Fundamentals of Arabic Grammar  book cover
1st Edition

Fundamentals of Arabic Grammar

ISBN 9780415710046
Published January 29, 2014 by Routledge
488 Pages

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Book Description

Fundamentals of Arabic Grammar provides an authoritative guide to Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) grammar. It has been organised to promote a thorough understanding of MSA grammar and presents its complexities in a cohesive and user-friendly format, filling many gaps left by other textbooks. Explanations are clear, full and accessible and extensive cross-referencing, two generous indices and six appendices provide users with easy access to the information they require. No prior knowledge of linguistic terminology is required.

Features include:

  • Expert treatment of a full range of grammar topics and structures, including the case system, Idhaafa, the equational sentence, quantifiers and the vocative, generously spread across thirty eight chapters
  • Special attention to parts of speech, such as nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs and propositions, given at the beginning of the book to acquaint students with the basic units of Arabic and provide a solid foundation for further learning
  • A wide range of contemporary examples drawn from real life to provide solid context to grammar points, further supported by word glosses and idiomatic translations of sentences
  • Grammatical terms given in both Arabic and English
  • A wide variety of supplementary learning resources such as practice sheets, exercises and verb tables available for free download at
  • Substantial bibliography incorporating primary Arabic grammar sources in addition to secondary sources in Arabic and in English

Fundamentals of Arabic Grammar has been field tested over a number of years and has been written by a highly experienced teacher of Arabic. It will be an essential resource for students and teachers of Arabic at all university levels and is suitable for use both as a companion reference text in Arabic language courses and as a standalone text in independent grammar classes.

Table of Contents

Preface. Chapter One: The Verb System in Arabic. Chapter Two: Nouns. Chapter Three: The Case System in Arabic. Chapter Four: Adjectives. Chapter Five: Pronouns. Chapter Six: Prepositions and Adverbs functioning as prepositions. Chapter Seven: Adverbs. Chapter Eight: IDhaafa. Chapter Nine: The Equational Sentence. Chapter Ten: Kaana and its Sisters. Chapter Eleven: Verbal Sentences - Past Tense. Chapter Twelve: Present Tense Indicative. Chapter Thirteen: Present Tense Subjunctive . Chapter Fourteen: The Future Tense. Chapter Fifteen: Jussive Verbs. Chapter Sixteen: Passive Voice. Chapter Seventeen: Imperative Verbs. Chapter Eighteen: Past Continuous Tense. Chapter Nineteen: Past Perfect Tense. Chapter Twenty: Conditionals. Chapter Twenty-One: ‘Inna and Its Sisters. Chapter Twenty-Two: Relative Pronouns. Chapter Twenty-Three: Agentive Nouns-- Ism Faa’il. Chapter Twenty-Four: Passive Participles -- Ism Maf’uul. Chapter Twenty-Five: Verbal Nouns - maSdars. Chapter Twenty-Six: Diminutive Nouns. Chapter Twenty-Seven: Comparative Adjectives. Chapter Twenty-Eight: Plural Nouns. Chapter Twenty-Nine: Indeclinable Nouns/Diptotes. Chapter Thirty: Numbers. Chapter Thirty-One: Quantifiers. Chapter Thirty-Two: Haal Clause -- (Accusative of Circumstance). Chapter Thirty-Three: Tamyiiz -- (Accusative of Specification). Chapter Thirty-Four: Exceptions. Chapter Thirty-Five: Vocative. Chapter Thirty-Six: Exclamation. Chapter Thirty-Seven: Apposition. Chapter Thirty-Eight: Emphasis. Appendixes: Appendix A: Hollow Verbs Appendix B: Defective Verbs Appendix C: Doubled Verbs Appendix D: Form III Verbs Appendix E: Form IV Verbs Appendix F: Verbs and Phrases with ‘anna Bibliography Index I: English Grammatical Terms Index II: Arabic Grammatical Terms

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Mohammed Sawaie is Professor of Arabic in the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Virginia, USA.


Reviews from Instructors

"This is a well thought out, well laid out, and well executed comprehensive grammar of Modern Standard Arabic…a polished pedagogical reference tool. The fluidity of writing, the breadth of coverage and the accessibility and clarity of presentation are impressive; Sawaie shows a keen familiarity with student needs, a talent for explaining Arabic grammatical concepts in English and an encyclopaedic knowledge of modern Arabic grammar. It is appropriate for all levels, providing a clear explanation of grammatical concepts accessible enough for beginning students but sophisticated enough for students at the advanced levels." David Wilmsen, American University of Beirut

"An excellent grammar reference for both teachers and learners of Arabic. The material is clearly presented with strong explanations, yet elegantly concise. This is a much needed book." Zeinab A. Taha, The American University in Cairo, Egypt

"This is a welcome resource. Professor Sawaie offers accessible explanations of Arabic grammar clearly resultant of his years of classroom teaching...the Arabic examples are so well selected that they can be used in teaching classes of any skill level. The ample charts throughout the book, as well as its appendices, add a comprehensive quality to the book, by which a learner can expand their knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic. This book accomplishes something unique, by presenting the essential elements of Modern Standard Arabic both lucidly, and in its totality." Benjamin L Smith, Swarthmore College, USA

Reviews from Students

"I found this book to be a very helpful writing aid, both as a grammar reference for advanced students and as a textbook for learning Arabic grammar concepts for the first time. The book clearly explains the rules and common constructions of the Arabic language, in depth, with translated examples throughout each section. Whenever I am writing in Arabic, I make sure to have this book on my desk as a reference." Matthew Bond

"Mohammed's book is clearly laid out with examples that offer insight into how students might construct sentences that challenge the conventional rules. There are plenty of in-text examples, and the charts online are an excellent reference tool. The prose is clear, and the chapters go beyond fundamental grammar instruction to offer useful phrases for advanced composition writing. Since purchasing Fundamentals of Arabic Grammar, I have taken it with me in all my Arabic endeavors as it is more than a grammar reference, it is a guide to the language." Audrey Waldrop

"I used Fundamentals of Arabic Grammar by Mohammed Sawaie in my third year as a student of Arabic. In all honesty, I wish I had used it sooner! My understanding of Arabic grew substantially through the use of this grammar book. Repetition is key to learning any language, and the repetitive nature of the accompanying online resources helped me improve my reading and writing skills tremendously. Along with the online resources, book examples of the grammar points further promoted my understanding of Arabic. Even since graduating college, I use Fundamentals of Arabic Grammar as a go-to resource and a way to keep up with the language. The book is very user-friendly, easy to navigate, and concise. I recommend this book as both a quick go-to resource and an in-depth language learning tool. Five stars for this book and its accompanying resources." Reema Azar.