Personal Practice

Speaking (Combining Alif Baa textbook and Alif Baa online knowledge)

The purpose of this exercise is to help you expand your ability to communicate beyond what we have explicitly taught you in the online Alif Baa units. By combining what you know from Alif Baa textbook materials and what you know from Alif Baa online materials, you can make basic descriptive sentences. (This is beyond what Alif Baa teaches you to do in unit 5, drill 24 which is only to make noun-adjective phrases.)

In order to complete this exercise, you need to know the vocabulary that Alif Baa teaches in units 1 through 5. If you need to review this vocabulary, refer to pages 25, 38, 50, 65, 82, and 85 in your text before attempting this exercise.

In addition to vocabulary, you may also want to review Alif Baa's discussion of gender on page 66, of ة (taa' marbuuTa تاء مربوطة) on page 67, and of gender matching on 84. We will, however, paraphrase the main points of the grammar for you throughout this exercise.

Okay, let's begin. Following are some English sentences. Please say each sentence out loud in Arabic. After you have done so, listen to a native Arabic speaker say the sentence. Compare your response with the native's.

Because you have not had much chance to practice the vocabulary and grammar from Alif Baa in speech, take your time and consider gender.

      You (female) are happy.
      .أنتِ سعيدة

  1. I (male) am happy.  Speaker Icon
  2. I (female) am happy.  Speaker Icon
  3. You (male) are a professor.  Speaker Icon
  4. You (female) are a professor.  Speaker Icon
  5. You (male) are kind.  Speaker Icon
  6. You (female) are kind.  Speaker Icon
  7. Are you (male) a doctor?  Speaker Icon
  8. Are you (female) a doctor?  Speaker Icon
  9. Is Samir new?  Speaker Icon
  10. Is Samira new?  Speaker Icon

Something else Alif Baa teaches you in its discussion of gender on page 66 is that because all nouns in Arabic are either masculine or feminine, the unisex pronoun it does not exist.

هو جيّد. Speaker Icon
It (the class) is good.
هي جيّدة. Speaker Icon
It (the watch) is good.

In this part of the exercise, you are to describe the following items, referring to each thing using a pronoun, either huwa هو (he) or hiya هي (she).

      It (the bus) is new.
      .هو جديد

  1. It (the class) is good.  Speaker Icon
  2. It (the class) is hard.  Speaker Icon
  3. It (the homework) is hard.  Speaker Icon
  4. It (the tea) is tasty.  Speaker Icon
  5. It (the ice cream) is tasty.  Speaker Icon
  6. It (the watch) is new.  Speaker Icon
  7. It (the watch) is good.  Speaker Icon
  8. It (the bus) is spacious.  Speaker Icon
  9. It (the car) is spacious.  Speaker Icon
  10. It (the car) is new.  Speaker Icon

Now, let's step things up a bit. You are to describe things using al'iDaafa الإضافة constructions. Because al'iDaafa الإضافة is made up of more than one word, be careful when you choose the gender of the adjective. Make it match the gender of the word you want to describe (which is usually the first term, not the second).

بيت عزيز جديد. Speaker Icon
Aziz's house is new.
بيت عزيزة جديد. Speaker Icon
Aziza's house is new.

سيارة عزيز جديدة. Speaker Icon
Aziz's car is new.
سيارة عزيزة جديدة. Speaker Icon
Aziza's car is new.

Also keep in mind that when a word ends in the symbol ة and is the final term of an al'iDaafa الإضافة construction, the ة is pronounced "at" instead of "a."

      Amir's professor (female) is happy.
      .أستاذة أمير سعيدة

  1. Amir's friend (male) is happy.  Speaker Icon
  2. Amira's friend (male) is happy.  Speaker Icon
  3. Amir's friend (female) is happy.  Speaker Icon
  4. Amira's friend (female) is happy.  Speaker Icon
  5. Muhammad's street is wide.  Speaker Icon
  6. Muhammad's car is wide.  Speaker Icon
  7. Sharif's car is new.  Speaker Icon
  8. Sharif's watch is new.  Speaker Icon
  9. Amira's house is strange.  Speaker Icon
  10. Khalid's watch is strange.  Speaker Icon
  11. The state of New York is good.  Speaker Icon
  12. The city of Los Angeles is spacious.  Speaker Icon

Here are some optional sentences that follow the same pattern as the sentences above. Try them for fun if you wish.

  1. Arabic (al-carabiyya العربية) homework is hard.  Speaker Icon
  2. Arabic (al-carabiyya العربية) class is astonishing!  Speaker Icon

When you consider what you have learned so far--both from Alif Baa textbook materials and from Alif Baa online materials--you can do quite a lot in Arabic. And just think, it is only your sixth day studying the language!

Print Grammar Explanations in this Exercise