The Arabic Sentence : The Nominal Sentence

Posted on 20. Nov, 2011 by in Arabic Language, Grammar, Language, Vocabulary

  •  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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About Fisal

Well, I was born near the city of Rasheed or Rosetta. Yes, the city where the Rosetta Stone was discovered. It is a small city on the north of Egypt where the Nile meets the Mediterranean. I am a Teacher of EFL. I got my BA in Education from Alexandria University Majoring in the English Language in 1999. I did some advanced studies and got a Professional Diploma in Education Technology in 2002. Then, in 2003 I got a Special Diploma in Education with a major in Curricula and Methodologies. I travelled for an Advanced Training Course at Strathclyde University, Glasgow, U.K. in 2006. In 2007 - 2008 I was a Fulbright Fellow - Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (FLTA Program) at Marlboro College, Vermont, USA. I have the ICDL Certificate.

4 Responses to “The Arabic Sentence : The Nominal Sentence”

  1. sharmila 11 August 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    Few words about animals in Arabic,like..
    dog, Cat,Cow,Horse etc. r domestic animals.Lion,Tiger,Cheetha,Monkey etc..are wild animals.

    Please convert the above sentences into arabic.

    Thank you,


  2. Fisal 13 August 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    Ahlan, Sharmila
    “القليل من الكلمات عن الحيوانات باللغة العربية مثل: كلب ، و قطة ، و حصان .. إلخ هى حيوانات منزلية (أليفة). أما أسد ، و نمر ، و فهد ، و قرد .. إلخ فهى حيوانات متوحشة (مفترسة).” هذه هى الترجمة
    Above is your translation
    Best 🙂

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