Primary Use: Mastering the basics of Arabic Grammar Format: 20 chapters each divided into four parts:
- Activities (exercises)
- Case Notes
- Summary of the Chapter
Pages: 149 Exercises: Yes Key: Back of the book Meant For: Very beginner to intermediate
This book is exactly the same as Easy Arabic Grammar by the same authors. Mastering Arabic Grammar appears to be the version printed in the U.K.
This book focuses on the basics of modern Arabic grammar. It starts from the very beginning with defining the word ‘grammar’ and tells the reader how to use the book. The introduction also has a section on Arabic script and the letters of the alphabet in final, medial, and isolated forms, including information on the diacritical marks and short vowels.
Unlike many other Arabic grammar books, this book makes no assumptions about the reader’s knowledge of grammatical terminology. It clearly describes what is meant by the various English grammatical terms utilized, such as ‘demonstratives’ and ‘superlatives,’ making the book far easier to learn from than many other grammar books on the market today.
The exercises throughout the book have a clear correspondence with the material covered in the chapters. Multiple techniques are used in the exercises such as matching, true or false, fill in the blanks, describing pictures, and so on. Vocabulary is steadily introduced throughout the book, and all vocabulary used in the exercises can be found in the book itself. However, there is no index or dictionary of words in the back of the book so new words must be learned as the book goes along.
Anyone wishing to learn the basics of Arabic grammar will find this book easy to use and learn from; however, anyone past the basics will want to look elsewhere.
The book is divided into the following Parts and Chapters/Units:
Part 1: Fundamentals of Arabic Grammar
Unit 1: The Arabic Root System
Unit 2: Gender: Masculine and Feminine
Unit 3: al- (the)
Unit 4: Pronouns (Singular) and Non-Verbal Sentences
Unit 5: Plurals and Plural Pronouns
Unit 6: Demonstratives
Unit 7: Adjectives and Descritpive Sentences
Unit 8: Describing Position
Unit 9: Forming Questions
Unit 10: Possession: Idafa and Attached Pronouns
Unit 11: Plurals: Broken Plurals
Unit 12: Comparative and Superlative
Unit 13: The Dual
Part 2: Arabic Verbs
Unit 14: Past Verbs
Unit 15: Present/Future Verbs
Unit 16: Irregular Verbs
Unit 17: Forms of the Verb
Unit 18: Making Verbs Negative
Unit 19: Nouns and Adjectives Formed from Verbs
Unit 20: Dual Verbs
Part 3: Answers to Activities
How to Use It
It is a good idea to be familiar with the Arabic script before using this book, as it will make studying from it a lot easier. However, since no prior knowledge is assumed, it would be possible – although potentially tricky – to start learning Arabic from this book from the very beginning.
This book can be used as a workbook for any student learning Arabic on his or her own without an instructor, moving from chapter to chapter as one would in a textbook. Thanks to the clear layout of the chapters, it can also be used as a reference for those who would like to brush up on a particular grammatical point, such as the dual. No index of topics such as ‘sun and moon letters’ however make it a better workbook than reference guide.
Gaafar, Mahmoud and Jane Wightwick. Mastering Arabic Grammar. Hampshire, U.K.: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.