Understaning Arabic Noun

Understanding Arabic Noun with 2 easy tricks

Are you having problem understanding Arabic Noun? What is a Noun in Arabic? What is it used for? How many kinds or types of Noun are there? What are the signs to recognize a Noun?If you want to know the answers to these questions or other  similar ones, you have come to the right place createsNouns are a very important part of any language. 

Noun or اِسْم (in Arabic) is defined as a word that describes name of a person, place, animal or thing. e.g. رَجُلٌ (Man), مَدْرَسَةٌ (School), قِطٌ (Cat), كِتَابٌ (Book). These words are defining name of either a person or a place or a thing.

In the definition the expression ‘name’ does not mean specific or proper name which is given to a person or place as an identity like Ali or Paris (though these words are also Noun). Instead, when we say ‘Noun is a word which describes a person, place….’, we mean any word that has this quality, be it specific like ‘Ali’ and ‘Paris’ or general like ‘Man’ and ‘Madrasa’. 

For instance, in this sentence علي طالب (Ali is a student), both the words are Arabic Noun. Ali is a specific name of a boy, while student is a general name of aperson who studies.

I believe you have solved the problem of Understanding Arabic Noun and gained a better knowledge of Noun after the above explanation.

Let’s move on to the trick part of Understanding Arabic Noun, which is, understanding types or kinds of Noun. Nouns have various types depending on different situations. Here, we are talking about three basic and essential kinds of Nouns, related to the structure of the word. The three basic kinds of Arabic Noun are:


Understanding Arabic Nouns with the help of 

3 Kinds of Noun:


  1. جامِد (Primary Noun)

  2. مَصدَر (Root Noun)

  3. مُشتَق (Derivative noun)

جامِد (Primary Noun): It is a kind of Arabic Noun which is neither derived from any word nor any word is derived from it.

e.g. رَجُلٌ (man), فَرَسٌ (horse).

مَصدَر (Root Noun): It is a kind of Arabic Noun from which many words are derived.

e.gذِهَابٌ (to go). So, words like ذَهَبَ, ذَاهبٌ, مَذْهَبٌ etc are derived from ذِهَابٌ which is a مَصدَر (Root Noun).

 مُشتَق (Derivative noun): It is a kind of Arabic Noun which is derived from مَصدَر (Root Noun).

e.g. مَذْهَبٌ is derived from ذِهَابٌ. So, مَذْهَبٌ is a مُشتَق (Derivative noun)

Understanding Arabic noun


After we have discussed the three basic kinds of Noun, it is the time to talk about signs of Arabic Noun. Having a good knowlege of signs is a critical part of Understanding Arabic Noun. If  someone is confused about Arabic Nouns and questions appear ‘How can someone recognize a Noun in a sentence?’ ‘How can someone distinguish between other kinds of words?’ ‘What would be the easiest way to identify an Arabic noun’ etc etc, then, the next coming part will help in this regard.

Here are all the signs, from which a beginner can identify an Arabic Noun in a sentence.


Understanding Arabic Nouns with the help of Signs of  Noun علامات الاسم:

  1. Word preceded by an ال. For instance, the word المدرسة is definitly a Noun as it contains the particle ال.
  2. Word preceded by a preposition or حرف جر. For instance, the word ‘المسجد‘ in the phrase من المسجد is definitly a Noun as it is preceded by a preposition or حرف جر, that is ‘من ‘.
  3. Word having تنوين (tanween) on the last letter. For example, the word رَجُلٌ is definitly an Arabic Noun as it is having a sign on the last letter لٌ which is called تنوين (tanween).
  4. Word ending with a round ة. For instance, the word مدرسة is definitly a Noun as it is ending with a round particle ة.
  5. If the word is مُثَنَّى (Dual). For example, كتابانِ is definitly a Noun as it مُثَنَّى (Dual) meaning two books.
  6. If the word is جمع (Plural). For example, مسلمون is definitly a Noun as it جمع (Plural) meaning many Muslims.
  7. If the word is مسند اليه (Subject or doer of any verb). For instance, the word ‘المدرسة ‘ in the sentence  المدرسة قريبة  (School is near) is definitly a Noun as it is a مسند اليه (Ssubject of the sentence). Similarly, the word رَجُلٌ in the sentence  جاء رَجُلٌ ( A man came) is definitly a Noun as it is  مسند اليه (doer of the verb جاء).
  8. If the word is مُضاف (Possessed Noun). For example, the word كتاب in the phrase كتاب ئيد (book of Zaid) is definitly a Noun as it is مُضاف (possessed by Zaid).
  9. If the word is مَوْصُوف (word which is described by another word). For instance, the word كتاب in the phrase كتاب جديد (a new book) is definitly a Noun as it is مَوْصُوف (described by the word جديد ).
  10. If the word is مُنَادَى (word which is in vocative case). For instance, the word ئيد in the phrase !يا ئيد (O Zaid!) is definitly a Noun as it is a مُنَادَى (in vocative case).
  11. If the word is مُصَغَّر (word which is reduced to the smallest degree). For instance, the word رُجَيْلٌ is definitly a Noun as it is مُصَغَّر (reduced to the smallest degree) of رَجُلٌ .
  12. If the word is مَنْسُوْب (word which shows its belongingness to something). For instance, the word مَكُّيٌّ is definitly a Noun as it is  مَنْسُوْب to Makkah  (showing its belongingness to Makkah).

These are twelve signs of Arabic Nouns. If you find any one of these signs, mark the word as Noun.


Noun is the most significant part of any language, and Arabic language is not an exception. I hope the above article is much of a help  in understanding Arabic Noun.(Especially the two tricks!!! that will make it easier for you ti identify Arabic No un in any Arabic text).

Therefore, while reading any Arabic text, or listening to any Arabic audio or talking to someone in Arabic, try to identify the words and to find Arabic Noun using the two mentioned tricks. You can also search the meaning of the word with the help of any Arabic online dictionary or offline dictionary.

So, if the word defines name, place, animal or thing then the word is a Noun. Moreover, use the second trick amd search for the signs which differentiate Noun from the other kinds of word. That was all in this article. If you want to cretae deeper understanding and want more clarity on the topic of Arabic Noun, go check this video where kinds of Noun are discussed with examples. All the best in your journey of learning Arabic language!!

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