Streak Hall of Fame

Oulida

Oulida Ling

47974 XP 531.
0+1220
12811#21764

Learning Arabic from English

Level 16 · 9890 XP

Crowns: 130/276

Skills: 27

Lessons: 133

Lexemes: 934

Strength: 54%

Created: 2016-04-23
Last Streak: 1 · lost 215 days ago
Last Goal: 2021-05-02
Daily Goal: 10 XP
Timezone: UTC+2

Last update: 2021-11-10 02:26:00 GMT+3


181842591

Arabic Skills by StrengthCrownsNameOriginal Order

  • 05 Alphabet 111 @ 75% 25 •••

    0 words

    Reading back to front

    Did you know that Arabic is written right to left?

    English letters Arabic letters
    d د
    aa ا
    daa دا

    (See? Right to left! How cool is that?)

    This means that when you pick up a book or magazine written in Arabic, you should start reading from the back cover — which, of course, is the front!

    Aah!!

    When Arabic is written using English letters, sometimes there’ll be two vowels in a row.

    English letters Arabic letters
    daa دا
    duu دو
    dii دي

    This doesn’t mean that there are two vowels in Arabic, but rather that there is one loooong vowel. Yes, Arabic has both short and long vowels! You’ll be learning more about this soon.

    Oh, duh

    When you see a tiny forward slash above a letter, it means this letter has a short ah sound right after it. We’ll talk more about this later.

    English letters Arabic letters
    d د
    da دَ

    Wow, yeah!

    Sometimes و = uu (long vowel) and other times و = w.

    English letters Arabic letters
    zuu زو

    BUT

    English letters Arabic letters
    zaw زَو
    wa وَ

    Same with the letter ي: sometimes ي = ii (long vowel) and sometimes ي = y.

    English letters Arabic letters
    zii زي

    BUT

    English letters Arabic letters
    zay زَي
    ya يَ

    The key is other vowels! If there is a vowel right before or right after و or ي, then they become w and y. Otherwise, they’re just the long vowels uu and ii.

  • 05 Alphabet 221 @ 75% 25 •••
    بوب · جودي · جورْج · روزا · رَواد · كَري · وَ
    7 words

    Mighty Morphing Power Letters

    In English, letters can change shape, like if they’re uppercase or lowercase. Letters in Arabic, instead, change shape, based on where they are in comparison to other letters because they can connect to neighboring letters. Look at the shapes of ب b:

    Position Arabic letters English letters
    Independent ب b
    Beginning of word بَر bar
    Middle of word جَبَر jabar
    End of word رَجَب rajab

    Letters can have up to four shapes, though some have fewer than that.

    All letters have the independent form and the End of word form (which means connecting to the previous letter).

    However, not all letters connect to the following letter → some letters don't have the beginning and middle of the word forms.

    Note that the letter combinations you will see in the course to help you learn to read and write in Arabic do not necessarily have a meaning.

    ذ = dh

    The new letter ذ (dhaal) makes the same sound as the letter combination th in the following English words: the, this, brother, bathing. In our transliteration system, ذ will be represented as dh.

    Note that this is not the same sound as th in the following set of English words: thick, thunder, broth, bath. This th sound corresponds to a different letter in Arabic that you will learn soon.

  • 05 Alphabet 331 @ 75% 25 •••
    باكو · بيرو · جوبا · داكار · ريجا · كوبا · كوريا
    7 words

    In the beginning...

    In the last skill, you learned to recognize some letters (like ب and ج) by themselves and at the beginning of a word.

    English letters Arabic letters
    Bob بوب
    George جورج

    Here’s how ب looks in other positions:

    Position English letters Arabic letters
    Middle kabar كَبَر
    End kab كَب

    And here’s how ج looks:

    Position English letters Arabic letters
    Middle kajad كَجَد
    End kaj كَج

    Exciting!

    Letters vs. words

    Arabic has 28 letters and several smaller markings (like short vowels) and you’ll be learning all of them in this course! So you need lots of practice with letters at first.

    That’s why you’ll go through several lessons on the alphabet and then you’ll get to one with new vocabulary. But don’t worry, there will be more and more vocab as you progress in the course!

  • 05 Alphabet 441 @ 75% 25 •••
    باب · بَيت · جاكيت · جَديد · كَبير · كَراج · مُمتاز
    7 words

    The Beautiful Camel

    Did you know that vowels in Arabic can be short or long, and that using the wrong one might change the meaning of the word?

    Vowel length Arabic letters English letters Meaning
    Short جَمَل jamal camel
    Long جَمال jamaal beauty

    At first, it’ll probably be tricky for you to hear the difference between short and long vowels. It’ll come with practice!

    I Have House

    Notice that there is no word in Arabic that means a or an.

    Word Meaning
    بَيت house / a house
    جاكيت jacket / a jacket

    This isn’t the case for the word the, though...We’ll talk about the later.

    A door big

    In English, when you want to describe a noun with an adjective (like “a new jacket” or “a big door”), you put the adjective (new, big) before the noun (jacket, door).

    Have you noticed how it’s the opposite in Arabic?

    Phrase Translation
    جاكيت جديد a new jacket (literally: “a jacket new”)
    باب كَبير a big door (literally: “a door big”)
  • 05 Descriptions 151 @ 75% 25 •••
    بارِد · جار · دَجاج · زَوج · سَمَك · عادي · كَريم
    7 words

    Hold it!

    In Arabic, if you hold the sound of a consonant extra long, it might change the meaning of a word. We use a symbol called shadda (it looks like a small w) over a consonant to signal that it’s extra long. In English letters, we’ll just write two of the same consonant.

    Word With English letters Meaning Word with shadda With English letters Meaning
    دَرَس daras he studied دَرَّس darras he taught
    حَمام Hamaam pigeons حَمّام Hammaam bathroom

    Note the shadda on the Arabic words on the right side, and the double rr and double mm in darras and Hammaam. When a letter has shadda on it, just hold it extra long!

    We saw chicken at the farm!

    The word دَجاج (dajaaj) is a collective plural, meaning that it is a singular noun that refers to an entire group or category.

    In the context of food, it is best translated as “chicken” because English “chicken” also refers to an entire category of meat. However, in the context of a chicken coop, دَجاج is best translated as “chickens” because it refers to the entire group of chickens rather than a single chicken.

    Just remember: دَجاج is NOT a single chicken.

    What is number 3 doing here?

    As we write Arabic words with English letters, the letter ع has no equivalent. So to make it easier for you, we will use the number 3 that looks just like an inverted ع to remind you when to use it. It is informal, but it helps.

  • 05 Descriptions 261 @ 75% 25 •••
    تامِر · جَيِّد · دَوود · دُكتور · دُوو · ذَكِيّ · زَيد · سام · سَريع · سَعيد · عَرَبِيّ · عُمَر · مُتَرجِم · مُمتِع
    14 words

    Duo amazing!

    That’s what you’re literally saying in Arabic when you want to say “Duo is amazing!”

    That is because most of the time, the words am, is and are simply aren’t expressed in Arabic.

    Phrase Translation
    جورج سَعيد George is happy (literally: “George happy”)
    جودي مِن جوبا Judy is from Juba (literally: “Judy from Juba”)

    This fun, right?

    La la la la la

    You’re about to be introduced to the letter ل (l in English) and learn its different shapes. One thing to remember is that when ل is followed by ا within the same word, the result is unexpected!

    ل + ا = لا

  • 05 Countries 171 @ 50% 50 •••
    أَمريكا · أَنا · تونِس · سوريا · عُمان · لُبنان · مِن
    7 words

    Uh-oh

    You already know that the letter ا makes a long aaaaah sound. But it can also do other things!

    For example, it can “carry” the tiny letter ء . This letter (called “hamza”) is pronounced like the sound you make between “uh” and “oh” when you say, “uh-oh!”

    Words that sound like they start with a vowel in Arabic usually start with hamza first, then the vowel.

    Notice that ء can appear in different spots, depending on the vowel it’s written with.

    Above the ا

    English letters Arabic letters
    2a أَ
    2u أُ

    Below the ا

    English letters Arabic letters
    2i إِ

    What’s the Deal With the 2?

    In English, there is no letter that corresponds to ء . Since ء looks like a reversed 2, we write it in English letters using the number 2. Check out these examples from the course:

    English letters Arabic letters
    2a أَ
    2u أُ
    2i إِ
    2uu أو
    2ii إي

    We owe this innovation to the texting culture. Because the texting technology was originally based on the English alphabet, Arabic speakers got used to texting in Arabic using English letters. Since there’s no good English letter equivalent of ء, they started using 2.

  • 05 Omar Is...81 @ 50% 50 •••
    أَمريكِيّ · تونِسِيّ · جَميل · سورِيّ · سيث · شادي · عُمانِيّ · عِنْد · عِنْد جودي · عِنْد جورْج · عِنْد روزا · عِنْد شادي · عِنْد عُمَر · لُبنانِيّ
    14 words

    Th

    Read these words out loud:

    th version one th version two
    three the
    moth mother
    tooth smooth

    Do you notice that the sound of th is different for the words on the left side than it is for the words on the right side?

    In Arabic, those two th sounds are actually different letters!

    In the word سيث (siith) “Seth”, "th" is like the “th” in “three.” We will use th for the letter ث when transliterating in English letters.

    In the word ذَكِيّ (dhakiyy) “smart”, "th" is like the “th” in “the.” We will use dh for the letter ذ when transliterating in English letters.

    Zero vowels

    There is a marking in Arabic that tells you when there is no vowel. It looks like a tiny zero:

    كَبُر = kabur كَبْر = kabr

    See the small zero there in kabr? It’s telling you this word is pronounced kabr. Here are some other examples:

    مَسَك = masak مَسْك = mask

    جَبَر = jabar جَبْر = jabr

    This is at you! (aka you have got this)

    In English, when you want to talk about things you have or possess, you just say I have a pen. In Arabic, you say this a little differently.

    Arabic version Literal translation Meaning
    .عِنْد جودي بَيْت at Judy a house Judy has a house.
    .عِنْد عُمَر كَراج at Omar a garage Omar has a garage.

    Be aware that "عِنْدَ" is not a verb.

    Lebanon → Lebanese

    To make the nationality adjectives, it is totally easy. For a singular masculine person, we just add the letter ي to the end of the country's name. So لُبنان = Lebanon becomes لُبناني = Lebanese, and عُمان = Oman becomes عُماني = Omani. We will talk about the forms with other subjects later.

  • 05 Countries 282 @ 50% 50 •••
    إِسْكُتْلَنْدا · إِسْكُتْلَنْدِيّ · إِنْجِليزِيّ · إِنْجِلْتِرا · كَنَدا · كَنَدِيّ · هولَنْدا
    7 words

    You’ve already learned that when you see أ / إ at the beginning of a word, it’s just pronounced ء. The ا stays silent.

    But what about when it’s in the middle or at the end of a word? You might see ء either on the line or on top of other letters. Don’t worry about learning the rules for which happens when — just know that these forms exist and learn how they sound.

  • 05 Phrases91 @ 50% 50 •••
    أَلْمانْيا · أَنْتَ · أَنْتِ · أَهْلاً · أَيْن · أُسْتُرالْيا · تَماماً · شُكْراً · عَفْواً · فَريد · فَرَنْسا · مَها · مِن أَيْن · يا
    14 words

    -an

    You already know that a tiny slash above a letter makes the sound a. But what if you see two tiny slashes at the end of a word? Well, that symbol makes a different sound: an. Usually, -an is written above ا, making it look like this: اً. (The ا is silent!)

    Arabic word With English letters Meaning
    شُكْراً shukran thank you
    صَباحاً SabaaHan in the morning
    مَساءً masaa2an in the evening

    Some people prefer to write -an first and then to add the silent alif, like this: شُكْرًا (instead of شُكْراً). Either way, the word is pronounced the same way: shukran!

    ع = 3

    Today, you’ll hear a sound that we don’t have in English: ع !

    Pronouncing ع can be a bit tricky at first. Some people compare its sound to the sound you make when you yawn, some say it’s the sound you make when you hurt yourself and it hurts real bad — some even say it sounds like a duck.

    You can try this: get close to a mirror, open your mouth wide and fog up the mirror with your breath. You should feel how tight your throat gets when you do this. Now, while doing this, say the vowel a as in cat. That’s about the right sound.

    Because this letter, when it’s not connected to another letter, looks like a reversed 3, we’ll write it as a 3 in English letters. For example, we write the word عَرَبِيّ as 3arabiyy.

    Yaa dude!

    In Arabic, you use the word يا (yaa) before addressing someone. You can think of it as an attention getter, kind of like “hey!” but not as informal.

    أَهْلاً يا عُمَر!

    Hello, Omar.

    شُكْراً يا كَري!

    Thank you, Carrie.

    He is to she what 2anta is to 2anti

    In English, when you’re talking about someone, you have to specify their gender with either “he” or “she.” In Arabic, you also specify gender when talking to someone directly.

    Feminine Masculine
    2anti أَنْتِ = you (female) 2anta أَنْتَ = you (male)
    hiyya هِيَّ = she huwwa هُوَّ = he
  • 05 Descriptions 392 @ 75% 25 •••
    أَمْريكِيّة · أُسْتاذ · امْرَأة · اِمْرَأة · بَشير · بِنْت · تونِسِيّة · جَيِّدة · دُكْتورة · ذَكِيّة · رانْيا · رَجُل · سامْية · سورِيّة · سَريعة · عَرَبِيّة · عَلي · مايْك · مُتَرْجِمة · مُمْتازة · وَلَد
    21 words

    In Arabic, all nouns and adjectives are either masculine or feminine, even when they don’t refer to people. Feminine nouns and adjectives usually end with the letter ة. This letter sounds like a short a and it can only be found at the end of words.

    If an adjective describes a noun, it has to agree with the noun: this means that if the noun is masculine, the adjective is masculine, but if the noun is feminine, then the adjective is feminine.

    Masculine Feminine
    مُتَرْجِم ذَكِيّ = a smart translator (male) = mutarjim dhakiyy مُتَرْجِمة ذَكِيّة = a smart translator (female) = mutarjima dhakiyya
    أُسْتاذ أَمْريكِيّ = an American professor (male) = 2ustaadh 2amriikiyy أُسْتاذة أَمْريكِيّة = an American professor (female) = 2ustaadha 2amriikiyya
  • 05 You and Me101 @ 75% 25 •••
    أَرْوى · أَمْسْتِرْدام · باريس · جَديدة · جَوْعان · جَوْعانة · جِدّاً · غَريب · غَريبة · غَسّان · فَرَنْسِيّ · فَرَنْسِيّة · لَمى · مُعَلِّم · مُعَلِّمة · مُهَنْدِس · مُهَنْدِسة · هولَنْدِيّ · هَل · هُوَّ · هِيَّ
    21 words

    ghhhhhh

    Have you ever gargled? If so, you probably already know how to make the sound of the letter غ. Put some water in your mouth, throw your head back and gargle away! That’s your Arabic homework.

    In English, we’ll write غ as gh.

    ا = ى

    At the end of a word, ا may appear in a different shape: ى. The two alifs (ا and ى) are not interchangeable, so you’ll need to memorize which is used where.

    on, on top of = (3alaa) عَلى

    Standard Arabic = (al-3arabiyya l-fuSHaa) اَلْعَرَبِيّة الْفُصْحى

    Great Britain = (bariiTaanyaa l-kubraa) بَريطانْيا الْكُبْرى

    Yes or no?

    Have you noticed that questions that start with a question word in English (what, who, why, how, when, etc.) cannot be answered by yes or no, while questions that start with a verb (are you, did we, can she, will they, has he, etc.) require an answer with yes or no?

    Why did the duck cross the road?

    -Yes ❌

    -No ❌

    -To prove he wasn’t a chicken! ✅

    Did Adam have a belly-button?

    -Yes ✅

    -No ✅

    -At 3PM. ❌

    -Because she was smart. ❌

    -Through telepathic mind control. ❌

    Well, in Arabic, yes/no questions begin with the word هَل (hal). هَل doesn’t have a translation in English — it just means, “hey, I’m a yes/no question!” هَل you ready for this?

  • 05 University111 @ 75% 25 •••
    إِسْلامِيّة · اَلْأَزْهَر · بَرْلين · بِناية · جامِعة · سَهْل · سَهْلة · سَيّارة · غُرْفة · كَبيرة · لُغة · مَدينة · مَشْهورة · مَلِكة · مُزْدَحِمة · مُهِمّ · مُهِمّة · نْيويورْك · هارْفارْد · واسِعة
    20 words

    Ha!

    Arabic has so many cool sounds! Like the ح, for example. This is the sound it makes when you get close to a window, open your mouth wide and fog up the window. Try it at home!

    Don’t get this new sound mixed up with the other h (ﻫ / ه), the one that sounds like the first letter in the word ‘house’ in English. See if you can hear the difference between the two in today’s exercises. And don’t get discouraged if it’s tricky at first! You’ll get there!

    The university is a girl??

    Remember that when an adjective describes a noun, it has to match the gender of the noun — a masculine adjective with a masculine noun, and a feminine adjective with a feminine noun. This is true for all nouns, even those that don’t refer to people!

    Masculine Feminine
    بَلَد عَرَبِيّ = an Arab country مَدينة عَرَبِيّة = an Arab city
    بَيْت جَديد = a new house جامِعة جَديدة = a new university
  • 05 Are You...?121 @ 100% 0 •••
    أُرْدُنِيّ · أُرْدُنِيّة · اَلْأُسْتاذ · اَلْباب · اَلْبَيْت · اَلْجار · اَلْجامِعة · اَلْكَراج · اَلْمَدينة · اَلْمُتَرْجِم · اَلْمُحامي · اَلْمُحامْية · اَلْمُعَلِّم · اَلْمُعَلِّمة · اَلْمُهَنْدِسة · بَيْروت · ريم · طَويل · في · مَغْرِبِيّ · مَغْرِبِيّة · مُحامي
    22 words

    My uncle is dear

    Another cool, new Arabic sound is خ. To make this sound, you need to gargle with water but without the singing. Try to whisper as you gargle and you should be making the right sound.

    We write خ as kh with English letters.

    This is not the same as غ (gh), which is the sound you make when you gargle normally, without whispering.

    expensive, dear = (ghaalii) غالي

    my mother’s brother = (khaalii) خالي

    The

    To say the house instead of a house in Arabic, just put the two letters اَلْ (al-) in front of the word بَيْت.

    a thing the thing
    بَيْت = a house اَلْبَيْت = the house
    باب = a door اَلْباب = the door
    مَلِكة = a queen اَلْمَلِكة = the queen

    You can do this with any noun in Arabic!

  • 05 Family 1123 @ 100% 0 •••
    أَب · أَبي · أَخ · أَخي · أُخْت · أُخْتي · أُسْتاذي · أُمّ · أُمّي · ابْن · اِبْن · اِبْني · بَيْتي · بِنْت · بِنْتي · تَعْبان · تَعْبانة · جاري · زَوْجي · كَلْب · كَلْبي · مُحاسِب · مُحاسِبة · مُعَلِّمي
    24 words

    Mr. T

    Ready for a cool new sound? Let’s call it Mr. T. This is a bigger, stronger version of regular t. It’s the sound of the letter ط in Arabic and we write it as capital T in English letters.

    How does Mr. T sound different from regular t?

    t + a = ta, close to standard American English “tap”

    T + a = Ta, close to standard American English “taco”

    Listen to the vowels — a vowel that comes after Mr. T sounds farther in the back of the mouth, while one that comes after t sounds closer to the front of the mouth. Some words may sound similar, but if one of them contains regular t and the other Mr. T, they are different words!

    to repent = (taab) تاب

    to be good, pleasant = (Taab) طاب

    Gender is complicated

    You’ve seen ة at the end of all feminine nouns so far. However, there are a few nouns that look a little different! These include:

    mother = (2umm) أُمّ

    sister = (2ukht) أُخْت

    daughter / girl = (bint) بِنْت

    Oh my!

    If you want to say something like This is my house in Arabic, you need to add an extra little ending onto the thing that is mine.

    something my something
    house = (bayt) بَيْت my house = (baytii) بَيْتي
    mother = (2umm) أُمّ my mother = (2ummii) أُمّي

    You just add ي at the end of the noun. Now it’s yours! Be careful, though — this only works for words that don’t end in ة.

  • 05 What's Your Name?131 @ 100% 0 •••
    أُسْتاذة · ابْنَك · ابْنِك · اسْمَك · اسْمِك · اِبْنَك · اِبْنِك · اِسْم · اِسْمي · اِسْمَك · اِسْمِك · بَيْتَك · بَيْتِك · بِنْتَك · بِنْتِك · جارَك · جارِك · جاكيتَك · زَوْجِك · كَراجَك · كَراجِك · كَلْبَك · كَلْبِك · ما
    24 words

    q, not qu

    Another distinct Arabic sound is ق. It’s kind of like the sound k in English, except much deeper in the throat. Practice it and you’ll totally get it!

    We write ق as q with English letters.

    Iraq = (al-3iraaq) اَلْعِراق

    -ak and -ik

    Remember how, in order to say my house you just add ي at the end of house? Well, to say your house or your son you add ـَك (-ak) when talking to a man and ـِك (-ik) when talking to a woman.

    son = (ibn) اِبْن

    your son (to a man) = (ibnak) اِبْنَك

    your son (to a woman) = (ibnik) اِبْنِك

  • 05 Family 2141 @ 100% 0 •••
    إِبْراهيم · جارة · جَدّ · جَدّة · جَدّي · جَدَّتي · جَدَّتَك · زَوْجة · زَوْجَتي · زَوْجَتَك · زَوْجَتِك · قِطَّتَك · مَحْمود · مَدينَتِك · مُعَلِّمَتَك
    15 words

    Mr. T’s little brothers

    You already know the difference between regular t and Mr. T — the vowels around Mr. T sound tougher, more serious and grave than they do around regular t. There are actually three more pairs like ط / ت in Arabic.

    Another pair is ذ (dh) and ظ (DH) These two letters are similar, but the vowels around DH are further back in the mouth.

    warner, herald = (nadhiir) نَذير

    equal = (naDHiir) نَظير

    ت <- ة

    If you want to say that a city is my city or your city, something funky happens. Remember, مَدينة (city) ends in ة. You make that ة into ـَت (-at) (!!), and then you add the “my” or “your” endings you already know.

    Word With English letters Meaning
    مَدينة madiina a city
    مَدينَتي madiinatii my city
    مَدينَتَك madiinatak your city (to a male)
    مَدينَتِك madiinatik your city (to a female)

    This doesn’t apply just to “city” but to all nouns that end in ة.

    Word With English letters Meaning
    جارة jaara a (female) neighbor
    جارَتي jaaratii my (female) neighbor
    جارَتَك jaaratak your (female) neighbor (to a male)
    جارَتِك jaaratik your (female) neighbor (to a female)

    What’s whose?

    As you know, each Arabic noun is either masculine or feminine, and adjectives have to match that gender.

    Masculine noun Feminine noun
    The house is pretty = (al-bayt jamiil) اَلْبَيْت جَميل The city is pretty = (al-madiina jamiila) اَلْمَدينة جَميلة

    This gender never changes! Since بَيْت is masculine, it remains masculine, even if the person who owns it is a woman. The same is true for feminine nouns.

    Person being spoken to Masculine noun Feminine noun
    Male Your house is pretty (to a male) = (baytak jamiil) بَيْتَك جَميل Your city is pretty (to a male) = (madiinatak jamiila) مَدينَتَك جَميلة
    Female Your house is pretty (to a female) = (baytik jamiil) بَيْتِك جَميل Your city is pretty (to a female) = (madiinatik jamiila) مَدينَتِك جَميلة

    A house will always be جَميل and a city will always be جَميلة, regardless of whose it is!

  • 05 Clothes 1142 @ 100% 0 •••
    أَبْيَض · أَزْرَق · بَلوزة · بَيْضاء · بُنِّيّ · بُنِّيّة · تي شيرْت · تَنّورة · زَرْقاء · عِنْد سيث · عِنْدي · عِنْدَك · عِنْدِك · قُبَّعة · لَيْسَ عِنْد جودي · لَيْسَ عِنْد سيث · لَيْسَ عِنْدي · لَيْسَ عِنْدَك · لَيْسَ عِنْدِك · مِعْطَفِك · وِشاح · وِشاحَك
    22 words

    ض / د

    The new letter ض (Daad) is so important to the Arabic language that Arabs sometimes refer to themselves as أهل الضاد “people of the Daad.” We write it capital D with English letters.

    ض is the last of Mr. T’s little brothers. It makes the same sound as د except the vowels around ض are more serious and grave. Here again, it will take practice to distinguish the two, but it’s important that you try!

    Arabic version English version Meaning
    دَلّ dall to show, guide
    ضَلّ Dall to stray

    Mr. T’s family

    You’ve now met all of Mr. T’s relatives. Some resources refer to them as “emphatics.” Here they all are with their non-emphatic equivalents.

    Mr. T and relatives, Arabic version Mr. T and relatives, English version Regular letters, Arabic version Regular letters, English version
    ط T ت t
    ظ DH ذ dh
    ص S س s
    ض D د d

    Remember the letters in the left columns sound like those in the right columns except further back in the mouth.

    Have at you!

    You probably remember that in order to say “Judy has” in Arabic, you use the word عِنْد “at/to” followed by “Judy.”

    Arabic version Literal translation Meaning
    .عِنْد جودي بَيْت at Judy a house Judy has a house.

    What about “I have” and “you have”? Well, you also use عِنْد. Instead of someone’s name, you add a short ending to عِنْد — the same endings as when you say “my house” or “your house.”

    Arabic version Literal translation Meaning
    بَيْتي house-my my house
    .عِنْدي بَيْت at-me a house I have a house.
    -- -- --
    بَيْتَك house-your your house (to a man)
    .عِنْدَك بَيْت at-you (male) a house You have a house. (to a man)
    -- -- --
    بَيْتِك house-your your house (to a woman)
    .عِنْدِك بَيْت at-you (female) a house You have a house. (to a woman)

    I got nothin’

    To say “do not have / does not have” with the word you know for possession (عِنْد), all you need to do is add the word لَيْسَ (laysa) in front of it!

    “have / has” sentences Translation “do not have / does not have” sentences Translation
    .عِنْد جودي بَيْت Judy has a house. .لَيْسَ عِنْد جودي بَيْت Judy does not have a house.
    .عِنْدي كَلْب I have a dog. .لَيْسَ عِنْدي كَلْب I do not have a dog.
    .عِنْدِك وِشاح You have a scarf. (to a woman) .لَيْسَ عِنْدِك وِشاح You do not have a scarf. (to a woman)

    The blue (wo)man (adjective) group

    So far, every time you’ve seen an adjective describe a feminine noun, this adjective has ended with the letter ة.

    مَدينة سورِيّة = a Syrian city اِمْرَأة ذَكِيّة = a smart woman

    But some adjectives (especially adjectives that describe color) take a different form in the feminine.

    Masculine examples Translation Feminine examples Translation
    بَيْت أَزْرَق a blue house مَدينة زَرْقاء a blue city
    .اَلْبَيْت أَزْرَق The house is blue. .اَلْمَدينة زَرْقاء The city is blue.

    It’s easiest to learn those special feminine adjectives together with the masculine: practice saying “2azraq / zarqaa2” أَزْرَق / زَرْقاء and repeat it until you’re blue in the face!

  • 32 At Home 1143 @ 100% 0 •••
    إيجاري · إيجارَك · إيجارِك · اَلْإيجار · اَلْحَمْدُ لِله · جَميلة · حَديقة · حَمّام · صالون · طاوِلة · غالي · غالْية · قَديم · قَديمة · مَطْبَخ · مُحَمَّد · هٰذا · هٰذا الْحائِط · هٰذا الْكَلْب · هٰذِهِ · هٰذِهِ الْبِناية · هٰذِهِ الْغُرْفة · واسِع
    23 words

    ص / س

    The new letter ص (written capital S with English letters) is another of Mr. T’s little brothers. It contrasts with س in the same way ط contrasts with ت : mostly with vowel sounds that are further in the back of the mouth.

    Sam = (saam) سام

    to fast = (Saam) صام

    Sword or dagger?

    One more alif! While regular alif looks more like a sword, dagger alif is a tiny vertical line that sits above a letter, more like a dagger. It only appears in a few really old words in Arabic and it sounds exactly like ا.

    this (masculine) = (haadhaa) هٰذا

    but, however = (laakinn) لٰكِنّ

    God = (allaah) اَلله

    Sneaky Al

    You know اَلْ means “the.” However, you may have noticed it’s used differently in Arabic than “the” is in English. For example, look at these sentences:

    This is a house = (haadhaa bayt) هٰذا بَيْت

    This is a city = (haadhihi madiina) هٰذِهِ مَدينة

    BUT

    this house = (haadha l-bayt) هٰذا ٱلْبَيْت

    this city = (haadhihi l-madiina) هٰذِهِ ٱلْمَدينة

    The ONLY difference between “this house” and “This is a house” is اَلْ ! Sneaky, sneaky Al.

  • 50 In My Bag151 100 •••
    سي دي · شَنْطة · عِلْكة · قَلَم رَصاص · كِتاب · لاب توب · لَيْسَ هُناك · مَحْفَظة · هُناك
    9 words

    There, there

    The word هُناك (hunaak) means both “there” and “there is/there are.” So how will you know the difference? It’s easy: word order! When هُناك comes first in a sentence, it means “there is/there are.”

    هُناك = there is/are Translation هُناك = there Translation
    .هُناك بَيْت There is a house. .اَلْبَيْت هُناك The house is there.
    .هُناك وِشاح أَبْيَض There is a white scarf. .اَلْوِشاح هُناك The scarf is there.

    There is no spoon

    To say “there is no” or “there are no,” simply add the negator لَيْسَ in front of هُناك.

    Sentences with “there is/are” Translation Sentences with “there is no” Translation
    .هُناك بَيْت There is a house. .لَيْسَ هُناك بَيْت There is no house.
    .هُناك وِشاح أَبْيَض There is a white scarf. .لَيْسَ هُناك وِشاح أَبْيَض There is no white scarf.
  • 50 Office152 100 •••
    حاسوب اَلْأُسْتاذة · رَقَم هاتِف · رَقَم هاتِف اَلْمُهَنْدِس · صَحيفة اَلْأُسْتاذ · صَحيفة اَلْمُهَنْدِس · غُرْفة اَلْأُسْتاذ · غُرْفة اَلْأُسْتاذة · غُرْفة اَلْقِطّة · غُرْفة اَلْمُهَنْدِس · قَلَم اَلْأُسْتاذة · قِطّة اَلْمُهَنْدِس · كُرْسي · مَكْتَب اَلْأُسْتاذ · مَكْتَب اَلْأُسْتاذة
    14 words

    House of Bob

    In English, if Bob has a house, you call it “Bob’s house.”

    Possessor + ’s + what they possess

    In Arabic, a very common way to express the same thing is called iDaafa. In iDaafa, the order is reversed.

    The thing they possess + possessor

    English examples Equivalent in Arabic English letters
    Bob’s house بَيْت بوب bayt buub
    Carrie’s door باب كَري baab karii
    the girl’s dog كَلْب اَلْبِنْت kalb al-bint
    the boy’s scarf وِشاح اَلْوَلَد wishaaH al-walad

    If it helps, you can think of it as “the house of Bob” instead of “Bob’s house.”

    Notice how in Arabic, the thing that is possessed never ever gets اَلْ even if the meaning in English is “the house” or “the dog.” It’s just the bare word!

    What the ة ?!!

    The letter ة is a tricky one. First, it only ever shows up at the end of words. Second, you probably remember that it turns into ـَت (-at) before “my,” “your,” etc.

    Arabic examples Pronunciation Meaning
    مَدينة madiina a city
    مَدينَتي madiinatii my city
    -- -- --
    جامِعة jaami3a a university
    جامِعَتَك jaami3atak your university (to a man)

    Here is something else that makes ة tricky: when the first word of an iDaafa (aka the thing that’s possessed) ends in ة, like in مَدينة بوب “the city of Bob” or “Bob’s city,” the spelling of ة doesn’t change but its pronunciation does. Instead of a, it is pronounced -at.

    Arabic examples Pronunciation Meaning
    مَدينة madiina a city
    مَدينة بوب madiinat buub Bob’s city
    -- -- --
    جامِعة jaami3a a university
    جامِعة كَري jaami3at karii Carrie’s university
    -- -- --
    قِطّة qiTTa a cat
    قِطّة اَلْوَلَد qiTTat al-walad the boy’s cat

    As in all iDaafas, the first word can’t have اَلْ “the” on it. It’s just the bare noun.

  • 50 Food 1161 100 •••
    أَكْل · حَليب · رُزّ عُمَر · رُزَّك · قَهْوة · قَهْوَة سيث · قَهْوَتي · قَهْوَتَك · قَهْوَتِك · لٰكِنّ · ماء · موزة · مَطْعَم · مَطْعَم مُحَمَّد · هٰذا الْحَليب · هٰذِهِ الْموزة
    16 words
  • 50 Describing a picture 1162 100 •••
    أَعْرِف · بَيْتها · بَيْتهُ · جارَتها · جارَتهُ · صَديقها · صَديقهُ · صَديقَتها · صَديقَتهُ · عَمَلها · عَمَلهُ · لا أَعْرِف · هٰذِهِ الْصّورة
    13 words

    His and hers

    You already know how to say “my” and “your.” But what about “his” or “her”?

    For “his,” just add (-hu) ﻪُ at the end of the word. And for “her,” add (-haa) ها instead. It’s that simple.

    a (noun) Pronunciation Meaning his (noun) Pronunciation Meaning her (noun) Pronunciation Meaning
    مِعْطَف mi3Taf a coat مِعْطَفهُ mi3Tafhu his coat مِعْطَفها mi3Tafhaa her coat
    بَيْت bayt a house بَيْتهُ baythu his house بَيْتها baythaa her house

    Remember that if the noun ends with ة, it turns into ـَت (-at) before “my,” “your,” “his,” “her,” etc.

    a (noun) Pronunciation Meaning his (noun) Pronunciation Meaning her (noun) Pronunciation Meaning
    مَدينة madiina a city مَدينَتهُ madiinathu his city مَدينَتها madiinathaa her city
    قُبَّعة qubba3a a hat قُبَّعَتهُ qubba3athu his hat قُبَّعَتها qubba3athaa her hat
  • 50 Hobbies 1171 100 •••
    أَيْضاً · أُحِبّ · إيطالْيا · بَعْد اَلْظُّهْر · صَباحاً · عَن · كَثيراً · لا أُحِبّ · مَساءً · مَعَ · هُنا
    11 words

    I do!

    In English, we say “I write” and “you write” and “he writes” and “she writes.” You always have to include “I” or “we” or “he” or “she.”

    In Arabic, words like “I,” “we,” and “you,” are optional before verbs. Fortunately, the Arabic verb alone can usually tell you who’s doing the action, because the verbs have a special form for (almost) each person. For example, the “I” form always starts with أ.

    Arabic with English letters Arabic verb Meaning
    2uHibb أُحِبّ I like/I love
    2anaam أَنام I sleep
    2abtasim أَبْتَسِم I smile

    I don’t!

    To say “I do not (do something),” just add the short word (laa) لا in front of the verb!

    I (do) Meaning I (do not) Meaning
    أَطْبُخ I cook لا أَطْبُخ I do not cook
    أُحِبّ I like لا أُحِبّ I do not like

    Seeing is believing!

    In English, we say things like:

    I like talking. Talking is my favorite.

    In Arabic, you can replace “talking” in those examples with the word اَلْكَلام (al-kalaam). اَلْكَلام is a noun (for example, it begins with أَلْ “the” like a noun), but it feels verb-y. So we call it a “verbal noun.”

    This isn’t the “talking” like in the sentence “I’m talking.” That gets translated differently.

    Arabic version Literal meaning English translation
    أَتَكَلَّم I talk / I am talking I talk / I am talking
    -- -- --
    أُحِبّ اَلْكَلام. I like the talking. I like talking / I like to talk.
    أُريد اَلْكَلام. I want the talking. I want to talk.
    اَلْكَلام جَيِّد. The talking is good. Talking is good.

    Notice how the literal translation of اَلْكَلام is “the talking”--this is because verbal nouns are always used with اَلْ “the” (or some other definite marker).

    Shoot for the moon

    Let’s review اَلْ!

    Arabic “a” Arabic with English letters Meaning Arabic “the” Arabic with English letters Meaning
    بَيْت bayt a house اَلْبَيْت al-bayt the house
    مُهَنْدِسة muhandisa an engineer اَلْمُهَنْدِسة al-muhandisa the engineer
    قِطّة qiTTa a cat اَلْقِطّة al-qiTTa the cat
    كَلْب kalb a dog اَلْكَلْب al-kalb the dog

    All these nouns start with letters called “moon letters.” There’s another letter group called “sun letters.”

    If a word starts with a sun letter and you add اَلْ “the” to it, two things happen: 1. You don’t pronounce the ل in اَلْ, and 2. The first letter in the word after اَلْ gets held twice as long.

    Arabic “a” Arabic with English letters Meaning Arabic “the” Arabic with English letters Meaning
    زَوْجة zawja a wife اَلْزَّوْجة az-zawja the wife
    سَيّارة sayyaara a car اَلْسَّيّارة as-sayyaara the car
    دُكْتور duktuur a doctor اَلْدُّكْتور ad-duktuur the doctor
    رَجُل rajul a man اَلْرَّجُل ar-rajul the man

    In Arabic, it’s written like what you would expect (اَلْزَّوْجة). But with English letters, it’s not al-zawja but rather az-zawja. So instead of saying the l, you pronounce the z extra long.

    Here is a list of all sun vs. moon letters:

    Moon letters Sun letters
    أ ت
    ب ث
    ج د
    ح ذ
    خ ر
    ع ز
    غ س
    ف ش
    ق ص
    ك ض
    م ط
    ظ
    و ل
    ي ن
  • 50 Weather 1180 100 •••
    اَلْيَوْم · رَبيع · شِتاء · صَيْف · طَقْس · مَطَر
    6 words

    The pretty the house

    You already know how to say things like “a pretty house” or “a Syrian girl.”

    Arabic version Arabic with English letters Meaning
    بَيْت جَميل bayt jamiil a pretty house
    بِنْت سورِيّة bint suuriyya a Syrian girl
    مُتَرْجِم مُمْتاز mutarjim mumtaaz an amazing translator
    جامِعة مَشْهورة jaami3a mashhuura a famous university

    When a word has اَلْ “the” on it, the adjective that describes it also needs to start with اَلْ.

    Arabic version Arabic with English letters Meaning
    اَلْبَيْت اَلْجَميل al-bayt al-jamiil the pretty house
    اَلْبِنْت اَلْسّورِيّة al-bint as-suuriyya the Syrian girl
    اَلْمُتَرْجِم اَلْمُمْتاز al-mutarjim al-mumtaaz the amazing translator
    اَلْجامِعة اَلْمَشْهورة al-jaami3a al-mashhuura the famous university

    What if I forget and say اَلْبَيْت جَميل?

    If you mean to say “the pretty house” اَلْبَيْت اَلْجَميل (al-bayt al-jamiil) but say اَلْبَيْت جَميل instead, the meaning changes. اَلْبَيْت جَميل = The house is pretty. That’s a full-fledged sentence!

    al- al- With English letters Meaning al- ∅- With English letters Meaning
    اَلْبَيْت اَلْجَميل al-bayt al-jamiil the pretty house .اَلْبَيْت جَميل al-bayt jamiil. The house is pretty.
    اَلْبِنْت اَلْسّورِيّة al-bint as-suuriyya the Syrian girl .اَلْبِنْت سورِيّة al-bint suuriyya. The girl is Syrian.
    اَلْمُتَرْجِم اَلْمُمْتاز al-mutarjim al-mumtaaz the amazing translator .اَلْمُتَرْجِم مُمْتاز al-mutarjim mumtaaz The translator is amazing.
    اَلْجامِعة اَلْمَشْهورة al-jaami3a al-mashhuura the famous university .اَلْجامِعة مَشْهورة al-jaami3a mashhuura. The university is famous.

    2aa 2 furious

    When ء is followed by the long aaaaaa vowel (ا), it is spelled آ --this is an alif with a small wave on top of it. We write it 2aa in English letters. آ can appear at the beginning and in the middle of a word.

    For example, the word اَلْقُرْآن (al-qur2aan) “the Qur’an / the Koran” contains a hamza followed by ا , and so it is spelled آ.

  • 50 Geography 1182 100 •••
    بَغْداد · عاصِمة · فِلَسْطين · مَشْهور · مَكان · مِصْر
    6 words

    Welcome to (the) Cairo!

    Some place names in Arabic begin with اَلْ “the,” and some don’t.

    Arabic version Arabic with English letters Meaning
    اَلْسّودان as-suudaan Sudan
    اَلْصّين aS-Siin China
    اَلْقاهِرة al-qaahira Cairo
    اَلْبُنْدُقِيّة al-bunduqiyya Venice
    -- -- --
    فِلَسْطين filasTiin Palestine
    هولَنْدا huulandaa Holland
    بَغْداد baghdaad Baghdad
    طوكْيو Tuukyuu Tokyo
  • 50 Describing a picture 2183 100 •••
    أَمام · أَمامي · خَلْف · خَلْفي · دائِماً · عِنْدها · عِنْدهُ · في الْخَلْفِيّة · لابِس · لابِسة · لَيْسَ عِنْدها · لَيْسَ عِنْدهُ · مَن
    13 words

    And now, spelling

    You’ve already learned that ء can appear on top of a few different letters. Specifically, it can appear on top of و ,ي and ا.

    Letter with ء Regular letter
    ؤ و
    ئ (Notice: no dots!) ي
    أ / إ ا

    At this point, you don't need to know the hamza spelling rules. Just know hamza can show up in different positions.

    Examples of words containing ء Arabic with English letters Meaning
    قارِئ qaari2 reader
    غائِب ghaa2ib absent
    مَسْؤول mas2uul responsible
    يَبْدَأ yabda2 he begins
    شَيْء shay2 thing
    جاءَت jaa2at she came

    He’s got nothin’

    You already know that عِنْدي means I have and عِنْدَك/عِنْدِك means you have.

    So what about he has or she has? Easy! For he has, just add (-hu) ﻪُ at the end of عِنْد, and for she has, add (-haa) ها instead.

    To say he does not have and she does not have, use the word لَيْسَ.

    “has” Meaning Arabic with English letters “does not have” Meaning Arabic with English letters
    عِنْدهُ he has 3indhu لَيْسَ عِنْدهُ he does not have laysa 3indhu
    عِنْدها she has 3indhaa لَيْسَ عِنْدها she does not have laysa 3indhaa

    In Florida heavy rain.

    You know how to make there is / there are sentences using the word هُناك:

    Arabic version Arabic with English letters Meaning
    هُناك مَطَر ثَقيل. hunaak maTar thaqiil There is heavy rain.
    هُناك وِشاح في شَنْطَتي. hunaak wishaaH fii shanTatii There is a scarf in my bag.
    لَيْسَ هُناك لُغة صَعْبة. laysa hunaak lugha Sa3ba There is no difficult language.

    You might also hear another way to say there is / there are in formal Arabic. This way uses reversed word order.

    Arabic version Arabic with English letters Literal meaning Meaning
    في شَنْطَتي وِشاح. fii shanTatii wishaaH. In my bag a scarf. There is a scarf in my bag.
    أَمامي رَجُل غَريب. 2amaamii rajul ghariib. In front of me a weird man. There is a weird man in front of me.
    في الْخَلْفِيّة بَيْت. fii l-khalfiyya bayt. In the background a house. There is a house in the background.
  • 50 At Home 2191 100 •••
    أَدْخُل · أَسْكُن · أَفْتَح · أَنام · بِسَبَب · شَيْء · عَلى · غُرْفة نَوْم · غُرْفة نَوْمي · في ٱلْطّابِق اَلْأَوَّل · في ٱلْطّابِق اَلْثّاني · لا
    12 words

    WaSl’ up?

    You’ve already seen hamza look like أ. This hamza doesn’t change whether it comes right after a consonant or a vowel.

    أ NOT preceded by vowel With English letters Meaning أ preceded by vowel With English letters Meaning
    مُحَمَّد أُسْتاذي. muHammad 2ustaadhii Mohamed is my professor. شادي أُسْتاذي. shaadii 2ustaadhii Shadi is my professor.
    لِز أُمّهُ. liz 2ummhu Liz is his mother. مَها أُمّهُ. mahaa 2ummhu Maha is his mother.

    Some words start with ا and a short vowel on it without a hamza (like اِمْرَأة and اَلْ). When these words come right after a vowel, the short vowel on ا is replaced by a new symbol called waSla.

    WaSla looks like this: ٱ. It simply means “Hi! The alif under me is silent! Move on to the next letter please!”

    اَلْ NOT preceded by vowel With English letters Meaning اَلْ preceded by vowel With English letters Meaning
    مُحَمَّد اَلْمُعَلِّم muHammad al-mu3allim Mohamed the teacher شادي ٱلْمُعَلِّم shaadii l-mu3allim Shadi the teacher
    لِز اَلْمُتَرْجِمة liz al-mutarjima Liz the translator مَها ٱلْمُتَرْجِمة mahaa l-mutarjima Maha the translator
    اَلبَيْت al-bayt the house في ٱلبَيْت fii l-bayt in the house

    WaSla basically blends the previous word to the word that starts with ٱ.

    Now you pronounce it, now you don’t

    Sometimes, اَلْ “the” is preceded by a vowel (so it becomes ٱلْ) and followed by a sun letter.

    For example, if you want to say “in the car,” you are putting together three pieces: في (fii) + اَلْ (al) + سَيّارة (sayyaara)

    The ي of “in” turns اَلْ (al-) into ٱلْ (l-).

    The س of “car” is a sun letter. So the ل in ٱلْ isn’t pronounced, and the س gets held for double the time.

    The result is: في + اَلْ + سَيّارة = في ٱلْسَّيّارة = fii s-sayyaara

    This is NOT fii al-sayyaara, but fii s-sayyaara. “The” basically dissolves into the mix! No trace of ا and no trace of ل (although اَلْ is still there in writing).

  • 50 Zero to ten201 100 •••
    أَعُدّ · إِلى · بِٱلْلُّغة ٱلْعَرَبِيّة · تَعُدّ · تَعُدّين · تَعْرِف · تَعْرِفين · كَيْف · كُلّ اَلْأَعْداد · كُلّ شَيْء · ٠ · ١ · ١٠ · ٢ · ٣ · ٤ · ٥ · ٦ · ٧ · ٨ · ٩
    21 words

    Numbers in Arabic are the only thing you have left to learn in order to be able to read anything written in Arabic!

    Arabic numbers look different from English numbers, but both Arabic and English numbers are commonly used in Arabic. For example, at a traditional market, you’re more likely to see Arabic numbers, but in a text message you could see either.

    One interesting thing to notice is that the digits within a number in Arabic are actually written left to right! So number 10, which is made up of ١ (1) and then ٠ (0), is spelled ١٠ (and NOT ٠١; that would be 01).

    Isn’t Arabic fun?!

  • 50 Geography 2202 100 •••
    تَسْكُن · تَسْكُن · تَسْكُنين · لا · لِلْأَسَف · مَدينة سافانا · مَدينة لوس أَنْجِلِس · نَعَم · وِلاية جورْجْيا · وِلاية كاليفورْنْيا · يَسْكُن
    11 words

    The structure of possession

    You know that the iDaafa structure is commonly used to express possession. Remember, in an iDaafa: 1. The thing that is possessed comes first, followed by the possessor; 2. The thing that is possessed must be a bare noun (aka no اَلْ “the” in Arabic); 3. If the thing that is possessed ends in ة, the ة is pronounced “-at.”

    Here are some iDaafas you’re already familiar with.

    English examples Equivalent in Arabic Arabic with English letters
    Bob’s house بَيْت بوب bayt buub
    Mohamed’s restaurant مَطْعَم مُحَمَّد maT3am muHammad
    the engineer’s newspaper صَحيفة اَلْمُهَنْدِس SaHiifat al-muhandis

    IDaafa can also be used to express things other than possession, like “the city of Detroit” and “the state of Texas.”

    English examples Equivalent in Arabic Arabic with English letters
    the city of Detroit مَدينة ديتْرويْت madiinat diitruuyt
    the state of Texas وِلاية تَكْساس wilaayat taksaas
    George Washington University جامِعة جورْج واشِنْطُن jaami3at juurj waashinTun

    شُكْراً

    You probably remember that a tiny slash above a letter makes the sound a and two tiny slashes at the end of a word make the sound an.

    Arabic word With English letters Meaning
    شُكْراً shukran thank you
    صَباحاً SabaaHan in the morning
    مَساءً masaa2an in the evening

    There are also special markings for -in and -un!

    Words with -i or -u With English letters Words with -in or -un With English letters
    اَلْبَيْتِ al-bayti بَيْتٍ baytin
    اَلْبَيْتُ al-baytu بَيْتٌ baytun

    أُحِبّ هٰذِهِ ٱلْلُّغة

    Let’s review some present verbs! Remember, the “I” form always starts with أ.

    Arabic verbs Arabic with English letters Meaning
    أُحِبّ 2uHibb I like / I love
    أَفْتَح 2aftaH I open
    أَعْرِف 2a3rif I know

    Here are the forms when different people are doing the action:

    Arabic verb Arabic with English letters Meaning
    أُحِبّ 2uHibb I like/love
    تُحِبّ tuHibb you like/love (to a male)
    تُحِبّين tuHibbiin you like/love (to a female)
    يُحِبّ yuHibb he likes/loves
    تُحِبّ tuHibb she likes/loves
    Arabic verb Arabic with English letters Meaning
    أَنام 2anaam I sleep
    تَنام tanaam you sleep (to a male)
    تَنامين tanaamiin you sleep (to a female)
    يَنام yanaam he sleeps
    تَنام tanaam she sleeps

    Note that, because all Arabic nouns are either masculine or feminine, the “he” and “she” forms can be used to refer to things that aren’t people. For example, “city” is feminine so it takes the “she” verb تَنام (tanaam) in the example below.

    This city does not sleep. = (haadhihi l-madiina laa tanaam) هٰذِهِ ٲلْمَدينة لا تَنام.

  • 50 Introductions/greetings211 100 •••
    أَخْبار · إِلى ٱلْلِّقاء · إِنْ شاءَ ٱلله · بِخَيْر · تَشَرَّفْنا · تَمام · دِمَشْق · زَيْنة · صَباح اَلْخَيْر · صَباح اَلْنّور · كَيْف اَلْعائِلة · كَيْف اَلْعَمَل · كَيْفَك · كَيْفِك · ما ٱلْأَخْبار · مَرْحَباً · مَساء اَلْخَيْر · مَساء اَلْنّور · مَعَ ٱلْسَّلامة · وَعَلَيْكُمُ ٱلْسَّلام · يَلّا · يَوْم سَعيد
    22 words

    Hello!

    In English, if someone says, “What’s up?” to you, there are a few specific answers you can give. (“Not much,” “Hey, what’s up,” “How’s it going…”). Arabic has some of these question-and-answer formulas, too!

    Speaker 1 says: Meaning Speaker 2 responds: Meaning
    صَباح اَلْخَيْر Good morning (literally “morning of good”) صَباح اَلْنّور Good morning (literally “morning of light”)
    مَساء اَلْخَيْر Good evening (literally “evening of good”) مَساء اَلْنّور Good evening (literally “evening of light”)
    اَلْسَّلامُ عَلَيْكُم Peace be upon you وَعَلَيْكُمُ ٲلْسَّلام And upon you be peace

    Knowing these formulas will let you show off your cultural and linguistic know-how.

    Note that while the greeting اَلْسَّلامُ عَلَيْكُم (as-salaamu 3alaykum) “peace be upon you” is very common, it is usually associated with Islam. This means, for example, that a Christian will not normally use this greeting with another Christian.

    Letter names

    In some contexts, like spelling or clarifying contrast between sounds, knowing the names of the Arabic letters may be useful to you. Below are those names, using our transliteration system.

    Note that the Arabic alphabet technically includes all but the last three letters listed in this table.

    Arabic letter Name of the letter (transliterated)
    ا 2alif
    ب baa2
    ت taa2
    ث thaa2
    ج jiim
    ح Haa2
    خ khaa2
    د daal
    ذ dhaal
    ر raa2
    ز zaay
    س siin
    ش shiin
    ص Saad
    ض Daad
    ط Taa2
    ظ DHaa2
    ع 3ayn
    غ ghayn
    ف faa2
    ق qaaf
    ك kaaf
    ل laam
    م miim
    ن nuun
    ه haa2
    و waaw
    ي yaa2
    ء hamza
    ى 2alif maqSuura
    ة taa2 marbuuTa
  • 50 Jobs 1221 100 •••
    أَدْرُس · تَدْرُس · تَدْرُسين · تَعْمَل · تَعْمَلين · تُريد · جُدَد · رَبّ بَيْت · رَبّة بَيْت · عالَم · عُلوم · عِلْم اَلْحاسوب · ماذا · يَدْرُس · يُريد
    15 words

    ما or ماذا

    Arabic has two ways of asking “what?”

    Use ما in questions that don’t contain a verb. (Ignore the fact that the English translation has a verb in it — what matters is the Arabic!)

    Arabic with English letters Arabic examples English translation
    maa smak? ما ٱسْمَك؟ What’s your name?
    maa ra2yik? ما رَأْيِك؟ What do you think? (Literally: What’s your opinion?)

    Use ماذا in sentences that contain a verb.

    Arabic with English letters Arabic examples English translation
    maadhaa tuHibbiin? ماذا تُحِبّين؟ What do you love / What would you like?
    maadhaa 2adrus? ماذا أَدْرُس؟ What do I study?

    Beware! In questions like “What book?” where in English you can replace “what” with “which” (= ”Which book?”), Arabic doesn’t use ما nor ماذا. You will learn the word for this type of “what” soon.

  • 50 Time 1222 100 •••
    قَبْل · كَم اَلْسّاعة · لَسْتُ · مَتى · مَوْعِد · وَقْت · يَجِب أَنْ · يَجِب أَنْ أَذْهَب
    8 words

    The twenty-fifth hour

    In Standard Arabic, in order to say “2 o’clock” you say الساعة الثانية “the second hour,” and in order to say “3 o’clock” you say الساعة الثالثة “the third hour.” This is true for all hours from 2 to 12.

    Hours 2-12 in Arabic Arabic with English letters Literal meaning English equivalent
    اَلْسّاعة ٱلْثّانْية as-saa3a ath-thaanya the second hour 2 o’clock
    اَلْسّاعة ٱلْثّالِثة as-saa3a ath-thaalitha the third hour 3 o’clock
    اَلْسّاعة ٱلْرّابِعة as-saa3a ar-raabi3a the fourth hour 4 o’clock
    اَلْسّاعة ٱلْخامِسة as-saa3a al-khaamisa the fifth hour 5 o’clock
    اَلْسّاعة ٱلْسّادِسة as-saa3a as-saadisa the sixth hour 6 o’clock
    اَلْسّاعة ٱلْسّابِعة as-saa3a as-saabi3a the seventh hour 7 o’clock
    اَلْسّاعة ٱلْثّامِنة as-saa3a ath-thaamina the eighth hour 8 o’clock
    اَلْسّاعة ٱلْتّاسِعة as-saa3a ath-taasi3a the ninth hour 9 o’clock
    اَلْسّاعة ٱلْعاشِرة as-saa3a al-3aashira the tenth hour 10 o’clock
    اَلْسّاعة ٱلْحادْية عَشَرة as-saa3a al-Haadya 3ashara the eleventh hour 11 o’clock
    اَلْسّاعة ٱلْثّانْية عَشَرة as-saa3a ath-thaanya 3ashara the twelfth hour 12 o’clock

    For “1 o’clock” though, you’ll just say اَلْسّاعة ٱلْواحِدة “the hour one” and NOT “the first hour.”

    And note that you don’t say AM and PM! Instead, you say “in the morning,” “in the afternoon,” “in the evening,” etc. So 2 PM would be اَلْسّاعة ٱلْثّانْية بَعْد اَلْظُّهْر (literally “the second hour after noon”).

    lastu who you think I am

    You already know that usually, instead of saying something like I am from Lebanon, you say أنا من لبنان (literally “I from Lebanon”). The “am” or “are” or “is” drops out.

    How about if you’re not from somewhere, or not a lawyer, or not something else? You simply use the word لَسْتُ [lastu].

    I am not from Lebanon = أنا لَسْتُ من لبنان or just لَسْتُ من لبنان

    I am not sick = أَنا لَسْتُ مَريضة or just لَسْتُ مَريضة

    I am not home = أَنا لَسْتُ في ٱلْبَيْت or just لَسْتُ في ٱلْبَيْت

    I am not from here = أَنا لَسْتُ مِن هُنا or just لَسْتُ مِن هُنا

  • 50 Hobbies 2231 100 •••
    أَفْلام · أَقارِب · أَكْثَر · تَزور · تُحِبّ · تُحِبّين · خُروج · فيلْم · فَنّ · قِطَط · كُتُب · كُرة اَلْقَدَم · مَتْحَف · نِهاية اَلْأُسْبوع · يَزور · يُحِبّ
    16 words

    house - houses, mouse - ?

    So far, you haven’t seen many plural nouns in Arabic, but this is about to change! Check out these singular-plural pairs you’ll learn in the next few lessons:

    Arabic with English letters Arabic examples English translation
    fiilm - 2aflaam فيلْم - أَفْلام movie - movies
    dars - duruus دَرْس - دُروس lesson - lessons
    risaala - rasaa2il رِسالة - رَسائِل letter - letters
    qariib - 2aqaarib قَريب - أَقارِب relative - relatives
    Sadiiq - 2aSdiqaa2 صَديق - أَصْذِقاء friend - friends
    kitaab - kutub كِتاب - كُتُب book - books
    lugha - lughaat لُغة - لُغات language - languages

    As you can see, each plural noun above looks a little different! Now when you learn new words, you’ll learn the singular-plural pair together.

    Don’t worry, though! Once you know more vocabulary, you’ll be able to start predicting the plural of new nouns with good accuracy.

    Intro to the root system

    You know how in English some words that share a root also have a common meaning, like for example the root “home” in words like “homey,” “homeless” and “homebound?” Or the root “myth” in words like “mythical,” “mythological” and “mythology?” Arabic does sort of the same thing!

    In English, we usually form new words by taking the base word (the “root”) and sticking something before or after it (like un- or -less or -ical). Arabic, though, takes letters and inserts them before, after and in between the consonants of the root.

    So, for example, if “myth” was an actual Arabic root M - Y - TH that had to do with myths, then you could probably find the following words in Arabic: MaaYiTH, MiYaaTHa, muMaaYaTHa, istaMYaTHa, muMtaYiTH, taMYiiTH, taMaaYuTH, yanMaYiTH, and many more. The meaning of all these words would have to do with myths!

    Arabic speakers are able to easily understand the root meaning of each word by listening to the consonants, even new words they’ve never heard. That’s because the extra letters are not added randomly but follow specific patterns. You’ll learn more about patterns later.

    Now that you get the idea, here are some actual Arabic examples. Look at the singular-plural pairs below.

    Arabic with English letters Arabic examples English translation
    DaRS - DuRuuS دَرْس - دُروس lesson - lessons
    RiSaaLa - RaSaa2iL رِسالة - رَسائِل letter - letters
    QaRiiB - 2aQaaRiB قَريب - أَقارِب relative - relatives

    The root of the word دَرْس (DaRS) “lesson” is the sequence د - ر - س D-R-S. The meaning of this root is connected to studying. This same root appears in the same order in the plural دُروس (DuRuuS) “lessons” but also in other words, like the verb يَدْرُس (yaDRuS) “he studies” or the noun مَدْرَسة (maDRaSa) “school” (literally, the place of study).

    Try to identify the root of words you already know and see if you can start making connections between words that share the same root!

    The writing of letters

    You already know that to say “She likes writing,” you’d say تُحِبّ اَلْكِتابة tuHibb al-kitaaba. The word اَلْكِتابة means “writing.”

    But what if you don’t just like writing, but “writing letters”? Or “reading a book?” In order to say this, use an iDaafa construction with the verbal noun (e.g. اَلْكِتابة، اَلْقِراءة etc.) as the first term. Just as a reminder: iDaafa is the structure that’s commonly used to express possession and it follows the following guidelines:

    1. The thing that is possessed comes first, followed by the possessor;
    2. The thing that is possessed must be a bare noun (aka no اَلْ “the” in Arabic);
    3. If the thing that is possessed ends in ة, the ة is pronounced “-at.”

    Here are some examples of verbal nouns first on their own (“writing”) and then in iDaafa construction (“writing letters”).

    English sentence Arabic equivalent Arabic with English letters Literal translation of the Arabic
    Writing is fun. اَلْكِتابة مُمْتِعة. al-kitaaba mumti3a The writing is fun.
    Writing letters is fun. كِتابة اَلْرَّسائِل مُمْتِعة. kitaabat ar-rasaa2il mumti3a Writing of the letters is fun.
    -- -- -- --
    I like reading. أُحِبّ اَلْقِراءة. 2uHibb al-qiraa2a I like the reading.
    I like reading books. أُحِبّ قِراءة اَلْكُتُب. 2uHibb qiraa2at al-kutub I like reading of the books.
  • 50 Food 2241 100 •••
    آكُل · اً · بارِداً · بَطاطا · حَلْوى · حُمُّص · حُمُّصاً · خُبْز · خُبْزاً · ساخِناً · شاياً · طَيِّباً · عَصير · عَصيراً · فَلافِل · كَباب · كَباباً · مُقَبِّلات
    18 words

    al- and food

    You’ve noticed that the use of اَلْ (al-) in Arabic and “the” in English doesn’t always match up. Here are some examples of how to use اَلْ when discussing food.

    When discussing specific food items (i.e. “the chicken from yesterday,” “the coffee you made,” “the salt that’s on the table,” etc.), use اَلْ. This is similar to English.

    I like the chicken from yesterday. = أُحِبّ اَلْدَّجاج مِن أَمْس. (2uHibb ad-dajaaj min 2ams)

    The trickier part is when you want to discuss categories of food in general (i.e. “chicken,” “bread,” “coffee,” etc.). In this case, the use of اَلْ is mostly determined by the verb you choose.

    LIKE

    If you like a food in general, use اَلْ.

    I like chicken. = أُحِبّ اَلْدَّجاج. (2uHibb ad-dajaaj)

    I like coffee. = أُحِبّ اَلْقَهْوة. (2uHibb al-qawha)

    WANT

    If you want a type of food in general, do not use اَلْ.

    I want chicken. = أُريد دَجاجاً (2uriid dajaajan)

    I want coffee. = أُريد قَهْوة (2uriid qahwa)

    EAT/DRINK

    If you are discussing eating or drinking a type of food in general, using اَلْ on food items is optional. If you use it, you’ll sound more formal than if you don’t.

    I eat chicken. = آكُل دَجاجاً (2aakul dajaajan) OR آكُل اَلْدَّجاج (2aakul ad-dajaaj)

    I drink coffee every morning. = أَشْرَب قَهْوة كُلّ صَباح (2ashrab qahwa kull SabaaH) OR أَشْرَب اَلْقَهْوة كُلّ صَباح (2ashrab al-qahwa kull SabaaH)

    dajaajan?

    Look at this example sentence.

    I want chicken. = أُريد دَجاجاً (2uriid dajaajan)

    Do you wonder why the word دَجاج “chicken” ends with اً “-an” in this sentence? That’s because “chicken” doesn’t take “the” or “my, your, etc.” AND it is the object of a verb (I want what? I want… chicken!).

    اً is used to mark indefinite direct objects. Here are more examples.

    I want a friend. = أُريد صَديقاً (2uriid Sadiiqan)

    I eat bread. = آكُل خُبْزاً (2aakul khubzan)

    I want a new house. = أُريد بَيْتاً جَديداً (2uriid baytan jadiidan)

    Note that any adjective that accompanies a noun ending in اً also needs to end in اً (baytan jadiidan “a new house”).

    Remember that if a noun ends in ة, ً just sits on the ة directly without an alif seat. In this case, ً -an is typically not written even though technically it’s there.

    I want coffee. = أُريد قَهْوة (2uriid qahwa) OR أُريد قَهْوةً (2uriid qahwatan)

  • 50 Transpo 1242 100 •••
    آخُذ · أَنْتُم · أَيّ · أَيّة · باص · تَأْخُذون · تَعْرِفون · في أَيّة ساعة · قِطار · كُلّ · مَوْقِف · مِن فَضْلَك · مِن فَضْلِك · نَأْخُذ · نَحْنُ · نَعْرِف · هُم · يَأْخُذون · يَعْرِفون
    19 words

    نُحِبّ هٰذِهِ ٱلْلُّغة

    Time to review some present verbs! Remember, the “I” form always starts with أ. Below are the forms when different people are doing the action (including, for the first time, some plurals).

    Arabic verbs Arabic with English letters Meaning
    أُحِبّ 2uHibb I like/love
    تُحِبّ tuHibb you like/love (to a male)
    تُحِبّين tuHibbiin you like/love (to a female)
    يُحِبّ yuHibb he likes/loves
    تُحِبّ tuHibb she likes/loves
    نُحِبّ nuHibb we like/love
    تُحِبّون tuHibbuun you all like/love
    يُحِبّون yuHibbuun they like/love
    Arabic verb Arabic with English letters Meaning
    أَنام 2anaam I sleep
    تَنام tanaam you sleep (to a male)
    تَنامين tanaamiin you sleep (to a female)
    يَنام yanaam he sleeps
    تَنام tanaam she sleeps
    نَنام nanaam we sleep
    تَنامون tanaamuun you all sleep
    يَنامون yanaamuun they sleep

    What which?

    Today, you’ll learn the Arabic word that corresponds to “which” in questions like “which book are you reading?”

    This word comes in two forms: أَيّ is masculine and أَيّة is feminine. To decide which one to use, simply match the gender of the noun that follows it.

    Arabic Arabic with English letters Meaning
    أَيّ كِتاب؟ 2ayy kitaab Which book?
    أَيّ رَجُل؟ 2ayy rajul Which man?
    أَيّ بَيْت؟ 2ayy bayt Which house?
    -- -- --
    أَيّة وِلاية؟ 2ayya wilaaya Which state?
    أَيّة مُشْكِلة؟ 2ayya mushkila Which problem?
    أَيّة خالة؟ 2ayya khaala Which maternal aunt?

    Colloquial English uses “what” and “which” interchangeably in sentences like “what/which book are you reading?” Don’t let that confuse you! If you can replace “what” with “which” in English, then أَيّ / أَيّة is the word you want in Arabic.

  • 50 Food 3243 100 •••
    بامْيا · تَشْتَرين · جَزَر · خُضْراوات · عادةً · قَليل مِن · كوسا · كَعْك · لِأَنَّ · لِأَنَّك · لِأَنَّني · لِأَنَّها · لِأَنَّهُ · لِأَنِّك · لِلْ · لِماذا · مَحَلّ · مَساء · نَفْس
    19 words

    Who are you calling weak?!

    Most words in Arabic are based on a 3-consonant root. When ي (y) or و (w) is the last consonant in the root of a verb, this verb is called weak, which means that it looks a little different when you put endings on it. The new verb يَشْتَري yashtarii “he buys” is based on the weak root ش - ر - ي SH - R - Y. Pay attention to what happens to the final ي in the present tense below.

    Arabic verb Arabic with English letters Meaning
    أَشْتَري a2ashtarii I buy
    تَشْتَري tashtarii you buy (to a male)
    تَشْتَرين tashtariin you buy (to a female)
    يَشْتَري yashtarii he buys
    تَشْتَري tashtarii she buys
    نَشْتَري nashtarii we buy
    تَشْتَرون tashtaruun you all buy
    يَشْتَرون yashtaruun they buy

    See what happens with “you” (to a female), “you all” and “they”? The final ي of the verb gets eaten by the endings ين and ون !

    Because I said so.

    To say “because” in Arabic, use the word لِأَنَّ (li2anna). A couple of things to know about لِأَنَّ:

    First, لِأَنَّ must be followed by a complete sentence, such as “because humans are weird,” “because war sucks,” “because cartoons saved my life.”

    Second, the word directly following لِأَنَّ must be the subject of the sentence.

    Sentence without “because” Meaning in English Sentence with “because” Meaning in English
    اَلْعالَم غَريب. The world is weird. لِأَنَّ ٱلْعالَم غَريب. Because the world is weird.
    أُخْتي تَدْرُس كَثيراً. My sister studies a lot. لِأَنَّ أُخْتي تَذْرُس كَثيراً. Because my sister studies a lot.

    Note that subject pronouns (i.e. I, you, he, she, etc.) combine with لِأَنَّ in the following way: لِأَنَّ + أَنا = لِأَنَّني "because I" لِأَنَّ + أَنْتَ = لِأَنَّك "because you (male)" لِأَنّ + أَنْتِ = لِأَنِّك "because you (female)" لِأَنّ + هُوَّ = لِأَنَّهُ "because he/it" لِأَنّ + هِيَّ = لِأَنَّها "because she/it"

    Sentence without “because” Meaning in English Sentence with “because” Meaning in English
    أَنا مِن مِصْر. I am from Egypt. لِأَنَّني مِن مِصر. Because I am from Egypt.
    أَنْتِ أُمّي. You are my mother. لِأَنِّك أُمّي. Because you are my mother.
    هِيَّ مُعَلِّمة مُمْتازة. She is an amazing teacher. لِأَنَّها مُعَلِّمة مُمْتازة. Because she is an amazing teacher.
    هُوَّ سَعيد. He is happy. لِأَنَّهُ سَعيد. Because he is happy.

    2 + 2 = 3

    The short word لِ li- (to, for) in Arabic can’t stand on its own; instead, it needs to be attached to the following word in writing.

    Example in Arabic Arabic with English letters Meaning
    لِأَبي li-2abii to/for my father
    لِهٰذِهِ ٱلْأُسْتاذة li-haadhihi l-2ustaadha to/for this professor
    لِبَيْروت li-bayruut to/for Beirut

    When the word following لِ starts with الْ al- (the), the alif in الْ disappears both in pronunciation and writing, just like this: لِ + الْ = لِل

    Example in Arabic Arabic with English letters Meaning
    لِلْبِنْت li-l-bint to/for the girl
    لِلْأُسْتاذة li-l-2ustaadha to/for the professor
    لِلْقاهِرة li-l-qaahira to/for Cairo

    Carrots, tomatoes, squash

    A while back, you learned that the word دَجاج dajaaj is grammatically singular but can have a plural meaning. For instance, if you saw dajaaj at the farm, then you saw chickens rather than a single chicken.

    English also has nouns like that. Take “furniture,” for example. You’d say, “Our furniture IS really nice” (as opposed to “are”), even though “furniture” doesn’t refer to one item but rather to a bunch of things (desks, tables, chairs, couch, etc.).

    You’re about to learn more of those nouns in Arabic -- carrots جَزَر jazar, tomatoes بَنَدورة banaduura, and squash كوسا kuusaa are all singular in Arabic but they refer to a group of items.

  • 50 Phone 1251 100 •••
    أَلو · أُسْبوع · بَعْد · بِٱلْهاتِف · سَ · غَلَط · قَريباً · لاحِقاً · لَيْسَ · لَيْسَت · مَعي · مَعَها · مَعَهُ · مَن مَعي · مِن اَلْمُمْكِن أَنْ
    15 words

    I will drink

    Good news! Expressing the future in Arabic is really easy: just add سَ sa- at the beginning of a present verb. Below is the verb “to drink” in the present and future tense, and you can do this with any verb!

    Present verb Arabic with English letters Meaning Future verb Arabic with English letters Meaning
    أَشْرَب a2ashrab I drink سَأَشْرَب sa-2ashrab I will drink
    تَشْرَب tashrab you drink (to a male) سَتَشْرَب sa-tashrab you will drink (to a male)
    تَشْرَبين tashrabiin you drink (to a female) سَتَشْرَبين sa-tashrabiin you will drink (to a female)
    يَشْرَب yashrab he drinks سَيَشْرَب sa-yashrab he will drink
    تَشْرَب tashrab she drinks سَتَشْرَب sa-tashrab she will drink
    نَشْرَب nashrab we drink سَنَشْرَب sa-nashrab we will drink
    تَشْرَبون tashrabuun you all drink سَتَشْرَبون sa-tashrabuun you all will drink
    يَشْرَبون yashrabuun they drink سَيَشْرَبون sa-yashrabuun they will drink

    With or without you

    Words like مَعَ (with), في (in, at), مِن (from), عَن (from, off), etc. combine with words like me, you, her, etc. so they become a single word in Arabic. Here is how “with” combines with other words:

    Example in Arabic Arabic with English letters Meaning
    مَعي ma3ii with me
    مَعَك ma3ak with you (to a male)
    مَعِك ma3ik with you (to a female)
    مَعَهُ ma3ahu with him
    مَعَها ma3ahaa with her
  • 50 Family 3252 100 •••
    أَبَداً · أَخو · عَمّ · لا أَحَد · مَدْرَسة · مُنيرة · مِثْل · ني · ها · هُ · َك · ِك
    12 words

    I love it!

    You already know how to say “I love my daughter” and “My cat eats all my food,” but what about “I love her” and “My cat eats it?” Below are some ways to say this!

    Example in Arabic Arabic with English letters Meaning
    يُحِبّني yuHibb-nii he likes/loves me
    تَعْرِفني ta3rif-nii you know me
    -- -- --
    أُحِبَّك a2uHibb-ak I like/love you (to a male)
    تَعْرِفَك ta3rif-ak she knows you (to a female)
    -- -- --
    يُحِبِّك yuHibb-ik he likes/loves you (to a female)
    نَعْرِفِك na3rif-ik we know you (to a female)
    -- -- --
    أُحِبّهُ a2uHibb-hu I like/love him
    آكُلهُ a2aakulhu I eat it
    -- -- --
    يُحِبّها yuHibb-haa he likes/loves her
    نَشْرَبْها nashrab-haa we drink it

    Notice that these words like “her” and “it” attach to the end of the verb!

    whose brother?

    The word أَخ a2akh (brother) changes depending on what role it’s playing in the sentence.

    Example in Arabic Arabic with English letters Meaning
    .هُوَّ أَخ huwwa 2akh He is a brother.
    .هُوَّ أَخو مُحَمَّد huwwa 2akhuu muHammad He is Mohamed’s brother.
    .أَخو مُحَمَّد مُمْتِع a2akhuu muHammad mumti3 Mohamed’s brother is fun.

    أَخو is only used if the word “brother” is the first word in an iDaafa, i.e. the brother of John, the brother of the teacher, the brother of Maryam, etc. or even your brother, her brother, etc. In every other case, the basic form أَخ is used.

    Example in Arabic Arabic with English letters Meaning
    أَخو جون يَعْمَل كَثيراً a2akhuu juun ya3mal kathiiran The brother of John/John’s brother works a lot.
    عُمَر أَخو جون a3umar a2akhuu juun Omar is the brother of John/John’s brother.
  • 50 Hotel 1261 100 •••
    جَيِّداً · حَجْز · عِنْدكُم · عِنْدنا · عِنْدهُم · فَأْر · فَقَط · فُنْدُق · فُوَط · كُم · مَرّة أُخْرى · مَسْبَح · مَمَرّ · مُلاءات · نا · هُم
    16 words

    Our, their and everywhere

    You already know how to say “my,” “your,” “his” and “her.” Now you will learn the plural forms: “our,” “your (to more than one person)” and “their.” Here are all the forms you know so far, attached to the noun بَيْت bayt (house).

    my house, your house, etc. Pronunciation Meaning
    بَيْت bayt house
    بَيْتي bayt-ii my house
    بَيْتَك bayt-ak your house (to a man)
    بَيْتِك bayt-ik your house (to a woman)
    بَيْتهُ bayt-hu his house
    بَيْتها bayt-haa her house
    بَيْتنا bayt-naa our house
    بَيْتكم bayt-kum your house (to more than one person)
    بَيْتهُم bayt-hum their house

    Remember that if the noun ends with ة, it turns into ـَت (-at) before “my,” “your,” “his,” “her,” etc. Below are all the forms you know so far, attached to the noun جامِعة jaami3a (university) which ends in ة.

    my university, your university, etc. Pronunciation Meaning
    جامِعة jaami3a university
    جامِعَتي jaami3at-ii my university
    جامِعَتَك jaami3at-ak your university (to a man)
    جامِعَتِك jaami3at-ik your university (to a woman)
    جامِعَتهُ jaami3at-hu his university
    جامِعَتها jaami3at-haa her university
    جامِعَتنا jaami3at-naa our university
    جامِعَتكُم jaami3at-kum your university (to more than one person)
    جامِعَتهُم jaami3at-hum their university

    In very formal Arabic, -kum كُم (your) and -hum هُم (their) are used only for groups of at least three people including at least one man. But in slightly less formal, spoken Arabic, -kum كُم (your) and -hum هُم (their) can be used for any group of two or more people.

    Everybody has!

    The same endings used to say “our,” “your (plural)” and “their” are also used on عِنْد to express “we have,” “y’all have” and “they have.”

    To say “we/y’all/they do not have,” just use the word لَيْسَ.

    Arabic version Literal translation Meaning
    عِنْدي سَيّارة at-me a car I have a car.
    لَيْسَ عِنْدي سَيّارة not at-me a car I do not have a car.
    -- -- --
    عِنْدَك سَيّارة at-you a car You have a car. (to a man)
    لَيْسَ عِنْدَك سَيّارة not at-you a car You do not have a car. (to a man)
    -- -- --
    عِنْدِك سَيّارة at-you a car You have a car. (to a woman)
    لَيْسَ عِنْدِك سَيّارة not at-you a car You do not have a car. (to a woman)
    -- -- --
    عِنْدهُ سَيّارة at-him a car He has a car.
    لَيْسَ عِنْدهُ سَيّارة not at-him a car He does not have a car.
    -- -- --
    عِنْدها سَيّارة at-her a car She has a car.
    لَيْسَ عِنْدها سَيّارة not at-her a car She does not have a car.
    -- -- --
    عِنْدنا سَيّارة at-us a car We have a car.
    لَيْسَ عِنْدنا سَيّارة not at-us a car We do not have a car.
    -- -- --
    عِنْدكُم سَيّارة at-you a car You have a car. (to more than one person)
    لَيْسَ عِنْدكُم سَيّارة not at-you a car You do not have a car. (to more than one person)
    -- -- --
    عِنْدهُم سَيّارة at-them a car They have a car.
    لَيْسَ عِنْدهُم سَيّارة not at-them a car They do not have a car.

    In more formal Arabic, the feminine لَيْسَت is used if the thing you don’t have is feminine, e.g. لَيْسَ عِنْدي بَيْت vs. لَيْسَت عِنْدي سَيّارة. But in slightly less formal, spoken Arabic, لَيْسَ can be used regardless of what is not possessed.

  • 50 Doctor 1271 100 •••
    أَلَم · أَمْس · أَنْ · اَلله يُسَلِّمَك · اَلله يُسَلِّمِك · اِسْتِراحة · اِفْتَح · اِفْتَحي · بِ · سَلامتَك · سَلامتِك · عَيْن · فَم · ما بِكَ · ما بِكِ · مُنْذُ · يَد
    17 words

    Who’s أَنْ?

    The new word أَنْ is a big deal in Arabic. أَنْ is used much like English “to” in sentences like “we want TO talk,” and like English “that” in sentences like “I hope THAT you sleep in.”

    You may remember that Arabic words like اَلْكَلام “talking” and اَلْكِتابة “writing” are called verbal nouns. Well, أَنْ introduces a verb clause in place of a verbal noun. So in order to say “we want to talk,” you can either say نُريد اَلْكَلام nuriid al-kalaam or نُريد أَنْ نَتَكَلَّم nuriid 2an natakallam.

    Here are more examples of sentences in two versions: one with the verbal noun and one with أَنْ.

    English sentence Version 1 (verbal noun) Version 1 with English letters Version 2 (أَنْ) Version 2 with English letters
    I like to sleep. أُحِبّ اَلْنَّوْم 2uHibb an-nawm أُحِبّ أَنْ أَنام 2uHibb 2an 2anaam
    You must talk with him. يَجِب اَلْكَلام مَعَهُ yajib al-kalaam ma3ahu يَجِب أَنْ تَتَكَلَّم مَعَهُ yajib 2an tatakallam ma3ahu
    We can eat now. مِن اَلْمُمْكِن اَلْأَكْل اَلْآن min al-mumkin al-2akl al-2aan مِن اَلْمُمْكِن أَنْ نَأْكُل اَلْآن min al-mumkin 2an na2kul al-2aan

    But which present?

    As you see from the examples above, what follows أَنْ is a verb in the present. But this is a special present! Pay attention to “sleep” in Arabic in the following examples:

    Arabic example Example with English letters Meaning
    يَجِب أَنْ أَنام yajib 2an 2anaam I must sleep.
    يَجِب أَنْ تَنام yajib 2an tanaam You must sleep. (to a man) / She must sleep.
    يَجِب أَنْ تَنامي yajib 2an *tanaamii You must sleep. (to a woman)
    يَجِب أَنْ يَنام yajib 2an yanaam He must sleep.
    يَجِب أَنْ نَنام yajib 2an nanaam We must sleep.
    يَجِب أَنْ تَناموا yajib 2an tanaamuu Y’all must sleep.
    يَجِب أَنْ يَناموا yajib 2an yanaamuu They must sleep.

    For I, you (to a man), he, she and we, this new present looks the same as the present you already know. But for you (to a woman), y’all and they, it looks different: the ن at the end of the verb drops out, and a silent alif ا appears instead for y’all and they only.

    Present you already know With English letters Meaning New present With English letters Meaning
    تَنامين tanamiin You sleep. (to a woman) مِن اَلْمُمْكِن أَنْ تَنامي min al-mumkin 2an *tanaamii You can sleep. (to a woman)
    تَنامون tanamuun Y’all sleep. مِن اَلْمُمْكِن أَنْ تَناموا min al-mumkin 2an *tanaamuu Y’all can sleep.
    يَنامون yanamuun They sleep. مِن اَلْمُمْكِن أَنْ يَناموا min al-mumkin 2an *yanaamuu They can sleep.

    Hand is a girl?!

    By now, you’ve noticed that singular nouns that end in ة are usually feminine, while those that don’t are usually masculine.

    But some feminine nouns don’t end in ة! Some common ones are things that usually come in pairs in the human body, like “eye,” “hand” and “foot.”

    a _ In Arabic With English letters a big __ In Arabic With English letters
    an eye عَيْن 3ayn a big eye عَيْن كَبيرة 3ayn kabiira
    a hand يَد yad a big hand يَد كَبيرة yad kabiira
    a foot رِجْل rijl a big foot رِجْل كَبيرة rijl kabiira

    See how “big” is in the feminine in the examples above? That’s because “eye,” “hand” and “foot” are feminine nouns, even though they don’t end in ة!

    Do this, do that!

    Over the next few lessons, you’ll start seeing different verbs in the command form, like “open your mouth!” or “give me some carrots!” For now, it’s best if you just learn a few of those verbs one at a time without worrying too much about how they are formed.

    One thing you’ll notice right away is that, regardless of the verb, when you’re addressing a woman, the verb ends in ي -ii and when you’re addressing a group of people, the verb ends in وا -uu (the alif is silent, just like it is after أَنْ).

    In English To a man With English letters To a woman With English letters To a group With English letters
    Open your mouth اِفْتَح فَمَك iftaH famak اِفْتَحي فَمِك iftaHii famik اِفْتَحوا فَمكُم iftaHuu famkum
    Come تَعالَ ta3aala تَعالي ta3aalii تَعالوا ta3aaluu
  • 50 Market 1272 100 •••
    أَعْطوني · أَعْطيني · أَعْطِني · بِكَم · تَعالوا · تَعالي · تَعالَ · تَفَضَّل · تَفَضَّلوا · تَفَضَّلي · تُعْطين · كيلو
    12 words

    Here you go, come in, go ahead. 3 in 1 ?!

    The verb تَفَضَّل expresses all these meanings. This arises form an Arabic cultural concept of honoring your guest. It literally means "please do me a favor and come in/take this thing/ pass ahead of me". Isn't it nice?

  • 50 Jobs 2281 100 •••
    آخَر · أَسْهَل · أَصْعَب · أَغْنى · أَفْقَر · أَكون · أُخْرى · تَكوني · تُصْبِحي · مَصْنَع · مُسْتَقْبَل · مِن
    12 words

    To be or not to be

    You know that in order to say “She is an engineer,” you just say هِيَّ مُهَنْدِسة (literally, “she engineer”).

    However, when you want to say something that happened in the past like “I was tired” or something that will happen like “I will be there,” you don’t drop the “was” or “will be.” You also use يَكون yakuun, meaning “to be,” after أَنْ.

    Arabic example Example with English letters Meaning
    أُريد أَنْ أَكون مُهَنْدِساً / مُهَنْدِسة 2uriid 2an 2akuun muhandisan / muhandisa I want to be an engineer.
    تُريد أَنْ تَكون مُهَنْدِساً turiid 2an takuun muhandisan You want to be an engineer. (to a man)
    تُريدين أَنْ تَكوني مُهَنْدِسة turiidiin 2an takuunii muhandisa You want to be an engineer. (to a woman)
    يُريد أَنْ يَكون مُهَنْدِساً yuriid 2an yakuun muhandisan He wants to be an engineer.
    تُريد أَنْ تَكون مُهَنْدِسة turiid 2an takuun muhandisa She wants to be an engineer.
    نُريد أَنْ نَكون مُهَنْدِسين nuriid 2an nakuun muhandisiin We want to be engineers.
    تُريدون أَنْ تَكونوا مُهَنْدِسين turiiduun 2an takuunuu muhandisiin Y’all want to be engineers.
    يُريدون أَنْ يَكونوا مُهَنْدِسين yuriiduun 2an yakuunuu muhandisiin They want to be engineers.

    After this new verb “to be,” the thing you want to be ends in اً -an (as long as that thing doesn’t end in ة and doesn’t have “the” or “my, your, his, etc.” on it.)

    Easy. . . easier!

    You may remember that most words in Arabic are based on a 3-consonant root, like د - ر - س D - R - S in يَدْرُس yaDRuS “he studies.” Let’s practice finding the root of the following adjectives.

    Adjective in Arabic Root Adjective in English
    صَعْب ص - ع - ب difficult
    سَهْل س - ه - ل easy
    كَبير ك - ب - ر big
    صَغير ص - غ - ر small
    قَديم ق - د - م old
    جَديد ج - د - د new
    غالي غ - ل - ي expensive
    رَخيص ر - خ - ص cheap
    غَنِيّ غ - ن - ي rich
    فَقير ف - ق - ر poor

    Now that we have those roots, we can make comparisons, like “more difficult” or “cheaper.” To do that, you just plug the root in the following three blanks: 2a _ _ a _

    So if the root is ك - ب - ر K - B - R (like in كَبير), you will end up with: 2a K B a R = أَكْبَر

    Let’s try it with all the same adjectives as above!

    Comparative with English letters Comparative in Arabic (2a _ _ a _) Meaning Root
    2aS3ab أَصْعَب more difficult ص - ع - ب
    2ashal أَسْهَل easier س - ه - ل
    2akbar أَكْبَر bigger ك - ب - ر
    2aSghar أَصْغَر smaller ص - غ - ر
    2aqdam أَقْدَم older ق - د - م
    2ajadd أَجَدّ newer ج - د - د
    2aghlaa أَغْلى more expensive غ - ل - ي
    2arkhaS أَرْخَص cheaper ر - خ - ص
    2aghnaa أَغْنى richer غ - ن - ي
    2afqar أَفْقَر poorer ف - ق - ر

    Some interesting comparatives above are:

    أَجَدّ (and not أَجْدَد) for adjective جَديد -- that’s what happens when the second and third consonants of the root are the same letter (in this case J - D - D)!

    أَغْلى “more expensive” (2aghlaa) and أَغْنى “richer” (2aghnaa) where the combination short a + final ii = aa (and NOT ay)

    Nothing’s easier than this!

    To say “easier than” or “poorer than,” just use the word مِن min.

    مَحْمود أَفْقَر مِن سام (maHmoud 2afqar min saam) “Mahmoud is poorer than Sam”

    غَسّان أَغْنى مِن عُمَر (ghassaan 2aghnaa min 3umar) “Ghassan is richer than Omar

    Almost too easy

    One nice thing about making comparisons in Arabic is that the comparative stays the same whether you’re talking about a man, a woman or a group of people.

    Comparison in Arabic With English letters Meaning
    مَحْمود أَكْبَر مِن رانْيا maHmoud 2akbar min raanyaa Mahmoud is older than Rania.
    رانْيا أَكْبَر مِن بَشير raanyaa 2akbar min bashiir Rania is older than Bashir.
    -- -- --
    أُمّي أَغْنى مِن أَبي 2ummii 2aghnaa min 2abii My mother is richer than my father.
    أَبي أَفْفَر مِن أٌمّي 2abii 2afqar min 2ummii My father is poorer than my mother.

    In other news

    The word “other” in Arabic is آخَر in the masculine. Beware: the feminine doesn’t take ة but rather follows a different pattern: أُخْرى.

    Examples in Arabic With English letters Meaning
    يَوْم مُمْطِر آخَر yawm mumTir 2aakhar another rainy day
    رَجُل آخَر rajul 2aakhar another man
    اَلْآخَر al-2aakhar the Other / the other one
    -- -- --
    مَرّة أُخْرى marra 2ukhraa another time, again
    اِمْرَأة أُخْرى imra2a 2ukhraa another woman
    اَلْأُخْرى al-2ukhraa the other one
  • 50 Routine 1282 100 •••
    أَحْياناً · أَسْنان · أَو · بِسُرْعة · ذٰلِك · عَشاء · غَداء · في ساعة مُتَأَخِّرة · فُطور · لِ · موسيقى · مَعاً · مُبَكِّراً
    13 words
  • 50 Clothes 2283 100 •••
    بَدَلات · بِنْطال · بِٱلْضَّبْط · جَوارِب · حِذاء · حِزام · طَبْعاً · عَفْواً · فَساتين · فُسْتان · قَميص · قُبَّعات · قُفّازات · قُمْصان · كُمّ · لَيْلى · مَعاطِف · مَلابِس
    18 words

    Your pant is nice!

    Some nouns that are plural in English are singular in Arabic, like “pants” and “shoes.” This means those nouns take singular agreement, as illustrated by the examples below.

    Examples in Arabic With English letters Meaning
    هٰذا ٱلْبِنْطال جَميل haadha l-binTaal jamiil These pants are pretty.
    أُريد اَلْحِذاء اَلْأَزْرَق اَلْجَديد 2uriid al-Hidhaa2 al-2azraq al-jadiid I want the new blue shoes.

    Do you notice the singular masculine agreement with all words that describe “pants” and “shoes” in the table above? That’s how it works! If it’s easier, you can think of these words are “a pair of pants” and “a pair of shoes.”

    cars, houses, books = she

    You know that if you want to describe a masculine noun, you use a masculine adjective/verb/pronoun, etc. And if the noun is feminine, the agreement is feminine.

    Examples of agreement with nouns With English letters Meaning
    اَلْمَكْتَب كَبير. al-maktab kabiir The office is big.
    اَلْجامِعة كَبيرة. al-jaami3a kabiira The university is big.
    -- -- --
    هٰذا ٱلْبَيْت لا يَنام haadhaa l-bayt laa yanaam This house does not sleep.
    هٰذِهِ ٱلْمَدينة لا تَنام haadhihi l-madiina laa tanaam This city does not sleep.
    -- -- --
    !هٰذا ٱلْبِنْطال؟ نَعَم أُحِبّهُ كَثيراً haadhaa l-binTaal? na3am 2uHibbhu kathiiran This pair of pants? Yes, I like it a lot!
    !هٰذِهِ ٱلْصَّحيفة؟ نَعَم أُحِبّها كَثيراً haadhihi S-SaHiifa? na3am 2uHibbhaa kathiiran This newspaper? Yes, I like it a lot!

    One thing we haven’t seen yet is how to describe plural nouns. Arabic treats non-human plurals (e.g. cars, books, lessons, etc.) and human plurals (e.g. people, teachers, Arabs, Americans, etc.) differently. Today we’ll learn how to deal with non-human plurals.

    Formal Arabic tends to view non-human plurals as one set, as opposed to a bunch of individual items. For this reason, it considers non-human plurals as singular. Non-human plurals take feminine singular agreement. This means that in order to describe non-human plurals, you will use words like هِيَّ (“they”), هٰذِهِ (“these”), ها (“them”), etc.

    Examples of agreement with non-human plural nouns With English letters Meaning
    اَلْدُّروس سَهْلة ad-duruus sahla The lessons are easy.
    هٰذِهِ ٱلْلُّغات لَيْسَت صَعْبة أَبَداً haadhihi l-lughaat laysat Sa3ba 2abadan These languages are not difficult at all.
    -- -- --
    أَفْلامهُ تُساعِدني 2aflaamhu tusaa3idnii His movies help me.
    هٰذه ٱلْكُتُب؟ نَعَم أُحِبّها كَثيراً haadhihi l-kutub? na3am 2uHibbhaa kathiiran These books? Yes, I like them a lot.
  • 50 Trip 1291 100 •••
    آسْيا · أوروبّا · إِلى أَيْن · بُيوت · بِلاد · فِكْرة · لَنْ · مالْطا · مَناظِر · مَواقِع · مَوْقِع
    11 words

    I won’t cry, I wooon’t cryyy

    To say “I will go,” you know to add سَ in front of the present verb أَذْهَب “I go.” The result is سَأَذْهَب sa-2adhhab “I will go.”

    But what about “I will NOT go” or “we will NOT eat” or “they will NOT speak” etc.? To say this, use the word لَنْ lan followed by the verb, i.e. لَنْ أَذْهَب lan 2adhhab “I will not go.”

    The table below contrasts “will” and “will not.”

    Will Arabic with English letters Meaning Will not Arabic with English letters Meaning
    سَأَشْرَب sa-2ashrab I will drink لَنْ أَشْرَب lan 2ashrab I will not drink
    سَتَشْرَب sa-tashrab you will drink (to a male) لَنْ تَشْرَب lan tashrab you will not drink (to a male)
    سَتَشْرَبين sa-tashrabiin you will drink (to a female) لَنْ تَشْرَبي lan tashrabii you will not drink (to a female)
    سَيَشْرَب sa-yashrab he will drink لَنْ يَشْرَب lan yashrab he will not drink
    سَتَشْرَب sa-tashrab she will drink لَنْ تَشْرَب lan tashrab she will not drink
    سَنَشْرَب sa-nashrab we will drink لَنْ نَشْرَب lan nashrab we will not drink
    سَتَشْرَبون sa-tashrabuun you all will drink لَنْ تَشْرَبوا lan tashrabuu you all will not drink
    سَيَشْرَبون sa-yashrabuun they will drink لَنْ يَشْرَبوا lan yashrabuu they will not drink

    As you see in the examples above, the present verb after لَنْ takes some special forms: the ن drops out at the end of the verb for you (to a woman), you all and they, AND a silent alif is added at the end of the verb for you all and they only. This is just like the verb after أَنْ!


2020-10-03
0.014

Alphabet 1 updated 2019-06-20

Reading back to front

Did you know that Arabic is written right to left?

English letters Arabic letters
d د
aa ا
daa دا

(See? Right to left! How cool is that?)

This means that when you pick up a book or magazine written in Arabic, you should start reading from the back cover — which, of course, is the front!

Aah!!

When Arabic is written using English letters, sometimes there’ll be two vowels in a row.

English letters Arabic letters
daa دا
duu دو
dii دي

This doesn’t mean that there are two vowels in Arabic, but rather that there is one loooong vowel. Yes, Arabic has both short and long vowels! You’ll be learning more about this soon.

Oh, duh

When you see a tiny forward slash above a letter, it means this letter has a short ah sound right after it. We’ll talk more about this later.

English letters Arabic letters
d د
da دَ

Wow, yeah!

Sometimes و = uu (long vowel) and other times و = w.

English letters Arabic letters
zuu زو

BUT

English letters Arabic letters
zaw زَو
wa وَ

Same with the letter ي: sometimes ي = ii (long vowel) and sometimes ي = y.

English letters Arabic letters
zii زي

BUT

English letters Arabic letters
zay زَي
ya يَ

The key is other vowels! If there is a vowel right before or right after و or ي, then they become w and y. Otherwise, they’re just the long vowels uu and ii.

Alphabet 2 updated 2020-07-10

Mighty Morphing Power Letters

In English, letters can change shape, like if they’re uppercase or lowercase. Letters in Arabic, instead, change shape, based on where they are in comparison to other letters because they can connect to neighboring letters. Look at the shapes of ب b:

Position Arabic letters English letters
Independent ب b
Beginning of word بَر bar
Middle of word جَبَر jabar
End of word رَجَب rajab

Letters can have up to four shapes, though some have fewer than that.

All letters have the independent form and the End of word form (which means connecting to the previous letter).

However, not all letters connect to the following letter → some letters don't have the beginning and middle of the word forms.

Note that the letter combinations you will see in the course to help you learn to read and write in Arabic do not necessarily have a meaning.

ذ = dh

The new letter ذ (dhaal) makes the same sound as the letter combination th in the following English words: the, this, brother, bathing. In our transliteration system, ذ will be represented as dh.

Note that this is not the same sound as th in the following set of English words: thick, thunder, broth, bath. This th sound corresponds to a different letter in Arabic that you will learn soon.

Alphabet 3 updated 2019-06-20

In the beginning...

In the last skill, you learned to recognize some letters (like ب and ج) by themselves and at the beginning of a word.

English letters Arabic letters
Bob بوب
George جورج

Here’s how ب looks in other positions:

Position English letters Arabic letters
Middle kabar كَبَر
End kab كَب

And here’s how ج looks:

Position English letters Arabic letters
Middle kajad كَجَد
End kaj كَج

Exciting!

Letters vs. words

Arabic has 28 letters and several smaller markings (like short vowels) and you’ll be learning all of them in this course! So you need lots of practice with letters at first.

That’s why you’ll go through several lessons on the alphabet and then you’ll get to one with new vocabulary. But don’t worry, there will be more and more vocab as you progress in the course!

Alphabet 4 updated 2020-05-23

The Beautiful Camel

Did you know that vowels in Arabic can be short or long, and that using the wrong one might change the meaning of the word?

Vowel length Arabic letters English letters Meaning
Short جَمَل jamal camel
Long جَمال jamaal beauty

At first, it’ll probably be tricky for you to hear the difference between short and long vowels. It’ll come with practice!

I Have House

Notice that there is no word in Arabic that means a or an.

Word Meaning
بَيت house / a house
جاكيت jacket / a jacket

This isn’t the case for the word the, though...We’ll talk about the later.

A door big

In English, when you want to describe a noun with an adjective (like “a new jacket” or “a big door”), you put the adjective (new, big) before the noun (jacket, door).

Have you noticed how it’s the opposite in Arabic?

Phrase Translation
جاكيت جديد a new jacket (literally: “a jacket new”)
باب كَبير a big door (literally: “a door big”)

Descriptions 1 updated 2020-05-23

Hold it!

In Arabic, if you hold the sound of a consonant extra long, it might change the meaning of a word. We use a symbol called shadda (it looks like a small w) over a consonant to signal that it’s extra long. In English letters, we’ll just write two of the same consonant.

Word With English letters Meaning Word with shadda With English letters Meaning
دَرَس daras he studied دَرَّس darras he taught
حَمام Hamaam pigeons حَمّام Hammaam bathroom

Note the shadda on the Arabic words on the right side, and the double rr and double mm in darras and Hammaam. When a letter has shadda on it, just hold it extra long!

We saw chicken at the farm!

The word دَجاج (dajaaj) is a collective plural, meaning that it is a singular noun that refers to an entire group or category.

In the context of food, it is best translated as “chicken” because English “chicken” also refers to an entire category of meat. However, in the context of a chicken coop, دَجاج is best translated as “chickens” because it refers to the entire group of chickens rather than a single chicken.

Just remember: دَجاج is NOT a single chicken.

What is number 3 doing here?

As we write Arabic words with English letters, the letter ع has no equivalent. So to make it easier for you, we will use the number 3 that looks just like an inverted ع to remind you when to use it. It is informal, but it helps.

Descriptions 2 updated 2019-07-15

Duo amazing!

That’s what you’re literally saying in Arabic when you want to say “Duo is amazing!”

That is because most of the time, the words am, is and are simply aren’t expressed in Arabic.

Phrase Translation
جورج سَعيد George is happy (literally: “George happy”)
جودي مِن جوبا Judy is from Juba (literally: “Judy from Juba”)

This fun, right?

La la la la la

You’re about to be introduced to the letter ل (l in English) and learn its different shapes. One thing to remember is that when ل is followed by ا within the same word, the result is unexpected!

ل + ا = لا

Countries 1 updated 2019-06-26

Uh-oh

You already know that the letter ا makes a long aaaaah sound. But it can also do other things!

For example, it can “carry” the tiny letter ء . This letter (called “hamza”) is pronounced like the sound you make between “uh” and “oh” when you say, “uh-oh!”

Words that sound like they start with a vowel in Arabic usually start with hamza first, then the vowel.

Notice that ء can appear in different spots, depending on the vowel it’s written with.

Above the ا

English letters Arabic letters
2a أَ
2u أُ

Below the ا

English letters Arabic letters
2i إِ

What’s the Deal With the 2?

In English, there is no letter that corresponds to ء . Since ء looks like a reversed 2, we write it in English letters using the number 2. Check out these examples from the course:

English letters Arabic letters
2a أَ
2u أُ
2i إِ
2uu أو
2ii إي

We owe this innovation to the texting culture. Because the texting technology was originally based on the English alphabet, Arabic speakers got used to texting in Arabic using English letters. Since there’s no good English letter equivalent of ء, they started using 2.

Omar Is... updated 2020-06-11

Th

Read these words out loud:

th version one th version two
three the
moth mother
tooth smooth

Do you notice that the sound of th is different for the words on the left side than it is for the words on the right side?

In Arabic, those two th sounds are actually different letters!

In the word سيث (siith) “Seth”, "th" is like the “th” in “three.” We will use th for the letter ث when transliterating in English letters.

In the word ذَكِيّ (dhakiyy) “smart”, "th" is like the “th” in “the.” We will use dh for the letter ذ when transliterating in English letters.

Zero vowels

There is a marking in Arabic that tells you when there is no vowel. It looks like a tiny zero:

كَبُر = kabur كَبْر = kabr

See the small zero there in kabr? It’s telling you this word is pronounced kabr. Here are some other examples:

مَسَك = masak مَسْك = mask

جَبَر = jabar جَبْر = jabr

This is at you! (aka you have got this)

In English, when you want to talk about things you have or possess, you just say I have a pen. In Arabic, you say this a little differently.

Arabic version Literal translation Meaning
.عِنْد جودي بَيْت at Judy a house Judy has a house.
.عِنْد عُمَر كَراج at Omar a garage Omar has a garage.

Be aware that "عِنْدَ" is not a verb.

Lebanon → Lebanese

To make the nationality adjectives, it is totally easy. For a singular masculine person, we just add the letter ي to the end of the country's name. So لُبنان = Lebanon becomes لُبناني = Lebanese, and عُمان = Oman becomes عُماني = Omani. We will talk about the forms with other subjects later.

Countries 2 updated 2019-06-26

You’ve already learned that when you see أ / إ at the beginning of a word, it’s just pronounced ء. The ا stays silent.

But what about when it’s in the middle or at the end of a word? You might see ء either on the line or on top of other letters. Don’t worry about learning the rules for which happens when — just know that these forms exist and learn how they sound.

Phrases updated 2020-04-01

-an

You already know that a tiny slash above a letter makes the sound a. But what if you see two tiny slashes at the end of a word? Well, that symbol makes a different sound: an. Usually, -an is written above ا, making it look like this: اً. (The ا is silent!)

Arabic word With English letters Meaning
شُكْراً shukran thank you
صَباحاً SabaaHan in the morning
مَساءً masaa2an in the evening

Some people prefer to write -an first and then to add the silent alif, like this: شُكْرًا (instead of شُكْراً). Either way, the word is pronounced the same way: shukran!

ع = 3

Today, you’ll hear a sound that we don’t have in English: ع !

Pronouncing ع can be a bit tricky at first. Some people compare its sound to the sound you make when you yawn, some say it’s the sound you make when you hurt yourself and it hurts real bad — some even say it sounds like a duck.

You can try this: get close to a mirror, open your mouth wide and fog up the mirror with your breath. You should feel how tight your throat gets when you do this. Now, while doing this, say the vowel a as in cat. That’s about the right sound.

Because this letter, when it’s not connected to another letter, looks like a reversed 3, we’ll write it as a 3 in English letters. For example, we write the word عَرَبِيّ as 3arabiyy.

Yaa dude!

In Arabic, you use the word يا (yaa) before addressing someone. You can think of it as an attention getter, kind of like “hey!” but not as informal.

أَهْلاً يا عُمَر!

Hello, Omar.

شُكْراً يا كَري!

Thank you, Carrie.

He is to she what 2anta is to 2anti

In English, when you’re talking about someone, you have to specify their gender with either “he” or “she.” In Arabic, you also specify gender when talking to someone directly.

Feminine Masculine
2anti أَنْتِ = you (female) 2anta أَنْتَ = you (male)
hiyya هِيَّ = she huwwa هُوَّ = he

Descriptions 3 updated 2019-06-26

In Arabic, all nouns and adjectives are either masculine or feminine, even when they don’t refer to people. Feminine nouns and adjectives usually end with the letter ة. This letter sounds like a short a and it can only be found at the end of words.

If an adjective describes a noun, it has to agree with the noun: this means that if the noun is masculine, the adjective is masculine, but if the noun is feminine, then the adjective is feminine.

Masculine Feminine
مُتَرْجِم ذَكِيّ = a smart translator (male) = mutarjim dhakiyy مُتَرْجِمة ذَكِيّة = a smart translator (female) = mutarjima dhakiyya
أُسْتاذ أَمْريكِيّ = an American professor (male) = 2ustaadh 2amriikiyy أُسْتاذة أَمْريكِيّة = an American professor (female) = 2ustaadha 2amriikiyya

You and Me updated 2019-06-26

ghhhhhh

Have you ever gargled? If so, you probably already know how to make the sound of the letter غ. Put some water in your mouth, throw your head back and gargle away! That’s your Arabic homework.

In English, we’ll write غ as gh.

ا = ى

At the end of a word, ا may appear in a different shape: ى. The two alifs (ا and ى) are not interchangeable, so you’ll need to memorize which is used where.

on, on top of = (3alaa) عَلى

Standard Arabic = (al-3arabiyya l-fuSHaa) اَلْعَرَبِيّة الْفُصْحى

Great Britain = (bariiTaanyaa l-kubraa) بَريطانْيا الْكُبْرى

Yes or no?

Have you noticed that questions that start with a question word in English (what, who, why, how, when, etc.) cannot be answered by yes or no, while questions that start with a verb (are you, did we, can she, will they, has he, etc.) require an answer with yes or no?

Why did the duck cross the road?

-Yes ❌

-No ❌

-To prove he wasn’t a chicken! ✅

Did Adam have a belly-button?

-Yes ✅

-No ✅

-At 3PM. ❌

-Because she was smart. ❌

-Through telepathic mind control. ❌

Well, in Arabic, yes/no questions begin with the word هَل (hal). هَل doesn’t have a translation in English — it just means, “hey, I’m a yes/no question!” هَل you ready for this?

University updated 2019-06-26

Ha!

Arabic has so many cool sounds! Like the ح, for example. This is the sound it makes when you get close to a window, open your mouth wide and fog up the window. Try it at home!

Don’t get this new sound mixed up with the other h (ﻫ / ه), the one that sounds like the first letter in the word ‘house’ in English. See if you can hear the difference between the two in today’s exercises. And don’t get discouraged if it’s tricky at first! You’ll get there!

The university is a girl??

Remember that when an adjective describes a noun, it has to match the gender of the noun — a masculine adjective with a masculine noun, and a feminine adjective with a feminine noun. This is true for all nouns, even those that don’t refer to people!

Masculine Feminine
بَلَد عَرَبِيّ = an Arab country مَدينة عَرَبِيّة = an Arab city
بَيْت جَديد = a new house جامِعة جَديدة = a new university

Are You...? updated 2020-03-27

My uncle is dear

Another cool, new Arabic sound is خ. To make this sound, you need to gargle with water but without the singing. Try to whisper as you gargle and you should be making the right sound.

We write خ as kh with English letters.

This is not the same as غ (gh), which is the sound you make when you gargle normally, without whispering.

expensive, dear = (ghaalii) غالي

my mother’s brother = (khaalii) خالي

The

To say the house instead of a house in Arabic, just put the two letters اَلْ (al-) in front of the word بَيْت.

a thing the thing
بَيْت = a house اَلْبَيْت = the house
باب = a door اَلْباب = the door
مَلِكة = a queen اَلْمَلِكة = the queen

You can do this with any noun in Arabic!

Family 1 updated 2019-07-02

Mr. T

Ready for a cool new sound? Let’s call it Mr. T. This is a bigger, stronger version of regular t. It’s the sound of the letter ط in Arabic and we write it as capital T in English letters.

How does Mr. T sound different from regular t?

t + a = ta, close to standard American English “tap”

T + a = Ta, close to standard American English “taco”

Listen to the vowels — a vowel that comes after Mr. T sounds farther in the back of the mouth, while one that comes after t sounds closer to the front of the mouth. Some words may sound similar, but if one of them contains regular t and the other Mr. T, they are different words!

to repent = (taab) تاب

to be good, pleasant = (Taab) طاب

Gender is complicated

You’ve seen ة at the end of all feminine nouns so far. However, there are a few nouns that look a little different! These include:

mother = (2umm) أُمّ

sister = (2ukht) أُخْت

daughter / girl = (bint) بِنْت

Oh my!

If you want to say something like This is my house in Arabic, you need to add an extra little ending onto the thing that is mine.

something my something
house = (bayt) بَيْت my house = (baytii) بَيْتي
mother = (2umm) أُمّ my mother = (2ummii) أُمّي

You just add ي at the end of the noun. Now it’s yours! Be careful, though — this only works for words that don’t end in ة.

What's Your Name? updated 2020-03-27

q, not qu

Another distinct Arabic sound is ق. It’s kind of like the sound k in English, except much deeper in the throat. Practice it and you’ll totally get it!

We write ق as q with English letters.

Iraq = (al-3iraaq) اَلْعِراق

-ak and -ik

Remember how, in order to say my house you just add ي at the end of house? Well, to say your house or your son you add ـَك (-ak) when talking to a man and ـِك (-ik) when talking to a woman.

son = (ibn) اِبْن

your son (to a man) = (ibnak) اِبْنَك

your son (to a woman) = (ibnik) اِبْنِك

Family 2 updated 2020-03-27

Mr. T’s little brothers

You already know the difference between regular t and Mr. T — the vowels around Mr. T sound tougher, more serious and grave than they do around regular t. There are actually three more pairs like ط / ت in Arabic.

Another pair is ذ (dh) and ظ (DH) These two letters are similar, but the vowels around DH are further back in the mouth.

warner, herald = (nadhiir) نَذير

equal = (naDHiir) نَظير

ت <- ة

If you want to say that a city is my city or your city, something funky happens. Remember, مَدينة (city) ends in ة. You make that ة into ـَت (-at) (!!), and then you add the “my” or “your” endings you already know.

Word With English letters Meaning
مَدينة madiina a city
مَدينَتي madiinatii my city
مَدينَتَك madiinatak your city (to a male)
مَدينَتِك madiinatik your city (to a female)

This doesn’t apply just to “city” but to all nouns that end in ة.

Word With English letters Meaning
جارة jaara a (female) neighbor
جارَتي jaaratii my (female) neighbor
جارَتَك jaaratak your (female) neighbor (to a male)
جارَتِك jaaratik your (female) neighbor (to a female)

What’s whose?

As you know, each Arabic noun is either masculine or feminine, and adjectives have to match that gender.

Masculine noun Feminine noun
The house is pretty = (al-bayt jamiil) اَلْبَيْت جَميل The city is pretty = (al-madiina jamiila) اَلْمَدينة جَميلة

This gender never changes! Since بَيْت is masculine, it remains masculine, even if the person who owns it is a woman. The same is true for feminine nouns.

Person being spoken to Masculine noun Feminine noun
Male Your house is pretty (to a male) = (baytak jamiil) بَيْتَك جَميل Your city is pretty (to a male) = (madiinatak jamiila) مَدينَتَك جَميلة
Female Your house is pretty (to a female) = (baytik jamiil) بَيْتِك جَميل Your city is pretty (to a female) = (madiinatik jamiila) مَدينَتِك جَميلة

A house will always be جَميل and a city will always be جَميلة, regardless of whose it is!

Clothes 1 updated 2020-03-27

ض / د

The new letter ض (Daad) is so important to the Arabic language that Arabs sometimes refer to themselves as أهل الضاد “people of the Daad.” We write it capital D with English letters.

ض is the last of Mr. T’s little brothers. It makes the same sound as د except the vowels around ض are more serious and grave. Here again, it will take practice to distinguish the two, but it’s important that you try!

Arabic version English version Meaning
دَلّ dall to show, guide
ضَلّ Dall to stray

Mr. T’s family

You’ve now met all of Mr. T’s relatives. Some resources refer to them as “emphatics.” Here they all are with their non-emphatic equivalents.

Mr. T and relatives, Arabic version Mr. T and relatives, English version Regular letters, Arabic version Regular letters, English version
ط T ت t
ظ DH ذ dh
ص S س s
ض D د d

Remember the letters in the left columns sound like those in the right columns except further back in the mouth.

Have at you!

You probably remember that in order to say “Judy has” in Arabic, you use the word عِنْد “at/to” followed by “Judy.”

Arabic version Literal translation Meaning
.عِنْد جودي بَيْت at Judy a house Judy has a house.

What about “I have” and “you have”? Well, you also use عِنْد. Instead of someone’s name, you add a short ending to عِنْد — the same endings as when you say “my house” or “your house.”

Arabic version Literal translation Meaning
بَيْتي house-my my house
.عِنْدي بَيْت at-me a house I have a house.
-- -- --
بَيْتَك house-your your house (to a man)
.عِنْدَك بَيْت at-you (male) a house You have a house. (to a man)
-- -- --
بَيْتِك house-your your house (to a woman)
.عِنْدِك بَيْت at-you (female) a house You have a house. (to a woman)

I got nothin’

To say “do not have / does not have” with the word you know for possession (عِنْد), all you need to do is add the word لَيْسَ (laysa) in front of it!

“have / has” sentences Translation “do not have / does not have” sentences Translation
.عِنْد جودي بَيْت Judy has a house. .لَيْسَ عِنْد جودي بَيْت Judy does not have a house.
.عِنْدي كَلْب I have a dog. .لَيْسَ عِنْدي كَلْب I do not have a dog.
.عِنْدِك وِشاح You have a scarf. (to a woman) .لَيْسَ عِنْدِك وِشاح You do not have a scarf. (to a woman)

The blue (wo)man (adjective) group

So far, every time you’ve seen an adjective describe a feminine noun, this adjective has ended with the letter ة.

مَدينة سورِيّة = a Syrian city اِمْرَأة ذَكِيّة = a smart woman

But some adjectives (especially adjectives that describe color) take a different form in the feminine.

Masculine examples Translation Feminine examples Translation
بَيْت أَزْرَق a blue house مَدينة زَرْقاء a blue city
.اَلْبَيْت أَزْرَق The house is blue. .اَلْمَدينة زَرْقاء The city is blue.

It’s easiest to learn those special feminine adjectives together with the masculine: practice saying “2azraq / zarqaa2” أَزْرَق / زَرْقاء and repeat it until you’re blue in the face!

At Home 1 updated 2020-03-27

ص / س

The new letter ص (written capital S with English letters) is another of Mr. T’s little brothers. It contrasts with س in the same way ط contrasts with ت : mostly with vowel sounds that are further in the back of the mouth.

Sam = (saam) سام

to fast = (Saam) صام

Sword or dagger?

One more alif! While regular alif looks more like a sword, dagger alif is a tiny vertical line that sits above a letter, more like a dagger. It only appears in a few really old words in Arabic and it sounds exactly like ا.

this (masculine) = (haadhaa) هٰذا

but, however = (laakinn) لٰكِنّ

God = (allaah) اَلله

Sneaky Al

You know اَلْ means “the.” However, you may have noticed it’s used differently in Arabic than “the” is in English. For example, look at these sentences:

This is a house = (haadhaa bayt) هٰذا بَيْت

This is a city = (haadhihi madiina) هٰذِهِ مَدينة

BUT

this house = (haadha l-bayt) هٰذا ٱلْبَيْت

this city = (haadhihi l-madiina) هٰذِهِ ٱلْمَدينة

The ONLY difference between “this house” and “This is a house” is اَلْ ! Sneaky, sneaky Al.

In My Bag updated 2019-07-06

There, there

The word هُناك (hunaak) means both “there” and “there is/there are.” So how will you know the difference? It’s easy: word order! When هُناك comes first in a sentence, it means “there is/there are.”

هُناك = there is/are Translation هُناك = there Translation
.هُناك بَيْت There is a house. .اَلْبَيْت هُناك The house is there.
.هُناك وِشاح أَبْيَض There is a white scarf. .اَلْوِشاح هُناك The scarf is there.

There is no spoon

To say “there is no” or “there are no,” simply add the negator لَيْسَ in front of هُناك.

Sentences with “there is/are” Translation Sentences with “there is no” Translation
.هُناك بَيْت There is a house. .لَيْسَ هُناك بَيْت There is no house.
.هُناك وِشاح أَبْيَض There is a white scarf. .لَيْسَ هُناك وِشاح أَبْيَض There is no white scarf.

Office updated 2019-07-06

House of Bob

In English, if Bob has a house, you call it “Bob’s house.”

Possessor + ’s + what they possess

In Arabic, a very common way to express the same thing is called iDaafa. In iDaafa, the order is reversed.

The thing they possess + possessor

English examples Equivalent in Arabic English letters
Bob’s house بَيْت بوب bayt buub
Carrie’s door باب كَري baab karii
the girl’s dog كَلْب اَلْبِنْت kalb al-bint
the boy’s scarf وِشاح اَلْوَلَد wishaaH al-walad

If it helps, you can think of it as “the house of Bob” instead of “Bob’s house.”

Notice how in Arabic, the thing that is possessed never ever gets اَلْ even if the meaning in English is “the house” or “the dog.” It’s just the bare word!

What the ة ?!!

The letter ة is a tricky one. First, it only ever shows up at the end of words. Second, you probably remember that it turns into ـَت (-at) before “my,” “your,” etc.

Arabic examples Pronunciation Meaning
مَدينة madiina a city
مَدينَتي madiinatii my city
-- -- --
جامِعة jaami3a a university
جامِعَتَك jaami3atak your university (to a man)

Here is something else that makes ة tricky: when the first word of an iDaafa (aka the thing that’s possessed) ends in ة, like in مَدينة بوب “the city of Bob” or “Bob’s city,” the spelling of ة doesn’t change but its pronunciation does. Instead of a, it is pronounced -at.

Arabic examples Pronunciation Meaning
مَدينة madiina a city
مَدينة بوب madiinat buub Bob’s city
-- -- --
جامِعة jaami3a a university
جامِعة كَري jaami3at karii Carrie’s university
-- -- --
قِطّة qiTTa a cat
قِطّة اَلْوَلَد qiTTat al-walad the boy’s cat

As in all iDaafas, the first word can’t have اَلْ “the” on it. It’s just the bare noun.

Describing a picture 1 updated 2019-07-06

His and hers

You already know how to say “my” and “your.” But what about “his” or “her”?

For “his,” just add (-hu) ﻪُ at the end of the word. And for “her,” add (-haa) ها instead. It’s that simple.

a (noun) Pronunciation Meaning his (noun) Pronunciation Meaning her (noun) Pronunciation Meaning
مِعْطَف mi3Taf a coat مِعْطَفهُ mi3Tafhu his coat مِعْطَفها mi3Tafhaa her coat
بَيْت bayt a house بَيْتهُ baythu his house بَيْتها baythaa her house

Remember that if the noun ends with ة, it turns into ـَت (-at) before “my,” “your,” “his,” “her,” etc.

a (noun) Pronunciation Meaning his (noun) Pronunciation Meaning her (noun) Pronunciation Meaning
مَدينة madiina a city مَدينَتهُ madiinathu his city مَدينَتها madiinathaa her city
قُبَّعة qubba3a a hat قُبَّعَتهُ qubba3athu his hat قُبَّعَتها qubba3athaa her hat

Hobbies 1 updated 2020-03-27

I do!

In English, we say “I write” and “you write” and “he writes” and “she writes.” You always have to include “I” or “we” or “he” or “she.”

In Arabic, words like “I,” “we,” and “you,” are optional before verbs. Fortunately, the Arabic verb alone can usually tell you who’s doing the action, because the verbs have a special form for (almost) each person. For example, the “I” form always starts with أ.

Arabic with English letters Arabic verb Meaning
2uHibb أُحِبّ I like/I love
2anaam أَنام I sleep
2abtasim أَبْتَسِم I smile

I don’t!

To say “I do not (do something),” just add the short word (laa) لا in front of the verb!

I (do) Meaning I (do not) Meaning
أَطْبُخ I cook لا أَطْبُخ I do not cook
أُحِبّ I like لا أُحِبّ I do not like

Seeing is believing!

In English, we say things like:

I like talking. Talking is my favorite.

In Arabic, you can replace “talking” in those examples with the word اَلْكَلام (al-kalaam). اَلْكَلام is a noun (for example, it begins with أَلْ “the” like a noun), but it feels verb-y. So we call it a “verbal noun.”

This isn’t the “talking” like in the sentence “I’m talking.” That gets translated differently.

Arabic version Literal meaning English translation
أَتَكَلَّم I talk / I am talking I talk / I am talking
-- -- --
أُحِبّ اَلْكَلام. I like the talking. I like talking / I like to talk.
أُريد اَلْكَلام. I want the talking. I want to talk.
اَلْكَلام جَيِّد. The talking is good. Talking is good.

Notice how the literal translation of اَلْكَلام is “the talking”--this is because verbal nouns are always used with اَلْ “the” (or some other definite marker).

Shoot for the moon

Let’s review اَلْ!

Arabic “a” Arabic with English letters Meaning Arabic “the” Arabic with English letters Meaning
بَيْت bayt a house اَلْبَيْت al-bayt the house
مُهَنْدِسة muhandisa an engineer اَلْمُهَنْدِسة al-muhandisa the engineer
قِطّة qiTTa a cat اَلْقِطّة al-qiTTa the cat
كَلْب kalb a dog اَلْكَلْب al-kalb the dog

All these nouns start with letters called “moon letters.” There’s another letter group called “sun letters.”

If a word starts with a sun letter and you add اَلْ “the” to it, two things happen: 1. You don’t pronounce the ل in اَلْ, and 2. The first letter in the word after اَلْ gets held twice as long.

Arabic “a” Arabic with English letters Meaning Arabic “the” Arabic with English letters Meaning
زَوْجة zawja a wife اَلْزَّوْجة az-zawja the wife
سَيّارة sayyaara a car اَلْسَّيّارة as-sayyaara the car
دُكْتور duktuur a doctor اَلْدُّكْتور ad-duktuur the doctor
رَجُل rajul a man اَلْرَّجُل ar-rajul the man

In Arabic, it’s written like what you would expect (اَلْزَّوْجة). But with English letters, it’s not al-zawja but rather az-zawja. So instead of saying the l, you pronounce the z extra long.

Here is a list of all sun vs. moon letters:

Moon letters Sun letters
أ ت
ب ث
ج د
ح ذ
خ ر
ع ز
غ س
ف ش
ق ص
ك ض
م ط
ظ
و ل
ي ن

Weather 1 updated 2020-03-27

The pretty the house

You already know how to say things like “a pretty house” or “a Syrian girl.”

Arabic version Arabic with English letters Meaning
بَيْت جَميل bayt jamiil a pretty house
بِنْت سورِيّة bint suuriyya a Syrian girl
مُتَرْجِم مُمْتاز mutarjim mumtaaz an amazing translator
جامِعة مَشْهورة jaami3a mashhuura a famous university

When a word has اَلْ “the” on it, the adjective that describes it also needs to start with اَلْ.

Arabic version Arabic with English letters Meaning
اَلْبَيْت اَلْجَميل al-bayt al-jamiil the pretty house
اَلْبِنْت اَلْسّورِيّة al-bint as-suuriyya the Syrian girl
اَلْمُتَرْجِم اَلْمُمْتاز al-mutarjim al-mumtaaz the amazing translator
اَلْجامِعة اَلْمَشْهورة al-jaami3a al-mashhuura the famous university

What if I forget and say اَلْبَيْت جَميل?

If you mean to say “the pretty house” اَلْبَيْت اَلْجَميل (al-bayt al-jamiil) but say اَلْبَيْت جَميل instead, the meaning changes. اَلْبَيْت جَميل = The house is pretty. That’s a full-fledged sentence!

al- al- With English letters Meaning al- ∅- With English letters Meaning
اَلْبَيْت اَلْجَميل al-bayt al-jamiil the pretty house .اَلْبَيْت جَميل al-bayt jamiil. The house is pretty.
اَلْبِنْت اَلْسّورِيّة al-bint as-suuriyya the Syrian girl .اَلْبِنْت سورِيّة al-bint suuriyya. The girl is Syrian.
اَلْمُتَرْجِم اَلْمُمْتاز al-mutarjim al-mumtaaz the amazing translator .اَلْمُتَرْجِم مُمْتاز al-mutarjim mumtaaz The translator is amazing.
اَلْجامِعة اَلْمَشْهورة al-jaami3a al-mashhuura the famous university .اَلْجامِعة مَشْهورة al-jaami3a mashhuura. The university is famous.

2aa 2 furious

When ء is followed by the long aaaaaa vowel (ا), it is spelled آ --this is an alif with a small wave on top of it. We write it 2aa in English letters. آ can appear at the beginning and in the middle of a word.

For example, the word اَلْقُرْآن (al-qur2aan) “the Qur’an / the Koran” contains a hamza followed by ا , and so it is spelled آ.

Geography 1 updated 2020-03-27

Welcome to (the) Cairo!

Some place names in Arabic begin with اَلْ “the,” and some don’t.

Arabic version Arabic with English letters Meaning
اَلْسّودان as-suudaan Sudan
اَلْصّين aS-Siin China
اَلْقاهِرة al-qaahira Cairo
اَلْبُنْدُقِيّة al-bunduqiyya Venice
-- -- --
فِلَسْطين filasTiin Palestine
هولَنْدا huulandaa Holland
بَغْداد baghdaad Baghdad
طوكْيو Tuukyuu Tokyo

Describing a picture 2 updated 2020-03-28

And now, spelling

You’ve already learned that ء can appear on top of a few different letters. Specifically, it can appear on top of و ,ي and ا.

Letter with ء Regular letter
ؤ و
ئ (Notice: no dots!) ي
أ / إ ا

At this point, you don't need to know the hamza spelling rules. Just know hamza can show up in different positions.

Examples of words containing ء Arabic with English letters Meaning
قارِئ qaari2 reader
غائِب ghaa2ib absent
مَسْؤول mas2uul responsible
يَبْدَأ yabda2 he begins
شَيْء shay2 thing
جاءَت jaa2at she came

He’s got nothin’

You already know that عِنْدي means I have and عِنْدَك/عِنْدِك means you have.

So what about he has or she has? Easy! For he has, just add (-hu) ﻪُ at the end of عِنْد, and for she has, add (-haa) ها instead.

To say he does not have and she does not have, use the word لَيْسَ.

“has” Meaning Arabic with English letters “does not have” Meaning Arabic with English letters
عِنْدهُ he has 3indhu لَيْسَ عِنْدهُ he does not have laysa 3indhu
عِنْدها she has 3indhaa لَيْسَ عِنْدها she does not have laysa 3indhaa

In Florida heavy rain.

You know how to make there is / there are sentences using the word هُناك:

Arabic version Arabic with English letters Meaning
هُناك مَطَر ثَقيل. hunaak maTar thaqiil There is heavy rain.
هُناك وِشاح في شَنْطَتي. hunaak wishaaH fii shanTatii There is a scarf in my bag.
لَيْسَ هُناك لُغة صَعْبة. laysa hunaak lugha Sa3ba There is no difficult language.

You might also hear another way to say there is / there are in formal Arabic. This way uses reversed word order.

Arabic version Arabic with English letters Literal meaning Meaning
في شَنْطَتي وِشاح. fii shanTatii wishaaH. In my bag a scarf. There is a scarf in my bag.
أَمامي رَجُل غَريب. 2amaamii rajul ghariib. In front of me a weird man. There is a weird man in front of me.
في الْخَلْفِيّة بَيْت. fii l-khalfiyya bayt. In the background a house. There is a house in the background.

At Home 2 updated 2020-03-27

WaSl’ up?

You’ve already seen hamza look like أ. This hamza doesn’t change whether it comes right after a consonant or a vowel.

أ NOT preceded by vowel With English letters Meaning أ preceded by vowel With English letters Meaning
مُحَمَّد أُسْتاذي. muHammad 2ustaadhii Mohamed is my professor. شادي أُسْتاذي. shaadii 2ustaadhii Shadi is my professor.
لِز أُمّهُ. liz 2ummhu Liz is his mother. مَها أُمّهُ. mahaa 2ummhu Maha is his mother.

Some words start with ا and a short vowel on it without a hamza (like اِمْرَأة and اَلْ). When these words come right after a vowel, the short vowel on ا is replaced by a new symbol called waSla.

WaSla looks like this: ٱ. It simply means “Hi! The alif under me is silent! Move on to the next letter please!”

اَلْ NOT preceded by vowel With English letters Meaning اَلْ preceded by vowel With English letters Meaning
مُحَمَّد اَلْمُعَلِّم muHammad al-mu3allim Mohamed the teacher شادي ٱلْمُعَلِّم shaadii l-mu3allim Shadi the teacher
لِز اَلْمُتَرْجِمة liz al-mutarjima Liz the translator مَها ٱلْمُتَرْجِمة mahaa l-mutarjima Maha the translator
اَلبَيْت al-bayt the house في ٱلبَيْت fii l-bayt in the house

WaSla basically blends the previous word to the word that starts with ٱ.

Now you pronounce it, now you don’t

Sometimes, اَلْ “the” is preceded by a vowel (so it becomes ٱلْ) and followed by a sun letter.

For example, if you want to say “in the car,” you are putting together three pieces: في (fii) + اَلْ (al) + سَيّارة (sayyaara)

The ي of “in” turns اَلْ (al-) into ٱلْ (l-).

The س of “car” is a sun letter. So the ل in ٱلْ isn’t pronounced, and the س gets held for double the time.

The result is: في + اَلْ + سَيّارة = في ٱلْسَّيّارة = fii s-sayyaara

This is NOT fii al-sayyaara, but fii s-sayyaara. “The” basically dissolves into the mix! No trace of ا and no trace of ل (although اَلْ is still there in writing).

Zero to ten updated 2020-03-28

Numbers in Arabic are the only thing you have left to learn in order to be able to read anything written in Arabic!

Arabic numbers look different from English numbers, but both Arabic and English numbers are commonly used in Arabic. For example, at a traditional market, you’re more likely to see Arabic numbers, but in a text message you could see either.

One interesting thing to notice is that the digits within a number in Arabic are actually written left to right! So number 10, which is made up of ١ (1) and then ٠ (0), is spelled ١٠ (and NOT ٠١; that would be 01).

Isn’t Arabic fun?!

Geography 2 updated 2020-03-28

The structure of possession

You know that the iDaafa structure is commonly used to express possession. Remember, in an iDaafa: 1. The thing that is possessed comes first, followed by the possessor; 2. The thing that is possessed must be a bare noun (aka no اَلْ “the” in Arabic); 3. If the thing that is possessed ends in ة, the ة is pronounced “-at.”

Here are some iDaafas you’re already familiar with.

English examples Equivalent in Arabic Arabic with English letters
Bob’s house بَيْت بوب bayt buub
Mohamed’s restaurant مَطْعَم مُحَمَّد maT3am muHammad
the engineer’s newspaper صَحيفة اَلْمُهَنْدِس SaHiifat al-muhandis

IDaafa can also be used to express things other than possession, like “the city of Detroit” and “the state of Texas.”

English examples Equivalent in Arabic Arabic with English letters
the city of Detroit مَدينة ديتْرويْت madiinat diitruuyt
the state of Texas وِلاية تَكْساس wilaayat taksaas
George Washington University جامِعة جورْج واشِنْطُن jaami3at juurj waashinTun

شُكْراً

You probably remember that a tiny slash above a letter makes the sound a and two tiny slashes at the end of a word make the sound an.

Arabic word With English letters Meaning
شُكْراً shukran thank you
صَباحاً SabaaHan in the morning
مَساءً masaa2an in the evening

There are also special markings for -in and -un!

Words with -i or -u With English letters Words with -in or -un With English letters
اَلْبَيْتِ al-bayti بَيْتٍ baytin
اَلْبَيْتُ al-baytu بَيْتٌ baytun

أُحِبّ هٰذِهِ ٱلْلُّغة

Let’s review some present verbs! Remember, the “I” form always starts with أ.

Arabic verbs Arabic with English letters Meaning
أُحِبّ 2uHibb I like / I love
أَفْتَح 2aftaH I open
أَعْرِف 2a3rif I know

Here are the forms when different people are doing the action:

Arabic verb Arabic with English letters Meaning
أُحِبّ 2uHibb I like/love
تُحِبّ tuHibb you like/love (to a male)
تُحِبّين tuHibbiin you like/love (to a female)
يُحِبّ yuHibb he likes/loves
تُحِبّ tuHibb she likes/loves
Arabic verb Arabic with English letters Meaning
أَنام 2anaam I sleep
تَنام tanaam you sleep (to a male)
تَنامين tanaamiin you sleep (to a female)
يَنام yanaam he sleeps
تَنام tanaam she sleeps

Note that, because all Arabic nouns are either masculine or feminine, the “he” and “she” forms can be used to refer to things that aren’t people. For example, “city” is feminine so it takes the “she” verb تَنام (tanaam) in the example below.

This city does not sleep. = (haadhihi l-madiina laa tanaam) هٰذِهِ ٲلْمَدينة لا تَنام.

Introductions/greetings updated 2020-07-10

Hello!

In English, if someone says, “What’s up?” to you, there are a few specific answers you can give. (“Not much,” “Hey, what’s up,” “How’s it going…”). Arabic has some of these question-and-answer formulas, too!

Speaker 1 says: Meaning Speaker 2 responds: Meaning
صَباح اَلْخَيْر Good morning (literally “morning of good”) صَباح اَلْنّور Good morning (literally “morning of light”)
مَساء اَلْخَيْر Good evening (literally “evening of good”) مَساء اَلْنّور Good evening (literally “evening of light”)
اَلْسَّلامُ عَلَيْكُم Peace be upon you وَعَلَيْكُمُ ٲلْسَّلام And upon you be peace

Knowing these formulas will let you show off your cultural and linguistic know-how.

Note that while the greeting اَلْسَّلامُ عَلَيْكُم (as-salaamu 3alaykum) “peace be upon you” is very common, it is usually associated with Islam. This means, for example, that a Christian will not normally use this greeting with another Christian.

Letter names

In some contexts, like spelling or clarifying contrast between sounds, knowing the names of the Arabic letters may be useful to you. Below are those names, using our transliteration system.

Note that the Arabic alphabet technically includes all but the last three letters listed in this table.

Arabic letter Name of the letter (transliterated)
ا 2alif
ب baa2
ت taa2
ث thaa2
ج jiim
ح Haa2
خ khaa2
د daal
ذ dhaal
ر raa2
ز zaay
س siin
ش shiin
ص Saad
ض Daad
ط Taa2
ظ DHaa2
ع 3ayn
غ ghayn
ف faa2
ق qaaf
ك kaaf
ل laam
م miim
ن nuun
ه haa2
و waaw
ي yaa2
ء hamza
ى 2alif maqSuura
ة taa2 marbuuTa

Jobs 1 updated 2020-05-07

ما or ماذا

Arabic has two ways of asking “what?”

Use ما in questions that don’t contain a verb. (Ignore the fact that the English translation has a verb in it — what matters is the Arabic!)

Arabic with English letters Arabic examples English translation
maa smak? ما ٱسْمَك؟ What’s your name?
maa ra2yik? ما رَأْيِك؟ What do you think? (Literally: What’s your opinion?)

Use ماذا in sentences that contain a verb.

Arabic with English letters Arabic examples English translation
maadhaa tuHibbiin? ماذا تُحِبّين؟ What do you love / What would you like?
maadhaa 2adrus? ماذا أَدْرُس؟ What do I study?

Beware! In questions like “What book?” where in English you can replace “what” with “which” (= ”Which book?”), Arabic doesn’t use ما nor ماذا. You will learn the word for this type of “what” soon.

Time 1 updated 2020-05-07

The twenty-fifth hour

In Standard Arabic, in order to say “2 o’clock” you say الساعة الثانية “the second hour,” and in order to say “3 o’clock” you say الساعة الثالثة “the third hour.” This is true for all hours from 2 to 12.

Hours 2-12 in Arabic Arabic with English letters Literal meaning English equivalent
اَلْسّاعة ٱلْثّانْية as-saa3a ath-thaanya the second hour 2 o’clock
اَلْسّاعة ٱلْثّالِثة as-saa3a ath-thaalitha the third hour 3 o’clock
اَلْسّاعة ٱلْرّابِعة as-saa3a ar-raabi3a the fourth hour 4 o’clock
اَلْسّاعة ٱلْخامِسة as-saa3a al-khaamisa the fifth hour 5 o’clock
اَلْسّاعة ٱلْسّادِسة as-saa3a as-saadisa the sixth hour 6 o’clock
اَلْسّاعة ٱلْسّابِعة as-saa3a as-saabi3a the seventh hour 7 o’clock
اَلْسّاعة ٱلْثّامِنة as-saa3a ath-thaamina the eighth hour 8 o’clock
اَلْسّاعة ٱلْتّاسِعة as-saa3a ath-taasi3a the ninth hour 9 o’clock
اَلْسّاعة ٱلْعاشِرة as-saa3a al-3aashira the tenth hour 10 o’clock
اَلْسّاعة ٱلْحادْية عَشَرة as-saa3a al-Haadya 3ashara the eleventh hour 11 o’clock
اَلْسّاعة ٱلْثّانْية عَشَرة as-saa3a ath-thaanya 3ashara the twelfth hour 12 o’clock

For “1 o’clock” though, you’ll just say اَلْسّاعة ٱلْواحِدة “the hour one” and NOT “the first hour.”

And note that you don’t say AM and PM! Instead, you say “in the morning,” “in the afternoon,” “in the evening,” etc. So 2 PM would be اَلْسّاعة ٱلْثّانْية بَعْد اَلْظُّهْر (literally “the second hour after noon”).

lastu who you think I am

You already know that usually, instead of saying something like I am from Lebanon, you say أنا من لبنان (literally “I from Lebanon”). The “am” or “are” or “is” drops out.

How about if you’re not from somewhere, or not a lawyer, or not something else? You simply use the word لَسْتُ [lastu].

I am not from Lebanon = أنا لَسْتُ من لبنان or just لَسْتُ من لبنان

I am not sick = أَنا لَسْتُ مَريضة or just لَسْتُ مَريضة

I am not home = أَنا لَسْتُ في ٱلْبَيْت or just لَسْتُ في ٱلْبَيْت

I am not from here = أَنا لَسْتُ مِن هُنا or just لَسْتُ مِن هُنا

Hobbies 2 updated 2020-05-07

house - houses, mouse - ?

So far, you haven’t seen many plural nouns in Arabic, but this is about to change! Check out these singular-plural pairs you’ll learn in the next few lessons:

Arabic with English letters Arabic examples English translation
fiilm - 2aflaam فيلْم - أَفْلام movie - movies
dars - duruus دَرْس - دُروس lesson - lessons
risaala - rasaa2il رِسالة - رَسائِل letter - letters
qariib - 2aqaarib قَريب - أَقارِب relative - relatives
Sadiiq - 2aSdiqaa2 صَديق - أَصْذِقاء friend - friends
kitaab - kutub كِتاب - كُتُب book - books
lugha - lughaat لُغة - لُغات language - languages

As you can see, each plural noun above looks a little different! Now when you learn new words, you’ll learn the singular-plural pair together.

Don’t worry, though! Once you know more vocabulary, you’ll be able to start predicting the plural of new nouns with good accuracy.

Intro to the root system

You know how in English some words that share a root also have a common meaning, like for example the root “home” in words like “homey,” “homeless” and “homebound?” Or the root “myth” in words like “mythical,” “mythological” and “mythology?” Arabic does sort of the same thing!

In English, we usually form new words by taking the base word (the “root”) and sticking something before or after it (like un- or -less or -ical). Arabic, though, takes letters and inserts them before, after and in between the consonants of the root.

So, for example, if “myth” was an actual Arabic root M - Y - TH that had to do with myths, then you could probably find the following words in Arabic: MaaYiTH, MiYaaTHa, muMaaYaTHa, istaMYaTHa, muMtaYiTH, taMYiiTH, taMaaYuTH, yanMaYiTH, and many more. The meaning of all these words would have to do with myths!

Arabic speakers are able to easily understand the root meaning of each word by listening to the consonants, even new words they’ve never heard. That’s because the extra letters are not added randomly but follow specific patterns. You’ll learn more about patterns later.

Now that you get the idea, here are some actual Arabic examples. Look at the singular-plural pairs below.

Arabic with English letters Arabic examples English translation
DaRS - DuRuuS دَرْس - دُروس lesson - lessons
RiSaaLa - RaSaa2iL رِسالة - رَسائِل letter - letters
QaRiiB - 2aQaaRiB قَريب - أَقارِب relative - relatives

The root of the word دَرْس (DaRS) “lesson” is the sequence د - ر - س D-R-S. The meaning of this root is connected to studying. This same root appears in the same order in the plural دُروس (DuRuuS) “lessons” but also in other words, like the verb يَدْرُس (yaDRuS) “he studies” or the noun مَدْرَسة (maDRaSa) “school” (literally, the place of study).

Try to identify the root of words you already know and see if you can start making connections between words that share the same root!

The writing of letters

You already know that to say “She likes writing,” you’d say تُحِبّ اَلْكِتابة tuHibb al-kitaaba. The word اَلْكِتابة means “writing.”

But what if you don’t just like writing, but “writing letters”? Or “reading a book?” In order to say this, use an iDaafa construction with the verbal noun (e.g. اَلْكِتابة، اَلْقِراءة etc.) as the first term. Just as a reminder: iDaafa is the structure that’s commonly used to express possession and it follows the following guidelines:

  1. The thing that is possessed comes first, followed by the possessor;
  2. The thing that is possessed must be a bare noun (aka no اَلْ “the” in Arabic);
  3. If the thing that is possessed ends in ة, the ة is pronounced “-at.”

Here are some examples of verbal nouns first on their own (“writing”) and then in iDaafa construction (“writing letters”).

English sentence Arabic equivalent Arabic with English letters Literal translation of the Arabic
Writing is fun. اَلْكِتابة مُمْتِعة. al-kitaaba mumti3a The writing is fun.
Writing letters is fun. كِتابة اَلْرَّسائِل مُمْتِعة. kitaabat ar-rasaa2il mumti3a Writing of the letters is fun.
-- -- -- --
I like reading. أُحِبّ اَلْقِراءة. 2uHibb al-qiraa2a I like the reading.
I like reading books. أُحِبّ قِراءة اَلْكُتُب. 2uHibb qiraa2at al-kutub I like reading of the books.

Food 2 updated 2020-05-07

al- and food

You’ve noticed that the use of اَلْ (al-) in Arabic and “the” in English doesn’t always match up. Here are some examples of how to use اَلْ when discussing food.

When discussing specific food items (i.e. “the chicken from yesterday,” “the coffee you made,” “the salt that’s on the table,” etc.), use اَلْ. This is similar to English.

I like the chicken from yesterday. = أُحِبّ اَلْدَّجاج مِن أَمْس. (2uHibb ad-dajaaj min 2ams)

The trickier part is when you want to discuss categories of food in general (i.e. “chicken,” “bread,” “coffee,” etc.). In this case, the use of اَلْ is mostly determined by the verb you choose.

LIKE

If you like a food in general, use اَلْ.

I like chicken. = أُحِبّ اَلْدَّجاج. (2uHibb ad-dajaaj)

I like coffee. = أُحِبّ اَلْقَهْوة. (2uHibb al-qawha)

WANT

If you want a type of food in general, do not use اَلْ.

I want chicken. = أُريد دَجاجاً (2uriid dajaajan)

I want coffee. = أُريد قَهْوة (2uriid qahwa)

EAT/DRINK

If you are discussing eating or drinking a type of food in general, using اَلْ on food items is optional. If you use it, you’ll sound more formal than if you don’t.

I eat chicken. = آكُل دَجاجاً (2aakul dajaajan) OR آكُل اَلْدَّجاج (2aakul ad-dajaaj)

I drink coffee every morning. = أَشْرَب قَهْوة كُلّ صَباح (2ashrab qahwa kull SabaaH) OR أَشْرَب اَلْقَهْوة كُلّ صَباح (2ashrab al-qahwa kull SabaaH)

dajaajan?

Look at this example sentence.

I want chicken. = أُريد دَجاجاً (2uriid dajaajan)

Do you wonder why the word دَجاج “chicken” ends with اً “-an” in this sentence? That’s because “chicken” doesn’t take “the” or “my, your, etc.” AND it is the object of a verb (I want what? I want… chicken!).

اً is used to mark indefinite direct objects. Here are more examples.

I want a friend. = أُريد صَديقاً (2uriid Sadiiqan)

I eat bread. = آكُل خُبْزاً (2aakul khubzan)

I want a new house. = أُريد بَيْتاً جَديداً (2uriid baytan jadiidan)

Note that any adjective that accompanies a noun ending in اً also needs to end in اً (baytan jadiidan “a new house”).

Remember that if a noun ends in ة, ً just sits on the ة directly without an alif seat. In this case, ً -an is typically not written even though technically it’s there.

I want coffee. = أُريد قَهْوة (2uriid qahwa) OR أُريد قَهْوةً (2uriid qahwatan)

Transpo 1 updated 2020-05-07

نُحِبّ هٰذِهِ ٱلْلُّغة

Time to review some present verbs! Remember, the “I” form always starts with أ. Below are the forms when different people are doing the action (including, for the first time, some plurals).

Arabic verbs Arabic with English letters Meaning
أُحِبّ 2uHibb I like/love
تُحِبّ tuHibb you like/love (to a male)
تُحِبّين tuHibbiin you like/love (to a female)
يُحِبّ yuHibb he likes/loves
تُحِبّ tuHibb she likes/loves
نُحِبّ nuHibb we like/love
تُحِبّون tuHibbuun you all like/love
يُحِبّون yuHibbuun they like/love
Arabic verb Arabic with English letters Meaning
أَنام 2anaam I sleep
تَنام tanaam you sleep (to a male)
تَنامين tanaamiin you sleep (to a female)
يَنام yanaam he sleeps
تَنام tanaam she sleeps
نَنام nanaam we sleep
تَنامون tanaamuun you all sleep
يَنامون yanaamuun they sleep

What which?

Today, you’ll learn the Arabic word that corresponds to “which” in questions like “which book are you reading?”

This word comes in two forms: أَيّ is masculine and أَيّة is feminine. To decide which one to use, simply match the gender of the noun that follows it.

Arabic Arabic with English letters Meaning
أَيّ كِتاب؟ 2ayy kitaab Which book?
أَيّ رَجُل؟ 2ayy rajul Which man?
أَيّ بَيْت؟ 2ayy bayt Which house?
-- -- --
أَيّة وِلاية؟ 2ayya wilaaya Which state?
أَيّة مُشْكِلة؟ 2ayya mushkila Which problem?
أَيّة خالة؟ 2ayya khaala Which maternal aunt?

Colloquial English uses “what” and “which” interchangeably in sentences like “what/which book are you reading?” Don’t let that confuse you! If you can replace “what” with “which” in English, then أَيّ / أَيّة is the word you want in Arabic.

Food 3 updated 2020-06-01

Who are you calling weak?!

Most words in Arabic are based on a 3-consonant root. When ي (y) or و (w) is the last consonant in the root of a verb, this verb is called weak, which means that it looks a little different when you put endings on it. The new verb يَشْتَري yashtarii “he buys” is based on the weak root ش - ر - ي SH - R - Y. Pay attention to what happens to the final ي in the present tense below.

Arabic verb Arabic with English letters Meaning
أَشْتَري a2ashtarii I buy
تَشْتَري tashtarii you buy (to a male)
تَشْتَرين tashtariin you buy (to a female)
يَشْتَري yashtarii he buys
تَشْتَري tashtarii she buys
نَشْتَري nashtarii we buy
تَشْتَرون tashtaruun you all buy
يَشْتَرون yashtaruun they buy

See what happens with “you” (to a female), “you all” and “they”? The final ي of the verb gets eaten by the endings ين and ون !

Because I said so.

To say “because” in Arabic, use the word لِأَنَّ (li2anna). A couple of things to know about لِأَنَّ:

First, لِأَنَّ must be followed by a complete sentence, such as “because humans are weird,” “because war sucks,” “because cartoons saved my life.”

Second, the word directly following لِأَنَّ must be the subject of the sentence.

Sentence without “because” Meaning in English Sentence with “because” Meaning in English
اَلْعالَم غَريب. The world is weird. لِأَنَّ ٱلْعالَم غَريب. Because the world is weird.
أُخْتي تَدْرُس كَثيراً. My sister studies a lot. لِأَنَّ أُخْتي تَذْرُس كَثيراً. Because my sister studies a lot.

Note that subject pronouns (i.e. I, you, he, she, etc.) combine with لِأَنَّ in the following way: لِأَنَّ + أَنا = لِأَنَّني "because I" لِأَنَّ + أَنْتَ = لِأَنَّك "because you (male)" لِأَنّ + أَنْتِ = لِأَنِّك "because you (female)" لِأَنّ + هُوَّ = لِأَنَّهُ "because he/it" لِأَنّ + هِيَّ = لِأَنَّها "because she/it"

Sentence without “because” Meaning in English Sentence with “because” Meaning in English
أَنا مِن مِصْر. I am from Egypt. لِأَنَّني مِن مِصر. Because I am from Egypt.
أَنْتِ أُمّي. You are my mother. لِأَنِّك أُمّي. Because you are my mother.
هِيَّ مُعَلِّمة مُمْتازة. She is an amazing teacher. لِأَنَّها مُعَلِّمة مُمْتازة. Because she is an amazing teacher.
هُوَّ سَعيد. He is happy. لِأَنَّهُ سَعيد. Because he is happy.

2 + 2 = 3

The short word لِ li- (to, for) in Arabic can’t stand on its own; instead, it needs to be attached to the following word in writing.

Example in Arabic Arabic with English letters Meaning
لِأَبي li-2abii to/for my father
لِهٰذِهِ ٱلْأُسْتاذة li-haadhihi l-2ustaadha to/for this professor
لِبَيْروت li-bayruut to/for Beirut

When the word following لِ starts with الْ al- (the), the alif in الْ disappears both in pronunciation and writing, just like this: لِ + الْ = لِل

Example in Arabic Arabic with English letters Meaning
لِلْبِنْت li-l-bint to/for the girl
لِلْأُسْتاذة li-l-2ustaadha to/for the professor
لِلْقاهِرة li-l-qaahira to/for Cairo

Carrots, tomatoes, squash

A while back, you learned that the word دَجاج dajaaj is grammatically singular but can have a plural meaning. For instance, if you saw dajaaj at the farm, then you saw chickens rather than a single chicken.

English also has nouns like that. Take “furniture,” for example. You’d say, “Our furniture IS really nice” (as opposed to “are”), even though “furniture” doesn’t refer to one item but rather to a bunch of things (desks, tables, chairs, couch, etc.).

You’re about to learn more of those nouns in Arabic -- carrots جَزَر jazar, tomatoes بَنَدورة banaduura, and squash كوسا kuusaa are all singular in Arabic but they refer to a group of items.

Phone 1 updated 2020-05-07

I will drink

Good news! Expressing the future in Arabic is really easy: just add سَ sa- at the beginning of a present verb. Below is the verb “to drink” in the present and future tense, and you can do this with any verb!

Present verb Arabic with English letters Meaning Future verb Arabic with English letters Meaning
أَشْرَب a2ashrab I drink سَأَشْرَب sa-2ashrab I will drink
تَشْرَب tashrab you drink (to a male) سَتَشْرَب sa-tashrab you will drink (to a male)
تَشْرَبين tashrabiin you drink (to a female) سَتَشْرَبين sa-tashrabiin you will drink (to a female)
يَشْرَب yashrab he drinks سَيَشْرَب sa-yashrab he will drink
تَشْرَب tashrab she drinks سَتَشْرَب sa-tashrab she will drink
نَشْرَب nashrab we drink سَنَشْرَب sa-nashrab we will drink
تَشْرَبون tashrabuun you all drink سَتَشْرَبون sa-tashrabuun you all will drink
يَشْرَبون yashrabuun they drink سَيَشْرَبون sa-yashrabuun they will drink

With or without you

Words like مَعَ (with), في (in, at), مِن (from), عَن (from, off), etc. combine with words like me, you, her, etc. so they become a single word in Arabic. Here is how “with” combines with other words:

Example in Arabic Arabic with English letters Meaning
مَعي ma3ii with me
مَعَك ma3ak with you (to a male)
مَعِك ma3ik with you (to a female)
مَعَهُ ma3ahu with him
مَعَها ma3ahaa with her

Family 3 updated 2020-05-07

I love it!

You already know how to say “I love my daughter” and “My cat eats all my food,” but what about “I love her” and “My cat eats it?” Below are some ways to say this!

Example in Arabic Arabic with English letters Meaning
يُحِبّني yuHibb-nii he likes/loves me
تَعْرِفني ta3rif-nii you know me
-- -- --
أُحِبَّك a2uHibb-ak I like/love you (to a male)
تَعْرِفَك ta3rif-ak she knows you (to a female)
-- -- --
يُحِبِّك yuHibb-ik he likes/loves you (to a female)
نَعْرِفِك na3rif-ik we know you (to a female)
-- -- --
أُحِبّهُ a2uHibb-hu I like/love him
آكُلهُ a2aakulhu I eat it
-- -- --
يُحِبّها yuHibb-haa he likes/loves her
نَشْرَبْها nashrab-haa we drink it

Notice that these words like “her” and “it” attach to the end of the verb!

whose brother?

The word أَخ a2akh (brother) changes depending on what role it’s playing in the sentence.

Example in Arabic Arabic with English letters Meaning
.هُوَّ أَخ huwwa 2akh He is a brother.
.هُوَّ أَخو مُحَمَّد huwwa 2akhuu muHammad He is Mohamed’s brother.
.أَخو مُحَمَّد مُمْتِع a2akhuu muHammad mumti3 Mohamed’s brother is fun.

أَخو is only used if the word “brother” is the first word in an iDaafa, i.e. the brother of John, the brother of the teacher, the brother of Maryam, etc. or even your brother, her brother, etc. In every other case, the basic form أَخ is used.

Example in Arabic Arabic with English letters Meaning
أَخو جون يَعْمَل كَثيراً a2akhuu juun ya3mal kathiiran The brother of John/John’s brother works a lot.
عُمَر أَخو جون a3umar a2akhuu juun Omar is the brother of John/John’s brother.

Hotel 1 updated 2020-05-07

Our, their and everywhere

You already know how to say “my,” “your,” “his” and “her.” Now you will learn the plural forms: “our,” “your (to more than one person)” and “their.” Here are all the forms you know so far, attached to the noun بَيْت bayt (house).

my house, your house, etc. Pronunciation Meaning
بَيْت bayt house
بَيْتي bayt-ii my house
بَيْتَك bayt-ak your house (to a man)
بَيْتِك bayt-ik your house (to a woman)
بَيْتهُ bayt-hu his house
بَيْتها bayt-haa her house
بَيْتنا bayt-naa our house
بَيْتكم bayt-kum your house (to more than one person)
بَيْتهُم bayt-hum their house

Remember that if the noun ends with ة, it turns into ـَت (-at) before “my,” “your,” “his,” “her,” etc. Below are all the forms you know so far, attached to the noun جامِعة jaami3a (university) which ends in ة.

my university, your university, etc. Pronunciation Meaning
جامِعة jaami3a university
جامِعَتي jaami3at-ii my university
جامِعَتَك jaami3at-ak your university (to a man)
جامِعَتِك jaami3at-ik your university (to a woman)
جامِعَتهُ jaami3at-hu his university
جامِعَتها jaami3at-haa her university
جامِعَتنا jaami3at-naa our university
جامِعَتكُم jaami3at-kum your university (to more than one person)
جامِعَتهُم jaami3at-hum their university

In very formal Arabic, -kum كُم (your) and -hum هُم (their) are used only for groups of at least three people including at least one man. But in slightly less formal, spoken Arabic, -kum كُم (your) and -hum هُم (their) can be used for any group of two or more people.

Everybody has!

The same endings used to say “our,” “your (plural)” and “their” are also used on عِنْد to express “we have,” “y’all have” and “they have.”

To say “we/y’all/they do not have,” just use the word لَيْسَ.

Arabic version Literal translation Meaning
عِنْدي سَيّارة at-me a car I have a car.
لَيْسَ عِنْدي سَيّارة not at-me a car I do not have a car.
-- -- --
عِنْدَك سَيّارة at-you a car You have a car. (to a man)
لَيْسَ عِنْدَك سَيّارة not at-you a car You do not have a car. (to a man)
-- -- --
عِنْدِك سَيّارة at-you a car You have a car. (to a woman)
لَيْسَ عِنْدِك سَيّارة not at-you a car You do not have a car. (to a woman)
-- -- --
عِنْدهُ سَيّارة at-him a car He has a car.
لَيْسَ عِنْدهُ سَيّارة not at-him a car He does not have a car.
-- -- --
عِنْدها سَيّارة at-her a car She has a car.
لَيْسَ عِنْدها سَيّارة not at-her a car She does not have a car.
-- -- --
عِنْدنا سَيّارة at-us a car We have a car.
لَيْسَ عِنْدنا سَيّارة not at-us a car We do not have a car.
-- -- --
عِنْدكُم سَيّارة at-you a car You have a car. (to more than one person)
لَيْسَ عِنْدكُم سَيّارة not at-you a car You do not have a car. (to more than one person)
-- -- --
عِنْدهُم سَيّارة at-them a car They have a car.
لَيْسَ عِنْدهُم سَيّارة not at-them a car They do not have a car.

In more formal Arabic, the feminine لَيْسَت is used if the thing you don’t have is feminine, e.g. لَيْسَ عِنْدي بَيْت vs. لَيْسَت عِنْدي سَيّارة. But in slightly less formal, spoken Arabic, لَيْسَ can be used regardless of what is not possessed.

Doctor 1 updated 2020-07-02

Who’s أَنْ?

The new word أَنْ is a big deal in Arabic. أَنْ is used much like English “to” in sentences like “we want TO talk,” and like English “that” in sentences like “I hope THAT you sleep in.”

You may remember that Arabic words like اَلْكَلام “talking” and اَلْكِتابة “writing” are called verbal nouns. Well, أَنْ introduces a verb clause in place of a verbal noun. So in order to say “we want to talk,” you can either say نُريد اَلْكَلام nuriid al-kalaam or نُريد أَنْ نَتَكَلَّم nuriid 2an natakallam.

Here are more examples of sentences in two versions: one with the verbal noun and one with أَنْ.

English sentence Version 1 (verbal noun) Version 1 with English letters Version 2 (أَنْ) Version 2 with English letters
I like to sleep. أُحِبّ اَلْنَّوْم 2uHibb an-nawm أُحِبّ أَنْ أَنام 2uHibb 2an 2anaam
You must talk with him. يَجِب اَلْكَلام مَعَهُ yajib al-kalaam ma3ahu يَجِب أَنْ تَتَكَلَّم مَعَهُ yajib 2an tatakallam ma3ahu
We can eat now. مِن اَلْمُمْكِن اَلْأَكْل اَلْآن min al-mumkin al-2akl al-2aan مِن اَلْمُمْكِن أَنْ نَأْكُل اَلْآن min al-mumkin 2an na2kul al-2aan

But which present?

As you see from the examples above, what follows أَنْ is a verb in the present. But this is a special present! Pay attention to “sleep” in Arabic in the following examples:

Arabic example Example with English letters Meaning
يَجِب أَنْ أَنام yajib 2an 2anaam I must sleep.
يَجِب أَنْ تَنام yajib 2an tanaam You must sleep. (to a man) / She must sleep.
يَجِب أَنْ تَنامي yajib 2an *tanaamii You must sleep. (to a woman)
يَجِب أَنْ يَنام yajib 2an yanaam He must sleep.
يَجِب أَنْ نَنام yajib 2an nanaam We must sleep.
يَجِب أَنْ تَناموا yajib 2an tanaamuu Y’all must sleep.
يَجِب أَنْ يَناموا yajib 2an yanaamuu They must sleep.

For I, you (to a man), he, she and we, this new present looks the same as the present you already know. But for you (to a woman), y’all and they, it looks different: the ن at the end of the verb drops out, and a silent alif ا appears instead for y’all and they only.

Present you already know With English letters Meaning New present With English letters Meaning
تَنامين tanamiin You sleep. (to a woman) مِن اَلْمُمْكِن أَنْ تَنامي min al-mumkin 2an *tanaamii You can sleep. (to a woman)
تَنامون tanamuun Y’all sleep. مِن اَلْمُمْكِن أَنْ تَناموا min al-mumkin 2an *tanaamuu Y’all can sleep.
يَنامون yanamuun They sleep. مِن اَلْمُمْكِن أَنْ يَناموا min al-mumkin 2an *yanaamuu They can sleep.

Hand is a girl?!

By now, you’ve noticed that singular nouns that end in ة are usually feminine, while those that don’t are usually masculine.

But some feminine nouns don’t end in ة! Some common ones are things that usually come in pairs in the human body, like “eye,” “hand” and “foot.”

a _ In Arabic With English letters a big __ In Arabic With English letters
an eye عَيْن 3ayn a big eye عَيْن كَبيرة 3ayn kabiira
a hand يَد yad a big hand يَد كَبيرة yad kabiira
a foot رِجْل rijl a big foot رِجْل كَبيرة rijl kabiira

See how “big” is in the feminine in the examples above? That’s because “eye,” “hand” and “foot” are feminine nouns, even though they don’t end in ة!

Do this, do that!

Over the next few lessons, you’ll start seeing different verbs in the command form, like “open your mouth!” or “give me some carrots!” For now, it’s best if you just learn a few of those verbs one at a time without worrying too much about how they are formed.

One thing you’ll notice right away is that, regardless of the verb, when you’re addressing a woman, the verb ends in ي -ii and when you’re addressing a group of people, the verb ends in وا -uu (the alif is silent, just like it is after أَنْ).

In English To a man With English letters To a woman With English letters To a group With English letters
Open your mouth اِفْتَح فَمَك iftaH famak اِفْتَحي فَمِك iftaHii famik اِفْتَحوا فَمكُم iftaHuu famkum
Come تَعالَ ta3aala تَعالي ta3aalii تَعالوا ta3aaluu

Market 1 updated 2020-05-31

Here you go, come in, go ahead. 3 in 1 ?!

The verb تَفَضَّل expresses all these meanings. This arises form an Arabic cultural concept of honoring your guest. It literally means "please do me a favor and come in/take this thing/ pass ahead of me". Isn't it nice?

Jobs 2 updated 2020-07-02

To be or not to be

You know that in order to say “She is an engineer,” you just say هِيَّ مُهَنْدِسة (literally, “she engineer”).

However, when you want to say something that happened in the past like “I was tired” or something that will happen like “I will be there,” you don’t drop the “was” or “will be.” You also use يَكون yakuun, meaning “to be,” after أَنْ.

Arabic example Example with English letters Meaning
أُريد أَنْ أَكون مُهَنْدِساً / مُهَنْدِسة 2uriid 2an 2akuun muhandisan / muhandisa I want to be an engineer.
تُريد أَنْ تَكون مُهَنْدِساً turiid 2an takuun muhandisan You want to be an engineer. (to a man)
تُريدين أَنْ تَكوني مُهَنْدِسة turiidiin 2an takuunii muhandisa You want to be an engineer. (to a woman)
يُريد أَنْ يَكون مُهَنْدِساً yuriid 2an yakuun muhandisan He wants to be an engineer.
تُريد أَنْ تَكون مُهَنْدِسة turiid 2an takuun muhandisa She wants to be an engineer.
نُريد أَنْ نَكون مُهَنْدِسين nuriid 2an nakuun muhandisiin We want to be engineers.
تُريدون أَنْ تَكونوا مُهَنْدِسين turiiduun 2an takuunuu muhandisiin Y’all want to be engineers.
يُريدون أَنْ يَكونوا مُهَنْدِسين yuriiduun 2an yakuunuu muhandisiin They want to be engineers.

After this new verb “to be,” the thing you want to be ends in اً -an (as long as that thing doesn’t end in ة and doesn’t have “the” or “my, your, his, etc.” on it.)

Easy. . . easier!

You may remember that most words in Arabic are based on a 3-consonant root, like د - ر - س D - R - S in يَدْرُس yaDRuS “he studies.” Let’s practice finding the root of the following adjectives.

Adjective in Arabic Root Adjective in English
صَعْب ص - ع - ب difficult
سَهْل س - ه - ل easy
كَبير ك - ب - ر big
صَغير ص - غ - ر small
قَديم ق - د - م old
جَديد ج - د - د new
غالي غ - ل - ي expensive
رَخيص ر - خ - ص cheap
غَنِيّ غ - ن - ي rich
فَقير ف - ق - ر poor

Now that we have those roots, we can make comparisons, like “more difficult” or “cheaper.” To do that, you just plug the root in the following three blanks: 2a _ _ a _

So if the root is ك - ب - ر K - B - R (like in كَبير), you will end up with: 2a K B a R = أَكْبَر

Let’s try it with all the same adjectives as above!

Comparative with English letters Comparative in Arabic (2a _ _ a _) Meaning Root
2aS3ab أَصْعَب more difficult ص - ع - ب
2ashal أَسْهَل easier س - ه - ل
2akbar أَكْبَر bigger ك - ب - ر
2aSghar أَصْغَر smaller ص - غ - ر
2aqdam أَقْدَم older ق - د - م
2ajadd أَجَدّ newer ج - د - د
2aghlaa أَغْلى more expensive غ - ل - ي
2arkhaS أَرْخَص cheaper ر - خ - ص
2aghnaa أَغْنى richer غ - ن - ي
2afqar أَفْقَر poorer ف - ق - ر

Some interesting comparatives above are:

أَجَدّ (and not أَجْدَد) for adjective جَديد -- that’s what happens when the second and third consonants of the root are the same letter (in this case J - D - D)!

أَغْلى “more expensive” (2aghlaa) and أَغْنى “richer” (2aghnaa) where the combination short a + final ii = aa (and NOT ay)

Nothing’s easier than this!

To say “easier than” or “poorer than,” just use the word مِن min.

مَحْمود أَفْقَر مِن سام (maHmoud 2afqar min saam) “Mahmoud is poorer than Sam”

غَسّان أَغْنى مِن عُمَر (ghassaan 2aghnaa min 3umar) “Ghassan is richer than Omar

Almost too easy

One nice thing about making comparisons in Arabic is that the comparative stays the same whether you’re talking about a man, a woman or a group of people.

Comparison in Arabic With English letters Meaning
مَحْمود أَكْبَر مِن رانْيا maHmoud 2akbar min raanyaa Mahmoud is older than Rania.
رانْيا أَكْبَر مِن بَشير raanyaa 2akbar min bashiir Rania is older than Bashir.
-- -- --
أُمّي أَغْنى مِن أَبي 2ummii 2aghnaa min 2abii My mother is richer than my father.
أَبي أَفْفَر مِن أٌمّي 2abii 2afqar min 2ummii My father is poorer than my mother.

In other news

The word “other” in Arabic is آخَر in the masculine. Beware: the feminine doesn’t take ة but rather follows a different pattern: أُخْرى.

Examples in Arabic With English letters Meaning
يَوْم مُمْطِر آخَر yawm mumTir 2aakhar another rainy day
رَجُل آخَر rajul 2aakhar another man
اَلْآخَر al-2aakhar the Other / the other one
-- -- --
مَرّة أُخْرى marra 2ukhraa another time, again
اِمْرَأة أُخْرى imra2a 2ukhraa another woman
اَلْأُخْرى al-2ukhraa the other one

Clothes 2 updated 2020-07-08

Your pant is nice!

Some nouns that are plural in English are singular in Arabic, like “pants” and “shoes.” This means those nouns take singular agreement, as illustrated by the examples below.

Examples in Arabic With English letters Meaning
هٰذا ٱلْبِنْطال جَميل haadha l-binTaal jamiil These pants are pretty.
أُريد اَلْحِذاء اَلْأَزْرَق اَلْجَديد 2uriid al-Hidhaa2 al-2azraq al-jadiid I want the new blue shoes.

Do you notice the singular masculine agreement with all words that describe “pants” and “shoes” in the table above? That’s how it works! If it’s easier, you can think of these words are “a pair of pants” and “a pair of shoes.”

cars, houses, books = she

You know that if you want to describe a masculine noun, you use a masculine adjective/verb/pronoun, etc. And if the noun is feminine, the agreement is feminine.

Examples of agreement with nouns With English letters Meaning
اَلْمَكْتَب كَبير. al-maktab kabiir The office is big.
اَلْجامِعة كَبيرة. al-jaami3a kabiira The university is big.
-- -- --
هٰذا ٱلْبَيْت لا يَنام haadhaa l-bayt laa yanaam This house does not sleep.
هٰذِهِ ٱلْمَدينة لا تَنام haadhihi l-madiina laa tanaam This city does not sleep.
-- -- --
!هٰذا ٱلْبِنْطال؟ نَعَم أُحِبّهُ كَثيراً haadhaa l-binTaal? na3am 2uHibbhu kathiiran This pair of pants? Yes, I like it a lot!
!هٰذِهِ ٱلْصَّحيفة؟ نَعَم أُحِبّها كَثيراً haadhihi S-SaHiifa? na3am 2uHibbhaa kathiiran This newspaper? Yes, I like it a lot!

One thing we haven’t seen yet is how to describe plural nouns. Arabic treats non-human plurals (e.g. cars, books, lessons, etc.) and human plurals (e.g. people, teachers, Arabs, Americans, etc.) differently. Today we’ll learn how to deal with non-human plurals.

Formal Arabic tends to view non-human plurals as one set, as opposed to a bunch of individual items. For this reason, it considers non-human plurals as singular. Non-human plurals take feminine singular agreement. This means that in order to describe non-human plurals, you will use words like هِيَّ (“they”), هٰذِهِ (“these”), ها (“them”), etc.

Examples of agreement with non-human plural nouns With English letters Meaning
اَلْدُّروس سَهْلة ad-duruus sahla The lessons are easy.
هٰذِهِ ٱلْلُّغات لَيْسَت صَعْبة أَبَداً haadhihi l-lughaat laysat Sa3ba 2abadan These languages are not difficult at all.
-- -- --
أَفْلامهُ تُساعِدني 2aflaamhu tusaa3idnii His movies help me.
هٰذه ٱلْكُتُب؟ نَعَم أُحِبّها كَثيراً haadhihi l-kutub? na3am 2uHibbhaa kathiiran These books? Yes, I like them a lot.

Trip 1 updated 2020-07-03

I won’t cry, I wooon’t cryyy

To say “I will go,” you know to add سَ in front of the present verb أَذْهَب “I go.” The result is سَأَذْهَب sa-2adhhab “I will go.”

But what about “I will NOT go” or “we will NOT eat” or “they will NOT speak” etc.? To say this, use the word لَنْ lan followed by the verb, i.e. لَنْ أَذْهَب lan 2adhhab “I will not go.”

The table below contrasts “will” and “will not.”

Will Arabic with English letters Meaning Will not Arabic with English letters Meaning
سَأَشْرَب sa-2ashrab I will drink لَنْ أَشْرَب lan 2ashrab I will not drink
سَتَشْرَب sa-tashrab you will drink (to a male) لَنْ تَشْرَب lan tashrab you will not drink (to a male)
سَتَشْرَبين sa-tashrabiin you will drink (to a female) لَنْ تَشْرَبي lan tashrabii you will not drink (to a female)
سَيَشْرَب sa-yashrab he will drink لَنْ يَشْرَب lan yashrab he will not drink
سَتَشْرَب sa-tashrab she will drink لَنْ تَشْرَب lan tashrab she will not drink
سَنَشْرَب sa-nashrab we will drink لَنْ نَشْرَب lan nashrab we will not drink
سَتَشْرَبون sa-tashrabuun you all will drink لَنْ تَشْرَبوا lan tashrabuu you all will not drink
سَيَشْرَبون sa-yashrabuun they will drink لَنْ يَشْرَبوا lan yashrabuu they will not drink

As you see in the examples above, the present verb after لَنْ takes some special forms: the ن drops out at the end of the verb for you (to a woman), you all and they, AND a silent alif is added at the end of the verb for you all and they only. This is just like the verb after أَنْ!


44 skills with tips and notes

 
9.842