Lesson One Nouns and Adjectives by kpj14447


									                     Lesson One
                  Nouns and Adjectives
Grammatically Arabic nouns and adjectives may be either definite
or indefinite.

There is no indefinite article equivalent to the English ‘a’, ‘an’.
However, the large majority of nouns and adjectives have tanw¯n ı
(the addition of the sound n to the final vowel of a word) to
indicate that the word is indefinite:
                          ajrun          a reward
                           adh¯ bun      a punishment
                          kit¯ bun       a scripture, document
                          ¯              a sign, verse
                            .            a mercy
                          qur’¯ nun      a recitation

However, you will come across a considerable number of words
that do not take tanw¯n when they are indefinite. At this stage you
can only learn what these words are by experience. Two examples
                               ¯           other

                               awwalu      first

You must remember that it is impossible to add tanw¯n to words that
are shown as not taking it (either in the text or in the vocabularies),
and any attempt to do so is incorrect.

                     ’

A noun may be made definite in one of two ways:
   . by being preceded by the definite article, equivalent to the
      English ‘the’.
   . by being followed by the genitive of possession.
We shall deal here only with the definite article; on () see Lesson
  
Traditional wisdom tells us that the definite article is           (al )
prefixed inseparably to a word, and that is the way that it has always
been written:
                         al-baladu         the town
                         al- adh¯ bu the punishment

In fact, the definite article is in essence simply a l¯ m (l ) but as
Arabic phonetic theory holds that words cannot begin with an
unvowelled consonant, the vowel a ( fatha) is added to the l¯ m to
give al. Theory also holds that this a vowel is not an integral part
of the definite article and is required only when no other vowel
precedes the l. In effect this means that the added vowel is used
only at the beginning of a sentence. In other places the vowel a (
fatha) is replaced by a ‘joining sign’
   .                                      (wasla), which tells you to
link the l of the definite article to the final vowel of the preceding
     In short, you will find at the beginning, and elsewhere in
the sentence/verse. The use of the two can be seen in:
                                               a         ı
                                         al-kit¯ bu l-mub¯nu
   This is the first of two pieces of manipulation required by the
definite article. The second initially appears more complicated, but
you will soon get used to it. The sooner you do so the better,
because until you have mastered it, you will not be able to read or
pronounce correctly.

                              Lesson One

   . When it precedes half of the letters of the alphabet, the l of
      the definite article is pronounced as l.
      These letters are:                                           .
      In Arabic terminology this group of letters is known as ‘the
      moon letters’ (because the word for ‘moon’ begins with one
      of them).
      With such letters a suk¯ n is written over the l of the definite
                           al-yawmu          the day
                           al-kit¯ bu        the document

   . For words beginning with all the other letters of the alpha-
      bet the pronunciation of the l is assimilated to the sound of
      the following consonant. These letters are:
      They are known as ‘the sun letters’ (the word for ‘sun’
      beginning with one of them). With such letters a shadda is
      written over the letter after the (i.e. the letter to which the
      l¯ m is assimilated). This is a clear indication of the doubling
      of the sound of the following letter.

                   al-rahmatu (ar-rahmatu) the mercy
                        .           .
                         u           u
                   al-ras¯ lu (ar-ras¯ lu)         the messenger

     The correct form of pronunciation is the one given in
     brackets. However, most systems of transliteration retain the
     spelling of the article with l and expect the reader to make
     the correct assimilation. Thus one normally sees al-Rah¯mu
     ‘the Compassionate’, which has to be read and pronounced
     as ar-Rah¯mu. This convention is followed in this book.
Note that in the Qur’¯ n when the definite article is prefixed to a
word beginning with lam, only one lam is written. Thus al-laylu

                    ’

‘the night’ is written     .This is not normally the case in modern
    With reading practice you should soon become accustomed to
these rules for reading and pronouncing the definite article.
    Whatever you do, you must not forget that if a word has the
definite article, it cannot also have tanw¯n. (Words cannot be
definite and indefinite at the same time.)

                  T               A
All¯ hu ‘God’ is a combination of the definite article and the word
   il¯ hun ‘a god’, with the dropping of the initial hamza of the
noun. Literally, it means ‘the God’, though that is not a natural
English expression and will not be used in this book. Note that
in some versions of the Qur’¯ n All¯ hu is written without any
indication of the long vowel.

There are two genders in Arabic: masculine and feminine.
   The simplest working rule is to treat words as masculine
unless you have a reason for treating them as feminine. As you
proceed, you will find that words may be feminine because of
form, meaning, category or convention.
   From the outset you will encounter a small number of words
that are feminine through meaning, such as       umm(un) ‘mother’,
or through convention, such as       ard(un) ‘earth’.
   However, the first important group of feminine words that you
have to deal with are those that take the ending      -atun when
indefinite [also occasionally atu]. A couple of these have already
been mentioned. Here are examples of the definite and indefinite
feminine forms together:
                      al-¯ yatu              ayatun
                           .                 rahmatun

                            Lesson One

There are a few masculine words with this ending, but the only
common one is                   ı
                            khal¯fatun. In the Qur’¯ n this word has
the strict sense of ‘successor’ or ‘viceroy’. In later times this was
generalized to ‘caliph’.
    This ending in -atun is the one most commonly used to form
a feminine adjective from a masculine one:
                             m.       ı            ı
                                   kab¯run / al-kab¯ru
                             f.       ı              ı
                                   kab¯ratun / al-kab¯ratu
                             m.        ı             ı
                                   shad¯dun / al-shad¯du
                             f.        ı               ı
                                   shad¯datun / al-shad¯datu

                         
An adjective used attributively follows the noun and must agree
with the noun in four things:
   . Definiteness
   . Gender
   . Number
   . Case
You should now be able to deal with the first two:
                     al-fawzu l- az¯mu     the great victory
                     al-yawmu l-¯ khiru    the last day
                         a        ı
                     qur’¯ nun mub¯nun     a clear recitation
                     rahmatun w¯ si atun
                       .                   a widespread mercy

Number and case will be dealt with shortly.

                - 
The rule about agreement in definiteness is crucial, because a
definite noun followed by an indefinite adjective is a complete
sentence—a subject and a predicate—not requiring a verb. Arabic
is thus able to manage without a verb for ‘to be’ in the present

                     ’

tense. Hence many sentences are complete though they have no
                       a      ı
                    All¯ hu az¯zun               God is mighty
                    All¯ hu qawiyyun             God is strong
                       a               ı
                    All¯ hu qawiyyun az¯zun      God is powerful
                                                 and mighty
Note that in this last example it is necessary to link the adjectives in
English by using ‘and’. This is not necessary in Arabic, though the
particle (wa-) ‘and’ could be used. Single letter words in Arabic
cannot be written separately, so wa- is linked to the following word,
as will be seen in later lessons.

                      
The vocabulary that accompanies each lesson is intended to
include all the words you need to understand the examples in the
text of the lesson and to do the translation exercise that follows it.
To make progress you will have to learn the vocabulary of each
lesson as you come to it, and you should learn all the forms that
are given: with nouns (and adjectives) you should learn the singular
and the plural together; with verbs you should learn three forms—
the perfect, imperfect and masdar—together (see Lesson ).
    Because of the limits of Qur’¯ nic vocabulary, one often finds
only a singular form or a plural form of a word in the Qur’¯ n,    a
though the corresponding plural and singular may be common
elsewhere. Two good examples of this are the plural man¯ fi u,    a
‘benefits’, commonly used in the Qur’¯ n, whilst the singular
manfa atun is not found; and ardun, ‘earth’, even more common,
though its plurals ar¯ din and araduna do not occur. There are similar
gaps in the incidence of verb forms. These missing forms are listed
in the General Vocabulary and occasionally used as examples.

                    Lesson One

                 V O
S              P

    All¯ hu                           God
    il¯ hun              alihatun
                         ¯            a god

    ajrun                  u
                         uj¯ run      reward
    ¯                    ¯ a
                         ay¯ tun      sign, verse
    baladun                 a
                         bil¯ dun     town
    ras¯ lun             rusulun      messenger
      .                               mercy
    adh¯ bun                          punishment
    fawzun                            victory
    qur’¯ nun                             a
                                      Qur’¯ n, recitation
    kit¯ bun             kutubun      scripture, docu-
                                      ment, book
    khal¯fatun                 a
                         khulaf¯ ’u   successor, viceroy,
    ardun (f.)
      .                               earth

    ummun                     a
                         ummah¯ tun   mother

    yawmun                  a
                         ayy¯ mun     day

    am¯nun                            faithful, secure
    ¯                                 last, [next]
    shad¯dun                 a
                         shid¯ dun    strong, severe
    az¯zun                            mighty

                   ’

     S               P

         az¯mun                              great, mighty

         qawiyyun                            strong
         kab¯run                             big, great
         kar¯mun                  a
                               kir¯ mun      noble, generous
         maj¯dun                             glorious
         w¯ si un                            wide, ample
         mub¯nun                             clear

         awwalu                     u
                               awwal¯ na     first

         ul¯ (f.)
         ¯                          u
                               akhar¯ na
                               ¯             other

         ukhr¯ (f.)            ukharu

                      E O

.                          a         ı
                      al-kit¯ bu l-mub¯nu           [:]
.                       a        ı
                      kit¯ bun mub¯nun              [:]
.                       a        ı
                      kit¯ bun kar¯mun              [:]
.                        a        ı
                      qur’¯ nun mub¯nun             [:]

.                           a         ı
                      al-qur’¯ nu l-maj¯du          [:]
.                        a        ı
                      qur’¯ nun kar¯mun             [:]
.                        a        ı
                      qur’¯ nun maj¯dun             [:]
.                           a        .ı
                      al-qur’¯ nu l- az¯mu          [:]

        Exercise One

.              a
      rahmatun w¯ si atun
        .                       [:]

.              a
      ayatun ukhr¯
      ¯                         [:]
.              a
      al-yawmu l-¯ khiru        [:]
.             ı
      yawmun kab¯run            [:]

.          a          ı
      al- adh¯ bu l-shad¯du     [:]
.           .ı
      yawmun az¯mun             [:]
.      a         ı
      adh¯ bun shad¯dun         [:]

.          .ı
      ajrun az¯mun              [:]

.            ı
      ajrun kar¯mun             [:]
.      a      .ı
      adh¯ bun az¯mun           [:]

.            ı
      ajrun kab¯run             [:]

.      u       ı
      ras¯ lun am¯nun           [:]

.      u        ı
      ras¯ lun kar¯mun          [:]

.                 ı
      al-baladu l-am¯nu         [:]

.     a
      il¯ hun akharu
              ¯                 [:]

.      u        ı
      ras¯ lun mub¯nun          [:]

.                  a
      al-awwalu wa-l-¯ khiru    [:]

.      ua        a
      al-¯ l¯ wa-l-¯ khiratu    [:]

.      a      ı
      All¯ hu az¯zun            [:]

.      a
      All¯ hu qawiyyun          [:]

.      a               ı
      All¯ hu qawiyyun az¯zun   [:]

.                  ı
      al-qawiyyu l-am¯nu        [:]

                     Key to the Exercises
Exercise One
. The clear book. . A clear book. . A noble book. . A clear recitation.
. The glorious recitation. . A noble recitation. . A glorious recitation.
. The mighty recitation. . An ample mercy. . Another sign. . The
last day. . A great day. . The severe punishment. . A mighty day.
. A severe punishment. . A great reward. . A noble reward. . A
mighty punishment. . A great reward. . A faithful messenger. . A
noble messenger. . The secure town. . Another god. . A clear
messenger. . The first and the last. . The first and the last. . God is
mighty. . God is strong. . God is strong and mighty. . The strong
and faithful one.
Exercise Two
. Other gods. . Many benefits. . Many fruits. . The first (previous)
generations. . The settlements are doing wrong. . A wrongdoing
settlement. . The Jews and the Christians. . The heavens and the earth.
. Non-Arab and Arab. . The people who do wrong. . Unbelieving
people. . A believer and an unbeliever. . Believing men. . The
believing men and the believing women. . Believing men and believing
women. . The first and the last. . God is relenting. . Honoured
servants. . A believing man. . Other days. . Heaven and earth (the
heaven and the earth). . The Muslim men and the Muslim women.
Exercise Three A
. You are Muslims. . They are Muslims. . We are a temptation. . I
am a warner. . A lofty garden. . You are the Relenting One. . You
are wrongdoers. . You are the poor. . She is a wrongdoer. . He is a
believer. . He is the gentle one. . You are believers. . I am God,
the Mighty (the mighty God). . It is white. . He/it is strong. . You
are the Mighty One. . It is a trial. . You are a warner. . You are
ignorant ones. . I am the Relenting One.


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