<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"> <head> <meta http-equiv="Content-type" content="text/html;charset=UTF-8" /> <title>Comparative and superlative adjectives in Egyptian Arabic</title> <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="style.css" /> <meta name="description" content="Comparative/superlative adjectives in Egyptian Arabic: how to form comparisons and superlative statements." /> <script type="text/javascript"> var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-29877981-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })(); </script> </head> <body> <div id="content"> <div id="head"> <span class="title">Arabic learning resources</span> <ul id="menu"> <li><a href="index.html">home</a></li> <li><a href="vocab.html">vocabulary</a></li> <li><a href="grammar.html">grammar</a></li> <li><a href="faq.html">faq</a></li> <li><a href="about.html">about</a></li> <li><a href="links.html">links</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="body"> <h1>Comparative and superlative adjectives in Egyptian Arabic</h1><br /> <ul> <li><a href="#elat">Elative forms of adjectives</a></li> <li><a href="#form">Forming comparative and superlative statements</a></li> </ul> <br /><hr /><br /> <h2><a name="elat"></a>Elative forms of adjectives</h2><br /> <p>In Arabic, there are elative forms of adjectives that are used for both comparisons (ex. "bigger") and superlatives (ex. "best"). Elative adjectives are invariable and take three regular forms:</p> <p>1. <span class="bold"><span class="arabic">#A9D</span> (af3al)</span> - this is the most common form.</p> <table class="zebra"> <tr><td><span class="arabic">C(J1</span> (kibiir)</td><td><span class="arabic">#C(1</span> (akbar)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>big</td><td>bigger</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">C*J1</span> (kitiir)</td><td><span class="arabic">#C*1</span> (aktar)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>many</td><td>more</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">ABJ1</span> (fa'iir)</td><td><span class="arabic">#AB1</span> (af'ar)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>poor</td><td>poorer</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">,EJD</span> (gamiil)</td><td><span class="arabic">#,ED</span> (agmal)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>pretty</td><td>prettier</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">3GD</span> (sahl)</td><td><span class="arabic">#3GD</span> (ashal)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>easy</td><td>easier</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">59(</span> (Sa3b)</td><td><span class="arabic">#59(</span> (aS3ab)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>hard, difficult</td><td>harder</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">7HJD</span> (Tawiil)</td><td><span class="arabic">#7HD</span> (aTwal)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>tall, long</td><td>taller, longer</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">7J(</span> (Tayyib)</td><td><span class="arabic">#7J(</span> (aTyab)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>nice</td><td>nicer</td></tr> </table> <br /><p>2. <span class="bold"><span class="arabic">#A9I</span> (af3a)</span> - corresponds to adjectives that end in <span class="arabic">@J</span> (-i) or <span class="arabic">@H</span> (-w).</p> <table class="zebra"> <tr><td><span class="arabic">-DH</span> (Helw)</td><td><span class="arabic">#-DI</span> (aHla)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>sweet, nice</td><td>sweeter, nicer</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">9'DJ</span> <span dir="ltr">(3aali)</span></td><td><span class="arabic">#9DI</span> (a3la)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>high</td><td>higher</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">:'DJ</span> (!aali)</td><td><span class="arabic">#:DI</span> (a!la)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>expensive</td><td>more expensive</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">0CJ</span> (zaki)</td><td><span class="arabic">#0CI</span> (azka)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>smart</td><td>smarter</td></tr> </table> <br /><p> 3. <span class="bold"><span class="arabic">#A9DQ</span> (afa3ll)</span> - corresponds to adjectives with a doubled/geminate root.</p> <table class="zebra"> <tr><td><span class="arabic">,/J/</span> (gediid)</td><td><span class="arabic">#,/</span> (agadd)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>new</td><td>newer</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">EGE</span> (mohimm)</td><td><span class="arabic">#GE</span> (ahamm)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>important</td><td>more important</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">.AJA</span> (xafiif)</td><td><span class="arabic">#.A</span> (axaff)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>light</td><td>lighter</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">BDJD</span> ('aliil)</td><td><span class="arabic">#BD</span> (a'all)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>few</td><td>less, fewer</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">D0J0</span> (laziiz)</td><td><span class="arabic">#D0</span> (alazz)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>delicious</td><td>more delicious</td></tr> </table> <br /><p>There is an irregular comparative:</p> <table class="zebra"> <tr><td><span class="arabic">CHJ3</span> (kwayyis)</td><td><span class="arabic">#-3F</span> (aHsan)</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>good</td><td>better</td></tr> </table> <br /><hr /><br /> <h2><a name="form"></a>Forming comparative and superlative statements</h2><br /> <p>To form a comparison (between two things) in Arabic, you use the elative adjective followed by <span class="arabic">EF</span> (min).</p> <div class="example"> <span class="arabic">'DBEJ5 /G #:DI EF /G</span> (il-'amiiS da a!la min da)<br /> This shirt is more expensive than that one.<br /><br /> <span class="arabic">-3JF #7HD EFJ</span> (Hussein aTwal minni)<br /> Hussein is taller than me.</div><br /> <p>To form a superlative (comparing one thing to multiple other things), you can use the elative adjective followed by an indefinite noun. This has a basic "the [adj]est [noun]" meaning.</p> <div class="example"> <span class="arabic">GH #5:1 HD/</span> (howwa aS!ar walad)<br /> He's the youngest boy.<br /><br /> <span class="arabic">/J #1.5 ,'CJ*)</span> (di arxaS ~akitta)<br /> This is the cheapest jacket.<br /><br /> <span class="arabic">'DB'G1) #C(1 E/JF) AJ E51</span> (il-qaahira akbar mediina fi maSr)<br /> Cairo is the biggest city in Egypt.</div> <br /><p>For another kind of superlative, you can use the elative adjective followed by a definite plural noun. This has a "the [adj]est <span class="italic">of (all) the</span> [nouns]" meaning.</p> <div class="example"> <span class="arabic">GH #5:1 'DHD'/ AJ 'DA5D</span> (howwa aS!ar il-wilaad fil-faSl)<br /> He's the youngest of the boys in the class<br /><br /> <span class="arabic">/J #1.5 'D,'CJ*'* AJ 'DE-D</span> (di arxaS i~-~akittaat fil-maHall)<br /> This is the cheapest of the jackets in the shop.<br /><br /> <span class="arabic">'DB'G1) #C(1 'DE/F AJ E51</span> (il-qaahira akbar il-mudun fi maSr)<br /> Cairo is the biggest of the cities in Egypt.</div> <br /> <br /><span class="back">&larr; <a href="grammar.html">Main grammar page</a></span> <span class="forward"><a href="g_adv.html">Adverbs</a> &rarr;</span> <br /> </div> <div id="footer"> <p><a href="mailto:webmaster%20(at)%20desert-sky%20(dot)%20net">Contact</a></p> </div> </div> </body> </html>