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Baitul Ilm Notes for Classical Arabic Class 2011-12

Reference Book: An Introduction to Koranic and Classical Arabic by W. M. Thackston


Lesson: 05 (Pg 62 - 13)

The adjective agrees with its modified noun in state, case, gender and number*. Of
gender/number agreement there are two types, (1) strict and (2) deflected.

Gender of
Noun

Number
Singular

A Any
Dual

Refer to
People

Agreement

Does Not
Matter

Strict

B Masculine

Plural

Yes

Strict

C Feminine

Plural
Yes
Sound/Broken

Strict

D Feminine

Plural - Sound No

Plural Broken

Any

Broken Plural
Preferred

Strict
Deflected
Deflected
Mostly
(exceptions
exist)

No

Comments

Quran
Post Qur'an
See Notes Below

(A) The adjective is always in strict agreement with all singular and dual nouns
irrespective of gender. There is no exception to this rule.
i. A masculine singular noun is modified by a masculine singular adjective.

(11:78)
(25:8)
(4:153)

ii. A feminine singular noun is modified by a feminine singular adjective.

(33:50)

(9:121)

iii. A masculine dual noun is modified by a masculine dual adjective. E.g.

See notes for lesson 02.

2011 Baitul Ilm

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Baitul Ilm Notes for Classical Arabic Class 2011-12


Reference Book: An Introduction to Koranic and Classical Arabic by W. M. Thackston
Lesson: 05 (Pg 62 - 13)

iv. A feminine dual noun is modified by a feminine dual adjective. E.g.


(B) The adjective is in strict agreement with a masculine plural noun, if the noun refers
to people.
i. A broken adjective is used with a broken noun if one exists. For example:


ii. A broken adjective is used with a sound noun. For example:
iii. A sound adjective is used with a broken noun if broken adjective does not
exists. E.g.

(21:105)

(21:26)

iv. A sound adjective is used with a sound noun when neither noun nor adjective
has a broken plural. For example:
(C) The adjective is in strict agreement with a feminine plural noun, if the noun refers
to people. The noun can be sound or broken.

(4:34)

(66:5)

(D) For sound feminine plural inanimate objects


i. In the Quran, all nouns tend to take strict adjectival agreement. This is rare
outside of Quranic Arabic.

(6:141)
(2:99)

ii. In post Quranic Arabic, plurals tend to take deferred agreement. For example:

(E) If the plural broken noun refers to things (and not people), irrespective of gender,
the adjective is mostly in deflected agreement.

2011 Baitul Ilm

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Baitul Ilm Notes for Classical Arabic Class 2011-12


Reference Book: An Introduction to Koranic and Classical Arabic by W. M. Thackston
Lesson: 05 (Pg 62 - 13)

The adjective will usually be feminine singular. It may also be feminine plural, but
this is rare. In rare cases, the adjective can be masculine broken plural as well for
masculine nouns. Examples:

(79:11)
(2:80)
(41:16)

) (=

Pronouns ( ): There are two sets of pronouns in Arabic, independent ()
and attached (). The Independent pronouns are:
Plural
()

Dual
()

Singular
()

They (all)

They (two)

He, it

They (all)

They (two)

She, it

You (all)

You (two)

You

You (all)

You (two)

You

()
3rd Person Masculine
()
3rd Person Feminine

)
(
nd
2 Person Masculine
()
2nd Person Feminine

)
(
st
1 Person Masculine &
Feminine

3rd person and 2nd person masculine plural will take a when the pronoun is followed
by a word beginning with

*.

See lesson 02 notes for more information about .

2011 Baitul Ilm

Page 3 of 4

Baitul Ilm Notes for Classical Arabic Class 2011-12


Reference Book: An Introduction to Koranic and Classical Arabic by W. M. Thackston
Lesson: 05 (Pg 62 - 13)

1. These pronouns are used as independent subjects of non-verbal sentences. Few


examples:

(112:1)
(2:29)
(9:40)
(5:37)
(6:29)

(2:187)

(5:109)

(28:35)

(2:216)

(79:24)

(2:139)

2. These pronouns are used to divide subject from predicate in non-verbal sentences
when the predicate has the definite article .

(2:120)

(108:3)

If the pronoun is removed in above sentences, the predicates would be confused with a
and the sentences would appear incomplete.

2011 Baitul Ilm

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