A word having a meaning is called ( كَلِمَةٌ ). It is of three types: ( اِسْمٌ ) – noun, (فِعْلٌ) – verb and (حَرْفٌ) – particle.
An ( اسم ) is independent of other words in indicating its meaning. It also does not have any tense, e.g. ( رَجُلٌ ) – man, ( حاَمِدٌ ) – specific name, ( ضَرْبٌ ) – to hit, ( طَيِّبٌ ) – good, ( هُوَ ) – he, ( أَناَ ) – I.
A ( فعل ) is a word that indicates some action together with one of the three tenses, e.g. ( ضَرَبَ ) – he hit, (ذَهَبَ) – he went, (يَذْهَبُ) – he is going or he will go.
A ( حرف ) is a word whose meaning cannot be understood without an ( اسم ) or ( فعل ), e.g. ( من ) – from, ( على ) – on, ( فى ) – in, ( إلى ) . till, ( ذَهَبَ الرَّجُلُ إِلَى اْلمَسْجِدِ ) . The man went to the masjid.
The Types of Nouns
Nouns are of two types:
Definite – معرفة
Indefinite – نكرة
An indefinite noun is a word which refers to a general thing. The word ( رَجُلٌ ) – a man, does not refer to any specific person. It can refer to any person. The word ( طَيِّبٌ ) does not refer to any particular good thing. Every good thing can be called ( طَيِّبٌ ).
A definite noun refers to a specific thing. Zaid ( زيد ) is the name of a particular person. Makkah ( مكة ) is the name of a specific city. ( الرَّجُلُ ) – the man – refers to a specific person.
The Types of Definite Nouns
Definite Nouns are of seven categories:
اِسْمُ الْعَلَم – proper nouns, e.g. ( زيد ) , (حاَمِدٌ )
اِسْمُ الضَّمِيْر – pronouns, e.g. ( هُوَ ) – he, ( اَنْتَ ) – you, ( اَناَ ) – I.
اِسْمُ اْلإِشاَرَةِ – the demonstrative pronouns, e.g. ( هذا ) – this, ( ذاك ) – that.
اِسْمُ اْلمَوْصُوْلُ – the relative pronoun, e.g. ( اَلَّذِيْ ) – who, ( اَلَّتِىْ ) – who (feminine).
اَلمُناَدَى – vocative case, e.g. ( ياَ رَجُل ) – O man, ( ياَ وَلَد ) – O boy.
اَلْمُعَرَّفُ بِاللاَّمِ – the noun having ( اَلْ ), e.g. ( اْلفَرَسُ ) – the horse, ( اَلرَّجُلُ ) – the man.
اَلْمُضاَفُ اِلَى مَعْرِفَةِ – a noun that which is related to the above mentioned definitive nouns, e.g. ( كِتاَبُ زَيْدٍ ) – Zaid’s book, ( كِتاَبُ هٰذَا) – this person’s book, ( كِتاَبُ الرَّجُلِ ) – the book of the man.
In these examples, the word ( كِتاَبُ ) has become definite. Besides the above-mentioned definite nouns, all other nouns are indefinite. They are also of several types, two of the main categories being:
اِسْمُ الذَّاتِ – a word that denotes the being of something, living or non-living, e.g. ( اِنْساِنٌ ) – man, ( فَرْسٌ ) – horse, ( حَجَرٌ ) – stone.
اِسْمُ الصِفَةِ – a word that indicates the quality of something, e.g. ( حَسَنٌ ) – beautiful, ( قَبِيْحٌ ) – ugly.