Basic Arabic Word-formation Rules

Masculine المُذَكَّر and Feminine المُؤَنَّث:

Arabic has a gender. That is, nouns and adjectives are either masculine مُذَكَّر or feminine مُؤَنَّث. Masculine is the basic form. The feminine formed by adding the feminine marker (i.e. ـة / ة) to the end of the masculine. Therefore, most of the words that end ـة / ة in Arabic are feminine.

مُؤَنَّث Feminineمُذَكَّر Masculineمُؤَنَّث Feminine

مُذَكَّر Masculine

مُدَرِّسَــةمُدَرِّس teacherطَالِبَــة

طَالِب  student

طِفْلَــةطِفْل baby boyطَبِيْبَــة

طَبِيْب physician

قَصِيْرَةقَصِيْر shortطَوِيْلَــةطَوِيْل tall
جَمِيْلَــةجَمِيْل beautifulذَكِيَّــةذَكِيّ smart
نَظِيْفَــةنَظِيْف cleanأَنِيْقَــةأَنِيْق neat
جَدِيْدَةجَدِيْد newقَذِرَةقَذِر dirty
رَشِيْقَــةرَشِيْق slimسَمِيْنَــةسَمِيْن fat
صَغِيْرَةصَغِيْر smallكَبِيْرَةكَبِيْر big
سَهْلَــةسَهْل easyنَشِيْطَــةنَشِيْط active
لَذِيْذَةلَذِيْذ deliciousرَخِيْصَــةرَخِيْص inexpensive

Indefinite النَّكِرَة and indefinite المَعْرِفَة:

Arabic nouns are either indefinite or definite, that is specific entity / thing or unspecific. The indefinite noun is the basic form. The most common way of forming the definite from the indefinite is by adding the definite article ال to the beginning the word.

Definite مَعْرِفَةIndefinite نَكِرَةDefinite مَعْرِفَةIndefinite نَكِرَة
المُدَرِّسمُدَرِّس a teacherالبَيْتبَيْت a house
الطِفْلطِفْل a baby boyالسَّيَّارَةسَيَّارَة a car
القَصِيْرقَصِيْر shortالقَلَمقَلَم a pen
الجَمِيْلجَمِيْل beautifulالغُرْفَةغُرْفَة a room
الكِتَابكِتَاب a bookالقَامُوسقَامُوس a dictionary
الجَدِيْدجَدِيْد newالكَلْبكَلْب a dog
النَّهْرنَهْر a riverالجَامِعَةجَامِعَة  a university
الوَلَدوَلَد a boyالسَّمَكَةسَمَكَة a fish
الشَّارِعشَارِع a streetالمَقْصَفمَقْصَف a canteen
الخَرُوفخَرُوف a sheepالنَخْلَةنَخْلَة a palm tree

 Personal pronounsضَمَائِر الفَاعِل  and possessive pronouns ضَمَائِر المِلْكِيَّة:

There are twelve personal pronouns in Arabic. The most common in everyday spoken Arabic are أَنَا ‘I’, نَحْنُ ‘we’, أَنْتَ ‘you, masculine’, أَنْتِ ‘you, feminine’, أَنْتُم ‘you, masculine plural’, أَنْتُنَّ ‘you, feminine plural’, هُوَ ‘he’, هِيَ ‘she’, هُم ‘they, masculine plural’, and هُنَّ ‘they, feminine plural.’ For each personal pronoun, there is a corresponding possessive pronoun.

ExamplePossessive pronounPersonal pronoun

كِتَابِي my book

قَلَمِي my pen

ـيأَنَا

جَامِعُتُنَا our university

سَيَّارَتُنَا our car

ـنَانَحْنُ

سَاعَتُكَ your watch

سَرِيْرُكَ your bed

ـكَأَنْتَ

شَنْطَتُكِ your bag

جَزْمَتُكِ your boots

ـكِأَنْتِ

بَيْتُكُم your house

شَارِعُكُم your street

ـكُمأَنْتُم

غُرْفَتُكُنَّ your room

مَطْبَخُكُنَّ your kitchen

ـكُنَّأَنْتُنَّ

صَدِيْقُهُ his friend

وَجْهُهُ his face

ـههُوَ

أُخْتُهَا her sister

شَعَرُهُا her hair

ـهَاهِيَ

أُسْتَاذُهُم their instructor

كُرَتُهُم their ball

ـهُمهُم

شَقَتُهُنَّ their apartment

اِمْتِحَانُهُنَّ their test

ـهُنَّهُنَّ

 

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