Arabic Language Blog

Arabic nouns: Proper nouns vs. Generic nouns Posted by on Jan 6, 2010 in Arabic Language, Grammar

There are 2 types of Arabic nouns, with sub-types of each type. The first type is proper nouns (اسم عَلَم) which refer to a particular person, place, etc. Examples of these are (محمد), (يوسُف), (مَكّة), (فلسطين), etc. These nouns are definite because they are names of particular people or places; therefore, they cannot be made definite by having (ال) at the beginning or a possessive noun at the end.

The second type is generic nouns (اسم جنس) which is a noun that refers to a thing with no specific reference, e.g. (رجل) ‘man’, (شجرة) ‘tree’, (حصان) ‘horse’, etc. These nouns do not refer to a particular man, tree or horse, but to any noun that belongs to the relevant class.

Tags: , ,
Keep learning Arabic with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it


  1. Aziza:

    Hi Ham3d,
    Yes, you have my permission, but please acknowledge the source.