<!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>Nouns in Egyptian Arabic</title> <link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="style.css" /> <meta name="description" content="How to make Arabic nouns feminine, dual, and plural." /> <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>Nouns in Egyptian Arabic</h1><br /> <ul> <li><a href="#nouns">Gender</a> - making masculine nouns feminine</li> <li><a href="#nouns2">Number</a> - forming the dual and plural forms of nouns <ul class="sublist1"> <li><a href="#dual">Dual nouns</a></li> <li><a href="#brok">Broken plurals</a></li> <li><a href="#regm">Regular masculine plurals</a></li> <li><a href="#regf">Regular feminine plurals</a></li> </ul></li> </ul> <br /><hr /><br /> <h2><a name="nouns"></a>Nouns: gender</h2><br /> <p>Nouns are the names of things, whether objects, people, or places. Nouns in Arabic, both human and non-human, are either masculine or feminine. <span class="italic">Usually</span>, if a (singular) noun ends in a ta marbuuTa (<span class="arabic" dir="rtl">@)</span>, pronounced -a), it is feminine, and if it doesn't end in a ta marbuuTa, it's masculine.</p> <div class="example"><table class="nest"> <tr><td><span class="arabic" dir="rtl">(J*</span> (beit)</td><td>&larr;</td><td>masculine noun</td></tr> <tr><td>house</td></tr> <tr><td>&nbsp;</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic" dir="rtl">4B)</span> (aa''a)</td><td>&larr;</td><td>feminine noun</td></tr> <tr><td>apartment</td></tr> </table></div><br /> <p>However, there are exceptions. All of these words are feminine, even though they don't end in a ta marbuuTa:</p> <table class="manyexamples"> <tr><td><span class="arabic" dir="rtl">F'1</span> (naar)</td><td>fire</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic" dir="rtl">3E'</span> (sama)</td><td>sky</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic" dir="rtl">#16</span> (arD)</td><td>land/earth</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic" dir="rtl">4E3</span> (aams)</td><td>sun</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic" dir="rtl">1J-</span> (riiH)</td><td>wind</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic" dir="rtl">9JF</span> <span dir="ltr">(3ein)</span></td><td>eye</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic" dir="rtl">J/</span> (iid)</td><td>hand</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic" dir="rtl">1H-</span> (ruuH)</td><td>soul</td></tr> <tr><td><span class="arabic" dir="rtl">-1(</span> (Harb)</td><td>war</td></tr> </table><br /> <p>Nouns that can refer to both men and women (like job titles) can be made feminine with the addition of the suffix <span class="arabic">@)</span> (-a).</p> <div class="example"><table class="nest"> <tr><td>&nbsp;</td><td><span class="bold">Masculine</span></td><td><span class="bold">Feminine</span></td></tr> <tr><td>teacher</td><td><span class="arabic">E/13</span> (mudarris)</td><td><span class="arabic">E/13)</span> (mudarrisa)</td></tr> <tr><td>engineer</td><td><span class="arabic">EGF/3</span> (mohandis)</td><td><span class="arabic">EGF/3)</span> (mohandisa)</td></tr> <tr><td>actor</td><td><span class="arabic">EE+D</span> (mumassil)</td><td><span class="arabic">EE+D)</span> (mumassila)</td></tr> <tr><td>artist</td><td><span class="arabic">AF'F</span> (fannaan)</td><td><span class="arabic">AF'F)</span> (fannaana)</td></tr> </table></div> <br /><center><hr /></center><br /> <h2><a name="nouns2"></a>Nouns: number</h2><br /> <h3><a name="dual"></a>Dual nouns</h3> <p>In Arabic, if you're talking about two things, you need to use the dual form of the noun. Just add the suffix <span class="arabic">@JF</span> (-ein) to the masculine singular form of the noun.</p> <div class="example"><table class="nest"> <tr><td>&nbsp;</td><td><span class="bold">Singular</span></td><td><span class="bold">Dual</span></td></tr> <tr><td>book</td><td><span class="arabic">C*'(</span> (kitaab)</td><td><span class="arabic">C*'(JF</span> (kitaabein)</td></tr> <tr><td>window</td><td><span class="arabic">4('C</span> (aibbaak)</td><td><span class="arabic">4('CJF</span> (aibbaakein)</td></tr> </table></div><br /> <p><span class="emphasis">Note:</span> If the singular form ends in a taa marbuuTa (<span class="arabic">@)</span>, -a), you need to "untie it" &mdash; change it to a <span class="arabic">*</span> &mdash; before adding the <span class="arabic">@JF</span> suffix. Take the word <span class="arabic">,ED)</span> ("sentence") as an example:</p> <div class="example"> <span class="arabic">,ED)</span> (gomla)<br /> "Untie" the taa marbuuTa (replace it with a <span class="arabic">*</span>)<span dir="ltr">: <span class="arabic">,ED*</span></span><br /> Add the <span class="arabic">@JF</span> suffix: <span class="arabic">,ED*JF</span> (gomlatein) - "two sentences"</div><br /> <p><span class="emphasis">Note:</span> While you can use the <span class="arabic">@JF</span> suffix to talk about two people, usually it's better to say "<span class="arabic">'*FJF</span> (itnein) + [plural noun]":</p> <div class="example"><table class="nest"> <tr><td>&nbsp;</td><td><span class="bold">Singular</span></td><td><span class="bold">Dual</span></td></tr> <tr><td>teacher</td><td><span class="arabic">E/13</span> (mudarris)</td><td><span class="arabic">'*JFJF E/13JF</span> (itnein mudarrisiin)</td></tr> <tr><td>engineer</td><td><span class="arabic">EGF/3</span> (mohandis)</td><td><span class="arabic">'*FJF EGF/3JF</span> (itnein mohandisiin)</td></tr> </table></div><br /> <p>If you want to talk about a pair of things, like socks or shoes, you should use the singular form of the noun, and it'll be understood that you're talking about a pair. If you want to talk about one item out of a pair, say <span class="arabic">A1/) EF</span> (farda min), literally "an individual from."</p> <div class="example"> <span class="arabic">D'2E '4*1J ,2E) ,/J/)</span> (laazim aateri gazma gdiida)<br /> I need to buy a new pair of shoes. - Note that although "gazma" technically means "shoe," it's understood that you mean a pair of shoes.<br /><br /> <span class="arabic">#F' E4 D'BJ) A1/) EF 41'(J</span> (ana mia la'ya farda min aaraabi)<br /> I can't find one of my socks. - Again, note that "aaraabi" technically means just "my sock," but it's understood to mean a pair.</div><br /> <h3><a name="brok"></a>Broken plurals</h3> <p>Most Arabic nouns have broken (irregular) plurals. A few examples:</p> <div class="example"><table class="nest"> <tr><td>&nbsp;</td><td><span class="bold">Singular</span></td><td><span class="bold">Plural</span></td></tr> <tr><td>book</td><td><span class="arabic">C*'(</span> (kitaab)</td><td><span class="arabic">C*(</span> (kutub)</td></tr> <tr><td>child/boy</td><td><span class="arabic">HD/</span> (walad)</td><td><span class="arabic">#HD'/</span> (awlaad)</td></tr> <tr><td>sentence</td><td><span class="arabic">,ED)</span> (gomla)</td><td><span class="arabic">,ED</span> (gomal)</td></tr> </table></div><br /> <p>With these nouns, you simply have to memorize their plural forms until you internalize the broken plural patterns. Eventually, once you've memorized enough broken plurals, you'll start being able to predict the plural forms of new nouns.</p> <h3><a name="regm"></a>Regular masculine plurals</h3> <p>There are some nouns that have regular (sound) plurals. Almost all masculine nouns that have regular plurals fall under the category of job titles etc. that can refer to either men or a mixed group of men and women. To make one of these nouns plural, you simply add the suffix <span class="arabic">@JF</span> (-iin).</p> <div class="example"><table class="nest"> <tr><td>&nbsp;</td><td><span class="bold">Singular</span></td><td><span class="bold">Plural</span></td></tr> <tr><td>teacher</td><td><span class="arabic">E/13</span> (mudarris)</td><td><span class="arabic">E/13JF</span> (mudarrisiin)</td></tr> <tr><td>engineer</td><td><span class="arabic">EGF/3</span> (mohandis)</td><td><span class="arabic">EGF/3JF</span> (mohandisiin)</td></tr> <tr><td>actor</td><td><span class="arabic">EE+D</span> (mumassil)</td><td><span class="arabic">EE+DJF</span> (mumassiliin)</td></tr> <tr><td>artist</td><td><span class="arabic">AF'F</span> (fannaan)</td><td><span class="arabic">AF'FJF</span> (fannaaniin)</td></tr> </table></div><br /> <p><span class="emphasis">Note:</span> In Arabic, plural human nouns that take the masculine form can refer to either a group of all men, or a group of men and women. So a group of <span class="arabic">EGF/3JF</span> could be a bunch of male engineers, or a mixed group of male and female engineers.</p> <h3><a name="regf"></a>Regular feminine plurals</h3> <p>To make a feminine noun (that doesn't have a broken plural form) plural, you drop the taa marbuuTa and add the suffix <span class="arabic">@'*</span> (-aat). Many foreign loanwords, even some that are masculine, take this plural form (see <span class="arabic">,'CJ*)</span> and <span class="arabic">CHE(JH*1</span>).</p> <div class="example"><table class="nest"> <tr><td>&nbsp;</td><td><span class="bold">Singular</span></td><td><span class="bold">Plural</span></td></tr> <tr><td>car</td><td><span class="arabic">91(J)</span> <span dir="ltr">(3arabiyya)</span></td><td><span class="arabic">91(J'*</span> <span dir="ltr">(3arabiyyaat)</span></td></tr> <tr><td>word</td><td><span class="arabic">CDE)</span> (kelma)</td><td><span class="arabic">CDE'*</span> (kalimaat)</td></tr> <tr><td>clinic</td><td><span class="arabic">9J'/)</span> <span dir="ltr">(3iyaada)</span></td><td><span class="arabic">9J'/'*</span> <span dir="ltr">(3iyaadaat)</span></td></tr> <tr><td>jacket</td><td><span class="arabic">,'CJ*)</span> (~akitta)</td><td><span class="arabic">,'CJ*'*</span> (~akittaat)</td></tr> <tr><td>computer</td><td><span class="arabic">CHE(JH*1</span> (kombiyuuter)</td><td><span class="arabic">CHE(JH*1'*</span> (kombiyuuteraat)</td></tr> </table></div><br /> <p><span class="emphasis">Note:</span> If you want to talk about a group of all women, you take the masculine singular form of the noun and, again, add the <span class="arabic">@'*</span> suffix.</p> <div class="example"><table class="nest"> <tr><td>&nbsp;</td><td><span class="bold">Singular</span></td><td><span class="bold">Feminine plural</span></td></tr> <tr><td>teacher</td><td><span class="arabic">E/13</span> (mudarris)</td><td><span class="arabic">E/13'*</span> (mudarrisaat)</td></tr> <tr><td>engineer</td><td><span class="arabic">EGF/3</span> (mohandis)</td><td><span class="arabic">EGF/3'*</span> (mohandisaat)</td></tr> <tr><td>actor</td><td><span class="arabic">EE+D</span> (mumassil)</td><td><span class="arabic">EE+D'*</span> (mumassilaat)</td></tr> <tr><td>artist</td><td><span class="arabic">AF'F</span> (fannaan)</td><td><span class="arabic">AF'F'*</span> (fannaanaat)</td></tr> </table></div> <br /> <br /><span class="back">&larr; <a href="grammar.html">Main grammar page</a></span> <span class="forward"><a href="g_adj.html">Adjectives</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>