Beginner’s Arabic

Abdulmunaf Chhatra
May 18, 2008
2
Contents
1 Arabic Writing System 5
1.1 Letters and their pronunciation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
1.2 Joining Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2 Articles 7
2.1 Indefinite Article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.2 Definite Article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.3 Sun Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.4 Moon Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.5 Vocabulary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2.6 Exercise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3 Compounds 11
3.1 Demonstrative Compound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3.2 Prepositional Compound . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.3 Possesive Compund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
4 Gender 13
4.1 Real Gender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
4.2 Formal Gender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
4.3 Exceptional Cases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
4.4 Common Gender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
5 Number 17
5.1 Singular . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
5.2 Dual . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
5.3 Plural . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
5.3.1 Sound Plural . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
5.4 Vocabulary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
5.5 Exercise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3
4 CONTENTS
Chapter 1
Arabic Writing System
1.1 Letters and their pronunciation
1.2 Joining Letters
5
6 CHAPTER 1. ARABIC WRITING SYSTEM
Chapter 2
Articles
2.1 Indefinite Article
In Arabic there is no perticular word or particle for indefinite article (a, an).
It is expressed by tanw
¯
in on the last letter of the word.
A boy =
.
.

.
A book =
.
.

.

.

A pen =
.

·

.
·
2.2 Definite Article
In Arabic the definite article is
.
¸

. It is put before the word it defines. It
removes tanw
¯
in from the last letter of word/noun it defines.
The boy =

.

.
.


.
.

. ,
.
¸


.
.

.
The book =

.

.

.
.<

.


.
.

.

.

,
.
¸


.
.

.

.

The pen =

·

.
.
.


.

·

.
·
,
.
¸


.

·

.
·
7
8 CHAPTER 2. ARTICLES
2.3 Sun Letters -
.
.
·

.
.
.
.

.
.

.
.
.

.

..

¸

.
.
:

Following letters are known as Sun Letters:

_ ¸

. .


.




. .
.
.
.
.
When
.
¸

is prefixed to a word beginning with a sun letter, three changes
takes place
1. L¯am of
.
¸

loses it’s jazm.
2. It gets assimilated to the following sun letter.
3. The sun letter received shaddah.
For Example:
The sun =

.
.

.
.
.


.

.
.
,
.
¸

The shop =

.
·

.
.


.

.
·

. ,
.
¸

The journey =
.
¸

.

.
.


.
¸

.

. ,
.
¸

2.4 Moon Letters -
.
.
·

.
.
.
¸

.

.
.
.

.

..

¸

.
.
:

Following letters are known as Moon Letters:
. ¸
.
. . . .
.


.

· · - - -

.

When
.
¸

is prefixed to a word begining with a moon letter, it’s l¯am does
not lose its jazm, nor it is assimilated with the following letter.
For Example:
The sun =

¸

.
.
.
.
.


.
¸

.
.
.
·
,
.
¸

The shop =

.
.
.
.
.

.

.


.
.
.
.
.
.

.

,
.
¸

The train =
.
.

.
.
.

.


.
.

.
.
·

,
.
¸

2.5. VOCABULARY 9
2.5 Vocabulary
2.6 Exercise
10 CHAPTER 2. ARTICLES
Chapter 3
Compounds
3.1 Demonstrative Compound
Before going on to the demonstrative compound first we will get to know
common demonstrative pronouns in Arabic. Below is the list:
This (Masculine) =
.
.

.

.
This (Faminine) = .

.

.
That (Masculine) =
.
.

.
That (Faminine) =

.
.
.
.
.

The Demonstrative Compound/Phrase is made up of a demonstrative pro-
noun and a definite noun.
This boy =

.

.
.

.

.

. ←

.

.
.

,

.

.
That car =

.
.

.

.
.
.

.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.

.
.

.

.
.
.

.
.

,

.
.
.
.
.

That book =

.

.

.
.<

.

.

.
.

. ←

.

.

.
.<

.

,
.
.

.
This garden =

.
·

·
.
¸

.
.

.
.

.

. ←

.
·

·
.
¸

.
.

, .

.

.
Note: This counpound is always used as subject.
11
12 CHAPTER 3. COMPOUNDS
3.2 Prepositional Compound
The compound is made up of a preposition and a noun or a pronoun.
To a shop =

_

.

.
¯

.

:
.


.

_.

.
¯

. ,

:
.

In a house =
.
.

.

..

·


.
.
.
.

..

,

·

In the house =
.
.

.

..

.

.

·


.
.
.
.

..

,
.
¸

,

·

Note:
1. This comound is used as predicate or part of predicate in a sentence.
2. The preposition gives kasrah to the last letter of their noun as shown
above.
3.3 Possesive Compund
This compound shows the sense of possesion or belonging. It is made up of
two nouns known as mud¯af and mud¯af ilaihi. Mud¯af is possessed noun and
Mud¯af ilaihi is possessor noun.
The book of the boy = .

.
.

.

.

.

.

The door of the room =
.
·

·
.
¸

.
.

.

.

.

.

The friend of H¯amid = .

.

.

-

.
¸.
.
.

.
Note:
1. Mud¯af comes first and doesn’t take tanw
¯
in and
.
¸

2. Mud¯af ilaihi comes after mud¯af and takes kasrah.
3. This compound may be used as subject and predicate.
Chapter 4
Gender
In Arabic all the nouns are categorised into two genders, masculine and
feminine. Arab grammarians have divided nouns into four catagories based
on the gender.
4.1 Real Gender -

.
¸
.
.
.

.
.
.
.

.
.
.
:

.

.

..

.
:

Nouns that belongs to any one of the genders by meaning, human being or
animals. The words related to male sex are called masculine -
.
¸

.
·
.

.

., and
words related to female sex are called feminine -
.
.
.

.

.

.
.

..
Real masculine nouns:
Man =
.

-

Cock =
.
..
.
.

Boy =
.
.

.
Real feminine nouns:
Woman =
.
.
.
.
.

¸
.
.

Hen =
.
.
·

·

.

-

.
Girl =
.
.
.
.

..

4.2 Formal Gender -

.
¸
.
.
.

.
.
.
.

.
.
:

.

.

..

.
:

Nouns whose gender is indentified based on their form. The words ending
with
.
. (rounded ta -
.
.
·

..

.

.
¸

.
.
.) are generally feminine, and words ending
with any other letter are assumed to be masculine. This feminine ending is
13
14 CHAPTER 4. GENDER
pronounced as . (h) in a pause.
Formal feminine nouns
Garden =
.
.
·

.
.
.
.

.

·

Table =
.
.
·

.

.

.
Life =
.
.
..

.
.

·
Formal masuline nouns
Book =
.
.

.

.

House =
.
.
.
.
.
.

.

Path =
.
.

¸..

Often a masculine noun can be made feminine by adding the suffix
.
. to it.
For example
Female Student =
.
.
·

.

.

. ← Male Student =
.
.

.

.
Muslime Woman =
.
.
·

..

.
.

. ← Muslim Man =
.
·

.
.

.
Truthful woman =
.
.
·

.
·.

.

. ← Truthful man =
.
.
.

.

.
4.3 Exceptional Cases -

.
¸
.

.

.

.

.

.

.

..

.
:

There are quite a few exceptions to the above mentioned rules. Below is the
list:
1. Some nouns are feminine by usage even though they dont have feminine
ending.
House =
.

.
Earth =
.

.

Fire =
.
.

.
4.4. COMMON GENDER 15
2. Proper names of countries are considered as feminine
Egypt =

¸.
.
..

Syria =

..

.
.
.

India =

.
.

.,

.

3. Parts of body which occure in pairs.
Hand =
.
.

.
.
Ear =
.

_

.

Eye =
.

.
.
.

.
4. Nouns ending with ¸ ( Short alif -
.
.
.

.

.
.
.
.

.
.

.

.
) or .

( lengthened
alif -
.
.
.

..

.
.
.

·
.

.

.
) are also feminine.
Good, beautiful =

.
.

·
Good news = ¸

¸.
.
.
.

.

Desert =

.

¸

.
.

.
Blooming =

.

¸

·

5. All Arabic letters of alphabet are considered as feminine.
6. Some noun have the feminine ending but are masculine by usage.
Calipah =
.
.
·

..
.
.

-
Learned =
.
.
·

.v

.

.
Trafah (Proper Name) =
.
.
·

·

¸

.
4.4 Common Gender -

.

..

.
:

.

.
.

Some nouns are used as both masculine and feminine.
16 CHAPTER 4. GENDER
Clouds =
.
.

.

.
.

.
Gold =
.
.

.

.
Bees =
.

.
.
.

Chapter 5
Number
In Arabic there are three numbers Singular, Dual and Plural.
5.1 Singular -
.
.-

.
.

It is expressed by tanw
¯
in in most cases.
Student =
.
.

.

.
House =
.
.
.
.
.
.

.

Muslim =
.
·

.
.

.
5.2 Dual -
.
.
·

.
.

.

.
.
.

.
.
.

The dual of a noun is made from the singular by dropping the tanw
¯
in and
adding the termination (

_

..).
Two boys =

_

.

. ←
.
.

.
Two kings =

_

.

..

. ←
.
..

.
Two queens =

_

.

.
.

<.

. ←
.
.
·

<.

.
17
18 CHAPTER 5. NUMBER
5.3 Plural -
.
.
.
.

.

.
:

There are two type of plural in Arabic: Sound Plural and Broken Plural. As
the broken plural is bit complex to understand at this stage, we will cover
it in later chapters.
5.3.1 Sound Plural -

.

.
.
.

.
.
.

.

.
:

The sound plural is further divided into two more classes: Sound Masculine
Plural and Sound Feminine Plural.
Sound Masculine Plural -

.

.
.
.

¸

.
·
.

.

.
.

.

.
.
.

-

The sound masculine plural is made from the singular by removing the
tanw
¯
in and adding (

_.

.. ) to its end. For emaple:
Servents =

_.

..

.

- ← Servent =
.
..

.

-
Ignorants =

_.

..

.

-

← Ignorant =
.
.

.

-

Tailors =

_.

..

.
.
.

· ← Tailor =
.
..

.
.
.

·
Sound Feminie Plural -

.

.
.
.

.
.

.

.

.
.

.
.

.

.
.
.

-

The sound feminine pluran of nouns ending with
.
. is formed by changing
the
.
. into
.
.
.. The plural of nouns which do not end with
.
. are formed by
suffixing
.
.
. to it. For example:
Maids =
.
.
..

..

.

- ← Maid =
.
.
·

..

.

-
Watches =
.
.
..

..

. ← Watch =
.
.
·
.
..

.
Skies =
.
.
.

..

.
← Sky =
.
..

.
5.4. VOCABULARY 19
5.4 Vocabulary
5.5 Exercise

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