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Lesson Transcript

Halla: أهلا و سهلا Everyone.
Simon: Simon here all about lesson 3, basic Arabic grammar. Now guys, I know this is the G lessons, but the big bad G word, nothing to be scared of, just a few words we need to introduce you to.
Halla: Before we look at Arabic grammar, let’s quickly review English grammar. English is an SVO language – subject, verb and object. “I eat fruit”. So, subject is “I”. “Eat” is the verb. Object is the “fruit”. Arabic is the same as English. So if we’re going to translate, “I eat fruit”, it will be أنا . أنا آكل فاكهة, that’s “I”, the subject; آكل “to eat”, the verb; فاكهة “fruit” and this is the object.
Simon: In Arabic, there are two kinds of sentences – the verbal sentence, which starts with a verb and the subject follows. The verb is always in the singular form even for cases where the subject is dual or plural. All the verb can come after the subject, and in this case, it must agree with it – single, dual, plural, also masculine and feminine.
Halla: This is very important to remember, guys – the agreement.
Simon: Then we have the nominal sentence. It’s a sentence which starts with a noun. The nominal sentence normally starts with a definite noun. This first noun is then followed by another noun, which is indefinite.
Halla: Now, we have a good news group and another bad news group. Let’s start with the bad news group. English has one form of the verb in sentences or two forms in the rest of them. It changes with the third person and the inanimate. But in Arabic, the verb will be conjugated according to the person. Therefore, we don’t have to use the subject pronoun like I, you, he, she, we and so on. It’s the same with languages like Spanish, French and Italian.
Simon: Well, allow me to say the good news, {Halla} – tenses. English has three simple tenses – the present, the past and the future. While Arabic has two main tenses – the perfect tense and the imperfect tense, also known as the present tense.
Halla: Also, the gender. Arabic has two genders expressed by prominal as well as by verbal agreement.
Simon: Agreement with numerals shows a peculiar polarity. The genders are usually referred to as masculine and feminine.
Halla: But the situation is more complicated than that. The feminine gender is also used to express singulatives.
Simon: Well I think that’s clear and easy enough if you get used to it. What I’m going to talk about is the plural. In Arabic, there are two types of noun and adjective plural forms – sound regular plurals and broken irregular plurals. Masculine sound plural nouns end in “un” and feminine sound plural nouns end in “et”.
Halla: Great summary Simon and very clear.
Simon: Thanks. Can you tell us something about pronouns?
Halla: Sure. Pronouns in Arabic belong to the category of nouns and, therefore, everything that applies to nouns will apply to them. Pronouns have genders, numbers and grammatical case. Pronouns are always definite nouns, and pronouns in Arabic are four categories.
Simon: Subject pronouns, separate subject pronouns, attached subject pronouns.
Halla: And finally, object pronouns, separate object pronouns and attached object pronouns.
Simon: Guys, when studying Arabic, one of the most important lessons you will take is pronouns. Arabic subject pronouns may seem more complicated than their English counterparts since there are 12 of them to address males and females, in singular, dual and plural forms, this is really important. So don’t forget it.
Halla: What else can we talk about? How about conjugation?
Simon: Oh yeah. You go ahead with that.
Halla: Okay, thanks Simon. Conjugation is all about how verbs change between sentences depending on a number of factors. The three most important factors in Arabic are person, gender and number.
Simon: And unlike English, in Arabic gender matters and there are three numbers –singular, dual and plural, where plural means more than two. In Arabic, words have gender which affects conjugation of the verb. This is very important to remember.
Halla: I’m sure it will take some time to get all of this, but when you practice it, it will be much more easier. So, thank you Simon. This has been really great.
Simon: Thank you {Halla}.
Halla: See you in next lesson guys. مع السّلامة