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Archive for the 'Learn Arabic' Category

Learn the Most Important Intermediate Arabic Words

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Arabic is the richest language in the world.

With 12,300,000 words, Arabic blows other languages out of the water.

Luckily, with the rise of technology, people tend to take a lazier approach to everything—including communication.

As fewer and fewer words are being used, the number of words that language learners need to memorize continues to reduce. 

Starting out with Arabic could be a little bit difficult, especially when you’re presented with a new script and totally different sentence structures than what you’re used to in your native language. Assuming you’ve passed the beginner level, your next step is to learn some intermediate Arabic words and phrases to help you press forward. 

Learning vocabulary is the most important variable once you have the basics down. 

And as with everything in life, you’ll have to go through all the necessary steps to reach your end goal. In other words, achieving fluency means working your way up by first tackling the beginner and intermediate levels in Arabic. 

That’s why we’ve put together this article. 

Below, we’ve broken down the most important intermediate words by category, including the parallel translations and romanizations for every word.

    → In addition to memorizing these words, we recommend you check out our Lower Intermediate series to continue building your language skills!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Arabic Table of Contents
  1. Large Numbers – الأَعداد (al-ʾaʿdād)
  2. Nouns – الأَسماء (al-ʾasmāʾ)
  3. Verbs – الأَفعال (al-ʾafʿal)
  4. Adjectives – صِفات (ṣifāt)
  5. Adverbs – أَحوَال (ʾaḥwal)
  6. Prepositions – ظُروف (ẓurūf)
  7. Conjunctions – حُرُوفُ العَطْف (ḥuruūfu al-ʿaṭf)
  8. Particles – الحُروف (al-ḥurūf)
  9. Conclusion

1. Large Numbers – الأَعداد (al-ʾaʿdād)

Someone Raising Up a Sign that Says 28

The first set of intermediate Arabic vocabulary words we’ll cover are those we use for numbers. We already went over the numbers 1-10 in our Beginner Words article, so here we’ll focus on the numbers from ten onward. 

NumberArabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
10عَشَرَة‘ashra“Ten”
11إحدى عَشَرaḥada ‘ashar“Eleven”
12إثنا عَشَرiṯnā ‘ashar“Twelve”
13ثَلاثَةَ عَشَرṯālatha ‘ashar“Thirteen”
14أَرَبَعَةَ عَشَرarba’ata ‘ashar“Fourteen”
15خَمسَةَ عَشَرḫamsata ‘ashar“Fifteen”
16سِتَّةَ عَشَرsittata ‘ashar“Sixteen”
17سَبعَةَ عَشَرsab’ata ‘ashar“Seventeen”
18ثَمانِيَةَ عَشَرṯamāniyata ‘ashar“Eighteen”
19تِسعَةَ عَشَرtis’ata ‘ashar“Nineteen”
20عِشرون‘ishrun“Twenty”
30ثلَاثونṯālaṯun“Thirty”
40أَربَعونarba’un“Fourty”
50خَمسونḫamsun“Fifty”
60سِتّونsittun“Sixty”
70سَبعونsab’un“Seventy”
80ثَمانونṯamānun“Eighty”
90تِسعونtis’un“Ninety”
100مِئَةmi’a“A hundred”
1,000أَلفalf“A thousand”
10,000عَشَرَة آلاف’ashratu alaf“Ten thousand”
100,000مِئَةُ أَلفmi’atu alf“A hundred thousand”
1,000,000مِليونmillion“A million”

2. Nouns – الأَسماء (al-ʾasmāʾ)

Words in a Dictionary: Hospitable, Hospital, Hospitality

Time – الوَقت (al-waqt)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
القَرنal-qarn“Century”
الصَباح al-ṣabāḥ“Morning”
المَساء al-masāʾ“Evening”
الفَصلal-faṣl“Quarter”
الفَصل الدِراسيal-faṣl al-dirāsī“Semester”

Places – الأَماكِن (al-ʾamākin)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
المِنطَقَةal-minṭaqah“Region”
الإدارَة al-ʾidārah“Department”
القَريَة al-qaryah“Village”
الحَديقَة al-ḥadīqah“Park”
البَنك al-bank“Bank”
الصَيْدَلِيَّة al-ṣaydaliyyah“Pharmacy”
المُستَشفى al-mustašfā“Hospital”
المَخبَز al-maḫbaz“Bakery”
الجَرف al-ǧarf“Cliff”
الشاطِئ al-šāṭiʾ“Beach”
الجَزيرَة al-ǧazīrah“Island”
التَل al-tal“Hill”

Technology – التِكنولوجيا (al-tiknūlūǧīā)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
الشاشَةal-šāšah“Screen”
لَوْحَةُ المَفاتيحlawḥaẗu al-mafātīḥ“Keyboard”
الفَأرَةal-faʾrah“Mouse”
الجِهاز اللَوْحيal-ǧihāz al-lawḥī“Tablet”
التِلِفِزيون al-tilifizīūn“TV”
وِحدَةُ التَحَكُّم wiḥdaẗu al-taḥakkum“Console”
الشاحِن al-šāḥin“Charger”
مَوْقِع الوِيبmawqiʿ al-wib“Website”
حِساب ḥisāb“Account”
كَلِمَةُ المُرورkalimaẗu al-murūr“Password”
مَلف malaf“File”
مُجَلَّد muǧallad“Folder”
بَرنامَجbarnāmaǧ“Software”

Home – المَنزِل (al-manzil)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
الغُرفَةal-ġurfah“Room”
الطابَق al-ṭābaq“Floor”
غُرفَةُ الجُلوسġurfaẗu al-ǧulūs“Living room”
الحَمّام al-ḥammām“Bathroom”
الثَلّاجَة al-ṯallāǧah“Fridge”
خِزانَةُ المَلابِسḫizānaẗu al-malābis“Wardrobe”

City & Transportation – المَدينَة والمُوَاصَلات (al-madīnah walmuwaṣalāt)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
الضَوَاحيal-ḍawaḥī“Suburbs”
الجِوَار al-ǧiwar“Neighborhood”
الطَريق السَريعal-ṭarīq al-sarīʿ“Highway”
الزُقاق al-zuqāq“Alley”
المَيدانal-maīdān“Roundabout”
مُفتَرَق طُرُقmuftaraq ṭuruq“Crossroad”

People – الناس (al-nās)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
العَمal-ʿam“Uncle”
العَمَّة al-ʿammah“Aunt”
الحَفيد al-ḥafīd“Grandson”
الحَفيدَة al-ḥafīdah“Granddaughter”
الرَضيع al-raḍīʿ“Baby”
الجَد al-ǧad“Grandfather”
الجَدَّةal-ǧaddah“Grandmother”

Body Parts – أَجزاءُ الجِسم (ʾaǧzāʾu al-ǧism)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
إصبَعʾiṣbaʿ“Finger”
ظَهر ẓahr“Back”
بَطن baṭn“Belly”
صَدر ṣadr“Breast”
كَتِف katif“Shoulder”
ساق sāq“Leg”
فَخذ faḫḏ“Thigh”
مُؤَخِّرَة muʾaḫḫirah“Butt”
قَدَم qadam“Foot”
خَد ḫad“Cheek”
ذَقن ḏaqn“Chin”
جَبينǧabīn“Forehead”

Food – الطَعام (al-ṭaʿām)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
سِكّينsikkīn“Knife”
شَوْكَة šawkah“Fork”
مِلعَقَة milʿaqah“Spoon”
نَبيذ nabīḏ“Wine”
طَبَقṭabaq“Dish”
مُقَبِّلات muqabbilāt“Starter”
حَلوَى ḥalwa“Dessert”
مَشروب mašrūb“Drink”
قَهوَةqahwah“Coffee”

Work & Studies – العَمَل والدِراسَة (al-ʿamal waldirāsah)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
مُمَرِّضَةmumarriḍah“Nurse”
ضابِط شُرطَةḍābiṭ šurṭah“Police officer”
مُحامي muḥāmī“Lawyer”
نادِل nādil“Waiter”
جامِعَةǧāmiʿah“University”

Clothes – المَلابِس (al-malābis)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
بَنطَلونbanṭalūn“Pants”
كَنزَة kanzah“Sweater”
تي شيرتtī šīrt“T-shirt”
قَميصqamīṣ“Shirt”
مِعطَف miʿṭaf“Coat”
جَوْرَب ǧawrab“Sock”
حِذاء ḥiḏāʾ“Shoe”
فُستان fustān“Dress”
قُبَّعَةqubbaʿah“Hat”

3. Verbs – الأَفعال (al-ʾafʿal)

A List of Verbs

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
خَدَمَḫadama“To serve”
غادَرَġādara“To leave”
سَمَحَsamaḥa“To allow”
أَرسَلَʾarsala“To send”
اِستَقبَلَistaqbala“To receive”
عاشَʿāša“To live”
اِتَّصَلَittaṣala“To call”
تَذَكَّرَtaḏakkara“To remind”
قَدَّمَqaddama“To introduce”
قَبِلَqabila“To accept”
رَفَضَrafaḍa“To refuse”
عَمِلَʿamila“To work”
لَعِبَlaʿiba“To play”
تَعَرَّفَtaʿarrafa“To recognize”
اِختارَiḫtāra“To choose”
لَمَسَlamasa“To touch”
شَرَحَšaraḥa“To explain”
نَهَضَnahaḍa“To get up”
فَتَحَfataḥa“To open”
أَغلَقَʾaġlaqa“To close”
فازَfāza“To win”
خَسِرَḫasira“To lose”
وَجَدَwaǧada“To exist”
نَجَحَnaǧaḥa“To succeed”
غَيَّرَġayyara“To change”
أَتىʾatā“To come”
دَرَسَdarasa“To study”
نامَnāma“To sleep”
مَشىmašā“To walk”
حاوَلَḥāwala“To try”
تَوَقَّفَtawaqqafa“To stop”
اِستَمَرَّistamarra“To continue”
طَبَخَṭabaḫa“To cook”
اِنتَمىintamā“To belong”
خاطَرَḫāṭara“To risk”
تَعَلَّمَtaʿallama“To learn”
اِلتَقىiltaqā“To meet”
أَنشَأَʾanšaʾa“To create”
حَصَلَḥaṣala“To get”
دَخَلَdaḫala“To enter”
خَرَجَḫaraǧa“To exit”
عَرَضَʿaraḍa“To offer”
قَدَّمَqaddama“To bring”
اِستَخدَمَistaḫdama“To use”
وَصَلَwaṣala“To reach”
حَضَّرَḥaḍḍara“To prepare”
أَضافʾaḍāf“To add”
دَفَعَdafaʿa“To pay”
اِعتَبَرَiʿtabara“To consider”
اِشتَرىištarā“To buy”
دَفَعَdafaʿa“To push”
تَسَوَّقَtasawwaqa“To shop”
سافَرَsāfara“To travel”

4. Adjectives – صِفات (ṣifāt)

A Woman Sitting by the Sea

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
رائِعrāʾiʿ“Awesome”
فَظيع faẓīʿ“Horrible”
غَريب ġarīb“Weird”
مُعَقَّد muʿaqqad“Complicated”
سَميك samīk“Thick”
رَقيق raqīq“Thin”
قَريب qarīb“Near”
بَعيد baʿīd“Far”
ضَيِّق ḍayyiq“Narrow”
عَريض ʿarīḍ“Wide”
ناعِم nāʿim“Soft”
صَلبṣalb“Hard”
مُمتَلِئmumtaliʾ“Full”
فارِغ fāriġ“Empty”
خَفيف ḫafīf“Light”
ثَقيل ṯaqīl“Heavy”
فَريد farīd“Unique”
خاص ḫāṣ“Special”
جَديد ǧadīd“New”
قَديم qadīm“Old”
فَقير faqīr“Poor”
غَني ġanī“Rich”
نَظيف naẓīf“Clean”
قَذِر qaḏir“Dirty”
ضَعيف ḍaʿīf“Weak”
قَوِيqawi“Strong”
نَحيف naḥīf“Slim”
سَمين samīn“Fat”
مُثير لِلشَفَقَةmuṯīr lilšafaqah“Cute”
مُتَوَسِّط mutawassiṭ“Mean”
مُضحِك muḍḥik“Funny”
لَطيف laṭīf“Nice”
سَعيد saʿīd“Happy”
حَزين ḥazīn“Sad”
هادِئ hādiʾ“Quiet”
مُتَحَمِّس mutaḥammis“Excited”
خَطير ḫaṭīr“Dangerous”
مُمِلّmumill“Boring”
حارḥār“Spicy”
ثاني ṯānī“Second”
التالي al-talī“Next”
السابِق al-sābiq“Previous”
ما قَبل الأَخيرmā qabl al-ʾaḫīr“Second-to-last”
بُرتُقالي burtuqalī“Orange”
وَردي wardī“Pink”
رَمادي ramādī“Gray”
بَنَفسَجي banafsaǧī“Purple”
أُرجُوَانيʾurǧuwanī“Magenta”
فَيْروزيfayrūzī“Turquoise”

5. Adverbs – أَحوَال (ʾaḥwal)

When – مَتى (matā)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
بِالفِعلbilfiʿl“Already”
وَقت طَويلwaqt ṭawīl“A long time”
الآن al-ʾān“Now”
مَرَّةً أُخرىmarraẗan ʾuḫrā“Again”
أَخيراً ʾaḫīran“At last”
ثُمَّ ṯumma“Then”
بَعدَ ذَلِكbaʿda ḏalik“Thereafter”

How Often – كَم مَرَّة (kam marrah)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
أَحياناًʾaḥyānan“Sometimes”
نادِراً nādiran“Rarely”
عادَةً ʿādaẗan“Usually”
بِشَكلٍ عامbišaklin ʿām“Generally”
طَوالَ الوَقتṭawala al-waqt“All the time”

Where – أَيْنَ (ayna)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
لا مَكانlā makān“Nowhere”
في مَكانٍ ماfī makānin mā“Somewhere”
في مَكانٍ آخَرfī makānin ʾāḫar“Elsewhere”
أَعلىʾaʿlā“Up”
أَسفَل ʾasfal“Down”
فَوْقَ fawqa“Over”
تَحتَ taḥta“Under”
بَعيد baʿīd“Far”
قَريبqarīb“Close”

How – كَيْف (kayfa)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
بِهُدوءbihudūʾ“Softly”
بِبُطء bibuṭʾ“Slowly”
بِسُرعَة bisurʿah“Quickly”
بِهُدوء bihudūʾ“Calmly”
بِسُهولَة bisuhūlah“Easily”
لِحُسنِ الحَظ liḥusni al-ḥaẓ“Luckily”
بِبَساطَةbibasāṭah“Simply”

How Much – كَم (kam)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
كافيkāfī“Enough”
خاصَّةًḫāṣṣaẗan“Especially”
تَقريباً taqrīban “Almost”
بِكَمbikam“How much”
الكَثير al-kaṯīr “So many”
القَليلal-qalīl“So few”
حَوَالَيḥawalaī“About”

6. Prepositions – ظُروف (ẓurūf)

Time – الزَمان (al-zamān)

A Clock Showing a Quarter of an Hour

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
قَبلqabl“Before”
بَعدbaʿd“After”

Space – المَكان (al-makān)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
بِجانِبbiǧānib“Next to”
إلى اليَمينʾilā al-yamīn“To the right”
إلى اليَسار ʾilā al-yasār“To the left”
عِندَ ʿinda“At”
أَمامʾamām“In front of”
خَلف ḫalf“Behind”
تَحت taḥt“Under”
فَوْقfawq“Over”

Other – أُخرى (ʾuḫrā)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
بَيْنَbayna“Between”
بِفَضل bifaḍl“Thanks to”
رَغم raġm“Despite”
بِدون bidūn“Without”
مَعmaʿ“With”

7. Conjunctions – حُرُوفُ العَطْف (ḥuruūfu al-ʿaṭf)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
لا هَذا وَلا ذاك…lā haḏā walā ḏāk…“Neither…nor…”
وبِالتاليwabittalī“So”
غَيْرَ ذَلِكġayra ḏalik“Otherwise”
مُنذُ ذَلِك الحينmunḏu ḏalik al-ḥīn“Since (as)”
مَتىmatā“When”
لِذَلِكliḏalik“Therefore”

8. Particles – الحُروف (al-ḥurūf)

Arabic WordRomanizationEnglish Translation
مِنْ min“From”
إلى ʾilā“To”
عَنْ ʿan“From” / “About”
عَلى ʿalā“Upon” / “Over”
إلّا ʾillā“Except”
لَكِنْ lakin“However”
إنَّ ʾinna“Indeed”
أَنْ ʾan“To (do something)”
بََلى balā“Certainly”
بَلْ bal“Rather”
قَدْ qad“Might”
سَوفَ sawfa“Will”
حَتَّى ḥattā“Until”
لَمْ lam“Not”
لا “No”
لَنْ lan“Will not”
لَوْ law“If”
لَمّا lammā“Not yet”
ما “Not”
لا“Not”
إنْ ʾin“If”
ثُمَّ ṯumma“Then”
أوْ ʾaw“Or”

Conclusion

Congratulations on getting this far. Too many words to learn at once, I know. 

Do you have any techniques in mind for memorizing all of this vocabulary? 

I’ve got a few.

Try using flashcards, word lists, or mnemonics.

Lucky for you, ArabicPod101 is an Arabic learning resource that integrates each of these tools into its system. 

With ArabicPod101 (mobile app or desktop), you can save new vocabulary words in your online flashcard deck or word lists. Moreover, you get to study with content that is best for your language level, with the possibility to request a personalized learning plan from an experienced, native Arabic-speaking language expert.

You can access all of this (and more) by signing up for free on ArabicPod101.com! 

اِستَمتِع بِالتَعَلُّم!
istamtiʿ biltaʿallum!
Enjoy learning!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Arabic

The Names of Animals in Arabic (with Romanizations)

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If you study world countries, you’ll realize just how unique each one is. 

So many things are different from one country to another: the economy, language, culture, resources, size, and the list goes on. But within these differences, we can always find commonalities that bring countries closer together. It could be the way we use technology, our ethical beliefs…

It could even be something more interesting—and fun—like animals! 

Learning the names of animals in Arabic will make your conversations with native speakers much more engaging and fun. Wherever you go, people will have pets, and everyone has stories to share about their favorite animals. 

But in order to engage in these conversations, you’ll need the right vocabulary.

That’s exactly what you’ll find here! ArabicPod101 has compiled a masterlist of the essential Arabic animal words you’ll need to talk about pets, wild animals, reptiles, and more. We’ve also included a few “extras” for you at the end. 😉

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Arabic Table of Contents
  1. At Home (Pets)
  2. On the Farm (Farm Animals)
  3. In the Wild / Forest / Safari (Land Animals)
  4. In the Ocean (Aquatic / Marine Animals)
  5. Bugs and Insects
  6. Birds
  7. Reptiles & Amphibians
  8. Animal Body Parts
  9. Animal-Related Idioms and Slang Expressions
  10. Conclusion

1. At Home (Pets)

Puppy

Like in most of the world, cats and dogs are the most popular pets in Arabic-speaking countries. Many people also like to keep birds, while rats and mice are very rarely kept as pets.

In countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, wealthy people often raise exotic animals as pets (such as jaguars and lions). However, this trend is becoming less and less popular

For familiarity’s sake, here are the animal names in Arabic for the most common pets in Western countries: 

قِطqiṭcat
كَلبkalbdog
هامسترhamsterhamster
أَرنَبʾarnabrabbit
فَأرfaʾrmouse
جُرَذǧuraḏrat
خِنزير غينيḫinzīr ġīnīguinea pig
سَمَك ذَهَبيsamak ḏahabīgoldfish
بَبَّغاءbabbaġāʾparrot

2. On the Farm (Farm Animals)

Three Sheep

Farming is still big in Arab countries, where many people have to rely (partially or fully) on their own crops to eat and survive. This is because the economies in many of these countries are not very dynamic and provide few jobs. Agriculture plays a crucial role in the economies of countries like Sudan, Egypt, Morocco, and Algeria. 

Many people still rely on traditional farming methods, using animals for plowing and fertilization. The farm animals you’re used to in the West are pretty much the same as those in the Arab world.

Here’s a list of farm animals in Arabic:

بَقَرَةbaqarahcow
خِنزيرḫinzīrpig
خَروفḫarūfsheep
ماعِزmāʿizgoat
حِصانḥiṣānhorse
دَجاجَةdaǧāǧahhen
ديك روميdīk rūmīturkey
بَجَعَةbaǧaʿahgoose
بَطَّةbaṭṭahduck
ديكdīkrooster

3. In the Wild / Forest / Safari (Land Animals)

Green Forest

Following the spread of firearms, many wild mammals in Arabic-speaking countries had bounties placed upon them. This resulted in the extinction of many species, including the Atlas lion.

Atlas lions (or Barbary lions) were a lion population found in North Africa, particularly throughout the Maghreb region and in Egypt. Due to the continuous hunting of this species, it has been extinct since the late 1960s.

Still, there are plenty of wild animals that still abound in the Arab world. One can still find animals such as boars, foxes, hares, and wolves out in the wilderness.

دُبdubbear
ذِئبḏiʾbwolf
غَزالġazaldeer
أَرنَب بَرّي ʾarnab barrīhare
ثَعلَبṯaʿlabfox
قُنفُذqunfuḏhedgehog
سِنجابsinǧābsquirrel
خِنزير بَرّيḫinzīr barrīboar
قُندُس الأَرضqundus al-ʾarḍgroundhog
أَسَدʾasadlion
نَمِرnamirtiger
جاكوارǧākwarjaguar
نَمِرnamirpanther
فيلfīlelephant
زَرافَةzarāfahgiraffe
قِردqirdmonkey
غوريلاġūrīlāgorilla
كَنغَرkanġarkangaroo
كوالاkoalakoala
بانداbāndāpanda
كَسلانkaslānsloth
فُقمَةfuqmahseal
بَطريقbaṭrīqpenguin
دُب قُطبيdub quṭbīpolar bear
فَظfaẓwalrus

4. In the Ocean (Aquatic / Marine Animals)

Shark Fin

Did you know that the Arabian Peninsula is surrounded by five bodies of water? There’s the Red Sea (West), Persian Gulf (East), Gulf of Aden (Southwest), Gulf of Oman (Southeast), and the Arabian Sea/Indian Ocean (South). 

Morocco has the Atlantic Ocean (West) and the Mediterranean Sea (North), and it shares the latter with other North African countries including Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria. 

Therefore, learning the names of marine animals in Arabic may come in handy for many situations. A great example is when reading Arabic literature, as marine animals are frequently used in hypothetical descriptions.

Here’s a list of 12 aquatic animals to get you started…

سَمَكsamakfish
قِرشqiršshark
دولفينdūlfīndolphin
حوتḥūtwhale
أَسَد البَحرʾasad al-baḥrsealion
قِنديل البَحرqindīl al-baḥrjellyfish
أُخطُبوطʾuḫṭubūṭoctopus
فَرَس البَحرfaras al-baḥrseahorse
قُنفُذ البَحرqunfuḏ al-baḥrurchin
نَجم البَحرnaǧm al-baḥrstarfish
بَلَح البَحرbalaḥ al-baḥrmussel
خِيَار البَحرḫiyar al-baḥrsea cucumber

5. Bugs and Insects

Bee

If you plan on visiting an Arab country, learning the names of bugs and insects might prove useful. You never know when mosquitos in Mauritania will interrupt your sleep, or when a couple of flies will start roaming around your food in Morocco.

While there are plenty of annoying bugs to complain about, there are also beautiful insects to find in nature as you travel. Many of them are subspecies you’ve never seen before! 

Below is a list of 12 words for bugs and insects in Arabic:

نَحلَةnaḥlahbee
دَبّورdabbūrwasp
بَعوضَةbaʿūḍahmosquito
ذُبابَةḏubābahfly
عِنكَبوتʿinkabūtspider
جَرادǧarādgrasshopper
صُرصورṣurṣūrcockroach
فَراشَةfarāšahbutterfly
نَملَةnamlahant
عُثَّةʿuṯṯahmoth
حَلزونḥalzūnsnail
بُزاقbuzāqslug

6. Birds

A Magpie Perching on a Piece of Wood

Since the times of messenger pigeons, birds have been close friends with people around the world, including in the Arabian Peninsula and some of today’s Arabic-speaking countries.

الورَسnawrasseagull
غُرابġurābcrow
نِسرnisreagle
حَمامَةḥamāmahdove
بومَةbūmahowl
عُقعُقʿuqʿuqmagpie
عَصفورʿaṣfūrsparrow
طاوُوسṭāwūspeacock

7. Reptiles & Amphibians

Three Frogs

Reptiles are common around deserts in the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa, so there’s a good chance you’ll encounter a few if you visit these areas. You could even get a chance to play with snakes in Marrakech (Morocco’s cultural capital) or probably anywhere in the UAE. 

In most Arab cultures, toads (and reptiles/amphibians in general) are thought to bring bad luck. You should avoid approaching or touching such animals in the wilderness, as this is not something your Arab friends will have fun watching or joining in.

ضِفدَعḍifdaʿfrog
عَلجومʿalǧūmtoad
تِمساحtimsāḥcrocodile
سِحلِيَّةsiḥliyyahlizard
سُلحِفاةsulḥifāhturtle
سُلحِفاةُ البَحرsulḥifāẗu al-baḥrsea turtle
ثُعبانṯuʿbānsnake

8. Animal Body Parts

Several Different Animals

The next set of Arabic animal words we’ll look at are the terms for body parts. Learning these terms will allow you to share that story of the time your dog hurt its tail, or to describe the strange bird you saw on your last hiking trip. 

ذَيْلḏayltail
شَعرšaʿrhair
فِراءfirāʾfur
سِنsintooth
نابnābfang
مِخلَبmiḫlabclaw
قَرنqarnhorn
حافِرḥāfirhoof
ريشrīšfeather
جَناحǧanāḥwing
مِنقارminqārbeak
فَمfammouth
زُعنُفَةzuʿnufahfin
مِجَسmiǧastentacle
جِذعǧiḏʿtrunk
نابnābtusk
قَرن اِستِشعارqarn istišʿārantenna
رِجلriǧlleg
حَرشَفَةḥaršafahscale

9. Animal-Related Idioms and Slang Expressions

a Hyena

As promised, here are some extra animal words in Arabic for you! Below, you’ll find animal curse words and animal-related idioms that are common in Arabic-speaking countries. 

Animal Curse Words

Animal curse words exist in every language, but the animals used change from one language to another.

Did you know that the word “animal” itself is an insult in Arabic? This is in contrast to how it’s often used in American English, as a compliment to describe someone with great drive or power. 

Here are a few animal curse words in Arabic along with their romanizations and translations:

Curse WordRomanizationTranslation
جَحشǧaḥšcolt
كَلبkalbdog
حَيَوَان ḥayawaānanimal
ضَبع dabʿhyena
حِمارḥimārdonkey

Idioms

IdiomRomanizationLiteral TranslationMeaning
يَدفِنُ رَأسَهُ في التُراب كَالنَعامyadfinu raʾsahu fī al-turāb kal-naʿāmBury one’s head in the sand like an ostrichTo be in denial
يَهرَبُ كَالفأرyahrabu kal-faʾrRun away like a mouseTo be a coward
مَكّار كَالثَعلَبmakkār kal-ṯaʿlabCunning like a foxExtremely cunning (negative connotation)
يُكَرِّرُ الكَلام كَالبَبَّغاءyukarriru al-kalām kal-babbaġāʾRepeat the words like a parrotTo be a person who can’t think for themself, so they repeat whatever they hear

Conclusion

Congratulations for getting this far. You’re now armed with all the Arabic animal words you need to name every animal at the zoo. Knowing these words will also make it easier for you to read children’s stories and basic Arabic narrations, as animals play a major role in this type of literature. 

To practice your newfound knowledge, let us know in the comments what your favorite animal is in Arabic! 

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تَعَلُّماً مُمتِعاً!
taʿalluman mumtiʿan!
Happy learning!

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30+ Common Phone Phrases in Arabic to Sound Like a Native

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You may have encountered the statistic that more than 90 percent of our communication is based on body language.

While the accuracy of this number is debatable, it’s not far-fetched.

Body language and other subtle communication cues allow us to think less about what to say and make conversations easier.

But what about…the dreaded phone call? 

When you get a sudden call from a delivery guy, an unknown number, or even an old friend, you probably hesitate to pick up. Normally, the call goes smoothly—unless the caller starts talking in Arabic and you remember that you’re in an Arabic-speaking country.

That’s where learning some Arabic phone call phrases will come in handy for you.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of more than 30 phrases, with two bonus examples at the end to familiarize you with Arabic telephone conversations.

Note that the following phrases are all in MSA (Modern Standard Arabic). MSA is mostly used in official contexts, but most highly educated native speakers can understand it, and you can use it to communicate with them.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Arabic Table of Contents
  1. Picking up the Phone
  2. Saying Who You Are
  3. Stating the Reason for the Call
  4. Asking to Speak to Someone
  5. Asking Someone to Wait
  6. Leaving a Message
  7. Asking for Clarification
  8. Ending the Phone Call
  9. Sample Arabic Phone Conversations
  10. Conclusion

1. Picking up the Phone

Businesswoman Holding a Telephone

أَهلاً
ahlan
Hey

مَرحَباً
marḥaban
Hello

أَهلاً وسَهلاً
ahlan wasahlan
Hello and welcome

مَن مَعي؟
man maʿī?
Who’s with me?

For more ways to say hello in Arabic, check out our extended list of expressions here.

2. Saying Who You Are

Woman with Headphones Smiling

مَعَك (اِسم)
maʿak (ism)
This is [name].

مَعَك (اِسم) مِن شَرِكَةِ (اسم الشَرِكَة)
maʿak (ism) min šarikaẗi (ism al-šarikah)
This is [name] from [company].

3. Stating the Reason for the Call

أَنا أَتَّصِل لِأَسأَل…
ʾanā ʾattaṣil liʾasʾal…
I’m calling to ask…

أَنا أَتَّصِل لِأَتَأَكَّد مِن…
ʾanā ʾattaṣil liʾataʾakkad min…
I’m calling to confirm…

أَنا أَتَّصِل لِأَحجِز…
ʾanā ʾattaṣil liʾaḥǧiz…
I’m calling to make a reservation for…

أُريدُ أَن أَتَكَلَّمَ مَع أَحَدِهِم بِخُصوص…
ʾurīdu ʾan ʾatakallama maʿ ʾaḥadihim biḫuṣūṣ…
I’d like to speak to someone about…

أَنا أُعيدُ الاِتِّصال بِك.
ʾanā ʾuʿīdu al-ittiṣali bik.
I’m returning your call.

4. Asking to Speak to Someone

Man Holding Phone

هَل يُمكِنُ أَن أَتَحَدَّثَ مَع…؟
hal yumkinu ʾan ʾataḥaddaṯa maʿ…?
May I speak to…?

هَل (اِسم) هُنا؟
hal (ism) hunā?
Is [name] there?

5. Asking Someone to Wait

دَقيقَة، دَعني أَتَحَقَّقُ مِن ذَلِك.
daqīqah, daʿnī ʾataḥaqqaqu min ḏalik.
Just a moment, let me check.

سَأَضَعُكَ عَلى الاِنتِظار لِثانِيَة.
saʾaḍaʿuka ʿalā al-intiẓār liṯāniyah.
I’ll put you on hold for a second.

دَعني أَصِلُكَ بِمَكتَبِه، اِبقَ عَلى الخَط رَجاءً.
daʿnī ʾaṣiluka bimaktabih, ibqa ʿalā al-ḫaṭ raǧāʾan.
Let me transfer you to his office. Stay on the line, please.

6. Leaving a Message

Woman on the Phone

اَخبِرهُ مِن فَضلِك.
aḫbirhu min faḍlik.
Please let him know…

هَل يُمكِنُني أَن أَترُكَ رِسالَة؟
hal yumkinunī ʾan ʾatruka risalah?
Can I leave a message?

هَل يُمكِنُكَ أَن تُخبِرَهُ بِأَن يَتَّصِلَ بي مُجَدَّداً عَلى (رَقمِ الهاتِف)؟
hal yumkinuka ʾan tuḫbirahu biʾan yattaṣila bī muǧaddadan ʿalā (raqmi al-hātif)?
Can you tell him to call me back at [phone number]?

7. Asking for Clarification

عَفواً، هَل يُمكِنُكَ قَوْل ذَلِك مُجَدَّداً؟
ʿafwan, hal yumkinuka qawl ḏalik muǧaddadan?
Sorry, could you say that again?

صَوْتُكَ بَعيد.
ṣawtuka baʿīd.
Your voice is far.

هَل تَسمَعُني جَيِّداً؟
hal tasmaʿunī ǧayyidan?
Can you hear me clearly?

عَفواً، وَلَكِن أُواجِهُ مُشكِلَة في سَماعِك، أَظُنُّ أَنَّ هُناكَ مَشاكِل في الشَبَكَة.
ʿafwan, walakin ʾuwaǧihu muškilah fī samāʿik, ʾaẓunnu ʾanna hunāka mašākil fil-šabakah.
I’m sorry, but I’m having a problem hearing you. I think there are problems with the network.

هَل يُمكِنُكَ تَهَجّي اِسمَكَ مِن فَضلِك؟
hal yumkinuka tahaǧǧī ismaka min faḍlik?
Could you spell your name for me, please?

فَقَط لِلتَحَقُّقِ مَرَّةً ثانِيَة…
faqaṭ liltaḥaqquqi marraẗan ṯāniyah…
Just to double check…

8. Ending the Phone Call

Woman Waving and Holding Phone

هَل هُناكَ شَيءٌ آخَر تَحتاجُ المُساعَدَةَ فيه؟
hal hunāka šaīʾun ʾāḫar taḥtāǧu al-musāʿadaẗa fīh?
Any other thing I can help with?

أَيُّ خِدمَةٍ أُخرى؟
ʾayyu ḫidmaẗin ʾuḫrā?
Anything else?

لَقَد كُنتَ مُفيداً جِدّاً. شُكراً جَزيلاً.
laqad kunta mufīdan ǧiddan. šukran ǧazīlan.
You’ve been very helpful. Thank you.

أَراكَ عِندَ ماكدونالدز يَوم الثُلاثاء.
ʾarāka ʿinda mākdonaldz yawm al-ṯulāṯāʾ.
See you at McDonald’s on Tuesday.

أَتَمَنّى لَكَ يَوْماً جَميلاً.
ʾatamannā laka yawman ǧamīlan.
Have a great day.

9. Sample Arabic Phone Conversations

To give you a better idea of what a phone call in Arabic might sound like, here are two conversation examples (informal and formal contexts, respectively). 

1. Informal phone conversation

Two friends (Ahmed and Walid) are setting up a time to meet for lunch on a weekend at a local restaurant in Dubai. Here’s a short conversation they’ve had on the phone. Note that the dialogue below is in MSA, which is not used colloquially but is understood easily by native speakers.

أَحمَد: أَهلاً
وَليد: أَهلاً

ʾaḥmad: ʾahlan
walīd: ʾahlan

Ahmed: Hello.
Walid: Hello.

أَحمَد: كَيْفَ حالُك؟
وَليد: بِخَيْر. أَنا كُنتُ أَدرُسُ لِامتِحان، وَأَنتَ كَيْفَ حالُك؟

ʾaḥmad: kayfa ḥaluk?
walīd: biḫayr. ʾanā kuntu ʾadrusu liāmtiḥān, waʾanta kayfa ḥaluk?

Ahmed: How are you doing?
Walid: Good. I was studying for an exam. How about you?

أَحمَد: أَنا بِخَيْر، شُكراً. كُنت أَقرَأُ كِتاباً اليَوْم.
وَليد: حَسَناً.

ʾaḥmad: ʾanā biḫayr, šukran. kunt ʾaqraʾu kitāban al-yawm.
walīd: ḥasanan.

Ahmed: I’m good, thanks. I was reading a book today.
Walid: Nice.

أَحمَد: هَل سَتَكون في المَدينَةِ في نِهايَةِ هَذا الأُسبوع؟
وَليد: نَعَم، هَل لَدَيْكَ بَرنامَج ما؟

ʾaḥmad: hal satakūn fī al-madīnaẗi fī nihāyaẗi haḏā al-ʾusbūʿ?
walīd: naʿam, hal ladayka barnāmaǧ mā?

Ahmed: You’re in town this weekend?
Walid: Yes, you have any plans?

أَحمَد: هَل تُريدُ أَن تَخرُجَ لِوَجبَةِ الغَداء نِهايَةِ هَذا الأُسبوع؟
وَليد: أَجَل، لِمَ لا! مَتى بِالتَحديد؟

ʾaḥmad: hal turīdu ʾan taḫruǧa liwaǧbaẗi al-ġadāʾ nihāyaẗi haḏā al-ʾusbūʿ?
walīd: ʾaǧal, lima lā! matā biltaḥdīd?

Ahmed: Want to go for lunch this weekend?
Walid: Yeah, why not! When exactly?

أَحمَد: في المَساء يَوْم السَبت
وليد: هَل يُمكِنُكَ الخُروجَ في الثانِيَةِ مَساءً؟

ʾaḥmad: fī al-masāʾ yawm al-sabt
walīd: hal yumkinuka al-ḫurūǧa fī al-ṯāniyaẗi masāʾً?

Ahmed: In the afternoon on Saturday.
Walid: Can you go out at two in the afternoon?

أَحمَد: أُفَضِّلُ الساعَةَ الثالِثَة.
وَليد: يَبدو ذَلِكَ جَيِّداً.

ʾaḥmad: ʾufaḍḍilu al-sāʿaẗa al-ṯal-iṯah.
walīd: yabdū ḏalika ǧayyidan.

Ahmed: I prefer three.
Walid: Sounds good.

أَحمَد: رائِع, أَراكَ لاحِقاً!
وَليد: أَراكَ لاحِقاً، مَع السَلامَة!

ʾaḥmad: rāʾiʿ, ʾarāka lāḥiqan!
walīd: ʾarāka lāḥiqan, maʿ al-salāmah!

Ahmed: Great, see you then!
Walid: See you then, bye!

2. Formal phone conversation

After they’ve set the time and place, one of the friends calls the restaurant to reserve a table. Here’s an example of a short phone conversation for this situation:

أَحمَد: السَلامُ عَلَيْكُم.
مُوَظَّفُ الاِستِقبال: وَعَلَيْكُم السَلام – مَعَكَ مَطعَم الشارِقَة.

ʾaḥmad: al-salāmu ʿalaykum.
muwaẓẓafu al-istiqbal: waʿalaykum al-salām – maʿaka maṭʿam al-šāriqah.

Ahmed: Peace upon you!
Receptionist: May peace be upon you too, you’re speaking to Sharjah Restaurant.

أَحمَد: أَوَدُّ أَن أَحجُزَ طاوِلَة لِشَخصَيْن، مِن فَضلك.
مَوَظَّف الاِستِقبال: بِالتَأكيد، لَيْسَ لَدَيْنا أَيُّ طاوِلاتٍ مُتَبَقِّيَة اليَوْم، لَكِن يُمكِنُنا حَجزَ طاوِلَة لِلغَد.

ʾaḥmad: ʾawaddu ʾan ʾaḥǧuza ṭāwilah lišaḫṣayn, min faḍlk.
mawaẓẓaf al-istiqbal-: biltaʾkīd, laysa ladaynā ʾayyu ṭāwilātin mutabaqqiyah al-yawm, lakin yumkinunā ḥaǧza ṭāwilah lilġad.

Ahmed: I would like to reserve a table for two, please.
Receptionist: Sure, we’re out of tables today but you can make a reservation for tomorrow.

أَحمَد: في الوَاقِع، أَوَدُّ أَن أَحجُزَ طاوِلَةً لِيَوْمِ السَبت.
مُوَظَّفُ الاِستِقبال: بِالتَأكيد، في أَيِّ وَقتٍ بِالضَبط؟

ʾaḥmad: fīl-waqiʿ, ʾawaddu ʾan ʾaḥǧuza ṭāwilaẗan liyawmi al-sabt.
muwaẓẓafu al-istiqbal-: biltaʾkīd, fī ʾayyi waqtin bilḍabṭ?

Ahmed: Actually, I’d like a table for Saturday.
Receptionist: Sure. What time exactly?

أَحمَد: في الساعَة الثالِثَة عَصراً، مِن فَضلِك.
مُوَظَّفُ الاِستِقبال: حَتماً، ما اِسمُك، لَو سَمَحت؟

ʾaḥmad: fī al-sāʿah al-ṯal-iṯah ʿaṣran, min faḍlik.
muwaẓẓafu al-istiqbal: ḥatman, mā ismuk, laū samaḥt?

Ahmed: Three in the afternoon, please.
Receptionist: Sounds good. And what’s your name, please?

أَحمَد: أَحمَد عَلي.
مُوَظَّفُ الاِستِقبال: مُمتاز، أُستاذ علي. نَتَمَنّى أَن نَراكَ في نِهايَةِ الأُسبوع!

ʾaḥmad: ʾaḥmad ʿalī.
muwaẓẓafu al-istiqbal: mumtāz, ʾustāḏ ʿlī. natamannā ʾan narāka fī nihāyaẗi al-ʾusbūʿ!

Ahmed: Ahmed Ali.
Receptionist: Perfect, Mr. Ali. See you on the weekend!

10. Conclusion

تَهانينا!
tahānīnā!
Congratulations!

You now know enough to get through your next Arabic phone call.

Master a few of the sentences you’ve learned in this post, and you shouldn’t hear yourself mumbling so much during phone calls anymore. Do you feel more confident about your next all-Arabic phone call now, or are there some phrases or situations you’d still like to learn about? Let us know in the comments! 

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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! 

Want to be even more unique?

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Arabic Filler Words: Speak the Language Like a Native

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Imagine if people were like programmed robots.

No typos.

No slips of the tongue.

No blemishes.

Just plain perfection.

That would make everything pretty boring, wouldn’t it?

Filler words are one of those imperfections that make human interactions unique. 

Without further ado, let’s get right into the top Arabic filler words and how to use them.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Arabic Table of Contents
  1. What are filler words and why do we use them?
  2. The Top Arabic Filler Words
  3. Pros and Cons of Filler Words
  4. Conclusion

1. What are filler words and why do we use them?

Woman and Question Marks

Filler words (or “fillers”) are the sounds we use to let others know that we have not yet finished talking, even if we’re pausing for a few seconds. They help remove awkward stops in our speech and connect sentences without them having to make sense grammatically. Fillers are mostly meaningless when used for that purpose, despite the words themselves having a real meaning in other contexts.

While filler words may sound unnecessary, they actually play an important role in speech. This is because it’s difficult for most people to continuously hold a smooth conversation without having to stop and think about what to say next—even if just for a second or two.

Filler words are mainly used in real-life interactions, but they can also be found occasionally in emails and text messages. Some of us like to type “uh,” “actually,” or “basically” in our texts, thinking it will add meaning to the sentence or give the reader a better understanding of our tone.

While people may not agree on the necessity of using filler words, it’s undeniable that they play a great role in our speech. Most of us start using them without even noticing it.

It’s interesting to note that filler words—while still existent—are not as frequently used in languages linked to cultures that are more direct or cold. Given the warmth of most Arabic-speaking cultures, filler words are prominent players in a variety of Arabic dialects.

With that in mind, because Arabic dialects are spoken informally, they rely more on filler words than MSA (Modern Standard Arabic) does. 

We’ve categorized the fillers below based on dialect to make sure you don’t confuse anyone by using a different dialect.

2. The Top Arabic Filler Words

Before we get started on dialects, let’s first look into MSA filler words.

A- MSA (Modern Standard Arabic) Filler Words

جَميل
ǧamīl
beautiful

This filler word is used to respond to statements you don’t really have an answer for. It’s the equivalent of “cool” in English. 

Example #1

جَميل. لِنَذهَب إلى المَقهى.

ǧamīl. linaḏhab ʾilā al-maqhā.

Beautiful, let’s go to the café.

Example #2

جَميل. فَلنَلتَقي غَداً.

ǧamīl. falnaltaqī ġadan.

Beautiful, let’s meet up tomorrow.

عَفواً

ʿafwan

sorry

This filler is used to ask for repetition or to respectfully interrupt someone.

Example #1

عَفوَاً، هَل يُمكِنُكَ إعادَةُ جُملَتِكَ الأَخيرَة؟

ʿafwan, hal yumkinuka ʾiʿādaẗu ǧumlatika al-ʾaḫīrah?

Sorry, but can you repeat your last sentence?

Example #2

عَفواً، وَلَكِنَّكَ غَيَّرتَ المَوْضوع.

ʿafwan, walakinnaka ġayyarta al-mawḍūʿ.

Sorry, but you changed the subject.

B- Moroccan Arabic Filler Words

زَعما

zaʿmā

like

This is probably the most popular Moroccan filler word. It’s the equivalent of “like” in English.

Example #1

زَعما بغيت ناكل.

zaʿmā bġīt nākl.

Like, I wanna eat.

Example #2

زَعما أَتبقا هاكا كاتِهدِر.

zaʿmā ʾatbqā hākā kātihdir.

Like, you’ll just keep talking like that.

إيوا

ʾiwa

so

This is used to confront a statement or to begin a sentence.

Example #1

إيوا خَلّيه يِكلِس بوَحدو.

ʾiwa ḫallīh yiklis bwaḥdū.

So let him sit down alone.

Example #2

إيوا سكِت.

ʾiwa skit.

So shut up.

C- Levantine Arabic Filler Words

يَعني

yaʿnī

meaning

This one is the equivalent of “like” in English.

Example #1

يَعني إنتَ رَح تِجي بُكرا؟

yaʿnī ʾinta raḥ tiǧī bukrā?

Like, you’ll come tomorrow?

Example #2

يَعني أَنا ما بَدي أُخرج. 

yaʿnī ʾanā mā badī ʾuḫrǧ.

Like, I don’t wanna go out.

والله

wallah 

by God

This filler word is used to start a sentence, and the English equivalents would be “you know” or “by God.”

Example #1

والله أَنا قاعِد إستَنّا فيه.

wallah ʾanā ʾāʿid ʾistannā fīh.

You know I’m actually sitting here waiting for him.

Example #2

والله ما بَعرِف.

wallah mā baʿrif.

By God, I don’t know.

هَلّأ

hallaʾ

now

This is a popular filler in Arabic used to transition to a new sentence.

Example #1

هَلَّأ شو بَدَّك مِنّي؟

hallaʾ šū baddak minnī?

Now what do you want from me?

Example #2

هَلّأ بَدَّك تِحكي؟

hallaʾ baddak tiḥkī?

You want to talk now?

طَيِّب

ṭayyib

okay

This filler word is great for transitioning from one topic to another. 

Example #1

طَيِّب، شو رَح نسَوِّي؟

ṭayyib, šū raḥ nsawwī?

Okay, what are we going to do?

Example #2

طَيِّب، شو رَأيكُم في القانون الجديد؟

ṭayyib, šū raʾīkum fī l-qānūn l-ǧdīd?

Okay, what’s your opinion on the new law?

D- Egyptian Arabic Filler Words

حِلو

ḥelū

sweet

Example #1

حِلو، اِتَّفَقنا.

ḥelū, ettafaʾnā.

Sweet, we have a deal.

Example #2

حِلو، نروح لِلصَفحَة إللي بَعدَها.

ḥelū, nrūḥ lelṣafḥah ʾellī baʿdahā.

Sweet, we move to the next page.

أَصلاً

ʾaṣlan

anyway

Example #1

إنتَ أَصلاً عايِز تروح فين؟

ʾenta ʾaṣlan ʿāyez trūḥ fīn?

Where did you want to go, anyway?

Example #2

أَنا أَصلاً ماكُنتِش عايِز أَخرُج.

ʾanā ʾaṣlan mākonteš ʿāyez ʾaḫrog.

I didn’t want to go out anyway.

3. Pros and Cons of Filler Words

While filler words are largely meaningless, they do leave an impression of the speaker or writer on others. Using them sends messages to the subconscious mind of the listener or reader, which helps them form an opinion of you.

Below are the key pros and cons for using filler words in different day-to-day situations.

A- Pros 

You sound more natural.

Arab Men Hugging

Cutting fluff words completely (which feels impossible for most people) will make you sound very clear and straightforward. But you never want to sound like a robot. People will perceive you as out of touch or just too different if you never use fillers. 

A better approach is to minimize your usage of filler words and strike a fine balance. This will help you sound “normal” enough to other folks without sabotaging your credibility. 

You sound friendlier.

A Smiling Doctor

In our day-to-day lives, we want to be accessible to people and make them feel safe around us. 

The spontaneity that filler words add to your tone will make you sound more natural in the ears of other people, which will consequently draw them closer to you and increase your perceived level of familiarity with each other. 

B- Cons 

You’re considered hesitant.

Using fillers excessively can cause the listener to lose focus or interest, and give them the perception that you’re hesitant. This is especially true in formal environments or events like job interviews.

For example, you may have noticed a pattern in lectures where teachers lose their students’ attention as soon as they start to sound hesitant or use many filler words.

Filler words raise doubts about your statements and make them sound weaker, which ties into the next con. 

You’re perceived as having low self-confidence.

A Confident Woman

Few people are happy to hire, befriend, date, work with, or build any kind of relationship with someone who has low self-confidence. 

Using a lot of filler words can easily give the perception that you have low confidence in yourself, your ideas, and your conversation skills.

C- How to Substitute Filler Words

Steve Jobs

Here’s a cool story on the importance of substituting filler words.

In an interview, Andy Miller (who used to be one of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ co-workers) talked about how he had to take the so-called “Steve test” before he could sell his company to Apple and join the company board.

What’s interesting about this is that Steve Jobs would just stare at the interviewee for 60 seconds in total silence after the interview was supposed to start.

If that silence was broken with filler words within that one minute, Steve Jobs knew the interviewee wouldn’t be the right fit for the company and would therefore decide not to work with them. If they kept silent and only spoke when necessary, he would know that they were strong enough to work and negotiate for him.

The moral of the story is this: Filler words can simply be replaced with silence. If you don’t know what to say, just don’t say anything. Rather, use body language to keep your listener’s attention. 

4. Conclusion

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re now armed with a skill most Arabic learners don’t have: You know how to use and understand filler words. Which ones are your favorite? And what filler words do you use most in your own language?

It’s up to you now to decide if you’re for or against using filler words, and how much you would want to incorporate those in your Arabic speaking.

Feel like acquiring more skills? Want to learn some new pronouns, prepositions, verbs, sentences, or even letters? Or maybe you want to know how to introduce yourself or shop in Arabic?

Check out ArabicPod101.

Our website provides thousands of concise video, audio, and text lessons designed within the framework of a learning system that fits your needs at any level.

Give ArabicPod101 a go and enjoy the luxury of having an infinity of well-categorized learning content coupled with the most effective learning techniques.

Slowed-down audio, voice recording technology, online flashcards, and line-by-line breakdowns are a few of the features you get with a free sign-up for ArabicPod101.

And don’t just take my word for it. You can try it for yourself right now and test all the features above and more.

اِستَمتِعوا بِالتَعَلُّم!

istamteʿū bittaʿallom!

Enjoy learning!

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Arabic Love Phrases: Learn to Express Your Love in Arabic

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Imagine going to see the same movies on every single date with your partner.

Pretty boring, right?

Point is, creativity is key to every love relationship.

Bringing new things to the table is what keeps a relationship alive and as exciting as when it began.

That’s where learning expressions in your partner’s native language comes into play.

Being one of the best ways to show your acceptance, involvement, and appreciation of your partner, learning some Arabic love phrases and discovering how to express your love in Arabic can take your relationship to a whole new level.

Not only because it’s your partner’s native tongue, but also because Arabic is one of the best languages for expressing romantic feelings.

Having a hard time believing that? Check out Inez’s song My Love in Arabic, or Samira Said’s classic Youm Wara Youm

And considering that Arabic is the richest language by number of words (with more than 12 million of them), there is no end to the creativity you can employ when expressing your feelings in this beautiful language. 

Not the creative type? Unsure how to put your feelings into words that do them justice? Don’t worry; many Arabic poets throughout history have created enough love poetry to have you covered.

While we’d love to share some Arabic poetry here, this post will be dedicated to breaking down some basic phrases you can use to express love in Arabic.

The expressions below will all be in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), unless otherwise noted.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Arabic Table of Contents
  1. Confess Your Affection: Pick-Up Lines and More
  2. Fall in Deeper: “I Love You,” and More
  3. Take it One Step Further: “Will You Marry Me?” and More
  4. Endearment Terms
  5. Must-Know Love Quotes
  6. Conclusion

1. Confess Your Affection: Pick-Up Lines and More

A Boyfriend Holding His Girlfriend in a Park During Autumn

Unless it’s love at first sight, every love journey starts with friendship. But at some point, someone has to break the ice and confess their feelings. 

  • Can we go out on a date?
    هَل يُمكِنُنا الخُروجُ في مَوْعِد؟
    hal yumkinunā al-ḫurūǧu fī mawʿid?

In most Arabic-speaking cultures, romance is discreet and pretty private. We advise that you ask your partner out when it’s only you and them around. 

And because “meetup” and “date” are the same word in Arabic (مَوْعد [mawʿid]), you can elaborate by adding the word رومانسي (romansi), or “romantic,” after مَوْعِد  (mawʿid).

  • You mean so much to me. [ addressing a male ]
    أَنتَ تَعني الكَثير لي.
    ʾanta taʿnī al-kaṯīr lī.
  • You mean so much to me. [ addressing a female ]
    أَنتِ تَعنينَ الكَثير لي.
    ʾanti taʿnīna al-kaṯīr lī.

The phrases above can be used to express the care you have for your potential date. It can be a great way to transition into a romantic relationship if you’re already friends. Keep in mind that the first example is for addressing males (which is the default/neutral gender in Arabic). If you’re addressing a female, you should use the second phrase. 

  • I’ve got a crush on you.
    أَنا مُغرَمٌ بِك.
    ʾanā muġramun bik.

While the exact concept of “having a crush” doesn’t exist in Arab culture, the expression above is the nearest way to express that feeling.

  • You’re so beautiful.
    أَنتِ جَميلَةٌ جِدّاً.

This expression is mainly used for females.

  • You’re so handsome.
    أَنتَ وَسيمٌ جِدّاً.
    ʾanta wasīmun ǧiddan.

And this one is for use toward males. 

  • I think of you as more than a friend. [ addressing a male ]
    أَظُنُّ أَنَّكَ أَكثَرُ مِن مُجَرَّدِ صَديق.
    ʾaẓunnu ʾannaka ʾakṯaru min muǧarradi ṣadīq.
  • I think of you as more than a friend. [ addressing a female ]
    أَظُنُّ أَنَّكِ أَكثَرُ مِن مُجَرَّدِ صَديقة.
    ʾaẓunnu ʾannaki ʾakṯaru min muǧarradi ṣadīqh.

2. Fall in Deeper: “I Love You,” and More

An Intimate Couple at Dusk

Love is like a beautiful flower. The more you water it, the more it blossoms into something even better. That comes with an investment in your partner through encouraging actions and continuous positive affirmations. Here are a few love phrases in Arabic to keep those romantic feelings and intentions intact throughout the early stages of your relationship.

  • I love you. [ addressing a male ]
    أُحِبُّك
    ʾuḥibbuk
  • I love you. [ addressing a female ]
    أُحِبُّكِ
    ʾuḥibbuki
  • Words can’t describe my love for you.
    الكَلِماتُ لا تَقدِرُ أَن تَصِفَ حُبّي لَك.
    al-kalimātu lā taqdiru ʾan taṣifa ḥubbī lak.
  • If I know what love is, it is because of you.
    إن كُنتُ أَعرِفُ مَعنى الحُب، فَذَلِكَ بِفَضلِك.
    ʾin kuntu ʾaʿrifu maʿnā al-ḥub, faḏalika bifaḍlik.

After expressing your love and spending a long time nurturing your relationship with your partner, it’s a good idea to use more creative expressions like this:

  • You are my love.
    أَنتَ حُبّي.
    ʾanta ḥubbī.

When addressing females, anta becomes anty.

  • You are my life.
    أَنتَ عُمري.
    ʾanta ʿumrī.

This expression is perfect to use once you’ve established a strong relationship and mutual love with your partner. Make sure you don’t overuse expressions like these, though! 

3. Take it One Step Further: “Will You Marry Me?” and More

A Newly Married Couple

As beautiful as it is to love someone and to share emotions, full commitment requires a legally binding agreement between you and your partner. That’s why it’s a good idea to go all in at some point and tie the knot. Here are some common Arabic love phrases you can use to express this desire to your partner.

  • I want to be with you forever.
    أُريدُ أَن أَكونَ مَعَكَ إلى الأَبَد.
    ʾurīdu ʾan ʾakūna maʿaka ʾilā al-ʾabad.

Depending on your and your partner’s ideologies, being with each other forever may or may not mean marriage. If you plan to use this expression, make sure your partner is on the same page. For addressing a female, replace مَعَكَ (maʿaka) meaning “with you,” with the feminine form: مَعَكِ (maʿaki).

  • We were meant to be together.
    قُدِّرَ لَنا أَن نَكونَ سَوِيّاً.
    quddira lanā ʾan nakūna sawiyan.

“Destiny,” or قَدَر (qadar), is a big word in Arabic-speaking cultures. Using it will make your love phrases stronger.

  • Will you marry me? [ addressing a woman ]
    هَل تَتَزَوَّجيني؟
    hal tatazawwaǧīnī?

Marriage is very sacred in Arabic-speaking cultures. Only express this when you’re ready to fully commit to your partner. 

  • Will you be my Valentine’s date?
    هَل سَتُوَاعِدني في عيد الحُب؟
    hal satuwaʿidnī fī ʿīd al-ḥub?
  • I can’t imagine my life without you in it.
    لا أَستَطيعُ تَخَيُّلَ حَياتي مِن دونِك.
    lā ʾastaṭīʿu taḫayyula ḥaīātī min dūnik.
  • You are the one I’ve been waiting for my whole life.
    أَنتَ الشَخصُ الَّذي كُنتُ أَنتَظِرُهُ طَوَالِ حَيَاتي.
    ʾanta al-šaḫṣu allaḏī kuntu ʾantaẓiruhu ṭawali ḥayatī.

4. Endearment Terms

A Man Carrying His Girlfriend Near a Waterfall

Many couples in a long-term relationship like to address each other using endearment terms. These are unique, loving words or “pet names” used to show your partner each and every day what they mean to you. Below you’ll find several Arabic endearment terms you can use. 

  • sweetheart
    حَبيبي
    ḥabībī

This is a very common endearment term among Arabic-speaking couples, and it’s one of the most popular Arabic words in the Western world. To address a female partner, you replace حَبيبي (ḥabībī) with حَبيبَتي (ḥabībatī).

  • the light of my eyes
    نور عيني
    nūr ʿīnī
  • my heart
    قَلبي
    qalbī
  • my love
    حُبّي
    ḥubbī
  • my dear [ addressing a male ]
    عَزيزي
    ʿazīzī
  • my dear [ addressing a female ]
    عَزيزَتي
    ʿazīzatī
  • my life
    عُمري
    ʿumrī

The literal translation for عُمري (ʿumrī) is actually “my age,” but it’s used in almost all dialects to mean “my life.”

5. Must-Know Love Quotes

A Happy Couple Spending Time Outdoors Together

After establishing all the traditional means of love, it’s great to spice things up with some unique love quotes every now and then. Given its very rich collection of literature and poetry—especially from the Jahiliyyah era—Arabic is one of the best languages in which to find sweet quotes and phrases for flirting. Here are some of our favorite Arabic love quotes with their English translations:

  • For you, a thousand more times. [ addressing a male ]
    مِن أَجلِكَ أَلفُ مَرَّةٍ أُخرى.
    min ʾaǧlika ʾalfu marraẗin ʾuḫrā.

To address a female, replace أَجلِكَ (ʾaǧlika) with أَجلِكِ (ʾaǧliki).

  • You are the love of my soul. [ addressing a male ]
    أَنتَ حَبيبُ روحي.
    ʾanta ḥabību rūḥī.
  • You are the love of my soul. [ addressing a female ]
    أَنتِ حَبيبَةُ روحي.
    ʾanti ḥabībaẗu rūḥī.
  • There’s so much of you in my heart.
    ما أَكثَرُكَ في قَلبي.
    mā ʾakṯaruka fī qalbī.
  • Take care of my heart because you’re in it.
    اِحرِص عَلى قَلبي لِأَنَّكَ فيه.
    iḥriṣ ʿalā qalbī liʾannaka fīh.

Talking to a female, replace li’anaka with li’anaki.

  • Your smile is paradise.
    اِبتِسامَتُكَ هِيَ الجَنَّة.
    ibtisāmatuka hiya al-ǧannah.

When speaking to a female, replace اِبتِسامَتُكَ (ibtisāmatuka) with اِبتِسامَتُكِ (ibtisāmatuki).

  • Where there is love, there is peace.
    أَيْنَما وُجِدَ الحُب، وُجِدَ السَلام.
    ʾaynamā wuǧida al-ḥub, wuǧida al-salām.

6. Conclusion

While this blog post mainly focused on couples, many expressions can be used with your other loved ones as well. Which of these love phrases did you like the most? Are you ready to try it out on your beloved?

Now that you’re armed with numerous Arabic love phrases, you can take things up a notch and work on impressing your partner with even more love expressions.

But what’s the best way to do so? Look no further than ArabicPod101

As one of the most effective online learning systems, ArabicPod101 can take your Arabic to the next level in no time.

As soon as you sign up (no catch, no credit card), you’ll gain access to thousands of short audio and video lessons categorized by topic and proficiency level. 

The best part? ArabicPod101 incorporates the latest language learning systems within our lessons. Slowed-down audio and line-by-line breakdowns of content are two examples of the perks you get when you sign up for your account.

Remember that you can also upgrade to a Premium PLUS account, which will allow you to work 1-on-1 with your own personal teacher. He or she will be able to answer all of your questions and give you personalized feedback on your progress.

Don’t just take our word for it. Sign up now and see everything for yourself!

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Negation in Arabic: How to Say No and More

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I get it, when learning a language we always want to be positive and say Yes! to everything that comes our way. New experiences, new skills, more language practice

However, we need to learn how to say no as well. And not just that, but also how to use negative sentences.

A Woman Holding Cards with the Words Yes and No on Them

If you want to master negation in Arabic, keep reading. In this article, we’ll look at how to… 

  • …form negative sentences in Arabic (for both nominal and verbal sentences).
  • …answer yes-or-no questions correctly and politely.
  • …use other common negative expressions such as “never,” “no one,” and “nowhere.” 

Sure, sometimes saying no isn’t easy…especially for us people-pleasers. But I assure you it will be (at least from a language-learning point of view!), after you’ve read this. 

Let’s waste no more time, then. Here’s everything you need to know about forming negatives in Modern Standard Arabic!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Arabic Table of Contents
  1. What is a Negative Sentence?
  2. Negatives with Verbs
  3. Negatives without Verbs
  4. Answering “Yes-or-No” Questions
  5. Useful Negative Words and Phrases
  6. How Our Website Can Help

1. What is a Negative Sentence?

A negative sentence says that something is false or that something has not happened. In English, for example, we build negatives by adding the word “not” after a helping verb (do, have, be, etc.).

  • Dave is not happy. 
  • We did not go to work today. 

There are several different Arabic negation particles used to negate verbs. In Modern Standard Arabic, the most commonly used ones are: لا, لَمْ, لَنْ (, lam, lan).

Another thing to keep in mind when creating negative sentences in Arabic is that you’ll need to look at the type of sentence you’re negating. Is it a nominal sentence or a verbal sentence?

2. Negatives with Verbs

As we just mentioned, there are two types of sentences in Arabic. Depending on the word with which it starts, a sentence can be verbal (when it starts with a verb) or nominal (when it starts with a noun). 

A verbal (فِعْلِيَّة [fiʿliyyah]) sentence must contain at least a verb and a subject to be meaningful. For example:

أَعيشُ في مِصر.
ʾaʿīšu fī miṣr.
I live in Egypt.

Or:

يُحِبُّ هاني السَفَر.
yuḥibbu hānī al-safar.
Hany loves traveling.

Negating a sentence with a verb is quite simple: You just need to negate the verb. 

In order to perform Arabic verb negation, you just need to add the appropriate negative particle before the verb. Again, the most common Arabic negative particles are: لا, لَمْ, لَنْ (, lam, lan). 

Let’s learn how to use them!

Negatives in the Past

We use a different particle according to the tense of the verb we’re negating. The negative particle لَمْ (lam) makes a verb past tense. 

تَأكُل مَها العَشاء.
taʾkul mahā al-ʿašāʾ.
Maha eats dinner.

لَم تَأكُل مَها العَشاء.
lam taʾkul mahā al-ʿašāʾ.
Maha did not eat dinner.

Note how the tense changed from present to past even though the form of the verb didn’t change one bit. It only gained a لَمْ (lam) before it.

Two Little Girls Drinking Milk

Negatives in the Present

To negate a verb in the present tense, we can use the particle لا ().

Like the previous particle, the particle لا () does not change the verb form; it only negates the meaning when placed before it. 

أَشْرَبُ الحَلِيْب.
ʾašrabu al-ḥaliyb.
I drink the milk.

لا أَشْرَبُ الحَلِيْب.
lā ʾašrabu al-ḥaliyb.
I don’t drink the milk.

Negatives in the Future

Then we have لَنْ (lan), which makes the verb future tense.  

تَأكُل مَها العَشاء.
taʾkul mahā al-ʿašāʾ.
Maha eats dinner.

لَن تَأكُل مَها العَشاء.
lan taʾkul mahā al-ʿašāʾ.
Maha will not eat dinner.

Negatives in the Imperative

To negate the imperative form of a verb, which is used to give instructions and commands, we use the particle لا (). In this case, the verb form changes from the imperative form to the present form, conjugated according to the gender and number of the people to whom it’s directed.

اِذْهَبْ إلى الجامِعَة اليَوْم.
iḏhab ʾilā al-ǧāmiʿah al-yawm.
Go to the university today.

لا تَذْهَبْ إِلَى الجامِعَة اليَوْم.
lā taḏhab ʾiilaā al-ǧāmiʿah al-yawm.
Don’t go to the university today.

3. Negatives without Verbs

Nominal sentences (اِسْمِيَّة [ismiyyah]) are sentences that start with a noun. They usually consist of a noun, followed by either a noun, an adjective, a verb, or a prepositional phrase. Here, we’re concerned with all these combinations except for the one that contains a verb, since that one will be negated the same way that verbal sentences are negated. 

Don’t worry. You’ll need to use a different, but still simple, approach. In Modern Standard Arabic, you’ll need to insert the appropriate conjugation of ليس (laysa). 

ليس (to not be)
 EnglishStandard Arabic
SingularI am notلَستُ (lastu)
you (masc.) are notلَستَ (lasta)
you (fem.) are notلَستِ (lasti)
he is notلَيسَ (laysa)
she is notلَيسَت (laysat)
Dualwe are notلَسنا (lasna)
you are notلَستُما (lastumā)
they (masc.) are notلَيسا (laysā)
they (fem.) are notليَسَتا (laysatā)
Pluralwe are notلَسنا (lasnā)
you (masc.) are notلَستُم (lastum)
you (fem.) are notلَستُنَّ (lastunna)
they (masc.) are notلَيسوا (laysū)
they (fem.) are notلسنَ (lasna)

Here’s an example of a nominal sentence in Arabic: 

هُوَ طَوِيل.
huwa ṭawil.
He is tall.

هُوَ لَيْسَ طَويلاً.
huwa laysa ṭawīlan.
He is not tall.

A Taller Boy Standing Next to a Shorter Boy

On the other hand, Egyptian Arabic negation is quite different in this regard: You only need to insert مش (miš) between the subject and the predicate, and it doesn’t change according to number or gender, unlike in Modern Standard Arabic. Simple and easy!

أَنا لِبنانِيَّة.
ʾanā lebnāniyyah.
I am Lebanese. [f.]

أَنا مِش لِبنانِيَّة.
ʾanā meš lebnāniyyah.
I am not Lebanese. [f.]

4. Answering “Yes-or-No” Questions

There are two types of questions: open-ended and closed-ended. A closed-ended question is usually one you can answer with a “yes” or “no,” without having to give any other explanation. Let’s see how to answer these. In English, for example, we say: “Yes, I do,” or “No, I don’t.”

Logically, to answer a yes-or-no question in Arabic, we start with نَعَم (naʿam) meaning “yes” or لا () meaning “no.” In Arabic, the sentence in question is repeated again in the answer after yes or no.

 هَل ذاكَرتَ اليَوم؟
hal ḏākarta al-yawm?
Did you study today?

 . لا، لَم أُذاكِر اليَوم
lā, lam ʾuḏākir al-yawm.
No, I didn’t study today.

نَعَم، ذاكَرتُ اليَوم.
naʿam, ḏākartu al-yawm.
Yes, I studied today.

A Full Moon Over a Natural Landscape

5. Useful Negative Words and Phrases

Now that you know more about the Arabic negation system, how about we look at some commonly used expressions you’ll need to sound like a native?

Did you know, for example, that the word “never” can be translated in two different ways in Arabic, depending on the verb tense you’re using?

If you’re speaking about the past, use قَطُّ (qaṭṭ), a word that means “never,” “ever,” or “at all.”

لَمْ أَفْعَلْ ذٰلِكَ قَطّ.
lam ʾafʿal ḏٰalika qaṭṭ.
I have never done that.

If you’re speaking about the future, however, you’ll need to use another word: أَبَداً (ʾabadًan), which means “always,” “forever,” or “ever.”

لَنْ أَزُورَهُ أَبَداً.
lan ʾazūrahu ʾabadan.
.I will never visit him

Remember, قَطُّ (qaṭṭ) and أَبَداً (ʾabadًan) can only be used with the negation. 

Here are some more useful expressions to go with negative sentences: 

  • nowhere / not anywhere: لا مَكان (lā makān)
  • no one / nobody: لا أَحَد (lā ʾaḥad)
  • nothing / not anything: لا شَيء (lā šaīʾ)
  • neither…nor: لا… وَلا (lā…walā)

6. How Our Website Can Help

A Man Studying Arabic Online

If you want to learn more Arabic grammar rules and vocab, make sure you have a look at ArabicPod101.com. Here, you’ll find all the resources you need to make your language learning journey as interesting and fun as possible. 

You’ll be able to practice your listening skills with podcasts and audio lessons, expand your vocabulary with word lists and key phrases, and learn great strategies for studying Arabic more efficiently and effectively.

If you want to learn this amazing language in order to travel to an Arabic-speaking country, you cannot miss our travel Survival Course. Knowing some Arabic will help you be safe during your trip abroad, and being able to understand and communicate with the locals will make your adventures even more unforgettable… 

Of course, I hope that you’ll be able to say yes to all the invitations and offers you’ll receive… But, well, at least you now know how to say “no” correctly (from a grammatical point of view)!

And, if you’re studying Arabic for work or study reasons, make that commitment and start using our features to practice and improve every day. The content available here will keep you motivated in your Arabic studies and will help you reach your language-learning goals in no time at all!

Before you go, we’d love to hear from you. How has this article helped you? Is anything still unclear about negation in Arabic? We’ll do our best to help you out!

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Why learn Arabic? Here are 10 great reasons.

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Are you thinking of learning the Arabic language, but need a little extra motivation to get started?

Then you’re in the right place. 

Here, we’ll answer the question: “Why learn Arabic?” and present you with the top 10 reasons to learn Arabic in today’s globalized world. 

Did you know, for example, that Arabic is the official language of the Arab League? In Arabic, this is called جامِعَة الدِوَل العَرَبِيَّة‎ (ǧāmiʿat al-diwal al-ʿarabiyyah‎) and it consists of 22 countries, from North Africa to the Arabian Peninsula (called شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة‎ [šibhu al-ǧaziīraẗi al-ʿarabiyaّh]). 

For this reason, it’s an incredibly rich and complex language, a great challenge for whoever feels attracted to studying it. 

Arabic is not an easy language to learn, be warned, but this makes it all the more rewarding. Studying it will be an incredible experience that will transform you and your life in ways you cannot even imagine.

Without further ado, let’s explore the top 10 reasons why we should all learn some Arabic.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Arabic Table of Contents
  1. Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language
  2. Personal and Professional Benefits
  3. Is it Easy?
  4. The Fastest Way to Learn Arabic

1. Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language

First of all, it’s now widely accepted that there are countless benefits to learning any foreign language, and Arabic is no exception

If anything, Arabic is one of the most challenging languages you can learn. In fact, it’s classified as one of the hardest languages for English speakers in particular…but don’t let that bring you down! The more challenging a language is to learn, the more benefits it will bring you. 

Let’s have a look at the reasons why everyone should be learning a foreign language…especially a challenging one, like Arabic!

Reason 1: It changes the way you think.

A Man in Deep Thought about Something

Learning a foreign language opens your mind. 

You’ve probably heard this before, and for a reason. Basically, those who have learned a foreign language report actually changing and growing as a person in the process. 

Studying a foreign language makes you develop new skills that allow you to appreciate the world in different ways. You’ll probably acquire new tastes, and your opinions and ways of seeing and interacting with the world around you might change.

Obviously, these changes are always for the best! They will only add new nuances and layers to your current vision, making you a more interesting, approachable, and open-minded individual. 

Reason 2: It gives you access to a whole new world.

Another compelling reason why you should learn Arabic is that being able to understand a foreign language will open up an entire new world to you. You’ll be able to access Arab culture on a whole new level, getting to know and explore it not only through the translations and opinions of others, but directly from the source. 

If you’re a literature-lover, for example, reading books in their original version will be priceless. Or maybe you’re a cinema addict… You’ll be able to watch movies and actually understand the actors, and have access to so much more content than just that which is translated or subtitled. 

You love cooking? You’ll get a whole new world of recipes from 22 different countries!!

And the list goes on. Just dive into whatever interests you most and get in touch with the rich Arab culture. 

Reason 3: It can improve brain function.

Research has shown that studying a foreign language improves creativity, problem-solving skills, and multitasking abilities. But it doesn’t end there: Apparently, being bilingual can delay the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia by years.

A Brain Surrounded by Sketches of Different Thoughts

Multilingual people have also been shown to be more rational, perceptive, and aware of their surroundings. Studies are proving that knowing more than one language increases the number of neural pathways in one’s brain, which allows the brain to process information through a wider variety of channels.

So, what are you waiting for? Learning a language like Arabic will actually improve your brain health and make you more logical and creative!

2. Personal and Professional Benefits

On the other hand, learning to speak and communicate in a foreign language will also give you many concrete advantages in your everyday life. 

If you’re looking to enhance your professional profile in order to find a better job, or if you want to add a great and useful skill to your personal repertoire, learning Arabic is one of the best things you can do.  

Reason 4: Learning Arabic will open up incredible travel opportunities.

Being able to understand and speak Arabic will give you the opportunity to communicate with so many people, in so many countries! You’ll be able to travel in North Africa, the Middle East, and the Arabian Peninsula, experiencing life not as a tourist, but as a local.

We all know how important it is to connect with people while traveling, and what better way than to speak their language?

The Al Fayoum Desert Oasis in Egypt)

Knowing Arabic will really make a huge difference if you’re planning to travel in the countries where it’s spoken. Even if you can only have basic conversations, you’ll be received as a friend and will have a much more authentic experience than if you didn’t speak the language at all. 

Reason 5: There’s high professional demand for Arabic. 

Trust me, when employers see “Fluent in Arabic” on your CV, they will love it. First of all, a language like Arabic is not easy to learn and it will prove that you’re motivated and driven to learn new skills. 

Secondly, Arabic is a language in high demand, especially in business and governmental jobs, and being able to speak it will give you a competitive edge over other candidates. 

Other fields that are constantly looking for Arabic speakers include intelligence and foreign service, banking and finance, translation, journalism, and education.

Essentially, knowing how to speak Arabic will open up a lot of opportunities—it will probably help you economically, too!

A Man Drinking Coffee and Working on His Laptop

Reason 6: It can serve as a cultural bridge.

If, like most of us, you’re struggling to work toward a more connected and understanding world, knowing Arabic will be an incredible asset in your professional and everyday life. Being able to speak Arabic will allow you to use your skills as a bridge between cultures

Our society is in extreme need of people who can help others understand those who are different from them, and if you live in the West and speak Arabic you can be that missing connection—a link to make the world a more understanding and united place. 

Reason 7: It will help you better understand Islam.

If you’re interested in Islam, there’s nothing that will help you more than learning the Arabic language. This will allow you to read the Qurʾān, understand its teachings, and converse with those who know it best.

Muslims Gathered Around the Kaaba in Prayer

Islam is one of the major world religions and it plays a major role in many countries’ culture and society. Being able to understand it first-hand is essential if you plan to live and/or travel in an Arabic-speaking country. 

3. Is it Easy?

As we mentioned above, the answer is…no. 

But again, don’t let this stop you from learning Arabic! Even though it’s not an easy language to learn, or especially because of that, gaining even a basic knowledge of Arabic will be worth it. 

Being able to understand and communicate in Arabic will take some time and effort, but, if done right, it can be so much fun. It’s an investment that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Following are some more reasons to learn Arabic.

Reason 8: It will give you an edge in life.

Learning such a complex language is not for everyone, but if you’re motivated and passionate, the challenge will be worth it. 

Knowing Arabic will certainly give you an edge in all aspects of your life and it will show others your drive, making you appear sophisticated and intelligent.

Moreover, as we already mentioned, acquiring a foreign language increases your mental abilities, memory, and attention span. All these benefits will increase your confidence…and we all know that confidence is an essential quality to succeed in society nowadays. 

Reason 9: It will make it easier to learn other languages.

Once you know some Arabic, you’ll have a much easier time learning other languages which have similar vocabulary and grammar (Farsi, Persian, Turkish, Urdu, and even Hebrew!). 

And that’s not all. The skills you learn while studying Arabic will actually serve you when learning any other language. The more foreign languages you learn, the easier grasping them gets!

Reason 10: Modern technology makes it way easier.

A Woman Lying in the Grass with Headphones On

Imagine having to learn Arabic even just 50 years ago. You’d have to go get a coursebook, a grammar manual, a massive English/Arabic dictionary… And good luck finding Arabic movies and music for listening practice, or Arabic speakers with whom to practice your speaking skills!

Nowadays, things are different. Technology has made learning a language easier than ever: online courses, virtual language classes and practice, endless content in all languages. 

Learning Arabic now will be easier than it has ever been, so jump in! If not now, when?

4. The Fastest Way to Learn Arabic

And, speaking of technology, make sure you check out ArabicPod101.com for great language learning content. 

Here, you’ll find lessons for all levels, from absolute beginner to advanced and fluent, combined with all kinds of online resources: vocab lists, podcasts, dictionaries, and more. 

If your plan is to visit one of the 22 countries of the Arabic League, make sure you check out the Survival Course and special travel-related vocabulary lists. Knowing some basic Arabic during your trip will make your experience even more unforgettable!

On the other hand, if you’re in it for the long term and want to become fluent in Arabic, just make the commitment and start practicing every day with personalized features and practical language learning tips

Before you go, we would love to hear from you. Are you any closer to making a decision about Arabic, or do you still have questions or concerns? We’ll do our best to help you out!

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Tenses in the Arabic Language: All You Need to Know

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What is a verb? 

Along with nouns, verbs are the most important part of any sentence. They are the words we use to describe an action (يُغَنّي [yuġannī] – he sings), a state of being (يوجَد [yūǧad] – he exists), or an occurrence (يُطَوِّر [yuṭawwir] – he develops), and they usually agree with the subject, which is who or what performs the action described. 

Basically, every sentence needs a verb to be complete—and this is why it’s so important to get them right when learning a foreign language! This includes using the right tenses, hence this article on tenses in the Arabic language. 

A Woman in Deep Thought about Something

We’ll admit that Arabic verbs are one of the most challenging aspects of learning this beautiful and complex language, but don’t worry. In this article, we’ll have a look at the main points you need to learn in order to use Arabic verbs with no problems! 

We’ll look at the Arabic root system, which is useful for learning verbs and gaining a better understanding of the language itself. In addition, we’ll show you how to build the different verb forms and tenses using the two verb aspects in Arabic.

Don’t worry if this all sounds too complicated and grammar-heavy (it’s normal to feel that way!). We’ll explain each concept thoroughly in the following paragraphs, simplifying them as much as possible so you can grasp them quickly and put them to good use throughout your Arabic language-learning journey!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Arabic Table of Contents
  1. The Root System
  2. The Root System in Verbs
  3. The Tenses
  4. Arabic Verbs: A Summary

1. The Root System

To understand Arabic verbs, one must first look at the verb root system. Like other Semitic languages, Arabic has a complex and unusual way of building words from a basic root. In fact, most Arabic words are constructed from a three-letter (trilateral) root.

According to this system, a pattern of three letters serves as the foundation for all words in the same semantic field (i.e. related in meaning). 

Let’s take for example ‘k-t-b’ (كتب), which is a trilateral root for words that have to do with “writing“:

  • kitāb كِتَاب – “book”
  • kātib كاتِب – “writer”
  • maktab مَكتَب – “desk” or “office”
  • maktabah مَكتَبة – “library” or “bookshop”

A Tree with Many Roots

2. The Root System in Verbs

When it comes to Arabic verb roots, the most important thing to keep in mind is that each trilateral root can take up to fifteen possible verb forms. However, there are ten forms that are most common and those are what language learners usually focus on. 

One can create different verbs from these forms by adding prefixes, suffixes, and different signs to the root consonants, though all are related to the general meaning of the root. Let’s have a look at the ten different forms of the verb فعل (to do):

  • Form 1: فَعَلَ (faʿala)
    This is the basic and general meaning of the root verb.
  • Form 2: فَعَّلَ (faʿʿala) [with the doubling of the sound of the letter ع]
    The second form makes the verb transitive, with an added meaning that the action is done to someone or something. It’s built by doubling the middle letter of the root.
  • Form 3: فاعَلَ (fāʿala)
    This form also makes the verb transitive, and it also means that the action is done with someone or something else.
  • Form 4: أفْعَلَ (ʾafʿala)
    This is a causative and transitive form (requires an object).
  • Form 5: تَفَعَّلَ (tafaʿala)
    Form five is the reflexive, which means that the subject and the direct object are the same.
  • Form 6: تَفاعَلَ (tafāʿala)
    The sixth form is the reflexive or passive version of form 3.
  • Form 7: اِنْفَعَلَ (infaʿala)
    This is the passive version of form 1.
  • Form 8: اِفْتَعَلَ (iftaʿala)
    This is often a reflexive version of form 1, with different nuances. It’s the equivalent of “make up” in English, as in “make up lies.”
  • Form 9: اِفْعَلَّ (ifʿalaّ) [with the doubling of the sound of the letter ل]
    This verb form is quite rare, but it conveys the meaning of acquiring a color or a physical defect.
  • Form 10: اِسْتَفْعَلَ (istafʿala)
    This verb is generally used to mean “to consider something to be ___”

Keep in mind that the forms introduced here are in the third person past tense. This system, although complex, can be extremely helpful when learning Arabic. Understanding the system well will allow you to correctly guess the meaning of words you don’t know by recognizing their roots and structure! 

Also remember that not all forms are used as frequently, so you can first focus on the ones that are commonly used and then advance to other ones as you go on. 

Another thing: Not all verbs use all of the forms. Certain verbs are used with certain forms much more commonly than others, so it suffices to understand the meaning of the form; the rest will make sense as you study.

3. The Tenses 

Verb tenses are used to express when an action takes place. In Arabic, there are two main tenses: the past tense and the present simple. Then there’s the imperative mood, which is considered to be the third tense in Arabic grammar.

Now, let’s have a closer look at Arabic tenses and how to form them.

A Dream-like Image Featuring a Clock

A- The Present Tense

First we have the present tense. In Arabic, this tense is used to express both habitual and ongoing actions. The only way to emphasize the difference is by using adverbs like:

  • الآن (al-ʾān) – “now”
    [for ongoing actions]
  • كُلَّ يَوم (kulla yawm) – “every day”
    [for habitual actions]

For example:

أَذهَبُ إلى الجامِعَة كُلَّ يَوم.
ʾaḏhabu ʾilā al-ǧāmiʿah kulla yawm.
“I go to the university every day.”

أَتَحَدَّثُ مَع أُمي الآن.
ʾataḥaddaṯu maʿ ʾumī al-ʾān
“I am talking to my mom now.”

Have a look at the table below for an example of conjugation for the verb فَعَلَ (to do). You can form a negative of this tense by adding the prefix لا before mentioning your verb. 


Present tenseNegated present tense
أَنا (ana) – “I”أَفعَل (ʾafʿal)لا أَفعَل (la ʾafʿal)
أَنتَ (anta) – “you” masc.تَفعَل (tafʿal)لا تَفعَل (la tafʿal)
أنتِ (anti) – “you” fem.تَفعَلين (tafʿalīn)لا تَفعَلين (la tafʿalīn)
هُوَ (huwa) – “he”يَفعَل ( yafʿal)لا يَفعَل (la  yafʿal)
هِيَ (hiya) – “she”تَفعَل ( tafʿal)لا تَفعَل (la  tafʿal)
نَحنُ (naḥnu) – “we”نَفعَل (nafʿal)لا نَفعَل (la nafʿal)
أَنتُم (ʾantum) – “you” pl. masc.تَفعَلون (tafʿalūn)لا تَفعَلون (la tafʿalūn)
أَنتُما (ʾantuma) – “you” dual masc.تَفعَلان (tafʿalān)لا تَفعَلان (la tafʿalān)
(ʾantunna) أَنتُنَّ- “you” pl. fem.تَفعَلنَ (tafʿalna)لا تَفعَلنَ (la tafʿalna)
هُم (hum) – “they”يَفعَلون (yafʿalūn)لا يَفعَلون (la yafʿalūn)
هُما (huma) – “them” dual يَفعَلان (yafʿalān)لا يَفعَلان (la yafʿalān)

Adding the prefix سَـ to the beginning of the present tense form changes the verb to the future tense.

People Talking at an Arab Market

B- The Past Tense

The use of the past tense in Arabic is pretty straight-forward: just use it as you would the English simple past! In Arabic, the third person form of the past tense is the standard (or dictionary) form of a verb. This is the form you use to look a verb up in a dictionary.

    ★ ذَهَبنا إلى الإسكَندَرِيَّة في السَنَةِ الماضِيَة
    ḏahabnā ʾilā al-ʾiskandariyyah fī al-sanaẗi al-māḍiyah
    “Last year we went to Alexandria.”

To negate the Arabic past tense, you can use the prefix لم before the present tense verb, with some changes. Have a look at the table below for an example using the same verb, فَعَلَ (to do).

 Past tenseNegated past tense
أَنا (ana) – “I”فَعَلتُ (faʿaltu)لَم أَفعَل (lam ʾafʿal)
أَنتَ (anta) – “you” masc.فَعَلتَ (faʿalta)لَم تَفعَل (lam tafʿal)
أنتِ (anti) – “you” fem.فَعَلت (ifaʿalta)لَم تَفعَلي (lam tafʿalī)
هُوَ (huwa) – “he”فَعَلَ (faʿala)لَم يَفعَل (lam yafʿal)
هِيَ (hiya) – “she”(faʿalat) فَعَلَتلَم تَفعَل (lam tafʿal)
نَحنُ (naḥnu) – “we”فَعَلنا (faʿalna)لَم نَفعَل (lam nafʿal)
أَنتُم (ʾantum) – “you” pl. masc.فَعَلتُما (faʿaltuma)لَم تَفعَلوا (lam tafʿalū)
أَنتُما (ʾantuma) – “you” dual masc.فَعَلتُم (faʿaltum)لَم تَفعَلا (lam tafʿalā)
– (ʾantunna) أَنتُنَّ”you” pl. fem.فَعَلتُنَّ (faʿaltunna)لَم تَفعَلن (lam tafʿaln)
هُم (hum) – “they”فَعَلوا (faʿalu)لَم يَفعَلوا (lam yafʿalū)
هُما (huma) – “them”dualفَعَلا (faʿala)لَم يَفعَلا (lam yafʿalā)

4. Arabic Verbs: A Summary

As you’ve seen, learning how to use verbs and verb tenses in Arabic can be quite tricky, but it’s certainly one of the most important aspects of learning this beautiful and interesting language

We hope that with this short guide to Arabic verb tenses, you were able to gain some insight into how the root system works in Arabic as well as how to form and use the four main verb tenses. 

If you want to learn more about grammar, conjugations, and more while having access to some great Arabic learning material and info, visit ArabicPod101.com. Here you’ll find lessons for learners at all levels, podcasts, grammar material, word lists, dictionaries, and all the right tools you need to learn Arabic—whether you’re a beginner who wants a full course or an advanced learner who just needs to refine your skills

So what are you waiting for? Start learning and practicing Arabic with us every day, and you’ll be able to master the use of Arabic verbs in no time at all! 

Before you go, don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions about this, or if something in the article wasn’t clear. We look forward to hearing from you!

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How Long Does it Take to Learn Arabic?

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Everyone agrees: Learning a foreign language is an amazing (if hard) and fulfilling process. By learning to speak, understand others, and think in a language different from our own, not only do we add a new skill to our repertoire, but we can also change the way we see the outside world and our relationship to it.

Now for the question at hand: How long does it take to learn Arabic, and is it worth it?

Well, consider the fact that there are more than ten words for “love” in Arabic—and over 100 words for “camel”! I mean, these facts will certainly have an impact on the way you think about your love life…and about those amazing desert creatures!

A Caravan Traveling by Camel in the Desert

Learners of Arabic would all love to dedicate endless hours to studying the language and all its nuances. But, in our society, time is money and reality can be quite different.

Due to these time constraints, it makes sense to look for the fastest and easiest ways to learn a language so that we can start using it as soon as possible…maybe to find a better job, to travel, or to speak with a loved one.  

We would all like to know exactly what time commitment we’re looking at, so that we can make plans and have expectations… 

The truth is, however, that there’s no one best way to learn Arabic—and above all, there’s no set timetable for it! 

Everyone learns in a different way, and how quickly you can learn depends on a wide range of factors.

An Hourglass against a Dark Background

In this article, we’ll look at some of the factors that will affect your learning and how to learn Arabic efficiently to reach your goals as fast as possible.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Arabic Table of Contents
  1. Experience
  2. Learning Style
  3. Approach
  4. How Long Does it Take to Achieve Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Level?
  5. How Our Website Can Help

Experience

One of the most important factors that governs how long it takes to learn Arabic (or any language) is your personal experience with languages. 

The Language(s) You Speak

What is your native language? And what other foreign languages do you speak? 

Yes, this will actually make a difference in how fast you learn Arabic. If, for example, you already speak Hebrew or Amharic (which are Semitic languages, like Arabic), you’ll learn much faster than you would as a native English speaker. Also, if you speak French, it will be easier to learn Arabic dialects that borrow heavily from French, such as Moroccan Arabic and Algerian Arabic.

If, however, you’re a native speaker of any Indo-European language, you’re in no luck… Arabic is considered one of the most challenging languages to learn.

Don’t worry, though. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible, just that it’s a good challenge.

So get down to it! 

A Woman Holding Flowers in Front of Her Eyes

Your Previous Language Learning Experience

Another essential aspect to take into consideration is your previous experience in language learning. 

Have you ever studied another language before?

If you already speak a foreign language fluently, or were raised bilingual, it will probably be easier and faster for you to learn Arabic. Several studies have shown that bilinguals are able to learn a third language with more ease because they’re naturally more used to being exposed to a new language. 

Even if you’re not bilingual, having studied and learned another language might help, even if we’re just talking about high school French. Being accustomed to memorizing words and looking at different letters and symbols is a good skill that your language-learning mind will remember.  

So, the skills that you develop in one language will actually help you gain fluency in another, even if the two are completely unrelated!  

Your Previous Grammar Knowledge

One of the first steps you should take is to find out how the language works. This means knowing and understanding its structure and grammar. 

If you already have experience studying syntax and grammar, even if it was only in your native language, it will make it easier and quicker for you to study the grammar and syntax of another language. 

So, it’s always a good idea to gain some grammar foundations if you plan to start learning Arabic (or any other language).

A Woman Studying with Her Laptop and a Book in the Grass

Learning Style

The way you learn and study is another essential factor in determining how long it will take you to become fluent in Arabic. 

Your Methods

If you limit your learning and studying to a classroom setting, even if you attend every day, it will probably take you longer to feel confident using your language skills. 

Try to expose yourself to Arabic outside the classroom and you’ll substantially reduce the time you need to learn it! 

Try reading the news, watching movies and series in Arabic, or listening to Arabic podcasts about topics that interest you. Of course, finding a language-exchange partner to practice your conversation skills with will also be very useful and make you fluent faster! 

Your Time

There’s another aspect we haven’t yet mentioned, but it’s the most important one when determining how long it takes to learn Arabic: the time you spend studying it!

If you want to learn fast, it goes without saying that you’ll need to dedicate as much time as you can to studying.

Daily practice is an ideal setup, and research has proven that learners who can dedicate an hour a day to learning—whether memorizing new words, studying grammar rules, or watching a series on Netflix—learn significantly faster than those who only attend classes.

A Woman Watching a Funny Movie on Netflix

And of course, if it’s an option for you, full immersion is best. If you can travel to an Arabic-speaking country and live there for a short (or long) period of time, that will make a big difference!

Approach

Another key factor that will determine how fast you learn Arabic is your approach. It can really make a huge difference!  

Your Motivation

It’s no secret that staying motivated is essential for learning any new skills, and this is all the more true for foreign languages.

Why do you want to learn Arabic?

Try to have this clear in your mind and, for maximum efficiency, set weekly (or even daily) goals that remind you of it. This will help you stay motivated so that your interest in learning does not fade. 

Your Attitude

Keeping your motivation up will help you feel like you’re learning more easily and quickly, and it will be essential for maintaining a positive attitude during your language learning journey! 

To see learning as a fun and interesting activity that you’re choosing to do, rather than a chore you’re forced to do, is key. 

Remember: Learning a foreign language will open your mind and your horizons, and give you a great set of skills you’ll be able to use in your day-to-day life. 

When you think about it this way, the process will be more enjoyable and much quicker! 

How Long Does it Take to Achieve Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Level?

So, let’s get to the point. 

Even if it’s hard to say for sure, we’ve tried to make an estimate as to how long it might take you to reach different levels of Arabic (beginner, intermediate, and advanced).

For English speakers, Arabic may be one of the most difficult languages to learn, but that makes it all the more exciting and rewarding!

A Man Studying Late at Night

Beginner

A beginner speaker of a language will be able to introduce themselves, understand simple sentences when spoken slowly and carefully, and ask basic questions (probably making some mistakes along the way). 

If you just want to be able to greet people and order a meal, you can get by with the basic reading and speaking skills you gained achieving this level. 

FSI learning timeline findings estimate that, to achieve the beginner level in Arabic, you’ll need approximately 700 hours of study. This means that if you dedicate about 15-20 hours a week to learning Arabic, you’ll achieve this level in about 8 months.

Intermediate

At the intermediate level, you’ll be able to engage in most everyday conversations (if spoken slowly) and ask questions as needed to make sure you understand. This level will also allow you to read the news and watch videos in Arabic without major problems. If you’re traveling, you’ll be able to have interactions with the locals about familiar subjects, as well as ask for and follow directions.

To reach an intermediate level, it’s estimated you’ll need 1000-1200 hours of study time (including classes, homework, and practice time). 

If you’re serious about learning Arabic fast and are motivated, you can do this in about a year by dedicating at least 20 hours a week to studying.

Advanced

If you want to achieve fluency, this is what you’re aiming for. With advanced language skills, you’ll be able to navigate any kind of situation that may arise in your daily life and have complex conversations with native speakers

You’ll be able to watch films without subtitles and read all kinds of books in Arabic. You’ll basically be fluent (even if there will always be something more to learn about this intricate and beautifully complex language).

It’s estimated that for an English speaker to learn Arabic properly, at least 2200 hours of Arabic classes are required. This means that, if you want to speak Arabic fluently in a year, you’ll need to study it full-time.

If you’re not in a rush, you can learn the language in about two years with around 20 hours a week dedicated to studying and practicing.

That said, all these timeframes are estimates and one’s language learning progress really depends on many different factors.

How Our Website Can Help

What are you waiting for? The best time to start learning a new language is now! 

The sooner you start learning, the faster you’ll start speaking Arabic and achieve your language goals!

On ArabicPod101.com, you’ll find all kinds of language learning content to make your journey smooth and easy to navigate: lessons for all levels, vocabulary lists, a dictionary, blog posts, etc.

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How long it takes to learn Arabic mainly depends on how much time you’re willing to dedicate to it. 

Our Arabic courses and resources are specifically designed to offer you all the right tools to learn the language as quickly and easily as possible, so you can know that you’re spending your precious time well!

Whether you’re a beginner looking for a full-immersion approach or an advanced speaker who just wants to refine your skills, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for here.

Before you go, let us know in the comments if this article helped you. Do you feel more prepared now to take on the challenge of learning Arabic? We look forward to hearing your thoughts! 

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