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.
- All nouns in Arabic are either masculine or feminine.
- Masculine words usually end in a consonant; feminine nouns almost always end in the symbol ة (taa' marbuuTa تاء مربوطة), which is usually pronounced "a."
- Most nouns that refer to people (e.g. professor, doctor, dear one, etc.) can be made feminine by adding the symbol ة to the end of the masculine form.
- Most adjectives can be made feminine by adding the symbol ة to the end of the masculine form.
- Adjectives must match the gender of the nouns they describe.
- You will also need to remember what we taught you about the verb "to be" in this AWW lesson: in the present tense, the verb "to be" (i.e. "am," "is," "are") does not exist.
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.
- I (male) am happy.
- I (female) am happy.
- You (male) are a professor.
- You (female) are a professor.
- You (male) are kind.
- You (female) are kind.
- Are you (male) a doctor?
- Are you (female) a doctor?
- Is Samir new?
- Is Samira new?
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.
- Arabic uses the pronouns huwa هو ("he") and hiya هي ("she") to refer to masculine and feminine nouns respectively.
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.
- It (the class) is good.
- It (the class) is hard.
- It (the homework) is hard.
- It (the tea) is tasty.
- It (the ice cream) is tasty.
- It (the watch) is new.
- It (the watch) is good.
- It (the bus) is spacious.
- It (the car) is spacious.
- It (the car) is new.
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).
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
- Amir's friend (male) is happy.
- Amira's friend (male) is happy.
- Amir's friend (female) is happy.
- Amira's friend (female) is happy.
- Muhammad's street is wide.
- Muhammad's car is wide.
- Sharif's car is new.
- Sharif's watch is new.
- Amira's house is strange.
- Khalid's watch is strange.
- The state of New York is good.
- The city of Los Angeles is spacious.
Here are some optional sentences that follow the same pattern as the sentences above. Try them for fun if you wish.
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!