Hello and welcome once again to our blog. Those of you who have been following us lately know that we have been exploring the Arabic alphabet, and our series continues today with the letter ك /kaaf/.

The Arabic consonant letter ك /kaaf/ is really easy to pronounce as it is the Arabic equivalent to the letters “k” and “c” in the Roman alphabet when “c” takes the “k” sound as in the word “car”. (That is when we say ك /kaaf/ is equal to the “c”, we mean it does not take the “s” sound of “c” as pronounced in words like “dance” or “ice”.)

The Shapes of  ك /kaaf/

Much like many of the other Arabic letters you’ve learned about, the shape of ك /kaaf/ changes depending on where it falls in a word – that is, it changes shape if it comes at the beginning of the word (initial), the middle of the word (medial), or the end of the word (final).  

We’ll start with the shapes of ك /kaaf/ by looking at its stand-alone shape (ك). Notice it looks like a backwards “L” with a small “s” inside. (Or, as others have said, it sort of resembles a fishhook with a worm.)

Now Let’s look at the shapes of ك /kaaf/ depending on its position in the word:

In the Initial Position

When ك /kaaf/ comes at the beginning of the word, as it does in  كِتاب  /kitaab/ “book”

For example, it takes on a shape that sort of looks like a big, backwards, angled “2”.

In the Medial Position 

When ك /kaaf/ comes in the middle of a word (or anywhere except the first or last letters) two things can happen:

  1. First, ك/kaaf/ is connected on both sides as in   مَكتَب/maktab/ “office”.

where it is connected on both sides and, again, looks like a big inverted “2” with angles instead of curves.

  1. The other thing that can happen when ك /kaaf/ is in the medial position is that it can be disconnected from the right side as in راكِب/raakib/“passenger”.

Once again, in this position, it takes on the shape of an angular number “2” in reverse.

In the End Position

When ك/kaaf/ comes at the end of a word, again, two things can happen:

  1. First, it can fall at the end while being connected to the previous letters in the word as in ديك/deek/ “rooster”.

Here you’ll notice it once again takes on the fishhook and worm shape.

  1. If it falls At the end and is disconnected from the previous letters in the word as in  

    شُبّاك /shubbaak/ “window”

Then it takes the fishhook/worm shape as it does when it stands alone, as mentioned above.

Connecting ك /kaaf/

Speaking of all of these connections, it’s important to know that some Arabic letters can only be connected from the right side. These letters are:


Likewise, there are some Arabic letters that can be connected from both sides. They are:


ك/kaaf/ is disconnected from the right when it is preceded by letters from the first group as in راكِب/raakib/“passenger” where ʼalif (أ) falls in the first group.

As seen above ك /kaaf/ falls into the group that can be connected from both sides. As a result, we can also conclude that ك /kaaf/ can be connected from the right when it is preceded by letters from the second group as in مَكتَب/maktab/ “office” where meem (م) falls in the second group.   

See the table below for a summary and notice how the letters are connected or not:













Well, that’s all there is to say about the letter ك /kaaf/.

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