<!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>Articles and the sun and moon letters in Egyptian Arabic</title> <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="style.css" /> <meta name="description" content="The definite article in Egyptian Arabic, its use, and a list and explanation of the sun and moon letters." /> <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>Articles and the sun and moon letters in Egyptian Arabic</h1><br /> <ul> <li><a href="#art">Articles</a></li> <li><a href="#sun">Sun and moon letters</a></li> </ul> <br /><hr /><br /> <h2><a name="art"></a>Articles</h2><br /> <h3>Definite articles</h3> <p>A definite article &mdash; "the," in English &mdash; specifies something in particular, usually something that has already been mentioned, as opposed to something general (<span class="bold">the</span> book, as opposed to any book). In Arabic, there is a definite article (<span class="arabic">'D@</span> -il, "the") that is invariable; it is used for singular and plural, masculine and feminine nouns.</p> <div class="example"><span class="arabic">4A* 'DHD/ 'DDJ 3'CF ,F(J</span> (aoft il-walad illi saakin gambi)<br /> I saw <span class="bold">the</span> boy who lives next to me.</div> <br /><p><span class="emphasis">Note:</span> While English doesn't use articles to refer to generic nouns or general concepts, Arabic uses the definite article in these instances.</p> <div class="example"><span class="arabic">(-( 'D#AD'E 'D#,F(J)</span> (baHebb il-aflaam il-agnabiyya) <br />I like foreign films (lit. <span class="bold">the</span> foreign films, since we're referring to foreign films in general)<br /> <br /><span class="arabic">'D3D'E #-3F EF 'D-1(</span> (is-salaam aHsan min il-Harb) <br />Peace is better than war (lit. <span class="bold">the</span> peace, <span class="bold">the</span> war)</div> <br /><h3>Indefinite articles</h3> <p>An indefinite article refers to non-specific/non-particular nouns. English has two definite article, "a" and "an." Arabic has no indefinite article. So while we would say "He is <span class="bold">an</span> engineer" or "She is <span class="bold">a</span> teacher" in English, in Arabic we would say:</p> <div class="example"><span class="arabic">GH EGF/3</span> (howwa mohandis) <br />He is an engineer (lit. He engineer) <br /><br /><span class="arabic">GJ E/13)</span> (heyya mudarrisa) <br />She is a teacher (lit. She teacher)</div> <br /><p><span class="emphasis">Note:</span> Arabic does not use a present-tense form of "to be."</p> <br /><hr /><br /> <h2><a name="sun"></a>Sun and moon letters</h2><br /> <h3>Sun letters</h3> <p>If a word begins with one of the "sun letters" (<span class="arabic">'D-1HA 'D4E3J)</span>), and is definite, the "l" of the definite article is assimilated into the following consonant. So instead of pronouncing <span class="arabic">'D4E3</span> as "il-aams," you say "ia-aams."</p> <table class="zebra"><col class="column" /><col class="column" /><col /> <tr><td><span class="arabic">*</span> (t)</td><td><span class="arabic">'D*EF</span> (it-taman)</td><td>the price</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td><span class="arabic">7</span> (T)</td><td><span class="arabic">'D7'D(</span> (iT-Taalib)</td><td>the student</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">/</span> (d)</td><td><span class="arabic">'D/FJ'</span> (id-duniya)</td><td>the world</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td><span class="arabic">6</span> (D)</td><td><span class="arabic">'D6JA</span> (iD-Deif)</td><td>the guest</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">3</span> (s)</td><td><span class="arabic">'D3*</span> (is-sitt)</td><td>the woman</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td><span class="arabic">5</span> (S)</td><td><span class="arabic">'D5JA</span> (iS-Seif)</td><td>summer</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">4</span> (a)</td><td><span class="arabic">'D41C)</span> (ia-aerka)</td><td>the company</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td><span class="arabic">2</span> (z)</td><td><span class="arabic">'D2J*</span> (iz-zeit)</td><td>oil</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">8</span> (Z)</td><td><span class="arabic">'D81A</span> (iZ-Zarf)</td><td>the envelope</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td><span class="arabic">,</span> (~) (the French "j")</td><td><span class="arabic">'D,'CJ*)</span> (i~-~akitta)</td><td>the jacket</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">F</span> (n)</td><td><span class="arabic">'DFH1</span> (in-nuur)</td><td>the light</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td><span class="arabic">1</span> (r)</td><td><span class="arabic">'D1',D</span> (ir-raagil)</td><td>the man</td></tr> </table> <br /><p>In Egyptian Arabic, there are two more letters that may or may not be assimilated:</p> <table class="zebra"><col class="column" /><col class="column" /><col /> <tr><td><span class="arabic">,</span> (g)</td><td><span class="arabic">'D,ED</span> (ig-gamal <span class="italic">or</span> il-gamal)</td><td>the camel</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td><span class="arabic">C</span> (k)</td><td><span class="arabic">'DC*'(</span> (ik-kitaab <span class="italic">or</span> il-kitaab)</td><td>the book</td></tr> </table> <br /><h3>Moon letters</h3> <p>With "moon letters" (<span class="arabic">'D-1HA 'DBE1J)</span>), however, the definite article is <span class="italic">not</span> assimilated into the following letter.</p> <table class="zebra"><col class="column" /><col class="column" /><col /> <tr class="odd"><td><span class="arabic">#</span> (a)</td><td><span class="arabic">'D#.</span> (il-ax)</td><td>the brother</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td>&nbsp;</td><td><span class="arabic">'DBGH)</span> (il-'ahwa)</td><td>the coffee</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">(</span> (b)</td><td><span class="arabic">'D('(</span> (il-baab)</td><td>the door</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td><span class="arabic">-</span> (H)</td><td><span class="arabic">'D-AD)</span> (il-Hafla)</td><td>the party</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">.</span> (x)</td><td><span class="arabic">'D.6'1</span> (il-xoDaar)</td><td> vegetables</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td><span class="arabic">9</span> <span dir="ltr">(3)</span></td><td><span class="arabic">'D91(J)</span> (il-3arabiyya)</td><td>the car</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">:</span> (!)</td><td><span class="arabic">'D:/'</span> (il-!ada)</td><td>lunch</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td><span class="arabic">A</span> (f)</td><td><span class="arabic">'DAF/B</span> (il-fundu')</td><td>the hotel</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">B</span> (q)</td><td><span class="arabic">'DB1J)</span> (il-qariya)</td><td>the village</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td><span class="arabic">E</span> (m)</td><td><span class="arabic">'DEJ)</span> (il-mayya)</td><td>the water</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">H</span> (w)</td><td><span class="arabic">'DH'/J</span> (il-waadi)</td><td>the valley</td></tr> <tr class="odd"><td><span class="arabic">G</span> (h)</td><td><span class="arabic">'DG/J)</span> (il-hidiyya)</td><td>the present</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic">J</span> (y)</td><td><span class="arabic">'DJHF'F</span> (il-yunaan)</td><td>Greece</td></tr> </table> <br /> <br /><span class="back">&larr; <a href="grammar.html">Main grammar page</a></span> <span class="forward"><a href="g_nouns.html">Nouns</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>