Egyptian Articles

If you're trying to learn Egyptian Articles you will find some useful resources including a course about Definite and Indefinite Articles... to help you with your Egyptian 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 Egyptian. Enjoy the rest of the lesson!

Egyptian Articles

Learning the Egyptian 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 Egyptian language. But first we need to know what the role of Articles is in the structure of the grammar in Egyptian.

Egyptian 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 ArticlesEgyptian Articles
theal - الـ
onewa7ed - واحد
somekam - كام
fewshoya - شوية
the bookaleketab - الكِتاب
the booksalekotob - الكُتـُب
a bookketab - كِتاب
one bookketab wa7ed - كِتاب واحد
some bookskam ketab - كام كِتاب
few booksshoya ketob - شوية كتـُب
In Egyptian the definite article is ال al. As for the indefinite article, there is none. An indefinite noun in Egyptian is indicated by a declension, or rather “nunation” of the noun. Each definite noun in Egyptian 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 Egyptian 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 Egyptian 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 Egyptian 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 Egyptian.

List of Articles in Egyptian

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

English VocabularyEgyptian Vocabulary
Foodakel - أكل
almondslooz - لُوز
bread3ish - عِيش
breakfastfetar - فِطار
butterzebeda - زِبدة
candybomeboni - بومبوني
cheeseguebena - جـِبنة
chickenferakh - فِراخ
cuminkemon - كمون
dessertale7elo - الحلو
dinner3esha - عشا
fishsamak - سَمَك
fruitfakha - فاكْهة
ice creamais kerim - أيس كريم
lamb7emel - حمل
lemonlemon - لمون
lunchghada - غـَدا
mealwaguba - وَجْبة
meatla7maa - لَحْمَة
ovenforn - فـُرْن
pepperfelefel - فِلفِل
plantszere3 - زرع
porkfekhed khenezir - فخد خنزير
saladseleta - سلطة
saltmale7 - مَلح
sandwichsanedotesh - سـَندوتش
sausagesoguo2 - سُجُق
soupshoreba - شوربة
sugarsoker - سُكر
supper3esha - عشا
turkeydik romi - ديك رومي
appletefa7 - تفاح
bananamoz - موز
orangesboreto2an - بـُرتـُقان
peacheskhokh - خوخ
peanutfol sodani - فول سوداني
pearskometra - كُمتـْرى
pineappleananas - أناناس
grapes3eneb - عِنب
strawberriesferawla - فراوْلة
vegetableskhedar - خضار
carrotguezer - جزر
corndera - درة
cucumberkhyar - خـيار
garlictoom - تـُوم
lettucekhes - خـس
oliveszatoon - زَتـُون
onionsbasel - بَصل
peppersfelefel - فـِلفِل
potatoesbatates - بَطاطِس
pumpkin2ere3 3asal - قرع عـَسَل
beansfol - فول
tomatoestematem - طماطم

Like English, Egyptian 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 Egyptian. Once you're done with Egyptian Articles, you might want to check the rest of our Egyptian lessons here: Learn Egyptian. Don't forget to bookmark this page.





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