The nominal sentence / الجُمْلة الاِسْمِيّة

The nominal sentence in Arabic (الجُمْلة الاِسْمِيّة)

There are two types of sentences in the Arabic language:

  • The nominal sentence in Arabic (الجُمْلة الاِسْميّة)
  • The verbal sentence in Arabic (الجُمْلة الفِعْليّة)

In this part, we’ll get to familiarize ourselves with the nominal sentence only before taking a look at the verbal sentence construction. 

The nominal sentence is a sentence that can be constructed without the need for a verb. Its two essential components are the subject (المُبْتَدأ) and the predicate (الخَبَر), literally named ‘the information’ in Arabic. For a better understanding of the Arabic logic, we’ll move on always referring to الخَبَر as the ‘information’ from now.

  • The subject (المُبْتَدَأ) usually consists of a noun, a pronoun, a demonstrative, an interrogative, or a proposition in the nominative case (مَرْفُوع).

  • The information (الخَبَر) may be a noun (phrase), indefinite adjective, or adverb denoting place/time in the nominative case (مَرْفُوع) as well.

Note: the information (الخَبَر) can also consist of another nominal sentence, a verbal sentence or a group of prepositions. 

The crucial difference with the English language is that this type of sentence doesn’t require the copula ‘to be’ which differentiates it from the English sentence construction (Subject=>Verb=>Complement), as the verb isn’t needed here. 

In Arabic, the word order of nominal sentences is commonly Subject-Information (S-I), and both parts need to agree in gender and number. Nominal sentences are widely used in Arabic for expressing simple statements, descriptions, and identifications, making them a crucial aspect of learning and mastering the language.

Nominal sentence rules /  أحْكام الجُمْلة الاِسْمِيّة

The norminal sentenceالجُمْلة الاِسْمِيِّة = مُبْتَدَأ + خَبَر
1. The subject → in the nominative case (مَرْفُوع) bears the ḍamma ( ُ  )( ُ  ) ١. المُبْتَدَأ = مَرْفوع    
2. The information → in the nominative case (مَرْفُوع) bears the ḍamma ( ُ  )( ُ  ) ٢. الخَبَر = مرفوع 

Examples:

السَيّارَةُ سَرِيعَةٌ 
The car (is) fast

Subject (السَيّارَةُ   :(المُبْتَدأ

Information (سَرِيعَةٌ :(الخَبَر 

Both nouns are in the nominative case and bear the ḍamma.


المَدْرَسَةُ صَغِيرَةٌ 
The school (is) small

Subject (المَدْرَسَةُ  :(المُبْتَدأ

Information (صَغِيرَةٌ :(الخَبَر 

Both nouns are in the nominative case and bear the ḍamma.


هُمْ طُلّابٌ 
They (are) students

Subject (هُمْ :(المُبْتَدأ

Information (طُلّابٌ :(الخَبَر 

Both nouns are considered in the nominative case, طُلّابٌ bears the ḍamma but هُمْ (they) doesn’t as it is a pronoun and pronouns are indeclinable in Arabic.


هَذا كِتابٌ
This (is) a book

Subject (هَذا  :(المُبْتَدأ

Information (كِتابٌ :(الخَبَر 

Both nouns are considered in the nominative case, كِتابٌ bears the ḍamma but هَذا (this) doesn’t as it is a demonstrative singular which means it is indeclinable.


Now, let’s test your knowledge

Nominal sentence

The nominal sentence

Discover the basics of the nominal sentence in Arabic with our comprehensive guide. Learn about the structure, function, and examples of this essential element of the Arabic language.

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