Parts of Speech in Arabic Grammar, Nominal and Verbal Sentences

Learn about parts of speech in Arabic grammar and what constitutes a noun, a verb and a particle. Also, learn to easily tell apart a nominal and a verbal sentences. (Recommended for intermediate learners+)

الاِسْم والفِعْل والحَرْف (أقْسامُ الكَلِمَة) - الجُمْلَةُ الاِسْمِيَّةُ والجُمْلَةُ الفِعْلِيَّةُ.

In this blog post, we will briefly discuss the Arabic word or "al-kalima" الكلمة. According to Arabic Grammar, there are three types or categories of words: nouns, verbs and particles. A noun is called "Ism" اسم; a verb "Fiʻl" فغل, and a particle "Ḩarf". Understanding these three categories is important as a basic introduction into Arabic grammar.

To simplify things, we can say that a noun or "ism" is not a verb or tense, and carries a significant meaning on its own; the English equivalent of: nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs. "Ism" also literally means "name" in Arabic. A noun, can name or refer to something that is concrete or abstract, definite or indefinite, singular or plural, masculine or feminine. It can be used to name a person, thing, animal or abstract idea. A noun would typically function as a subject or object in an Arabic sentence.

Let's give some examples on Arabic nouns: the name of a person is "Ism", such as Maha or Mousa. The name of a city or country is "Ism" too, such as "Beirut" or "Canada". The words tiger "Nimr" نمر, cat "Qittah" قطة, dog "Kalb" كلب, book "Kitaab" كتاب, and wall "Haa'iţ" حائط are "Asmaa'" أسماء. So are the words: day "Yawm" يوم, week "usbuuʻ"أسبوع, independence "Istiqlaal" استقلال, beautiful "Jameel" جميل, artist "Fannaan" فنّان, doctor "Ţabiib" طبيب, student "Tilmiidh" تِلْميذ morning "Sabaaḩ"صباح etc... Pronouns as well: he "Howa" هو, you "Anta" أنْتَ, this "Haadha" هذا, my car "Sayyaaratii" سيارتي.. Nouns can also be singular, dual, or plural: car "Sayyaara" سيّارة, two cars "Sayyaarataan" سيّارتانِ, three cars "thalaathu Sayyaaraat" ثلَاثُ سَيّارات etc... Relative pronouns also fall under the noun category, such as الَّذي، الَّتي "al-ladhii, al-latii" (what; which; that).

A verb or "Fiʻl" فعل denotes an action, in either: Past, Imperfect Tenses: Present, Future, Prohibition and all other variations, and Imperative or Command)


أكلَ Akala” Ate"

(Past Tense)

يأْكُلُ Ya’kulu” Is Eating"

(Imperfect Tenses: Present, Future, Prohibition and all other variations)