Teacher Beth
Professional Teacher
Question about Arabic grammar pattern هذا ال I recently had my 3rd Arabic class and in it we looked at the sentences هم من هذا الشارع and هذه الشنطة من شارعنا Could you please show me some more examples of this grammar point in action as I am struggling to get my head around saying 'this the' something. (Please use vowel markings in your examples so I know how to pronounce new words please) Why can't I just use هذا on it's own? شكراً
Sep 13, 2018 10:24 PM
Answers · 6
This is slightly confusing in Arabic since it differs a lot from English. There are three different patterns you should be aware of... هَذَا كِتْابٌ = This is *a* book هَذَا الكِتَابُ = This book هَذَا هُوَ الكِتَابُ = This is *the* book They will become second nature as you practice with them. Don’t worry! بالتوفيق
September 13, 2018
السلام عليكم This word, هذا, can be used without the ال particle, but it carries a different meaning. When you want to say, "This x" you use ال. When you want to say, "This IS a(n) x", you do not use ال. For example: This book هذا الكتاب This is a book هذا كتاب In your examples, you would only need the prior. I hope this helps.
September 13, 2018
Unlike in English, where the definite article specifies only grammatical definiteness of the noun and does not affect the syntax, in the Semitic languages the role of the definite article is a mixture of several functions: 1) semantic function: reference to mentioned/known/understood nouns (the same as in the European languages); 2) syntactic function: an agreement in a nominal sentence and in genitive construct (idafa). The presence or absence of the article affects the syntax, i.e. changes the meaning of the sentence. 3) classifying function: the article acts as a mere noun marker distinguishing between nouns and other parts of speech (verbs, mostly). This functions might look unusual for European language speakers, since even though the noun takes the definite article, grammatically it remains indefinite. Basically, the second and third function has nothing to do with the concept of ''definiteness'' as European languages understand it.
September 13, 2018
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