In Arabic syntax and morphology, you’ll start seeing the Arabic grammar nouns, verbs, tenses, and all Arabic grammar rules differently.

Welcome to Arabic grammar for beginners. Today is all about Arabic syntax and morphology. To make it easier, we have made some Arabic syntax vs English syntax references to get the grasp of it.

Words in the Arabic syntax can be divided into nouns, verbs, or particles. The first two are seen in English syntax but the particle is something that is specific to Arabic syntax.
In the Arabic language, a noun is called اسم pronounced /isim/, a verb is called فعل pronounced /fi’il/, and a particle is called حرف pronounced /harf/.

Let’s take a look at the breakdown of each.


Nouns in the English syntax are different than nouns in Arabic syntax. In the English language, nouns are nouns and adjectives are adjectives, and the same pretty much applies to adverbs, pronouns, and prepositions.

For example: ولد /walad/ Meaning: boy


Similar to English verbs, this part of speech refers to an action.

For example: فتح /fataha/ Meaning: opened


They can be considered as assistants and are all other words that are not the above-mentioned parts. Some semantic functions cannot be fulfilled unless these particles are there to support.

For example: الى /ela/ Meaning: to

How are these parts of speech recognized? It is done through the process of declension or syntax analysis. This is called الإعراب pronounced /al i’rab/. It is a form of analysis of the word in a sentence, given its position within the sentence, where related features in terms of number, gender, part of speech are identified.  

In Arabic syntax, there is no specific word order. There are rules to follows, like dos and don’ts, and the sentence almost writes itself. It is because of that reason that sentences in the Arabic language are categorized as well. Relating to features of the sentence, there are two specific types of Arabic sentences: nominal and verbal.

Nominal sentences

A nominal sentence either starts with a noun, the subject, or is the verb follows, or has no verb at all. Nominal sentences are called جملة اسمية pronounced /jumla ismiya/. It consists of a مبتدأ /mobtada’/, a subject, and خبر /khabar/, a predicate.

For example: الولد كاتب /al walad katib/ The boy is a writer.

Verbal sentences

A verbal sentence is the opposite of a nominal sentence where the noun, or subject, is after the verb, not before. So the sentence starts with a verb. A verbal sentence is called جملة فعلية pronounced /jumla fi’liya/. It consists of a فعل /fi’il/, a verb or action, and فاعل /fa’il/, subject or doer of the action.

For example: قرأ الولد الكتاب /qara’a alwalado al kitab/ The boy read the book.

Arabic syntax and morphology has certain rules in which people should follow. In Arabic, you can start your sentence with a verb or noun and still say the same thing. This is a similar feature in English syntax as well. But with Arabic, the breakdown of a noun (subject) in a nominal sentence is called مبتدأ while in a verbal sentence called فاعل. In reality, they are both nouns, but one was placed before the verb and one after. 

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