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Arabic grammar lessons

Here are some pages I put together on Arabic grammar. Most of this information focuses on Egyptian Arabic, but some material on standard Arabic is also included. I've used EA to indicate that a lesson covers Egyptian Arabic and MSA to indicate that a lesson covers (modern) standard Arabic. Articles & the sun and moon letters EA - information on the definite article, its use, and the "sun and moon letters" (rules of assimilation of the -l of the definite article). Nouns EA - information on how to inflect nouns for gender and number (make them feminine, dual, and plural). Adjectives EA - definition of what adjectives are and how to inflect them for gender and number. A list of common, basic adjectives. Information on the rules of adjective agreement with nouns, and how to form nisba adjectives. Comparative and superlative adjectives EA - how to form the "elative" adjective forms that are used for comparisons. How to make both comparative and superlative statements. Adverbs EA - lists of common adverbs, arranged by type (adverbs of time, place, degree, and manner). Subject and object pronouns EA MSA - tables of the subject and object pronouns in Arabic. Possessive pronouns EA MSA - tables of the possessive pronouns, with notes on usage and examples. Demonstrative and relative pronouns EA MSA - tables of the demonstrative and relative pronouns, with examples of usage. The genitive construct and other ways to express possession EA - information on the construct that indicates possession, and on prepositions that can also be used for the same purpose. Introduction to the Arabic sentence EA MSA - the basic types of Arabic sentences, definition of subject and predicate, and how to negate sentences. Asking questions EA MSA - information on how to ask questions in Arabic, covering questions using interrogative words (who, what, when, where, how, why, etc.), yes/no questions, and questions posing alternatives to choose from. The verb forms MSA - information on the different verb forms and their associated meanings, and a table of all the verb forms including their perfect/imperfect conjugations, active/passive participles, and verbal nouns. Verb conjugations EA MSA - information on the different types of sound and weak verbs, and conjugation tables for verbs of each type. Verb tenses EA - information on the past, simple present, present continuous, and future tenses: how to use them and negate them, with examples.

Modals EA MSA - information on modals, including examples of usage. The imperative EA - how to form and negate commands, including tables showing the steps to do this and examples. The active participle EA - the usage of the active participle, including examples, how to derive the active participle from verbs, and a table of commonly-used active participles. The passive participle EA - the usage of the passive participle, including examples and how to derive the passive participle from verbs. Conditional statements EA - how to form possible and impossible conditional statements, including lots of examples. Numbers EA - the numbers from 0 to 1 billion, information on how to read out long numbers, and nounnumber constructions. Case endings MSA - information on the nominative, genitive, and accusative cases: when and how to use them, with examples. kaana, inna, and Zanna and their sisters MSA - information on these verbs, which shift part of the sentence they're in to the accusative case; includes examples.

Articles and the sun and moon letters in Egyptian Arabic


Definite articles
A definite article "the," in English specifies something in particular, usually something that has already been mentioned, as opposed to something general (the book, as opposed to any book). In Arabic, there is a definite article (- il, "the") that is invariable; it is used for singular and plural, masculine and feminine nouns.

( oft il-walad illi saakin gambi)

I saw the boy who lives next to me. Note: While English doesn't use articles to refer to generic nouns or general concepts, Arabic uses the definite article in these instances.

( baHebb il-aflaam il-agnabiyya) I like foreign films (lit. the foreign films, since we're referring to foreign films in general) ( is-salaam aHsan min il-Harb) Peace is better than war (lit. the peace, the war)
Indefinite articles
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 an engineer" or "She is a teacher" in English, in Arabic we would say:

( howwa mohandis)
He is an engineer (lit. He engineer)

( heyya mudarrisa)
She is a teacher (lit. She teacher) Note: Arabic does not use a present-tense form of "to be."

Sun and moon letters

Sun letters
If a word begins with one of the "sun letters" ( ,) and is definite, the "l" of the definite article is assimilated into the following consonant. So instead of pronouncing as "il-ams," you say "i-ams." the price ( t) ( it-taman) the student ( T) ( iT-Taalib) the world ( d) ( id-duniya) the guest ( D) ( iD-Deif) the woman ( s) ( is-sitt) summer ( S) ( iS-Seif) the company ( ) ( i-erka) oil ( z) ( iz-zeit) the envelope ( Z) ( iZ-Zarf) the jacket ( ) (the French "j") ( i-akitta) the light ( n) ( in-nuur) the man ( r) ( ir-raagil) In Egyptian Arabic, there are two more letters that may or may not be assimilated: the camel ( g) ( ig-gamal or il-gamal) the book ( k) ( ik-kitaab or il-kitaab)

Moon letters
With "moon letters" ( ,) however, the definite article is not assimilated into the following letter

( a) ( b) ( H) ( x) 3) ) ( ) ( f) ( q) ( m) ( w) ( h) ( y)

( il-ax) ( il-'ahwa) ( il-baab) ( il-Hafla) ( il-xoDaar) ( il-3arabiyya) ( il-ada) ( il-fundu') ( il-qariya) ( il-mayya) ( il-waadi) ( il-hidiyya) ( il-yunaan)

the brother the coffee the door the party vegetables the car lunch the hotel the village the water the valley the present Greece

Nouns in Egyptian Arabic

Nouns: gender
Nouns are the names of things, whether objects, people, or places. Nouns in Arabic, both human and non-human, are either masculine or feminine. Usually, if a (singular) noun ends in a ta marbuuTa (, pronounced -a), it is feminine, and if it doesn't end in a ta marbuuTa, it's masculine.

( beit) masculine noun

house ( a''a) feminine noun apartment However, there are exceptions. All of these words are feminine, even though they don't end in a ta marbuuTa:

( naar) ( sama) ( arD) ( ams) ( riiH) 3) ein) ( iid) ( ruuH) ( Harb)

fire sky land/earth sun wind eye hand soul war

Nouns that can refer to both men and women (like job titles) can be made feminine with the addition of the suffix -( a). Masculine ( mudarris) ( mohandis) ( mumassil) ( fannaan) Feminine ( mudarrisa) ( mohandisa) ( mumassila) ( fannaana)

teacher engineer actor artist

Nouns: number
Dual nouns
In Arabic, if you're talking about two things, you need to use the dual form of the noun. Just add the suffix -( ein) to the masculine singular form of the noun. Singular Dual book ( kitaab) ( kitaabein)

window ( ibbaak)

( ibbaakein)

Note: If the singular form ends in a taa marbuuTa (- ,a), you need to "untie it" change it to a before adding the suffix. Take the word "( sentence") as an example: ( gomla) "Untie" the taa marbuuTa (replace it with a (: Add the suffix: ( gomlatein) - "two sentences" Note: While you can use the suffix to talk about two people, usually it's better to say "( itnein) + [plural noun]": Singular Dual teacher ( mudarris) ( itnein mudarrisiin) engineer ( mohandis) ( itnein mohandisiin) 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 ( farda min), literally "an individual from."

( laazim ateri gazma gdiida)

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.

( ana mi la'ya farda min araabi) I can't find one of my socks. - Again, note that "araabi" technically means just "my sock," but it's understood to mean a pair.
Broken plurals
Most Arabic nouns have broken (irregular) plurals. A few examples: Singular Plural book ( kitaab) ( kutub) child/boy ( walad) ( awlaad) sentence ( gomla) ( gomal) 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.

Regular masculine plurals

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 -( iin).

teacher engineer actor artist

Singular ( mudarris) ( mohandis) ( mumassil) ( fannaan)


( mudarrisiin) ( mohandisiin) ( mumassiliin) ( fannaaniin)

Note: 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 could be a bunch of male engineers, or a mixed group of male and female engineers.

Regular feminine plurals

To make a feminine noun (that doesn't have a broken plural form) plural, you drop the taa marbuuTa and add the suffix -( aat). Many foreign loanwords, even some that are masculine, take this plural form (see and .) Singular car 3) arabiyya) word ( kelma) clinic 3) iyaada) jacket ( akitta) computer ( kombiyuuter) Plural 3) arabiyyaat) ( kalimaat) 3) iyaadaat) ( akittaat) ( kombiyuuteraat)

Note: If you want to talk about a group of all women, you take the masculine singular form of the noun and, again, add the suffix. Singular teacher ( mudarris) engineer ( mohandis) actor ( mumassil) artist ( fannaan) Feminine plural ( mudarrisaat) ( mohandisaat) ( mumassilaat) ( fannaanaat)

Adjectives in Egyptian Arabic

An adjective is a word that describes a noun "smart," "pretty," "good," etc. Remember that (the active participle) acts as an adjective.

( il-film da mumill)
This movie is boring.

( kitaab kwayyis)
a good book

( howwa naayim) He is sleeping.

( is-sitt illi wa'fa hnaak) the woman who is standing there Some basic adjectives
Here's a list of some common, basic adjectives in Egyptian Arabic: small big short long; tall smart stupid rich poor old (in reference to things, not people) new pretty, beautiful ugly clean dirty expensive cheap good

)( Soayyar (pl.) Suaar )( kibiir (pl.) kobaar ' )( oSayyar (pl.) 'uSaar )( Tawiil (pl.) Tuwaal )( zaki (pl.) azkiya )( abi (pl.) abiya )( ani (pl.) aniya )( fa'iir (pl.) fu'ra ' )( adiim (pl.) 'udaam )( gediid (pl.) gudaad )( gamiil (pl.) gumaal ' )( abiiH (pl.) 'ubaHa weHi )( naDiif (pl.) nuDaaf wisix aali raxiiS kwayyis

bad easy hard, difficult heavy light high low fat thin fast, quick slow

weHi sahl Sa3b ti'iil xafiif 3 aali waaTi tixiin rofayya3 sarii3 baTii'

Inflections for gender and number

As with nouns, to make adjectives feminine or plural, usually you add a suffix: -( a) for the feminine form, -( iin) for the regular plural form. But again, many adjectives do not have regular plural forms, so for those you have to memorize the broken plurals. The first half of the list above is made up of adjectives with broken plurals. Also see the following examples: Singular masculine Singular feminine Plural big ( kibiir) ( kibiira) ( kobaar) poor ( fa'iir) ( fa'iira) ( fu'ra) Here's a regular adjective: Singular masculine Singular feminine good ( kwayyis) ( kwayyesa) Plural

( kwayyisiin)

Note: Say an adjective ends in -( i) and is not of the form ( faa3il). When you're adding on your and suffixes to make it feminine/plural, you need to insert a "yy" between the adjective and the suffix (in terms of your pronunciation). Singular masculine stupid ( abi) smart ( zaki) Egyptian* ( maSri) Singular feminine ( abeyya) ( zakeyya) ( maSreyya) Plural

( abiya) ( azkiya) ( maSriyyiin)

* See below for more on this type of adjective. If, however, an adjective ending in is of the form ,you don't insert a "yy" between it and the suffix when you're making it feminine/plural. And while the masculine form of this adjective has a long "aa," the feminine and plural forms have a short "a."

Singular masculine Singular feminine Plural expensive ( aali) ( alya) ( alyiin) quiet, calm ( haadi) ( hadya) ( hadyiin)

Adjectives: agreement
In English, adjectives come right before the noun they describe, but in Arabic, adjectives always directly follow the noun they modify. Also, adjectives and nouns must always agree in definiteness (they must be both definite or both indefinite).

Adjectives for singular nouns

A singular noun is modified by a singular adjective of the same gender.

( il-mudarris il-gediid) the new teacher - lit. "the-teacher the-new" ( bint hadya) a quiet girl - lit. "girl quiet"
Adjectives for dual nouns
Any dual noun must be modified by a plural adjective.

( waladein maSriyyiin)
two Egyptian boys ( bintein suriyyiin) two Syrian girls

( kitaabein alyiin)
two expensive books 3) arabiyyatein gudaad) two new cars

Adjectives for human plural nouns

Human plural nouns, masculine or feminine, are usually modified by masculine plural nouns.

( awlaad kobaar)
big boys

( banaat Soaar)
small girls

Adjectives for non-human plural nouns

Non-human plural nouns are modified by feminine singular adjectives. This is confusing at first, but you get used to it fast!

( dowal mit'addima)
advanced countries 3) arabiyyaat 'adiima)

old cars

( aflaam gediida)
new movies Note: A lot of beginning students get confused about adjectival phrases and whether or not they can be complete sentences. Look at these examples for some clarification:

( it-tilmiiz aaTir)
A complete simple sentence: "The student is smart." (Lit. "The-student smart.")

( it-tilmiiz i-aaTir)
A phrase/sentence fragment: "The smart student." (Lit. "the-student the-smart.")

( tilmiiz aaTir)
A phrase/sentence fragment: "A smart student." (Lit. "student smart.")

Nisba adjectives ( )
Nisba adjectives are those that indicate a relationship, often a nationality. Nouns are transformed into these adjectives in this manner: 1. Drop any definite article at the beginning of the noun, and any taa marbuuTa ( )or alif ( )at the end of it. 2. Add the suffixes -( ii) for the masculine adjective, -( eyya) for the feminine adjective, and -( iiyyiin) for the plural adjective. Here are some examples of nouns and their correponding nisba adjectives: Noun Egypt Lebanon the United States Palestine Syria Sudan school Masculine singular Egyptian ( maSri) Lebanese ( libnaani) Adjective Feminine singular Plural

( maSr) ( libnaan)
(filisTiin) ( surya) ( issuudaan)

( maSreyya) ( maSriyyiin) ( libnaneyya) ( libnaniyyiin)

(filisTiineyya) ( sureyya)

( amriika) American ( amriiki) ( amrikeyya) ( amrikiyyiin)

Palestinian Syrian

(filisTiini) ( suuri)

(filisTiiniyyiin) ( suriyyiin)

Sudanese ( sudaani) ( sudaneyya) ( sudaniyyiin) scholastic ( madrasi)



( madrasiyiin)

Note: For some nouns that end in -a, you don't follow that formula but use the suffixes -( awi), ( aweyya), and -( awiyyiin).

Noun France

Adjective French

Masculine singular

Feminine singular


(faransaweyya) ( asaweyya) ( sanaweyya) ( nabaweyya)

(faransawiyyiin) ( asawiyiin) ( sanawiyyiin) ( nabawiyyin)

(faransa) Asia ( asya) year ( sana) prophet ( nabi)

(faransawi) Asian ( asawi) yearly/annual ( sanawi) prophetic ( nabawi)

Some plural nisba adjectives are irregular: Masculine singular Arab 3) arabi) Turkish ( turki) Kurdish ( kurdi) Moroccan ( maribi) British ( ingiliizi) Feminine singular 3) arabeyya) ( turkeyya) ( kurdeyya) ( maribeyya) ( ingliizeyya) Plural 3) arab) ( atraak) ( akraad) ( maarba) ( ingiliiz)

Comparative and superlative adjectives in Egyptian Arabic

Elative forms of adjectives
In Arabic, there are elative forms of adjectives that are used for both comparisons (ex. "bigger") and superlatives (ex. "best"). Elative adjectives are invariable and take three regular forms: 1. ( af3al) - this is the most common form.

( kibiir)

( akbar)
bigger ( aktar) more ( af'ar) poorer ( agmal) prettier ( ashal) easier ( aS3ab) harder ( aTwal) taller, longer ( aTyab) nicer

( kitiir)
many ( fa'iir) poor ( gamiil) pretty ( sahl) easy ( Sa3b) hard, difficult ( Tawiil) tall, long ( Tayyib) nice

2. ( af3a) - corresponds to adjectives that end in -( i) or -( w).

( Helw)
sweet, nice 3) aali) high ( aali) expensive ( zaki) smart

( aHla)
sweeter, nicer ( a3la) higher ( ala) more expensive ( azka) smarter

3. ( afa3ll) - corresponds to adjectives with a doubled/geminate root.

( gediid)
new ( mohimm) important ( xafiif) light '( aliil) few ( laziiz) delicious

( agadd)
newer ( ahamm) more important ( axaff) lighter ( a'all) less, fewer ( alazz) more delicious

There is an irregular comparative:

( kwayyis) ( aHsan)
good better

Forming comparative and superlative statements

To form a comparison (between two things) in Arabic, you use the elative adjective followed by (min).

( il-'amiiS da ala min da) This shirt is more expensive than that one. ( Hussein aTwal minni) Hussein is taller than me.
To form a superlative (comparing one thing to multiple other things), you can use the elative adjective followed by an indefinite noun. This has a basic "the [adj]est [noun]" meaning. ( howwa aSar walad) He's the youngest boy.

( di arxaS akitta) This is the cheapest jacket. ( il-qaahira akbar mediina fi maSr) Cairo is the biggest city in Egypt.
For another kind of superlative, you can use the elative adjective followed by a definite plural noun. This has a "the [adj]est of (all) the [nouns]" meaning.

( howwa aSar il-wilaad fil-faSl)

He's the youngest of the boys in the class

( di arxaS i-akittaat fil-maHall)

This is the cheapest of the jackets in the shop.

( il-qaahira akbar il-mudun fi maSr)

Cairo is the biggest of the cities in Egypt.

Adverbs in Egyptian Arabic

An adverb modifies a verb (or an adjective or adverb) and answers questions like how, when, where, why, and to what degree something was done. Here is a list of some common adverbs; all usually come after the expression they're modifying, except for ,which usually comes before the modified expression.

Adverbs of time

Adverbs of place
here there outside inside up, upstairs down, downstairs in front of behind

( in-nahaarda) ( imbaariH) ( bukra) ( dilwa'ti) ( ba3dein) ( zamaan) '( ariib/'orayyib) ( dayman) ( abadan) ( badri) ( waxri) ( mit'axxar) finally ( axiiran) usually 3) aadatan) usually, for the most part ( aaliban) sometimes ( aHyaanan)
today yesterday tomorrow now later a long time ago recently/soon always never early late

( hina) ( hinaak) ( barra) ( guwwa) ( foo') ( taHt) '( uddaam) ( wara)

Adverbs indicating degree


'( awi)

( il-film da 3agibni 'awi) I liked that movie a lot. ( di Suura Helwa 'awi) This is a really nice picture. very/at all ( xaaliS) ( howwa mi 3aaref Haaga xaaliS) He doesn't know a thing. ( il-balad di xarbaana xaaliS) This country is totally messed up. very ( giddan) ( kalaamak gamiil giddan) What you're saying is really good. a lot; often ( kitiir)

( il-xabar da 'ala'ni kitiir) This news really worried me. totally ( moot) * This is very slangy. ( il-aaani di gamda moot) These songs are really cool. more, in addition ( kamaan) ( istanna kamaan wayya)
Wait a little more. nearly ( ta'riiban) ( fiDilna ta'riiban noSS saa3a) We had almost half an hour left. ( xiliS ramaDaan ta'riiban) Ramadan is almost over. nearly ( Hawaali) * Usually comes before the expression being modified. ( ana ba'aali Hawaali saa3a mistanniyya kida) I've been waiting like this for about an hour. a little ( wayya) ( il-mumassil da laazim tixtaar adwaaru aHsan wayya) That actor should pick his roles a bit better.

Adverbs of manner
like this, in this way

( kida) ( bi-akle da)

( mi 3arfa bit3aamilni kida leih)

I don't know why you're treating me like this. in this way/manner

( izzaayy tistigri tkallemni bi-akle da?) How do you dare talk to me like that? quickly ( bi-sur3a) ( kunte maai fi-aari3 bis-sur3a 3aaan alHa' awSal) I was walking down the street fast so I could make it on time. quickly, in a short time '( awaam) ( yalla nibda' 3aaan nixallaS 'awaam)
Come on, let's get started so we can finish quickly. slowly [Go] slowly, what are you in a hurry for? right away, immediately

( biwei) ( Haalan) ( Haaliyyan)

( biwei iwayya, mista3gil 3ala eih?) ( ! ana 3awza r-rudd Haalan!) I want the answer right away! presently, at this time

( ana Haaliyyan muqiima fi almanya) Right now I'm living in Germany. together ( sawa) ( kullina fil-hawa sawa) We're all in the same boat (lit. "We are in the air together"). alone, by oneself ( li-waHd- + pronoun suffix) ( bafaDDal askun li-waHdi) I prefer to live by myself. straight ahead; right away; continuously; forever 3) ala Tuul) ( imi 3ala Tuul li-Hadde matlaa'i g-gaami3 3ala maalak) Go straight until you find the mosque on your left. ( di'ii'a wa-gayy 3ala Tuul) Just a minute, I'm coming right away. ( inta waHeni 3ala Tuul) I miss you all the time. ( ana msafra qaTar ba3d il-faraH 3ala Tuul) I'm going to Qatar right after the wedding. ( howwa mi hayifDal yiksib 3ala Tuul) He won't keep winning forever. deliberately, on purpose 3) amdan) ( bitfakkar inni 3amelte kida 3amdan?) Do you think I did that deliberately?

Subject and object pronouns in standard and Egyptian Arabic

Subject pronouns - ( Damaa'ir al-faa3il)
Subject pronouns (I, you, we, he, she, we, they) take the place of a noun and function as the subject of a sentence.

( ana min amriika) I am from the US. ( howwa mohandis) He is an engineer.

Note: In Arabic, the subject pronoun is frequently dropped. You can tell from a verb conjugation who the subject is, so it's not really necessary to use the subject pronoun in such cases except for emphasis. However, in equational (verbless) sentences like the two above, you do need the subject pronoun.

Subject pronouns in standard and Egyptian Arabic

English Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic I (ana) you (masc.) (anta) (inta) Singular you (fem.) (anti) (inti) he (howwa) she (heyya) we (naHnu) Dual you (antuma) they (humaa) we (naHnu) (eHna) you (masc.) (antum) (intu) Plural you (fem.) (antunna) they (masc.) (homa) (homa) they (fem.) (hunna) Note: In English, there is only one second-person pronoun, "you," which is used whether you're talking to one person, two people, or more. But in Arabic, as you see above, there are masculine and feminine versions of "you," as well as singular, dual (standard Arabic only), and plural versions: \if you're addressing one person, if you're addressing two (in standard Arabic), and \if you're addressing three or more people. Note that the dual "you" ( )is the same regardless of gender. In standard Arabic, there is also a dual version of "they" ( - which is gender-indiscriminate as well) and masculine and feminine versions of the plural "they" ( and .)

Note that Egyptian Arabic has fewer pronouns than standard Arabic, since it has no dual pronouns; it just has plural pronouns that are used to talk about two or more people, of any gender. And the colloquial and are gender-neutral.

Object pronouns - ( Damaa'ir al-maf3uul bihi)

Object pronouns (me, you, us, him, her, them) are used when you do something directly to someone or something else. In Arabic, these pronouns are suffixes that are attached to the verb:

( Darabatu)
She hit him.

( yakuruuni)
They thank me.

Object pronouns in standard and Egyptian Arabic

English Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic me (ni-) you (masc.) (ka-) (ak-) Singular you (fem.) (ki-) (ik-) him (u-) her (ha-) us (na-) Dual you (kuma-) them (huma-) us (na-) you (masc.) (kum-) (ku/-kum-) \ Plural you (fem.) (kunna-) them (masc.) (hum-) (hom-) them (fem.) (hunna-) Note: In colloquial Arabic, and are both used, but the former is more colloquial than the latter. Here are some examples of object pronoun usage, using the verb ( sa'al) - "to ask." English Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic He asked me (sa'alni) He asked you (masc.) (sa'alaka) (sa'alak) Singular He asked you (fem.) (sa'alaki) (sa'alik) He asked him ([sa'alahu [more standard] or sa'alu [more colloquial) He asked her ([sa'alaha [more standard] or sa'alha [more colloquial)



He asked us He asked you He asked them He asked us He asked you (masc.) He asked you (fem.) He asked them (masc.) He asked them (fem.)

(sa'alna) (sa'alkuma) (sa'alhuma) (sa'alna) (sa'alkum) (sa'alku/sa'alkum) \ (sa'alkunna) (sa'alhum) (sa'alhom) (sa'alhunna)

Possessive pronouns in standard and Egyptian Arabic

Possessive pronouns (my, your, his, her, our, their) are used to indicate ownership of something. In Arabic, as with object pronouns, these take the form of suffixes; they are attached to the noun that's owned.

( beiti)
my house

( kitaabu)
his book

( uxtuhum)
their sister Note: If the noun that's owned ends in a taa' marbuuTa ( ,)the taa' marbuuTa must be "untied" and made into a before the pronoun suffix is added: ( xaala) - maternal aunt Untie the taa' marbuuTa to get and then add the pronoun suffix: ( xalti) - my maternal aunt The object and possessive pronoun suffixes are exactly the same except for the first person singular.

Possessive pronouns in standard and Egyptian Arabic:

English Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic my (i-) your (masc.) (ka-) (ak-) Singular your (fem.) (ki-) (ik-) his (u-) her (ha-) our (na-) Dual your (kuma-) their (huma-) our (na-) your (masc.) (kum-) (ku/-kum-) \ Plural your (fem.) (kunna-) their (masc.) (hum-) (hom-) their (fem.) (hunna-)

Note: In standard Arabic, if the noun that's owned is dual (ends in - aan or - ein), or if the noun has a sound masculine plural suffix (- uun or - iin), you need to drop the final before adding the pronoun suffix.

( waalidaan)
two parents ( yadein) two hands

( waalidaahum) ( mu'ayyiduun)
their parents ( yadeiha) her hands supporters ( mudarrisiin) teachers

( mu'ayyiduuh)
his supporters ( mudarrisiyya) my teachers

Note: In Egyptian Arabic, if a noun, verb, or preposition ends in a vowel that is not a taa' marbuuTa, some of the pronoun suffixes you'll need to use with it will change. For object/possessive pronouns:

-( ni) stays the same. -( i) -( ya) -( ak) -( k) -( ik) -( ki) -( u) -( h)

Also, the final vowel in the noun/verb/whatever will need to be lengthened. Some examples:

( wara)
behind ( li-) for 3) ala) on ( ma3a) with

( waraaya)
behind me ( liik) for you (masc. sing.) 3) aleiki) on you (fem. sing.) ( ma3aah) with him

( Hawaali)
around ( warra) to show ( baaba) dad ( fi) in

( Hawaleiyya)
around me ( warraak) he showed you (masc. sing.) ( babaaki) your dad (fem. sing.) ( fiih) in him

Note: In colloquial Arabic, when used with possessive suffixes, the words ( ab), "father," and ( ax), "brother," take the form ( abu) and ( axu). Again, the final -u vowel is lengthened before the suffix is added. ( abuuya) ( axuuya) my father my brother ( abuuk) ( axuuk) your (masc. sing.) father your (masc. sing.) brother ( abuuki) ( axuuki) your (fem. sing.) father your (fem. sing.) brother ( abuuh) ( axuuh) his father his brother Note: Usually, you do not use possessive pronoun suffixes with dual nouns in Egyptian Arabic. Instead, you say "il-[noun]ein bituu3[possessive pronoun suffix]."

my two books

( il-kitabein bituu3i)

There are, however, a few exceptions: 3) eineiyya) my (two) eyes 3) eineik) your eyes etc.

( rigleiyya) ( iideiyya)
my (two) legs ( rigleik) your legs my (two) hands ( iideik) your hands

Demonstrative and relative pronouns in standard and Egyptian Arabic

Demonstrative pronouns- ( ism al-iaara)
Demonstrative pronouns (this, that, these, those) point to and identify a noun or pronoun. In standard Arabic, the demonstrative pronoun comes before the noun it refers to; in 3ammiyya, it follows the noun. While fuSHa has specific words for "that" and "those" (as opposed to "this" and "these"), 3ammiyya does not. Standard Arabic ( uHibbu haada l-kitaab) Egyptian Arabic ( baHebb il-kitaab da)

I like this book. Did you see that girl?

( ra'eita tilka l-bint?)

( oft il-bint di?)

Here are all the demonstrative pronouns in Arabic: Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic this (masc.) ( haada) ( da) this man ( haada r-rajul) ( ir-raagil da) this lesson ( haada d-dars) ( id-dars da) this (fem.)* ( haadihi) ( di) * Note that all plural non-human nouns are grammatially treated as feminine, and this applies to demonstrative pronouns (as well as other things like adjectives).

( haadihi l-bint) ( haadihi l-mixadda) These books are long

this girl this pillow (haadihi l-kutub Tawiila) These cars are new

( il-bint di) ( il-mixadda di)

(il-kutub di Tawiila)

(haadihi s-sayaraat jadiida) (il-3arabiyyaat di gediida) that (masc.) ( daalika) that man ( daalika r-rajul) that (fem.) ( tilka) that girl ( tilka l-bint) these (masc. dual) ( | haadaani/haadeini)* ( dool) * is used with nouns in the nominative case ( (; is used with nouns in the genitive and accusative cases (.) These (two) boys are Egyptian I saw these (two) boys

(haadaani l-waladaan miSriyaan)

(il-waladein dool maSriyiin)

(ra'eitu haadeini l-waladein) (oft il-waladein dool) these (fem. dual) ( | haataani/haateini)* ( dool) * is used with nouns in the nominative case ( (; is used with nouns in the genitive and accusative cases (.) these (two) girls I saw these (two) girls these (masc. and fem. pl.) these men these girls those (masc. and fem. pl.) those men those girls

(haataani l-bintaan)

(il-bintein dool)

(ra'eitu haateini l-bintein) ( haa'ulaa) ( haa'ulaa r-rijaal) ( haa'ulaa l-banaat) ( uulaa'ika) ( uulaa'ika r-rijaal) ( uulaa'ika l-banaat)

(oft il-bintein dool) ( dool) ( ir-riggaala dool) ( il-banaat dool)

Relative pronouns - ( al-ism al-mawSuul)

Relative pronouns (such as "that, which, who") begin relative clauses, which act like adjectives and describe the noun they follow. In Arabic, if the relative pronoun is referring back to a noun that is a direct object or the object of a preposition (like "the book [that] I read," "the girl [whom] I wrote to"), a pronoun suffix referring to this noun must be added to the relative pronoun.

( al-kitaab alladi qara'tuhu)

the book that I read - lit. "the book that I read it"

( al-bint allati katabtu laha)

the girl whom I wrote to - lit. "the girl whom I wrote to her" If you are referring to a noun that is indefinite, you do not use a relative pronoun.

( lii zamiil yatakallam sittu luaat)

I have a colleague who speaks six languages. Note that although English still uses the relative pronoun "who," there's no corresponding pronoun in Arabic. These two rules hold for both standard and Egyptian Arabic.

Relative pronouns in standard and Egyptian Arabic

The Egyptian dialect has only one relative pronoun: ( illi) - used in reference to all nouns, regardless of gender/number. Standard Arabic, on the other hand, has a whole bunch of relative pronouns:

Standard Arabic used in reference to a masculine singular ( alladi) noun the man who went to the US (ar-rajul alladi dahab ila amriika) the book (that) I read

Egyptian Arabic

( illi)
(ir-raagil illi raaH amriika)

(al-kitaab alladi qara'tuhu)

(il-kitaab illi 'areitu)

used in reference to a ( allati) ( illi) feminine singular noun * Again, remember that all plural non-human nouns are grammatially treated as feminine singular. the girl who studied Arabic the movies (that) I saw

(al-bint allati darasit al-3arabiyya)

(il-bint illi darsit 3arabi)

(al-aflaam allati ra'eituha) (il-aflaam illi oftaha) used in reference to a ( | alladaani/alladeini) ( illi) masculine dual noun * is used with nouns in the nominative case ( (; is used with nouns in the genitive and accusative cases (.) the two teams who ( al-fariiqaan ( il-farii'ein reached the finals alladaani waSalaa ila n-nihaa'i) illi waSalu n-nihaa'i) used in reference to a ( | allataani/allateini) ( illi) feminine dual noun * is used with nouns in the nominative case ( (; is used with nouns in the genitive and accusative cases (.) the two women who stayed in the village I gave the present to the two girls who wanted it used in reference to a masculine plural noun the Egyptians who work in the Gulf used in reference to a feminine plural noun the women who work in the field of engineering

( alimra'ataan allataani baqiyataa fi l-qaria)

( a3Teitu lhadiyya lil-bintein allateini araadaataha) ( alladiina) ( al( illi) ( il-

maSriyyuun alladiina ya3maluun fil-xaliij) maSriyyiin illi bitaalu fil-xaliig)

( | allaati/allawaati) ( annisaa' allawaati ya3milna fi majaal alhandasa)

( illi)
(is-sittaat illi bitaalu fi magaal ilhandasa)

Note: Relative pronouns are only used to refer to a definite noun. If you are not referring to a definite noun, you would not use a relative pronoun. See these examples: Standard Arabic I talked to the Egyptians who work in the Gulf I talked with Egyptians who work in the Gulf Egyptian Arabic

(takallamtu ma3a l-maSriyyiin alladiina ya3maluun fil-xaliij)

(kallimt il-maSriyyiin illi bitaalu filxaliig)

(takallamtu ma3a maSriyyiin ya3maluun fil-xaliij)

(kallimte maSriyyiin bitaalu filxaliig)

Note: Egyptian Arabic also has the pronouns ( aho), ( ahe), and ( ahom). When pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable (ho, he, hom), these words introduce a word/phrase with a "there it is" meaning.

( he gayya) There she comes.

When these words are pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable (ah, ah, ahm), they follow a noun and act as demonstrative pronouns drawing attention to the noun.

( - il-mudarris fein? - il-mudarris ah)

Where's the teacher? - The teacher's right over there.

( - ma3aak il-muftaaH? - il-muftaaH ma3aaya ah)

Do you have the key (with you)? - I have the key (with me) right here.

The genitive construct and other ways to express possession in Egyptian Arabic
The genitive construct - ( il-iDaafa)
In Arabic, two nouns can be placed one after the other in what is called a genitive construct ( )to indicate possession. First comes the noun being possessed ( ,)then comes the noun referring to the owner ( .) For example:

( kitaab il-walad)
the boy's book

( ism il-bint) the girl's name

( mediinat il-'uds) the city of Jerusalem ( bint 3ammi) my cousin (paternal uncle's daughter)
If ends in a taa' marbuuTa, then the end of that word will be pronounced -it instead of -a.

( ooDit oxti)
my sister's room 3) arabiyyit Nabiila) Nabila's car

( Suurit SaHbi) my friend's picture ( a''it Nagwa) Nagwa's apartment

In Egyptian Arabic, must be indefinite, but may be definite or indefinite.

( kitaab il-walad)
the boy's book

( kitaab Hasan)
Hasan's book

( kitaab walad)
a boy's book Whether an adjective modifies or , it will come at the very end, after . As usual, it will agree in gender, number, and definiteness with the noun it modifies.

( kitaab il-bint iT-Tawiila)

the tall girl's book

( kitaab il-bint iT-Tawiil)

the girl's long book

( kitaab bint Tawiil)

a girl's long book

( kitaab bint Tawiila)

a tall girl's book

But sometimes, if both or are the same gender and number, there can be confusion over what noun is being modified by the adjective, as with this phrase:

( kitaab il-walad iT-Tawiil) - does this mean "the tall boy's book" or "the boy's long
book"? Fortunately, Egyptian Arabic has a solution for this kind of ambiguity: use of the ( bitaa3) construction. The word ( female form bitaa3a, plural form bituu3) indicates possession.

( il-kitaab bitaa3 il-walad iT-Tawiil)

the tall boy's book

( il-kitaab iT-Tawiil bitaa3 il-walad)

the boy's long book This construction is also used if you want to modify both terms of the with adjectives.

( il-kitaab iT-Tawiil bitaa3 il-walad iS-Soayyar)

the little boy's long book

Other ways to express possession

There are also other ways to express possession. Of course, you can use possessive pronouns. Arabic has no verb for "to have," but you can express this idea with three different prepositions, with possessive pronoun suffixes added:

3) and-) - used to talk about "having" something in the sense of owning or possessing it. This is the most commonly-used of these three choices. ( ir-raagil da 3andu beit kibiir) That man has a big house.

( li-) - used to refer to something intended for somebody or something "owned" by an inanimate object. ( liik gawaab fil-bosTa) You have a letter in the mail. ( il-ooDa liiha talat ababiik) The room has three windows. ( ma3a) - used to talk about something you physically have with you. ( ma3aak filuus?)
Do you have money (with you)?

Here are the "conjugations" of these words: I have you (masc. sing.) have you (fem. sing.) have he has 3) andi) 3) andak) 3) andik) 3) andu)

( leyya) ( lik) ( likii) ( luh)

( ma3aaya) ( ma3aak) ( ma3aakii) ( ma3aah)

she has we have you (pl.) have they have

3) andaha) 3) andena) 3) anduku) 3) anduhum)

( laha) ( lina) ( luku) ( luhum)

( ma3aaha) ( ma3aana) ( ma3aaku) ( ma3aahum)

And here are the negations: I don't have you (masc. sing.) don't have you (fem. sing.) don't have he doesn't have she doesn't have we don't have you (pl.) don't have they don't have

( ma3andii) ( ma3andak) ( ma3andikii) ( ma3anduu) ( ma3andahaa) ( ma3andenaa) ( ma3andukuu) ( ma3anduhum)

( malii) ( malak) ( malkii) ( maluu) ( malhaa) ( malnaa) ( malkuu) ( malhum)

( mama3ii) ( mam3ak) ( mam3akii) ( mam3ahuu) ( mam3ahaa) ( mam3anaa) ( mam3akuu) ( mam3ahum)

To shift into the past tense, you say ( kaan) or ( makan) followed by the preposition + pronoun suffix. ( makan 3andi fikra innu howwa lli 3amal kida) I had no idea that he was the one who did that.

Introduction to the Arabic sentence

Types of sentences
In traditional Arabic grammar, there are two basic types of sentence, based on what the sentence's first word is. 1. ( al-jumla l-ismiyya) - the nominal sentence, where the sentence's first word is a noun. ( . al-walad miSri) - The boy is Egyptian. 2. ( al-jumla l-fi3liyya) - the verbal sentence, where the sentence's first word is a verb. ( . wulida l-walad fi miSr) - The boy was born in Egypt. Those categories are different from the ones used in many Arabic classes in the West, where sentences are classified simply according to whether or not they include a verb regardless of where the verb is in the sentence. 1. Equational sentence - a sentence without a verb. ( . al-walad miSri) - The boy is Egyptian. Although this sentence contains a verb in English, it doesn't in Arabic. Remember that since Arabic doesn't use a present-tense form of "to be," this is a verbless sentence consisting only of a noun and adjective. It literally translates as "The boy Egyptian"; the "is" is understood. ( . fi usrati talaatat afraad) - There are three people in my family. Again, the English translation contains a verb ("are"), but the original Arabic doesn't. It literally translates as "In my family three individuals." Since there's no present-tense form of "to be," "In my family [are] three individuals" is implied. 2. Verbal sentence - a sentence with a verb. ( . wulida l-walad fi miSr) - The boy was born in Egypt.

Subject and predicate

Now let's look at the parts of these sentences. The subject ( al-mubtada') is what the sentence is talking about. It could be a noun (the boy; Cairo; Ahmed), pronoun (I; he; they), or noun phrase (the math teacher; a long book). The predicate ( al-xabar) tells us something about the subject. The Arabic means a piece of news, so you can think of the predicate as delivering news about the subject. It may be an adjective (happy), verb (woke up), or noun (student). Here are some simple examples. The subject is in bold, and the predicate is underlined.

( . al-walad miSri)
The boy is Egyptian. - The subject is a noun, and the predicate is an adjective. ( . bint 3ammi mudarrisa) My cousin is a teacher. - The subject is a noun phrase (a genitive construction), and the predicate is a noun.

( . howwa Tawiil)
He is tall. - The subject is a pronoun, and the predicate is an adjective.

( . xarajat Manaal mubakkiran)

Manal went out early. - The subject is a (proper) noun, and the predicate is a verb paired with an adverb. Note: In sentences with a verb, standard Arabic usually follows a Verb-Subject-Object order, though sometimes it uses a Subject-Verb-Object order. The Egyptian dialect pretty much always follows a Subject-Verb-Object order. Manal went out early. ( xarajat Manaal mubakkiran) The boy ate an apple. ( akala l-waladu tuffaaHatan)

( Manaal xargit badri) ( il-walad kal tuffaaHa)

Now, how do we negate these sentences? Negating a sentence with a verb is simple; you just negate the verb. (To learn how to negate a verb in Egyptian Arabic, go here.) Negating a sentence without a verb, however, requires a different but still quite simple approach. In standard Arabic, you simply insert ( laysa), conjugated to match the noun. Here are the conjugations of : English I am not you (masc.) are not Singular you (fem.) are not he is not she is not we are not you are not Dual they (masc.) are not they (fem.) are not we are not you (masc.) are not Plural you (fem.) are not they (masc.) are not they (fem.) are not Standard Arabic (lastu) (lasta) (lasti) (laysa) (laysat) (lasna) (lastuma) (laysaa) (laysataa) (lasna) (lastum) (lastunna) (laysuu) (lasna)

Here are examples of negated verbless sentences in standard Arabic:

( ana lubnaaniyya)
I am Lebanese.

( ana lastu lubnaaniyya)

I am not Lebanese.

( bint 3ammi mudarrisa)

My cousin is a teacher. ( howwa Tawiil) He is tall.

( bint 3ammi laysat mudarrisa)

My cousin is not a teacher. ( howwa laysa Tawiil) He is not tall.

(min al-laazim an taSHu mubakkiran) You need to wake up early. ( honaaka xiyaar aaxar) There is another choice.

(laysa min al-laazim an taSHu mubakkiran) You don't need to wake up early. ( laysa honaaka xiyaar aaxar) There is no other choice.

(ladayha xibra fi haada l-majaal) She has experience in this field.

(laysa ladayha xibra fi haada l-majaal) She doesn't have experience in this field.

To negate verbless sentences in Egyptian Arabic, you insert ( mi) between the subject and predicate.

( ana libnaniyya)
I am Lebanese.

( ana mi libnaniyya)
I am not Lebanese.

( bint 3ammi mudarrisa)

My cousin is a teacher. ( howwa Tawiil) He is tall. ( laazim tiSHa badri) You need to wake up early. ( fii xiyaar taani) There is another choice. 3) andaha xibra filmagaal da) She has experience in this field.

( bint 3ammi mi mudarrisa)

My cousin is not a teacher. ( howwa mi Tawiil) He is not tall. ( mi laazim tiSHa badri) You don't need to wake up early. ( mafii xiyaar taani)* There is no other choice. ( ma3andahaa xibra filmagaal da)* She doesn't have experience in this field.

* Note: In Egyptian Arabic, if a verbless sentence contains an inverted predicate (that is, where the predicate comes before the subject instead of after) consisting of either " ,there is," or a preposition and pronoun suffix, like ,then the predicate is negated with the ( form.

Asking questions in standard and Egyptian Arabic

Asking informational questions
First, note that in standard Arabic, question words generally come at the beginning of a question, while in colloquial Arabic, these words usually (but not necessarily always) come at the end. Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic what ( | maa/maada) ( eih) which ( ayya) ( - - anhu [masc.] - anhi [fem.] - anhum [pl.])

and are used in different types of questions; the former is used in questions that do not have verbs, while the latter is used in questions that do have verbs. Frequently is followed by the pronoun corresponding to the noun being asked about. ,on the other hand, is fairly straightforward, and is used
anytime you would say "what" in English. Standard Arabic ( ma ismuka?) Egyptian Arabic ( ismak eih?) ( )( ma [huwwa] l- ( eih il-far' farq beinna wa-beinhum?) beinna wa-beinhum?) ( maada turiid?) ( inta 3aayiz eih?) ( maada aquul lak?) ( a'ollak eih?)

What's your name? What's the difference between us and them? What do you want? What shall I tell you?

In standard Arabic, can be used with a pronoun suffix to mean "which of..." In Egyptian Arabic, you can put before a noun to ask "which [noun]..." Standard Arabic ( ayyahum tufaDDil?) ( tuajja3 ayya fariiq?) Egyptian Arabic

Which one of them do you prefer? Which team do you support?

( bitfaDDal ayya waaHid


( bitagga3 ayya farii'?)

Egyptian Arabic also has an alternative way to say "which": .\\This can be a little tricky, since it can come either before or after the noun being referred to. The formulation is either: 1. [nhu/nhi/nhum - stress falling on the first syllable] + [indefinite noun] 2. [definite noun] + [anh/anh/anhm - stress falling on the second syllable] Note that you would usually go with the second option only when the "which" question is on its own -simply asking "Which book? Which girl?" as opposed to "Which book do you like? Which girl do you know?" in which case you'd probably go with the first option. ( inta saakin fi nhi a''a?) Which apartment do you live in?

( nhu door?) -or- ( id-door anh?)

Which floor?

Standard Arabic where ( ayna) to where ( ila ayna) from where ( min ayna) Egyptian Arabic ( fein) (3]) ( ala] fein) ( minein)

The usage of "where" in Arabic is fairly straightforward. Standard Arabic Where is the museum? ( ayna l-matHaf?) Where are you going? ( ila ayna daahiba?) Where are you from? ( min ayna anta?) Egyptian Arabic ( il-matHaf fein?) ( rayHa 3ala fein?) ( inta minein?)

Standard Arabic why ( li-maada) what for ( li-maada) when ( mata) Examples of usage: Standard Arabic Why did you go to Egypt? Why do you hate him? Why did he pick her? When will Hasan return? When is your birthday? Egyptian Arabic Egyptian Arabic ( leih) 3) | aaan eih/3alaaan eih) ( imta)

(li-maada dahabti ila miSr?) ( li-maada takrahu?)

(roHti maSr leih?) ( bitikrahu leih?) (ixtaarha 3aaan eih?)

( li-maada ixtaarha?)
(mata saya3uud Hasan?)

(Hasan hayirga3 imta?)

(mata 3iid miilaadak?)

(3iid milaadak imta?)

Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic who ( man) ( miin) whose ( li-man) ( | bitaa3 miin/li-miin)

or is used in any questions that would use "who" or "whom" in English.

Who are you? Whose book is this? Standard Arabic ( man anta?) Egyptian Arabic ( inta miin?)

(li-man haada l-kitaab?)

(il-kitaab da bitaa3 miin?) -or( da kitaab miin?) '( aabilt miin?)

Whom did you meet? ( man qaabalt?)

How/how much
Standard Arabic how ( kayfa) how many ( kam) how much ( kam) how much (price) ( bi-kam) how long (time) ( mundu mata) Egyptian Arabic ( izzaayy) ( kam) '( adde eih) ( bi-kam) ( min imta)

The use of is fairly simple, but note that in Arabic (both standard and colloquial) must be followed by a singular noun (unlike English, in which "how many" is followed by a plural noun). And in standard Arabic, this singular noun must be in the accusative case and remember that since the noun is singular, it must be nunated. Standard Arabic ( kayfa Haaluka?) ( kayfa 3arafta?) ( kam as-saa3a?) Lit. How much is the hour? ( kam 3umruki?) Lit. How much is your age? Egyptian Arabic ( izzayyak?) 3) ereft izzaayy?) ( is-saa3a kam?) 3) andik kam sana?) Lit. How many years do you have?

How are you? How did you know? What time is it? How old are you?

How many students are in the university? (kam Taaliban fil-jaami3a?) (kam Taalib fig-gam3a?) Asking "how much money" is pretty simple; you use in standard Arabic and in the Egyptian dialect. For the other meanings of "how much" (to what extent; how much of an uncountable noun), you use in standard Arabic and ( which is quite flexible and can be used for "to what extent, how big, how long, how much" questions) in Egyptian. Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic How much is this book? How much do you love Egypt?

(bi-kam haada l-kitaab?)

(il-kitaab da bi-kam?)

(kam tuHibb miSr?)

(bitHebbe maSr 'adde eih?)

How much money do you have (with you?)

(kam ma3ak min al-maal?)

(ma3aak filuus 'adde eih?)

"How long" can be a bit tricky to express in Arabic. But before I get into that, an explanation on

Note: is the use of the connecting participle to introduce a clause clarifying the circumstances under which the main action took place. Basically, it's used in a sentence that talks about two things: the main event, and what was going on in the background at the time. helps describe the background events. Here are some examples of usage:

( . saafarat Daalia ila amriika wa-hiyya Saiira)

Dalia traveled to the US when she was small. lit. "and she is small"

( . saafarat wa-abuuha muriiD)

She traveled while her father was sick. lit. "and her father is sick"

( . waSalat wa-ma3aha uxtuha l-kubra)

She arrived with her older sister. lit. "and with her, her older sister" 3) . aadat ila miSr wa-qad HaSalat 3ala d-dukturaah) She returned to Egypt having received her PhD. lit. "and she had received her PhD" 3) . aadat taHmil lina 3iddat hadaaya) She returned carrying a number of gifts for us. lit. "carries for us a number of gifts" All that said, in standard Arabic, the expression ( literally "since when") can be combined with to ask "How long has something been happening?" The Egyptian Arabic equivalent of is , which can be combined with an active participle to ask how long something's been happening. Standard Arabic How long have you been living here? Egyptian Arabic

(mundu mata wa-anta ta3ii huna?) (inta 3aayi hina min imta?) In colloquial Arabic, there are multiple ways to ask a "how long" question. The expression ( ba'aal + a pronoun suffix) means "for [a specified period of time]" if you're talking about an action that began in the past and is still continuing. Like "X amount of time has elapsed since I began doing this."

( ba'aali saa3a mistanniyya kida)

I've been waiting like this for an hour.

( ba'alha fi maSr talat siniin)

She's been (living) in Egypt for three years.

So you can ask ( ... ba'aalak kam...) to ask "How many [singular unit of time] have you been..." or ( ... ba'aalak 'adde eih...) to ask more generally "How long have you been..." While must be followed by a specific, singular unit of time (an hour, a day, a year), means a more general "how long." Standard Arabic How long did the operation last? How many hours did the operation last? Egyptian Arabic

(kam daamit al-3amaliyya?)

(il-3amaliyya ba'it 'adde eih?)

(kam saa3a daamit al-3amaliyya?) (il-3amaliyya ba'it kam saa3a?)

Some additional examples of colloquial questions:

( bitirab sagaayir ba'aalak kam sana?)

How many years have you been smoking cigarettes?

( ba'aalak 'adde eih 3aayi hina?)

How long have you been living here?

( i-anTa di 'adde eih?) How big is this bag? ( wiSilt min imta?) How long ago did you arrive? Asking yes-or-no questions
In Arabic, if you ask a question with a yes-or-no answer, the question takes the exact same form as the corresponding statement; the only difference is intonation, and the optional addition of ( hal) at the beginning of the question. is standard Arabic, but is also used in colloquial Arabic by educated speakers. Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic Statement: You're Egyptian. ( anta miSri) ( inta maSri) Question: Are you Egyptian? ( hal anta miSri?) ( hal inta maSri?) Statement: This university is famous. (haadihi l-jaami3a mahuura) (ig-gam3a di mahuura) Question: Is this university famous? (haadihi l-jaami3a mahuura?) (ig-gam3a di mahuura?) An alternative to is .Like ,it goes at the beginning of the question. Unlike ,it's used in standard Arabic only, and cannot be used in front of a definite noun or a word beginning with .It's also much more uncommon than .Examples:

( a-laysa kadaalika?) Isn't that so?

( a-adan alqaak?)
Will I see you tomorrow? (This is the title of a famous Umm Kalthoum song.)

Asking "alternative" questions

Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic or (used in between two choices) ( am) ( walla) or (used in between three or more choices) ( aw) ( walla) An "alternative" question presents two or more choices to pick from. In standard Arabic, ( am) is used to separate a single pair of choices.

( : maada tufaDDil, a-aay am al-qahwa?)

What do you prefer, tea or coffee? However, if you are presenting more than two choices to pick from, you must use ( aw) in between each choice.

(tufaDDil as-safar bis-sayyaara aw biT-Taa'ira aw bil-qiTaar aw bis-safiina?) Do you prefer to travel by car, plane, train, or ship? That's all for standard Arabic. In Egyptian Arabic, you simply use ( walla), "or," in between each choice you're presenting.

(mazaagak eih - saada walla 3ar-riiHa walla mazbuuT walla ziyaada?) What do you feel like - black, a little sugar, sweet, or very sweet? (in reference to coffee/tea)

( hina walla take away?) For here or to go? ( meeit walla lissa?)
Have you left yet? (lit. Did you leave or not yet?)

Additional notes on asking questions in colloquial Egyptian Arabic

Note that in Egyptian Arabic, to politely ask if someone would like to do something, you can use an imperfect-form verb:

( tirab aay?)
Would you like tea?

( tirab eih?)
What would you like to drink?

( tiigi ma3aana?)
Would you like to come with us? Among some useful colloquial "question" words to know are: ( ime3na), "why (in particular)" and '( ummaal), "So [if that's the case, then]..."

( ime3na ana?)
Why me?

'( ummaal ana me3na d-donia mi3anda ma3aaya?) So how come nothing's going my way? (lit. the world is against me) - with a sort of "why me?" emphasis ( : : Taalib: "ya
doktoor, howw-eHna leih laazim niktib kulle da fil-imtiHaan?" il-ustaaz: "ya Habiibi, 'ummaal hansa''atku zzaay?") Student: "Professor, how come we have to write all of that in the exam?" Professor: "[If you didn't, then] how could we fail you?"

( , law inta mi inta, 'ummaal inta miin?) If you're not you, then who are you?
The expression +( ... noun/pronoun) has several meanings: 1. What's the matter with...? What's wrong with...?

( maalak?)
What's the matter with you?

( maal Dina?)
What's wrong with Dina? 2. What's that got to do with...?

( ana maali?) What business is it of mine? (implying that I don't see what the topic at hand has to do with me) ( malha wa-maali?) What's she got to do with me? (implying that I don't want anything to do with her) ( maalik wa-maalu?) What's he got to do with you? (implying that you should leave him alone and stop interfering with him)
3. ( we-maalu?) - can mean either "So what?" or "That's ok." There are also quite a few "tags" you can tack onto the end of your question to ask for affirmation:

( walla la?)
or not?

( walla eih?)
or what?

( mi kida?)
isn't that so?

( wallana alTaan?) or am I mistaken? ( SaHH?)

right? (correct?) So you could say ( ... inta maSri...) and add on any of the above expressions to mean "You're Egyptian, aren't you?"

The Arabic verb forms

Most Arabic words are derived from a three-letter (trilateral) root. And each trilateral Arabic root can theoretically be transformed into one of fifteen possible verb forms ( ,al-awzaan). (Forms 11 through 15 are very rare, so people usually just focus on forms 1 through 10, although 9 is also pretty rare). Each form has a basic meaning associated with the general meaning of the root being used. Here's a more detailed breakdown, using ( fa3ala, to do) as an example. (This is all taken from old handouts I got at the AUC, so it's not my original work.) Form 1 - ( fa3ala) Expresses the general verbal meaning of the root in question Root Form 1 verb ( xaraja) - to leave, go out ( jama3a) - to gather, collect 3) amala) - to work, to do, to make ( qaTa3a) - to cut, cut off ( ba3ada) - to be far from

( x-r-j) - leaving, departing ( j-m-3) - joining, uniting 3) - m-l) - doing, making ( q-T-3) - cutting ( b-3-d) - separating, distance

Form 2 - ( fa33ala) Built on form 1 by doubling the middle radical of the form 1 verb (adding a shadda to it) Often is a causative version of the form 1 verb ( xaraja) means "to go out"; ( xarraja) means "to make (s.o.) go out; to graduate (s.o.)" Often an intensive version of the form 1 verb (especially if the form 1 verb is transitive) ( jama3a) means "to collect, gather"; ( jamma3a) means "to amass, to accummulate" Form 3 - ( faa3ala) Built on form 1 by adding an alif between the first and second radicals of the form 1 verb Usually gives an associative meaning to the form 1 verb; describes someone doing the act in question to or with someone else 3) amala) means "to work"; 3) aamala) means "to treat or deal with (s.o.)" Form 4 - ( af3ala) Built on form 1 by prefixing an alif to the form 1 verb and putting a sukuun over the first radical Similar to form 2 in that it is usually a causative version of the form 1 verb ( xaraja) means "to go out"; ( xarraja) means "to graduate (s.o.)"; ( axraja) means "to expel, to evict; to produce" Form 5 - ( tafa33ala) Built on form 2 by adding the prefix to the form 2 verb Often a reflexive version of the form 2 verb ( xarraja) means "to graduate (s.o.)"; ( taxarraja) means "to graduate" (Note: form 5 is usually intransitive)

Sometimes an intensive version of a form 1 verb ( jama3a) means "to collect, gather"; ( tajamma3a) means "to congregate, to flock together" Form 6 - ( tafaa3ala) Built on form 3 by adding the prefix to the form 3 verb Usually a reflexive version of the form 3 verb 3) aamala) means "to treat or deal with (s.o.)"; ( ta3aamala) means "to deal with each other" (Form 6 is usually intransitive) Form 7 - ( infa3ala) Built on form 1 by adding the prefix to the form 1 verb Usually a reflexive and/or passive version of the form 1 verb ( qaTa3a) means "to cut, to cut off"; ( inqaTa3a) means "to be cut off (from); to abstain (from)" Form 8 - ( ifta3ala) Built on form 1 by adding the prefix to the form 1 verb and placing a sukuun must be placed over its first radical Often a reflexive version of the form 1 verb ( jama3a) means "to collect, gather"; ( ijtama3a) means "to meet; to agree (on)" Sometimes has a specially derived meaning relative to a form 1 verb ( ba3ada) means "to be far away"; ( ibta3ada) means "to avoid" Form 9 - ( if3alla) Built on form 1 by adding the prefix to the form 1 verb, placing a sukuun over its first radical, and adding a shadda to the last radical Relates to colors ( H-m-r) relates to "redness"; ( iHmarra) means "to become or turn red" Form 10 - ( istaf3ala) Built on form 1 by adding the prefix to the form 1 verb and inserting a between the first and second radicals; a sukuun must be placed over the first radical Often a considerative version of the form 1 verb; means "to consider or to deem someone to have the quality" of the form 1 verb in question ( ba3ada) means "to be far away"; ( istab3ada) means "to consider s.o. or s.t. remote or unlikely" Often a requestive version of a form 1 verb; means "to request or to seek something" for oneself 3) amala) means "to make; to do"; ( ista3mala) means "to use, to put into operation" (that is, to seek to make something work for oneself) And here's a table of all the verb forms, including their perfect and imperfect conjugations ( ,)active and passive participles ( ,) and verbal nouns ( .)Because they're all regular and predictable (with the exception of form 1 - the second vowel in the imperfect and perfect conjugations, and the verbal noun), if you just memorize them, you'll know them for almost every verb there is. So if you're learning Arabic, I suggest you memorize all the verb forms along with their associated meanings as soon as you can; it'll really come in handy.

1 2 or 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 01

Verb conjugations for standard and Egyptian Arabic

This page contains information about the different kinds of verbs in Arabic and conjugation tables for each kind in both standard and Egyptian Arabic. First of all, there are two moods/tenses in Arabic: the perfect/past ( al-maaDi) - used to indicate actions that have been completed. the imperfect/present ( al-muDaari3) - used to indicate actions that have not been completed yet. There are two main classes of verbs in Arabic: sound ( SaHiiH) and weak ( mu3tall). Here's an outline of the types of verbs: ( al-fi3l aS-SaHiiH) Sound verbs - don't have a or as one of the three root letters o ( al-fi3l aS-SaHiiH as-saalim) Regular sound verbs o Irregular sound verbs: ( al-fi3l al-muDa33af) Geminate/doubled verbs - where the second and third radicals of the root are the same daqqa - yadiqqu (to knock) radda - yaruddu (to reply) ( al-fi3l al-mahmuuz) Hamzated verbs - where is one of the consonants akala - ya'kulu (to eat) sa'ala - yas'alu (to ask) bada'a - yabda'u (to begin) ( al-fi3l al-mu3tall) Weak verbs - have a or as one or more of the root radicals o ( al-fi3l al-mitaal) Assimilated verbs - begin with or ( usually ;)in the imperfect and in other situations the often disappears waDa3a - yaDa3u (to put) waSala - yaSilu (to arrive) o ( al-fi3l al-ajwaf) Hollow verbs - the second radical is either a or ;in the perfect, the or is replaced by an alif baa3a - yabii3u (to sell) 3 aada - ya3uudu (to return) o ( al-fi3l al-naaqiS) Defective verbs - where the final root radical is either or a nasiya - yansa (to forget) bada - yabdu (to appear, seem)

Sound verbs ( al-fi3l aS-SaHiiH)

Sound verbs don't have a or as one of the three root letters. Regular sound verbs ( al-fi3l aS-SaHiiH as-saalim) This is the first type of sound verb. Regular sound verbs - perfect mood ( to write) English I wrote you (masc.) wrote Singular you (fem.) wrote he wrote she wrote we wrote you wrote Dual they (masc.) wrote they (fem.) wrote we wrote you (masc.) wrote Plural you (fem.) wrote they (masc.) wrote they (fem.) wrote Standard Arabic (katabtu) (katabta) (katabti) (kataba) (katabat) (katabna) (katabtuma) (katabaa) (katabataa) (katabna) (katabtum) (katabtunna) (katabuu) (katabna) Egyptian Arabic (katabt) (katabt) (katabti) (katab) (katabit)

(katabna) (katabtuu) (katabuu)

Regular sound verbs - imperfect mood ( to write) English Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic I write (aktubu) (aktib) you (masc.) write (taktubu) (tiktib) Singular you (fem.) write (taktubiina) (tiktibi) he writes (yaktubu) (yiktib) she writes (taktubu) (tiktib) we write (naktubu) you write (taktubaani) Dual they (masc.) write (yaktubaani) they (fem.) write (taktubaani) Plural we write (naktubu) (niktib)

you (masc.) write you (fem.) write they (masc.) write they (fem.) write

(taktubuuna) (taktubna) (yaktubuuna) (yaktubna)

(tiktibuu) (yiktibuu)

Sound verbs ( al-fi3l aS-SaHiiH)

There are two types of irregular sound verbs. The first is: Geminate/doubled verbs ( al-fi3l al-muDa33af) Verbs where the second and third radicals of the root are the same. Geminate verbs - perfect mood

( to reply)
English I replied you (masc.) replied Singular you (fem.) replied he replied she replied we replied you replied Dual they (masc.) replied they (fem.) replied we replied you (masc.) replied Plural you (fem.) replied they (masc.) replied they (fem.) replied Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic (radadtu) (raddeit) (radadta) (raddeit) (radadti) (raddeiti) (radda) (radd) (raddat) (raddit) (radadna) (radadtuma) (raddaa) (raddataa) (radadna) (raddeina) (radadtum) (raddeituu) (radadtunna) (radduu) (radduu) (radadna)

Note that in fuSHa, the doubled consonant is separated into two consonants for all the conjugations except the highlighted ones. In 3ammiyya, though, the doubled consonant stays doubled.

Geminate verbs - imperfect mood

( to reply)
English Singular I reply you (masc.) reply Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic (aruddu) (arodd) (taruddu) (tirodd)



you (fem.) reply he replies she replies we reply you reply they (masc.) reply they (fem.) reply we reply you (masc.) reply you (fem.) reply they (masc.) reply they (fem.) reply

(taruddiina) (yaruddu) (taruddu) (naruddu) (taruddani) (yaruddaani) (taruddaani) (naruddu) (tarudduuna) (tardudna) (yarudduuna) (yardudna)

(tiroddi) (yirodd) (tirodd)

(nirodd) (tirodduu) (yirodduu)

In fuSHa, the doubled consonant remains doubled for the imperfect conjugations, with the exception of the second- and third-person feminine plural conjugations. In 3ammiyya, the doubled consonant again remains doubled for everything.

Sound verbs ( al-fi3l aS-SaHiiH)

The second type of irregular sound verb is: Hamzated verbs ( al-fi3l al-mahmuuz) Verbs where is one of the root consonants. Hamzated verbs - perfect mood

( to eat)
English I ate you (masc.) ate Singular you (fem.) ate he ate she ate we ate you ate Dual they (masc.) ate they (fem.) ate Plural we ate you (masc.) ate you (fem.) ate they (masc.) ate Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic (akaltu) (akalt) (akalta) (akalt) (akalti) (akalti) (akala) (akal) (akalat) (aklit) (akalna) (akaltuma) (akalaa) (akalataa) (akalna) (akalna) (akaltum) (akaltuu) (akaltunna) (akaluu) (akaluu)

they (fem.) ate


Note that in 3ammiyya, people usually say ( kal) rather than ( akal). However, for the sake of direct comparison with fuSHa, I went with the latter variation for this table. Hamzated verbs - imperfect mood

( to eat)
English I eat you (masc.) eat Singular you (fem.) eat he eats she eats we eat you eat Dual they (masc.) eat they (fem.) eat we eat you (masc.) eat Plural you (fem.) eat they (masc.) eat they (fem.) eat Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic (akulu) (aakul) (ta'kulu) (taakul) (ta'kuliina) (takli) (ya'kulu) (yaakul) (ta'kulu) (taakul) (na'kulu) (ta'kulaani) (ya'kulaani) (ta'kulaani) (na'kulu) (naakul) (ta'kuluuna) (taklu) (ta'kulna) (ya'kuluuna) (yaklu) (ya'kulna)

Note that while in fuSHa the hamza is kept in the imperfect conjugations, in 3ammiyya it is elided into a long alif. Hamzated verbs 2 - perfect mood

( to ask)
English Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic I asked (sa'altu) (sa'alt) you (masc.) asked (sa'alta) (sa'alt) Singular you (fem.) asked (sa'alti) (sa'alti) he asked (sa'ala) (sa'al) she asked (sa'alat) (sa'alit) we asked (sa'alna) you asked (sa'altuma) Dual they (masc.) asked (sa'alaa) they (fem.) asked (sa'alataa) Plural we asked (sa'alna) (sa'alna) you (masc.) asked (sa'altuu) (sa'altum)

you (fem.) asked they (masc.) asked they (fem.) asked

(sa'altunna) (sa'aluu) (sa'alna)


Hamzated verbs 2 - imperfect mood ( to ask) English Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic I ask (as'alu) (as'al) you (masc.) ask (tas'alu) (tis'al) Singular you (fem.) ask (tas'aliina) (tis'ali) he asks (yas'alu) (yis'al) she asks (tas'alu) (tis'al) we ask (nas'alu) you ask (tas'alaani) Dual they (masc.) ask (yas'alaani) they (fem.) ask (tas'alaani) we ask (nas'alu) (nis'al) you (masc.) ask (tas'aluuna) (tis'aluu) Plural you (fem.) ask (tas'alna) they (masc.) ask (yas'aluuna) (yis'aluu) they (fem.) ask (yas'alna) Hamzated verbs 3 - perfect mood

( to read)
English I read you (masc.) read Singular you (fem.) read he read she read we read you read Dual they (masc.) read they (fem.) read we read you (masc.) read Plural you (fem.) read they (masc.) read they (fem.) read Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic (qara'tu) (areit') (qara'ta) (areit') (qara'ti) (areiti') (qara'a) (ara') (qara'at) (arit') (qara'na) (qara'tuma) (qar'aa) (qara'taa) (qara'na) (areina') (qara'tum) (areituu') (qara'tunna) (qara'uu) (aruu') (qara'na)

Again, note that while the hamza is kept in the fuSHa conjugations, it is elided in 3ammiyya. Hamzated verbs 3 - imperfect mood ( to read) English Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic I read (aqra'u) (a'ra) you (masc.) read (taqra'u) (ti'ra) Singular you (fem.) read (taqra'iina) (ti'ri) he reads (yaqra'u) (yi'ra) she reads (taqra'u) (ti'ra) we read (naqra'u) you read (taqra'aani) Dual they (masc.) read (yaqra'aani) they (fem.) read (taqra'aani) we read (naqra'u) (ni'ra) you (masc.) read (taqra'uuna) (ti'ru) Plural you (fem.) read (taqra'na) they (masc.) read (yaqra'uuna) (yi'ru) they (fem.) read (yaqra'na)

Weak verbs ( al-fi3l al-mu3tall)

A verb is "weak" if one of the letters from the verb's three root letters is ,, or .There are three different classes of weak verbs; let's begin with: Assimilated verbs ( al-fi3l al-mitaal) Verbs where the first radical is a long vowel (usually .) Assimilated verbs - perfect mood

( to arrive)
English Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic I arrived (waSaltu) (wiSilt) you (masc.) arrived (waSalta) (wiSilt) Singular you (fem.) arrived (waSalti) (wiSilti) he arrived (waSala) (wiSil) she arrived (waSalat) (wiSlit) we arrived (waSalna) you arrived (waSaltuma) Dual they (masc.) arrived (waSalaa) they (fem.) arrived (waSalataa) we arrived (waSalna) (wiSilna) you (masc.) arrived (waSaltum) (wiSiltuu) Plural you (fem.) arrived (waSaltunna) they (masc.) arrived (waSaluu) (wiSiluu) they (fem.) arrived (waSalna) Note that weak verbs beginning with a are just like regular verbs regarding perfect conjugations. Assimilated verbs - imperfect mood ( to arrive) English Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic I arrive (aSilu) (awSil) you (masc.) arrive (taSilu) (tiwSil) Singular you (fem.) arrive (taSiliina) (tiwSili) he arrives (yaSilu) (yiwSil) she arrives (taSilu) (tiwSil) we arrive (naSilu) you arrive (taSilaani) Dual they (masc.) arrive (yaSilaani) they (fem.) arrive (taSilaani)


we arrive you (masc.) arrive you (fem.) arrive they (masc.) arrive they (fem.) arrive

(naSilu) (taSiluuna) (taSilna) (yaSiluuna) (yaSilna)

(niwSil) (tiwSilu) (yiwSilu)

Note that in the imperfect mood, an assimilated verb drops its first letter in fuSHa. In 3ammiyya, however, the initial letter remains.

Weak verbs ( al-fi3l al-mu3tall)

The second kind of weak verb is: Hollow verbs ( al-fi3l al-ajwaf) Verbs where the second radical is either a ( as with ) - or ( as with ;) - in the perfect, the or is replaced by an alif. Hollow verbs - perfect mood

( to visit)
English Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic I visited (zurtu) (zurt) you (masc.) visited (zurta) (zurt) Singular you (fem.) visited (zurti) (zurti) he visited (zaara) (zaar) she visited (zaarat) (zaarit) we visited (zurna) you visited (zurtuma) Dual they (masc.) visited (zaaraa) they (fem.) visited (zaarataa) we visited (zurna) (zurna) you (masc.) visited (zurtum) (zurtuu) Plural you (fem.) visited (zurtunna) they (masc.) visited (zaaruu) (zaaru) they (fem.) visited (zurna) Note that the long vowel is dropped in all conjugations but those for the third-person singular, dual, and plural masculine. When the long vowel is dropped, it is replaced by a short version of the long consonant used in the imperfect conjugation. For example, the imperfect conjugation of zaara is yazuuru, so a short "u" is used. Other examples: the imperfect conjugation of kaana is yakuunu, so a short "u" is used for the perfect conjugations where the long vowel is dropped. But the imperfect conjugation of saara is yasiiru, so a short "i" would be used in those instances.

Hollow verbs - imperfect mood

( to visit)
English I visit you (masc.) visit Singular you (fem.) visit he visits she visits we visit you visit Dual they (masc.) visit they (fem.) visit we visit you (masc.) visit Plural you (fem.) visit they (masc.) visit they (fem.) visit Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic (azuuru) (azuur) (tazuuru) (tizuur) (tazuuriina) (tizuuri) (yazuuru) (yizuur) (tazuuru) (tizuur) (nazuuru) (tazuuraani) (yazuuraani) (tazuuraani) (nazuuru) (nizuur) (tazuuruuna) (tizuuru) (tazurna) (yazuuruuna) (yizuuru) (yazurna)

Note that here the long vowel is dropped only for the feminine second and third-person plurals.

Weak verbs ( al-fi3l al-mu3tall)

The third kind of weak verb is: Defective verbs ( al-fi3l an-naaqiS) Verbs where the final root radical is either a ( as with ) - or ( as with .) - Defective verbs - perfect mood

( to forget) English Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic I forgot (nasiitu) (niseit) you (masc.) forgot (nasiita) (niseit) Singular you (fem.) forgot (nasiiti) (niseiti) he forgot (nasiya) (nisi) she forgot (nasiyat) (nisyit) we forgot (nasiina) you forgot (nasiituma) Dual they (masc.) forgot (nasiyaa) they (fem.) forgot (nasiyataa)


we forgot you (masc.) forgot you (fem.) forgot they (masc.) forgot they (fem.) forgot

(nasiina) (nasiitum) (nasiitunna) (nasiyuu) (nasiina)

(niseina) (niseitu) (nisyu)

Defective verbs - imperfect mood

( to forget)
English Standard Arabic Egyptian Arabic I forget (ansa) (ansa) you (masc.) forget (tansa) (tinsa) Singular you (fem.) forget (tansiina) (tinsi) he forgets (yansa) (yinsa) she forgets (tansa) (tinsa) we forget (nansa) you forget (tansaani) Dual they (masc.) forget (yansaani) they (fem.) forget (tansaani) we forget (nansa) (ninsa) you (masc.) forget (tansuuna) (tinsu) Plural you (fem.) forget (tansana) they (masc.) forget (yansuuna) (yinsu) they (fem.) forget (yansuna)

Verb tenses in Egyptian Arabic

The past tense o Uses the perfect ( )conjugation o Negated with the prefix-suffix combination ... The simple present tense o Uses the imperfect ( )conjugation o Rarely used outside a few situations The present continuous tense* o Uses the prefix b- attached to imperfect ( )verb o Frequently used for habitual actions, permanent conditions, and present continuous actions o Negated with the prefix-suffix combination ... The future tense o Uses the prefix ha- attached to imperfect ( )verb o Negated with * What I've labeled here as the present continuous tense is frequently used in the same way as the simple present tense in English; I've used the "simple present" and "present continuous" labels here merely for purposes of simplicity.

The past tense

For the appropriate verb conjugations, see the perfect ( )conjugations here. Usage of the past tense in Egyptian Arabic is fairly simple; you use it much as you would in English.

(is-sana lli faatit roHna skenderiyya wa-'a3adna hnaak ahr) Last year we went to Alexandria and stayed there for a month.

( imbaariH kallemte babaaya fet-telefoon)

Yesterday I talked to my dad on the phone. The past tense is negated by adding the prefix and the suffix to the beginning and end of the verb. Here's an example, using the verb 3) - amal - yi3mel), "to do/make." Past tense Negated past tense ( ana) I 3) amalt) ( ma3amalte) ( enta) you masc. 3) amalt) ( ma3amalte) ( enti) you fem. 3) amalti) ( ma3amaltii) ( howwa) he 3) amal) ( ma3amal) ( heyya) she 3) amlit) ( ma3amlit) ( eHna) we 3) amalna) ( ma3amalnaa) ( entu) you pl. 3) amaltu) ( ma3amaltuu) ( homma) they 3) amalu) ( ma3amaluu)

Note that with the first-person and second-person masculine conjugations, a "helping vowel" is added before the final .A three-consonant cluster (like "ma3amalt") is not allowed in Egyptian Arabic, so a vowel is added to make "ma3amalte." Also note that with weak and geminate/doubled verbs with a long -ei sound in the first- and second-person conjugations, the long -ei is shortened to a short -i sound for the negation: Past tense ( niseit) ( niseit) ( niseiti) ( nisi) ( nisyit) ( niseina) Negated past tense ( mansit) ( mansit) ( mansitii) ( manasaa) ( manisyit/manasat) ( mansinaa)

( ana) I ( enta) you masc. ( enti) you fem. ( howwa) he ( heyya) she ( eHna) we

( entu) you pl.

( homma) they

( niseitu) ( nisyu)

( mansituu) ( manisyuu)

A simple example of negated past tense: ( lil-asaf ma'dirte aagi 3aaan kunte 3ayyaana) Unfortunately, I couldn't come because I was sick. You can also say followed by the perfect ( )conjugation of a verb to say that you've never done that in your life. 3) omri ma'areit Haaga zayye kida) I've never read anything like this. 3) omru ma3amal wala haya3mel Haaga mufiida lin-naas) He never has done anything useful for people, and he never will. 3) omri maoft aba min kida) I've never seen anything stupider than this.

The simple present tense

For the appropriate verb conjugations, see the imperfect ( )conjugations here. The simple present tense is rarely used in Egyptian Arabic outside a few set situations. It is used to ask somebody if they would like to do something.

( tirab eih?)
What would you like to drink?

It is used with modals and words like and .

( mumkin ti'olli fein midaan it-taHriir?)

Can you tell me where Tahrir Square is?

(yemkin ateri 3arabiyya ba3de ma abtidi oli g-gediid) I might buy a car after I start my new job.

(3ayza at3allem 3arabi 3alaaan a'dar atkallem ma3a giddi) I want to learn Arabic so I can talk with my grandfather.

The present continuous tense

In Egyptian Arabic, when you talk about anything happening in the present, you usually need to add a bprefex to the imperfect verb conjugations. Here's an example, again using . - Imperfect verb ( a3mel) ( ti3mel) ( ti3meli) ( yi3mel) ( ti3mel) ( ni3mel) ( ti3melu) ( yi3melu) Present continuous tense ( ba3mel) ( biti3mel) ( biti3meli) ( biyi3mel) ( biti3mel) ( bini3mel) ( biti3melu) ( biyi3melu)

( ana) I ( enta) you masc. ( enti) you fem. ( howwa) he ( heyya) she ( eHna) we ( entu) you pl. ( homma) they

If you want to express a habitual meaning (that you do something regularly), you have to use this tense. And if you want to express a present continuous meaning (that you "are doing" something right now), you often use this tense, although sometimes you must use the active participle instead.

( baHebb ashar ma3 aSHaabi) I like staying up late with my friends.

This is a general statement referring to a permanent or constant condition (like a preference or favorite activity). The b- prefix is always used for this.

( kulle yoom baaxod taksi li-ol) Every day I take a taxi to work.
This is a habit, something the person does regularly. The b- prefix is also always used for this. ( - biti3mel eih? - batfarrag 3at-televizyoon) What are you doing? I'm watching TV.

Here a present continuous meaning is being expressed to describe something that is happening right now. However, for some verbs, the active participle must be used to express this meaning. More on this here. Negation of this tense is exactly the same as negation of the past tense: add the prefix and the suffix to the beginning and end of the verb. (It is also possible to simply use before the verb, as in ,but it's pretty uncommon.) Present continuous tense Negated present continuous tense ( ana) I ( ba3mel) ( maba3mel) ( enta) you masc. ( biti3mel) ( mabiti3mel) ( enti) you fem. ( biti3meli) ( mabiti3melii) ( howwa) he ( biyi3mel) ( mabiyi3mel) ( heyya) she ( biti3mel) ( mabiti3mel) ( eHna) we ( bini3mel) ( mabini3mel) ( entu) you pl. ( biti3melu) ( mabiti3meluu)

( homma) they

( biyi3melu)

( mabiyi3meluu)

A few examples of usage: ( mabaHebbe aruuH lid-doktoor) I don't like going to the doctor.

( il-ayyaam di mabanaame kwayyis)

These days I don't sleep well.

The future tense

To form the future tense, you add the prefix ha- to the imperfect verb conjugation. Here's an example of this conjugation, again using . - Imperfect verb ( ana) I ( a3mel) ( enta) you masc. ( ti3mel) ( enti) you fem. ( ti3meli) ( howwa) he ( yi3mel) ( heyya) she ( ti3mel) ( eHna) we ( ni3mel) ( entu) you pl. ( ti3melu) ( homma) they ( yi3melu) Future tense ( ha3mel) ( hati3mel) ( hati3meli) ( hayi3mel) ( hati3mel) ( hani3mel) ( hati3melu) ( hayi3melu)

The usage of this tense is fairly straightforward; as you might suppose, you use it to talk about something that will happen in the future.

( hatiigi ma3aana lis-senema?) Are you going to come with us to the movie theater?

You could also use the active participle here (gayy instead of hatiigi) if you were about to go to the theater. This would translate as "Are you coming with us to the theater?"

( is-sana lli gaaya harga3 maSr in shaa' allaah)

Next year I'll return to Egypt, God willing. To negate this tense, you simply put before the verb: Future tense Negated future tense ( ana) I ( ha3mel) ( mi ha3mel) ( enta) you masc. ( mi hati3mel) ( mi hati3mel) ( enti) you fem. ( hati3meli) ( mi hati3meli) ( howwa) he ( hayi3mel) ( mi hayi3mel) ( heyya) she ( hati3mel) ( mi hati3mel) ( eHna) we ( hani3mel) ( mi hani3mel) ( entu) you pl. ( hati3melu) ( mi hati3melu) ( homma) they ( hayi3melu) ( mi hayi3melu) A quick example of usage:

( mi hakallem il-Homaar da taani abadan) I'm never going to speak to that idiot (lit. donkey) again.
Note: If you use a past-tense conjugation of ,followed by a future-tense verb, it means that the subject almost did ___, or was going to do ___ (but didn't). It can also express a "would" meaning.

( kunte hamuut min iD-DiHk lamma oftu) I almost died of laughter when I saw him.
(kunt hami bass iftakart inni lissa masa'alte il-as'ila illi 3ayza as'alha) I was going to leave, but I remembered that I still hadn't asked the questions I wanted to ask.

(law kunte makaanak, kunt haruuH akallimha, willi yiHsal yiHSal) If I were in your place, I'd go talk to her, and let whatever happens happen.

Modals in standard and Egyptian Arabic

Modals in standard Arabic
In English, modal verbs include "can," "may," "might," "must," "should," and "would" verbs that are not conjugated or negated in the same way as regular verbs. Standard Arabic doesn't have exact equivalents of these verbs, but it has words that are used in much the same way including phrases beginning with . Here's a list (all of these are followed by imperfect-mood verbs, although if you remove the ,you can follow them with a :)

( yajib an) 3) ala + object + an) ( min al-laazim an) ( min al-waajib an) ( min aD-Daruuri an) ( yanbai an) ( min al-mafruuD an) ( min al-muftaraD an) ( yumkin an) ( min al-mumkin an) ( min al-mustaHiil an) ( min al-mutawaqqa3 an) ( min al-muntaZar an) ( min as-sahl an) ( min al-yasiir an) ( min aS-Sa3b an) ( min al-jadiir bid-dikr anna) ( min at-taabit anna) ( min al-ma3ruuf anna) ( min al-waaDiH anna) ( min al-mafhuum anna) ( min al-murajja3 an) ( min al-muHtamal an) ( min al-muqarrar an) ( min al-muttafaq 3aleihi an) ( min al-mu3taad an) ( min al-mustaHsan an) ( min al-aHsan an) ( min al-ajdar an)

must, should must have to, it is necessary to it is necessary to it is necessary to should should should, ought to might, may it is possible to it is impossible to it is expected that it is expected that it is easy to it is easy to it is hard to it's worth mentioning that it's well-established that it's (well-)known that it's clear that it's understood that it's most likely that it's probable that it's been decided that it's been agreed that it's customary to it's preferable that it's better that it's more suitable/proper to

( min aT-Tabii3ii an) ( min al-mamnuu3 an) ( min al-masmuuH an)

it's natural that it's forbidden to it's permitted to

To shift to the past, add ( kaan) before the phrase. To shift to the future, add ( sayakuun) beforehand. For negation, add ( laysa) before it. Examples:

(hal yajib munaaqaat qaDaaya mitl al-kaarita l-insaaniyya fii burma fii majlis al-amn?) Should issues like the humanitarian disaster in Burma be discussed in the Security Council?

" "
(fiilm iiraani 3an itiyaal as-saadaat min al-mutawaqqa3 an yatiir aDab al-miSriyyiin) An Iranian movie about Sadat's assassination is expected to anger Egyptians (lit. excite Egyptians' anger).

( haadihi lmukila min al-mumkin an tataHawwil ila Zaahira ida lam tuwDi3 liha Huluul munaasiba wa-jidriyya) This problem may turn into a phenomenon if appropriate and radical solutions for it are not found.

( min aT-Tabii3i an yafraH al-muwaaTin, ayya muwaaTin, laday ru'yatu jeian ariiban yansaHib min arDu) It's natural for a citizen, any citizen, to rejoice at the sight of a foreign army withdrawing from his land. ( ida lam nastaTi3 tajaawuz al-inqisaamaat daaxil al-mujtama3 al-filasTiini
fa-sayakuun min aS-Sa3b jiddan taHqiiq taqaddum fi mawDuu3eiyy azza wa-3amaliyyat as-salaam filwaqt nafsu) If we can't overcome the divisions within Palestinian society, then it will be very difficult to achieve progress in the issues of Gaza and the peace process at the same time.

Modals in Egyptian Arabic

Egyptian Arabic uses many of the same modals listed above, but without the . ...Usually they are followed by an imperfect-tense verb.

( laazim) ( Daruuri) ( il-mafruuD) ( mumkin) ( mustaHiil) ( yemkin)

must, have to must should can, it's possible it's impossible perhaps

( gaayiz) ( sahl) ( Sa3b) ( mamnuu3) ( masmuuH)

may, it is possible that it's easy to it's hard to it's forbidden to it's permitted to

There are also modals that are active participles. Remember that all active participles act as adjectives, and thus have masculine, feminine, and plural forms. 3) - - aayiz - 3ayza - 3ayziin) ( - - naawi - nawya - nawyiin) '( - - aa3id - 'a3da - 'a3diin) 3) - - ammaal - 3ammaala - 3ammaliin) There are also modals that you attach a pronoun suffix to: want to intending to continuing to continuing to

( nifs-) '( aSd-) ( zamaan-) ( tann-) ( ya reit - suffix optional)

to feel like to mean to must have - indicates sth happening at the proper/expected time continuing to wish

Again, to shift to the past, add ( kaan) before the phrase. To shift to the future, add ( haykuun) beforehand. For negation, add ( mi) before it. Examples:

(kaan laazim tifakkar fel-mawDuu3 'abl ma taaxod qaraar) You should've thought about it before you made a decision.

( il-mafruuD innena kollena ni'Di wa't kwayyis)

We should all spend our time well.

( makan 'aSdi adaayi'ak)

I didn't mean to annoy you.

(ya reitni mafataHt sidri witkallemt bi-'alb gaamid) I wish I hadn't talked so openly and bravely.

( zamanha gayya)
She ought to be coming (soon now).

( zamaanak gu3t)
You must be hungry by now.

(kaan zamaan kulle Haaga xilSit law kunti sa3idtiini) Everything would've been finished by now if you'd helped me.

( nifsi asaafir libnaan)

I'd like to travel to Lebanon.

( nawya aSHa badri)

I intend to get up early.

( il-balaawi 3ammaala titHaddif 3aleina)

Troubles keep on befalling us.

( il-3arabiyya l-kaHyaana di 3ammaala tkoHH fi wesT iaari3) This beat-up old car keeps coughing in the middle of the street.

The imperative in Egyptian Arabic

Forming direct commands
To form commands in Egyptian Arabic, step 1 is to start out with the imperfect form of the verb ( .)A few examples:

( yiHoTT) to put ( yimi) to go/walk ( yiruuH) to go ( yiftaH) to open

Step 2 is to get rid of the at the beginning:

( HoTT) ( mi) ( ruuH) ( ftaH)

Step 3 is to determine whether you can leave the verb like that or need to add an at the beginning. If the verb is like the verbs in the left-hand column (i.e. "HoTT," "ruuH"), and has a consonant followed by a vowel, you leave it alone. This is the correct command form. But if the verb is like those on the right, and has a consonant cluster at the beginning, you can't leave it that way and say "mi" or "ftaH." In Egyptian Arabic, consonant clusters like that aren't allowed at the start of words. So you have to add an at the beginning:

( imi) ( iftaH)
This is the formula for a command to a man. So, step 4: in order to formulate commands to a woman or to a group, you just add an -i or -u suffix, respectively.

( - HoTTi - HoTTu) ( - imi - imu) ( - ruuHi - ruuHu) ( - iftaHi - iftaHu)

Note: With defective verbs, where the base verb ends in a vowel (as with ,)you get rid of the ending vowel before adding -i or -u. Some more examples: Step 1 - original verb Step 2 - take out Step 3 - masc. the initial command form Step 4 - fem./pl. command form

( yistinna) to wait ( yiSHa) to wake up ( yinsa) to forget

( stinna) ( SHa) ( nsa)

( istinna) ( iSHa) ( insa)

(istinni - istinnu)

(iSHi - iSHu) ( - insi - insu)

A table of some common commands: Step 1 - original verb Step 2 - take out the initial 3) mel) ( rga3) ( gri) Step 3 command form ( i3mel) ( irga3) ( igri) Step 4 - fem./pl. command form

( yi3mel) to do/make ( yirga3) to return ( yigri) to run ( yinzil) to go down ( yitkallim) to talk ( yiftikir) to remember ( yitail) to work ( yiayyar) to change s.t. ( yikallim) to talk (to s.o.) ( yisaa3id) to help ( yizaakir) to study ( yi'uum) to get up/rise ( yiiil) to carry

( nzil) ( tkallim) ( ftikir) ( tail) ( ayyar) ( kallim) ( saa3id) ( zaakir) '( uum) ( iil)

( inzil)

( - i3meli - i3melu) ( - irga3i - irga3u) ( - igri - igru) -

(inzili - inzilu) (itkallimi - itkallimu)

( itkallim) - ( iftikir)

(iftikri - iftikru) (itali - italu)

( itail) - ( ayyar) ( kallim) ( saa3id) ( zaakir) '( uum) ( iil)

( - ayyari - ayyaru) ( - kallimi - kallimu) -

(saa3idi - saa3idu) ( - zakri - zakru)

('uumi - 'uumu) ( - iili - iilu)

So to sum up with a simplified rule: if the verb is any of the following, you don't need to add an to the beginning of the command.

form 2 verbs ( yiayyar) to change (s.t.) ( yigarrib) to try/test form 3 verbs ( yisaa3id) to help ( yiHaawil) to try/attempt geminate/doubled verbs ( yirodd) to reply ( yiboSS) to look hollow verbs ( yiruuH) to go ( yisiib) to leave

Note: With hamzated verbs that have a long alif right after the initial ( like yaaxod and yaakol), you remove both the inital and the long alif in step 2. So the commands for these verbs are ( - - xod - xodi - xodu) and ( - - kol - koli - kolu). And if the verb isn't in one of those categories, you do need to add an to the beginning of the command. Note: There are a couple of irregular commands: Verb Command forms

( - gaab - yigiib) to bring ( - geh - yiigi) to come

( - - haat - haati - haatu) ( - - ta3aala - ta3aali - ta3aalu)

Expressing indirect/polite wishes

To express a more polite/indirect desire for someone to do something, there are different ways to go about it: You can use modals with the appropriate second-person imperfect verb conjugation:

( ...laazim...)


you must/have to... you should... ( ...aHsan...) ( ...mumkin...) it'd be better to... can you...? Words like are more imperative. is better to use with people you don't know; in general, it's the best all-purpose polite way to phrase a request. And of course it's always good to say "please"!

( - - min faDlak - min faDlik - min faDluku) ( - - law samaHt - law samaHti - law samaHtu)

( laazim tifakkar fil-mawDuu3 min gamii3 nawaHiih 'able ma taaxod qaraar) You should think about the issue from every angle before you make a decision.
ma titgawwiz) It'd be better to finish college before you get married.

(kaan il-mafruuD tiwSil min zamaan) You should have arrived a long time ago.

( aHsan tixallaS il-kolliyya 'able

(mumkin tiwarriini s-sikka?) Can you show me the way?

Forming direct negative commands

To form basic direct negative commands, forget about how you formed commands above. Step 1 is starting out with the appropriate second-person imperfect conjugation of the verb. ( tiHoTT) you (masc.) put ( timi) you (masc./fem.) go/walk ( tiruuHi) you (fem.) go ( tiftaHu) you (pl.) open Step 2: put at the beginning and at the end. ( matHoTTe) ( matimii) ( matruuHii) ( matiftaHuu) That's it! A table of negative commands, using the same words as the big table above. Step 1 - original verb - 2nd Step 2 - add and Fem./pl. forms person

( ti3mel) you do/make ( tirga3) you return ( tigri) you run ( tinzil) you go down ( titkallim) you talk ( tiftikir) you remember ( titail) you work

( mati3mel) ( matirga3) ( matigrii) ( matinzil) ( matitkallim) ( matiftikir) ( matitail)

(mati3melii - mati3meluu)

(matirga3ii - matirga3uu)

(matigrii - matigru)

(matinzilii - matinziluu)

(matitkallimii - matitkallimuu)

(matiftikrii - matiftikruu)

(matitalii - matitaluu)

( tiayyar) you change s.t. ( matayyar) ( tikallim) you talk (to s.o.) ( matkallim) ( tisaa3id) you help ( tizaakir) you study ( ti'uum) you get up/rise ( tiiil) you carry ( matsa3id) ( matzakir) ( mat'um) ( matil)

(matayyarii - matayyaruu)

(matkallimii - matkallimuu)

(matsa3idii - matsa3iduu)

(matzakrii - matzakruu)

(mat'umii - mat'umuu)

(matilii - matiluu) To negate those two irregular imperatives, you just do the two steps described above . Verb - 2nd person Negated command forms

- -

- -

(tigiib - tigiibi - tigiibu) you bring

(matgib - matgibii - matgibuu)

- -
(tiigi - tiigi - tiigu) you come

- -
(matgii - matgii - matguu)

Expressing indirect negative commands

And aside from the direct negated imperative, there are a few other ways to tell someone not to do something: 1. Use ( balaa) with the appropriate second-person imperfect verb conjugation. This is not as strong as a direct negative order; it can have the connotation of a polite request or even mere advice/preference on behalf of the person talking. If you saw a friend standing in the street to catch a bus and there was a place to sit nearby, you might say,

( balaa tistinna kida fe-aari3, aHsan-lak te'3od gowwa)

"No need to wait like that in the street, it'd be better for you to sit inside."

can also be used with a .

If you were in a library and there were a bunch of children making noise nearby, you could tell them, ( balaa dawa ya welaad) "No noise, kids." 2. Use ( ew3a) with the appropriate second-person imperfect verb conjugation. Note that if you're addressing a woman, changes to ( ewa3i), and if you're addressing a group, it becomes (ewa3u). This word can have different connotations depending on how it's used; it can be a "watch out/take care!" kind of statement (like often is), a warning, or a very strong "Don't dare do that!" kind of statement. If someone tall was going into a room with a low door, you might tell them, ( ew3a raasak) Watch out for your head. If someone was waiting and waiting for someone who wasn't going to come, you could say, ( ew3a tifDal mistinnyaah 3ala Tuul) Don't keep waiting for him forever.

To warn someone not to forget their cellphone: ( ewa3i tinsi mobaylek) If you'd had an argument with someone and were really mad at them: ( ! ew3a tkallemni taani, ana mi 3ayza auuf wiak taani!) Don't dare talk to me again, I don't want to see your face again! 3. And finally, there's ( iiyyaak) with the appropriate second-person imperfect verb conjugation. Note that if you're addressing a woman, changes to ( iiyaaki), and if you're addressing a group, it becomes ( iiyyaaku). is from fuSHa but used colloquially to express a very strong prohibition (like "Don't you dare do that!!"). However, if it's used with someone you know well in a context that isn't angry, it doesn't necessarily express such strong feeling.

( iiyaaki takli min akli fet-tallaaga) Don't eat any of my food that's in the fridge!

The active participle in Egyptian Arabic

Active participles act as adjectives, and so they must agree with their subject. An active participle can be used in several ways: (1) to describe a state of being (understanding; knowing), (2) to describe what someone is doing right now (going, leaving), and (3) to indicate that someone/something is in a state of having done something (having put something somewhere, having lived somewhere for a period of time).

( ana faahim ill-inta bit'uulu)

I understand what you're saying.

( heyya nayma)
She is sleeping.

( HaaTiT iS-Suura)
I've put up the picture. For some verbs, active participles are not used, while for others, they are used frequently and must be used instead of the present continuous tense if you want to describe a current action. If you mess up and use an imperfect-tense verb where you should use an active participle (or vice versa), it can change your sentence's meaning completely! Active participle Imperfect tense ( ana labsa badla) ( balbis badla) vs. I am wearing a suit (right now). I wear a suit (on a regular basis). ( ana raayiH in-naadi) ( baruuH in-naadi) vs. I'm going to the club; I'm on my way there right now. I go to the club (regularly). 3) aamil eih?) ( biti3mel eih?) vs. What are you doing (right now)? An idiomatic way of asking someone, "What's up?" -or- What do you do (as a career)?

Derivation of the active participle

Active participles are derived in fairly regular ways from their root verbs. Type of verb Form 1 sound verbs (of the type fi3il) 3) irif) to know ( fihim) to understand Form 1 geminate/doubled verbs (of the type fa33) ( HaTT) to put Form 1 defective verbs (of the type fi3i or fa3a) Passive participle ( faa3il) 3) aarif) in a state of knowing ( faahim) in a state of understanding ( faa3i3) ( HaaTiT) in a state of having put ( faa3i)

( mii) to go
Form 1 hollow verbs (of the type faa3)

( maai) going

( faayi3)
( raayiH) going ( aayib) in a state of being absent
Substitute "mi" for the "yi" of the imperfect howwa verb conjugation ( mirawwaH) going home ( misaafir) traveling ( mistanni) waiting*

( raaH) to go ( aab) to be absent

Most other triliteral verb forms

( rawwaH) to go home ( saafir) to travel ( istanna) to wait

* Note: When the imperfect howwa conjugation of the verb in question ends in -a, as with "istanna yistanna," the ending -a is replaced by -i in the active participle, as with "mistanni."

List of commonly-used active participles

Generally speaking, the most commonly-used active participles fall into the categories of motion or action (going, coming, leaving, carrying), location (living, staying), and mental state (seeing, understanding, wanting). Here is a table of some of these active participles: Masculine singular ( gayy) ( raayiH) ( maai) ( xaarig) ( raagi3) ( mirawwaH) Feminine singular ( gayya) ( rayHa) ( maya) ( xarga) ( rag3a) ( mirawwaHa) Plural ( gayyiin) ( rayHiin) ( mayiin) ( xargiin) ( rag3iin) ( mirawwaHiin)

coming going going/walking leaving returning going home traveling going up going down carrying standing sitting awake sleeping taking eating waiting

( misaafir)

( Taali3) ( naazil) ( aayil) ( waa'if) '( aa3id) ( SaaHi) ( naayim) ( waaxid) ( waakul) ( mistanni) living (in a place) ( saakin) living (in general) 3) aayi) remember ( faakir)

( misafra) ( Tal3a) ( nazla) ( ayla) ( wa'fa) '( a3da) ( SaHya) ( nayma) ( waxda) ( wakla) ( mistanniyya)

( sakna)
3) aya) ( fakra)

( misafriin) ( Tal3iin) ( nazliin) ( ayliin) ( wa'fiin) '( a3diin) ( SaHyiin) ( naymiin) ( waxdiin) ( wakliin) ( mistanniyyiin) ( sakniin) 3) ayiin) ( fakriin)

know understand want see hear

3) aarif) ( faahim) 3) aayiz) ( aayif) ( saami3)

3) arfa) ( fahma) 3) ayza) ( ayfa) ( sam3a)

3) arfiin) ( fahmiin) 3) ayziin) ( ayfiin) ( sam3iin)

Examples of usage
Here are some examples of situations in which you could use the active participle. Note that generally you can leave out the subject pronoun that would go with the active participle, as long as it's clear who you're talking about. I'm about to go out to the supermarket, and I tell the people I'm with, I'm going out, do you want anything? ( ana maya, 3ayziin Haaga?) Someone asks you how you are, and you say, A little sick, I've caught a cold. (ta3baana waya, ana waxda bard) A teacher asks a student a question, and he responds, I don't remember the answer. ( mi faakir il-gawaab) Someone asks you a question, and you reply, I don't know. ( ana mi 3aarif) You're walking down a flight of stairs, and your friend downstairs calls you to ask where you are. You say, I'm going right down. ( nazla 3ala Tuul) You're on the way to the movie theater, so you tell someone, I'm going to the movie theater. ( ana rayHa s-senema) Someone asks you where you live, and you say, I live in Heliopolis. ( ana saakin fi maSr ig-gediida) Someone asks you where your parents live, and you say, They've been living in the US for five years. (3ayiin fi amriika min xamas siniin) You see a friend of yours standing somewhere waiting, and you ask her, How long have you been standing/waiting \ here? (wa'fa/mistanniyya hina min imta?) You hear a weird noise and ask someone with you, Do you hear something? ( saami3 Haaga?) You've been waiting for a friend, and then when you see him arrive: There he comes. ( aho gayy) You see something incredible, and say: I don't believe my eyes! ( ! mi misadda' 3eineiyya!) Note: It's common to use ( lissa), "still," before an active participle to mean that an action has just been completed. You can think of it as saying, "I'm still in the state of just having (done whatever)." ( lissa wakla) I've just eaten.

The passive participle in Egyptian Arabic

Passive participles, like active participles, act as adjectives, and so they must agree with the noun they're describing. A passive participle may express a current state of being; a couple of examples would be "known" and "understood." Or it may express a state of having been the result of an action that has already been performed. Examples would be "written" (i.e. the item is in a state of already having been written) and "cooked" (i.e. the item has already been cooked). Use of the passive participle obscures the identity of the person who performed the action.

( mumassil ma3ruuf) ( beiD ma'li)

a well-known actor fried eggs

Derivation of the passive participle

Passive participles are derived in different ways from their root verbs. However, if you know the type of verb you're working with, deriving the passive participle from that verb is quite regular. Type of verb Form 1 sound verbs (of the type fi3il) ( katab) to write ( fihim) to understand Form 1 geminate/doubled verbs (of the type fa33) ( Habb) to love ( kabb) to spill/pour Form 1 defective verbs (of the type fi3i or fa3a) ( awa) to grill ( nisi) to forget Most other triliteral verb forms Passive participle ( maf3uul) ( maktuub) written ( mafhuum) understood ( maf3uu3) ( maHbuub) beloved ( makbuub) spilled/poured ( maf3i) ( mawi) grilled ( mansi) forgotten Substitute "mi" for the "yi" of the imperfect howwa verb conjugation* ( mikassar) smashed ( mitxarrag) (a) graduate ( muxtaar) chosen ( mistaxdim) used

( kassar) to smash ( itxarrag) to graduate ( ixtaar) to choose ( istaxdim) to use

* Educated Egyptians often pronounce this "mi" as "mu" due to influence from standard Arabic see the pronunciation "muxtaar" (as opposed to "mixtaar") as an example. Note: For verbs that are not of Form 1, the active participle and passive participle are usually exactly the same! You would use context to tell which it is. ( miHtall) This could be the active participle, "occupying," or the passive participle, "occupied."

You might also have noticed that hollow verbs were not included in the above table of passive participle derivations. This is because passive participles are not used for these verbs. Rather, you would derive a passive participle from the verb's corresponding passive form (which would generally begin with it-).

( baa3) to sell This has no passive participle. So you would instead use the verb: ( itbaa3) to be sold From this you would derive the appropriate passive participle, ( mitbaa3), "sold."
But also note that aside from passive verb forms of hollow verbs, you do not usually use passive participles derived from itfa3al verb forms except, in some cases, if you want to distinguish between a passive and active participle that would otherwise be the same.

( dalla3) to spoil
The active and passive participle of this verb is the same: ( midalla3) So people will use only in its active participle sense. For the passive participle, they use: ( mitdalla3) spoiled, as in a spoiled child

( rabba) to raise or grow (as in a parent raising a child, or someone growing a plant) The active and passive participle of this verb is the same: ( mirabbi) So people will use only in its active participle sense. For the passive participle, they use: ( mitrabbi) well-raised
But usually for passive verbs, you would derive a passive participle from the corresponding Form 1 verb. ( itkatab) to be written This has no passive participle. So you would instead use the corresponding Form 1 verb: ( katab) to write From this you would derive the appropriate passive participle, ( maktuub), "written."

( itkasaf) to be embarrassed This has no passive participle. So you would instead use the corresponding Form 1 verb: ( kasaf) to embarrass From this you would derive the appropriate passive participle, ( maksuuf), "embarrassed."

The conditional sentence in Egyptian Arabic

There are two types of conditional statements: the possible (If you work hard, you'll do well; if I see Samia today, I'll ask her out) and the impossible/counter-to-fact (If I were rich, I'd buy a Mercedes; if I'd known that, I wouldn't have done what I did). There are two main words for "if" in Arabic: ( law) and ( ida in fuSHa/iza in 3ammiyya). (And there's also the more literary/classical ).In standard Arabic, is reserved for possible conditions, while is used for impossible conditions. In Egyptian Arabic, however, the two words are usually used interchangeably, with being more common.

Possible conditionals
The "if" clause may begin with or ,followed by:

possibility 1: a verb in the past tense or with only a verb in the present tense ( iza oft aSHaabi) if I see my friends

( law tiruuH is-senema bukra)

if you go to the movies tomorrow

possibility 2: some form of paired with a verb, participle, modal, or nominal or prepositional phrase ( iza kunte tiHebbe tiigi) ( iza kunte faaDi) if you'd like to come if you're free

( iza kunte 3aayiz tiigi)

if you want to come

( iza kaan 3andi l-wa't)

if I have time

( law kaan mumkin)

if it's possible The "then" clause may begin with a future-tense verb or command. ( hatkallem ma3aahom) I'll talk to them

( ta3aala ma3aaya)
come with me Examples:

( iza zakirte kwayyis, hatgiib daragaat 3alya)

If you study well, you'll get high grades. ( law ofte Dina n-nahaarda, ha3zemha 3ala l-3aa) If I see Dina today, I'll invite her to dinner ( law tiruuHi s-senema bokra, haagi ma3aaki) If you go to the movies tomorrow, I'll come with you.

(law kan da osluubak, matiz3ale iza makallemtake taani) If that's your way of doing things, (then) don't get upset if I don't talk to you again. ( law kunte 3aayiz tiigi ma3aaya, yalla nruuH) If you want to come with me, then let's go. ( iza kunte tiHebbe ti'3od, itfaDDal) If you'd like to sit down, then go ahead. ( law ig-gaww kwayyis, yalla ninzil wa nitmaa) If the weather is nice, let's go down and take a walk. ( law itfarragt 3ala l-film da, hatHebbu) If you watch this movie, you'll like it.

Impossible/counter-to-fact conditionals
Again, the "if" clause may begin with or .It is usually followed by the appropriate form of . What follows that may be a past- or present-tense verb, modal, or active participle. ( law kunte oftu) ( law kunte bitHebbeni) if you'd seen him if you loved me

( law kunte faakir)

( law kaan mumkin)

if I('d) remembered if it had been possible Note that, as with the last example, this clause may be identical to its "possible" equivalent. What really distinguishes possible from impossible conditionals is the following: The "then" clause must begin with an appropriate form of !It is then followed by a past-tense verb, if you are talking about something you would/wouldn't have done, or a simple present/future-tense verb if you're talking about something you would do (right now). ( kaan geh) he would've come ( \ kunt a'ollak/ha'ollak) I would tell you Examples:

(iza kunte zakirte kwayyis, kunte gibte daragaat aHsan) If you had studied well, you would've gotten better grades.

(law ma3aaya filuus, kunt ishtareit 3arabiyya Mercedes) If I had money, I'd buy a Mercedes.

(law kan mumkin aruuH ma3aak, kunte roHt, laakin ana kunt mauula) If I could've gone with you, I would've, but I was busy.

(law kunte 3arfa inne da hayeHSal ba3de maxrug, makunte xaragt) If I'd known that would happen after I left, I wouldn't have left. ( law makunte enta 'oltili, kaan Hadde taani 'alli) If you hadn't told me, someone else would've.

(law kunt bitHebbeni, makunte 'olt illenta 'oltu) If you loved me, you wouldn't have have said what you said. ( law ig-gaww kan kwayyis, kunna roHna l-blaa) If the weather had been good, we would've gone to the beach. ( law kunt itfarragt 3ala l-film da, kunte Habbeitu) If you'd watched this movie, you would've liked it.

(law makunte niseit telefooni l-maHmuul, kunt raddeit 3ala l-mukalma beta3tek) If I hadn't forgotten my cell phone, I would've replied to your call.

Examples for comparison of possible and impossible conditionals ( \ law la'eit/alaa'i l-gawaab, ha'ollak)
If I find the answer, I'll tell you. ( law 3etert 3ala l-gawaab, 'olli) If you come across the answer, tell me. ( law kunte 3arfa l-gawaab, kunt 'oltilak) If I'd known the answer, I would've told you. ( law kunte 3arfa l-gawaab, kunt ha'ollak) If I knew the answer, I would tell you.

(Hatta wa-law kunte 3arfa l-gawaab, makunte 'oltilak) Even if I'd known the answer, I wouldn't have told you.

(Hatta wa-law kunte 3arfa l-gawaab, makunte ha'ollak) Even if I knew the answer, I wouldn't tell you.

Numbers in Egyptian Arabic

The numbers from 1 to 10 o Noun-number construction for 1: [singular noun] + [form of that agrees with the noun in gender] (for emphasis) ( bint waHda) - (only) one girl o Noun-number construction for 2: [dual noun] + ( for emphasis) ( bintein itnein) - (only) two girls o Noun-number construction for 3 through 10: [short form of the number] + [plural noun] ( talat banaat) - three girls The numbers from 11 to 19 o Noun-number construction for 11 and up: [number] + [singular noun] ( xamastaaar bint) - fifteen girls Multiples of 10 o To read out numbers from 21 to 99: [number in ones place] wa[multiple of ten] ( itnein wa-talatiin), 32 Multiples of 100 o To read out numbers from 101 to 999: [multiple of 100] + [number in ones place] + [multiple of ten] - "wa" comes before the last number ( meyya wa-xamsa), 105 ( metein waaHid wa-xamsiin), 251 Multiples of 1,000 o To read out numbers from 1,001 to 999,999: [multiple of 1,000] + [multiple of 100] + [number in ones place] + [multiple of 10] ( alfein wa-sitta), 2,006 ( alf sab3a wa-xamsiin), 1,057 3) aar talaaf rub3omeyya sitta wa-3iriin), 10,426 ( waaHid wa-xamsiin alf tus3omeyya tamanya wa-talatiin), 51,938 ( meyya sab3a wa-arbi3iin alf tultomeyya xamsa wa-sittiin), 147,365 10,000+

The cardinal and ordinal numbers from 1 to 10

0 1 2 3 4 5 6

Cardinal numbers ( Sifr) ( waaHid) ( itnein) ( talaata) ( arba3a) ( xamsa) ( sitta)

"Short form" (see below) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th

Ordinal numbers (masc. - fem.)

( talat) ( arba3) ( xamas) ( sitt)

( - awwil - uula) ( - taani - tanya) ( - taalit - talta) ( - raabi3 - rab3a) ( - xaamis - xamsa) ( - saadis - sadsa)

7 8 9 10

( sab3a) ( tamanya) ( tis3a) 3) aara)

( saba3) ( taman) ( tisa3) 3) aar)

7th ( - saabi3 - sab3a) 8th ( - taamin - tamna) 9th ( - taasi3 - tas3a) 10th 3) - aair - 3ara)

Note: While the rest of Arabic is written right-to-left, numbers are written left-to-right! So is 356, for instance.

and its feminine form, waHda, are usually used after a single noun for emphasis. It must agree
with the gender of the noun it's modifying. ( raagil waaHid) (only) one man ( kelma waHda) (only) one word In a similar way, usually follows a dual noun and is used for emphasis. It is invariable, though, so there's no gender agreement with the noun. (only) two books ( kitaabein itnein) (only) two girls ( bintein itnein) However, there's a special instance here: singular count nouns. These nouns are always singular and come after a cardinal number. 1. The kinds of nouns you use in ordering food, drinks, and so on: ( waaHid 'ahwa) one (cup of) coffee two (cups of) tea ( itnein aay) ( xamsa biira) five beers 2. Most nouns indicating some kind of measurement (such as weight, length, distance, monetary value): one kilometer ( waaHid kilometr) two Egyptian pounds ( itnein gineih) three piasters ( talaata 'ir) 3. The words ( milyoon), million, and ( bilyoon), billion two million ( itnein milyoon) four billion ( arba3a bilyoon) On to the numbers 3 through 10! The "short form" of these numbers must precede the plural form of a noun. Here we don't have to worry about gender agreement. three days ( talat ayyaam) four years ( arba3 siniin) ( xamas sittaat) five women six boys ( sitt welaad) seven movies ( saba3 aflaam) ( taman wuruud) eight roses nine pieces of paper ( tisa3 awraa')

3) aar kutub)

ten books

Note that with any number from 3 up, you may make the number + noun phrase definite by simply adding a definite article to the first word in the number. the three days ( it-talat ayyaam) the four years ( il-arba3 siniin) ( il-xamas sittaat) the five women

The numbers from 11 to 19

11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Cardinal numbers ( Hadaaar) ( itnaaar) ( talaattaaar) ( arba3taaar) ( xamastaaar) ( sittaaar) ( saba3taaar) ( tamantaaar) ( tisa3taaar)

With any number from 11 and up, the number must precede a singular noun. There is no gender agreement. eleven boys ( Hadaaar walad) twelve cars ( itnaaar 3arabiyya) Note that with all numbers from 11 up, the ordinal numbers are the same as the cardinal numbers.

Multiples of ten from 20 to 90

20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Cardinal numbers 3) eriin) ( talatiin) ( arbi3iin) ( xamsiin) ( sittiin) ( sab3iin) ( tamaniin) ( tis3iin)

For numbers that fall within this range, you literally say "one and twenty, two and twenty, three and twenty," etc.

( waaHid w3eriin) ( itnein wa-talatiin) ( talata warbi3iin)

21 32 43

And if you want to say "21 cars" or whatever, you just put the singular form of the noun right after the number.

Multiples of 100 from 100 to 900

100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 Cardinal numbers ( meyya) ( metein) ( tultomeyya) ( rub3omeyya) ( xumsomeyya) ( suttomeyya) ( sub3omeyya) ( tumnomeyya) ( tus3omeyya) Form used before a counted noun ( miit) ( metein) ( tultomiit) ( rub3omiit) ( xumsomiit) ( suttomiit) ( sub3omiit) ( tumnomiit) ( tus3omiit)

For numbers that fall within this range, you do the same thing as above but add the multiple of 100 to the beginning. 121 ( meyya waaHid w3eriin) 532 ( xumsomeyya itnein wa-talatiin) 643 ( suttomeyya talata warbi3iin) 102 ( meyya witnein)

Multiples of 1,000
1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 7,000 8,000 9,000 10,000 Cardinal numbers ( alf) ( alfein) ( talat talaaf) ( arba3 talaaf) ( xamas talaaf) ( sit talaaf) ( saba3 talaaf) ( taman talaaf) ( tisa3 talaaf) 3) aar t-alaaf)

For numbers in this range, see this "formula": [multiple of 1,000] + [multiple of 100] + [number in ones place] + [multiple of 10]: 2,006 ( alfein wa-sitta) ( alf sab3a wa-xamsiin) 1,057 10,426 3) aar talaaf rub3omeyya sitta wa-3iriin)

(waaHid wa-xamsiin alf tus3omeyya tamanya wa-talatiin)

51,938 147,365

(meyya sab3a wa-arbi3iin alf tultomeyya xamsa wa-sittiin)

11,000 12,000 etc. 100,000 200,000 500,000 1 million 2 million 3 million 1 billion Cardinal numbers ( Hadaaar alf) ( itnaaar alf) ... (number from 11 onward + alf) ( miit alf) ( metein alf) ( \ xumsomiit alf/nuSSe milyoon) ( milyoon) ( itnein milyoon) ( talaata milyoon) ( bilyoon)

Arabic case system

First, what are case endings in Arabic? They are little markings ( Harakaat) that are attached to the ends of words to indicate the words' grammatical function. That is, if a word is the subject of a sentence, you use a case ending to indicate that; if a word is the object of a verb, you use another case ending to indicate that. So clearly, using case endings correctly requires a solid knowledge of grammar. If you're a native English speaker who hasn't studied a language with a case system, like Latin or Russian, getting used to this may be difficult. Case endings are usually not written (with one exception) outside of the Qur'an and children's books. But you will hear newscasters pronounce them, and if you want to speak fuSHa well, it's a good idea to be familiar with the case system. Each case marker corresponds to one of three different cases nominative ( marf3), genitive ( majrr), and accusative ( manSb) and is pronounced as a short vowel. Here are the three case markers:

On the left is the ( Damma). It resembles a tiny ,goes above the end of a word, and is pronounced as a short "u." It marks words in the nominative case. In the middle is the ( kasra), which goes below the end of a word and is pronounced as a short "i." It marks words in the genitive case. On the right is the ( fatHa), which goes above the end of a word and is pronounced as a short "a." It marks words in the accusative case. Note: If the word you're marking is an indefinite adjective or noun, the case marker will be nunated. That is, the Damma will be pronounced "-un" instead of "-u," the kasra will be pronounced "-in" instead of "i," and the fatHa will be pronounced "-an" instead of "-a." And the markings will look like this:

Some examples:

( al-liqaa'a) ( al-maktabu) ( al-maktabata) ( Taawilati)

( liqaa'an) ( maktabun) ( maktabatan) ( Taawilatin)

Note: If a word in the accusative case (i.e. that needs a fatHa) is nunated and does not end in a taa marbuuTa or hamza, it would take an alif along with the nunated fatHa.

( al-walada) ( al-binta) ( as-sa3iida) ( al-Haziina)

( waladan) ( bintan) ( sa3iidan) ( Haziinan)

So when exactly do you use these case markers? Let's go on to discuss the three cases.

Nominative case - ( al-marf3)

This case is marked by a Damma. Words that fall into the following categories are nominative: 1. - the subject of a verbal sentence

( . dahaba l-waladu ila l-madrasati.) The boy went to school.

2. - the subject and predicate of a nominal sentence

( . al-waladu Tawlun.)
The boy is tall. Note that is nunated (-un instead of just -u) because it is indefinite.

( . beitu l-binti kabrun.)

The girl's house is large. Again, note the nunation of the indefinite adjective . 3. - the vocative (addressing someone directly)

( ... ayyuha s-sayyidtu was-sdatu...)

Ladies and gentlemen... 4. The nominative case is also the default for words that are on their own.

( a-arqu l-awsaTu) the Middle East

5. It's also used with certain adverbs regardless of their position in the sentence.

( mundu) since; ago ( Haytu) where; whereas

Genitive case - ( al-majrr)

This case is marked by a kasra. Words that fall into the following categories are genitive: 1. The object of a preposition

( ila l-yamni) to the right ( fi l-maktabati) in the library

2. - the object of a locative adverb

( taHta nri -amsi)

under the sunlight (lit. light of the sun)

( qabla ayymin)
[a few] days ago (lit. before days) - Note the nunation of the indefinite noun . 3. - the second term of an iDfa

( mudru l-mu'assasati) the foundation's director (or "the director of the foundation") ( urfatu t-tijrati) the chamber of commerce Accusative case - ( al-manSb)
This case is marked by a fatHa. Words that fall into the following categories are accusative: 1. - the object of a transitive verb

( la tu3il nran) Don't light a fire. Again, is nunated because it is indefinite. It has an alif because it ordinarily would have a regular fatHa, and doesn't end in a taa marbuuTa or hamza. ( HaDar l-liq'a)
They attended the meeting. 2. - adverbial expressions of time, place, and manner, indicating the circumstances under which an action takes place

( . tastamirru yooman wHidan.)

It lasts one day.

( . j' fajra yoomi l-iqtir3i.)

They came at dawn on the day of balloting.

( . HaSaltu Hadtan 3ala l-jinsiyyati.)

I recently obtained citizenship. 3. - the internal object or cognate accusative structure. What does that mean? It's just a way of intensifying an action by following the verb with its corresponding verbal noun ( maSdar) and an adjective modifying it.

( . Hallati l-mawD3a Hallan jidriyyan.)

It solved the issue fundamentally.

( . sham mushamatan fa33latan.) They [dual] participated effectively.

4. - the circumstantial accusative. This is a way to describe a condition/action going on at the same time as the main action.

( . rafa3a yadahu mu3tariDan.) He raised his hand objecting. ( . daxala S-Saffa muta'axxiran.) He entered class late. ( . qafazat mad3ratan.) She jumped, frightened. ( ... wa-qla raddan 3ala su'lin...) [And] he said, replying to a question...
5. - shows the purpose of an action, usually using an indefinite .

( . al-quwwtu taunnu Hamlatan baHtan 3an asliHatin.) The forces are launching a campaign searching for weapons. ( xilla Haflatin istiqblin aqmha takrman lahu) during a reception they gave in his honor
6. - the accusative of specification; often answers the question "in what way?" Includes the comparative/superlative and counted nouns between 11 and 99.

( . nu3linu dka qawlan wa-fi3lan.) We announce that in speech and action.

( . knat akbara 3Simatin jhan wa-faxmatan.)

It was the greatest capital in fame and splendor.

( f 3irna mujalladan)
in twenty volumes 3) ala mada xamsata 3ara 3man) for fifteen years Those are the main instances where you use the accusative. There are also other, special words that shift words into the accusative case: - - Click here for more information on that. A couple of notes: With feminine plural nouns ending in ,change any fatHa that would ordinarily go at the end to a kasra.

( . asala l-rajulu s-sayyrti.)

The man washed the cars. It has to be sayyrti, not sayyrta! Note that dual and regular plural nouns like ( bintn, two girls) or ( miSriyn, Egyptians) change endings in the genitive case; the ( n) becomes -( ein), and the ( n) becomes -( n).

( hdni l-kitaabaanu)
these two books

( f hdeini l-kitbeini)
in these two books

3) . aqada l-mudru ijtim3an ma3a l-muwaZZafna.) The director held a meeting with the employees.

Special converters to accusative

There are three categories of words that shift what follows into the accusative case (.) But first, let's pick a simple nominal sentence ( ) to work with as an example:

( al-waladu Tawiilun)
The boy is tall. Each part of this sentence the subject ( ,)al-walad, and the predicate ( ,)Tawiil is in the "default" nominative case ( .)Now, if we put a word like or at the beginning of this sentence, it will shift a part of the sentence into the accusative case (.)

( kna wa-axawtuha)
to be to not be; used for negation to become to remain to continue to be/still be

( kna) ( laysa) ( aSbaHa) ( Sra) ( bta) ( amsa) ( Zalla) ( baqiya) ( ma zla) ( | dma/ma dma)

If you put any of these words in a sentence, it will change the predicate ( )from the nominative case ( )to the accusative case (.)

( al-waladu Tawiilun)
The boy is tall.

( kaana l-waladu Tawiilan)

The boy was tall.

( haada l-kitaabu jayyidun) ( haada l-kitaabu laysa jayyidan)

This book is good. This book is not good.

( aT-Taalibatu naajiHatun) ( aSbaHat aT-Taalibatu naajiHatan)

The student is successful. The student became successful.

( a-a3bu mutafaa'ilun)
The people are optimistic.

( ma zaala -a3bu mutafaa'ilan)

The people are still optimistic.

( inna wa-axawtuha)
indeed used for emphasis or that* that* but because as if perhaps

( inna) ( anna) ( laakinna) ( li'anna) ( ka'anna) ( la3alla)

If you put any of these words in a sentence, it will change the subject ( )from the nominative case ( )to the accusative case (.)

( al-waladu Tawiilun)
The boy is tall.

( inna l-walada Tawiilun)

[Indeed] the boy is tall.

( al-bintu muriiDatun) ( qaalat al-binta innaha muriiDatun) The girl is sick. The girl said [that] she is sick.

( an-najaaHu qariibun) ( la3alla an-najaaHa qariibun)

Success is near. Perhaps success is near. * The difference between and : Uses of ( inna): 1. Follows to mean "to say that" 2. May come at the beginning of a sentence, for emphasis; like "indeed" Uses of ( anna): 1. Reports factual information after a verb of perception ( to believe that); ( to hear that) or a verb of communication ( to announce that); ( to mention that).

( Zanna wa-axawtuha)
These verbs include verbs of perception and verbs of transformation: to believe, suppose ( Zanna) to consider ( i3tabara) to see, perceive, deem ( ra'a) to find, deem ( wajada) to consider, deem 3) adda) to convert ( Sayyara) to make ( ja3ala) to to take, adopt (as) ( ittaxada) to leave ( taraka) If you put any of these words in a sentence, it will change both the subject ( )and the predicate ( )to the accusative case (.) ( al-ijtimaa3u Daruuriyyun) ( na3atabiru l-ijtimaa3a Daruuriyyan) The meeting is necessary. We consider the meeting [to be] necessary.

( al-baabu maftuuHun)
The door is open.

( taraka l-baaba maftuuHan)

He left the door open.

( al-qiyaadatu sahlatun)
Driving is easy.

( Zanna aHmad al-qiyaadata sahlatan)

Ahmed believed driving was easy.