Definite and Indefinite Nouns, & Sun and Moon Letters in Arabic

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Learn about definite and indefinite nouns in Arabic. This is an important and building-block lesson for beginners in Arabic. Understanding this concept will help you also understand the structure of the Arabic sentence and nominal and verbal sentences.

(You can review a previous lesson about the Arabic word in terms of three categories: nouns , verbs and particles

First watch the video, and then proceed to read the notes and download the lesson.

Lesson Outcomes:

After finishing this lesson you will be able to:

-Identify a definite and indefinite noun in Arabic language.

-Tell apart a definite noun from an indefinite noun/adjective.

-Construct words in both a definite and indefinite state.

Let's start by considering what makes a definite and indefinite noun in other languages like English or French. If you observe the picture below, you will notice that there is always a supporting article such as the, a or an (English), un, une, le, la, les... (French).

In Arabic, however, there is only one article, which is a prefix that attaches to the beginning of the word, and it is "Al" الـ , made up of Alif and Laam letters. This article is only used for the definite state.

On the other hand, there is simply no prefix or supporting article for the indefinite state. It is mainly signified by "not using Al" ال التَّعريف / أداة التَّعْريف (definite article).