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al-Kitaab: Part Three

al-Kitaab fii Ta`allum al-`Arabiyya: Part Three 2nd ed. by Mahmoud al-Batal, Kristen Brustad, and Abbas al-Tonsi

Primary Use: Textbook for moving from intermediate level Arabic to advanced
Format:10 chapters, each with new vocabulary, various lessons with the included DVD set, exercises throughout the chapter, and reading passages
Meant For:High-intermediate/advanced to high-advanced/fluent


The al-Kitaab books have a particular philosophy of teaching grammar. It states in the preface to al-Kitaab: Part One that “students acquire language by constructing their own internal grammar rather than by internalizing a presentation of grammar to them” (al-Kitaab: Part One p xii). However, beginning in al-Kitaab: Part Two, and continued in al-Kitaab: Part Three, a slight departure from this philosophy is taken. Although certain grammatical concepts still remain embedded in the lessons, the lessons specific to grammar occur more frequently and in a more timely fashion. Also as in al-Kitaab: Part Two, the vocabulary lists include roots of the new words as well as various conjugations of new verbs and their masdars.

The grammar in al-Kitaab: Part Three doesn’t focus on any one particular topic or set of topics. Instead, the grammatical selections in this book focus on the finer points of Arabic grammar, building upon the grammar (theoretically) learned in the earlier books. As examples, this book spends time on the various conjugations of the weak verbs as well as on details of complex sentence structure not previously covered.

As in the previous volumes, the grammatical concepts presented generally move from the simple to the increasingly complex. However, the grammar lessons are not tied down to any particular story in this volume.

How to Use It

In order to use this book to the fullest extent, one must already know the following:

  1. The Arabic script
  2. Arabic numerals
  3. solid foundation in Arabic at the high-intermediate level
  4. preferably have gone through Alif Baa and al-Kitaab: Part One and Part Two
As with al-Kitaab: Part One and Part Two, a computer with DVD capabilities is also necessary in order to do all the exercises in the book. However, as with al-Kitaab: Part Two, this book focuses more on reading and less on listening in general.

The chapters in this book are meant to be gone through in order, as each chapter builds on the previous chapters, making it seem difficult to skip around. However, various grammatical topics can be referenced through the grammar index in the back of the book, and these can be skipped ahead to if so desired. As in al-Kitaab: Part Two there is only an Arabic grammar index and no corresponding English grammar index. The index is in alphabetical order and is not based on the root system. Some grammatical items in the index are located in al-Kitaab: Part One as well as al-Kitaab: Part Two. The book in which the item is located is indicated by either a I, II, or III, followed by the page number.

As in al-Kitaab: Part One and Part Two, grammatical terms in Arabic are not found in the Arabic-English dictionary located in the back, although they can be found in the grammar index.

The table of contents also references some of the grammatical lessons, but as this is written entirely in Arabic, one must be aware of the Arabic grammatical terms before browsing this section.

Additionally, various charts are found in the back of the book. There is a chart about number/noun agreement, many charts on verbs, and so forth. A list of these charts can be found in the table of contents. It should be noted that these charts are written almost entirely in Arabic. It is worth browsing through these charts before beginning the book, as it is easy to forget they are back there and ready to be used.

There is no key to the exercises found in this book.


al-Batal, Mahmoud, Kristen Brustad, and Abbas al-Tonsi. al-Kitaab fii Ta`allum al-`Arabiyya: Part Three. 2nd ed. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2007.