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  5. "أَفْتَح اَلْشُّبّاك."

"أَفْتَح اَلْشُّبّاك."

Translation:I open the window.

July 9, 2019



difficult-to-see diacritics aside, is this not extremely similar to the imperative form? thus an answer of "open the window" should be correct as well?


That would be إفتح الشباك, with a kasra under first letter.


this is a command verb so it is wrong,if one says ana iftah then thats correct translation


I also thought it was imperative


Is this the same or a different verb tense as "I am opening the window"?


It's the same tense, but a different aspect. Not every language has the luxury of being able to differentiate eg "I open" and "I am opening". These are called the perfective and imperfective aspects (not tenses or moods) respectively. I know that French doesn't (at least French verbs do not have formal aspects, but they can indicate them with tenses), Russian does (it actually uses a different form of the verb, sometimes very different, for the two aspects. I think that's the most difficult thing for foreigners to master), but not in the present tense, and it seems Arabic doesn't either.


Do you mean "has luxury" = more stringent and not flexible? Some Russian linguist says twelve tenses are the reason why he don't want to learn English.


No, I don't mean "more stringent and not flexible". I mean we're lucky to be able to express whether a present tense refers to continuous/habitual action - present simple, eg I open the window (eg every morning) - OR to immediately present/temporary action - I am opening the window (eg now) . I have greatly simplified the difference between the two aspects of the present. But the point is that the languages I know of, eg Arabic, French and Russian cannot do that simply by the form of the verb. They can of course convey the difference in meaning, but they have to use other means, such as adding an adverbial phrase of time.


Thank for the reply, KatieC :) it's interesting!


Well done, KatieC, giving a primer on aspect. Greek has aspect, too. Distinctions between mood, tense, and aspect are very difficult nuts to crack for language learners. Deep dive with immersion is pretty much the only way to start to get a feel for the distinctions in a given language with aspect that is second nature to native speakers.





English sentence is grammatically wrong in the correct answer


I don't think it's wrong so much as extremely weird. You could say "I am opening the window", which means "I am opening the window RIGHT NOW". If you say "I open the window", it would mean something like "I habitually open the window", or "I am the one who opens the window", or something like that.


I wouldn't call it weird, even less extremely weird. eg: What's the first thing you do in the morning? I open the window. What's wrong with that?


Why is the َ needed above the definite article here?



You say, "why is the? needed above the definite article here?".

I can't see your symbol from my browser! Is the symbol over the ل? If it is, the لْ simply means the ل is in sukun. Originally, it is spelled as "l" but here the "لْ" is not pronounced because of the ش letter. So, it is 2ash-shubbaak (and not 2al-shubbaak).

Actually, putting the diacritics make Arabic easier to read. But, I guess sometimes many people get confused.

Update: Oh I can see it now, it is over the 2alif, اَ! No, it is just how the Duolingo writing style is. It is not a must, I assume they write it because they want to make sure that the original sound of the definite article is "2al".

"2ash-shubbaak" -> "2aftaHu 2ash-shubbaak" or "2aftaHush-shubbaak".


Do I keep hearing "af-taH l-shshubbak" instead of "af-taH a-shshubbak" because the alif does not have that little thing on top, so it should not be silent ?



The word الشباك, even though we don't give any diacritic marks (whether there is a little thing on top of alif or not), is always pronounced as "2ash-shubbaak. So, it is:

-- (1) "2aftaHush-shubbaak(a)" or "2aftaHu 2ash-shubbaak(a)" if we follow Formal Standard,

-- (2) "2aftaH 2ashubbaak" if we say it in inFormal Standard

-- (3) "2aftaHish-shubbaak" if we use Duolingo's style.

The diacritic marks are optional, are a tool to help the beginners who cannot read Arabic perfectly. (If you have heard something else, perhaps, there is an audio glitch).


Thanks Away54. I posed this question when I started the very first lesson within this Home2 course. After having gone further in now, I am getting a hang of it. I think Duolingo pronounes "al-" as "el-", which sounds like "l-". That was why I was initially confused.


You're welcome, Fred105807! If you hear "el", it is a dialect tendency. The formal one for ال is always 2al.

By the way, I am happy to hear when you says you have made some progress in your learning. That is great :))


Away 54, thanks! As a learner, I guess I have to get used to listening both styles.


is it easier for other people to hear the difference between "a window" and "the window" here? i am trting to imagine how this would be audible. or would it be more of a clear-from-context thing?



(1) "is it easier for other people to hear between "a window" and "the window" here?"

It is "a window" = shubbaak شبّاك and is "the window" = 2ash-shubbaak الشّباك. So, there is the double "sh" sound at "the window". But, if we pronounce the words in the formal standard, actually it will be clearer, ie. "a window" = shubbaak(un) شباكٌ and the window = "2ash-shubbaak(u)" الشباكُ . There is "-un" in "a window" and "-u" in "the window". -- The audio that we hear is something done by some advanced conversationalists who neglect almost all the ending sounds (and Standard). So, indeed, it is hard a bit.

(2) "would it be more of a clear-from-context thing?"

Yes, it would be.

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