The hamza (or glottal stop) is we studied when we were kids, is not a real letter, but more like a modifier. This modifier is placed either on the line on its own, or over a vowel to adjust its quality and make it as a glottal stop (and sometimes it comes under the Alif when this sound comes in the beginning of the word).
Here, the Hamza is in the middle of the word. We have to look at the letter before it to decide how to write this Hamza. We see that the letter before it is actually a long vowe "á" and thus we cannot mimic the vowel (more on that below), and in this case we look at the vowel of the Hamza itself. It is kasrah (-i), and thus it is placed on a "chair" as we call it or "sinna" ئ.
To elaborate more, let's see another word. The name and word "Fu'ád" (male's name, and also means "heart"). The vowel for the consonant before the hamza has "u" in (Fu), and hence, this hamza must be placed on Waw, and the name is written as فؤاد.
One more example: The word for "water well" is (Bi'r). In dialects now they say "beer" (yep like the English beer) neglecting this hamza in the middle. We see here that the consonant before hamza has (i) vowel, and thus this hamza must be written on Sinna, like this: بئر
These are few examples for when Hamza is in the middle of the word (and there are few exceptions to it). There are other rules for when hamza comes at the end of the word or at its beginning but no need to complicate things here, for the time being. I think such orthography system was created to help people read without using the diacritics all the time and thus we can realize whats the vowel on the letter before hamza by the way hamza is drawn. Don't worry if you make mistakes with it; I'm an Arab and i'm facing Arabs who don't know such orthography rules almost daily
Well it's just the problem of a small font. Maybe if you enlarged the text it would have been better. Anyway, "sinna" سِنّة linguistically speaking means "sharp edge" or simply "edge" or a "pointy thing". In orthography, it is just what we call the initial stroke that you see here in the word above (that is in the middle letter), and hence we say (Hamza on sinna), meaning simply a hamza on a pointy stroke (also some people say Hamza on a chair, just different naming to the same thing).
I wish I can type this in a bigger font but I'm limited here to the size in the post above. So, I made this little image here on this link, feel free if you want to download it - but tell me when you finish with it so I can delete it off my dropbox please:
I've marked the Hamza on Sinna in red.
Thanks for explaining sinna, and for the dropbox word (it's beautiful!), and I've finished with the dropbox now, thanks. But it wasn't a question of size - my computer allows me to enlarge what's on the screen, so I could see the word quite clearly. And there was nothing underneath what I have now learnt to call a sinna. I mean there was no kasra under it. Oh. I've just looked at the source text at the top of this page, and I see there is a kasra. Did you not put it in on purpose? A little thing, about English: one would say "I wish I could..." not "I wish I can...". In English (and French), "I wish..." and "if only..." have to be followed by a past tense. I find it interesting that you wrote the present. In Arabic would "I wish" be followed by the present tense? Also, when, before I got your answer, I googled "Arabic sinna", I only got sites about baby names! eg https://quranicnames.com/sinna/
KatieC993112: Well, here we go, I had to make a new thread since the reply button disappeared. Anyway, about the kasrah thing, I've just added it in the picture for more elaboration; In everyday writing, we usually use markers to elaborate some aspects or to emphasize a certain spelling. We just know how to read the words as they are without the vowel markers (harakat or diacritics) - and some times we can read without the dots even.
As for the meaning in that website about names, honestly, I never saw such meaning before and I really doubt the information in this page. The "double headed axe" as mention in this webpage was not a common weapon in Arabia. Besides, the word (axe) in Arabic is فَأْس (fa's), so I really don't know what's the connection between (Sinna) and (double-headed axe). I've never encountered such meaning before. Sinna, as I said, linguistically means a point object or a sharp object, and in fact the word for (tooth) سِنْ (sin) is derived from the same root (just to add more ambiguity here, the word "sin" can mean "age" so the context is to decide which meaning is in use).
As for the conditional sentence, yeah maybe I was projecting my Arabic onto my English here. In fact, I can express (I wish I could) in Arabic in various ways, using specific verbs, using special articles for conditional, or using a combo of present and past tenses. It's just in English, as I see it now, the "conditional" mode is not quite clear as it is in Irish, where it has its own verbal conjugations.
Thanks for your reply. You say that the conditional mood is not quite clear. But it's not ambiguous, is it, when you say eg I wish I could? Why do you say it's not quite clear? Also, you say "...using specific verbs, using special articles for conditional". I find that very interesting. It would make Arabic completely different from any language I know. Are there really articles involved in the conditional in Arabic? Also, perhaps sinna is only used in Arabic linguistics? I've never heard it, and I can't find any reference to it.
Well, I say it's unclear, because it is like a composite in English. For example, in English, you would say I would think, but in Irish for example that whole composition is a mode on its own: cheapfainn.
Anyway, nevermind, it's just me casting my Arabic onto my English. As I said, there are many ways to express wishing in Arabic and one of them would be something like I wish I can.
The word (sinna) is not a linguistic term. It's just a word. A name for any pointy object. In calligraphy specifically people would use it to note the edge of the letter when writing. As we said before, we call ئـ Hamza on Sinna. It has nothing to do with the linguistic part of the language.
Trust me, I'm not a good teacher either :)
But I know where you come from - I'm having my own troubles with Turkish and Russian on Duolingo and wish I had my own teachers but all I can do is, well, try to get myself into the culture by reading memes or posts in these languages wherever I go and whenever I can (doing the same with Irish).
Check YouTube and look specifically for things aimed for children, they might be beneficial at this level before moving to something harder a bit.
haha I like to disagree. You are what people look for in a teacher. here on Duolingo you help out because it's your passion to help people understand your language, most teachers face a certain pressure because it's only their duty not their passion, which eliminates a bit joyful learning. YouTube can be probably helpful but it's again just something digital one is interacting with. but I will check those out thanks for the suggestion :) and thanks for all your help here.
I've checked it just now. I think your explanation is a bit deeper into Quranic studies. I have to say, in school we don't exactly study these terminologies. Anyway, I like to think about it as someone posted already, that MáTHá is used before a verb and (Má) before a noun - this way it would be simpler to understand I guess for new-comers to Arabic.
TJ_Q8: thanks so much for your review. You're very fast :)
Oh I see, I posted that as I felt a bit confused by their explanations. But, I guess you're also correct -- ie., their explanation is simpler.
I, actually, considered to delete that comment but I saw you had given me an upvote. So, I think it's okay if I let it be, right? :D