Lesson 13 - الدَّرْسُ الثَّالِثَ عَشَرَ


  • We are still in lesson thirteen of our free Arabic language course. This Arabic course with images and audios will help you learn Arabic.
  • In this section, we will learn the plural form of Arabic nouns and Arabic adjectives In-Shā’-Allâh (God willing).
  • In English, adjectives have no plural form. So when an adjective is used to describe a singular noun, the same word is used to describe the plural noun e.g., if we say "Good boy" for a singular noun then in the same manner we say "Good boys" for the plural nouns.
  • In Arabic however even the adjectives have plural form, e.g., when we express the quality of a teacher by saying مُدَرِّسٌ جَيِّدٌ (A good teacher), it will become  مُدَرِّسُونَ جَيِّدُونَi.e., Good teachers for the plural nouns. So the noun as well as the adjective becomes plural and both change form.
  • English and Arabic both have two kinds of plural:
    • Sound Plurals
    • Broken Plurals
  • The Sound Plural is the plural form of a word in which the word keeps its original form and is simply extended:
    • E.g., For English Nouns
      • Chair  ======> Chairs
      • School ======> Schools
      • Girl ======> Girls
    • For Arabic Nouns and Adjectives:

صَائِمٌ ====== صَائِمُونَ

People fasting ========== A person fasting

مُدَرِّسَةٌ ====== مُدَرِّسَاتٌ

Female teachers ========== A female teacher

مُجْتَهِدٌ ====== مُجْتَهِدُونَ

Hard workers ========== A hard worker

صَغِيرَةٌ ====== صَغِيرَاتٌ

Small things (feminine) ========== A small thing (feminine)

  • In Arabic, the sound plural is either masculine or feminine. In order to convert a singular masculine noun or adjective to plural the following steps should be taken:
  • The /tanwīn/ on the last letter of the indefinite word is replaced with the single vowel of the equivalent - i.e. single /đammah/ (when in nominative case), single /fatħah/ (when in accusative case) and single /kasrah/ (when in genitive case)
  • ونَ is added at the end of the word if it is in nominative case with a /đammah/ and ينَ is added if the word is in accusative with a /fatħah/ or genitive case with a /kasrah/.
  • However if the word is definite, then simply ونَ  is added at the end of the word if it is in nominative case and ينَ  is added if the word is in accusative or genitive case. Please see below - please take note of the colour coding to emphasise the changed and additional letters to make the words into sound plurals:

هَذَا صَائِمٌ ====== هَؤُلاءِ صَائِمُونَ

These are fasting ========== This is fasting

رَأَيْتُ مُدَرِّسًا ====== رَأَيْتُ مُدَرِّسِينَ

I saw teachers ========== I saw a teacher

أَنَا مَعَ مُسْلِمٍ ====== أَنَا مَعَ مُسْلِمِينَ

I am with Muslims ========== I am with a Muslim

الْمُهَنْدِسُ ====== الْمُهَنْدِسُونَ

The engineers ========== The engineer

مُحَمَّدٌ مَعَ الْفَلاحِ ===== مُحَمَّدٌ مَعَ الْفَلاحِينَ

Muhammad is with the farmers ===== Muhammad is with the farmer

زُرْتُ الْمُهَنْدِسَ ====== زُرْتُ الْمُهَنْدِسِينَ

I visited the engineers ========== I visited the engineer

  • Let’s take some examples to understand this rule:




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This is a Muslim

هَذَا مُسْلِمٌ.

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These are Muslims

هَؤُلاءِ مُسْلِمُونَ.

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I saw an inspector

رَأَيْتُ مُفَتِّشًا.

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I saw inspectors

رَأَيْتُ مُفَتِّشِينَ.

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He is with a supervisor

هُوَ مَعَ مُوَجِّهٍ.

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He is with supervisors

هُوَ مَعَ مُوَجِّهِينَ.

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The person who fasts


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The people who fast


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I saw the teacher

رَأَيْتُ الْمُدَرِّسَ.

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I saw the teachers

رَأَيْتُ الْمُدَرِّسِينَ.

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I am with the instructor

أَنَا مَعَ الْمُعَلِّمِ.

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I am with the instructors

أَنَا مَعَ الْمُعَلِّمِينَ.