January 31, 2020 0

Arabic Grammar: Using Demonstrative Pronouns in Modern Standard Arabic اسم الإشارة

Arabic Grammar: Using Demonstrative Pronouns in Modern Standard Arabic اسم الإشارة


Ahlan wa sahlan! Right now we’re going to talk
about demonstrative pronouns in Arabic, or what we call اسم الإشارة. The
examples we’re going to use in this video are MSA, Modern Standard Arabic, فصحى
We’re going to talk in the next video a little bit more about the particularities of Egyptian and Levantine dialect, but the principles are very similar, so I
would encourage you, no matter which variety or varieties you’re studying, to
watch both videos because conceptually it’s going to help you out. So in Modern
Standard Arabic, we have a couple of different pronouns that we use to
express the idea of ‘this’ in phrase or in a sentence, right? We could say ‘this test
is easy,’ or ‘this building is beautiful,’ or we could also say ‘this test,’ or ‘this
building,’ right, as a phrase, not a complete sentence. If we’re talking about
something that’s grammatically masculine, we’re going to say هذا. If we’re
talking about something grammatically feminine, we’re going to say هذه and if we’re talking about plurals, we’re
going to use هؤلاء. Remember that in فصحى,
and in dialect, we’re only going to use this plural form to refer to groups of
people, right? Non-human plurals are grammatically feminine in every way, as
we’re going to see in some of these examples. So as I said we can use these
when we’re building sentences, or just phrases. So let’s take a look at some
examples. Here we have هذه مدينة كبيرة And this is a complete sentence, this
is a complete جملة اسمية in Arabic, it has a مبتدأ, right, a subject, and a
خبر, a predicate, roughly equivalent. So هذه he is going to be our مبتدأ, ‘this,’ and
then we have our implied ‘is,’ because we don’t have a conjugated
verb for ‘to be’ in the present tense, and then مدينة كبيرة is our خبر. The
information. So ‘this, (imaginary is), this is a big city. Notice that this is indefinite,
right? If we add a definite article and say هذه المدينة الكبيرة, it’s a
phrase. ‘This big city…’ but we don’t have a complete sentence, right? We’re
waiting for the خبر, or we’re waiting for the news, the information. So we can…
Some other examples: هذا مطعم لبناني ‘this is a Lebanese restaurant,’ مبتدأ,
خبر, هذا المطعم اللبناني… what about it? Maybe it’s great, maybe
it’s lousy, we don’t know, because we don’t have a complete sense yet. We
can of course use these phrases as part of a complete sentence, we can add
a خبر and make all of this the مبتدأ. The subject, right? هذه المدينة الكبيرة… let’s suppose we want to say ‘this big city is beautiful,’ then we could add جميلة and then that one adjective
which agrees, right, with مدينة, is indefinite, like most خبر are, most
predicates are, and that’s how we know that it’s the news, the information, the خبر.
Another example, right هذه بيوت قديمة. ‘These are old houses.’
Remember, بيوت is one of those broken plurals, but it takes that feminine
ending, right, because it’s non-human. We’re not going to use the human pronoun.
We’re going to say هذه بيوت قديمة. هذه البيوت القديمة, ‘these old houses’ let’s suppose we want to say they’re
small, right? Then we would add صغيرة. Now we have a complete sentence with a مبتدأ and a خبر.

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