Lesson 6 – Learn Arabic Grammar From The Basics

Learning Arabic Grammar from the basics Lesson 6:

Recap of Last Lesson:

1. We learnt about the feminine demonstrative pronouns – أنتِ (anti)and أنتُنَّ (antunna).

2. We learnt about the detached pronouns – هُوَ (huwa), هِي (hiya), هُم (hum), هُنَّ (hunna).

3. We also learnt about female demonstrative pronouns – هَـٰذِهِ (haadhihi), تِلْكَ (tilka).

Meaning Transliteration Word
Chair Kursiyyu-n كُرْسِىٌّ
Desk Maktabu-n مَكْتَبٌ
Shirt Qameesu-n قَمِيصٌ
Doctor (m) Tabeebu-n طَبِيبٌ
Car Saiyarah-tun سَيَّارَةٌ
Watch (f) Sa’ah-tun سَاعَةٌ
Bed Sareeru-n سَرِيرٌ
Star Najm-un نَجْمٌ
Engineer (m) Muhandisu-n مُهَندِسٌ
Merchant Taajiru-n تَاجِرٌ


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مَا – What?

‘Ma’ is used to asked questions about nouns (inanimate objects/concepts)

In this part of lesson we will learn the phraseمَا هَـٰذَا؟ which means “What is this?”. It is for asking about a masculine object which is close by.


هَـٰذَا؟ مَا : What is this? هَـٰذَا؟ مَا : What is this?

قَمِيصٌ هَـٰذَا : This is a shirt نَجْمٌ هَـٰذَا : This is a star

For feminine object, which is close by, we use مَا هَـٰذِهِ؟

مَا هَـٰذِهِ؟ : What is this?

هَـٰذِهِ سَيَّارَةٌ : This is a car

In a similar fashion, for masculine objects which is far we have مَا ذَلِكَ؟ which means “What is that?”

مَا ذَلِكَ؟ : What is that?

ذَلِكَ سَرِيرٌ : That is a bed

And for feminine objects which is far we have مَا تِلْكَ؟ which means “What is that?”

مَا تِلْكَ؟ : What is that?

سَاعَةٌ تِلْكَ : That is a watch


مَنْ – Who?

‘Man’ used to ask about people (or animate nouns).

In this part we will learn the phrase مَنْ هَـٰذَا؟ which means “Who is this?” It is for asking about a human (male) who is nearby. And for a female, who is close by, we use مَنْ هَـٰذِهِ؟


مَنْ هَـٰذَا؟: Who is this? مَنْ هَـٰذِهِ؟: Who is this?

طَبِيبٌ هَـٰذَا : This is a doctor هَـٰذِهِ بِنْتٌ: This is a girl

In a similar fashion, for a male who is far, we have مَنْ ذَلِكَ؟ which means “Who is that?” and for a

female who is far, we have مَنْ تِلْكَ؟


مِنْ + مَنْ.

As we have learnt in the earlier lessons that مَنْ is a preposition meaning “from”. When we have مَنْ after it, it is written as مِمَّنْ which means “from who”.


خَديجَةَ مِنْ هُوَ الْكِتابُ؟ مِمَّنِ : Who is the book from? It is from Khadijah.

أحمدٍ مِنْ هِيَ السَّاعَةُ؟ مِمَّنِ : Who is the watch from? It is from Ahmad.


Points to note:

Example 1:

Literally, the above sentence would mean, “From who is the book?”, but this construction sounds a little awkward in the English Language. Hence, we translate the above sentence as “Who is the book from?”

The preposition “Min” is not changing the case of the noun “Al-Kitaabu” into genitive, because After “Min” we have “Man” and then “Al-kitaabu”.

The نْ of مِمَّنْ has a kasrah in order to avoid the 2 sukoons (one present on the نْ of مِمَّنْ and the other on لْ of الْكِتابُ .We learnt this in earlier lessons.

خَديجَةَ has a fathah at the last letter, because it is in the genitive case, and we have learnt that genitive case in the case of Female Proper Names and Nouns are Mamnoo Min as-Sarf i.e. they don’t take a kasrah nor do they take a tanween.

Example 2:

The same reasons as above, except that, since Watch is feminine, hence we use “Hiya” instead of “Huwa” and also, أحمدٍ has a kasrahtaan on its last letter, since it is a masculine name and in the genitive case. It is not Mamnoo Min as-Sarf.


Jazakallah khairan