Learn Arabic Grammar From Basics: Lesson 3

User Rating: Rating StarRating StarRating StarRating StarRating Star Blank / 25

Learning Arabic Grammar from the basics Lesson 3:

Recap of Last Lesson:

(1) Default case of Arabic nouns is 'marfoo" i.e. Nominative.
(2) We learnt about the Definite Particle ال "Al"
(3) We learnt that when a noun has "Al" in the beginning then it cannot have a "tanween" at the end.
(4) The اَ "alif" of اَلْ "Al" is pronounced only when it is not preceded by another word.
(5) We learnt about the Sun and the Moon Letters.
(6) We also looked at few of the Examples from the Qur'an and the Ahadeeth.

** We highly recommend that you Download this lesson 3 in PDF **:


Table of Contents
(1) Sentences in Arabic
(2) Nominal sentence - الْجُمْلَة ُ الإِسْمِيَّة (al-jumlatul ismiyyah)
(3) Properties of al-mubtada' wa l-khabar
(4) Demonstrative pronoun - اِسْمُ الإِشَارَةِ (Ismu l-ishaara)
a) هَـٰذَا (haadha
b) ذَلِكَ (dhaalika
(5) Noun and Particle of Questioning - حَرْفُ الإِسْتِفْهَامِ اِسْمٌ وَ
a) أيْنَ (ayna)
b) أَ (Aa)
c) هَلْ (hal)


  • وَلَدٌ (waladu-n) - "A boy "

  • ﺒِﻨْﺖٌ (bintu-n) - "A girl"

  • كِتابٌ (kitaabu-n) - "A book"

  • كُتُبٌ (kutubu-n) - "Books"

  • مَسْجِدٌ (masjidu-n) - “A mosque”

  • بَابٌ (babun) - “A door”

  • قَرِيْبٌ (qareebu-n) - “Near”

  • بَعِيْدٌ (ba'eedun) – “Far away”

  • مُدَرَِّسٌ (mudarrisun) – “A (male) teacher”

  • مُدَرَِّسُوْنَ (mudarrisoona) – “(Male) Teachers”

Note: Go through the Vocabulary as many times as possible and try and learn these words with meanings in a week’s time Insha’Allah. Remember, that without Vocabulary, learning any Language would be of no use.

Sentences in Arabic

In Arabic language there are two kinds of sentences.

The one which begins with a noun is called a nominal sentence الْجُمْلَة ُ الإِسْمِيَّة (al-jumlatul ismiyyah)

And the one which begins with a verb is called a verbal sentence   اْلفِعْلِيَّةُ الْجُمْلَةُ (al-jumlatul fi'liyya)

We will be learning about the nominal sentences now, and later on we will learn about the verbal sentences Insha’Allah.

Nominal sentence - الْجُمْلَة ُ الإِسْمِيَّة (al-jumlatul ismiyyah)

Just like in English, a nominal sentence in Arabic has two parts:الْمُبْتَدَأ ُ (Al-mubtada’), translated as “Nominative Subject” and الْخَبَرُ (Al-khabar), translated as “Nominative Predicate”

The noun with which the nominal sentence begins is called (الْمُبْتَدَأ ُ) subject, and the other part which says something about it is called (الْخَبَرُ) predicate.

Few Properties of al-mubtada’ wa l-khabar which should be kept in mind.

اَلْمُبْتَدَأ (al-mubtada’) - Nominative Subject

(1) اَلْمُبْتَدَأ is from the Arabic word اَلإِبْتِدَاءُ (al-ibtida’) meaning the beginning or starting, and hence (al-mubtada) is that which comes at the beginning of the sentence.

(2) اَلْمُبْتَدَأ is a noun that is the subject of the talk or discussion.

(3) اَلْمُبْتَدَأ in its أصْلٌ (origin) is generally مَعْرِفَة ٌ (ma’arifa) i.e. definite.

(4) اَلْمُبْتَدَأ is generally مَرْفُوْعٌ (marfoo’) i.e. Nominative, meaning it takes a dhammah or dhammataan on the last letter of the ism.

اَلْخَبَرُ (al-khabar) - Nominative Predicate

(1) اَلْخَبَرُ literally means “information”. It is that which originally comes after اَلْمُبْتَدَأ (al-mubtada).

(2) اَلْخَبَرُ gives information or news about اَلْمُبْتَدَأ, and by which it completes a benefit with اَلْمُبْتَدَأ.

(3) اَلْخَبَرُ in its أصْلٌ (origin) is generally نَكِرَةٌ (nakira) i.e. indefinite.

(4) اَلْخَبَرُ is generally مَرْفُوْعٌ (marfoo’) i.e. Nominative, meaning it takes a dhammah or dhammataan on the last letter of the ism.

Note: اَلْمُبْتَدَأ (al-mubtada’) & اَلْخَبَرُ (al-khabar) will both match in gender i.e. if al-mubtada is masculine, then al-khabar will also be masculine and vice versa.

Anti bintu-n? (Correct) Anta bintu-n? (Incorrect) Anti waladu-n? (Incorrect)

If there are two subjects and they are of different genders, that is, one is masculine and one feminine, the predicate will be masculine, e.g. (ar-rajulu wal-waladu wa l-bintu tullaabun) – The man, the boy and the girl are students (m).

And NOT (ar-rajulu wal-waladu wa l-bintu taalibaatun) – The man, the boy and the girl are students (f). [Don’t get confused here, we will cover these in details in coming lessons Insha’Allah]

[Note: tullaabun means “(male) students” and taalibaatun means “(female) students”]


الرَّجُلُ طالِبٌ (ar-rajulu taalibun) - The man is a student (Mubtada’ = ar-rajulu and khabar = taalibun)

(al-masjidu kareebu-n) – The mosque is near (Mubtada’ = al-masjidu and khabar = kareebu-n) اَلْمَسْجِدُ قَرِيْبٌ

(Nahnu fil-buyuti) We are in the houses (Mubtada’ = nahnu and Khabar = fil-buyuti) نَحْنُ في الْبُيوتِ

Demonstrative pronoun - اِسْمُ الإِشَارَةِ (Ismu l-ishaara)

The الأسْماءُ الإشارَةُ, demonstrative pronouns are similar to the English ‘that’, ‘this’ and they are of two types; لِلقَرِيب for things which are close, and للبَعِيد for things at a distance.

Unlike in English, demonstrative pronouns in Arabic have a different form for singular, dual, and plural, and they also change to correspond to the gender of the noun. So if the noun is feminine then the demonstrative pronoun is also feminine, however there are a few exceptions to this rule.

We will deal with these in coming lessons Insha’Allah.

In this Lesson we will not be going into too much details of all the demonstrative nouns, but will only be learning 2 demonstrative pronouns.

  • هَـٰذَا (haadha) - "This (male)"

  • ذَلِكَ (dhaalika) - “That (male)”

Note: All these above mentioned الأسْماءُ الإشارَةُ ,demonstrative pronouns are always definite by default even though you don’t see an “ال” in front of it

The اِسْمُ الإِشَارَةِ is used to point or indicate to people, animals, objects, things which can be felt or touched and can also indicate to things that have meaning such as رَأْيٌ ‘opinion’ or عِلْمٌ ‘knowledge’.

هَذَاْ عِلْمٌ نَافِعٌ (haadha ‘ilmu-n naafi’a) - This is beneficial knowledge

هَـٰذَا (haadha) - is a noun of indication it is used to indicate/point to masculine objects or people which is close in proximity.

Examples: هَـٰذَا بَيْتٌ (haadha baytu-n) – This is a house. هَـٰذَا وَلَدٌ (haadha waladu-n) – This is a boy.

ذَلِكَ (dhaalika) - is a noun of indication it is used to indicate/point to masculine objects or people that are distant or far.

Examples: ذَلِكَ مَسْجِدٌ (dhaalika masjidu-n) – That is a mosque.

بَيْتٌ ذَلِكَ وَ مَسْجِدٌ هَـٰذَا (haadha masjidu-n wa dhaalika baytu-n) – This is a mosque and that is a house.

Note: Since the demonstrative pronouns are definite nouns, so when it comes before a noun which is also definite (like nouns beginning with الْ) then, there can be a problem of ambiguity.

So, normally, a phrase like هَذَاْ الْمُدَرَِّسُ (haadha al-mudarrisu) is not a complete sentence on its own and would normally be a part of a sentence and either have some phrase before it or some phrase after it. Hence depending upon the context, it would either mean “This is the teacher” or “This Teacher”.

Note: As of now just remember this, we will be discussing this in details in the next lesson Insha’Allah.

Noun and Particle of Questioning - حَرْفُ الإِسْتِفْهَامِ اِسْمٌ وَ

أيْنَ (ayna) – Where

This is the Noun of Questioning for Place (اِسْمٌ اِسْتِفْهَامٌ لِلْمَكَانِ). It is used to ask a question about the whereabouts of someone/something.


أنْتَ؟ أيْنَ (ayna ‘anta) – Where are you?

؟ أيْنَ الْكِتَابُ (ayna l-kitabu?) - Where is the book?

أَ (Aa) and هَلْ (hal) – equivalent to “Is? /Am? /Are? /Do? /Have?

They turn the sentence into a question. These 2 are used for questions which has YES or NO answers.

When a أَ (‘aa) or هَلْ (hal) is placed in front of a nominal sentence it becomes a question, that’s all!

This أَ is called هَمْزَةُ الإِسْتِفْهَامِ. It comes at the beginning of the sentence as do all the nouns or particles of questioning/interrogative particles. It can be used to ask a question about those possessing intellect as well as the things that do not possess intellect.


أَهَـٰذَا كِتَابٌ ؟ (‘aa haadha kitaabu-n) or هَـٰذَا كِتَابٌ ؟ هَلْ (hal haadha kitaabu-n) meaning “Is this a book ?”

نَعَمْ، هَـٰذَا كِتَابٌ (Na’am, haadha kitaabu-n) – Yes this is a book.

أَخَلِيْلٌ مُدَرَِّسٌ ؟ (‘aa khaleelu-n mudarrisu-n?) – Is Khaleel a teacher?

Note: هَلْ has a ‘sukoon’ on the ‘laam’ and when there is another word after ‘hal’ which has a ‘sukoon’ in the beginning, then to avoid presence of 2 sukoons, the sukoon on ‘hal’ is removed and replaced by a ‘kasrah’.


So, “Hal + al-fusoolu” will be read and written as “Halil fusoolu” and NOT “Hal al-fusoolu”

هَلِ الْطُلابُ في الْفُصولُ ؟ (hali t-tullaabu fil-fusoolu?) – Are the students in the classrooms?

Note: When you attach the interrogative أَ 'aa- before a word having the definite article Al-, then the combination will become 'aa-l-

أَ الْبَيْتُ بَعِيْدٌ ؟ (‘aa-l-baytu baeedun?) – Is the house far away?

أَ الْطُلابُ في الْفُصولُ ؟ (‘aa-t-tullaabu fil-fusoolu?) – Are the students in the classrooms?

أَ الْبَابُ في ذَلِكَ الْبَيْتُ ؟ (‘aa-l-baabu fee dhaalika l-baytu?) – Is the door in that house?


Jazakallah khayran

Assalamualaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barkatahu