The three cases of nouns and adjectives

Posted on 05. May, 2009 by in Grammar

Nouns and adjectives that modify them must agree with each other in everything. I have pointed out in previous posts that they must agree with each other in gender, number and definiteness. They must also agree with each other in case. There are 3 cases for nouns and adjectives to mark their functions as subject, object or their position after a preposition or as part of idafa.

 

The nominative case (حالة الرفع)

The nominative case applies to nouns that function as subjects in verbal sentences, and also to both subjects an predicates in nominal sentences, and all adjectives the modify them. In the following sentences, the nominative (مرفوع) nouns and adjectives are underlined:

يخرج الطالب مع أصدقائه كل يوم.

The student goes out with his friends every day.”

البنت مشغولة.

The girl is busy.

المدرّس الجديد مصري.

The new teacher is Egyptian.”

 

Notes:

Student: subject of the verb.

Girl: subject of a nominal sentence.

Busy: predicate of a nominal sentence.

Teacher: subject of a nominal sentence.

New: Adjective of a nominative noun

Egyptian: predicate of a nominal sentence.

 

 

The Accusative case (حالة النصب)

The accusative case applies to nouns that function as objects in verbal sentences, and all adjectives the modify them. In the following sentences, the accusative (منصوب) nouns and adjectives are underlined:

قابلنا الطالب الجديد.

“We met the new student.”

أكل الولد تفاحة صغيرة وأكلت أخته برتقالة كبيرة.

“The by ate a small apple, and his sister ate a big orange.”

شاهدت الحادث.

“I saw the accident.”

 

Notes:

Student, apple, orange, accident: objects

New, small, big: adjectives of accusative nouns

 

The Genitive case (حالة الجر)

The genitive case applies to nouns that occur after a preposition, and also to nouns that occur as second nouns in idafa constructions, and all adjectives the modify them. In the following sentences, the nominative (مجرور) nouns and adjectives are underlined:

 

نحن من المغرب.

“We are from Morocco.”

 

أنا أدرس في جامعة كبيرة.

“I study at a big university.”

كتاب الأدب صعب جداً.

“The literature book (=book of literature) is very difficult.”

غرفة الأولاد أكبر من غرفة البنات.

“The boys’ room is bigger than the girls’ room.”

Notes:

Morocco, university, room: after preposition

Big: adjective of genitive noun

Literature, boys, girls: second nouns in idafa constructions

4 Responses to “The three cases of nouns and adjectives”

  1. non 14 May 2009 at 2:20 am #

    hello, hi
    dear sir, madam

    i would like to express my great thanks to Aziza and other in the service team , and i would sy it is very useful artcels , and very intersted in it , even i an Arabic from the gulf ,specially iam teaching the ARABIC SPEAKER, and i am very glad if i can get in contact with Aziza on email , to ask her some more questions.

    thank you
    with best regards

  2. Aziza 16 May 2009 at 9:29 pm #

    Ahlan on the Arabic blog and shukran for the very kind comment. Please post any questions you may have in the comments section, and I will be more than happy to answer any questions in the comment section or dedicate new posts for the answer.
    Kind regards,
    Aziza

  3. non 17 May 2009 at 2:00 am #

    ahlan washalan
    al-’aukht al-xaziza : AZIZA
    SHUKRAN LAKI , wa natmnnaa laki at-tawfiiq
    i woul like to teach my students the converstion and looking for rfrences in araabic, i do but it takes my time to build this . also i have few refrences in teach arabic in english text
    thank you
    best wishes

  4. Aziza 20 May 2009 at 10:46 am #

    Ahlan Non,
    Because I only taught Egyptian Collowuial Arbaic, I have used one book called Colloquial Arabic of Egypt by Russel McGuirk, and I know of a book Published by the American University of Cairo called “يلا ندردش “, which I have never used.
    I think that if you wish to teach another dialect, you will have to use other sources. In fact, for the colloquial courses I teach, I usually develop my own dialogues depending on situations that students prefer to learn about.
    I hope this is helpful.
    Salam,
    Aziza


Leave a Reply