The Start

We form comparatives in Arabic with the adjectives in the form of أفعل. When we mold and follow form with a noun, it creates a superlative sentence. For example, we write ‘the prettiest garden’ as /Ajmal hadeeka/ or /Ajmal al hada’ik/, where the former is singular of ‘garden’ and the latter is the plural. Another example is biggest building which we can write as /Akbar binaya/ or /Akbar al binaayaat/. We made the adjectives of pretty and big into the form of أفعل after they were in the فعيل form. Another point to note is that when using the plural form of the noun, we add the determiner al meaning the.

Another Perspective

When Arabs and Muslims say Allahu Akbar, it roughly translates to God is the Most Great as you can see that the adjective /Kabeer/ takes the أفعل form. To conclude, the final sentence form will be as follows: Noun/Noun Phrase followed by the adjective in its’ correct form, followed by min meaning from, finally followed by a noun or noun phrase. The comparative structure is therefore quite simple to follow just as long as you have the right vocabulary. To understand this further, we will look at more examples on comparative sentences. Ali is taller than Ahmad is /Ali atwal min Ahmad/. The two nouns used are Ali and Ahmad where they are subject and object respectively. We can also see the adjective /Taweel/ in its’ elative form إفعل giving us /Atwal/. Finally, we can see that we used the preposition min after the adjective. Our second example is trying to say the sun is bigger than the moon. This translates to /As-shams akbar min al-qamar/. The verb /Kabeer/ which we went over before transforms to the correct form making it /Akbar/. ‘The sun’, considered a noun phrase in English, would be translated it to as-shams which is not considered a noun phrase in the Arabic language.

Exceptions to the Rules

Sometimes the superlatives of the adjectives can be different. For example, the way we say my hat is newer than your watch is /Quba’atii ajadu min sa’atak/. You would probably assume that the إفعل form of the adjective is /Ajdad/. Similarly, ‘more important’ goes from /Haam to /Ahamu/. Adjectives that end in the letter yaa’ have an elative form ending in alif maqsura. For example, the word rich is /Ghaniy/. To convert this to the appropriate form would make it turn to /Aghnaa/. We can then form this sentence: Ahmad is richer than Ali. This would translate to /Ahmad aghnaa min Ali/. Another example is the adjective ‘stupid’. The فعيل form of the adjective in Arabic is /Ghabiy/. However, the إفعل form of the adjective in Arabic is /Aghbaa/. This means we can form the following sentence: Michael is stupider than Bob. This translates to /Michael aghbaa min Bob/. Therefore, we have to be aware of the type of adjective we are converting into the appropriate form.

To Conclude

Finally, it’s important to learn these simple sentence structures in order to create a comparative sentence. However, it’s important to note that this is not beginner level as you have to have enough vocabulary to create such sentences.

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