November 4, 2019 0

Arabic Grammar: Forming Comparative Adjectives in Arabic أفعَل

Arabic Grammar: Forming Comparative Adjectives in Arabic أفعَل


Marhaba! Right now we’re going to talk
about comparatives in Arabic. If you watch the video on superlatives, you
remember that we can use the وزن أفعل to express that idea. So if we want
to talk about the ‘tallest building’ in the city, we could say أطول, right, we
start with طويل, take that root, we take the root and we put it in
the أفعل, pattern right, أطول بناية ‘the tallest building.’ Or if we
wanted to take طيّب, meaning ‘tasty,’ and talk about the very
tastiest falafel, we could say أطيَب فلافل. And we remember that when
we’re talking about superlatives, we take that أفعَل word, and we put it in front
of the noun it’s describing, like it’s the first term of an إضافة. ‘The tallest
of buildings,’ ‘the tastiest of falafel,’ right. Now the comparative, in order to
compare things, we use the same وزن, أفعَل, but we put it after the noun we’re
describing, like it’s an adjective. So if we want to say, maybe not the tallest
building ever, but ‘a taller building,’ we would say بناية أطول, or ‘tastier
falafel,’ tastier than from the place down the street, فلافل أطيب, which
doesn’t carry that superlative sense, right not ‘the tastiest, ‘the tallest, but
tastier. Now if we want to do a direct comparison, we need to use the helping
preposition مِن, right? So suppose I want to say ‘I am younger than my brother.’ We
start with that adjective for young, صغير and then I can turn it into أفعَل, and I
can say for example, Anna أنا أصغَر من أخي. Right? I’m not the youngest person in the world, but I’m younger than my brother. Or ‘New York City
is bigger than Beirut.’ We start with that word for big, كبير, which we can then put
in the وزن أفعَل, and we can say مدينة نيو يورك أكبر من مدينة بيروت. ‘Younger than,’ ‘bigger than,’ using the
same وزن أفعَل, along with the helping preposition من. And that’s
the comparative in Arabic!

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