1. The possession – إِضَافَة
Definition of the possession
To express the state of annexation or possession, the Arabic language uses possessive construction. It comes in two parts.
The book of the child
The first part of the construction (كِتَابُ) is called al Mudaf – اَلْمُضّافُ, it is followed by a second part (الْوَلَدِ) called Mudaf ilayhi الْمُضَافٌ إليْهِ.
The Mudaf must follow some characteristics:
- it comes in the first position of the construction
- The Mudaf does not carry the definite article Alif Lam or any nunation (tanween)
- it is at the nominative case, which means that it carries a dammah -ُ as a final vowel. Nevertheless, its case can change if, for example, it is preceded by a preposition. It will depend on the grammatical role of the Mudaf in the sentence.
The Mudaf ilayhi must follow some characteristics:
- it is at the genitive case – مَجْرورٌ
- it is marked as definite (with the article Alif Lam, proper noun) or can be indefinite (with nunation – tanween)
سَعيدٌ: أ كتابُ محمدٍ هذا يا ياسِرُ؟
Saeed: Is it the book of Muhammad O Yasir ?
ياسِرٌ: لا, هذا كتابُ حامِدٍ
Yasir: No, this is the book of Hamid.
سعيد: أين كتابُ محمدٍ؟
Saeed: Where is the book of Muhammad?
ياسر : هو على المَكتَبِ هُناكَ.
Yasir: it is on the desk there.
سعيد: أيْن دَفْتَرُ عَمَّارٍ؟
Saeed: Where is the notebook of Ammar?
ياسر: هو على مكتبِ الْمَدْرَسَةِ.
Yasir: it is on the desk of the teacher.
سعيد: قَلَمُ مَنْ هذا يَا عَلِيُّ؟
Saeed: this is the pen of who O Ali?
عَليٌّ: هذا قَلَمُ الْمُدَرِّسِ.
Ali: this is the pen of the teacher.
سعيد: أين حَقيْبَةُ الْمُدرِسِ؟
Saeed: Where is the bad of the teacher?
عَلِيٌّ: هِي تَحْتَ الْمَكْتَبِ.
Ali: it is under the desk.
In this dialogue, you can learn:
- The possession, for example, هذا كتابُ حامِدٍ (this is the book of Hamid).
- Also, you can learn a new preposition: تَحْتَ – under and on – عَلَى.
- When you want to call someone, you can use the vocative particle يَا (O)
If you want to ask to whom belong something, you can use the following construction:
Thing + مَنْ هذَا ؟
This is a possession construction, which means that the Mudaf here is the thing. Thus, all the conditions of the Mudaf must be applied.
كِتَابُ مَنْ هذا ؟
To who is this book?
قَلَمُ مَنْ هذا ؟
To who is this pen?
بَيْتُ مَنْ هذا ؟
To who is this house?
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The al Madina Center for Arabic is the first language school specializing in teaching Arabic to non-Arabic speakers, based in Medina, Saudi Arabia.
2. The vocative particle
The vocative particle – حَرْفُ النِّدَاءُ is used in the Arabic language for calling someone. In English, you use the letter “O,” but in Arabic, you use the vocative particle “يَا.”
If you observe this construction, it is made from two parts:
- the vocative particle: يَا
- the word following this particle: الْمُنادَى. In our example, you can see that “Yasir” takes the nominative case. Also, it lost its nunation (tanween) and carried only a simple dammah -ُ.
You now completed this free Arabic lesson. Thus, you have learned :
- the possession in Arabic
- the vocative particle
In the next lesson, inshAllah, we will discover how to use the feminine singular demonstrative pronoun in Arabic.