Tomás Abascal
What should be the plural form when speaking of people in Levantine dialects? مرحبا يا جماعة Recently I've heard people talking in a way that doesn't match MSA or CA rules in terms of grammar. I learned that the rule of agreement was to use the plural for people and the 3rd person feminine when referring the objects or any non-human beings and that the same rule would apply for both the adjectives and the verbs (with the exception of a verb appearing before the plural subject, which would be singular and change to feminine for objects). I've heard people, when talking in their own dialect/accent, using the plural for adjectives and verbs when referring to objects and others using the 3rd person (feminine singular) when talking about people. Those are a few examples: لكل الشباب اللي تنسى… الباصات راحو ع لمدينة الناس ما بتعرف انو… Is there a kind of rule or pattern that can be used? Does it change from region to region? Can I use them randomly or do people generally stick to the same "principle" even if it does not match MSA rules? Cheers
Dec 3, 2017 4:53 PM
Answers · 4
I guess I could simply worry less about the rules when talking in dialect since applying MSA rules would not be incorrect, while doing the opposite would be acceptable since a lot people do it. As you said it's something you learn on the go. What I've been doing so far and will probably keep on doing is to pay attention to how people structure their sentences and try to reproduce the same kind of structure.
January 17, 2019
Hi Ahmad, thanks for the answer. I knew the 3rd person feminine singular should be used for the plural when speaking about "non-thinking beings" such as objects (as in your example with buses). What surprised me is that I've heard people using that structure when talking about other people. I'd learnt the 3rd plural should be used with intelligent/thinking beings so I was wondering if the dialects would just somehow reverse the modern standard Arabic rules by using plural for objects and singular for people.
January 17, 2019
we basically ditch our rules from Standard Arabic and follow our totally chaotic ones. It is hard to explain each one separately, but this must be a pattern you notice once you learn it.
December 21, 2018
Hello Thomas, It has been a while so you might not even be here anymore, nevertheless I will try to help. I am from Syria, so to answer your question: in Standard Arabic you must say راحت الباصات so this is 3rd person feminine singular. But in my dialect we say: راحوا الباصات which is 3rd person masculine plural. Let me know if this helps, contact me if you need help :) Cheers, Ahmad
December 21, 2018
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!