Lesson 4 – Learn Arabic Grammar From The Basics

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy
Assalaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu to all the members.

We hope that all of you are in an increasing state of Eemaan and good health, Insha Allaah.

Lesson 4:

We highly recommend that you Download this lesson in PDF from here: http://www.islamictreasure.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Lesson-4.pdf

a) Recap of Last Lesson:

(1) We learnt that there are two types of sentences in Arabic – nominal sentence الْجُمْلَة ُ الإِسْمِيَّة (al-jumlatul ismiyyah) and verbal sentence الْجُمْلَةُ اْلفِعْلِيَّةُ (al-jumlatul fi’liyya).
(2) We learnt about the 2 parts of a Nominal sentence – الْمُبْتَدَأُ (Al-mubtada’), translated as “Nominative Subject” and الْخَبَرُ (Al-khabar), translated as “Nominative Predicate” and also their properties of which should be kept in mind.
(3) We learnt about Demonstrative pronouns: اِسْمُ الإِشَارَةِ (Ismu l-ishaara) – هَـٰذَا (haadha) & ذَلِكَ (dhaalika).
(4) We learnt about the Noun and Particle of Questioning i.e. أيْنَ (ayna), أَ (‘aa) and هَلْ (hal)

b) Vocabulary

طَالِبَةٌ (taalibah-tun*) – “A (female) student ”
طَالِباتٌ (taalibaat-un) – “(female) students”
مُدَرَِّسَةٌ (mudarrisah-tun*) – “A (female) teacher”
مُدَرَِّساتٌ (mudarrisaat-un) – “(female) teachers”
اِمْرَأَةٌ (‘imra’ah-tun*) – “A woman”
نِساء (nisaa’-un) – “women”
اَرْضٌ (ard-un) – “Earth/ground” (f)
مَدرَسَةٌ (madrasah-tun*) – “School” (f)

Note: Go through the Vocabulary as many times as possible and try and learn these words with meanings in a week’s time Insha’Allah. Remember, that without Vocabulary, learning any Language would be of no use.

* The difference between a tied taa'< ـَة and an open one ت is that a tied taa'< is pronounced -ah or -a when you stop on it rather than -at. It will be pronounced -at only if you kept speaking after saying it. If you halt your talk right after pronouncing the tied taa'<, you must turn it into -ah or -a in regular Arabic.

c) Preposition: مـِنْ – (min)

Generally مـِنْ is translated as “from” but among its other meanings are: of, some, some of, belonging to, pertaining to, away from, out of, from the direction of.

When مـِنْ comes before a noun then, like any other preposition, it turns the noun into genitive case.
Also, note that مـِنْ has a ‘sukoon’ on the ‘noon’ and hence if مـِنْ comes before a noun that has a sukoon on it’s first letter, like the definite article الْ, then in order to avoid combining two letters with sukoon on them [something that is avoided in the Arabic language], a FAT-HA is added to the ‘noon’ of مـِنْ

So, “Min + al-fusooli” will be read and written as “Minal fusooli” and NOT “Min al-fusooli”.

ONLY in the case of مـِنْ is a fat-ha (َ) used as a linking vowel. IN MOST OTHER CASES A KASRAH IS USED.

[Note: We used a kasrah in case of the interrogative particle, هَلْ (hal). Refer to Lesson 3]


مـِنْ أَيْنَ أنتَ؟ (Min ayna anta?) – Where are you from? (Literally: From where are you?)
أَنَا مِنَ الْفَصْلِ (Ana mina l-fasli) – I am from the class. [Note: the sukoon on Min changed to a fathah] مـِنْ أَيْنَ الْكُتُبُ ؟ (Min ayna l-kutubu) – Where are the books from?
الْكُتُبُ مِنَ النّسَآءِ (Al-kutubu minan-nisaai) – The books are from the women? [Note: nisaa-un changes to genitive i.e. nisaa-i because of the preposition min and the tanween is not there because of (Al)]

d) Genders

In Arabic, all nouns fall into one of two genders: masculine (mudhakkar): مُذَكِّر or feminine (mu’annath): مُئنِّث. There is no neuter. [We will come to this is next Lesson Insha’Allah] There are, however, a few nouns which may be considered either masculine or feminine.

A. Masculine Form:

All nouns are considered masculine unless they have a feminine endings (ة) [taa’ marboota or round/tied taa] or (ى) [alif maqsoora] or (اء) [alif hamza]). There are very few exceptions to this.

B. Feminine Form:

(1) The most common feminine form is the one ending in ة) الْتَاْءُ الْمَرْبُوْطَةُ), (at-taa’ al-marboota or round/tied taa) which is the usual feminine ending e.g. سيَّارَةٌ (sayyarah-tun) meaning “a car”, طَالِبَةٌ (taalibah-tun) – “A (female) student ”

Important: The ة) الْتَاْءُ الْمَرْبُوْطَةُ), (at-taa’ al-marboota or round/tied taa) is added to masculine nouns and adjectives to make them feminine. [Note: The last letter before the (ة) takes a fathah.]

Words Masculine Singular Feminine Singular
A Teacher مُدَرِّس (mudarris-un) مُدَرِّسَة (mudarrisah)
A Student طـالـبٌ (taalib-un) طالبة (taalibah)
A Muslim مسلم (Muslim-un) مسلمة (Muslimah)

Note: If there are Nouns ending in ة) الْتَاْءُ الْمَرْبُوْطَةُ), (at-taa’ al-marboota or round/tied taa) but clearly indicates a male, then it is masculine and not feminine.

Example: حَمْزَةُ (Hamzah), أسامَةُ (Usaamah), مُعاوِيَةُ (Mu’aawiyah), طَلْحَةُ (Talhah)

The less common feminine forms are:

(2) ى) ألِف مَقْصُورَة), (alif maqsoorah) – All nouns with an alif maqsoorah are also feminine e.g. مُستَشفى (Mustashfa) meaning hospital.

Note that there aren’t two dots under the “Yaa”. It is a classical beginner error to pronounce this word as “Mustashfi” rather than “Mustashfa” so watch for the two dots!

(3) اء) ألِف هَمْزَة), (alif hamzah) – This is also known as الف ممدودة (Alif Mamdooda). All nouns with an Alif Mamdooda are also feminine e.g. نِساءٌ (nisaa-un) – “women” or أَذْكِياءُ (Adhkiya’u) meaning those men who are intelligent.

However, in determining the gender of a word of such forms, it is advisable to consult the dictionary because of the frequency of exceptions. [Note: As of now, we are not dealing into these in much detail]

There are certain words which are considered feminine by convention. Such words, generally, fall in the following categories:

a. Geographical names, i.e. towns, villages, countries, etc. [Examples: مَكَّةُ (Makkah), جِدَّةُ (Jeddah)]

b. Parts of the human body that occur in pairs [Examples: يَدٌ (yad-un) “hand” and عَيْن (a’yn) “eye”.] [Note: All body parts which are singular (nose, head, face) are Masculine in Arabic]

c. Certain nouns which are feminine by convention
[Examples: شَمْسٌ (shams-un) “sun”, نَفْسٌ (nafs-un) “soul”, اَرْضٌ (ard-un) “earth”, نارٌ (naar-un) “fire”]

In this category, there are a few words which may be either feminine or masculine such as طَريق (Tareeq) “road”, سِكّين (sikkeen) “knife”, or سوقٌ (sooq-un) “market”.

d. Letters of the Arabic alphabet [Examples: ا (alif-un), ب (baa-un)]

e) Proper Names in Arabic

Proper names in Arabic are definite even though they generally DO NOT have ال added to the beginning.

Many male proper names which are derived from nouns or adjectives have ( ٌ) (tanween) as their final vowel even though they are DEFINITE.

Example: حَامِدٌ is just “Hamid”, and not “a Hamid”

Feminine nouns DO NOT carry a “tanween” as their final vowel as some of the masculine names do.

Example: زَيْنَبُ (Zainab-u) ,فاطِمَةُ (Faatimah-tu) , عائِشَةُ(Aaishah-tu)

So, Faatimah-tun is Incorrect Zainab-un is Incorrect because of the tanween.

Note: Male names have tanween and hence have (-un) sound in the end.
Female names don’t take tanween and hence only have the (-u) sound in the end.

f) Mamnoo’ Min As-Sarf مَمْنُوْعٌ مِنَ الصَّرْفِ

(Mamnoo’ Min As-Sarf) is a term that is used for a particular group of nouns which do not accept tanween and when they are in a state of مَجْرُوْرٌ (majroor) i.e. genitive, they take Fathah and NOT kasra.

Remember: The Mamnoo’ Min As-Sarf DO NOT like two things, and they are nunation/tanween and the kasra.

As of now just remember that Male names ending in ة) الْتَاْءُ الْمَرْبُوْطَةُ), (at-taa’ al-marboota or round/tied taa) and all female proper names, are Mamnoo’ Min As-Sarf.

If you wanted to say “This book is from Muhammad,” you would say: هاذا الْكِتابُ مِن مُحَمَّدٍ
(haadha l-kitaabu min Muhammad-in). Min is a preposition, hence Muhammadun becomes Muhammadin (genitive case)

But, if you wanted to say “This book is from Talhah,” you’d say: هاذا الْكِتابُ مِن طَلْحَةَ (haadha l-kitaabu min Talha-ta).

Min is a preposition; Talha-ta is in the genitive case; but since it is mamnoo’ min as-sarf, genitive case is shown with fatha instead of kasra.

It is NOT “Talhat-i” or “Talhat-in” because Males name ending in taa’ marboota, are mamnoo’ min as-sarf and hence cannot take a kasra nor a tanween.

Similarly, if you wanted to say “this book is from Zaynab,” you would say: هاذا الْكِتابُ مِن زَينَبَ (notice it’s Zaynaba, not Zaynabi). Again, since Zaynab is a feminine word, hence it is mamnoo min as-sarf.

Example: هَلْ فاطِمَةُ مِن مَكَّةَ ؟ (hal Faatimah-tu min makkata?) – Is Faatimah from Makkah ?

Note: This section is just an introduction to this topic of Mamnoo’ Min As-Sarf. Insha’Allah in the near future, we’ll discuss what classes or categories of words are mamnoo’ min as-sarf.

g) Examples:

مـِنْ أَيْنَ عائِشَةُ ؟ (Min ayna Aaishatu?) – Where is Aaishah from?

عائِشَةُ طَالِبَةٌ مـِنْ مَدرَسَةَ فِي مَكَّةَ (Aaishatu taalibaatun min madrasah-ta fee Makkah-ta) – Aaisha is a student from a school in Makkah.

أَهَـٰذَا كِتَابٌ مـِنْ فاطِمَةَ ؟ (‘aa haadha kitaabu-n min Faatimah-ta?) – Is this book from Faatimah?

لاَ, هَـٰذَا كِتَابٌ مـِنْ زَينَبَ (Laa, Haadha Kitaabu-n min Zaynaba) – No, This book is from Zaynab

الْكُتُبُ مـِنْ مُحَمَّدٍ وَ مـِنْ زَينَبَ وَ عائِشَةُ مُدَرَِّسَةٌ فِي مَدرَسَةٍ (al-kutubu min Muhammad-in wa min zaynab-a wa Aaishah-tu mudarrisah-tun fi madrasah-tin) – The books are from Muhammad and from Zainab and Aaishah is a teacher in a school.


We are here to help you and waiting to answer your queries Insha’Allah.
Anyone having any queries after they go through Lesson 4 can post his/her questions/queries here or contact us Insha’Allah.


(1) Don’t feel shy that your question may sound silly or something like that. We are here to help you learn the language properly Insha’Allah, and if you don’t clear even your minutest doubt then you will be building on a weak platform. You need to master the fundamentals and basics to build the whole building of learning Arabic Grammar.

(2) Few questions will soon be posted related to Lesson 4, to test what you have learnt Insha’Allah.

(3) Those who are following or taking up the course are requested to write down the vocabularies and the sentences in Arabic which they find in the lesson on a piece of paper insha’Allah. (Even if you take printouts, you should still write down the vocabulary and sentences in Arabic on a piece of Paper).

You will yourself notice why we recommend this Insha’Allah.

May Allah ease our path of seeking Knowledge. Aameen.

If we said anything correct, then it is from Allah (subhanahu wa taa’ala), and if we erred, then that is from us and shaytan.lesson4_IOU

JazakumAllahu khairan,
wa’as salaamu ‘alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.