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9 Most Important Grammar Rules in the Arabic Language

9 Most Important Grammar Rules in the Arabic Language

Grammar could be the least favorite part of learning a language. And with the Arabic language reputation of being difficult to learn, the process can be tricky and intimidating .

However, if you get the main rules of Arabic grammar, it can be your key to understanding the nature of this language and gradually grasping it and actually enjoying it. So, here are some grammar rules to remember in the Arabic language.

1. The definite article of the Arabic language is (ال) pronounced (al). It’s the equivalent of “The” in the English language. Unlike other languages, the Arabic definite article is the same for singular nouns, plural,dual, masculine or feminine. Examples:

The man الرَّجُل audio
The woman المَرْأة audio
The engineers المُهَنْدِسون audio
The two girls البِنْتان audio
The two boys الوَلَدان audio
The book الكِتاب audio

2. The words’ endings can help you to identify its gender.

Most of the feminine words have three specific endings which can help you to identify them easily.

Table طاوِلة audio ة1
Laila “name” لَيْلَى audio ى2
Sky سَماء audio اء3

  • Keep in mind that there are feminine words that don’t end with these letters and there are masculine words that end with them but they’re fewer.

3. Dual in arabic is so easy

Beside singular and plural, the Arabic language has a dual form. You create it by adding “ان” or “يْن” to the masculine singular word and “تان” or “تَيْن” to the feminine singular word. Actually, the “ت” is added in the place of the “ة”. Examples:

One man \ Two men رَجُلان \ رَجُلَيْن audio
One woman \ Two women امْرأتان \ امْرأتَيْن audio

4. Subject pronouns are optional

Since the verb is already conjugated with a definite pronoun so, it’s clear and understandable which person we’re referring to. Examples:

(we) went to the park. ذهبنا إلى الحديقة. (نحن) audio
Do you (feminine) study arabic? هل تدرسينَ اللغة العربية؟ (أنتِ)audio
(they) will travel tomorrow. سيسافرون غدًا. (هُم) audio

5. Great News! There are no silent letters in Arabic, which means that you pronounce the letters as they are in the word, for example the word audio دَرْسٌ you pronounce all the three letters of the word.

Note: despite not having any silent letters in Arabic, the “ل ” in the definite article “ ال ” is sometimes not pronounced, in this case we call it “lam shamsiyyah” and when it’s normally pronounced we call it “ lam qamariyyah”. Depending on which letter comes after the definite article you can know whether or not you should pronounce the “ل”.

Letters after audio “لام قمرية” Letters after audio “لام شمسية”
audio أ، ب، ج، ح، خ، ع، غ، ف، ق، ك، م، هـ، و، يaudio ت، ث، د، ذ، ر، ز، س، ش، ص، ض، ط، ظ، ل، ن


  • The “ل” in the word “المَدْرسة” is pronounced audio , while the one in the word “الدَّرْس” is not audio .
More examples:

The boy The sky The sun الطِّفْل السَّماء الشَّمْس audio اللام الشمسية
The door The newspaper The book الباب الجريدة الكتاب audio اللام القمرية

  • Also, there is an “ا” called “ألِف الوصل” that’s pronounced when you begin the the word with it and skipped when it’s in the middle of the sentence.

My exam is tomorrow. اِمْتِحاني غدًا.
My exam was easy. كانَ امْتِحاني سهلًا.

6. The future tense doesn’t have different conjugations.

Instead, we use the same conjugations of the present adding just one letter “س” or one word “سَوْفَ” to the beginning of the verb. Examples:

I will travel next month. سَأسافر الشَّهْر القادِم. audio
We will meet after the exams. سَوْفَ نتقابل بعد الامتحانات. audio

7. The verb at the beginning of the sentence is always singular regardless of the number or gender of the subject in the case of a verbal sentence.

The boy helped his father. Singular subject ساعَدَ الولدُ أباه. audio
The two boys helped their father. Masculine dual ساعَدَ الولدان أباهما. audio
The two girls helped their father. Feminine dual ساعَدَت البنتان أباهُما. audio
The boys helped their father. Masculine plural ساعدَ الأولادُ أباهُم. audio
The girls helped their father. Feminine plural ساعدت البنات أباهُنَّ. audio

8. Verb to be does not appear at all in the present time frame in the Arabic language.

English sentences that are expressed using “verb to be” are often translated into nominal sentences in Arabic, e.g. “I am a student” is translated into (أنا طالب); and “she is young” is translated into (هي صغيرة). When talking about the past or the future, verb to be must appears in the sentence, e.g. “I was a student” is translated into (كنت طالبًا); and “she was young” is translated into (كانت صغيرة).

9. Arabic words are connected

In Arabic there’s a system called “roots”, the Arabic root refers to a three or four consonant base-word which represents a core meaning or concept. Most roots in Arabic are made up of three consonants. A large number of words can be derived from each root, which makes it much easier for learners to memorize and conclude words.


ك - ت - ب
He wrote كَتَبَ audio
He writes يَكْتُبُ audio
Write!  اُكْتُب audio
Writer  كَاتِب audio
Written  مَكْتوب audio
Writing  كِتابة audio
Office\ desk مَكْتَب audio
Library مَكْتَبة audio

Finally, mastering Arabic grammar is absolutely doable and it really pays off. Don’t forget to check more grammar lessons here and take a look at Ahlan’s online classes.

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