Sentences with a Noun – الجملة الإسمية (Lesson 10.1)

You have read that a complete statement is called a sentence جملة (See LESSON 4). Remember that sentences are of two types: جملة اسمية and جملة فعلية .

A جملة اسمية is one in which the first part is a noun اسم , e.g. زَيْدٌ حَسَنٌ – Zaid is handsome.

A جملة فعلية is one in which the first part is a verb فعل , e.g. حَسُنَ زَيْدٌ – Zaid became handsome.

Hereunder follow some rules of  جملة اسمية while the جملة فعلية will be discussed in the future, انشاء الله .

The first part of a جملة اسمية is generally definite معرفة while the second part is indefinite نكرة . In the above example, the word زَيْدٌ is definite while حَسَنٌ is indefinite.

Note 1: The difference between جملة اسمية and مركب توصيفي is that in the latter, both the parts are the same in being definite or indefinite while in the former, the first part is definite and the second part is indefinite. Consequently, in the above-mentioned example, if an indefinite noun takes the place of the word زَيْدٌ and you say رَجُلٌ حَسَنٌ , or you render the second word حَسَنٌ definite by adding اَلْ to it, and say زَيْدٌ اْلحَسَنُ , both these will become adjectival phrases مركب توصيفي .

However, when the second part of a جملة اسمية is not a word that can become an adjective of a noun (For example, it is اسم علم , ضمير or اسم اشارة ), it is permissible for the second part also to be definite, e.g. أَنَا يُوْسُفٌ – I am Yusuf.

It is also permissible to insert a separating pronoun ضَمِيْرٌ between the subject مبتدا and the predicate خبر .
اَلرَّجُلُ هُوَ الصَّالِحُ – The man is pious.
اَلرِّجَالُ هُمُ الصَّالِحُوْنَ – The men are pious.

If the pronoun is removed from here, these sentences will become adjectival phrases مركب توصيفي .

Note 2: In Arabic, there is no word for ‘is’ as in English. This word is understood from the sentence. Therefore زَيْدٌ عَالِمٌ means ‘Zaid is learned’ although the word ‘is’ is not there ( However, the verb يَكُوْنُ can provide the meaning of ‘is’ ).

The first part of a جملة اسمية is called مبتدا – the subject (In English, the subject of a sentence is a word or phrase that refers to the person or thing that performs an action) , while the second part is called the خبر – the predicate (In English, the predicate refers to the word or words that say something about the subject but are not part of it).

Generally the مبتدا and the خبر are in حالة الرفع – the nominative case (A detailed discussion on cases follows in future lessons).

The predicate conforms to the subject in number and gender, as in the case of the adjective. However when the subject is جَمْعُ غَيْرِ عَاقِلٍ – the plural of a non-intelligent being, the predicate is generally singular feminine.


Note 3: In these examples, if the definite article ال is added to the second part, or it is removed from the first part, all these examples will become مركب توصيفي – adjectival phrases.

If there are two subjects and they are of different types, that is, one is masculine and one feminine, the predicate will be masculine, e.g. اَلْاِبْنُ وَ اْلاِبْنَةُ حَسَنَانِ – The son and the daughter are beautiful.

The subject and predicate are sometimes singular and sometimes they are compounds مركب . The examples of singular have passed. Hereunder follow the examples of مركب :

By adding ماَ or لَيْسَ to a جملة اسمية , it changes from positive to negative. Most often a بِ is added to the  predicate which changes the case to the genitive حالة الجر , e.g. مَا زَيْدٌ بِعَالِمٍ – Zaid is not learned; لَيْسَ زَيْدٌ برَجُلٍ قَبِيْحٍ – Zaid is not a bad person.

Very often the word إِنَّ is prefixed to a جملة اسمية . As a result, the subject changes to حالة النصب- the accusative case while the predicate remains unchanged, e.g. إِنَّ اْلاَرْضَ مُدَوَّرَةٌ – Undoubtedly the earth is round.

Note 4: To create the meaning of interrogation in a sentence, هَلْ or أَ is added to the beginning, e.g.
أَ زَيْدٌ عَالِمٌ – Is Zaid learned?;
هَلِ الرَّجُلُ عَالِمٌ – Is the man learned?

Vocabulary List No. 5

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