Arabic/Parts of speech

There are three parts of speech in the Arabic language:

- Nouns أَسمَاءٌ

- Verbs أَفعَالٌ

- Particles حُرُوفٌ

Nouns أَسمَاءٌ edit

Nouns are words that are not affected by tense. Nouns include, in addition to what is typically considered a noun, adjectives and adverbs. Nouns generally have three elements: the word الكَلِمَةٌ, the i3raab اَلإِعرَابُ, and the tanween اَلتَنوِينُ. The actual noun is the biggest element and denotes the meaning of the noun. The i3raab gives the grammatical case of the noun. It is the final vowel in the noun. This will be further explained in future lessons. And finally, the tanween is the indefinite article.


English A book A pen



The noun (كِتَابٌ) is comprised of the three elements.

1- كِتَاب

2- ُ

3- Tanween

The first element is the actual noun. This is the element that gives the meaning of “book.” The second element, اَلإِعرَابُ, is the vowel ُ in the end of the actual noun. Generally, the vowel is ُ but can also be َ or ِ, depending on the grammatical case. The last element is the tanween. Orthographically, the tanween is part of the i3rab. It is a dent in ُ to make it ٌ. Notice that these two are different. The i3rab and tanween will become more important in the following lessons. For now, it is important to recognize them as separate entities. The i3rab and tanween complex can have three main types: ٌ, ً, and ٍ. They have the sounds -un, -an, and -in respectively. The tanween is removed when adding the definite article, which will be explained in the next lesson.

Verbs أَفعَالٌ edit

Verbs are words that are affected by tense. There are three main tenses in the Arabic language. The past tense اَلمَاضِيُ that describes the past. The present اَلمُضَارِعُ that describes the present and the future. The imperative tense اَلأَمرُ which describes the imperative verbs. Notice that the future tense is part of the present. The word اَلمُضَارِعُ actually means present and future, though there is no word to describe it in English.  

Tense Verb English


(He) wrote




(He) writes

(He) will write



Write! (masculine)

Note that the verbs also have an i3raab. As you can see, the i3raab changes depending on the tense. It can also change in other circumstances. The verbs do not have a tanween, as they cannot be undefined.

Particles حُرُوفٌ edit

A particle is any speech that is not a word. Particles do not have meaning on their own. An example of a particle in English is the preposition “in.” When said, it does not have a meaning except when it is combined with a word, as in “in the book.” There are various types of particles and they will be introduced as needed.