Welcome to our third lesson to learn the Arabic language. This lesson will be about prepositions in Arabic.
In Arabic, according to the word’s function in the sentence, the noun’s last vowel harakah can change. Indeed, the final declension (harakah) of the noun qualifies as the case in the sentence. There are three types of cases in Arabic:
- Nominative case – مَرْفُوْعٌ
- Accusative case – مَنْصُوْبٌ
- Genitive case – مَجْرُوْرٌ
The normal ending of the word is the nominative case. You can identify it with the presence of a dammah -ُ or the double dammah (tanween) -ٌ.
The house is new.
Here we can say that the word اَلْبَيْتُ and جَدِيْدٌ are in the nominative case or مَرْفُوْعٌ. Nevertheless, when the noun is preceded by a preposition – حُرُوفُ الْجَرَّ, the declension – Harakah changes to kasra and its case. It becomes genetive – مَجْرُوْرٌ. The main prepositions in Arabic are:
Examples of the prepositions:
اَلْبَيْتُ = فِيْ الْبَيْتِ
The house = In the house
اَلْمَسْجِدُ = فَيْ الْمَسْجِدِ
The mosque = in the mosque
اَلسَّرِيْرُ = عَلَى السَّرِيْرِ
The bed = on the bed.
اَلْمَكْتَبُ = عَلَى الْمَكْتَبِ
The desk = on the desk.
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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 pronouns
In Arabic, as in English, you can use pronouns – ضَمَائِرُ:
هُوَ = He
هِيَ = She
The personal pronouns are in Arabic definite. If you do not remember the difference between definite and indefinite, you can check our second lesson.
3. The interrogative particule – أَيْن
If you want to ask about a place or location, you can utilize the interrogative article “أَيْن,” which means “Where.”
أَيْنَ مُحَمَّدٌ ؟ هُوَ فِي الْغُرْفَةِ
Where is Muhammad? He is in the room.
وأيْنَ يَاسِرٌ؟ هُوَ فِيْ الْحَمَّامِ.
And where is Yasir? He is in the bathroom.
و أَيْنَ آمِنَةُ؟ هِيَ فِي الْمَطْبَخِ.
And where is Aminah? She is in the kitchen.
أَيْنَ الْكِتَابُ؟ هُوَ عَلَى الْمَكْتَبِ
Where is the book? It is on the desk.
و أَيْنَ السَّاعةُ؟ هِيَ عَلَى السَّرِيْرِ.
And where is the watch? It is on the bed.
4. The proper names
The proper names are nouns that designate a particular person, place, or object. There are also definite nouns.
Examples of masculine proper names
Example of feminine proper names
Note: You can observe that the masculine proper name’s last vowel is a double dammah (tanween) _ٌ. But for the feminine proper name, the last vowel is a simple dammah _ُ. Thus, it is a mistake to write a feminine proper name with a tanween.
5. Interrogative article and preposition – مِنْ أَيْنَ
We saw previously that if you want to ask “where” in Arabic, you use the interrogative article “أَيْنَ. If you want to ask now: “From where” you will use:
Note: Do you remember that مِنْ is a preposition, which means that the following noun will be in the genitive case.
اَلْبَيْتُ = مِنَ الْبَيْتِ
The house = from the house
اَلْمسْجِدُ = مِنَ الْمسْجِدِ
The mosque = to the mosque
الْمُدَرَّسُ : مِنْ أَيْنَ أَنْتَ ؟
The teacher: From where do you come from?
محمد : أَنَا مِنْ الْيَابَانِ.
Muhammad: I come from Japan.
الْمُدَرَّسُ: و مِنْ أَيْنَ عَمَّارٌ؟
The teacher: and from where is Ammar?
محمد: هُوَ مِنَ الصِّيْنِ.
Muhammad: He is from China.
الْمُدَرَّسُ: وَ مِنْ أَيْنَ حَامِدٌ؟
The teacher: and from where is Hamid?
محمد: هُوَ مِنَ الْهِندِ.
Muhammad: He is from Indian.
الْمُدَرَّسُ: أَيْنَ عَبَّاسٌ؟
The teacher: where is Abbas?
Muhammad: He went out.
الْمُدَرَّسُ: أَيْنَ ذَهَبَ ؟
The teacher: where did he go?
محمد : ذَهَبَ إِلَى الْمُدِيْرِ.
Muhammad: he went to the director.
الْمُدَرَّسُ: و أَيْنَ ذَهَبَ عَلِيٌّ؟
The teacher: and where went Ali?
محمد : ذَهَبَ إِلَى الْمِرْحاضِ.
He went to the toilets.
In this dialogue, we have learned:
- a new personal pronoun: أنأ, which means “I.”
- proper names: they can be person names as Muhammad or Hamid and names of countries: India, China, Japan, etc.
- The verbal sentence
6. The verbal sentence – الْجُمْلة الْفِعْلِيَّةُ
We saw in lesson 2 that sentences can be of two types: nominal and verbal. In this dialogue, we have a sentence that begins with a verb, for example:
ذَهَبَ إِلَى الْمُدِيْرِ
He went to the director.
This is a verbal sentence. Thus, this sentence begins with the verb “ذَهَبَ. “
The past tense – ِاَلْفِعْلُ الْمَاضِى
In the Arabic language, there are three types of tenses:
- past tense
- present tense
In this dialogue, you can learn different Arabic verbs from the past tense – اَلْفِعْلُ الْمَاضِىى. Thus, a verb is considered in the past tense if it indicates an action or a situation in the past.
Also, in Arabic, the infinite form of the verb is presented by the past tense. If you say in English “to go out,” the infinite form in Arabic will be “خَرَجَ
At the difference of English, sometimes in Arabic, it is unnecessary to write who is the verb’s subject. For example, in our example: ذَهَبَ إِلَى الْمُدِيْرِ, the personal pronoun “he” – هُوَ is hidden and understood.
You have learned in that third Arabic free lesson the different points:
- The prepositions
- The personal pronouns
- The proper names
- The interrogative article أَيْنَ
- The verbal sentence
- The past tense
- Also, you have learned a lot of new Arabic vocabulary.
In the next lesson, inshAllah, we will discover how to use the possession in Arabic.