Adjectives follow the noun

Adjectives follow the noun in arabic grammar rather than precede it like in English.

The big tree

اَلشَّجَرَةُ الْكَبِيرَةُ    (Ash-shajaratu l-kabīratu)

Adjectives used attributively must be the same definiteness, gender, number and case as the noun. As can be seen in the above example the word كَبِير has the definite article “al” and the ta marbūṭa just like the word for tree.

Simple non-verbal sentences

However, a defnite noun can be followed by an indefinite adjective and this will form a complete non-verbal sentence: اَلشَّجَرَةُ كَبِيرَةٌ (Ash-shajaratu kabīratun)
This would mean: The tree is big.
Essentially it is a complete sentence because it is made up of a subject and a predicate. Therefore it is possible to not have a verb “to be” in the present tense and still be a complete sentence (though of course the “is” is necessary when translating the sentence to english).

More examples:
اَللّٰهُ عَزِيزٌ Allāhu ʿazīzun = God is Mighty
اَللّٰهُ قَوِيٌّ Allāhu qawiyyun = God is strong
اَللّٰهُ قَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ Allāhu qawiyyun ʿazīzun = God is powerful and mighty

Notice in the last example the adjectives that are in sequence don’t need to have an “and” in between them though this is necessary in english. However the “and” particle in arabic وَ (wa) could be used.

Vocabulary

 

Singular Plural English
اَللّٰهُAllāhu God
إِلٰهٌilāhun آلِهَةٌālihatun a god
أَجْرٌajrun أُجُورٌujūrun reward
آيَةٌāyatun آيَاتٌāyātun sign
بَلَدٌbaladun بِلَادٌbilādun town
رَسُولٌrasūlun رُسُلٌrusulun messenger
رَحْمَةٌraḥmatun mercy
عَذَابٌʿadhābun punishment
فَوْزٌfawzun victory
قُرْآنٌqur’ānun Qur’ān, recitation
كِتَابٌkitābun كُتُبٌkutubun scripture, document, book
خَلِيفَةٌkhalīfatun خُلَفَاءُkhulafā’u successor, viceroy, caliph
أَرْضٌ arḍun (f.) earth
أُمٌّummun أُمَّهَاتٌummahātun mother
يَوْمٌyowmun أَيَّامٌayyāmun day
أَمِينٌamīnun faithful, secure
آخِرٌākhirun last, [next]
شَدِيدٌshadīdun شِدَادٌshidādun severe, strong
عَزِيزٌʿazīzun mighty
عَظِيمٌʿaẓīmun great, mighty
قَوِيٌّqawiyyun strong
كَبِيرٌkabīrun big, great
كَرِيمٌkarīmun كِرَامٌkirāmun noble, generous
مَجِيدٌmajīdun glorious
وَاسِعٌwāsiʿun wide, ample
مُبينٌmubīnun clear
أَوَّلُawwalu أَوَّلُونَawwalūna first
أُولَىūlā(f.) first
آخَرُākharu آخَرُونَ ākharūna other
أُخْرَى ukhrā (f.) أُخَرُukharu other

Exercise 3

Translate the following phrases to english. The square brackets show the verse reference where the phrase is found in the Holy Qur’ān. Answers to this exercise can be found here.

1) اَلْكِتَابُ الْمُبِينُ      al-kitābu l-mubīnu      [12:1]
2) كِتَابٌ كَريمٌ        kitābun karīmun          [27:29]
3) قُرْآنٌ مُبِينٌ         qur’ānun mubīnun       [15:1]
4) اَلْقُرْآنُ الْمَجِيدُ     al-qur’ānu l-majīdu      [50:1]
5) رَحْمَةٌ وَاسِعَةٌ     raḥmatun wāsiʿatun      [6:147]
6) آيَةٌ أُخْرَى         āyatun ukhrā                   [20:22]
7) اَلْيَوْمُ الْآخِرُ       al-yowmu l-ākhiru          [2:126]
8) اَلْعَذَابُ الشَّدِيدُ   al-ʿadhābush shadīdu     [10:70]
9) يَوْمٌ عَظِيمٌ         yowmun ʿaẓīmun            [6:15]
10) أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ      ajrun ʿaẓīmun                  [3:172]
11) أَجْرٌ كَرِيمٌ        ajrun karīmun                 [57:11]
12) عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ   ʿadhābun ʿaẓīmun            [2:7]
13) رَسُولٌ أَمِينٌ     rasūlun amīnun               [26:107]
14) رَسُولٌ كَرِيمٌ     rasūlun karīmun              [44:17]
15) اَلأَوَّلُ وَ الْآخِرُ   al-awwalu wa-l-ākhiru   [57:3]

I hope this lesson was useful for you. If you have any questions please comment them below. Subscribe to be notified about the new lesson tomorrow and have a nice day 😉

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