Arabic is widely taught in schools and universities and is used to varying degrees in workplaces, government and the media. Arabic, in its standard formis the official language of 26 states, as well as the liturgical language of the religion of Islamsince the Quran and Hadith were written in Arabic. During the Middle Ages, Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe, especially in science, mathematics and philosophy. As a result, many European languages have also borrowed many words from it.
Arabic influence, mainly in vocabulary, is seen in European languages —mainly Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese and Catalan —owing to both the proximity of Christian European and Muslim Arab civilizations and the long-lasting Arabic culture and language presence mainly in Southern Iberia during the Al-Andalus era.
Sicilian has about Arabic words, many of which relate to agriculture and related activities,  [ full citation needed ] as a legacy of the Emirate of Sicily from the mid-9th to midth centuries, while Maltese language is a Semitic language developed from a dialect of Arabic and written in the Latin alphabet. Arabic has influenced many other languages around the globe throughout its history.
Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, and Persian in medieval times and languages such as English and French in modern times. Arabic is the liturgical language of 1. Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, which is an abjad script and is written from right to leftalthough the spoken varieties are sometimes written in ASCII Latin from left to right with no standardized orthography.
Arabic is usually, but not universally, classified as a Central Semitic language. Linguists still differ as to the best classification of Semitic language sub-groups. Innovations of the Central Semitic languages—all maintained in Arabic—include:. There are several features which Classical Arabic, the modern Arabic varieties, as well as the Safaitic and Hismaic inscriptions share which are unattested in any other Central Semitic language variety, including the Dadanitic and Taymanitic languages of the northern Hejaz.
These features are evidence of common descent from a hypothetical ancestorProto-Arabic.Arabic Grammar: 'Kaana' and its Sisters
The following features can be reconstructed with confidence for Proto-Arabic: . Arabia boasted a wide variety of Semitic languages in antiquity. In the southwest, various Central Semitic languages both belonging to and outside of the Ancient South Arabian family e. Southern Thamudic were spoken. It is also believed that the ancestors of the Modern South Arabian languages non-Central Semitic languages were also spoken in southern Arabia at this time.See Afro-Asiatic languages.
Colloquial Arabic includes numerous spoken dialectssome of which are mutually unintelligible. With the exception of the dialect of Algeriaall Arabic dialects have been strongly influenced by the literary language.
The sound system of Arabic is very different from that of English and the other languages of Europe.
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It includes a number of distinctive guttural sounds pharyngeal and uvular fricatives and a series of velarized consonants pronounced with accompanying constriction of the pharynx and raising of the back of the tongue.
Arabic words always start with a single consonant followed by a voweland long vowels are rarely followed by more than a single consonant. Clusters containing more than two consonants do not occur in the language. Arabic shows the fullest development of typical Semitic word structure.
An Arabic word is composed of two parts: 1 the root, which generally consists of three consonants and provides the basic lexical meaning of the word, and 2 the pattern, which consists of vowels and gives grammatical meaning to the word.
Verbs in Arabic are regular in conjugation. There are two tenses: the perfect, formed by the addition of suffixes, which is often used to express past time; and the imperfect, formed by the addition of prefixes and sometimes containing suffixes indicating number and gender, which is often used for expressing present or future time.
In addition to the two tenses, there are imperative forms, an active participle, a passive participle, and a verbal noun. Verbs are inflected for three persons, three numbers singular, dual, pluraland two genders. In Classical Arabic there is no dual form and no gender differentiation in the first person, and the modern dialects have lost all dual forms.
The Classical language also has forms for the passive voice. There are three cases nominative, genitive, and accusative in the declensional system of Classical Arabic nouns; however, nouns are no longer declined in the modern dialects. Pronouns occur both as suffixes and as independent words. Arabic language. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. See Article History. Read More on This Topic.
The area of Islamic culture extends from western Africa to Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, but its heartland is Arabia, and the…. Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Afro-Asiatic languageslanguages of common origin found in the northern part of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and some islands and adjacent areas in Western Asia.
About Afro-Asiatic languages are spoken today by a total of approximately million people. The area of Islamic culture extends from western Africa to Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines, but its heartland is Arabia, and the prime importance and special authority of the Arabic language were to remain largely unquestioned after the spread….
The Arabic language in its earliest phases was relatively well protected from the forces of rapid change by the peninsular environment within which it developed. It is the best-preserved model of the Semitic languages.
Its syntax and morphology—recorded and systematized as part of….This page contains links to lessons about the Arabic grammar. Here are the topics discussed in each lesson: adjectives, adverbs, plural, prepositions, feminine, numbers, negation, pronouns, questions, determiners, nouns, verbs, present tense, past tense, future tense, imperative, and the comparative. Going through each lesson should take about 30 min.
Each course contains an extra topic about vocabulary. Make sure to take advantage of that as well. If you have any question about this course, please email me directly at Arabic Classes.
Studying Arabic grammar is very important because it is the backbone of the language. Without it, you will be limited to what expressions you can use. Students learning Arabic grammar are better able to understand how the combination of words can create intricate meanings and how these can create subtle literary effects.
As a result, students will likely appreciate learning better and they will pay more attention to the text. If you have any questions, please contact me If you simply want to ask a question, please Arabic contact form on the header above. Being able to comprehend grammar's intricacies enhances students' writing and text interpretation capabilities. In addition to writing, a sound knowledge of grammar also allows for better skills at speaking.
As a result, people who are able to articulate their words well sound more trustworthy, mature and professional. Two languages open every door along the way. If you are done with all the grammar lessons, we recommend checking out the Arabic Phrases. You can also simply click on one of the links below or go back to our Learn Arabic homepage. Arabic Grammar 17 Lessons. Lessons Arabic Lessons. Linguistic Arabic Vocabulary. Culture Arabic Phrases. Structure Arabic Grammar.
Grammar in Arabic.If you're trying to learn Arabiccheck our courses below about adjectives, adverbs, articles, gender feminine, masculine Below are our free Arabic lessons. Enjoy our courses! Arabic is one of the world's major languages, spoken in a broad belt extending from the Arabian Peninsula on to the Atlantic Ocean.
It is the official language and the home language for over million and million people respectively in Africa and Asia including the Middle East. Arabic belongs to the Afro-Asiatic family, Semitic group, south-western subgroup Arabian branch.
With the rise of Islam as a dominant religion after ADArabic became the most widespread of the living Semitic languages. The earliest written inscriptions in Arabic are found in the Arabian Peninsula and date from the early 4th century AD. The diverse colloquial dialects of Arabic are interrelated but vary considerably among speakers from different parts of the Middle East and among urban, rural, and nomadic speakers.
For writing and high-level speech e. The Arabic alphabet is believed to have evolved from that of an ancient people known as the Nabateans, but how, when, and where exactly it originated is still a matter of controversy. By the early Islamic period two scripts were in use: the Naskhi, the ordinary cursive form used in books and correspondence, and the Kufic, an angular script used mainly for decorative purposes.
The present alphabet of twenty-eight letters consists basically of consonants, the vowel signs being indicated by marks above or below the letters. Like the other Semitic languages, Arabic is written from right to left. The script is employed in many other languages, such as Persian, Pashto, Urdu, and Sindhi.
We hope the lessons above helped you learn Arabic. To learn other languages please check our homepage here: Learn Languages. Don't forget to bookmark this page. Learn Arabic If you're trying to learn Arabiccheck our courses below about adjectives, adverbs, articles, gender feminine, masculineWelcome to the 8th lesson about Arabic grammar.
We will first learn about prepositionsnegationquestionsadverbsand pronouns including: personal, object and possessive pronouns. To hear the pronunciation, just click on the sound icon. We will start with prepositions. In general, they are used to link words to other words.
For example: I speak Arabic and English the preposition is [ and ] because it connects both words Arabic and English. The following is a list of the most used prepositions in Arabic. The following examples use prepositions in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence. Now let's learn how to make a negative sentence negation. For example: Saying noI can'tI don't The following examples use negation in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.
Now let's learn how to ask questions interrogative. Such as: whatwhycan you? Here are some common examples:. The following examples use the interrogative form in different ways and places to demonstrate how it behaves in a sentence. It's time to learn the adverbs in Arabic. But what is an adverb? In general, adverbs modify verbs and adjectives.
For example: You speak fast. The adverb is [ fast ] because it describes the verb and answers the question how do you speak? Here is a list of the most common ones:. The following examples use the adverbs in different ways and places to demonstrate how it behaves in a sentence.
We're almost done! This time we will learn the pronouns in Arabic. In general, a pronoun can be used instead of a noun. For example instead of saying my teacher speaks 3 languagesyou can use the pronoun heand say he speaks 3 languages.
I think it's better to put the above example in a sentence to better assist you. The following examples use pronouns in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence. We will start with the personal pronouns. The object pronoun is used as a target by a verb, and usually come after that verb.Arabic is a Semitic language and its grammar has many similarities with the grammar of other Semitic languages.
The article focuses both on the grammar of Literary Arabic i. Classical Arabic and Modern Standard Arabicwhich have largely the same grammar and of the colloquial spoken varieties of Arabic. The grammar of the two types is largely similar in its particulars. Generally, the grammar of Classical Arabic is described first, followed by the areas in which the colloquial variants tend to differ note that not all colloquial variants have the same grammar.
Many Arabic dialects, Maghrebi Arabic in particular also have significant vowel shifts and unusual consonant clusters. The schools of Basra and Kufa further developed grammatical rules in the late 8th century with the rapid rise of Islam. The efforts of al-Farahidi and Sibawayh consolidated Basra's reputation as the analytic school of grammar, while the Kufan school was regarded as the guardian of Arabic poetry and Arab culture.
Early Arabic grammars were more or less lists of rules, without the detailed explanations which would be added in later centuries. The earliest schools were different not only in some of their views on grammatical disputes, but also their emphasis. The school of Kufa excelled in Arabic poetry and exegesis of the Qur'anin addition to Islamic law and Arab genealogy. The more rationalist school of Basra, on the other hand, focused more on the formal study of grammar. The grammar or grammars of contemporary varieties of Arabic are a different question.
How we Study Grammar
Badawian expert on Arabic grammar, divided Arabic grammar into five different types based on the speaker's level of literacy and the degree to which the speaker deviated from Classical Arabic. Classical Arabic has 28 consonantal phonemesincluding two semi-vowelswhich constitute the Arabic alphabet. It also has six vowel phonemes three short vowels and three long vowels. These appear as various allophonesdepending on the preceding consonant.
Short vowels are not usually represented in the written language, although they may be indicated with diacritics. Word stress varies from one Arabic dialect to another. A rough rule for word-stress in Classical Arabic is that it falls on the penultimate syllable of a word if that syllable is closed, and otherwise on the antepenultimate.
Elidable hamza drops out as a vowel, if a word is preceding it. This word will then produce an ending vowel, "helping vowel" to facilitate pronunciation. In colloquial or spoken Arabicthere are a number of simplifications such as the loss of certain final vowels and the loss of case. A number of derivational processes exist for forming new nouns and adjectives.
Adverbs can be formed from adjectives. In Arabic, personal pronouns have 12 forms. In singular and plural, the 2nd and 3rd persons have separate masculine and feminine forms, while the 1st person does not. In the dual, there is no 1st person, and only a single form for each 2nd and 3rd person.
Traditionally, the pronouns are listed in the order 3rd, 2nd, 1st. For all but the first person singular, the same forms are used regardless of the part of speech of the word attached to. The same alternation occurs in the third person dual and plural. In the first person singular, however, the situation is more complicated. In the latter case, -ya is attached to nouns whose construct state ends in a long vowel or diphthong e.
The "sisters of inna " can use either form e. Some very common prepositions — including the proclitic preposition li- "to" also used for indirect objects — have irregular or unpredictable combining forms when the enclitic pronouns are added to them:.
In the above cases, when there are two combining forms, one is used with "Jump to navigation. Arabic is usually ranked among the top six of the world's major languages. As the language of the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, it is also widely used throughout the Muslim world. It belongs to the Semitic group of languages which also includes Hebrew and Amharic, the main language of Ethiopia. Classical Arabic — the language of the Qur'an — was originally the dialect of Mecca in what is now Saudi Arabia.
An adapted form of this, known as Modern Standard Arabicis used in books, newspapers, on television and radio, in the mosques, and in conversation between educated Arabs from different countries for example at international conferences. Local dialects vary considerably, and a Moroccan might have difficulty understanding an Iraqi, even though they speak the same language.
Arabic is not the only language spoken in Arab countries.
The two main minority languages. Arabic's exact position in the league table of world languages varies according to the methodology used. The linguists' website, Ethnologue, places it fourth in terms of the numbers of people who use it as their first language. Other rankings have placed Arabic anywhere between third and seventh. One of the difficulties is that it is almost impossible to compile accurate data.
There are also debates among linguists about how to define "speakers" of a language, and speakers of "Arabic" in particular. Many Arabs, for example, are not proficient in Modern Standard Arabic. The complexities are discussed further in an article by George Weber. Arabic is written from right to left. There are 18 distinct letter shapes, which vary slightly depending on whether they are connected to another letter before or after them.
There are no "capital" letters. The full alphabet of 28 letters is created by placing various combinations of dots above or below some of these shapes. An animated version of the alphabet shows the correct way to move the pen. The three long vowels are included in written words but the three short vowels are normally omitted — though they can be indicated by marks above and below other letters.