Arabic Comparative [Af’al Tafdil] and Its Application


  • Mansoureh Zarkoub


Of the first steps in the academic learning of a language is gaining knowledge of its grammar. Likewise, those involved in learning Arabic language in universities and colleges have to first become skilled in its morphology and syntax. Evidently, as long as grammar is inculcated in learners as a list of points to be memorized, it soon gets forgotten and boring. A solution may be making a contrastive analysis of native and second (foreign) languages. It may result in learners’ better understanding and learning of both languages. Comparative sentences constitute one of the grammatical categories of Persian and Arabic languages. Making a contrastive analysis of this type of sentences in Persian and Arabic may reveal a number of subtle points rarely referred to in grammar books that fail to help learners in translating from Persian to Arabic and vice versa. For example, Arabic comparatives are commonly defined as making comparison between two persons or objects whereas this definition cannot be generalized to all sentences. There are some instances of their application that involves no comparison but is used to determine the limits of something. Furthermore, comparison is sometimes made in the surface structure of sentences not their deep structure and also other points that are elaborated on in the article. The present paper aims to present these points not only to prepare the ground for their implementation in two languages but also to prove the fact that in many cases comparatives are manifested in the surface structure of sentences; however, their comparative features almost fades away in the deep structure of sentences.



How to Cite

Zarkoub, M. (2008). Arabic Comparative [Af’al Tafdil] and Its Application. Translation Studies Quarterly, 6(23). Retrieved from



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