Long vowels or consonants?

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(3.33 min)

Long vowel or Consonant?

 

Can you use the alif, waaw, and yih as long vowels and as consonants?

In Arabic the alif, waaw, and yih can act as vowels or as consonants depending on the word.

Extend into a vowel or read the alif, waaw, or yih as a blunt consonant.

 

          Compare long vowels to consonants:

       * The below applies to both MSA
and Egyptian Colloquial.

Three long vowels

 

Three consonants

ا
  Alif (aa)

أ
1 Alif (a)

و
 
 waaw (uu)

و
2 waaw (w)

ى
 
 yih (ii)

ى
3 yih (yih)

 

  Notice when a hamza is placed above an alif it is a consonant. This is what an alif looks like with a hamza: أ

When an alif is written without the hamza it is a vowel.



  Click and listen...

* Most of the words below are Egyptian Colloquial. Even if you are only interested in MSA use the words to help distinguish between vowels and consonants.

Alif, waaw, yih as vowels

 

Alif, waaw, yih as consonants

طالِبُ
taalib

student


 

أبيَض
4 'abyad 
white

مُديرْة
mod
iira
director


أيضا
' ayḍan 
also (MSA Classical)

مَشْهورة
mashh
uura
famous


مَواضيع
 6 mawaadii?
topics

زائر
z
aa'ira
visitor 


أسم
7'ism 
  name

سِكْرتيرة
sakrit
iira
secretary 


خير
 8  khayr 
kindness

جامْعَة
g
aam?
university


أمْر
9 amr  
order


 


 

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