Arabic Language Blog

The Nominal Sentence: The Subject (Al-Mubtada) Posted by on Nov 20, 2011 in Arabic Language, Grammar, Vocabulary

     As we said before that the first item of the nominal sentence is the Subject or Al-Mubtada المبتدأ which is the noun that we talk about. This noun is always in the Nominative (Marfoo’) Case. Now what are the types of the Subject (Mubtada) ?   

Types of the Mubtada أنواع المبتدأ   

The Mubtada can be any of the types of the following words:

        1) A Plain Noun اسم صريح  : The Mubtada can be a clear noun;

                                     e.g. – محمدٌ كريمٌ = Mohammad is generous.

                                           – الطالبُ مجتهدٌ   = The student is hard-working.

                                           – الشجرةُ كبيرةٌ   = The tree is big.

         2) A Pronoun ضمير   : The Mubtada can be a (subject) pronoun;

                                      e.g. – أنا مسافرٌ   = I am traveling. Or  – I am a traveler.

                                            – هو كريمٌ   = He is generous.

                                            – هم مجتهدون   = They are hard-working.

        3) A Demonstrative Noun (particle) اسم إشارة  :

                                      e.g. – هذا أديبٌ  = This is a scholar.

                                            – هؤلاء شعراءٌ   = These are poets.

                                            – هذه شجرةٌ   = That is a tree.

       4) A Relative Noun اسم موصول   : 

                                     e.g. – الذي فاز بالجائزة طالبٌ  = (He) who won the prize is a student.

                                           – ما قلته صحيحٌ   = What I said is right.

       5) An Interrogative Noun (Particle) اسم استفهام :

                                     e.g.من فاز بالسباق ؟  = Who won the race?

                                            – ما اسمُك ؟   = What is your name?

      6) A Conditional Noun (Particle) اسم استفهام  :

                                     e.g. – منْ يذاكر , ينجح = (He) who studies, will succeed.

                                            – إذا جريتَ , ستلحق القطار.  = If you run, you will catch the train.

      7) To + Infinitive مصدر مؤول   :          

                                     e.g.  – أن تنام مبكراً , خيرٌ لك .  = To sleep early is better for you.

                                            – أن تشرب اللبن مفيدٌ لصحتك  = To drink milk is useful to your health.

(Note 1 : In general, the Mubtada should start the sentence, however in a few cases, it can be delayed and the predicate comes first)

(Note 2 : The Mubtada can be deleted from the sentence if it is understood or if there is an evidence that refers to it or makes it clear like when you give a short answer to a question.)

( Note 3 : The general rule is that the Mubtada is a definite noun. However, in some other cases it can be an indefinite noun.)

* Next time, we will look at the Predicate (Al-Khabar) in more detail.


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Peace  سلام  / Salam/

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About the Author: Fisal

Well, I was born near the city of Rasheed or Rosetta, Egypt. 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.


  1. jalal:

    A Conditional Noun (Particle) اسم استفهام
    الصحيح: اسم شرط أو حرف شرط

  2. Khalid Mahmood:

    Dear Brother
    you have done great work, even very extensive books don’t present
    all of it, in this simple farm
    I took me several years to collect these to know what can be Mubtada
    May Allah accept it


  3. simin:

    as you explained ‘An Interrogative Noun (Particle) اسم استفهام can be mubtida, but I read somewhere they are ظرف so they can not be mubtida but are خبر مقدم