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You will learn in this lesson: Arabic nouns, singular, feminine and plural in Arabic.


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In this lesson we will learn how to deal with Arabic nouns, especially how to form the feminine from the masculine, than how to form the plural from a singular, once you learn how to do it, you will also be able to form them vice versa easily.

 

Masculine to Feminine in Arabic:

To form a feminine word from the masculine in Arabic, you simply add “taa’ marbuta” which looks like (ة)   or ( ـة ) depending on the word it’s connected to. Usually for animals, humans and professions… for example:

 

kalbكلب  (dog masculine) è kalba  كلبة(dog feminine)

tefl طفل (child masculine) è tefla طفلة (child feminine)

mohandes مهندس (engineer masculine) è mohandesa   مهندسة(engineer feminine)

 

It’s possible also for most adjectives & some other nouns:

Sadeeq صديق (friend masculine) è Sadeeqa صديقة (friend feminine)

Hazeen حزين (sad masculine) è hazeena حزينة (sad feminine)

Kabeer كبير (big masculine) è kabeera كبيرة (big feminine)

 

However not all animals or humans masculines can take a “taa’ marbuta” ((ة, ــة in their feminine form, for example:

Asad أسد (lion) è Labo’a  لبؤة(lioness)

But

Walad ولد (boy) è Bent بنت  (girl)

In Arabic, words are either masculine or feminine, so anything you may think of should take either feminine or masculine form, now you can recognize if a word is feminine or masculine by its ending, for example:

Qessa قصة (story (is feminine because as you may have noticed it has “taa’ marbuta” ((ة, ــة at the end of the word, similar are:

Shajara شجرة (tree), Saheefa صحيفة (newspaper), Kora كرة (ball), Ghorfa غرفة (room), Bohaira بحيرة (lake) … and therefore the adjective following these feminine words should also take the feminine form (add a “taa’ marbuta” ((ة, ــة to them)

Most Arabic nouns are considered masculine if no “taa’ marbuta” is connected to them, however like any other language there are exceptions:

 

Arabic Nouns

Sky سماء samaa’ is feminine even if there is no “taa’ marbuta” ((ة, ــة  at the end of the word,

Windريح  reeh is feminine even if it’s not ending with a “taa’ marbuta”.
Also some masculine proper names are ending with “taa’ marbuta” but still considered masculine name for example: osama
أسامة  , hamza حمزة.

 

The good news is that they are not many, and the general rule is “add a “taa’ marbuta” ((ة, ــة to form the feminine from a masculine word, and omit it to form the masculine”.



 

Singular to Plural in Arabic:

In Arabic to form the plural we use two methods: add a suffix or change the body of the word (to form an irregular plural).

A suffix (aatات  ) is added to form a plural usually when a word ends with a “taa’ marbuta” ((ة, ــة, but before adding the suffix we first have to omit the existing ((ة, ــة :

For example:

Shajara شجرة (a tree) è Shajaraat شجرات (trees). So the body here is shajar شجر to form the feminine we add to it “taa’ marbuta” ((ة, ــة, to form the plural we add the suffix “aat ات ” as you can see in the example above.

We can also add the suffix (aatات  ) even to words not ending with “taa’ marbuta” ((ة, ــة, for example:

Qitar قطار (train) è Qitaraat قطارات  (trains)

Mashroob مشروب (drink) è Mashroobaat  مشروبات(drinks)

 

Another suffix (een ين ) is added to form the plural of some words (especially nationalities, religions, professions…)

Amreki أمريكي (American) è amrekieen  أمريكيين(Americans)

Moslem مسلم (Moslem) è Moslemeen مسلمين  (Moslems)

Motarjem مترجم (translator) è Motarjemeen مترجمين (translators)

 

Now we will move to the irregular forms, you will notice that there are many of them, so it’s advised to learn words with their plurals, and most dictionaries write the definition of words with their plural form, and it’s not that hard as it seems, with practice all ambiguities will be clear.

 

The table below shows most of forms that a plural can take in Arabic, the words with question marks are our model words, and to convert a word the irregular way you first need to: remove the question mark and add a consonant for each question mark, for example the word “book” means ketaab كتاب in Arabic, to form the plural I wrote in the table below how to form it by showing you the form with question marks (?u?u?), meaning ketaab è ?u?u? è kutub. If you remove the consonant of the word ketaab respectively and put them in our model word, you will have kutub, which is obviously the plural of ketaab (book), same thing with other examples below:

 

 

Arabic Plural

?u?uu? فعول

a??aa? أفعال

a??u? أفعل (rare)

?u?a? فُعَل

Saqr è Suquur (falcons)

 صقر è صقور

Dars è Duruus (lessons)

 درس  è دروس

Nahr è Anhaar (rivers)

 نهر è أنهار

Haram è Ahraam (pyramids)

 هرم è أهرام

Wajh è Awjuh (methods)

 وجه è أوجه

Shahr è Ash-hur (months)

 شهر è أشهر

qubla è qubal (kisses)

 قبلة è قبل

dawla è duwal (countries)

 دولة è دول

?a?a?e?a فعاعلة

??a?e? فعاعل

?u?u? فُعُل

?u?aa?a فعالا

jabbaar è jababera (tyrants)

 جبّار è جبابرة

usquf è asaaqefa (bishops)

 أُسقف è أساقفة

madrasa è madares (schools)

 مدرسة è مدارس

markab è marakeb (boats)

 مركب è مراكب

ketaab è kotob (books)

 كتاب è كتب

safeena è sufun (ships)

 سفينة è سفن

Wasiya è Wasaaya (wills)

 وصية è وصايا

Hadiya è hadaaya (gifts)

 هدية è هدايا

?a?aa’e? فعائل

a??e?a أفعلة

?u??aa? * فُعَال (rare)

?u?a?aa’  فعلاء

Qaseeda è qasaa’ed (poems)
 
قصيدة è قصائد

Hazeema è hazaa’em (losses)

 هزيمة è هزائم

Ghelaaf è aghlefa (covers)

 غلاف è أغلفة

Hezaam è ahzema (belts)
 حزام
è أحزمة

Nasek è Nussak (pious)

 ناسك è نُسّاك

Tajer è Tujjar (merchant)

 تاجر è تُجّار

* the second consonant is doubled

Sajeen è sujanaa’ (prisoners)

 سجين è سجناء

Jabaan è jubanaa’ (cowards)

 جبان è جبناء

 

There are some other forms of forming the plural in Arabic, but they are very rare, so you don’t have to worry about them right now.

 

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