Novel Reading Excercise–Tilka al-Ra’iha

الاضافة غيرالحقيقية===False Idaafa


The Idaafa (الاضافة ) in Arabic is an important grammatical structure signaling a possessive relationship between two (2) nouns.  Here are some examples!

Ex. 1: جزيرة الكنز=== Island of Treasure (Treasure Island)

Ex. 2: شيخ الجبل=== The Sheikh of the Mountain

Ex. 3: اميرة مصر==== Princess of Egypt

Ex. 4: سيف مستبد=== Sword of A Tyrant (Note: Idaafa can be definite or indefinite!)

الاضافة غيرالحقيقية

However, in some cases an Idaafa can be created with an adjective (الصفة) following a noun to create a more idiomatic expression. This is called Idaafa Gyirr Haqaqiya (الاضافة غيرالحقيقية) or “False Idaafa”/ “Not a real Idaafa.” Check out these examples!

Ex. 1: ابيض القلب=== White of Heart (Good-Hearted)

Ex. 2: سهل الكسر=== Easy of Breaking (Fragile)

Ex. 3: كثير الكلام=== Much of Talking (Talk a lot)

Ex. 4: واسع الانتشار====wide of spreading (Widespread)

Lets try combining both Idaafa types…

انتصر سيف المستبد اراض واسعة الانتشارمتضمن بلد شيخ الجبل (The Sword of the Tyrant conquered Widespread Lands including the country of the Sheikh of the Mountain)

Try making your own Idaafas!


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Resources for Self-Instructional Learners of Less Commonly Taught Languages Copyright © by University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in African 671 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.