The Institute of Ibn Mandhoor **************************** جامعـــــــة ابـــــــن منظـــــــور

An online forum dedicated to the teaching of the Arabic language. Contact: ibn_mandhoor@hotmail.co.uk


You are not connected. Please login or register

Question in regards to non-human plurals

Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

1 Question in regards to non-human plurals on Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:55 am

وتاك مكاتب الطلاب وكراسيُّهم

I just wanted to ask about the above sentence 'That (f, sing) are the tables of the students (m,3+) and their (m,3+) chairs (m,3+)'

Is the translation correct? If so, I don’t understand why ‘that’ is feminine and not masculine? Why is it singular and not plural?

Is it to do with the non-human objects being referred to as feminine singular; I thought it was only for adjectives?

View user profile

2 Re: Question in regards to non-human plurals on Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:11 am

Ustaadh's answer

Translation correct in "literal" sense. Should read and, "those are the tables of the students and their chairs".

I mentioned that in Arabic grammar, "non-human plurals are treated as feminine singular". Here, you are talking about tables and chairs of which both are plurals and are non-human. Therefore, you will have to treat this as feminine singular in Arabic. Thus, the feminine singular demonstrative pronoun "tilka" has been used. Please note that this is not just for adjectives. It is for everything. Thus, if you wanted to say "the books are sleeping", the present tense verb must be feminine singular. Thus, the rule, "non-human plurals are treated as feminine singular" holds true. IT IS NOT JUST FOR ADJECTIVES.

Finally, when translating into English you cannot say "that are the tables of the students and their chairs" as this does not make grammatical sense in English. Rather, it is, "those are the tables of the students and their chairs".

View user profile

Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum