Arabic Introducing Nouns, Adjectives, and Articles – Arabic Lesson For Beginners –


Arabic Introducing Nouns, Adjectives, and Articles

Nouns and adjectives are two of the most essential elements in any language.
Nouns in Arabic, much like in English and other Romance languages, are
the parts of speech used to name a person, place, thing, quality, or action.


Adjectives, on the other hand, are the parts of speech that modify nouns.
Although nouns and adjectives go hand in hand, the best way to understand
how they work in Arabic is to address each one separately.

Getting a grip on nouns
In Arabic, every noun has a masculine, feminine, singular, and plural form.
Table 2-1 lists some common Arabic nouns. You’ll notice that I’ve listed both
singular and plural forms of some nouns as well as masculine (M) and feminine
(F) forms of others.

Table 2-1 Common Nouns in Arabic
Arabic Pronunciation Translation
walad wah-lad boy
‘awlaad aw-lad boys
bint bee-net girl
banaat bah-nat girls
rajul rah-jool man
rijaal ree-jal men
‘imra’a eem-rah-ah woman
nisaa’ nee-sah women
tilmiidh teel-meez student (M)
tilmiidha teel-mee-zah student (F)
mudarris moo-dah-rees teacher (M)
mudarrisa moo-dah-ree-sah teacher (F)
Taalib tah-leeb college student (M)
Taaliba tah-lee-bah college student (F)
‘ustaadh oos-taz professor (M)
‘ustaadha oos-tah-zah professor (F)
madrasa mad-rah-sah school
jaami’a jah-mee-ah university
kulliyya koo-lee-yah college
20 Part I: Getting Started
Arabic Pronunciation Translation
kitaab kee-tab book
Taawila tah-wee-lah table
sayyaara sah-yah-rah car

Identifying adjectives
In Arabic, an adjective must be in agreement with the noun it modifies in
both gender and plurality. Table 2-2 presents some common adjectives in
both the feminine and masculine forms.


Table 2-2 Common Adjectives in Arabic
Arabic Pronunciation Translation
kabiir kah-beer big (M)
kabiira kah-bee-rah big (F)
Saghiir sah-geer small (M)
Saghiira sah-gee-rah small (F)
Tawiil tah-weel tall (M)
Tawiila tah-wee-lah tall (F)
qaSiir kah-seer short (M)
qaSiira kah-see-rah short (F)
jamiil jah-meel beautiful/handsome (M)
jamiila jah-mee-lah beautiful/pretty (F)
qawiiy kah-wee strong (M)
qawiiya kah-wee-yah strong (F)
Da’iif dah-eef weak (M)
Da’iifa dah-ee-fah weak (F)
SaHiiH sah-heeh healthy (M)
SaHiiHa sah-hee-hah healthy (F)
Chapter 2: The Nitty-Gritty: Basic Arabic Grammar 21
Table 2-2 (continued)
Arabic Pronunciation Translation
mariiD mah-reed sick (M)
mariiDa mah-ree-dah sick (F)
dakiiy dah-kee smart (M)
dakiiya dah-kee-yah smart (F)
ghabiiy gah-bee dumb (M)
ghabiiya gah-bee-yah dumb (F)
sarii’ sah-reeh fast (M)
sarii’a sah-ree-ah fast (F)
baTii’ bah-teeh slow (M)
baTii’a bah-tee-ah slow (F)
thaqiil tah-keel heavy (M)
thaqiila tah-kee-lah heavy (F)
khafiif kah-feef light (M)
khafiifa kah-fee-fah light (F)
Sa’b sahb difficult (M)
Sa’ba sah-bah difficult (F)
sahl sah-hel easy (M)
sahla sah-lah easy (F)
laTiif lah-teef nice/kind (M)
laTiifa lah-tee-fah nice/kind (F)
qabiiH kah-beeh ugly (M)
qabiiHa kah-bee-hah ugly (F)
‘ajiib ah-jeeb amazing (M)
‘ajiiba ah-jee-bah amazing (F)
ladhiidh lah-zeez delicious (M)
ladhiidha lah-zee-zah delicious (F)


Notice that the masculine forms of the adjectives in Table 2-2 are manipulated
slightly to achieve the feminine adjective forms; essentially, all you do is add
the suffix -a to the masculine adjective to obtain its feminine form. This rule
applies to all regular adjective forms.
However, in addition to the regular adjective forms, another category of
adjectives exists in which the masculine and feminine forms are completely
different from each other. This is the irregular adjective form.
Fortunately, all irregular adjectives fall in the same category: color words;
and every color word is an irregular adjective. Put simply, ‘alwaan (al-wan;
colors) in Arabic are all irregular adjectives because the masculine color
form is radically different than its feminine version. Table 2-3 lists the most
common irregular adjectives.



Table 2-3 Irregular Adjectives: Colors
Arabic Pronunciation Translation
‘abyaD ab-yad white (M)
bayDaa’ bay-dah white (F)
‘aswad ass-wad black (M)
sawdaa’ saw-dah black (F)
‘azraq az-rak blue (M)
zarqaa’ zar-kah blue (F)
‘akhDar ak-dar green (M)
khaDraa’ kad-rah green (F)
‘aHmar ah-mar red (M)
Hamraa’ ham-rah red (F)
‘aSfar ass-far yellow (M)
Safraa’ saf-rah yellow (F)
‘asmar ass-mar brown (M)
samraa’ sam-rah brown (F)
‘urjuwaaniiy oor-joo-wah-nee purple (M)
jurwaaniiya joor-wah-nee-yah purple (F)


Every lawn (lah-wen; color) in Table 2-3 (as well as the lawn I didn’t have
space to list) must agree in gender with the noun it describes.
One of the biggest differences between adjective and noun interactions in the
English and Arabic languages is that nouns in Arabic come before the adjectives.
In English, nouns always come after their adjectives.