Hello and welcome back to Kaleela. Today we’re continuing our discussion about Arabic grammar by looking at Arabic plural nouns.
You may remember that we’ve already talked about singular nouns when there is only one of something, and we’ve also explored the use of duals when there are two of something. However, for those of you just joining us, here is quick a reminder.
Using the root letters ط، ل، ب on the active pattern (faaʻil/فاعِل), one student would be طالِب/Taalib/ and the dual for two students would be طالِبانِ /Taalibaani/.
Now plurality, on the other hand, is where Arabic grammar becomes a lot more interesting.
In Arabic, there are two types of plurals: sound or broken.
Sound plurals ( جَمع السّالِم /jamʻ issaalim/) are created simply by adding a suffix to the singular form. For the masculine form the suffixes ـوْنَ or ـيْنَ are added. For the feminine form, the suffix ـاتٌ is used.
Broken plurals جمْع التَّكْسير /jamʻ ittakseer/ on the other hand change the internal structure of the singular (and that’s why they call it “broken”).
Another distinction between sound plurals and broken plurals is that there is only one form for the sound plural for each of the two genders; however, there are many broken plurals in the language.
In this post, we will discuss how to form the sound plurals, give some details about broken plurals and discuss when to use which. Still, it is important to note that because there are so many ways to create a broken plural, we will not go too far into details as it would take another post or two just to describe the many ways to do so. You will, however, be able to learn all about them during future grammar lessons on the Kaleela Arabic language learning app.
Sound plurals are relatively easy to form as both the masculine and feminine versions have only one basic form each which involves simply adding a suffix to the noun. The only thing really noteworthy is to remember that the form for the masculine plural is changed slightly depending on the grammatical case of the noun.
As mentioned before, Masculine sound plural nouns end in ـوْنَ or ـيْنَ and feminine sound plural nouns end in ـاتٌ. Here are some examples:
Typically, feminine inanimate nouns ending in تاء مَربوطَة/taaʼ marbooTah/ take the feminine sound plural as in the following:
Still, there are exceptions to this rule like those found below:
Additionally, you’ll find some masculine nouns, usually words borrowed from English, that take the feminine sound plural.
Finally, remember that the masculine sound plural is never used with inanimate nouns.
As we mentioned before, there are many, many ways to form broken plurals. With that in mind, it’s easier for you if you memorize the broken plural for each new noun that you learn.
Finally, when deciding on whether you should use a sound plural or a broken plural, the best way to figure it out is to use an Arabic dictionary.
Just as there are many ways to form plurals, there are many ways to learn Arabic. However, there’s only one way to learn Arabic the right way and that’s with the Kaleela Arabic Language learning app. Why not see for yourself how Kaleela makes learning Arabic easy and convenient for you.
For more information on the app and how you can start learning Arabic today, visit us at kaleela.com.