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  5. "خَلْف اَلْبَيْت سَيّارة."

"خَلْف اَلْبَيْت سَيّارة."

Translation:There is a car behind the house.

July 4, 2019



Can someone explain what wording or part of a word makes the "There is" in this sentence? I can see the part "a car behind the house" but am lost for the there is without the word "Hunak."


This may get a bit technical, but here goes:

"There is" is not written in Arab, but you might argue it should be there in English.

In English, we use "There is..." to introduce a new indefinite object into a conversation (i.e. "a car" that is new to the discussion versus "the car" which was already established at an earlier point in time). The word "There" is semantically empty in this construction, i.e. it does not indicate location as such, but only exists because English declarative sentences grammatically require at least one constituent to precede the verb.

In this particular case, you could also topicalize (i.e. 'move to the front') the location: "[Behind the house] is a car." The word "there" is no longer required, because the verb "is" is now preceded by another constituent. Notably, however, this does subtly change the meaning, because we are now emphasising the location of the car rather than the existence of the car.

I am no native speaker of Arabic, but from what I have seen so far, هناك functions exactly the same as "There is..." in English, and as the example above shows, topicalisation of the location is equally possible in Arabic (.خَلْف اَلْبَيْت سَيّارة). Therefore, it seems to me that this word order also emphasises the location خَلْف اَلْبَيْت over the car's existence; compare هناك سَيّارة خَلْف اَلْبَيْت . This would mean this sentence should be translated as "Behind the house is a car.", but it would be good if a native speaker could confirm.


Or even in an odd, archaic sounding form, one could say in english "Behind the house, a car"


Why not "a car behind the house "?


Same question. How would we write that?


i would guess سيارة خلف البيت but that is not a full sentence,just like in English.If you wanted to say the car behind the house is nice,then you would say السيارةُ خلفَ البيتِ جَميلةٌ . I too am learning Arabic,and i have a lot of similar questions like yours ( which got me thinking ),but in truth you can paraphrase a sentence to say what you mean,I dont know how efficient it is to quell yourself with the thought-and how do i say this?and to be too meticuluos,speaking in general.


Is it optional to use هناك?


You can't use هناك here , because there is already one preposition here خلف


Thank you! I didn't realize هناك was a preposition.


I notice a pattern here, after doing a lot of mistakes. Anytime, I see behind, next to, the background, in front of beginning the arabic sentence, the translation is there is or there are. Correct me if I am wrong.


Shouldn't the correct translation for this sentence be "Behind the house is a car."? There's a subtle difference in meaning with "There is a car behind the house." which I assume "هناك" would also express.


That's what I entered and it was correct.


Will it be wrong if I say "A car is behind the house"?


i hear an at the end of sayyara,which is accusative and it should be un,strictly speaking


Duolingo, I find, plays VERY loose with tanwiin. They seem almost obsessed with putting -an at the end of a lot of things that should have -un.

It's one of my biggest annoyances with Duolingo's Arabic course.


fi (ف) means in,so it wouldn't make much sense :D


midunesti nane nane nane


My answer is correct


the structure makes a lot more sense if you think of it as "Behind the house, a car"

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