THE GENDER OF NOUNS الجنس
This lesson explains the different categories of gender used for Arabic nouns. According to the Arabic grammar the
gender is classified into the following four categories:
1-Real Gender: ( الجنس الحقيقى ).
The words related to the male sex are (مذكر) masculine, and those related to the female sex are (مونث) female :
Example: (رجل) ‘man’ is a real masculine and (أمراة) ‘woman’ is a real feminine, (ولد) Boy (بنت) Girl (أب) Father (أم) Mother.
Formal Gender (الجنس المجازى)
The nouns which do not have the ‘concept of pair’ are termed as feminine or masculine by form (الجنس المجازى) The identification of gender for such noun is that the words ending with ‘round-ta’ ( ة مربوطة ) are generally feminine, and those ending with some other letter are assumed as masculine gender.
Feminine gender by form. (مروحة ) Fan (شجرة ) Tree (سيارة ) Car (ساعة) Watch.
Masculine gender by form (كتاب) Book (بيت) House (مسجد) Mosque(قلم) Pen.
It may also be understood that feminine gender is often formed from the masculine by suffixing ( ة ) Like (مسلم) Muslim (مسلمة) Muslim (كافر) disbeliever (كافرة) disbeliever (صادق)Truthful (صادقة) Truthful (طالب ) Student (طالبة) Student.
Exceptional Cases (الجنس اللفظى)
- The nouns which do not fall under the above mentioned two categories are termed as exceptional cases.The following nouns are feminine by usage even though they have no ( ة ) (ta) ending nor have they ‘pair concept’. Like:(سماء ) Sky (نار) Fair (شمس) Sun (حرب) War (أرض) Earth.
- Proper names of countries and towns are feminine by signification Like (مصر) Egypt (باكستان) Pakistan (أمريكا) America.
- Many parts of the body, especially those that are in pair, are termed as feminine, (عين)Eye (يد) Hand.
- The nouns ending in ( ى ) Called (ألالف المقصورة) short Alif (اء) called (ألالف الممدودة) (lengthened Alif) are also feminine: (حسنى) good, beautiful (كبرى) Great (صحراء) Desert (بيضاء) White.
- All Arabic letters of alphabet are considered as feminine.
- Some broken plurals, (اليهود) the Jews (الرسل) the messengers’ (النصارى) ’ the Christians’ are treated as feminine.
- Some collective nouns (قوم )People (رهط) tribe(أهل ) are used as feminine.
Some nouns have ta (ة) ending but they are used as masculine Like (خليفة) caliph (علامة) learned’ (أسامة) male name And some parties body LIKE (رأس) Head (صدر) chest , are used as masculine .
Common Gender (أسم الجنس)
Some nouns are used as masculine as well as feminine. These are termed as (أسم الجنس) Like (سحاب) clouds (بقر)Cow (ذهب) Gold (نحل) Bees (شجر) Tree .