Using an Arabic Dictionary Part III

Calligraphy 3

The previous posts on this topic (Part 1 Part 2) focused mostly on verbs. Here some basic guidelines on what to do when trying to figure out the root letters of nouns will be given.

1) In Arabic, words could be masculine or feminine.  Usually a singular feminine word has a ‘taa marbutah‘ (ة) to indicate that it is feminine. So when determining the root letters, it is dropped.

Eg. معلمة

2) Words could also be dual or plural. If it is dual, then ‘aani’ (آن) [or ‘aini’ (ين)]  would be added to the word; and if plural then ‘oona’ (ون) [or ‘eena’ (ين)] would be added. That is for masculine words. If feminine plural then ‘aat’ (آت) would be added. So those letters have to be dropped to arrive at the root letters. This is disregarding broken plurals which do not follow any set pattern – they just have to be learned.

Eg. مسلمان | مسلمون | مسلمات

3)  A lot of nouns start with the letter meem, and when this is so, then that ought to be dropped. (Note: this isn’t always true!)

Eg. مكتب | مفتاح | محدث | محسن | ملعب

4) Usually you would drop the following letters in nouns: alif, waw and yaa i.e. the madds or elongated vowels. The key word here is usually.

Eg.  كاتب | عليم | شكور |  مشاركة | لباس

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One Response to Using an Arabic Dictionary Part III

  1. Nisaa says:

    Jazakallahu khair! I actually understand too. ^_^

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