Arabic Adjectives

If you're trying to learn Arabic Adjectives you will find some useful resources including a course about Adjectives, Colors, Shapes, Sizes... to help you with your Arabic grammar. Try to concentrate on the lesson and notice the pattern that occurs each time the word changes its place. Also don't forget to check the rest of our other lessons listed on Learn Arabic. Enjoy the rest of the lesson!


Share

Arabic Adjectives

Learning the Arabic Adjectives is very important because its structure is used in every day conversation. The more you master it the more you get closer to mastering the Arabic language. But first we need to know what the role of Adjectives is in the structure of the grammar in Arabic.

Arabic Adjectives are words that describe or modify another person or thing in the sentence.

In Arabic adjectives are of the form فعيل Fa3iil, like كبير kabiir big, صغير saghriir small. One rule is that if a noun is definite the adjective has to be definite. Like in البيت الكبير Al-bait Al-kabir The house the big (Al is the Arabic indefinite article).

The Arabic most common  adjectives اِسْمَُ صِفَةٍ are of the forms:

 

  1. Faa3l(un)  فَاعِلٌ which actually is the active participle of Fa3aLa فَعَلَ.
  2. Fa3iel(un) فَعِيلٌ   which I think is the most common
  3. Fa3uul(un)  فَعُولٌ
  4. Fa3Laan(u) فَعْلانُ

 

They are usually made from stative verbs, i.e. verbs denoting a status or condition rather then a action or change. Most of the stative verbs have an u or an i as second vowel. Stative verbs with an u usually denote a permanent condition, whereas those with an i as second vowel usually denote a temporary condition.

 

The active participle Faa3l(un)  فَاعِلٌ can also be used as an adjective, for example the first verse in the Quran is called SURat(un) FaaTiH(un) صُورَةٌ فَاتِحٌ, where FaaTiH(un)  فَاتِحٌ is the active participle of FaTaHa فَتَحَ, it means the opening verse.

 

Some adjectives use the form Fa3Laan(u) فَعْلانُ, for example Ar-radjulun Az-Za3aLaanu الرَّجُلُ الزَّعَلانُ, the angry man.

 

The form Fa3uuL(un) فَعُولٌ is an adjective denoting intensity. Ana KaSuuL(un)

for example means I am very lazy, from the stative verb KaSiLa كَسِلَ to be lazy.

 

To be big is a permanent condition and is translated as KaBuRa كَبُرَ (remember this actually means he was\ has been big!). From this stative verb we construct KaBieR(un) كَبِيرٌ, so a big man will be ar-radjul(un) kabier(un). (The superlative of Kabier is al-Akbar الاكْبَرُ, meaning the biggest, that is what you hear during Islammic prayer, Allah huwa al-Akbar Allah اللّه هُوَ الاكْبَرُ (God is the greatest!).

To be happy is also a stative verb, but as we al know happiness is often not a lasting condition, so this verb has an i as second vowel Sa3iDa سَعِدَ, so a sweet girl would be translated as fata(tun) Sa3ieDat(un) فَتَاةٌ سَعِيدَةٌ.

 

The plural masculine of this form Fa3iel(un) فَعِيلٌ is Fi3aaL(un) فِعَالٌ  for the masculine nouns and Fu3Laa’u فُعْلاءُ (diptote) for the feminine.

 

Adjectives of Ocupation

An other form of adjectives is Fa33aaL(un) فَعَّالٌ, they are mostly used to describe occupations like GuBBaaZ(un) خَبَّازٌ baker, GaYYaaTTTT(un) خَيّاطٌ taylor,( if a tram was  an Arabic word then its driver would be called TaRRaaM(un) تَرَّامٌ). Usually this form is not considered as an adjective but as a noun.

 

Colors and defects

Then there is a special adjective used for colors and defects, these have a masculine and feminine form aF3aL(u) افْعَلُ masculine and F3aLaa’u  فَعْلاءُ feminine. Note although both forms are indefinite they do not end on a n, these are so-called diptotes(i.e. they only have two cases in stead of three) The plural of both is of the form Fu3L(un) فُعْلٌ, this form does end on a n when indefinite and has all three cases (triptote).

 

Meaning

Masculinٌe

مُذَكَرٌ

 

 

 

 

Feminine

 مُؤَنِثٌ

Black

‘aSWaDu

أَسْودُ

 

SaWDaa’u

سَوْداءُ

 

SuuDun

سُودٌ

White

‘aBYaDu

أبْيَدُ

 

BaYDaa’u

بَيْداءُ

 

BieDun

بِيدٌ

Red

‘aHMaRu

أحْمَرُ

 

HaMRaa’u

حَمْرَاءُ

 

HuMRun

حُمْرٌ

Blue

‘aZRaQu

أزْرَقُ

 

ZaRQaa’u

زَرْقَاءُ

 

ZuRQun

زُرْقٌ

Green

‘aGDDaRu

أخْضَرُ

 

GaDDRaa’u

خَضْراءُ

 

GuDDRun

خُضْرٌ

Yellow

‘aSSFaRu

أصْفَرُ

 

SSaFRaa’u

صَفْرَاءُ

 

SSuFRun

صُفْرٌ

Deaf1)

‘aTTRaSJu

أَطْرَشُ

 

TTaRSJaa’u

طَرْشَاءُ

 

TTuRSJun

طُرْشٌ

Dumb

‘aGRaSu

أخْرَسُ

 

GaRSaa’u

أ خَرْسَاءُ

 

GuRSun

خُرْسٌ

Blind

‘a3Maau

أَعْمَى

 

3aMYaa’u

أَ عَمْيَاءُ

 

3uMYun

عُمْيٌ

Lame

‘a3RaDJu

أَعْرَجُ

 

3aRDJaa’u

عَرْجَاءُ

 

3uRDJun

عُرجٌ

Humpbacked

‘aHDaBu

أَحْدَبُ

 

HaDBaa’u

حَدْبَءُ

 

HuDBun

حُدْبٌ

1)    The name of a famous Egyptian singer Faried al-‘AttraSJ

 

Relative adjective

Adjetives can also be made by adding iy(un) ـِيٌ (masculine) iyat(un) ـِيَةٌ after a noun. This is called the relative adjective ‘Ismu-a-nasbiyati اِسْمُ الْنِسْبَةِ.

In Al-lughra(tu) Al-3arabiya(tu) الْلُغَةُ الْعَرَبِيَةُ 3arabiya(tun) عَرَبِيَةٌ is such a relative adjective.

 

Plural nouns as feminine singular.

Adjectives should correspond the noun in gender and number, as you can see the plural of the adjectives is quite complicated, fortunately there is an other grammatical rule which says that the plural of nouns not refering to human beings can be considered as feminine and can be followed bij an adjective in its singular feminine (i.e. with its femmenine ending attached to it.) An example:

The big men and big women buy many books, here we have to use all the forms of the adjective, the masculine plural (the men), the feminine plural (the women) and the feminine singular (books).

Ar-ridjaal-u-lkibaaru wa-n-nisaa’u-l-kubraa’u yastasjruu kutubun kathiratuna(tun)

الرِّجَالُ الْكِبَارُ وَالنِّسَاءُ الْكُبْرَءُ يَسْتَشْرُوا كُتُبٌ كَثِيرَةٌ

 

Note: when a consonant is to be written twice without a vowel in between, then it is written once and a tasjdied تَشْديدٌ is written on top of the letter to be doubled.

Here are some more examples:

English AdjectivesArabic Adjectives
adjectivesصِفَات - sefaat
a green treeشَجَرَة خَضْرَاء - shajarah khathraa'
a tall buildingمَبْنِى طَوِيْل الْقَامَة - mabnea taweeel alqaamah
a very old manرَجُل كَبِيْر جِدا - rajol kabeeer jeda
the old red houseالْبَيْت الْقَدِيْم أَحْمَر - albaeet alqadeeem aahmar
a very nice friendصَدِيْق لَطِيْف جِدّا - sadeeeq lateeef jeda

Notice the structure of the Adjectives in Arabic.

List of Adjectives in Arabic

Below is a list of the Adjectives, Colors, Shapes, Sizes in Arabic placed in a table. Memorizing this table will help you add very useful and important words to your Arabic vocabulary.

English AdjectivesArabic Adjectives
colorsالَوُان - alawoan
blackأَسْوَد - aaswad
blueأَزْرَق - aazraq
brownبَنِي - baneee
grayرَمَادِي - ramaadeee
greenأَخْضَر - aakhthar
orangeبُرْتُقَالِي - bortoqaaleee
purpleبَنَفْسَجِي - banafsajeee
redأَحْمَر - aahmar
whiteأَبْيَض - aabeeath
yellowأَصْفَر - aasfar
sizesأَحْجَام - aahjaam
bigكَبِيْر - kabeeer
deepعَمِيْق - 'ameeeq
longطَوِيْل - taweeel
narrowضَيْق - thaeeq
shortقَصِيْر - qaseeer
smallصَغِيْر - sagheeer
tallطَوِيْل - taweeel
thickسَمِيُّك - sameeeok
thinرَقِيْق - raqeeeq
wideوَاسِع - waase'
shapesأَشْكَال - aashkaal
circularدَائِرِي - daa'ereee
straightمُّسْتَقِيْم - mostaqeeem
squareمُرَبَّع - moraba'
triangularثُلَاثِي - tholaatheee
tastesأَذْوَاق - aathwaaq
bitterمَرِيْر- مُر - mareeer- mor
freshطَازَج - taazaj
saltyمَالِح - maaleh
sourحَامِض - haameth
spicyحَار - haar
sweetحُلْو - holw
qualitiesصِفَات - sefaat
badسَيِّئ - saeee'
cleanنَظِيْف - natheeef
darkظَلَام - thalaam
difficultصَعْب - sa'b
dirtyقَذِر - qather
dryجَاف - jaaf
easyسَهْل - sahl
emptyفَارِغ - faaregh
expensiveغَالِي - ghaaleee
fastسَرِيْع - sareee'
foreignأَجْنَبِي - aajnabeee
fullكَامِل - kaamel
goodجَيِّد - jaeeed
hardصَعْب - sa'b
heavyثَقِيْل - thaqeeel
inexpensiveغَيْر مُكَلَّف - ghaeer mokalaf
lightضَوْء - thaw'
localمَحَلِّي - mahaleee
newجَدِيْد - jadeeed
noisyصَاخِبَة - saakhebah
oldقَدِيْم - qadeeem
powerfulقَوِي - qaweee
quietهَادِئ - haade'
correctصَحِيْح - saheeeh
slowبَطِيْء - bateee'
softنَاعِم - naa'em
veryجَدَّا - jadaa
weakضَعِيْف - tha'eeef
wetرَطْب - ratb
wrongخَاطِئ - khaate'
youngشَاب - shaab
quantitiesكَمِّيَّات - kameeeaat
fewقَلِيْل - qaleeel
littleالْقَلِيْل - alqaleeel
manyكَثِيْر - katheeer
muchكَثِيْرا - katheeera
partجُزْء - joz'
someبَعْض - ba'th
a fewبَضْعَة - bath'ah
wholeكَامِل - kaamel

Adjectives, Colors, Shapes, Sizes have a very important role in Arabic. Once you're done with Arabic Adjectives, you might want to check the rest of our Arabic lessons here: Learn Arabic. Don't forget to bookmark this page.


Share