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Case marking and agreement in verbal sentences Posted by on Jul 28, 2019 in Arabic Language, Grammar

In this post, we learn how to case mark verbal sentences. The verbal sentence (الجملة الفعلية) is a sentence that begins by a verb.

The verbal sentence has two main components: the verb (الفعل), the subject (الفاعل), especially if the verb is non-transitive. If the verb is transitive, there is also a third element, i.e.  the object (المفعول به). The subject of the verbal sentence is always nominative (مرفوع), while the object is always accusative (منصوب). Consider the following examples:

يدرسُ الطالبُ اللغةَ.

In this example, the sentence begins with a present tense verb, which takes final Dhamma (ـُ). The subject of the sentence (الطالبُ) is nominative (مرفوع). The object  of the sentence (اللغةَ) is accusative (منصوب).

درسَ الطالبُ اللغةَ.

In this example, the sentence begins with a past tense verb, which takes final fatha ـَ)). The subject of the sentence (الطالبُ) is nominative (مرفوع). The object of the sentence (اللغةَ) is accusative (منصوب).

If the subject of the verbal sentence is a pronoun, it often does not appear as a separate word, but instead, it becomes part of the verb conjugation, e.g.

ندرسُ.

We study.

يدرسون.

They study.

درستم.

You (pl.) studied.

If the verb comes before the subject, it agrees with it in gender only, but remains singular all the time, e.g.

سافر الرجلُ.

The man travelled.

سافر الرجالُ.

The men travelled.

سافرت النساءُ.

The women travelled.

يلعبُ الأولادُ.

The children play.

If the verb comes after the subject, it agrees with it in gender and in number, e.g.

الرجلُ سافر.

The man travelled.

الرجالُ سافروا.

The men travelled.

النساءُ سافرنَ.

The women travelled.

الأولادُ يلعبون.

The children play.

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