Simple Nominal Sentence in Arabic - الجُمْلَةُ الاسْمِيَّة
In Arabic nominal sentences, two primary elements are present: the subject and the predicate. The subject is termed as ‘اَلْمُبْتَدَأُ’, while the predicate is referred to as ‘اَلْخَبَرُ’. Consider the sentence: ‘مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولٌ’, translated as ‘Muhammad is a messenger.’ In this instance, ‘مُحَمَّدٌ’ acts as the subject (اَلْمُبْتَدَأُ), and ‘رَسُوْلٌ’ serves as the predicate (اَلْخَبَرُ).
“In this instance, ‘اللَّـهُ’ functions as the subject (اَلْمُبْتَدَأُ), while ‘سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ’ stands as the predicate (اَلْخَبَرُ)
1. The subject - اَلْمُبْتَدَأُ
The subject (اَلْمُبْتَدَأُ) is typically a proper noun (المَعْرِفَةُ). If not inherently proper, it is particularized by prefixing with the article ‘ال’. Example: اَلْقُرْآنُ كِتَابٌ translates to ‘The Qur’an is a book.’ In the nominative case, the subject and predicate must agree in number and gender. Illustration:
while you were wrongdoers. (2:92)
The subject (اَلْمُبْتَدَأُ) in a nominal sentence can be represented by a single word or an entire phrase. However, it’s crucial to note that the subject cannot be constituted by a verb or a genitive construction.
Consider the following examples:
إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّـهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ
Indeed, the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. (49:13)
2. The predicate - اَلْخَبَرُ
A. It is always a common noun (النَكِرَةُ)
The subject is consistently an indefinite noun (النَكِرَةُ). As for the predicate (اَلْخَبَرُ):
- It adopts the nominative case (مَرْفُعٌ).
- Generally, it aligns with the subject in terms of number (be it singular, dual, or plural) and gender (either masculine or feminine).
- However, when the predicate is a broken plural referring to non-living entities (غَيْر عاقِل), it will take a feminine singular form.
Consider the following examples:
فَتِلْكَ بُيُوتُهُمْ خَاوِيَةً بِمَا ظَلَمُوا
So those are their houses, desolate because of the wrong they had done. (27:52)
B. Proper Nouns as Predicates: When اَلْخَبَرُ Isn't an Adjective
When the Predicate (اَلْخَبَرُ) is a Proper Noun and Not an Adjective. For example:
You are our protector (2:286)
أَنتَ is the subject – اَلْمُبْتَدَأُ and مَوْلَانَا is the predicate – اَلْخَبَرُ
قَالَ أَنَا يُوسُفُ وَهَـٰذَا أَخِي
I am Joseph, and this is my brother (12:90)
C. Using Detached Pronouns with Proper Noun Predicates in Nominal Sentences
In Arabic grammar, when structuring a nominal sentence with a predicate that is a proper noun, it’s customary to insert a detached pronoun between the subject and the predicate. This pronoun serves as a connector, and its form will mirror the subject in both gender and number, ensuring harmony and clarity within the sentence structure. This practice not only enriches the linguistic texture but also underscores the relationship between the subject and the predicate.
وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
and it is those who are successful. (2:5)
D. Versatility of the Predicate (اَلْخَبَرُ): From Words to Phrases and Sentences
Enhance and expand: “اَلْخَبَرُ,” known as “Al-Khabar” in Arabic grammar, serves as the predicate in a sentence. The predicate, or “الخبر,” can take the form of a single word, a phrase, or even an entire sentence. Furthermore, it has the flexibility to manifest as a genitive phrase, providing a rich and versatile structure for conveying information within Arabic sentences. This fundamental grammatical concept plays a crucial role in constructing meaningful and coherent Arabic sentences.
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
[All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the worlds – (1:2)
وَإِلَـٰهُكُمْ إِلَـٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ
And your god is one God. (2:163)
E. the Predicate and the Pronoun
When the predicate takes the form of a sentence, it employs a pronoun that specifically indicates the subject.
الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِي صَلَاتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونَ
They who are during their prayer humbly submissive (23:2)
This lesson on Arabic nuances concludes here. Insha’Allah, our subsequent session will delve into the verb in the past tense in Arabic.
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