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Lesson Transcript

May: مرحبا, اسمي مي.
Danya: و أنا دانيا.
Timothy: Timothy here! Beginner, Lesson 12 - How much does it cost? أهلاً بكم, hello, everybody and welcome to ArabicPod101.com. Today, we are joined by Danya and May.
Danya: أهلاً أنا دانيا. Hi. I'm Danya.
May: مرحباً أنا مي. Hello. I'm May.
Timothy: What did we cover last time?
May: Last time, we learned numbers and how to ask for a telephone number.
Timothy: Okay, let's review.
Danya: ما رقم تليفونك؟
May: خمسة أربع ثلاثة إثنان ستة سبعة تسعة.
Timothy: 543 2679. Is that really your phone number?
May: No. It's just a random number. Don't call it. I wouldn't want some random person to get upset.
Timothy: Okay. What are we going to cover today?
May: Today, we're going to talk about the grammatical number system in Arabic.
Danya: That means we're going to talk about singular, plural and a dual.
Timothy: Make sure you stop by ArabicPod101.com and pick up the accompanying PDF. There you'll find a detailed write up of today's grammar point with lots of examples. Let's get into today's conversation.
May: Lema is trying to buy some pastries at an outdoor market in Jordan.
Danya: The price for the food is a bit high. So Lema is going to try to ask for a lower price.
May: This is a polite, casual conversation in standard Arabic.
Timothy: We'll focus on singular, dual and plural forms.

Lesson conversation

لمى: كم سعر هذا؟
البائع: ثلاثة دننانير.
لمى: هذا غال جدا. دينار واحد.
البائع: هذا رخيص جدا. ديناران.
لمى: حسنا. اتفقنا إذن.
Eric: One more time with the translation.
مرة ثانية مع الترجمة.
لمى: كم سعر هذا؟
Timothy: How much does it cost?
البائع: ثلاثة دننانير.
Timothy: 3 dinars.
لمى: هذا غال جدا. دينار واحد.
Timothy: That's too expensive. 1 dinar.
البائع: هذا رخيص جدا. ديناران.
Timothy: That's too cheap. 2 dinars.
لمى: حسنا. اتفقنا إذن.
Timothy: Okay. We agree then.
Timothy: That's some shrewd haggling there, reduced by 33%.
May: You calculated that all by yourself did you?
Danya: Yeah.
Timothy: Yeah.
Danya: Well it's very common to see people bargaining at marketplaces, but if you're at, for example, designer store or an international franchise where the prices are already set, you can't really bargain at those places. Most of the time, people bargain at local markets, local stores and places like that.
May: I'm good at bargaining.
Timothy: Really, do you have any examples?
May: Yeah like if they tell you 20 dinars, you should cut it in half and say 10.
Timothy: Immediately.
May: Immediately because they… actually they raise their prices because they know that you're going to bargain. So just start with half of the amount that they tell you and then you're getting the middle which is the fair price.
Timothy: Nice.
Danya: I go two or five less than.
May: Go in half, and trust me they're good.
Danya: But the half doesn't always work right away. It depends on what you're buying.
May: Yeah, that too.
Timothy: Wow. A friend of mind told me that she had bought some dishes and she had haggled the price down a little bit, but then the next week, she's found them at another store for like one-fourth of the price.
May: Cheaper, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Danya: Yeah, yeah.
Timothy: And she was so upset.
Danya: Well sometimes what you do is you ask how much it is at one place. So sometimes…
May: Oh, I know what you're saying.
Danya: So basically you lie. So you go to one store and you're like, I found this item at the other guy for this much price, will you give it for me for cheaper?
May: They would.
Timothy: That's true.
Danya: They will. But I mean sometimes it's unfair. They raise their prices too.
May: Yeah.
Timothy: Right.
May: Because they know people there are just born at bargaining.
Danya: Everyone bargains even for the silliest things, people bargain.
Timothy: Like what?
May: I didn't use till I visited … like I heard people bargain and they would get stuff really cheap and so you would have to learn them.
Danya: I think people grow up learning how to bargain from their mothers, moms basically.
May: Yeah.
Danya: And I think I'm sure I put that up for my mom, but it works. It works really well.
Timothy: All right.
May: You should use it in Egypt.
Timothy: In Egypt.
May: Oh my god.
Danya: Even in Syria, it's like that.
May: Yeah.
Danya: And everywhere I've seen people bargain over the silliest things and they get away with it.
Timothy: Okay. So when you go to a Middle Eastern country and you visit a السوق, don't be afraid to start trying to bring the price down.
Danya: Yeah, it's sort of expected too.
Timothy: Yeah.
Danya: So don't worry.
Timothy: All right. Let's go on with the vocab. First word.
Danya: كم [natural native speed]
Timothy: How much.
Danya: كم [slowly - broken down by syllable]. كم [natural native speed]
Timothy: Okay, let's hear some examples.
May: هل تعلمين كم أحبك؟
Timothy: Do you know how much I love you? That's a good phrase. I can use that with my wife. Let's hear another one.
Danya: كم من الوقت سيأخذ؟
Timothy: How much time will it take? All right, next.
Danya: كم سعره؟
Timothy: That's how we used it today, what's it cost? Okay, next word?
Danya: دينار [natural native speed]
Timothy: Dinar.
Danya: دينار [slowly - broken down by syllable]. دينار [natural native speed]
Timothy: So the dinar is a currency in which countries?
Danya: In Jordan and Kuwait and Iraq as far as I know.
Timothy: Okay, what about Syria?
Danya: They use Syrian pounds and in Lebanon and Egypt as well they use pounds.
Timothy: Okay, but those are Lebanese pounds and Egyptian pounds.
Danya: Right.
Timothy: Kind of like the US dollar and Canadian dollar.
Danya: Exactly.
Timothy: Okay, what about Morocco or Emirates?
Danya: Morocco and Emirates used a درهم.
Timothy: Okay, what about Saudi?
Danya: They use reals and they also use it in Yemen and Qatar and Oman.
Timothy: Okay.
Danya: So all those countries use reals.
Timothy: Right. So we have the singular form dinar. We also heard the dual form in this conversation.
May: ديناران [natural native speed]
Timothy: Two dinars..
May: ديناران [slowly - broken down by syllable]. ديناران [natural native speed]
Timothy: Okay and the plural form.
Danya: دنانير [natural native speed]
Timothy: Dinars.
Danya: دنانير [slowly - broken down by syllable]. دنانير [natural native speed]
Timothy: Okay, what's the next word?
May: غالِِ [natural native speed]
Timothy: Expensive.
May: غالِِ [slowly - broken down by syllable]. غالِِ [natural native speed]
Timothy: What did you say غالٍ instead of غالي?
May: It's just the difference between a definite noun phrase and an indefinite noun phrase.
Timothy: Okay, can we get an example?
May: هذا كتاب غالٍ
Timothy: This is an expensive book.
May: هل هذا هو الكتاب الغالي؟
Timothy: Is this the expensive book?
May: هذا الكتاب هو الغالي.
Timothy: Yes, this book is the expensive one. So عالٍis for indefinite and غالي is for definite.
Danya: Yes.
Timothy: Now, we have the opposite of غالٍ.
Danya: رخيص [natural native speed]
Timothy: Cheap.
Danya: رخيص [slowly - broken down by syllable]. رخيص [natural native speed]
Timothy: So this word is used to mean inexpensive in price or poor in quality.
May: هذا الكتاب رخيص.
Timothy: This book is cheap.
Danya: Now of course that's a masculine form of the word. Remember that to get the feminine form, we add the A sound. رخيصة.
Timothy: Okay, so that was made with تاء مربوطة on the end. Can we get an example?
Danya: هذه البطاقات رخيصة.
Timothy: These tickets are cheap. All right, what's the next word?
May: حسنا [natural native speed]
Timothy: OK.
May: حسنا [slowly - broken down by syllable]. حسنا [natural native speed]
Timothy: This word sounds a lot like أحسن, the best or better than.
May: Well yes. They all share the same root, so you're right.
Danya: So this word is used to mean okay or as an agreement to something.
May: حسناً, أنا ذاهبة الآن.
Timothy: Okay, I'm leaving now.
Danya: Are you.
Timothy: Soon.
Danya: Notice the end of the word, حسناً has the نون sound. This sound is actually called تنوين which is a double voweling at the end of words.
Timothy: So a double ضمة, فتحة or كسرة at the end of the word makes an N sound at the end of the word even if there's not a نون written at the end.
Danya: Right. Now, we don't always have to pronounce the تنوين, but for certain words like حسناً it always has a فتحة تنوين just like جداً. It doesn't matter where it comes in the sentence.
Timothy: You're always going to pronounce the N sound at the end. What's the next word?
May: إتفقنا [natural native speed]
Timothy: We have agreed.
May: إتفقنا [slowly - broken down by syllable]. إتفقنا [natural native speed]
Timothy: This conjugation is a little weird for me. Usually to say we do something, the verb starts with نا, but this one ends with it.
May: That's because it's الماضي, it's in the past tense.
Danya: We'll cover the past tense conjugations in detail in the later lesson.
Timothy: So for now, let's just take اتفقنا as an isolated phrase.
Danya: You can also pay attention to the نا at the end of the word which says we did something. And if the نا is at the beginning, then it says we are doing something.
Timothy: So the present for we agree is نتفق?
Danya: Right, نتفق.
Timothy: And that's a ق at the end.
Danya: That's a ق at the end.
Timothy: You have to make sure that you are using the back of your tongue on the soft part of the top of your mouth.
Danya: Exactly.
Timothy: Right ق versus ك. Okay, what's the next word.
Danya: إذن [natural native speed]
Timothy: Then.
Danya: إذن [slowly - broken down by syllable]. إذن [natural native speed]
Timothy: How is this word used?
May: إذن لنذهب إلى السوق.
Timothy: Then let's go to the store. Okay, so another way that we use then in English is إذن if then constructions like if I had million dollars, then I would buy an island.
Danya: But to say that in Arabic you would use the word إذا instead of إذن.
Timothy: So in Arabic we just used a different word. Okay, another way that we use then in English is to say, first I went to the beach, and then I went to the store and then I went…
Danya: You would use the word ثُمَّ.
Timothy: Okay. So again إذن is not used for that case either.
Danya: No.
Timothy: No. إذن is just for a sort of a conclusion, just…
Danya: Right, for conclusion, you want to conclude something and say, "Okay then."
Timothy: حسناً, إذن.
Danya: Right.
Timothy: And our last word?
Danya: البائع [natural native speed]
Timothy: The seller.
Danya: البائع [slowly - broken down by syllable]. البائع [natural native speed]
Timothy: So who would we consider البائع?
May: The salesman, like the guy selling you the car at the car lot?
Timothy: Okay, what about the clerk at the checkout counter in the grocery store?
May: Yeah, we would still call him a البائع.
Timothy: Okay, so anyone selling something. Is there a feminine form?
Danya: البائعة [natural native speed]
Timothy: The seller (fem.).
Danya: البائعة [slowly - broken down by syllable]. البائعة [natural native speed]
Timothy: So you sort of prolong that ع sound a little bit until your throat loosens up, that's how you get from the عَ to the أ.

Lesson focus

Timothy: Let's move on to today's grammar point. Today's grammar point is the grammatical number system in Arabic. In English, we have different word for singular and plural. For example, a house, three houses. Arabic also has separate words for singular and plural, بيت and بيوت. But Arabic also has a dual form for talking about exactly two objects, بيتان, two houses.
May: The dual form is really easy to make. All you have to do is add ان to the end.
Danya: Sometimes you add ين depending on the grammatical role of the word.
Timothy: But we'll cover that in another lesson. For now, let's just give some examples of singular, dual and plural.
May: دينار, ديناران, ثلاثة دنانير
Timothy: One dinar, two dinars, three dinars.
Danya: بيت, بيتان, ثلالثة بيوت.
Timothy: One house, two houses, three houses.
May: صديق, صديقان, ثلالثة أصدقاء.
Timothy: One friend, two friends, three friends.
May: صديقة, صديقتان, ثلاثة صديقات.
Timothy: One female friend, two female friends, three female friends. Okay, the dual seems pretty easy to form, but the plural is a bit more tricky.
May: There are some general guidelines that sometimes work. Like in English, you just add an S or a Z sound to the end like cat, cats, dog, dogs.
Danya: So for feminine words that end with a تاء مربوطة, you just replace the final A sound with an ات.
Timothy: For example.
Danya: معلمة, معلمتان, ثلاثة معلمات.
Timothy: One female teacher, two female teachers, three female teachers.
May: And for many masculine words you just add a long و to the end.
Timothy: Okay, as in معلم.
May: Yes, معلم, معلمان, ثلاثة معلمون.
Timothy: One teacher, two teachers, three teachers.
Danya: But most words are unpredictable.
Timothy: Kind of like child and children, tooth and teeth, person and people.
Danya: Right. You'll just have to learn them as you come across them.
Timothy: Okay. There are some common patterns though. So what I did while studying was I would group all the words together that have the same plural pattern.
Danya: I think that's a good way to learn words in Arabic.
May: Yeah, you're right.


Timothy: That's just about wraps things up for today. Don't forget to stop by ArabicPod101.com and leave us a comment. Ask us questions about Arabic or vocabulary or grammar and we'll be happy to respond. Until next time.
May: إلى اللقاء.
Danya: مع السلامة.

Review Track