Arabic Cases

If you're trying to learn Arabic cases you will find some useful resources including a course about the three cases and the construct state... to help you with your Arabic grammar. Try to concentrate on the lesson and notice the pattern that occurs each time the word changes its place. Also don't forget to check the rest of our other lessons listed on Learn Arabic. Enjoy the rest of the lesson!


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Arabic Cases

Learning the Arabic Cases is very important because its structure is used in every day conversation. The more you master it the more you get closer to mastering the Arabic language. But first we need to know what the role of Articles is in the structure of the grammar in Arabic.

 

Cases

The Arabic language has three cases,

The nominative case (subject) in Arabic ‘ar-raf3(u) الرَّفْعُ

The accusative case (object) in Arabic ‘an-nasb(u) النَّصْبُ

The genitive case (to denote possession) ‘al-jarr(u) الْجَرُّ

 

The nominative case ends on u when definite and on un when indefinite, the accusative case on a or an, and the genitive case on i or in. When indefinite the noun will not be preceded by the definite article Al and it will end on a n, this n however will not be written, instead the vowels u, a, i are written twice, and in case of a when the noun does not end on a

ta  marbuta ة an allif is added at the end.

Infect this is very common in Arabic, many standard phrase are written in this form, like

Welcome مَرْحَبًا

My place is yours اهْلاً وَسَهْلاً

 

 

English

Transcription

العربي

Subject

الرَّفْعُ

The book

al-kitabu

الكتابُ

A book

kitabun

كتابٌ

Object

النَّصْبُ

I read a book 

‘Ana Iqra’a kitaban

أنا أقرأ كتابًاَ

I read the book

‘Ana Igra’a al-kitaba

أنا أقرأ الكتابَ

Possive

الْجَرُّ

I gave him a book 

‘Ana 3ataitaha kitabin

أنا أعطيه كتاب

I gave him the book

‘Ana 3ataitaha al-kitabi

أنا أعطيه الكتاب

 

In normal speech these declensions are not pronounced, so in either three of these you will hear al-kitab, Ana i3ttaiha alkitab etc. Only when reading the quran and in official speeches the declension ending are pronounced and only then in connection, i.e. when it is followed by an other word, not at the end of a sentence.

 

The construct state

 

The construct state is a very important rule in the Arabic language the Arabs call Al-muddaf wa-al-muddaf ilaihi الْمُضَافُ وَالْمُضَافُ إلَيْهِ.

Look at the following expression the house of the man. Both nouns have the definite article the. But according to the Arab grammarians, the house is already definite since it is the house of the man, not the house of the woman. So the in the house is not needed so according to the Arabs one should write  house the man. To indicate that there is a strong relationship between those nouns, the second known with the definite article is in the

genitive case so it reads: bait-u-r-radjuli

 

 

This construct is so important and strong that nothing can separate it. If you want to say the house of  this men you have to place this after the construction so literally house the man this.

 

 

The house of the man burned down

yahhraqu baitu-r-radjuli

يحرق بيتً الرجل

 

 

the house of  this men

baitu-r-radjuli hadha

بيتً الرجل هذا

 

 

Plural nouns ending on a n or dual nouns ending on a n,  will lose the n in this construct.

For example the house of the teachers would be    baitu-l-mu3alami بَيْت الْمُعَلَمي instead of بَيْت الْمُعَلَمين  baitu-l-mu3alamin.

 

Below is a table with all possibilities with nouns with and without the definite article al, two of them are the construct state, the two others imply to be, which usually is not translated in Arabic in the present tense.

 

 

 

 

 

Construct state

The house of the man

Baitu-a-r-radjuli

بَيْتُ الرَجُلِ

A house of a man

Baitu radjulin

بَيْتُ رَجُلٍ

 

The house is big

Al-baitu kabirun

البَيْتُ كَبِيرٌ

A house is big

Baitun Kabirun

َيْتٌ كَِبِيرٌ 


The three cases have a very important role in Arabic. Once you're done with Arabic Cases, you might want to check the rest of our Arabic lessons here: Learn Arabic. Don't forget to bookmark this page.


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