Arabic Alphabet: /ʻain/ ع

In today’s blog, we will discuss another challenging and unique letter in Arabic. It is interesting how each language has some letters that distinguish it from other languages, especially in terms of pronunciation. One of the distinguishing Arabic letters will be brought out today. After studying a few more letters in the Arabic alphabet, it's time to move on to the letter ʻain.

The pronunciation of ʻain ع is one of the most difficult to pronounce. And, it isn’t equivalent to any of the English letters. However, in order to pronounce it correctly, the letter ʻain comes from a flap that moves toward the back of the throat and creates a very narrow passage through which air passes through it. It's not easy to pronounce but practice makes perfect. Also, it is one of the guttural letters. The letter ʻain only functions as a consonant letter. You will find everything you need about the letter ʻain in today's blog. How it looks like, its shapes depending on its position in a word and some words with the letter ʻain.

Get to know the letter ʻain in Arabic

Before we start with the shapes of the letter ʻain, we need to demonstrate an important note that states that the letter ʻain can be connected from both sides. As shown below in the table. The second group (2nd group) shows letters that can be connected from both sides. Some Arabic letters can only be connected from the right side (1st group).

1st group: 

Connected from the right side


2nd group: 

Connected from both sides


The letter ʻain falls in the second group. ʻain connects itself from both sides. So, let us get to know the letter ʻain and give some Arabic words with ʻain after the video.

As shown in the video, this is the shape of the letter ʻain standing alone. The form of the letter ʻain changes depending on where it appears in a word. So, we can have it either at the beginning of the word (initial), middle of the word (medial), or ending of the word (final). But firstly, notice that the letter ʻain is easy to write and it looks like an inverted 3. If it is standing alone, it looks like this “ع.” Now, let us get to know the different shapes of the letter ʻain and give some Arabic words with ʻain.


ʻain shapes

The letter ʻain has 4 forms, depending on its position in the word

1. Initial (ع): When it comes at the beginning of a word: 

It looks like a crescent moon followed by a straight line

As in:       شبعـ    /ʻushb/   which means Grass

Medial: 1) While being connected (ـعـ): 

It looks like an upside-down triangle preceded and followed by straight lines

As in:          ثعـبان   /thuʻbaan/    which means Snake

                            2) While not being connected (عـ):

     As in:         جرعـة   /jurʻah/      which means Dose

  Final: 1) While being connected (ـع):

Final connected 'ain looks like an upside-down triangle linked to the English letter C. 

     As in:         جامع    /jaamiʻ/      which means Mosque


                    2) While not being connected (ع):

Final disconnected 'ain looks like a tiny crescent moon linked to the English letter C.

   As in:          شارع   /shaariʻ/  which means Street


To wrap up






                          /ʻushb/     عـشب



                                   ثــعــبان     /thuʻbaan/         

                جرعــة        /jurʻah/      


           جـامــع    /jaamiʻ/            

     شـارع   /shaariʻ/       

That was it for the letter ʻain; you can also watch the video about the letter ʻain on our YouTube channel and listen to how the letter ʻain is pronounced. Kaleela offers its users further practice on both the website and the application, and it covers all the material you require. Also, you can have the Arabic language listed and broken down into levels and topics to make it easier for you to learn the language gradually. We at Kaleela believe in creating and using a methodology such that the learner receives all the information he requests. Starting with the Arabic basics to advanced Arabic. Kaleela will guide you to master the Arabic language. In a positive and enjoyable manner. The best approach to learn Arabic is through downloading Kaleela.