Arabic Articles

If you're trying to learn Arabic Articles you will find some useful resources including a course about Definite and Indefinite Articles... 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!

Arabic Articles

Learning the Arabic Articles 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 Articles is in the structure of the grammar in Arabic.

Arabic articles are words that combine with a noun to indicate the type of reference being made by the noun. Generally articles specify the grammatical definiteness of the noun. Examples are "the, a, and an". Here are some examples:

English ArticlesArabic Articles
articlesمَقَالَات - maqaalaat
theال - al
ano equivalent in arabic - no equivalent in arabic
oneوَاحِد - waahed
someبَعْض - ba'th
fewقَلِيْل - qaleeel
the bookالْكِتَاب - alketaab
the booksالْكُتُب - alkotob
a bookكِتَاب - ketaab
one bookكِتَاب وَاحِد - ketaab waahed
some booksبَعْض الْكُتُب - ba'th alkotob
few booksالْقَلْيْل مِن الْكُتُب - alqaleel men alkotob
In Arabic the definite article is ال al. As for the indefinite article, there is none. An indefinite noun in Arabic is indicated by a declension, or rather “nunation” of the noun. Each definite noun in Arabic has the definite article ال attached to it and ends on u, a or I, depending if it is a subject, object ore possessive. When the noun is indefinite, the nouns end on respectively un, an or in, hence the name “nunation”, th n in Arabic is pronounced nun ن. For example الرَّجُلُ يَقْرَءُ الْجَرِيدةَ Ar-rajalu yaqra’u al-djaridata, The man reads the newspaper, مُحَمَّد يَأَكْلُ خُبْزاً Muhammed ja’akulu gubzan - Muhamad eats a bread.

A very important rule in Arabic is المضاف والمضاف إليه Al-mudhaf wa-al-mudhaf ilaihu. This is used to denote the passive like in the book of the man is translated as كتاب الرجلِ kitaab ar-radjuli. According to the Arabic grammarians, book is made definite by the man so it doesn’t need a definite article! Also the man is declined with I the sign of the possessive. If one wants to say the book of this man, then this must be put at the end of the construction, since nothing may break it. كتاب الرجل هذه Book (of) the man this.

Notice the structure of the Articles in Arabic.

List of Articles in Arabic

Below is a list of vocabulary where you can use the Definite and Indefinite Articles in Arabic. Try to practice but also memorizing this table will help you add very useful and important words to your Arabic vocabulary.

English VocabularyArabic Vocabulary
Foodغِذَاء - ghethaa'
almondsلُوْز - lowz
breadخُبْز - khobz
breakfastإِفْطَار - eeftaar
butterزُبْدَة - zobdah
candyحَلْوَى - halwaa
cheeseجَبُن - jabon
chickenدَجَاج - dajaaj
cuminكُمُوْن - komown
dessertحَلْوَى - halwaa
dinnerعِشَاء - 'eshaa'
fishسَمَك - samak
fruitفَاكِهَة - faakehah
ice creamالْآَيْس كْرِيْم - alaaees kreeem
lambخَرُوْف - kharowf
lemonلَيْمُوْن - laeemown
lunchغَدَاء - ghadaa'
mealوَجْبَة - wajbah
meatلَحْم - lahm
ovenفُرْن - forn
pepperفُلْفُل - folfol
plantsنَبَاتَات - nabaataat
porkلَحْم خِنْزِيْر - lahm khenzeeer
saladسَلَطَة - salatah
saltمِلْح - melh
sandwichشَطِيْرَة - shateeerah
sausageسُجُق - sojoq
soupحَسَاء - hasaa'
sugarسُكَّر - sokar
supperعِشَاء - 'eshaa'
turkeyدِيَك رُوْمِى - deeeak rowmea
appleتُفَّاحَة - tofaahah
bananaمَوْز - mawz
orangesبُرْتُقَال - bortoqaal
peachesخَوْخ - khawkh
peanutالْفُوُل الْسُّوْدَانِي - alfowol alsowdaaneee
pearsكُمَّثْرَى - komathraa
pineappleأَنْاناس - aananas
grapesعِنَب - 'enab
strawberriesفَرَاوِلَة - faraawelah
vegetablesخُضْرَوَات - khothrawaat
carrotجُزُر - jozor
cornذَرَّة - tharah
cucumberخِيَار - kheeeaar
garlicثُوْم - thowm
lettuceخَس - khas
olivesزَيْتُوْن - zaeetown
onionsبَصَل - basal
peppersالْفُلْفُل - alfolfol
potatoesالْبَطَاطِس - albataates
pumpkinالْيَقْطِيْن - aleeaqteeen
beansفَاصُوْلِيَّا - faasowleeeaa
tomatoesطَمَاطِم - tamaatem

Like English, Arabic has one definite article "the", but it has no indefinite article “a”.  Instead the Arabs use a declension to indicate that a noun is indefinite. For example the book is translated as Al-Kitabu الكتابُ, having al- in front (note the indefinite article is written attached to the noun it describes, so is wa و meaning and) and ending on the vowel u indicates that the noun is indefinite.

A book however is written as Kitabun  كتابٌ  where a n is added at the end of the vowel to indicate the noun is indefinite, Arab grammarians cal this nunnation.


Sun Moon letters

The l of the definite article al assimilates with the letter following it. If the pronouncation of the letter following the l is pronounced in the same region of the l, i.e. in front, the l changes to the consonant following the l, making this consonant effectively spoken twice, when the consonant following the l is pronounced in the back then the pronunciation of the l is maintained. The Arabs call this sun and moon letters حَرْفُ الشَّمْسِ HHarf(u)-asj-sjamsi and

حَرْفُ الْقَمْرِ. The l in case of sun letters is written but in pronnounsiation replace by the sound following it.

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





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