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Nahw – The Phrase

March 5, 2007

In the last post we defined the concept of the Sentence, also called مركَّب مفيد . Now we define the other part, مركَّب غير مفيد , or Phrase. A Phrase is essentially a group of words which does not convey a complete idea e.g. tall boy, intelligent girl etc. We will start by defining two kinds of phrases:

  1. Noun / Adjective Phrase:This kind of phrase is made up of two اسم , the first being a noun and the second an adjective. The first اسم is called موصوف and the second is called صفة. Unlike in English, where the adjective precedes the noun, in Arabic the noun will come before the adjective e.g. الولد ﺍﻟﻄﻮﻳﻞ (tall boy) or البنت ﺍﻟﺮﺷﻴﺪﺓ (intelligent girl)

    Rules for موصوف / صفة phrase:

    • Both موصوف and صفة should agree in Gender
    • Both موصوف and صفة should agree in number e.g. الولدان ﺍﻟﻄﻮﻳﻼﻥ (two tall boys)
    • Both موصوف and صفة should agree in definiteness i.e. both should either be definite or indefinite e.g. ولدٌ طويلٌ (a tall boy) or الولد ﺍﻟﻄﻮﻳﻞ (tall boy)
    • Both موصوف and صفة should be in the same grammatical state
  2. Possessive Phrase: This phrase is also made up of two اسم , which are linked together in a possessive structure e.g. رسُول ﺍﻟﻠﹽﻪ (messenger of Allah). The possessor is termed as مضاف ﺍﹺﻟﻴﻪ (here the word ﺍﻟﻠﹽﻪ) and the possessed is termed as مضاف (here the word رسُول )
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