; An English Guide to Classic Qur'anic Arabic: 3.3 - Property 1 Flexibility


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3.3 - Property 1 Flexibility


Section 3.3 - Property 1 Flexibility إِعْرَابٌ (e’raa-bun) of a Noun


As mentioned before, a Noun can only have three states: Nominative رَفْعٌ(raf-un) Accusative نَصْبٌ (nas-bun) and Genitive (jarr-un) جَرٌّ. Also, the normal state of a Noun is always Nominative, unless some reason exists for it to go into Accusative نَصْبٌ (nas-bun) or genitive جَرٌّ ( jarrun ). The reason could be either the position of the Noun in a sentence or compound or an active element (Noun, Verb, or a Particle) which can cause it to go into a different state.


Flexible of a Noun is further divided into two categories. These are Triptote مُنْصَرِفٌ (Mun-sa-ri-fun) and Diptote غَيْرُ مُنْصَرِفٍ (Ghairu mun-sa-ri-fun).


A. Triptote مُنْصَرِفٌmun-sa-ri-funFlexible Noun: This is defined as a Noun that has three different forms in the three states of Nominative رَفْعٌ (raf-un). Accusative نَصْبٌ (nas-bun) and Genitive. For example, the name Zaid is زَيْدٌ (Zai-dun) in Nominative رَفْعٌ (raf-un). زَيْدًا (Zai-dan) in Accusative نَصْبٌ (nas-bun) and زَيْدٍ (Zai-din) in Genitive.Again, all three are pronounced as Zaid when they occur at the end of the sentence. Approximately 75% of the Arabic Nouns are Triptote Flexible Nouns.


B. Diptote غَيْرُ مُنْصَرِفٍ ghairumun-sa-rifinFlexible Noun: This is defined as a Noun that has two different forms, one for the Nominative رَفْعٌ(raf-un) and one for the Accusative نَصْبٌ (nas-bun) and Genitive. Also, a Diptote does not accept a tanween and is always comes with a single harakah. For example, the name Zainab is زَيْنَبُ (Zai-na-bu) in Nominative رَفْعٌ (raf-un) and زَيْنَبَ(Zai-na-ba) for Accusative نَصْبٌ(nas-bun) and زَيْنَبَ(Zai-na-ba) for Nominative.


Approximately 13% of the Arabic Nouns are Diptotes.


A non-flexible Noun is a noun that does not change its form in any of three states. For example, the word هٰذَا haa-dha is the same in all three states. About 2% of the Nouns in Arabic are non-flexible.


This is the most complex part of the Arabic grammar and will be treated in more detail later, as appropriate.


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