sentence.

This word is always followed by a noun, and will always put the noun into the accusative (ie it makes it carry fatha)

EG:

الْوَلَدُ جَميلٌ


إنّ الْوَلَدَ جميلٌ

If it was followed by a pronoun, then the pronoun changes into its accusative form which is the same as the possessive pronouns… EG

هُوَ فَقيرٌ

إنَّهُ فقيرٌ

As for كان
It could be said to have the opposite effect of Inna.
This word puts the meaning of the equational sentence in the past and can be translated as “was”. It is a verb, and all conjugations of it cause the same grammatical effect. [it is what's known as a Hollow Verb, and that topic will be dealt with later]
The effect of Kaana is that it puts the predicate in the accusative.
EG
الْوَلَدُ جَميلٌ

كانَ الْوَلَدُ جميلاً

This is a quite simple topic and the basic summary to remember is:
Inna : Subject in Accusative, predicate unaffected
Kaana : Subject unaffected, predicate in Accusative

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Root System

The Root System:

The following stuff in blue has been adapted from this site : Language Centre
If you wish, read the original page for more info but I have tried to make it a little bit easier to understand. This is more theory stuff, background to how the language works. If you are confused by it don’t worry too much.

  • Arabic belongs to the Semitic group of languages.
  • The characteristic feature of Semitic languages is their basis of consonantal roots (this means each word has a root made up of letters which are not vowels),
  • roots are mostly trilateral. (ie most roots are made up of Three letters
  • Variations in shade of meaning are obtained, first by varying the vowelling of the simple root, and secondly by the addition of prefixes, suffix and in-fixes.


An Arabic word is composed of two parts:

1) The root; which is usually formed of three (sometimes four) consonants.

2) The pattern; There are many “patterns” existing in the Arabic language which may be applied to a certain root to produce a meaningful word.

Because of the productive nature of the Arabic morphology, Arabic writing was mainly designed to convey primarily the root information. Hence, Arabic writing system represents mainly consonants. As we already learnt, vowels are added in by use of Harakaat (damma, kasra, fatha)

We previously touched upon this root and pattern system in the lesson on Broken Plurals. That is the kind of thing for which understanding about word patterns can be useful.

Patterns are normally shown by using the root فعل
as an example. If we wanted to symbolise the pattern of these following words:
ٌشارِب
صاحِبٌ
ٌصالِح
then we would write : فاعِلٌ

As explained above in the Language centre peice, different yet similar words can be made by using the same root but changing the pattern. Look at the following words all from the same root :
كَتَبَ
kataba
he wrote
كِتاب
kitaab
book
كُتُبٌ
kutub
books
كاتِبٌ
kaatib
writer
مكْتبٌ
maktab
office
مكتبةٌ
maktaba
library or bookshop

All the words are on the topic of writing.

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Relative clauses

Relative clauses” are usually translated in English with the words “which“, “who”, “that”. In Arabic they are called الإِسماءُ الموصُولة

Relative sentences are made up of two parts : The antecedent and the relative clause.

The Antecedent will be a noun. The relative clause gives extra information about this antecedent noun. An example of this in English is :

This is the boy who studies Biology

The boy is the antecedent. In this case he is also the subject of the sentence, although the object could also be an antecedent. The relative clause is “who studies Biology” because that is the extra info about this antecdent.

In Arabic there are a group of words used in place of “who, which” etc and the correct one is chosen according to gender and number.

These are only used when the antecedent is DEFINATE

Here is the list :

الّذي

alladhee
for masculine singular


الّتي

allatee
for feminine singular (including non human plural)

الّذينَ

alladheena
for masculine plural


الواتي

allawaatee
for female plural

The dual ones will be given later when we cover that topic

Aswell as these special words, in arabic you also need to add a “returner” as a part of the relative clause. This is a pronoun which refers back to the antecedent. If the relative clause features a verb which is done by the antecedent, then the returner is considered to be shown by that verb and nothing else is necessary. However if the verb is done by anyone else the returner should be added in the form of a pronoun.

Now to get an idea of relative clauses here are some examples :

أين الكتابُ الّذي وجدته؟

ayn al kitaab ulladhee wajadtuhu?
where is the book which I found?

The antecedent is al kitaab (the book)
the relative clause is alladhee wajadtuhu
the word alladhee was chosen as kitaab is singular masculine
the returner is “hu” on the end of the verb, chosen because kitaab is singular masculine and hu is the singular masculine returner word

هو الولدُ الّذي يدرس هنا
huw al walad ulladhee yadrusu hunaa
he is the boy who studies here

the antecedent is al walad (the boy)
the relative clause is alladhee yadrusu huna

the word alladhee was chosen because it is singular masculine

the returner is “inside” the verb. When the relative clause is an action done by the antecedent, then you do not need to write the returner separately as the verb conjugation shows it

ضرب علي الكلبَ الّذي ذهب في المطبجِ

Daraba 3ali ul kalb alladhee dhahaba fil matbakh

ali hit the dog who went in the kitchen

antecedent is al kalb (the dog)
relative clause is alladhee dhahaba fil matbakh
alladhee is chosen because it is singular masculine
the returner is inside the verb.

أختي البنت التي تساعدُ المدرّسةَ
ukhtee al bint ullatee tusaa3id ul mudarrisa
my sister is the girl who helps the teacher
the antecedent is ukhtee (my sister)
the relative clause is allatee tusaa3id ul mudarrisa
allatee was chosen as antecedent is singular feminine
the returner is in the verb tusaa3idu

ذهب الأولادُ الّذين يلعبون كرة القدم
dhahab al awlaad alladheena yal3aboona kurat al qadam
the boys who play football went
the antecedent is al awlaad (the boys)
the relative clause is alladheen yal3aboona kurat al qadam
alladheena was chosen because its masculine plural
the returner is in the verb

*****

If the antecedent is not definite then you do not need to use the special words such as “alladhee” etc but you STILL NEED the returner.

Here are some examples of indefinate relative sentences :

هذا رجلٌ ذهب إلى المسجد
hadha rajulun dhahaba ilal masjid
this is a man who went to the mosque
antecedent is rajulun which is indefinate
so no need for “alladhee”
the returner is in the verb

هي قطّة وجدتها في حديقتي
hiya qiTTatun wadajtuhaa fi Hadeeqatee
she’s a cat which I found in my garden
the antecedent is qittatun (indefinate)
so no need for allatee
relative clause is wajadtuhaa fi hadeeqati
the returner is haa, because the verb wajada was done by someone other than the antecedent.

قرأتُ كتاباً كتبه رجلٌ جميلٌ
qara’tu kitaaban katabahu rajulun jameelun
I read a book which a handsome man wrote
the antecedent is kitaaban (indefininte)
the relative clause is katabahu rajulun jameelun
the returner hu is written because someone other than the antecedent did this verb.

It is also possible to write vague relative sentences, with none of the “alladhee” words or a returner. These simply use the words “maa” and “man”
ما
من
we have come accross these words before.
maa is used for objects, and translates as “what”
man is used for people and translates as “who”

Examples :

قرأتُ ما كتب الولدُ
qara’tu maa katab al walad
I read what the boy wrote

أكل ما طبخ أمّه
akala maa Tabakha ummuhu
he ate what his mum cooked

ضربت نورة من أكل طعامها
Darabat Noora man akala Ta3amahaa
Noora hit the one who ate her food

In these examples you can not say exactly what is the antecedent because the name of the object is not given. For example in number one, the antecendent could really be : the letter, the book, the story etc but we are not told it by reading the sentence. That is why it is vague.

Sometimes you might want to write a relative sentence where the antecedent is a whole sentence, in that case you use the following special phrase :

الأمرُ الّذي
al amr ulladhee
the matter which..

كنتُ مريضا الأمرُ الّذي منعني من الذهاب إلى الحديقة
kuntu mareeDan al amr ulladhee mana3anee min adh dhihaab ilal Hadeeqa
I was ill which prevented me from going to the park

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Idafa

We have seen some “idafa” phrases already such as
غرفة الجلوس
some people might have wondered “why don’t we put AL on the front of the word ghurfa?” Well this topic basically explains why you can not do that

إضافة

This is used for phrases that could usually be expressed in english in this format : “The… of the…..” (eg “The window of the car”, “the book of the boy”) which is equivilent to : “The …..’s ……” (eg the car’s window, the boy’s book.”

Grammatically this is a possessive construction. It takes the I case (genative), meaning that the second part of the construction should always take a kasra. The first part should not take a definite article, but it is defined by it’s relationship to the second part and therefore should not have tanween.

example…

بابُ الْبيتِ
baab ul bayt(i)
the door of the house

كتابُ ابنِهِ
kitaab ubnihi
the book of his son

It is possible to qualify any of the nouns in the Idafa structure (to add an adjective to discribe them), but as the idafa should not be broken they will be placed at the end, whichever of the nouns they are qualifying. This means the case ending is important in showing which noun the adjective belongs to.

This means if you were to say “the big house of the boy / the boy’s big house” in Arabic the word order would be like this :

the house (subject) – the boy(who it belongs to) – the big (describing the subject, or who it belongs to depending on case ending)

سيارةُ البنتِ الصغيرةُ
sayyaarat ul bint is sagheera(tu)
the small car of the girl

سيارةُ البنتِ الصغيرةِ
sayyaarat ul bint is sagheera(ti)
the car of the small girl

There could be an idafa with more than two nouns (double idafa). In this case the 2nd, 3rd and any other nouns would all take kasra and as usual the first is determined by the function in the sentence.

example :

بابُ بيتِ الرجلِ
baabu bayt ir rajul(i)
the door of the man’s house

as above only the final noun will show a definite article.

In some cases if the Idafa construction will be too complecated, for example if the first noun was following a preposition and therefore in the genetive with kasra, and there was an adjective, you will not be able to tell which noun the adjective is referring to, so you might prefer to abandon this construction and express it a different way…

فى كتابِ الطالبِ الجديدِ
fi kitaab iT Taalib il jadeed(i)

is it…. in the book of the new student, or in the new book of the student? no way to tell! if you wanted to say in the new book of the student (just to choose one for example) it may be better to say
فى الكتابِ الجديدِ للطالبِ
fil kitaab il jadeedi lit taalib(i)

as this will avoid any ambiguity.

Sometimes you might see an idafa where the second part does not begin with definate article. This is known as “indefinate idafa”. Common examples of this are when the 2nd part is a person’s name which is grammatically seen as indefiniate (such as Mohammed) eg :

كتابُ محمّدٍ
kitaabu Mohammedin
Mohammed’s book / the book of Mohammed

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Free Time

In this topic we will talk about Hobbies, social activities and what ways we can spend our free time.

Look at the following pictures and the corresponding vocabulary.

The activities shown are :

مشاهدة برامج التلفاز
mushaahidatu buraamij at tilfaaz
watching tv programes

مشاهدة افلام

mushaahidatu aflaam
watching films
القراءة , المطالعة

al qiraa’a, al muTaala3a
reading

الذهاب إلى المكتبة

adh dhahaabu ilal maktaba
going to the library

الاستماع إلى الموسيقى والاناشيد

al istimaa3u ilal muusiiqaa wal anaasheed
listening to music / nasheeds

الذهاب إلى المتاحف أو المسرح

adh dhahaab ilal mataahid aw al masrah
going to museums or the theater

التنزّه في الحديقة العامة أو على شطيء البحر
at tanazzahu fil hadeeqat il 3aamma aw 3ala shaTee’l bahr
walking in the park or at the sea side

العمل في الحديقة
al 3amal fil hadeeqa
gardening

ألعاب الكومبيوتر
al3aab ul kombyooter
computer games

الإنترنت
al internet
ممارسة كرة القدم
mumaarisatu kurat il qadam
playing/practising football

مشاهدة كرة القدم
mushaahidatu kurat il qadam
watching football

الطبخ
aT Tabkh
cooking

الرسم
ar rasm
drawing

ركوب الدرجات أو الخيل
rukoob ud darrajaat aw al khayl
riding bikes or horses

ممارسة العاب الطاولة كالشطرنج والسكرابل
mumaarisat al3aab at taawilata kash shaTranaj was skraabel
playing board games like chess and scrabble

كرة المضرب, التنس
kurat ul maDrab / at tennis
tennis


كرة
الطاولة

kurat ut taawila
table tennis

لعبة الريشة
lu3bat ur reesha
badminton

ممارسة كرة السلة
mumaarisatu kurat as salla
playing basketball

ممارسة السباحة
mumaarisat us sabaaHa
practising swimming

The following new words are also used in the exercises:

ذكر الله
dhikr ullah
remembering Allah / zikr

الاعمال الخيرية
al 3amaal ul khayriyya
doing things for charity

التدخين
at tadkheen
smoking

شرب الكهول
shurb al kuhool
drinking alcohol

اللهو
al lahw
lazing around


Also the following phrases will be useful when talking about what you like or dislike doing :

أحبّ أن أقضي أوقات فراغي في

(uhebbu an aqDiy awqaat faraaghee fi…)
I love / like to spend my free time doing…
أكره أن أقضي أوقات فراغي في

(akrahu an aqDiy awqaat faraaghee fi…)
I hate to spend my free time doing…

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So far we covered how to conguage verbs for the following : I, you, he and she.

These are all singular subjects (ie they refer to one person only). But what about if you wanted to talk about more than one person?

In that case we have to deal with the following : We, you lot, and they (for both male and female groups).

The pronouns to describe these sets of people are as follows:

نَحْنُ
we
(nahnu)
أنْتُمْ

you lot
(antum)
(refers to a group of mixed gender, or a group of all males)
أنْتُنَّ

you lot
(antunna)
(refers only to an all female group)

هُمْ

They
(hum)
(refers to a group of mixed gender, or a group of all males)
هُنَّ

They
(hunna)
(refers only to an all female group)

Just like with the singular pronouns, each of these have their own special form of the verb. For the past tense these are…

ذهبنا
(dhahabnaa)
we went


ذهبْتُمْ

(dhahabtum)
you lot went


ذهبْتنّ

(dhahabtunna)
you lot went (all girls)


ذهبُوا

(dhahaboo)
they went


ذهبْنَ

(dhahabna)
they went (all girls)

In the present tense the verb forms are as follows :

نَذهَبُ

(nadhhabu)
we go


تَذهبونَ

(tadhhaboona)
you lot go


تذهبْنَ

(tadhhabna)
you lot go (all girls)


يَذهبونَ

(yadhhaboona)
they go


يَذهبْنَ

(yadhhabna)
they go (all girls)

The all girl forms are quite rare, so if the info in this lesson is alot for you, then concentrate on learning the verb forms for nahnu, antum and hum insha allah.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE :
1.) In Arabic these plural “they” and “you lot” are only used for THREE or more people, not two. [there is a dual form for two people which will be learnt later]

2.) If the verb comes before the subject then the verb stays in the singular form… to understand please look at the following examples :

يذهب الأولاد

 

(yadhhab ul awlaad)
the boys are going
The subject (the boys) comes after the verb therefore it stays in singular, but note that the gender still matches the subject.


الأولاد يذهبونَ

 

(al awlaadu yadhhaboona)
the boys are going
The subject (the boys) comes before the verb so it must be condugated for the plural


ذهبت البنات

 

(dhahabat ul banaat)
the girls went
The subject (the girls) comes after the verb therefore it stays in singular, but note that the gender still matches the subject.


البنات ذهبن

 

(al banaat dhahabna)
the girls went
The subject (the girls) comes before the verb so it must be condugated for the plural


ذهب الأولاد ثمّ أكلوا

 

(dhahab al awlaadu thumma akaloo)
the boys went and then they ate
The subject at first comes after the verb so it did not have to be congugated in plural. For the second verb, the plural subject was already mentioned so it became necessary for it to be congugated for that plural subject.

Word Order
In Fus-ha Arabic sentences it is preferred to follow this order unless you have a reason not to:

1.) Verb
2. )Subject
3.) Object

This means that as above when talking about a plural subject you may not need to congugate the verb into the plural. Always think carefully whether you need to congugate it or not. The rule is:

IF THE PLURAL SUBJECT IS MENTIONED BEFORE THIS VERB, THEN CONGUGATE IN THE PLURAL – IF NOT THEN CONGUGATE IN THE SINGULAR, BUT MAKE SURE TO ALWAYS USE THE CORRECT GENDER REGARDLESS OF POSITION OF THE SUBJECT.

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Future

LESSON 14 : Future

In Arabic there is no “future tense” as such [as there is in English, French, German etc]. To express the idea that you will do something in the future, you use the present tense verb [eg yaf3alu يفعل] and add the letter “seen”
س
This “seen” stands for the Arabic word “sawfa” سوف
which could be translated as “will”. [You may also add the full word "sawfa" infront of the verb(doing verb) but it is more common to see just the "seen" which is written attached to the following verb, with no space inbetween]

Read the following examples

سيلبسُ أحمدُ قميصاً جميلاً

(sa yalbisu Ahmad qameesan jameelan)
Ahmad will wear a beautiful shirt


سأكلُ طعامي

(sa akulu Ta3aamy)
I will eat my food


ستستعملُ نورةُ الحاسوبَ

(sa tasta3milu Noora alHaasoob)
Noora will use the computer


ستجدين كتابكِ

(satajideena kitaabaki)

you will find your book (to a girl)
متى سيذهبُ يوسف؟

(mataa sa yadhhabu yousef?)
when will yousef go?

As you can see, it does not affect the way the verb is formed. The “seen” is just stuck to the beginning of the word.

If you are Muslim (or even if not, but you believe in God and know that He has power over everything) then it is also good to include the following phrase when talking about future events or making future plans:
إنْ شاء الله
(in shaa’a Allah)
If Allah wills


There are also words of time which can be used to give a sentence a future meaning, such as:
غداً
(ghadan) tomorrow
الاسبوعَ القادمَ
(al usbo3 alqaadim) next week/the coming week
الشهرَ القادمَ
(ash shohr al qaadim) next month / the coming month
السنةَ القادمَ
(as sanat al qaadim) next year / the coming year

In grammar these words are known as “adverbials of time” and usually they will always come with a fatha on the last letter. (unless a preposition comes infront of them)

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Plurals

LESSON THIRTEEN : Plurals

  • Plurals in Arabic refer to three or more of something.
  • In English plurals are usually formed by adding an S to the end of a noun, although there are some irregulars like “mice”.
  • In Arabic, it is actually more common for plurals to be ‘irregular’ [known as broken plurals] so each plural may have to be learned just like vocab.
  • However, to make it easier there are some patterns which are often followed.

The most important rule to remember about Plurals in Arabic is that :

Non human plurals (for example “cats”, “chairs”, “books” ) are treated grammatically as if they were feminine singular (ie “she”)

This means that…

  • when describing them you would use a feminine adjective
  • when referring back to them you use the pronoun “haa”
  • if using them as a subject of a sentence, use a feminine verb

EG:

مساجد جميلة

(Masaajid jameela) beautiful mosques


كَتَبَ الكتبَ… كَتَبَها

(kataba alkutub… katabahaa) he wrote the books… he wrote them


ذَهَبَت الكلاب

(dhahabat al kilaab) the dogs went

Here are the plurals for some of the vocab given in previous lessons :

بيوت

(buyoot) houses

أولاد

(awlaad) boys

أبواب
(abwaab) doors

قلوب

(quloob) hearts

مكاتب

(makaatib) offices

مساجد

(masaajid) mosques

كلاب

(kilaab) dogs

قطط

(qutut) cats

كتب

(kutub) books

كراسي

(kuraasee) chairs

قمصان

(qumsaan) shirts

رجال

(rijaal) men

Two of the main patterns for plurals are known as:
فُعُولٌ
أفْعالٌ
The fa 3ayn and lam represent the root letters of the word.

An example of each is :

بيوت

(buyoot) houses

أولاد

(awlaad) boys

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