a/an/the

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(1.18 min)

Develop your ears!
How to write a/an/the in Arabic?
 

   Can you recognize the definite (the) from the indefinite (a/an)? 

In Arabic place  1-1  "il = the" in front of the noun to make it definite.  

 اِلْ   (Egyptian Colloquial/Spoken)
 
اَلْ (MSA/Classical)

And, for an indefinite noun there is no "a/an" in Arabic.

 

 

In MSA/Classical nunation appears at the end of indefinite nouns and adjectives in the form of TWO dammas. Nunation gives nouns and adjectives a unique "un" sound to the ending.

       

               

       

 

   Click and listen to definite and indefinite nouns
* The brown text below is MSA. The blue text beneath the MSA is Egyptian Colloquial.

Indefinite

 

Definite

فَتاةٌ
بِنْتْ
bint

1 a girl  




اَلْفَتاةُ
اِلبِنْت
il bint

the girl

فُسْتانٌ

فُسْتان
fustaan

2 a dress




اَلْفُسْتانُ

اِلفُسْتانْ
il fustaan

the dress

مائِدَةٌ
طَرَبِزَةْ
ṭarabiiza

3 a table   




اَلْمائِدَةُ
اِلطَرَبِزَةْ
iṭ ṭarabiiza

the table

شارِعٌ

شارِعْ
shaari
?
4
a street  




اَلشّارِعُ

اِلشارِعْ
ish shaari
?
the street

نافِذَةٌ
شِبّاكْ
shibaak

5 a window 




اَلنّافِذَةُ

اِلشِبّاك
i
sh shibaak
the window

سَريرٌ

سِريرْ
siriir
6 a bed     


اَلسّريرُ

اِلسِريرْ
is siriir

the bed

            
 

        

  Notice the laam of the definite article frequently changes to the first letter of the noun that follows it - but only for the sun letters.

The sun letters are:
d - - g - l - n - r - s - - sh - t - - z -. (The letters with the dots underneath them are the heavy sounds in Arabic).

 


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