عربي Arabic 1

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on
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The table below summarizes what you will be expected to learn in Arabic, level 1.
TopicMaterial
Arabic script
the definite article, ال
the feminine article, ة
Names and titles
Demonyms
Kinship
Occupations

Pronouns

المصريالشاميالفُصحىEnglish
أَناI
إنتَإنتَأَنتَyou (m)
إنتيإنتيأَنتِyou (f)
هُوَhe
هِيَshe
إنتونِحنانَحْنُwe
أنتُمy'all
هُمَّهِنّهُمthey

Demonstratives

المصريالشاميالفُصحىEnglish
هذا

هذا البيت
this is the house.

"It" and "is"

There is no "is" in Arabic.
A is/am/are B is just A B in Arabic, with B conjugated to match A.
There is no non-human pronoun "it" in Arabic.
Instead, use هُوَ (he) and هِيَ (she) to refer to male or female nouns.
There is no non-human pronoun "they" in Arabic.

هو and هي are used to refer to non-human groups (including animals). The non-human things are referred to as a singular group. Only use هم and أنتم when referring to groups of people.

Verbs

Main verbs vs non-main verbs: the ب prefix.
المصريالشاميالفُصحىEnglish
يِتْكَلَّم عَنيِحكي عَنيَتَكَلَّم عَنhe speaks/talks (about)
لِيَّلي!ليwith (people)
عَندي
لِيَّ
عَندي
إلي
عِندي
لي
I have (things)
I use (things)
with (things)
بادرِسبِدرُسأَدرُسI study
ساكِن \ ساكنةساكِن \ ساكنةأَسكُنI live
يَحفَظيِحفَظيَحفَظhe memorizes
ياكُلياكُليَأكُلhe eats
فاكِر / فاكْرة
ج: فاكْرين
بِتذَكَّرأَتَذَكَّرI remember
اَسافِر(اسافِر (عَ(أُسافِر (إلىI travel (to)
يِسمَعيِسمَع(يَستَمِع (إلىhe listens (to)
الفُصحى: لي
الشامي: !لي
المصري: لِيَّ
الفُصحى: عَندي
الشامي: !عَندي
المصري: عِندي

Nouns

المصريالشاميالفُصحىEnglish
الأَدبliterature
الأُمم المتحدةUnited Nations
الناسpeople

Adjectives

المصريالشاميالفُصحىEnglish
وَحيد/ وَحيدةonly/lonely

Prepositions

المصريالشاميالفُصحىEnglish
مِنfrom
معwith (m)
معهwith him
معهاwith her
قَرِبnear
عَنabout (as in talk about)
كَمانكَمانأَيضاًalso
بفيفيin (space)
فيفيفيin (time)
في and ب

In الفُصحى formal and المصري Egyptian Arabic, في means in with respect to space and time. In الشامي Levantine Arabic, في is used for time and ب is used spatially. (Egyptian Arabic uses ب to refer to time in بالنهار in the daytime and at night.) However, note that ب is not its own word but serves as a prefix.

المصريالشاميالفُصحىEnglish
بالنهاربالنهارفي النهارin the daytime
بالليلبالليلفي الليلat night
بالوالاية كليفورنيافي الوالاية كليفورنيافي الوالاية كليفورنياin California

Adverbs

المصريالشاميالفُصحىEnglish
دايماًدايماًدائماًalways
ايـضـاًalso
فـعـلاًactually
جـداًvery
كـثـيـراًmuch
جـيداًwell/good
احـيانـاًsometimes

Conjugation

Verb and preposition conjugation

المصريالشاميالفُصحى
نِسكننِسكننَسكننحن
تِسكنواتِسكنواتَسكنونأنتم
يِسكنوايِسكنوايَسكنونهم

Note that in الشامي and المصري verb conjugation, the ا alif is silent in the final وا suffix (when conjugating أنتم and هم).

Noun and adjective conjugation

كتابbook
كتابهُhis book
كتابهاher book

Question particles

Question particles go at the beginning of the sentence.

However, in the Egyptian dialect they can go at the end. In any case, when a question particle and a preposition are paired up, the preposition always comes first.

Questions usually have a rising intonation,
while statements usually have a falling or flat intonation.

However, different regions and people might have different intonations and it is best to simply listen carefully and pick up on local customs. In some cases, as in English, simply saying a statement with a rising intonation is enough to turn it into a question.

المصريالشاميالفُصحىEnglish
ايه ... ؟شو ... ؟ما ... ؟what ... ? (questions without a verb)
ما هذا ... ؟what is this ... ?
ايه ... ؟شو ... ؟ماذا ... ؟what ... ? (questions with a verb)
مين ... ؟مين ... ؟مَن ... ؟who ... ?
مع مين ... ؟مع مين ... ؟مَعَ مَن ... ؟with whom ... ?
أَيّ ... ؟which ... ?
في أيّ ... ؟بِأَيّ ... ؟في أيّ ... ؟in which ... ?
فين ... ؟وين ... ؟أينَ ... ؟where ... ?
مِنين ... ؟مِن وين ... ؟مِن أينَ ... ؟from where ... ?
إِزّايّ ... ؟كيف ... ؟كَيفَ ... ؟how ... ?
... هلaffix to beginning of sentence
to make it yes or no query.
كام؟كَم؟how many?
ماذا

ماذا يشرب؟
what's he drinking?

Plurals

مُفرَد (singular) is abbreviated م
جَمع (plural) is abbreviated ج

Because Arabic has so many irregular plurals, it is best to memorize the singular and plural at once when learning new words. Masculine plurals encompass both genders in all but the most formal written Arabic. For example, طلاب (students) could mean a male, female or mixed group of students.

The ين and ون suffix.

The ين and ون suffix is used in many different instances. There are fine grammatical rules dictating when ون or ين are used in formal Arabic, but in spoken Arabic ون is never used (ين takes its place).

Human masculine nounsHuman masculine means, for example جار or موظف. In formal Arabic, plural masculine nouns end in either ون or ين. But in everyday Arabic, only ين is used.
Nouns and adjectives
beginning with مُ or مَ
Nouns and adjectives beginning with مُ or مَ always take the ين suffix in their plural form: examples include مَشغولين, متخصص, مبسوط, and مترجم. Exceptions to this rule are place names that incidentally begin with مَ or مُ, such as مكتب and مكتبة.
نسبة nisbaMost نسبة nisba adjectives take the ين form when conjugated in the plural. There are rare exceptions, including أمريكي (singular) and أمريكان (plural); أميركي (s) and أميركان (pl); and عربي (s) and عرب (pl).
Adjectives ending with انExamples include تعبان (s) and تعبين (pl).
An inanimate plural noun (whether masculine or feminine) is followed by a single feminine adjective.

Broken plurals

جمعمفرد
أَولادوَلَد boy
أَصْحابصاحِب owner
أَسْماءاِسم name
أَعْمالعَمَل job
أَشْغالشُغل job
أشياءشيء thing
أَخْبارخَبَر news
جمعمفرد
تُيوتبَيت house
دُروسدَرس lesson
صُفوفصَفّ classroom
فُصولفَصل class/year (students)
بُنوكبَنك bank
فُلوسفِلس money
جمعمفرد
أَبْوابباب door
أَخْوالخال maternal uncle
إِخْوةأَخ brother
طُلاّبطالِب student (m)
رِجالرَجُل man
جيرانجار neighbor (m)

Dialogue

المصريالشاميالفُصحىEnglish
,,, ألتَرجمة مِن ... !لىtranslation from ... to ,,,
فِعلاًreally!, truly
صَحيح؟really?!, for real?!
واللهواللهِreally?!
نَفسthe same
(must go with a definite noun)
سَيَّد \ سَيَّدةfriend
...مَشغول بِ
...مَشغولة بِ
busy with ...
!مَبروكcongratulations!
الله يبرِك فيك
الله يِبارِك فيكي
الله يبارِك فيك
الله يبرِك لك
بارَكَ الله فيكresponse to !مَبروك
في الحَقيقةبِالحَقيقةفي الحَقيقةactually, in reality
جَواب
ج) جَوابات)
مَكتوب
ج) مَكاتيب)
رِسالة
ج) رَسالئِل)
letter
صورة
ج) صِوَر)
صورة
ج) صُوَر)
picture
باعرَفبَعرِفأَعرِفI know
Add لا or ما before a verb to make it negative.
المصريالشاميالفُصحىEnglish
مامالاverb-negation particle

أو equals "or"

و أنا أيضاً and me also

مِن أينَ أنت؟
from where are you?
(مِن أينَ = from where)

أنا مِن لبنان

مَن أنت؟
who are you?

أنا محمد
I'm Mohammed.

كَم؟
كام؟
how many?