The Info List - Egyptian Arabic

--- Advertisement ---

alphabet Latin

Language codes

ISO 639-3 arz

Glottolog egyp1253[2]

This article contains IPA
phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode
characters. For an introductory guide on IPA
symbols, see Help:IPA.

This article contains Arabic
text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols.

Egyptian Arabic, locally known as the Egyptian colloquial language or Masri, also spelled Masry, meaning simply "Egyptian", is spoken by most contemporary Egyptians. Egyptian is a North African
North African
dialect of the Arabic language
Arabic language
which is a Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. It originated in the Nile Delta
Nile Delta
in Lower Egypt
around the capital Cairo. Egyptian Arabic
evolved from the Quranic Arabic
which was brought to Egypt during the seventh-century AD Muslim conquest that aimed to spread the Islamic faith among the Egyptians. Egyptian Arabic
is very highly influenced by the Egyptian Coptic language
Coptic language
which was the native language of the Egyptians
prior to muslim conquest,[3][4][5] and later it had small influences by other languages such as French, Italian, Greek[6], Turkish and English. The 94 million Egyptians
speak a continuum of dialects, among which Cairene is the most prominent. It is also understood across most of the Arabic-speaking countries due to the predominance of Egyptian influence on the region as well as Egyptian media including Egyptian cinema
Egyptian cinema
which has had a big influence in the MENA region for more than a century along with the Egyptian music industry, making it the most widely spoken and one of the most widely studied varieties of Arabic.[7] While it is essentially a spoken language, it is encountered in written form in novels, plays, poems (vernacular literature), as well as in comics, advertising, some newspapers, and transcriptions of popular songs. In most other written media and in television news reporting, Literary Arabic
Literary Arabic
is used. Literary Arabic
Literary Arabic
is a standardized language based on the language of the Quran, i.e. Classical Arabic. The Egyptian vernacular is almost universally written in the Arabic alphabet for local consumption, although it is commonly transcribed into Latin letters
Latin letters
or in the International Phonetic Alphabet
International Phonetic Alphabet
in linguistics text and textbooks aimed at teaching non-native learners. Also, it is written in ASCII Latin alphabet
Latin alphabet
mainly online and in SMSs.


1 Naming 2 Geographic distribution 3 History 4 Official status 5 Spoken varieties 6 Phonology 7 Morphology

7.1 Nouns

7.1.1 Plurals 7.1.2 Color/defect nouns

7.2 Pronouns 7.3 Verbs

7.3.1 Strong verbs Regular verbs, form I Regular verb, form I, fáʕal/yífʕil Regular verb, form I, fíʕil/yífʕal Regular verb, form II, fáʕʕil/yifáʕʕil Regular verb, form III, fá:ʕil/yifá:ʕil

7.3.2 Defective verbs Defective verb, form I, fáʕa/yífʕi Defective verb, form I, fíʕi/yífʕa

7.3.3 Hollow verbs Hollow verb, form I, fá:l/yifí:l Hollow verb, form I, fá:l/yifú:l

7.3.4 Doubled verbs Doubled verb, form I, fáʕʕ/yifíʕʕ

7.3.5 Assimilated verbs 7.3.6 Doubly weak verbs 7.3.7 Irregular verbs 7.3.8 Table of verb forms

7.4 Negation

8 Syntax 9 Coptic substratum 10 Sociolinguistic features 11 Regional variation

11.1 Alexandria 11.2 Port Said

12 Study 13 Sample text 14 Sample words and sentences 15 See also 16 Notes 17 Sources 18 External links

Naming[edit] Egyptians
call the dialect the Egyptian colloquial language (اللغه المصريه العاميه [elˈloɣæ l.mɑsˤˈɾejjɑ l.ʕæmˈmejjæ]),[note B] Egyptian dialect (اللهجه المصريه [elˈlæhɡæ l.mɑsˤˈɾejjɑ];[note C] abbreviated: مصرى‎[8] [ˈmɑsˤɾi] "Egyptian"), or the Modern Egyptian language
Egyptian language
(اللغه المصريه الحديثه‎,[9] IPA: [elˈloɣæ l.mɑsˤˈɾejjɑ l.ħæˈdiːsæ]).[note A] The term Egyptian Arabic
is usually used synonymously with Cairene Arabic, which is technically a dialect of Egyptian Arabic. The country's native name, Maṣr, is often used locally to refer to Cairo itself. Like the role played by Parisian French, Cairene Arabic
is by far the most dominant dialect in all areas of national life. Geographic distribution[edit] The total number of Egyptian Arabic
users in all countries is over 64.5 million, 62.3 million of which are native speakers in Egypt, including several regional dialects. In addition, there are immigrant Egyptian communities in the Middle East, Europe, North America, Latin America, Australia
and South East Asia. Among the spoken varieties of Arabic, standard Egyptian Arabic
(based on the dialect of the Egyptian capital) is the only one to have become a lingua franca in other parts of the Arabic-speaking world for two main reasons:[10][11] the proliferation and popularity of Egyptian films and other media in the region since the early 20th century as well as the great number of Egyptian teachers and professors who were instrumental in setting up the education systems of various countries in the Arabian Peninsula and also taught there and in other countries such as Algeria
and Libya. Also, many Lebanese artists choose to sing in Egyptian and Lebanese. Standard Egyptian Arabic
when used in documents, broadcast media, prepared speeches, and sometimes in liturgical purpose, is Cairene Arabic
with loanwords from Modern Standard Arabic
Modern Standard Arabic
origin or code-switching between Cairene Arabic
and Modern Standard Arabic. History[edit] The Egyptians
slowly adopted the Arabic language
Arabic language
as a written language following the Arab-Muslim conquest of Egypt
in the 7th century AD. Until then, they had spoken either Greek or Egyptian in its Coptic form. A period of Coptic- Arabic
bilingualism in Lower Egypt
lasted for more than three centuries. The period would last much longer in the south. Arabic
may have been already familiar to Egyptians
through pre-Islamic trade with Bedouin
Arab tribes in the Sinai Peninsula,and the easternmost part of the Nile Delta. Egyptian Arabic
seems to have begun taking shape in Fustat, the first Islamic capital of Egypt, now part of Cairo. One of the earliest linguistic sketches of Egyptian Arabic
is a 16th-century document entitled Dafʿ al-ʾiṣr ʿan kalām ahl Miṣr (دفع الإصر عن كلام أهل مصر, "The Removal of the Burden from the Language of the People of Egypt") by Yūsuf al-Maġribi (يوسف المغربي). It contains key information on early Egyptian Arabic
and the language situation in Medieval Egypt. The main purpose of the document was to show that while the Egyptians' vernacular contained many critical "errors" vis-à-vis Classical Arabic, according to al-Maġribi, it was also related to Arabic
in other respects. With the ongoing Islamization
and Arabization
of the country, Egyptian Arabic
slowly supplanted spoken Coptic. Local chroniclers mention the continued use of Coptic Egyptian as a spoken language until the 17th century AD by peasant women in Upper Egypt. Coptic is still the liturgical language of the Egyptian Coptic Church. Official status[edit] Egyptian Arabic
has no official status and is not officially recognized as a language. Standard Arabic, a modernized form of Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
(also called Qur'anic Arabic), is the official language of Egypt
(see diglossia). Interest in the local vernacular began in the 1800s, as the Egyptian national movement for self-determination was taking shape. For many decades to follow, questions about the reform and the modernization of Arabic
were hotly debated in Egyptian intellectual circles. Proposals ranged from developing neologisms to replace archaic terminology in Standard Arabic
to the simplification of syntactical and morphological rules and the introduction of colloquialisms to even complete "Egyptianization" (tamṣīr) by abandoning the so-called Standard Arabic
in favor of Masri or Egyptian Arabic.[12] Proponents of language reform in Egypt
included Qasim Amin, who also wrote the first Egyptian feminist treatise, former President of the Egyptian University, Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed, and noted intellectual Salama Moussa. They adopted a modernist, secular approach and disagreed with the assumption that Arabic
was an immutable language because of its association with the Qur'an. The first modern Egyptian novel in which the dialogue was written in the vernacular was Muhammad Husayn Haykal's Zaynab in 1913. It was inly in 1966 that Mustafa Musharafa's Kantara Who Disbelieved was released, the first novel to be written entirely in Egyptian Arabic.[13] Other notable novelists, such as Ihsan Abdel Quddous
Ihsan Abdel Quddous
and Yusuf Idris, and poets, such as Salah Jaheen, Abnudi and Fagoumi, helped solidify vernacular literature as a distinct literary genre.[12] Amongst certain groups within Egypt's elite, Egyptian Arabic
enjoyed a brief period of rich literary output. That dwindled with the rise of Egyptian Arab nationalism, which had gained wide popularity in Egypt by the final years of the Egyptian and Sudanese monarchy, as demonstrated vividly by Egypt's involvement in the Arab-Israeli War of 1948 under King Farouk. The Egyptian Revolution of 1952, led by Muhammad Naguib
Muhammad Naguib
and Gamal Abdel Nasser, further enhanced the significance of Arab nationalism, making it a central element of Egyptian state policy. The importance of Standard Arabic
Standard Arabic
was re-emphasised in the public sphere by the revolutionary government, and efforts to accord any formal language status to the Egyptian vernacular were ignored. Egyptian Arabic
was identified as a mere dialect, one that was not spoken even in all of Egypt, as almost all of Upper Egypt
speaking the dialect of Sa‘īdi Arabic. Though the revolutionary government heavily sponsored the use of the Egyptian vernacular in films, plays, television programmes, and music, the pre-revolution use of Standard Arabic
Standard Arabic
in official publications was retained. Linguistic commentators have noted the multi-faceted approach of the Egyptian revolutionaries towards the Arabic
language. Whereas Egypt's first president, Muhammad Naguib
Muhammad Naguib
exhibited a preference for using Standard Arabic
Standard Arabic
in his public speeches, his successor, Gamal Abdel Nasser was renowned for using the vernacular and for punctuating his speeches with traditional Egyptian words and expressions. Conversely, Standard Arabic
Standard Arabic
was the norm for state news outlets, including newspapers, magazines, television, and radio. That was especially true of Egypt's national broadcasting company, the Arab Radio and Television
Union, which was established with the intent of providing content for the entire Arab world, not merely Egypt, hence the need to broadcast in the standard, rather than the vernacular, language. The Voice of the Arabs
Voice of the Arabs
radio station, in particular, had an audience from across the region, and the use of anything other than Standard Arabic was viewed as eminently incongruous. As the status of Egyptian Arabic
as opposed to Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
can have such political and religious implications in Egypt, the question of whether Egyptian Arabic
should be considered a "dialect" or "language" can be a source of debate. In sociolinguistics, Egyptian Arabic
can be seen as one of many distinct varieties that, despite arguably being languages on abstand grounds, are united by a common dachsprache in Literary Arabic
Literary Arabic
(MSA). Spoken varieties[edit] Sa‘īdi Arabic
is a separate variety from Egyptian Arabic
in Ethnologue.com and ISO 639-3 and in other sources,[14] and the two varieties have limited mutual intelligibility. It carries little prestige nationally but continues to be widely spoken, with 19,000,000 speakers,[15] including in the north by rural migrants who have adapted partially to Egyptian Arabic. For example, the Sa‘īdi genitive exponent is usually replaced with Egyptian bitāʿ , but the realization of /ʔ/ as [ɡ] is retained.[citation needed] Second-and third-generation migrants are monolingual in Egyptian Aabic but maintain cultural and familial ties to the south.[citation needed] The traditional division between Lower and Upper Egypt
and their respective differences go back to ancient times. Egyptians
today commonly call the people of the north baḥarwa ([bɑˈħɑɾwɑ]) and those of the south ṣaʿayda ([sˤɑˈʕɑjdɑ]). The differences throughout Egypt, however, are more wide-ranging and do not neatly correspond to the simple division. The language shifts from the eastern to the western parts of the Nile Delta, and the varieties spoken from Gizah
to Minya are further grouped into a Middle Egypt cluster. Despite the differences, there are features distinguishing all the Egyptian Arabic
varieties of the Nile Valley from any other varieties of Arabic. Such features include reduction of long vowels in open and unstressed syllables, the postposition of demonstratives and interrogatives, the modal meaning of the imperfect and the integration of the participle.[16] The Western Egyptian Bedawi Arabic
Bedawi Arabic
variety[17] of the western desert differs from all other Arabic
varieties in Egypt
in that it linguistically forms part of the Maghrebi group of varieties.[18] The same was formerly true of the Egyptian form of Judaeo-Arabic.[citation needed] Eastern Egyptian Bedawi Arabic
Bedawi Arabic
is also distinct from Egyptian Arabic.[19] Phonology[edit] Main article: Egyptian Arabic
phonology Egyptian Arabic
has a phonology that differs slightly from that of other varieties of Arabic
and has its own inventory of consonants and vowels. Morphology[edit] Nouns[edit] In contrast to CA and MSA, nouns are not inflected for case and lack nunation (with the exception of certain fixed phrases in the accusative case, such as شكراً [ˈʃokɾɑn], "thank you"). As all nouns take their pausal forms, singular words and broken plurals simply lose their case endings. In sound plurals and dual forms, where, in MSA, difference in case is present even in pausal forms, the genitive/accusative form is the one preserved. Fixed expressions in the construct state beginning in abu, often geographic names, retain their -u in all cases.[20] Plurals[edit]

Most common broken plural patterns

Singular Plural Notes Examples

CVCCVC(a) CaCaaCiC any four-character root with short second vowel maktab, makaatib "desk, office"; markib, maraakib "boat"; maṭbax, maṭaabix "kitchen"; masʔala, masaaʔil "matter"; maṭṛaḥ, maṭaaṛiḥ "place"; masṛaḥ, masaaṛiḥ "theater"; tazkaṛa, tazaakir "ticket"; ʔiswira, ʔasaawir "bracelet"; muʃkila, maʃaakil "problem"; muulid, mawaalid "(holy) birthday"; maktaba , maktabaa "stationary";

CVCCVVC(a) CaCaCiiC any four-character root with long second vowel fustaan, fasatiin "dress"; guṛnaal, gaṛaniil "newspaper"; muftaaḥ, mafatiiḥ "key"; fingaan, fanagiin "cup"; sikkiina, sakakiin "knife"; tamriin, tamariin "exercise"; siggaada, sagagiid "carpet"; magmuuʕ, magamiiʕ "total"; maṣruuf, maṣaṛiif "expense"; maskiin, masakiin "poor, pitiable"

CaC(i)C, CiCC, CeeC (< *CayC) CuCuuC very common for three-character roots dars, duruus "lesson"; daxl, duxuul "income"; daʔn, duʔuun "chin"; ḍeef, ḍuyuuf "guest"; ḍirṣ, ḍuruuṣ "molar tooth"; fann, funuun "art"; farʔ, furuuʔ "difference"; faṣl, fuṣuul "class, chapter"; geeb, guyuub "pocket"; geeʃ, guyuuʃ "army"; gild, guluud "leather"; ḥall, ḥuluul "solution"; ḥarb, ḥuruub "war"; ḥaʔʔ, ḥuʔuuʔ "right"; malik, muluuk "king"

CaC(a)C, CiCC, CuCC, CooC (< *CawC) ʔaCCaaC very common for three-character roots durg, ʔadṛaag "drawer"; duʃʃ, ʔadʃaaʃ "shower"; film, ʔaflaam "film"; miʃṭ, ʔamʃaaṭ "comb"; mitr, ʔamtaaṛ "meter"; gism, ʔagsaam; guzʔ, ʔagzaaʔ "part"; muxx, ʔamxaax "brain"; nahṛ, ʔanhaaṛ "river"; door, ʔadwaaṛ "(one's) turn, floor (of building)"; nooʕ, ʔanwaaʕ "kind, sort"; yoom, ʔayyaam "day"; nuṣṣ, ʔanṣaaṣ "half"; qism, ʔaqṣaam "division"; waʔt, ʔawʔaat "time"; faṛaḥ, ʔafṛaaḥ "joy, wedding"; gaṛas, ʔagṛaas "bell"; maṭaṛ, ʔamṭaaṛ "rain"; taman, ʔatmaan "price"; walad, ʔawlaad "boy"

CaaC, CuuC ʔaCwaaC variant of previous ḥaal, ʔaḥwaal "state, condition"; nuur, ʔanwaaṛ "light"

CaCCa, CooCa (< *CawCa) CiCaC, CuCaC CaCCa < Classical CaCCa (not CaaCiCa) gazma, gizam "shoe"; dawla, duwal "state, country"; ḥalla, ḥilal "pot"; ʃooka, ʃuwak "fork"; taxta, tuxat "blackboard"


ḥiṣṣa, ḥiṣaṣ "allotment"; ḥiṭṭa, ḥiṭaṭ "piece"; minḥa, minaḥ "scholarship"; nimra, nimar "number"; qiṣṣa, qiṣaṣ "story"


fuṛma, fuṛam "shape, form"; fuṛṣa, fuṛaṣ "chance"; fusḥa, fusaḥ "excursion"; fuuṭa, fuwaṭ "towel"; nukta, nukat "joke"; ʔuṭṭa, ʔuṭaṭ "cat"; mudda, mudad "period (of time)"

CVCVVC(a) CaCaayiC three-character roots with long second vowel sigaaṛa, sagaayir "cigarette"; gariida, gaṛaayid "newspaper"; gimiil, gamaayil "favor"; ḥabiib, ḥabaayib "lover"; ḥariiʔa, ḥaraayiʔ "destructive fire"; ḥaʔiiʔa, ḥaʔaayiʔ "fact, truth"; natiiga, nataayig "result"; xaṛiiṭa, xaṛaayiṭ "map"; zibuun, zabaayin "customer"

CaaCiC, CaCCa CawaaCiC CaCCa < Classical CaaCiCa (not CaCCa) ḥaamil, ḥawaamil "pregnant"; haanim, hawaanim "lady"; gaamiʕ, gawaamiʕ "mosque"; maaniʕ, mawaaniʕ "obstacle"; fakha, fawaakih "fruit"; ḥadsa, ḥawaadis "accident"; fayda, fawaayid "benefit"; ʃaariʕ, ʃawaariʕ "street"; xaatim, xawaatim "ring"

CaaCiC CuCCaaC mostly occupational nouns kaatib, kuttaab "writer"; saakin, sukkaan "inhabitant"; saayiḥ, suwwaaḥ "tourist";

CaCiiC CuCaCa adjectives and occupational nouns faʔiir, fuʔaṛa "poor"; nabiih, nubaha "intelligent"; naʃiiṭ, nuʃaṭa "active"; raʔiis, ruʔasa "president"; safiir, sufaṛa "ambassador"; waziir, wuzaṛa "minister"; xabiir, xubaṛa "expert"; ṭaalib, ṭalaba "student"

CaCiiC/CiCiiC CuCaaC adjectives gamiil, gumaal "beautiful"; naʃiiṭ, nuʃaaṭ "active"; niḍiif, nuḍaaf "clean"; tixiin, tuxaan "fat"

Secondary broken plural patterns

Singular Plural Notes Examples

CVCCVVC CaCaCCa occupational nouns tilmiiz, talamza "student"; ʔustaaz, ʔasatza "teacher"; simsaaṛ, samasṛa "broker"; duktoor, dakatra "doctor"

CaCVVC CawaaCiiC

qamuus, qawamiis "dictionary"; maʕaad, mawaʕiid "appointment"; ṭabuuṛ, ṭawabiiṛ "line, queue"; meʃwar, maʃaweer "Walk, Appointment"

CaCaC CiCaaC

gamal, gimaal "camel"; gabal, gibaal "mountain, hill"


ʃahṛ, ʔaʃhur "month"

CiCaaC, CaCiiC(a) CuCuC

kitaab, kutub "book"; madiina, mudun "city"

CaCC(a) CaCaaCi

maʕna, maʕaani "meaning"; makwa, makaawi "iron"; ʔahwa, ʔahaawi "coffee"; ʔaṛḍ, ʔaṛaaḍi "ground, land"

CaaCa, CaaCi, CaCya CawaaCi

ḥaaṛa, ḥawaaṛi "alley"; naadi, nawaadi "club"; naḥya, nawaaḥi "side"

CaCaC, CiCaaC ʔaCCiCa/ʔiCCiCa

ḥizaam, ʔaḥzima "belt"; masal, ʔamsila "example"; sabat, ʔisbita "basket"

CiCiyya CaCaaya

hidiyya, hadaaya "gift"

CaaC CiCaaC

faaṛ, firaan "mouse"; gaaṛ, giraan "neighbor"; xaal, xilaan "maternal uncle"

Color/defect nouns[edit]

Examples of "color and defect" nouns

Meaning (template) green blue black white deaf blind one-eyed

Masculine ʔaCCaC ʔaxḍaṛ ʔazraʔ ʔiswid ʔabyaḍ ʔaṭṛaʃ ʔaʕma ʔaʕwaṛ

Feminine CaCCa xaḍṛa zarʔa sooda beeḍa ṭaṛʃa ʕamya ʕooṛa

Plural CuCC xuḍr zurʔ suud biiḍ ṭurʃ ʕumy ʕuur

A common set of nouns referring to colors, as well as a number of nouns referring to physical defects of various sorts (ʔaṣlaʕ "bald"; ʔaṭṛaʃ "deaf"; ʔaxṛas "dumb"), take a special inflectional pattern, as shown in the table. Note that only a small number of common colors inflect this way: ʔaḥmaṛ "red"; ʔazraʔ "blue"; ʔaxḍaṛ "green"; ʔaṣfaṛ "yellow"; ʔabyaḍ "white"; ʔiswid "black"; ʔasmaṛ "brown-skinned, brunette"; ʔaʃʔaṛ "blond(e)". The remaining colors are invariable, and mostly so-called nisba adjectives derived from colored objects: bunni "brown" (< bunn "coffee powder"); ṛamaadi "gray" (< ṛamaad "ashes"); banafsigi "purple" (< banafsig "violet"); burtuʔaani "orange" (< burtuʔaan "oranges"); zibiibi "maroon" (< zibiib "raisins"); etc., or of foreign origin: beeع "beige" from the French; bamba "pink" from Turkish pembe.[21]


Forms of the independent and clitic pronouns

Meaning Subject Direct object/Possessive Indirect object

After vowel After 1 cons. After 2 cons. After vowel After 1 cons. After 2 cons.

Normal + ʃ + l- Normal + ʃ + l- Normal + ʃ + l- Normal + ʃ Normal + ʃ Normal + ʃ

"my" (nominal) — - ́ya -i —

"I/me" (verbal) ána - ́ni -íni - ́li -íli

"you(r) (masc.)" ínta - ́k -ak - ́lak -ílak

"you(r) (fem.)" ínti - ́ki -ik -ki -ik -iki - ́lik -lkí -lik -likí -ílik -ilkí

"he/him/his" huwwa - ́ -hu -u -hu -u -uhu - ́lu -ílu

"she/her" hiyya - ́ha -áha - ́lha -láha -ílha

"we/us/our" íḥna - ́na -ína - ́lna -lína -ílna

"you(r) (pl.)" íntu - ́ku -úku - ́lku -lúku -ílku

"they/them/their" humma - ́hum -úhum - ́lhum -lúhum -ílhum

Examples of possessive constructs

Base Word béet "house" biyúut "houses" bánk "bank" sikkíina "knife" máṛa "wife" ʔább "father" ʔidéen "hands"

Construct Base béet- biyúut- bánk- sikkíin(i)t- miṛáat- ʔabúu- ʔidée-

"my ..." béet-i biyúut-i bánk-i sikkínt-i miṛáat-i ʔabúu-ya ʔidáy-ya

"your (masc.) ..." béet-ak biyúut-ak bánk-ak sikkínt-ak miṛáat-ak ʔabúu-k ʔidée-k

"your (fem.) ..." béet-ik biyúut-ik bánk-ik sikkínt-ik miṛáat-ik ʔabúu-ki ʔidée-ki

"his ..." béet-u biyúut-u bánk-u sikkínt-u miṛáat-u ʔabúu-(h) ʔidée-(h)

"her ..." bét-ha biyút-ha bank-áha sikkinít-ha miṛát-ha ʔabúu-ha ʔidée-ha

"our ..." bét-na biyút-na bank-ína sikkinít-na miṛát-na ʔabúu-na ʔidée-na

"your (pl.) ..." bét-ku biyút-ku bank-úku sikkinít-ku miṛát-ku ʔabúu-ku ʔidée-ku

"their ..." bét-hum biyút-hum bank-úhum sikkinít-hum miṛát-hum ʔabúu-hum ʔidée-hum

Suffixed prepositions

Base Word fi "in" bi "by, in, with" li "to" wayya "with" ʕala "on" ʕand "in the possession of, to have" min "from"

"... me" fíy-ya bíy-ya líy-ya wayyáa-ya ʕaláy-ya ʕánd-i mínn-i

"... you (masc.)" fíi-k bíi-k líi-k, l-ak wayyáa-k ʕalée-k ʕánd-ak mínn-ak

"... you (fem.)" fíi-ki bíi-ki líi-ki, li-ki wayyáa-ki ʕalée-ki ʕánd-ik mínn-ik

"... him" fíi-(h) bíi-(h) líi-(h), l-u(h) wayyáa-(h) ʕalée-(h) ʕánd-u mínn-u

"... her" fíi-ha bíi-ha líi-ha, la-ha wayyáa-ha ʕalée-ha ʕand-áha minn-áha, mín-ha

"... us" fíi-na bíi-na líi-na, li-na wayyáa-na ʕalée-na ʕand-ína minn-ína

"... you (pl.)" fíi-ku bíi-ku líi-ku, li-ku wayyáa-ku ʕalée-ku ʕand-úku minn-úku, mín-ku

"... them" fíi-hum bíi-hum líi-hum, li-hum wayyáa-hum ʕalée-hum ʕand-úhum minn-úhum, mín-hum

Egyptian Arabic
object pronouns are clitics, in that they attach to the end of a noun, verb or preposition, with the result forming a single phonological word rather than separate words. Clitics can be attached to the following types of words:

A clitic pronoun attached to a noun indicates possession: béet "house", béet-i "my house"; sikkíina "knife", sikkínt-i "my knife"; ʔább "father", ʔabúu-ya "my father". Note that the form of a pronoun may vary depending on the phonological form of the word being attached to (ending with a vowel or with one or two consonants), and the noun being attached to may also have a separate "construct" form before possessive clitic suffixes. A clitic pronoun attached to a preposition indicates the object of the preposition: fill in examples A clitic pronoun attached to a verb indicates the object of the verb: ʃúft "I saw", ʃúft-u "I saw him", ʃuft-áha "I saw her".

With verbs, indirect object clitic pronouns can be formed using the preposition li- plus a clitic. Both direct and indirect object clitic pronouns can be attached to a single verb: agíib "I bring", agíb-hu "I bring it", agib-húu-lik "I bring it to you", m-agib-hu-lkíi-ʃ "I do not bring it to you". Verbs[edit] Verbs in Arabic
are based on a stem made up of three or four consonants. The set of consonants communicates the basic meaning of a verb. Changes to the vowels in between the consonants, along with prefixes and/or suffixes, specify grammatical functions such as tense, person and number, in addition to changes in the meaning of the verb that embody grammatical concepts such as causative, intensive, passive or reflexive. Each particular lexical verb is specified by two stems, one used for the past tense and one used for non-past tenses along with as subjunctive and imperative moods. To the former stem, suffixes are added to mark the verb for person, number and gender, while to the latter stem, a combination of prefixes and suffixes are added. (Very approximately, the prefixes specify the person and the suffixes indicate number and gender.) The third person masculine singular past tense form serves as the "dictionary form" used to identify a verb, similar to the infinitive in English. ( Arabic
has no infinitive.) For example, the verb meaning "write" is often specified as kátab, which actually means "he wrote". In the paradigms below, a verb will be specified as kátab/yíktib (where kátab means "he wrote" and yíktib means "he writes"), indicating the past stem (katab-) and non-past stem (-ktib-, obtained by removing the prefix yi-). The verb classes in Arabic
are formed along two axes. One axis (described as "form I", "form II", etc.) is used to specify grammatical concepts such as causative, intensive, passive or reflexive, and involves varying the stem form. For example, from the root K-T-B "write" is derived form I kátab/yíktib "write", form II káttib/yikáttib "cause to write", form III ká:tib/yiká:tib "correspond", etc. The other axis is determined by the particular consonants making up the root. For example, defective verbs have a W or Y as the last root consonant, which is often reflected in paradigms with an extra final vowel in the stem (e.g. ráma/yírmi "throw" from R-M-Y); meanwhile, hollow verbs have a W or Y as the middle root consonant, and the stems of such verbs appear to have only two consonants (e.g. gá:b/yigí:b "bring" from G-Y-B). Strong verbs[edit] Strong verbs are those that have no "weakness" (e.g. W or Y) in the root consonants. Each verb has a given vowel pattern for Past (a or i) and Present (a or i or u). Combinations of each exist. Regular verbs, form I[edit] Form I verbs have a given vowel pattern for past (a or i) and present (a, i or u). Combinations of each exist:

Vowel patterns Example

Past Present

a a ḍárab - yíḍrab to beat

a i kátab - yíktib to write

a u ṭálab - yíṭlub~yúṭlub to order, to demand

i a fíhim - yífham to understand

i i misik - yímsik to hold, to touch

i u sikit - yískut~yúskut to be silent, to shut up

Regular verb, form I, fáʕal/yífʕil[edit] Example: kátab/yíktib "write"

Tense/Mood Past Present Subjunctive Present Indicative Future Imperative

Person Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural

1st katáb-t katáb-na á-ktib ní-ktib bá-ktib bi-ní-ktib ḥá-ktib ḥá-ní-ktib

2nd masculine katáb-t katáb-tu tí-ktib ti-ktíb-u bi-tí-ktib bi-ti-ktíb-u ḥa-tí-ktib ḥa-ti-ktíb-u í-ktib i-ktíb-u

feminine katáb-ti ti-ktíb-i bi-ti-ktíb-i ḥa-ti-ktíb-i i-ktíb-i

3rd masculine kátab kátab-u yí-ktib yi-ktíb-u bi-yí-ktib bi-yi-ktíb-u ḥa-yí-ktib ḥa-yi-ktíb-u

feminine kátab-it tí-ktib bi-tí-ktib ḥa-tí-ktib

Note that, in general, the present indicative is formed from the subjunctive by the addition of bi- (bi-a- is elided to ba-). Similarly, the future is formed from the subjunctive by the addition of ḥa- (ḥa-a- is elided to ḥa-). The i in bi- or in the following prefix will be deleted according to the regular rules of vowel syncope:

híyya b-tíktib "she writes" (híyya + bi- + tíktib) híyya bi-t-ʃú:f "she sees" (híyya + bi- + tiʃú:f) an-áktib "I write (subjunctive)" (ána + áktib)

Example: kátab/yíktib "write": non-finite forms

Number/Gender Active Participle Passive Participle Verbal Noun

Masc. Sg. ká:tib maktú:b kitá:ba

Fem. Sg. kátb-a maktú:b-a

Pl. katb-í:n maktub-í:n

Regular verb, form I, fíʕil/yífʕal[edit] Example: fíhim/yífham "understand"

Tense/Mood Past Present Subjunctive Present Indicative Future Imperative

Person Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural

1st fihím-t fihím-na á-fham ní-fham bá-fham bi-ní-fham ḥá-fham ḥá-ní-fham

2nd masculine fihím-t fihím-tu tí-fham ti-fhám-u bi-tí-fham bi-ti-fhám-u ḥa-tí-fham ḥa-ti-fhám-u í-fham i-fhám-u

feminine fihím-ti ti-fhám-i bi-ti-fhám-i ḥa-ti-fhám-i i-fhám-i

3rd masculine fíhim fíhm-u yí-fham yi-fhám-u bi-yí-fham bi-yi-fhám-u ḥa-yí-fham ḥa-yi-fhám-u

feminine fíhm-it tí-fham bi-tí-fham ḥa-tí-fham

Boldfaced forms fíhm-it and fíhm-u differ from the corresponding forms of katab (kátab-it and kátab-u due to vowel syncope). Note also the syncope in ána fhím-t "I understood". Regular verb, form II, fáʕʕil/yifáʕʕil[edit] Example: dárris/yidárris "teach"

Tense/Mood Past Present Subjunctive Present Indicative Future Imperative

Person Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural

1st darrís-t darrís-na a-dárris ni-dárris ba-dárris bi-n-dárris ḥa-dárris ḥa-n-dárris

2nd masculine darrís-t darrís-tu ti-dárris ti-darrís-u bi-t-dárris bi-t-darrís-u ḥa-t-dárris ḥa-t-darrís-u dárris darrís-u

feminine darrís-ti ti-darrís-i bi-t-darrís-i ḥa-t-darrís-i darrís-i

3rd masculine dárris darrís-u yi-dárris yi-darrís-u bi-y-dárris bi-y-darrís-u ḥa-y-dárris ḥa-y-darrís-u

feminine darrís-it ti-dárris bi-t-dárris ḥa-t-dárris

Boldfaced forms indicate the primary differences from the corresponding forms of katab:

The prefixes ti-, yi-, ni- have elision of i following bi- or ḥa- (all verbs whose stem begins with a single consonant behave this way). The imperative prefix i- is missing (again, all verbs whose stem begins with a single consonant behave this way). Due to the regular operation of the stress rules, the stress in the past tense forms darrís-it and darrís-u differs from kátab-it and kátab-u.

Regular verb, form III, fá:ʕil/yifá:ʕil[edit] Example: sá:fir/yisá:fir "travel"

Tense/Mood Past Present Subjunctive Present Indicative Future Imperative

Person Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural

1st safír-t safír-na a-sá:fir ni-sá:fir ba-sá:fir bi-n-sá:fir ḥa-sá:fir ḥa-n-sá:fir

2nd masculine safír-t safír-tu ti-sá:fir ti-sáfr-u bi-t-sá:fir bi-t-sáfr-u ḥa-t-sá:fir ḥa-t-sáfr-u sá:fir sáfr-u

feminine safír-ti ti-sáfr-i bi-t-sáfr-i ḥa-t-sáfr-i sáfr-i

3rd masculine sá:fir sáfr-u yi-sá:fir yi-sáfr-u bi-y-sá:fir bi-y-sáfr-u ḥa-y-sá:fir ḥa-y-sáfr-u

feminine sáfr-it ti-sá:fir bi-t-sá:fir ḥa-t-sá:fir

The primary differences from the corresponding forms of darris (shown in boldface) are:

The long vowel a: becomes a when unstressed. The i in the stem sa:fir is elided when a suffix beginning with a vowel follows.

Defective verbs[edit] Defective verbs have a W or Y as the last root consonant. Defective verb, form I, fáʕa/yífʕi[edit] Example: ráma/yírmi "throw away" (i.e. trash, etc.)

Tense/Mood Past Present Subjunctive Present Indicative Future Imperative

Person Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural

1st ramé:-t ramé:-na á-rmi ní-rmi bá-rmi bi-ní-rmi ḥá-rmi ḥa-ní-rmi

2nd masculine ramé:-t ramé:-tu tí-rmi tí-rm-u bi-tí-rmi bi-tí-rm-u ḥa-tí-rmi ḥa-tí-rm-u í-rmi í-rm-u

feminine ramé:-ti tí-rm-i bi-tí-rm-i ḥa-tí-rm-i í-rm-i

3rd masculine ráma rám-u yí-rmi yí-rm-u bi-yí-rmi bi-yí-rm-u ḥa-yí-rmi ḥa-yí-rm-u

feminine rám-it tí-rmi bi-tí-rmi ḥa-tí-rmi

The primary differences from the corresponding forms of katab (shown in boldface) are:

In the past, there are three stems: ráma with no suffix, ramé:- with a consonant-initial suffix, rám- with a vowel initial suffix. In the non-past, the stem rmi becomes rm- before a (vowel initial) suffix, and the stress remains on the prefix, since the stem vowel has been elided. Note also the accidental homonymy between masculine tí-rmi, í-rmi and feminine tí-rm-i, í-rm-i.

Defective verb, form I, fíʕi/yífʕa[edit] Example: nísi/yínsa "forget"

Tense/Mood Past Present Subjunctive Present Indicative Future Imperative

Person Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural

1st nisí:-t nisí:-na á-nsa ní-nsa bá-nsa bi-ní-nsa ḥá-nsa ḥa-ní-nsa

2nd masculine nisí:-t nisí:-tu tí-nsa tí-ns-u bi-tí-nsa bi-tí-ns-u ḥa-tí-nsa ḥa-tí-ns-u í-nsa í-ns-u

feminine nisí:-ti tí-ns-i bi-tí-ns-i ḥa-tí-ns-i í-ns-i

3rd masculine nísi nísy-u yí-nsa yí-ns-u bi-yí-nsa bi-yí-ns-u ḥa-yí-nsa ḥa-yí-ns-u

feminine nísy-it tí-nsa bi-tí-nsa ḥa-tí-nsa

This verb type is quite similar to the defective verb type ráma/yírmi. The primary differences are:

The occurrence of i and a in the stems are reversed: i in the past, a in the non-past. In the past, instead of the stems ramé:- and rám-, the verb has nisí:- (with a consonant-initial suffix) and nísy- (with a vowel initial suffix). Note in particular the y in nísyit and nísyu as opposed to rámit and rámu. Elision of i in nisí:- can occur, e.g. ána nsí:t "I forgot". In the non-past, because the stem has a instead of i, there is no homonymy between masculine tí-nsa, í-nsa and feminine tí-ns-i, í-ns-i.

Note that some other verbs have different stem variations, e.g. míʃi/yímʃi "walk" (with i in both stems) and báʔa/yíbʔa "become, remain" (with a in both stems). The verb láʔa/yilá:ʔi "find" is unusual in having a mixture of a form I past and form III present (note also the variations líʔi/yílʔa and láʔa/yílʔa). Verbs other than form I have consistent stem vowels. All such verbs have a in the past (hence form stems with -é:-, not -í:-). Forms V, VI, X and IIq have a in the present (indicated by boldface below); others have i; forms VII, VIIt, and VIII have i in both vowels of the stem (indicated by italics below); form IX verbs, including "defective" verbs, behave as regular doubled verbs:

Form II: wádda/yiwáddi "take away"; ʔáwwa/yiʔáwwi "strengthen" Form III: ná:da/yiná:di "call"; dá:wa/yidá:wi "treat, cure" Form IV (rare, classicized): ʔárḍa/yírḍi "please, satisfy" Form V: itʔáwwa/yitʔáwwa "become strong" Form VI: itdá:wa/yitdá:wa "be treated, be cured" Form VII (rare in the Cairene dialect): inḥáka/yinḥíki "be told" Form VIIt: itnása/yitnísi "be forgotten" Form VIII: iʃtára/yiʃtíri "buy" Form IX (very rare): iḥláww/yiḥláww "be/become sweet" Form X: istákfa/yistákfa "have enough" Form Iq: need example Form IIq: need example

Hollow verbs[edit] Hollow have a W or Y as the middle root consonant. Note that for some forms (e.g. form II and form III), hollow verbs are conjugated as strong verbs (e.g. form II ʕáyyin/yiʕáyyin "appoint" from ʕ-Y-N, form III gá:wib/yigá:wib "answer" from G-W-B). Hollow verb, form I, fá:l/yifí:l[edit] Example: gá:b/yigí:b "bring"

Tense/mood Past Present subjunctive Present indicative Future Imperative

Person Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural

1st gíb-t gíb-na a-gí:b ni-gí:b ba-gí:b bi-n-gí:b ḥa-gí:b ḥa-n-gí:b

2nd masculine gíb-t gíb-tu ti-gí:b ti-gí:b-u bi-t-gí:b bi-t-gí:b-u ḥa-t-gí:b ḥa-t-gí:b-u gí:b gí:b-u

feminine gíb-ti ti-gí:b-i bi-t-gí:b-i ḥa-t-gí:b-i gí:b-i

3rd masculine gá:b gá:b-u yi-gí:b yi-gí:b-u bi-y-gí:b bi-y-gí:b-u ḥa-y-gí:b ḥa-y-gí:b-u

feminine gá:b-it ti-gí:b bi-t-gí:b ḥa-t-gí:b

This verb works much like dárris/yidárris "teach". Like all verbs whose stem begins with a single consonant, the prefixes differ in the following way from those of regular and defective form I verbs:

The prefixes ti-, yi-, ni- have elision of i following bi- or ḥa-. The imperative prefix i- is missing.

In addition, the past tense has two stems: gíb- before consonant-initial suffixes (first and second person) and gá:b- elsewhere (third person). Hollow verb, form I, fá:l/yifú:l[edit] Example: ʃá:f/yiʃú:f "see"

Tense/Mood Past Present Subjunctive Present Indicative Future Imperative

Person Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural

1st ʃúf-t ʃúf-na a-ʃú:f ni-ʃú:f ba-ʃú:f bi-n-ʃú:f ḥa-ʃú:f ḥa-n-ʃú:f

2nd masculine ʃúf-t ʃúf-tu ti-ʃú:f ti-ʃú:f-u bi-t-ʃú:f bi-t-ʃú:f-u ḥa-t-ʃú:f ḥa-t-ʃú:f-u ʃú:f ʃú:f-u

feminine ʃúf-ti ti-ʃú:f-i bi-t-ʃú:f-i ḥa-t-ʃú:f-i ʃú:f-i

3rd masculine ʃá:f ʃá:f-u yi-ʃú:f yi-ʃú:f-u bi-y-ʃú:f bi-y-ʃú:f-u ḥa-y-ʃú:f ḥa-y-ʃú:f-u

feminine ʃá:f-it ti-ʃú:f bi-t-ʃú:f ḥa-t-ʃú:f

This verb class is identical to verbs such as gá:b/yigí:b except in having stem vowel u in place of i. Doubled verbs[edit] Doubled verbs have the same consonant as middle and last root consonant, e.g. ḥább/yiḥíbb "love" from Ḥ-B-B. Doubled verb, form I, fáʕʕ/yifíʕʕ[edit] Example: ḥább/yiḥíbb "love"

Tense/Mood Past Present Subjunctive Present Indicative Future Imperative

Person Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural

1st ḥabbé:-t ḥabbé:-na a-ḥíbb ni-ḥíbb ba-ḥíbb bi-n-ḥíbb ḥa-ḥíbb ḥa-n-ḥíbb

2nd masculine ḥabbé:-t ḥabbé:-tu ti-ḥíbb ti-ḥíbb-u bi-t-ḥíbb bi-t-ḥíbb-u ḥa-t-ḥíbb ḥa-t-ḥíbb-u ḥíbb ḥíbb-u

feminine ḥabbé:-ti ti-ḥíbb-i bi-t-ḥíbb-i ḥa-t-ḥíbb-i ḥíbb-i

3rd masculine ḥább ḥább-u yi-ḥíbb yi-ḥíbb-u bi-y-ḥíbb bi-y-ḥíbb-u ḥa-y-ḥíbb ḥa-y-ḥíbb-u

feminine ḥább-it ti-ḥíbb bi-t-ḥíbb ḥa-t-ḥíbb

This verb works much like gá:b/yigí:b "bring". Like that class, it has two stems in the past, which are ḥabbé:- before consonant-initial suffixes (first and second person) and ḥább- elsewhere (third person). Note that é:- was borrowed from the defective verbs; the Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
equivalent form would be *ḥabáb-, e.g. *ḥabáb-t. Other verbs have u or a in the present stem: baṣṣ/yibúṣṣ "to look", ṣaḥḥ/yiṣáḥḥ "be right, be proper". As for the other forms:

Form II, V doubled verbs are strong: ḥáddid/yiḥáddid "limit, fix (appointment)" Form III, IV, VI, VIII doubled verbs seem non-existent Form VII and VIIt doubled verbs (same stem vowel a in both stems): inbáll/yinbáll "be wetted", itʕádd/yitʕádd Form VIII doubled verbs (same stem vowel a in both stems): ihtámm/yihtámm "be interested (in)" Form IX verbs (automatically behave as "doubled" verbs, same stem vowel a in both stems): iḥmárr/yiḥmárr "be red, blush", iḥláww/yiḥláww "be sweet" Form X verbs (stem vowel either a or i in non-past): istaḥáʔʔ/yistaḥáʔʔ "deserve" vs. istaʕádd/yistaʕídd "be ready", istamárr/yistamírr "continue".

Assimilated verbs[edit] Assimilated verbs have W or Y as the first root consonant. Most of these verbs have been regularized in Egyptian Arabic, e.g. wázan/yíwzin "to weigh" or wíṣíl/yíwṣal "to arrive". Only a couple of irregular verbs remain, e.g. wíʔif/yúʔaf "stop" and wíʔiʕ/yúʔaʕ "fall" (see below). Doubly weak verbs[edit] "Doubly weak" verbs have more than one "weakness", typically a W or Y as both the second and third consonants. This term is in fact a misnomer, as such verbs actually behave as normal defective verbs (e.g. káwa/yíkwi "iron (clothes)" from K-W-Y, ʔáwwa/yiʔáwwi "strengthen" from ʔ-W-Y, dá:wa/yidá:wi "treat, cure" from D-W-Y). Irregular verbs[edit] The irregular verbs are as follows:

ídda/yíddi "give" (endings like a normal defective verb) wíʔif/yúʔaf "stop" and wíʔiʕ/yúʔaʕ "fall" (áʔaf, báʔaf, ḥáʔaf "I (will) stop"; úʔaf "stop!") kal/yá:kul "eat" and xad/yá:xud "take" (kalt, kal, kálit, kálu "I/he/she/they ate", also regular ákal, etc. "he/etc. ate"; á:kul, bá:kul, ḥá:kul "I (will) eat", yáklu "they eat"; kúl, kúli, kúlu "eat!"; wá:kil "eating"; mittá:kil "eaten") gé/yí:gi "come". This verb is extremely irregular (with particularly unusual forms in boldface):

Tense/Mood Past Present Subjunctive Imperative

Person Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural

1st gé:-t or gí:-t gé:-na or gí:-na á:-gi ní:-gi

2nd masculine gé:-t or gí:-t gé:-tu or gí:-tu tí:-gi tí:-g-u taʕá:l taʕá:l-u

feminine gé:-ti or gí:-ti tí:-g-i taʕá:l-i

3rd masculine gé or gá (also ʔíga)

gá:-ni (or -li) "he came to me" but not *gé:-ni


but gú:-ni (or -li) "they came to me" and magú:-ʃ "they didn't come"

yí:-gi yí:-g-u

feminine gat (also ʔígat) tí:-gi

Example: gé/yí:gi "come": non-finite forms

Number/Gender Active Participle Verbal Noun

Masc. Sg. gayy migíyy

Fem. Sg. gáyy-a

Pl. gayy-í:n

Table of verb forms[edit] In this section all verb classes and their corresponding stems are listed, excluding the small number of irregular verbs described above. Verb roots are indicated schematically using capital letters to stand for consonants in the root:

F = first consonant of root M = middle consonant of three-consonant root S = second consonant of four-consonant root T = third consonant of four-consonant root L = last consonant of root

Hence, the root F-M-L stands for all three-consonant roots, and F-S-T-L stands for all four-consonant roots. (Traditional Arabic grammar uses F-ʕ-L and F-ʕ-L-L, respectively, but the system used here appears in a number of grammars of spoken Arabic
dialects and is probably less confusing for English speakers, since the forms are easier to pronounce than those involving ʕ.) The following table lists the prefixes and suffixes to be added to mark tense, person, number and gender, and the stem form to which they are added. The forms involving a vowel-initial suffix, and corresponding stem PAv or NPv, are highlighted in silver. The forms involving a consonant-initial suffix, and corresponding stem PAc, are highlighted in gold. The forms involving a no suffix, and corresponding stem PA0 or NP0, are unhighlighted.

Tense/Mood Past Non-Past

Person Singular Plural Singular Plural

1st PAc-t PAc-na a-NP0 ni-NP0

2nd masculine PAc-t PAc-tu ti-NP0 ti-NPv-u

feminine PAc-ti ti-NPv-i

3rd masculine PA0 PAv-u yi-NP0 yi-NPv-u

feminine PAv-it ti-NP0

The following table lists the verb classes along with the form of the past and non-past stems, active and passive participles, and verbal noun, in addition to an example verb for each class. Notes:

Italicized forms are those that follow automatically from the regular rules of vowel shortening and deletion. Multisyllabic forms without a stress mark have variable stress, depending on the nature of the suffix added, following the regular rules of stress assignment. Many participles and verbal nouns have acquired an extended sense. In fact, participles and verbal nouns are the major sources for lexical items based on verbs, especially derived (i.e. non-Form-I) verbs. Some verb classes do not have a regular verbal noun form; rather, the verbal noun varies from verb to verb. Even in verb classes that do have a regular verbal noun form, there are exceptions. In addition, some verbs share a verbal noun with a related verb from another class (in particular, many passive verbs use the corresponding active verb's verbal noun, which can be interpreted in either an active or passive sense). Some verbs appear to lack a verbal noun entirely. (In such a case, a paraphrase would be used involving a clause beginning with inn.) Outside of Form I, passive participles as such are usually non-existent; instead, the active participle of the corresponding passive verb class (e.g. Forms V, VI, VIIt/VIIn for Forms II, III, I respectively) is used. The exception is certain verbs in Forms VIII and X that contain a "classicized" passive participle that is formed in imitation of the corresponding participle in Classical Arabic, e.g. mistáʕmil "using", mustáʕmal "used". Not all forms have a separate verb class for hollow or doubled roots. When no such class is listed below, roots of that shape appear as strong verbs in the corresponding form, e.g. Form II strong verb ḍáyyaʕ/yiḍáyyaʕ "waste, lose" related to Form I hollow verb ḍá:ʕ/yiḍí:ʕ "be lost", both from root Ḍ-Y-ʕ.

Form Root Type Stem Participle Verbal Noun Example

Past Non-Past Active Passive

Person of Suffix 1st/2nd 3rd

Suffix Type Cons-Initial None Vowel-Initial None Vowel-Initial

Suffix Name PAc PA0 PAv NP0 NPv

I Strong

FaMaL FMaL Fá:MiL maFMú:L (varies, e.g. FaML, FiML) fátaḥ/yíftaḥ "open"

FMiL kátab/yíktib "write"

FMuL dáxal/yúdxul "enter"

FiMiL FiML FMaL fíhim/yífham "understand"

FMiL mísik/yímsik "hold, catch"

FMuL síkin/yúskun "reside"

I Defective

FaMé: FáMa FaM FMa FM Fá:Mi máFMi (varies, e.g. FaMy, máFMa) báʔa/yíbʔa "remain"

FMi FM ráma/yírmi "throw"

FiMí: FíMi FíMy FMa FM nísi/yínsa "forget"

FMi FM míʃi/yímʃi "walk"

I Hollow

FíL Fá:L Fí:L Fá:yiL (mitFá:L, properly Form VIIt) (varies, e.g. Fe:L, Fo:L) ga:b/yigí:b "bring"

FúL Fú:L ʃa:f/yiʃú:f "see"

FíL Fá:L na:m/yiná:m "sleep"

FúL xa:f/yixá:f "fear"

I Doubled

FaMMé: FáMM FíMM Fá:MiM maFMú:M (varies, e.g. FaMM, FuMM) ḥabb/yiḥíbb "love"

FúMM ḥaṭṭ/yiḥúṭṭ "put"

II Strong


taFMí:L ɣáyyaṛ/yiɣáyyaṛ "change"

FaMMiL miFáMMiL dárris/yidárris "teach"

II Defective

FaMMé: FáMMa FáMM FáMMi FáMM miFáMMi

taFMíya wárra/yiwárri "show"

III Strong

FaMíL Fá:MiL FáML Fá:MiL FáML miFá:MiL

miFáMLa zá:kir/yizá:kir "study"

III Defective

FaMé: Fá:Ma Fá:M Fá:Mi Fá:M miFá:Mi

miFáMya ná:da/yiná:di "call"

IV Strong

ʔáFMaL FMiL míFMiL

iFMá:L ʔáḍṛab/yíḍrib "go on strike"

IV Defective

ʔaFMé: ʔáFMa ʔáFM FMi FM míFMi

(uncommon) ʔáṛḍa/yíṛḍi "please"

IV Hollow

ʔaFáL ʔaFá:L Fí:L miFí:L

ʔiFá:La ʔafá:d/yifí:d "inform"

IV Doubled

ʔaFaMMé: ʔaFáMM FíMM miFíMM

iFMá:M ???

V Strong

itFaMMaL tFaMMaL mitFáMMaL

taFáMMuL (or Form II) itmáṛṛan/yitmáṛṛan "practice"

itFaMMiL tFaMMiL mitFáMMiL itkállim/yitkállim "speak"

V Defective

itFaMMé: itFáMMa itFáMM tFáMMa tFáMM mitFáMMi

(use Form II) itʔáwwa/yitʔáwwa "become strong"

VI Strong

itFaMíL itFá:MiL itFáML tFá:MiL tFáML mitFá:MiL

taFá:MuL (or Form III) itʕá:win/yitʕá:win "cooperate"

VI Defective

itFaMé: itFá:Ma itFá:M tFá:Ma tFá:M mitFá:Mi

(use Form III) iddá:wa/yiddá:wa "be treated, be cured"

VIIn Strong

inFáMaL nFíMiL nFíML minFíMiL

inFiMá:L (or Form I) inbáṣaṭ/yinbíṣiṭ "enjoy oneself"

VIIn Defective

inFaMé: inFáMa inFáM nFíMi nFíM minFíMi

(use Form I) inḥáka/yinḥíki "be told"

VIIn Hollow

inFáL inFá:L nFá:L minFá:L

inFiyá:L (or Form I) inbá:ʕ/yinbá:ʕ "be sold"

VIIn Doubled

inFaMMé: inFáMM nFáMM minFáMM

inFiMá:M (or Form I) inbáll/yinbáll "be wetted"

VIIt Strong

itFáMaL tFíMiL tFíML mitFíMiL

itFiMá:L (or Form I) itwágad/yitwígid "be found"

VIIt Defective

itFaMé: itFáMa itFáM tFíMi tFíM mitFíMi

(use Form I) itnása/yitnísi "be forgotten"

VIIt Hollow

itFáL itFá:L tFá:L mitFá:L

itFiyá:L (or Form I) itbá:ʕ/yitbá:ʕ "be sold"

VIIt Doubled

itFaMMé: itFáMM tFáMM mitFáMM

itFiMá:M (or Form I) itʕádd/yitʕádd "be counted"

VIII Strong

iFtáMaL FtíMiL FtíML miFtíMiL, muFtáMiL (classicized) muFtáMaL (classicized) iFtiMá:L (or Form I) istálam/yistílim "receive"

VIII Defective

iFtaMé: iFtáMa iFtáM FtíMi FtíM miFtíMi, muFtáMi (classicized)

(use Form I) iʃtára/yiʃtíri "buy"

VIII Hollow

iFtáL iFtá:L Ftá:L miFtá:L, muFtá:L (classicized)

iFtiyá:L (or Form I) ixtá:ṛ/yixtá:ṛ "choose"

VIII Doubled

iFtaMMé: iFtáMM FtáMM miFtáMM, muFtáMM (classicized)

iFtiMá:M (or Form I) ihtámm/yihtámm "be interested (in)"

IX Strong


iFMiLá:L iḥmáṛṛ/yiḥmáṛṛ "be red, blush"

X Strong

istáFMaL stáFMaL mistáFMaL, mustáFMaL (classicized)

istiFMá:L istáɣṛab/yistáɣṛab "be surprised"

istáFMiL stáFMiL mistáFMiL, mustáFMiL (classicized) mustáFMaL (classicized) istáʕmil/yistáʕmil "use"

X Defective

istaFMé: istáFMa istáFM stáFMa stáFM mistáFMi, mustáFMi (classicized)

(uncommon) istákfa/yistákfa "be enough"

X Hollow

istaFáL istaFá:L staFí:L mistaFí:L, mistaFí:L (classicized)

istiFá:L a istaʔá:l/yistaʔí:l "resign"

X Doubled

istaFaMMé: istaFáMM staFáMM mistaFáMM, mustaFáMM (classicized)

istiFMá:M istaḥáʔʔ/yistaḥáʔʔ "deserve"

staFíMM mistaFíMM, mustaFíMM (classicized) istamáṛṛ/yistamírr "continue"

Iq Strong


FaSTáLa láxbaṭ/yiláxbaṭ "confuse"

FaSTiL miFáSTiL xárbiʃ/yixárbiʃ "scratch"

Iq Defective

FaSTé: FáSTa FáST FáSTi FáST miFáSTi

(uncommon) ???

IIq Strong

itFaSTaL tFaSTaL mitFáSTaL

itFaSTáLa itláxbaṭ/yitláxbaṭ "be confused"

itFaSTiL tFaSTiL mitFáSTiL itʃáʕlil/yitʃáʕlil "flare up"

IIq Defective

itFaSTé: itFáSTa itFáST tFáSTa tFáST mitFáSTi

(uncommon) ???

Negation[edit] One characteristic of Egyptian syntax which it shares with other North African varieties as well as some southern Levantine dialect areas is in the two-part negative verbal circumfix /ma-...-ʃ(i)/

Past: /ˈkatab/ "he wrote" /ma-katab-ʃ(i)/ "he didn't write" ما كتبشِ Present: /ˈjik-tib/ "he writes" /ma-bjik-tib-ʃ(i)/ "he doesn't write" ما بيكتبشِ

/ma-/ comes from the Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
negator /maː/. /-ʃ(i)/ is a development of Classical /ʃajʔ/ "thing". This negating circumfix is similar in function to the French circumfix ne ... pas. The structure can end in a consonant /ʃ/ or in a vowel /i/, varying according to the individual or region. The fuller ending /ʃi/ is considered rural, and nowadays Cairene speakers usually use the shorter /ʃ/. However, /ʃi/ was more common in the past, as attested in old films. The negative circumfix often surrounds the entire verbal composite including direct and indirect object pronouns:

/ma-katab-hum-ˈliː-ʃ/ "he didn't write them to me"

However, verbs in the future tense typically instead use the prefix /miʃ/:

/miʃ-ħa-ˈjiktib/ (or /ma-ħa-jikˈtibʃ/ "he won't write"

Interrogative sentences can be formed by adding the negation clitic "(miʃ)" before the verb:

Past: /ˈkatab/ "he wrote"; /miʃ-ˈkatab/ "didn't he write?" Present: /ˈjiktib/ "he writes"; /miʃ-bi-ˈjiktib/ "doesn't he write?" Future: /ħa-ˈjiktib/ "he will write"; /miʃ-ħa-ˈjiktib/ "won't he write?"

Addition of the circumfix can cause complex changes to the verbal cluster, due to the application of the rules of vowel syncope, shortening, lengthening, insertion and elision described above:

The addition of /ma-/ may trigger elision or syncope:

A vowel following /ma-/ is elided: (ixtáːr) "he chose" → (maxtárʃ). A short vowel /i/ or /u/ in the first syllable may be deleted by syncope: (kíbir) "he grew" → (makbírʃ).

The addition of /-ʃ/ may result in vowel shortening or epenthesis:

A final long vowel preceding a single consonant shortens: (ixtáːr) "he chose" → (maxtárʃ). An unstressed epenthetic /i/ is inserted when the verbal complex ends in two consonants: /kunt/ "I was" → (makúntiʃ).

In addition, the addition of /-ʃ/ triggers a stress shift, which may in turn result in vowel shortening or lengthening:

The stress shifts to the syllable preceding /ʃ/: (kátab) "he wrote" → (makatábʃ). A long vowel in the previously stressed syllable shortens: (ʃáːfit) "she saw" → (maʃafítʃ); (ʃá:fu) "they saw" or "he saw it" → (maʃafú:ʃ). A final short vowel directly preceding /ʃ/ lengthens: (ʃáːfu) "they saw" or "he saw it" → (maʃafú:ʃ).

In addition, certain other morphological changes occur:

(ʃafúː) "they saw him" → (maʃafuhúːʃ) (to avoid a clash with (maʃafúːʃ) "they didn't see/he didn't see him"). (ʃáːfik) "He saw you (fem. sg.)" → (maʃafkíːʃ). (ʃúftik) "I saw you (fem. sg.)" → (maʃuftikíːʃ).

Syntax[edit] In contrast with Classical Arabic, but much like the other varieties of Arabic, Egyptian Arabic
prefers subject–verb–object (SVO) word order; CA and to a lesser extent MSA prefer verb–subject–object (VSO). For example, in MSA "Adel read the book" would be قرأَ عادل الكتاب Qaraʾa ʿĀdilu l-kitāb IPA: [ˈqɑɾɑʔɑ ˈʕæːdel ol keˈtæːb] whereas EA would say عادل قرا الكتاب ʕādil ʔara l-kitāb IPA: [ˈʕæːdel ˈʔɑɾɑ lkeˈtæːb]. Also in common with other Arabic
varieties is the loss of unique agreement in the dual form: while the dual remains productive to some degree in nouns, dual nouns are analyzed as plural for the purpose of agreement with verbs, demonstratives, and adjectives. Thus "These two Syrian professors are walking to the university" in MSA (in an SVO sentence for ease of comparison) would be "هذان الأستاذان السوريان يمشيان إلى الجامعة" Haḏān al-ʾustāḏān as-Sūriyyān yamšiyān ʾilā l-ǧāmiʿah IPA: [hæːˈzæːn æl ʔostæːˈzæːn as suːrejˈjæːn jæmʃeˈjæːn ˈʔelæ lɡæːˈmeʕæ], which becomes in EA "الأستاذين السوريين دول بيمشو للجامعة" il-ʔustazēn il-Suriyyīn dōl biyimʃu lil-gamʕa, IPA: [el ʔostæˈzeːn el soɾejˈjiːn ˈdoːl beˈjemʃo lelˈɡæmʕæ]. Unlike most other forms of Arabic, however, Egyptian prefers final placement of question words in interrogative sentences. This is a feature characteristic of the Coptic substratum of Egyptian Arabic. Coptic substratum[edit] Egyptian Arabic
appears to have retained a significant Coptic substratum in its lexicon, phonology, and syntax. Coptic is the latest stage of the indigenous Egyptian language
Egyptian language
spoken until the mid-17th century when it was finally completely supplanted among Egyptian Muslims and a majority of Copts by the Egyptian Arabic. Some features that Egyptian Arabic
shares with the original ancient Egyptian language include certain prefix and suffix verbal conjugations, certain emphatic and glottalized consonants, as well as a large number of biliteral and triliteral lexical correspondences. Two syntactic features that are particular[citation needed][dubious – discuss] to Egyptian Arabic
inherited from Coptic[22] are:

postposed demonstratives "this" and "that" are placed after the noun.

Examples: /ir-rˤaːɡil da/ "this man" (lit. "the man this"; in Literary Arabic
Literary Arabic
/haːðaː r-raɡul/) and /il-bitt di/ "this girl" (lit. "the girl this"; in Literary Arabic
Literary Arabic
/haːðihi l-bint/).

Wh words (i.e. "who", "when", "why" remain in their "logical" positions in a sentence rather than being preposed, or moved to the front of the sentence, as in Literary Arabic
Literary Arabic
or English).


/rˤaːħ masˤrI ʔimta/ (راح مصر إمتا؟) "When (/ʔimta/) did he go to Egypt/Cairo?" (lit. "He went to Egypt/ Cairo
when?") /rˤaːħ masˤrI leːh/ (راح مصر ليه؟) "Why (/leːh/) did he go to Egypt/Cairo? (lit. "He went to Egypt/ Cairo
why?") /miːn rˤaːħ masˤr/ or /miːn illi rˤaːħ masˤr/ (مين [اللى] راح مصر؟) "Who (/miːn/) went to Egypt/Cairo? (literally - same order)

The same sentences in Literary Arabic
Literary Arabic
(with all the question words (wh-words) in the beginning of the sentence) would be:

متى ذهب إلى مصر؟  /mataː ðahaba ʔilaː misˤr/ لِمَ ذهب إلى مصر؟  /lima ðahaba ʔilaː misˤr/ من ذهب إلى مصر؟  /man ðahaba ʔilaː misˤr/

Also since Coptic, like other North African
North African
languages, lacked interdental consonants it could possibly have influenced the manifestation of their occurrences in Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
/θ/ /ð/ /ðˤ/ as their dental counterparts /t/ /d/ and the emphatic dental /dˤ/ respectively. (see consonants) Sociolinguistic features[edit] Egyptian Arabic
is used in most social situations, with Modern Standard and Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
generally being used only in writing and in highly-religious and/or formal situations. However, within Egyptian Arabic, there is a wide range of variation. El-Said Badawi identifies three distinct levels of Egyptian Arabic
based chiefly on the quantity of non- Arabic
lexical items in the vocabulary: ʿĀmmiyyat al-Musaqqafīn (Cultured Colloquial or Formal Spoken Arabic), ʿĀmmiyyat al-Mutanawwirīn (Enlightened or Literate Colloquial), and ʿĀmmiyyat al-'Ummiyīn (Illiterate Colloquial).[23] Cultured Colloquial/ Formal Spoken Arabic
Formal Spoken Arabic
is characteristic of the educated classes and is the language of discussion of high-level subjects, but it is still Egyptian Arabic; it is characterized by use of technical terms imported from foreign languages and MSA and closer attention to the pronunciation of certain letters (particularly qāf). It is relatively standardized and, being closer to the standard, it is understood fairly well across the Arab world.[23] On the opposite end of the spectrum, Illiterate Colloquial, common to rural areas and to working-class neighborhoods in the cities, has an almost-exclusively Arabic
vocabulary; the few loanwords generally are very old borrowings (e.g. جمبرى gambari, [ɡæmˈbæɾi] "shrimp," from Italian gamberi, "shrimp" (pl.)) or refer to technological items that find no or poor equivalents in Arabic
(e.g. تلفزيون til(i)vizyōn/til(i)fezyōn [tel(e)vezˈjoːn, tel(e)fezˈjoːn], television).[23] Enlightened Colloquial (ʿĀmmiyyat al-Mutanawwirīn) is the language of those who have had some schooling and are relatively affluent; loanwords tend to refer to items of popular culture, consumer products and fashions. It is also understood widely in the Arab world, as it is the lingua franca of Egyptian cinema
Egyptian cinema
and television.[23] In contrast to MSA and most other varieties of Arabic, Egyptian Arabic has a form of the T-V distinction. In the singular, انت inta/inti is acceptable in most situations, but to address clear social superiors (e.g. older persons, superiors at work, certain government officials), the form حضرتك ḥaḍritak/ḥaḍritik, meaning "Your Grace" is preferred (compare Spanish usted). This use of ḥaḍritak/ḥaḍritik is linked to the system of honorifics in daily Egyptian speech. The honorific taken by a given person is determined by their relationship to the speaker and their occupation.

Examples of Egyptian honorifics

Honorific IPA Origin/meaning Usage and notes

siyadtak [seˈjættæk, seˈjædtæk] Standard Arabic
Standard Arabic
siyādatuka, "Your Lordship" Persons with a far higher social standing than the speaker, particularly at work. Also applied to high government officials, including the President. Equivalent in practical terms to "Your Excellency" or "The Most Honourable."

saʿadtak [sæˈʕættæk, sæˈʕædtæk] Standard Arabic
Standard Arabic
saʿādatuka, "Your Happiness" Government officials and others with significantly higher social standing. Equivalent in governmental contexts "Your Excellency," or "Your Honor" when addressing a judge.

maʿalīk [mæʕæˈliːk] Standard Arabic
Standard Arabic
maʿālīka, "Your Highness" Government ministers. Equivalent in practical terms to "Your Excellency" or "The Right Honourable."

ḥagg/ḥagga [ˈħæɡ(ɡ)]/[ˈħæɡɡæ] Standard Arabic
Standard Arabic
ḥāǧ Traditionally, any Muslim who has made the Hajj, or any Christian who has made pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Currently also used as a general term of respect for all elderly.

bāsha [ˈbæːʃæ] Ottoman Turkish pasha Informal address to a male of equal or lesser social status. Roughly equivalent to "man" or "dude" in informal English speech.

bēh [beː] Ottoman Turkish bey Informal address to a male of equal or lesser social status. Essentially equivalent to but less current than bāsha.

afandi [æˈfændi] Ottoman Turkish efendi (Archaic); address to a male of a less social standard than bēh and bāsha.

hānim [ˈhæːnem] Ottoman Turkish hanım/khanum, "Lady" Address to a woman of high social standing, or esteemed as such by the speaker. Somewhat archaic.

sitt [ˈset(t)] Standard Arabic
Standard Arabic
sayyida(t) "mistress" The usual word for "woman." When used as a term of address, it conveys a modicum of respect.

madām [mæˈdæːm] French madame Respectful term of address for an older or married woman.

ānisa [ʔæˈnesæ] Standard Arabic
Standard Arabic
ānisah, "young lady" Semi-formal address to an unmarried young woman.

ustāz [ʔosˈtæːz] Standard Arabic
Standard Arabic
ustādh, "professor", "gentleman" Besides actual university professors and schoolteachers, used for experts in certain fields. May also be used as a generic informal reference, as bēh or bāsha.

usṭa/asṭa [ˈostˤɑ]/[ˈɑstˤɑ] Turkish usta, "master" Drivers and also skilled laborers.

rayyis [ˈɾɑjjes] Standard Arabic
Standard Arabic
raʿīs, "chief" Skilled laborers. The term predates the use of the same word to mean "president", and traditionally referred to the chief of a village.

bash muhandis [bæʃmoˈhændes] Ottoman Turkish baş mühendis, "chief engineer" Certain types of highly skilled laborers (e.g. electricians).

miʿallim [meˈʕællem] Standard Arabic
Standard Arabic
muʿallim, "teacher" Most working class men, particularly semi-skilled and unskilled laborers.

ʿamm [ˈʕæm(m)] Standard Arabic
Standard Arabic
ʿamm, "paternal uncle" Older male servants or social subordinates with whom the speaker has a close relationship. It can also be used as a familiar term of address, much like basha. The use of the word in its original meaning is also current, for third-person reference. The second-person term of address to a paternal uncle is ʿammo [ˈʕæmmo]; onkel [ˈʔonkel], from French oncle, may also be used, particularly for uncles unrelated by blood.

dāda [ˈdæːdæ] ? Older female servants or social subordinates with whom the speaker has a close relationship.

abē [ʔæˈbeː] Ottoman Turkish abi/ağabey, "elder brother" Male relatives older than the speaker by about 10–15 years. Upper-class, and somewhat archaic.

abla [ˈʔɑblɑ] Ottoman Turkish abla, "elder sister" Female relatives older than the speaker by about 10–15 years.

Other honorifics also exist. In usage, honorifics are used in the second and third person.

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2011)

Regional variation[edit] Egyptian Arabic
varies regionally across its sprachraum, with certain characteristics being noted as typical of the speech of certain regions. Alexandria[edit] The dialect of Alexandria
(West Delta]) is noted for certain shibboleths separating its speech from that of Cairo
(South Delta). The ones that are most frequently noted in popular discourse are the use of the word falafel as opposed to ṭa`meyya for the fava-bean fritters common across the country and the pronunciation of the word for the Egyptian pound
Egyptian pound
as [ˈɡeni], rather than the Cairene [ɡeˈneː] (closer to the pronunciation of the origin of the term, the British guinea). The speech of the older Alexandrian families is also noted for use of the first-person plural even when they speak in the singular. Port Said[edit] Port Said's dialect (East Delta) is noted for a "heavier", more guttural sound, compared to other regions of the country. Study[edit] Egyptian Arabic
has been a subject of study by scholars and laypersons in the past and the present for many reasons, including personal interest, egyptomania, business, news reporting and diplomatic and political interactions. Egyptian Colloquial Arabic
(ECA) is now a field of study in both graduate and undergraduate levels in many higher education institutions and universities in the world. When added to academic instruction, Arabic
-language schools and university programs provide Egyptian Arabic
courses in a classroom fashion, and others facilitate classes for online study. Sample text[edit] Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Egyptian/Masri ( Arabic
script; spelling not standardised):

الاعلان العالمى لحقو ق
الانسان, البند الاولانى الاعلان العالمى لحقو ق
الانسان، البند الاولانى البنى ادمين كلهم مولودين حرّين ومتساويين فى الكرامه والحقوق. اتوهبلهم العقل والضمير، والمفروض يعاملو بعضيهم بروح الاخويه.

Franco/ Arabic Chat Alphabet (has no strict standard):

el e3lan el 3alami le 72u2 el ensan, el band el awalani el bani2admin kollohom mawlodin 7orrin we metsawyin fel karama wel 7o2u2. Etwahablohom el 3a2l wel damir, wel mafrud ye3amlo ba3dihom be ro7 el akhaweya.

Phonemic transcription (for comparison with Literary Arabic):

/il ʔiʕˈlaːn il ʕaːˈlami li ħˈʔuːʔ il ʔinˈsaːn il ˈband il ʔawwaˈlaːni/ /il bani ʔadˈmiːn kulˈluhum mawluˈdiːn ħurˈriːn wi mitsawˈjiːn fik kaˈrˤaːma wil ħuˈʔuːʔ ʔetwahabˈlohom ilˈʕaʔle we ddˤaˈmiːr wel mafˈruːdˤ jeʕamlo baʕˈdˤiːhom biˈroːħ el ʔaxaˈwejja/

phonemic transcription (for a general demonstration of Egyptian phonology):

/el ʔeʕˈlaːn el ʕaːˈlami le ħˈʔuːʔ el ʔenˈsaːn el ˈband el ʔawwaˈlaːni/ /el bani ʔadˈmiːn kolˈlohom mawloˈdiːn ħorˈriːn we metsawˈjiːn fel kaˈrˤaːma wel ħoˈʔuːʔ ʔetwahabˈlohom elˈʕaʔle we ddˤaˈmiːr wel mafˈruːdˤ jeˈʕamlu baʕˈdˤiːhom beˈroːħ el ʔaxaˈwejja/

phonetic transcription morphologically (in fast speech, long vowels are half-long or without distinctive length):

[el ʔeʕˈlæːn el ʕæˈlæmi le ħˈʔuːʔ el ʔenˈsæːn el ˈbænd el ʔæwwæˈlæːni] [el bæniʔædˈmiːn kolˈlohom mæwlʊˈdiːn ħʊrˈriːn we metsæwˈjiːn fel kɑˈɾɑːmɑ wel ħʊˈʔuːʔ ʔetwæhæbˈlohom elˈʕæʔle we ddɑˈmiːɾ wel mɑfˈɾuːd jeˈʕæmlu bɑʕˈdiːhom beˈɾoːħ el ʔæxæˈwejjæ]

A suggested alphabet:

El-Ea'lan el-A'alami le-H'oquq el-Ensan, el-band el-awwalani: El-baniq'admin kollohom mawludin h'orrin we metsawyin fel-karama wel-h'oquq. Etwahablohom el-a'aql wed'-d'amir, wel-mafrud' yea'amlo baa'd'ihom be roh' el-axaweyya.


Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in the spirit of brotherhood.

Sample words and sentences[edit]

إزيك [ezˈzæjjæk] ("How are you [m.]") إزيك [ezˈzæjjek] ("How are you [f.]") إزيكو [ezzæjˈjoko] ("How are you [pl.]") ايه ده [ˈʔeː ˈdæ] ("What's all this?", "What's the point", "What's this?" - expression of annoyance)

Ex.: إنتا بتقوللهم عليا كده ليه, ايه ده؟ [entæ betʔolˈlohom ʕæˈlæjjæ ˈkedæ ˈleː ˈʔeː dæ] ("Why are you telling them such things about me, what's all this?")

خلاص [xɑˈlɑːsˤ]: several meanings, though its main meaning is "enough", often adverbial

"Stop it!" Ex.: زهقت, خلاص [zeˈheʔte xɑˈlɑːsˤ] ("I'm annoyed, stop it! ") "It's over!", "finally, eventually" مامتى كانت عيانه و ماتت, خلاص Ex.: [ˈmɑmti kæːnet ʕajˈjæːnæ wˈmæːtet xɑˈlɑːsˤ] ("My mother was ill and died finally." [or "...and it's over now"]) "Ok, then!" Ex.: خلاص, أشوفك بكرا [xɑˈlɑːsˤ ʔæˈʃuːfæk ˈbokɾɑ] ("I'll see you tomorrow then")

خالص [ˈxɑːlesˤ] ("at all")

ماعندناش حاجه نقولها خالص [mæʕændeˈnæːʃ ˈħæːɡæ nˈʔolhæ ˈxɑːlesˤ] ("We have nothing at all to say")

كفاية [keˈfæːjæ] ("It's enough!" or "That's enough") يعنى [ˈjæʕni] ("that's to say" or "meaning" or "y'know")

As answer to إنتا عامل إيه؟ [entæ ˈʕæːmel ˈ(ʔ)eː] ("How do you do [m.]?") (as an answer: مش أد كده [meʃ ˈʔædde ˈkedæ] "I am so so" or نص نص [ˈnosˤse ˈnosˤ] "half half" = مش تمام [meʃ tæˈmæːm] "not perfect") يعنى ايه؟ [jæʕni ˈʔeː] ("What does that mean?") إمتا هتخلص يعنى؟ [ˈemtæ hɑtˈxɑllɑsˤ ˈjæʕni] ("When are you finishing exactly, then?)

بقى [ˈbæʔæ] (particle of enforcement → "just" in imperative clauses and "well,...then?" in questions)

هاته بقى [ˈhæːto ˈbæʔæ] ("Just give it to me!)" عمل ايه بقى؟ [ˈʕæmæl ˈ(ʔ)eː ˈbæʔæ] or  [ˈʕæmæl ˈ(ʔ)eː ˈbæʔæ] ("Well, what did he do then?")

See also[edit]

Egyptian Arabic
edition of, the free encyclopedia

language Bayoumi Andil Classical Arabic Coptic language Egyptian Arabic Egyptian Arabic
Swadesh list Egyptian language Futuh or early Muslim military expansions Modern Standard Arabic UCLA Language Materials Project Varieties of Arabic


^Note A Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
pronunciation: [alluʁˠatu lmisˠɾijjatu lħadiːθa]; Literary Arabic: /alluɣatu lmisˤrijjatu lħadiːθa/. ^Note B Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
pronunciation: [alluʁˠatu lmisˠɾijjatu lʕaːmmijja]; Literary Arabic: /alluɣatu lmisˤrijjatu lʕaːmmijja/. ^Note C Classical Arabic
Classical Arabic
pronunciation: [allahɟatu lmisˠɾijja]; Literary Arabic: /allahɡatu lmisˤrijja/.

^ Egyptian colloquial language at Ethnologue
(19th ed., 2016) ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Egyptian Arabic". Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ Nishio, Tetsuo. " Word order and word order change of wh-questions in Egyptian Arabic: The Coptic substratum reconsidered". Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference of L'Association Internationale pour la Dialectologie Arabe. Cambridge: University of Cambridge. 1996, pp. 171-179 ^ Bishai, Wilson B. "Coptic grammatical influence on Egyptian Arabic". Journal of the American Oriental Society. No.82, pp. 285-289. ^ Youssef (2003), below. ^ 13 foreign languages within the Egyptian Arabic
dialect  ^ "TBS 15 The State of the Musalsal: Arab Television
Drama and Comedy and the Politics of the Satellite Era by Marlin Dick".  ^ Islam
online on Mahmoud Timor Archived July 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Present Culture in Egypt
(in Arabic) and (in Egyptian Spoken Arabic) (PDF) by Bayoumi Andil. ^ Haeri (2003) ^ Jenkins, Siona. Egyptian Arabic
Phrasebook. Lonely Planet Publications, 2001. p. 205 ^ a b Gershoni, I., J. Jankowski. (1987). Egypt, Islam, and the Arabs. Oxford: Oxford University Press. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ "Book Review: First novel written in colloquial Arabic
republished - Review - Books - Ahram Online".  ^ David Dalby, 1999/2000, The Linguasphere Register, The Linguasphere Observatory William Bright, 1992, The International Encyclopedia of Linguistics, Oxford. ^ "Arabic, Sa'idi Spoken".  ^ Versteegh, p. 162 ^ "Arabic, Libyan Spoken".  ^ David Dalby, 1999/2000, The Linguasphere Register, The Linguasphere Observatory ^ "Arabic, Eastern Egyptian Bedawi
Eastern Egyptian Bedawi
Spoken".  ^ See e.g. Behnstedt & Woidich (2005) ^ Hinds, Martin (1986). A Dictionary of Egyptian Arabic. Beirut: Librairie du Liban. p. 104.  ^ Nishio, 1996 ^ a b c d Badawi, El-Said; Hinds, Martin (1986). A Dictionary of Egyptian Arabic. Libraire du Liban. pp. VII–X. ISBN 9781853410031. 


Abdel-Massih, Ernest T.; A. Fathy Bahig (1978). Comprehensive Study of Egyptian Arabic: Conversation Texts, Folk Literature, Cultural Ethnological and Socio Linguistic Notes. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan. ISBN 0-932098-11-8.  Peter, Behnstedt; Manfred Woidich (1985). Die ägyptisch-arabischen Dialekte, vols. I, II. Wiesbaden: L. Reichert.  Gary, Judith Olmsted, & Saad Gamal-Eldin. 1982. Cairene Egyptian Colloquial Arabic. Lingua Descriptive Studies 6. Amsterdam: North Holland. Haeri, Niloofar (2003). Sacred Language, Ordinary People: Dilemmas of Culture and Politics in Egypt. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-23897-5.  Harrell, Richard S. 1957. The Phonology
of Colloquial Egyptian Arabic. American Council of Learned Societies Program in Oriental Languages Publications Series B, Aids, Number 9. New York: American Council of Learned Societies. Hinds, Martin; El-Said Badawi (1987). A Dictionary of Egyptian Arabic. French & European Pubns. ISBN 0-8288-0434-6.  Mitchell, T.F. 1956. An Introduction to Egyptian Colloquial Arabic. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mitchell, T.F. 1962. Colloquial Arabic: the Living Language of Egypt. London: The English universities Press. Presse, Karl G.; Katrine Blanford; Elisabeth A. Moestrup; Iman El-Shoubary (2000). 5 Egyptian- Arabic
One Act Plays: A First Reader (Bilingual ed.). Museum Tusculanum. ISBN 87-7289-612-4.  Youssef, Ahmad Abdel-Hamid (2003). From Pharaoh's Lips: Ancient Egyptian Language in the Arabic
of Today. American University in Cairo Press. ISBN 977-424-708-6.  Tomiche, Nada. 1964. Le parler arabe du Caire. Paris: Mouton. Versteegh, Kees (2001). The Arabic
Language. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0-7486-1436-2.  Watson, Janet (2002), The Phonology
and Morphology of Arabic, New York: Oxford University Press 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to أجزاخانة.

Egyptian Arabic
edition of, the free encyclopedia

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Egyptian Arabic

Egyptian Arabic
Swadesh list of basic vocabulary words (from Wiktionary's Swadesh-list appendix) lisaan masry - a comprehensive online dictionary, thesaurus and grammar of Colloquial Egyptian Arabic, with free downloads for Windows, Android, Kindle, PDF Arabic
and its variations - Article at Study-Arabic.info Book on Egyptian roots of Egyptian Arabic[dead link] (in Arabic) "An Arabist's Guide to Egyptian Colloquial." (Archive) Daniel Pipes. - Version at the Internet Archive Egyptian Colloquial Arabic
Lessons In English Let's talk in Arabic Coptic Words in Egyptian Arabic
(in Arabic) Egyptian Arabic
lessons Description of Egyptian Arabic
from UCLA's Language Materials Project Egyptian Arabic
Course (through song lyrics) Free Arabic
and Egyptian lessons Alfabet el-Log'a l-Mas'ri (Facebook page / web site) - a proposed Latin-based alphabet for the modern Egyptian language (Mas'ri/English). Learn to Speak and Read Egyptian Arabic
Using a highly visual approach to learning with color-coded text, up to 6,000 audio clips, videos, and podcasts. Egyptian Arabic
Introductory article A review on the book "Present Culture in Egypt" (written in Arabic) Transferring Egyptian Colloquial into Modern Standard Arabic A community-based Ameyya-English dictionary

v t e

Languages of Egypt

Official language

Literary Arabic

Spoken Arabic

Egyptian Arabic Bedouin
Arabic Sa'idi Arabic Sudanese Arabic

Historical languages

Egyptian language

Minority languages

Bedawi Coptic Domari Nobiin Siwi and others

Foreign languages

English French

Immigrant languages

Armenian Greek Italian

Sign languages

Egyptian Sign Language

Links to related articles

v t e



Language Alphabet History Romanization Numerology Influence on other languages


Nabataean alphabet Perso- Arabic
alphabet Ancient North Arabian Ancient South Arabian script

Zabūr script

numerals Eastern numerals Arabic



i‘jām Tashkil Harakat Tanwin Shaddah

Hamza Tāʾ marbūṭah


ʾAlif Bāʾ Tāʾ

Tāʾ marbūṭah

Ṯāʾ Ǧīm Ḥāʾ Ḫāʾ Dāl Ḏāl Rāʾ Zāy Sīn Šīn Ṣād Ḍād Ṭāʾ Ẓāʾ ʿAyn Ġayn Fāʾ Qāf Kāf Lām Mīm Nūn Hāʾ

Tāʾ marbūṭah

Wāw Yāʾ Hamza

Notable varieties


Proto-Arabic Old Arabic Ancient North Arabian Old South Arabian


Classical Modern Standard Maltese[a]


Nilo-Egyptian Levantine Maghrebi

Pre-Hilalian dialects Hilalian dialects Moroccan Darija Tunisian Arabic Sa'idi Arabic

Mesopotamian Peninsular

Yemeni Arabic Tihamiyya Arabic

Sudanese Chadian Modern South Arabian

Ethnic / religious



Juba Arabic Nubi language Babalia Creole Arabic Maridi Arabic Maltese


Literature Names


Phonology Sun and moon letters ʾIʿrāb (inflection) Grammar Triliteral root Mater lectionis IPA Quranic Arabic

Calligraphy Script

Diwani Jawi script Kufic Rasm Mashq Hijazi script Muhaqqaq Thuluth Naskh (script) Ruqʿah script Taʿlīq script Nastaʿlīq script Shahmukhī script Sini (script)


keyboard Arabic script
Arabic script
in Unicode ISO/IEC 8859-6 Windows-1256 MS-DOS codepages

708 709 710 711 720 864

Mac Arabic

aSociolinguistically not Arabic

v t e

Varieties of Arabic


Old Arabic

Modern literary

Classical Modern Standard


Egyptian Chadian Sa'idi Sudanese




Omani Shihhi Dhofari Kuwaiti



Bareqi Hejazi

Sedentary Bedouin


Baharna Yemeni

Hadhrami San'ani Ta'izzi-Adeni Tihami Judeo-Yemeni


Northwest Arabian



North Mesopotamian

Cypriot Anatolian Judeo-Iraqi

South Mesopotamian

Baghdad Koiné Khuzestani

Central Asian

Afghani Khorasani Central Asian Arabic


North Levantine

North Syrian Central Levantine

Central Syrian Lebanese

South Levantine

Jordanian Palestinian

Urban Central village

Outer southern







North-Eastern Tunisian

Eastern Village

Sahel Sfaxian Lesser Kabylia

Western Village

Traras-Msirda Mountain

Judeo-Maghrebi Arabic

Judeo-Moroccan Judeo-Tripolitanian Judeo-Tunisian



Libyan koiné

Eastern Hilal

Tunisian koiné

Central Hilal

Algerian koiné Algerian Saharan Eastern Algerian Western Algerian


Western Moroccan Eastern Moroccan Moroccan koiné Hassānīya


Sicilian Arabic
(extinct ancestor of Maltese which is not part of the Arabic






Judeo-Moroccan Judeo-Tripolitanian Judeo-Tunisian Judeo-Yemeni

Creoles and pidgins

Babalia Bimbashi Juba Nubi Maridi Turku

Italics indicate extinct languages.

v t e

Semitic languages

East Semitic languages

Akkadian Eblaite

West Semitic and Central Semitic languages




Biblical Mishnaic Medieval Mizrahi Yemenite Sephardi Ashkenazi Samaritan Modern




Ammonite Moabite Edomite



Jewish Palestinian Samaritan Christian Palestinian Nabataean Western Neo-Aramaic


Biblical Hatran Syriac Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Chaldean Neo-Aramaic Assyrian Neo-Aramaic Senaya Koy Sanjaq Surat Hértevin Turoyo Mlahsô Mandaic Judeo-Aramaic Syriac Malayalam


Amorite Eteocypriot Ugaritic



Classical Modern Standard


Mashriqi (Eastern)

Arabian Peninsular

Dhofari Gulf

Bahrani Shihhi

Hejazi Najdi Omani Yemeni



Eastern Egyptian and Peninsular Bedawi



Sa'idi Arabic


Cypriot Lebanese Palestinian


North Mesopotamian Judeo-Iraqi

Sudanese Central Asian

Tajiki Uzbeki


Maghrebi (Western)

Algerian Saharan Shuwa Hassānīya Andalusian Libyan Arabic




Moroccan Arabic


Tunisian Arabic



Old Arabic Nabataean Arabic

South Semitic languages

Western South

Old South

Sabaean Minaean Qatabanian Hadramautic Awsānian



Ge'ez Tigrinya Tigre Dahalik





Silt'e (Wolane, Ulbareg, Inneqor) Zay



Gafat Soddo


Mesmes Muher West Gurage

Mesqan Ezha Chaha Gura Gumer Gyeto Ennemor Endegen

Modern South Arabian

Bathari Harsusi Hobyot Mehri Shehri Soqotri

v t e

Languages of the Mashriq

Official language

Standard Arabic


Extinct languages and varieties of Arabic

Punic language Roman language Pre-Hilalian Arabic Classical Arabic

Jewish varieties

Judeo-Iraqi Arabic Judeo-Yemeni Arabic

Existing varieties of Arabic

Mashriqi Arabic

Saudi Arabic Egyptian Arabic North Syrian Arabic Iraqi Arabic Lebanese Arabic Jordanian Arabic Palestinian Arabic Kuwaiti Arabic Saudi Arabic Yemeni Arabic

Authority control

GND: 4112460-1

^ "Documentation for ISO 639 ident