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Senior Member
English USA
The dictionary says "jumailah" but I cannot explain to my native Arabic speaking students the concept of English "clause" for grammar learning purposes. 1) How can one best explain the concept of the English clause in Arabic and 2)are there any grammatical parallels between Arabic phrase pieces and English clauses? (My students have poor Standard Arabic as well, so if you have a suggestion, nothing to difficult, please).
  • Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    I'm not sure if it's a grammatical parallel, but maybe عِبَارَة works.

    According to the Lisaan:
    وسُمِّيت الألفاظ الدالَّة على المعاني عِبَاراتٍ لأنها تفسّر ما في الضمير الذي هو مستور
    عند البلغاء هي الألفاظ الصحيحة الدالَّة على المعاني المركَّبة تركيبًا فصيحًا بليغًا

    According to Al Ghanni
    مَجْمُوعَةٌ مِنَ الأَلْفَاظِ، جُزْءٌ مِنْ جُمْلَةٍ تُؤَدِّي مَعْنىً.

    According to Al Mu7eeT
    مجموعة من الألفاظ قد تؤلّف جزءاً من جملة أو جملةً أو أكثر

    Most importantly, I've often heard it in collequal meaning "a sentence or part of a sentence that means something". I suppose this would be a clause, if I'm not mistaken.


    Arabic (Egypt).
    Hi Fatima and Maha,

    I found عبارة in my المورد dictionary. But I remember -from a very long time ago, when I was still at school- that some teachers used to explain "clause" as جملة ناقصة (incomplete sentence) or جملة غير تامة.
    I also found شبه جملة in my French-Arabic dictionary.

    Fatima, I'm only giving these as possible alternatives in case your students don't get the difference between a عبارة and a جملة .

    Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    I wouldn't advise using the term شبه جملة.

    شبه جملة has a very specific meaning in Arabic grammar, and using it for "clause" would just cause confusion.


    Arabic (Egypt).
    You're right, Wadi. I didn't think about that.
    Have you ever heard the جملة ناقصة or غير تامة before? The thing is most of my English teachers never used Arabic terms to explain English grammar, so this one is a very remote memory of which I can't even remember the origin.
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