We said before that there are two main types of Arabic sentences; the Nominal Sentence and the Verbal Sentence. Today we will focus on the first type.
The Nominal Sentence الجملة الاسمية /Al-Jomlah Al-Ismiyyah/ is that which starts with a noun اسم /Ism/. This sentence consists of two important items to complete its meaning. These two items are called; the Subject المبتدأ /Al-Mob’tada’/ and the Predicate الخبر /Al-Khabar/.
The Arabic word “المبتدأ” is derived from the verb “يبدأ” which means “to begin”. Therefore, the مبتدأ often comes at the beginning of the nominal sentence. This is the general rule, howver, it can be delayed or reversed with the predicate in some few cases.
The Subject المبتدأ is the noun that we talk about and is always in the nominative case.
The Nominative Case حالة الرفع means that the noun is marked by a Dammah (or an equivalent) on the last letter.
The Predicate الخبر is what we say about the subject. It is the word or words that tell us something about the subject and gives the sentence its meaningful meaning and is also in the nominative case. The word “خبر” is derived from the verb “‘to tell يخبر”
* Let’s look at these example nominal sentences :
- الصحةُ نعمةٌ = Health is a blessing.
- الأسدُ حيوانٌ = The lion is an animal.
The first word (noun) in each of these sentences is a subject مبتدأ marked with a Dammah on its last letter whereas the second word (noun) is a predicate خبر which is marked by the Damm Tanween (two Dammahs) because it is an indefinite singular noun. There is no need for writing the verb “to be يكُون” in the Arabic nominal sentence as it is understood from context.
* Sometimes, the Dammah can’t be applied at the end of the subject if it is a Mabni noun, but we say that it is assumed; e.g. – أنا إنسانٌ = I am a human. – هذا أسدٌ = This is a lion.
* Next time, we will look at the Subject (Al-Mubtada) in more detail.
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Peace سلام / Salam/