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Basic Arabic Words for Beginners to Get You Started

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Remember back when you had to grab a giant dictionary every time you wanted to find or translate one word?

Back when you had to say the alphabet from A all the way to that first letter of the word you were looking up…only to never find it or to take forever doing so?

We’re all happy those days are behind us, and that we now enjoy the luxury of Google Translate and the internet.

Still, learning new words in a foreign language like Arabic is difficult if you lack proper systems and strategic learning methods.

So, what’s a strategic way to learn new basic Arabic words for beginners?

According to statistics, learning 1000 words covers 85.5% of conversation in a given language.

Technically, this means you’ll be able to speak Arabic fluently if you learn the 1000 most used words.

Makes it sound way easier, right?

Below are 200 words to get you started. 

Let’s dig in!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Arabic Table of Contents
  1. Pronouns
  2. Numbers
  3. Nouns
  4. Verbs
  5. Adjectives
  6. Conjunctions
  7. Others
  8. Conclusion

1. Pronouns

Three Birds

Personal Pronouns

To start composing basic sentences in Arabic, you’ll probably need to master personal pronouns. Here’s a list of the most essential personal pronouns in Arabic.

English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words
Iʾanāأنَا 
youʾantaأَنتَ
youʾantiأَنتِ
hehuwaهُوَ
shehiyaهِيَ
ithuwa / hiyaهُوَ/هِيَ
wenaḥnuنَحنُ
theyhumهُم
him-h
her-hā-ها
us-nā-نا
them-hum-هم

Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns are the tools you use to refer to objects and people in your conversations. Learning these will be of great use for your interactions. Here’s a list of the four demonstrative pronouns:

English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words
thishaḏihi / haḏāهَذِهِ / هَذا
that dāka / ḏalikذاكَ / ذَلِك
thesehaʾulāʾ/ haḏihiهَؤُلاء / هَذِهِ
thoseʾūlaʾik / tilkأولَئِك / تِلك

Interrogative Pronouns / Question Words

Interrogative pronouns are building blocks for questions, a.k.a. the Five Ws. Here’s a list of those with romanizations:

English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words
whomanمَن
whommanمَن
whoselimanلِمَن
whatmāḏāماذا
whichayyأَيّ

Along with interrogative pronouns, it’s also worth listing interrogative adverbs, which serve a similar purpose.

English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words
whenmatāمَتى
whereʾaynaأَيْنَ
whylimāḏāلِماذا
howkayfaكَيْفَ

2. Numbers

Phone Unlock page
Numerals in EnglishNumerals in ArabicEnglishRomanizationsArabic Words
0٠zeroṣifrصِفر
1١one waḥidوَاحِد
2٢twoʾiṯnānإثنان
3٣threeṯalāṯahثلَاثَة
4٤fourʾarbaʿahأَربَعَة
5٥fiveḫamsahخَمسَة
6٦sixsittahسِتَّة
7٧sevensabʿahسَبعَة
8٨eightṯamāniyahثَمانِيَة
9٩ninetisʿahتِسعَة
10١٠tenʿašarahعَشَرَة

3. Nouns

Nouns are probably the first basic Arabic vocabulary words you start learning as a beginner. They’re one of two key components in a sentence (together with verbs) and you can usually get your point across using just the right noun. With that in mind, let’s look at a few beginner-level Arabic nouns. 

Time

Solar Clock
English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words 
hour sāʿahساعَة 
minutedaqīqahدَقيقَة
morningṣabāḥصَباح 
afternoonbaʿd al-ẓuhrبَعد الظُهر
eveningmasāʾمَساء
dayyawmيَوْم 
monthšahrشَهر 
yearsanahسَنَة 
Mondayal-ʾiṯnaynالإثنَيْن
Tuesdayal-ṯulāṯāʾالثُلاثاء
Wednesdayal-ʾarbaʿāʾالأَربَعاء
Thursdayal-ḫamīsالخَميس
Fridayal-ǧumʿahالجُمعَة
Saturdayal-sabtالسَبت
Sundayal-ʾaḥadالأَحَد

People

English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words 
butcherǧazzārجَزّار
woodmanḥaṭṭābحَطّاب 
police officerḍābiṭ šurṭahضابِط شُرطَة
doctorṭabībطَبيب
nursemumarriḍahمُمَرِّضَة
firefighterraǧul ʾiṭfāʾرَجُل إطفاء
teachermudarrisمُدَرِّس
fatherʾabأَب
motherʾumأُم
sisterʾuḫtأُخت 
brotherʾaḫأَخ
Mr.al-sayyidالسَيِّد 
Ms.al-sayyidahالسَيِّدَة

Places Around Town

Beautiful Building with Statue
English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words 
hospitalmustašfāمُستَشفى
supermarketsūbar mārkitسوبَر ماركِت
schoolmadrasahمَدرَسَة
downtownwasaṭ al-madīnahوَسَط المَدينَة
universityǧāmiʿahجامِعَة
city hallǧihāz al-madīnahجِهاز المَدينَة
main squareal-maydān al-raʾīsīالمَيْدان الرَئيسي
bankal-bankالبَنك
museumal-matḥafالمَتحَف
restaurantal-maṭʿamالمَطعَم
caféal-maqhāالمَقهى
police stationmarkazu l-šurṭahمَركَز الشُرطَة
train stationmaḥaṭṭaẗu l-qiṭārمَحَطَّةُ القِطار
bus stationmaḥaṭṭaẗu l-ḥāfilātمَحَطَّةُ الحافِلات

School/Office Essentials

English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words 
penqalamقَلَم
notebookdaftar mulāḥaẓātدَفتَر مُلاحَظات 
computerkumbīūtarكُمبيوتَر
pencil casemaqlamahمَقلَمَة
headphonessammāʿātسمّاعات
mousefaʾrahفأرَة
keyboardlawḥaẗu mafātīḥلَوْحَةُ مَفاتيح
wifiwaī fāīواي فاي
chargeršāḥinشاحِن
cablesilkسِلك
backpackḥaqībaẗu ẓahrحَقيبَةُ ظَهر
deskmaktabمَكتَب
copybookkurrāsahكُرّاسَة

Body Parts

A Woman Holding a Hand Over Her Stomach
English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words 
eyeal-ʿaynالعَيْن
noseal-ʾanfالأَنف
earal-ʾuḏunالأُذُن
faceal-waǧhالوَجه
armal-ḏirāʿالذِراع
chestal-ṣadrالصَدر
cheekal-ḫadالخَد
foreheadal-ǧabhahالجَبهَة
mouthal-famالفَم
chinal-ḏaqnالذَقن
armpital-ʾibiṭالإبِط
abdomenal-baṭnالبَطن
legal-sāqالساق
toeʾaṣābiʿ al-qadamأَصابِع القَدَم
fingerʾiṣbaʿإصبَع
ankleal-kāḥilالكاحِل
hipal-wirkالوِرك
forearmal-sāʿidالساعِد
elbowal-kūʿالكوع
wristal-miʿṣamالمِعصَم

Food

English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words 
ٍٍvegetablesḫuḍrawatخُضرَوات
fruitfawakihفَوَاكِه
meatlaḥmلَحم
milkḥalībحَليب
eggbayḍبَيْض
coffeeqahwahقَهوَة
yogurtzabādīزَبادي
breadḫubzخُبز
baconlaḥm muqaddadلَحم مُقَدَّد
piefaṭīrahفَطيرَة
hamlaḥm ḫinzīrلَحم خِنزير
chickendaǧāǧدَجاج
juiceʿaṣīrعَصير
sausagesuǧuqسُجُق

4. Verbs

Our next set of Arabic beginner words covers the most essential verbs in a variety of categories. You can use these to form more complete sentences in Arabic. 

Daily Routine Verbs

The following verbs will come in handy if you want to start a journal in Arabic.

English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words 
to get upqāmaقامَ
to eatʾakalaأَكَلَ
to drinkšaribشَرِب
to goḏahabaذَهَبَ
to workʿamilaعَمِلَ
to studydarasaدَرَسَ
to driveqādaقادَ
to riderakibaرَكِبَ
to sleepnāmaنامَ
to wake upistayqaẓaاِستَيْقَظَ
to hangʿallaqaعَلَّقَ
to do laundryqāma bilġasīlقامَ بِالغَسيل
to napʾaḫaḏa qaylūlahأَخَذَ قَيْلولَة
to work outtamarranaتَمَرَّنَ
to go outḫaraǧaخَرَجَ
to prepareḥaḍaraحَضَرَ
to cookṭabaḫaطَبَخَ
to clean naẓẓafaنَظَّفَ
to washġasalaغَسَلَ
to tidy uprattabaرَتَّبَ
to connectittaṣalaاِتَّصَلَ
to communicatetawaṣalaتَوَاصَلَ
to wearirtadāاِرتَدى
to take (something) offʾazalaأَزالَ
to grabʾamsakaأَمسَكَ
to mixḫalaṭaخَلَطَ
to carryḫamalaخَمَلَ
to freezeǧammadaجَمَّدَ
to changeġayyaraغَيَّرَ
to movenaqalaنَقَلَ

Other Common Verbs

English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words 
to giveʾaʿṭāأَعطى
to takeʾaḫaḏaأَخَذَ
to dofaʿalaفَعَلَ
to makeǧaʿalaجَعَلَ
to lettarakaتَرَكَ
to askṭalabaطَلَبَ
to smileibtasamaاِبتَسَمَ
to findwaǧadaوَجَدَ
to useistaḫdamaاِستَخدَمَ
to losefaqadفَقَد
to comeʾatāأَتى
to looknaẓaraنَظَرَ
to hearsamiʿaسَمِعَ
to smellšammaشَمَّ
to talktaḥaddaṯaتَحَدَّثَ
to exitḫaraǧaخَرَجَ
to callittaṣalaاِتَّصَلَ
to feelʾaḥassaأَحَسَّ
to answerʾaǧābaأَجابَ
to laughḍaḥikaضَحِكَ
to crybakāبَكى
to stealsaraqaسَرَقَ
to runǧarāجَرى
to walkmašāمَشى
to meetiltaqāاِلتَقى
to createṣanaʿaصَنَعَ
to finishʾanhāأَنهى

5. Adjectives

Learning Arabic words to describe the world around you can liven up your conversations, strengthen your Arabic writing, and allow you to better express yourself in this rather expressive language. 

Describing Objects

English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words 
bigkabīrكَبير
smallṣaġīrصَغير
longṭawilطَوِيل
shortqaṣīrقَصير
twistedmultawiمُلتَوِي
smoothnāʿimناعِم
roughḫašinخَشِن

Describing People

English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words 
prettyǧamīlجَميل
handsomewasīmوَسيم
tallṭawilطَوِيل
shortqaṣīrقَصير
disgustingmuṯīr lilišmiʾzāzمُثير لِلاِشمِئزاز
sociableiǧtimāʿīاِجتِماعي
funnymuḍḥikمُضحِك
beautifulǧamīlجَميل
lovelyrāʾiʿرائِع
caringʿaṭūfعَطوف
generouskarīmكَريم
arrogantmaġrūrمَغرور
humblemutawaḍiʿمُتَوَاضِع
courageousšuǧāʿشُجاع
weakḍaʿīfضَعيف
strongqaweīقَوي

Describing Emotions

English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words 
happysaʿīdسَعيد
sadḥazīnحَزين
joyfulmubtahiǧمُبتَهِج
weirdġarībغَريب
depressedmuktaʾibمُكتَئِب
anxiousqaliqقَلِق
stressed outmutawattirمُتَوَتِّر
jollymariḥمَرِح

Describing Weather

English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words 
rainymumṭirمُمطِر 
sunnymušmisمُشمِس
humidraṭibرَطِب
dryǧāfجاف
aridqāḥilقاحِل
frigidmutaǧammidمُتَجَمِّد
foggyḍabābīضَبابي
windyrīḥīريحي
stormyʿāṣifعاصِف
partly cloudyġāʾim ǧuzʾiyyanغائِم جُزئِيّاً
cloudyġāʾimغائِم
calmhādiʾهادِئ

6. Conjunctions

When you want to link one sentence to another, you use conjunctions. Here’s a list of the most used conjunctions in Arabic:

English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words 
and waو
butlakinلَكِن 
thenṯummaثُمَّ
becauseliʾannaلِأَنَّ 
sowabil-talīوَبِالتالي

7. Others

Below are a few filler words from different Arabic dialects and MSA (Modern Standard Arabic) to help you blend in even more with native speakers.

English TranslationsRomanizationsArabic Words 
beautiful (MSA)ǧamīlجَميل
by God (all dialects, MSA)wallahواَلله
now (Levantine)halāهَلا
ًwhat (Moroccan Arabic, Algerian Arabic)kifāšكِفاش
I mean / like (Egyptian, Levantine, Gulf)yaʿnīيَعني

8. Conclusion

Congrats for getting this far! You’re 200 words in, enough to impress most Arabs as few foreigners have the courage to get this far in their Arabic studies. How many of these words did you know already—and how many were new to you? Let us know in the comments! 

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