Adjectives in Gulf Arabic

Adjectives in Gulf Arabic.
Adjectives are words used to describe something.

  • 📌Keep in mind that Adjectives follow the noun they describe and most match the noun exactly in gender masculine or feminine, number, and definiteness (dual, single, plural, Al- equivalent of the in Arabic)
  • Notes ملاحظات
  • the active participle acts as an adjective
  • • There are no indefinite articles a and an in Arabic
  • • Adjectives come after the noun
  • Noun + adjective.

• el-fundug el-kabiir il-yadiid/الفندق الكبير الجديد the big new hotel
• If there is more than one adjective add after the first one agreeing with it and the noun
• bint jamiilah Saghiirah البنت صغيرة جميلة a beautiful young girl
• Definite noun + definite adjective.
• Indefinite noun + indefinite nouns.
• If the word begins following so called sun letters
• ت ث د ذ ر ز س ش ص ض ط ظ ل ن
The L of the AL is omitted in pronunciation and the following letter is doubled
• Adjectives have plurals just like nouns
• There is no equivalent of is and are in Arabic
• There is no it in Arabic
Describing things
Singular, dual and Plural Adjectives
Simple descriptive sentences

ʻThe office is bigʼ, المكتب كبير
ʻThe house is emptyالبيت فارغ
one simply says:
ʻThe office is bigʼ il-maktab kabiir المكتب كبير
ʻthe office bigʼ
il-bayt faarigالبيت فارغ
ʻthe house emptyʼ

Singular مفرد
Ilmudaris ilyadiid المدرس اليديد the new teacher
Ilmudarisa ilyadiidah اليديدة المدرِّسة
ir-rayyaal zayn. ʻThe man is good.ʼ
il-mara zayna. ʻThe woman is good.ʼ
ir-rayyaalayn zayníin. ʻThe two men are good.ʼ

Dual/Plural مثنئ /جمع

ir-rayaayiil zayniin.الريايل زينين ʻThe men are good.ʼ
il-mara-tayn zayniin.المرأتين زينين ʻThe two women are good.ʼ
in-niswaan zayniin. النسوان زينينʻThe women are good.ʼ
It can be seen from these examples that zayn, and other adjectives
like it, add a final -a when they qualify a feminine noun, and the plural
suffix -iin .ـين +
when they follow dual or plural nouns.
many adjectives have broken plurals just like nouns
Substituting the adjective kabiir كبيرpluralكبار kibaar
Into the above examples, we get:
Singular (masculine.) ir-rayyaal kabiir.الريال كبير ʻThe man is old.ʼ
Singular (feminine.) il-mar-a kabiira.المرأةكبيرة ʻThe woman is old.ʼ
Dual ir-rayyaalayn kibaarالريالين كبار . ʻThe two men are old.ʼ
Plural in-niswaan kibaar.النسوان كبار ʻThe women are old.ʼ
Kibaar كبار not kabiiriin كبيرين is used in the dual/plural.
Whether an adjective behaves in the plural like zayn زين or kabiir كبيرcannot be predicted from the form of the singular: as with the noun,
it is recommended to learn the plural form
at the same time as the singular.

Note that the feminine examples given so far have involved nouns
that are feminine by meaning. What about those (mostly ending
in -a) that are feminine by grammatical category, such as sharika,شركة a company
sayyaara,سيارة a car qurfa غرفة a room In the singular, such nouns behave exactly like mara مرأة a woman:
ish-sharika kabiira.الشركة كبيرة ʻThe Company is big.ʼ
il- ghorfa zayna.الغرفة زينة ʻThe room is nice.ʼ
But in the dual/plural, the adjective may either be plural or feminine
Dual muthnaa مثنئ
ish-sharikatayn kabiira.الشركتين كبيرة
ʻThe two companies are big.ʼ
ish-sharikatáyn kibáar.الشركتين كبار

Plural jama3 جمع
il-Quraf zayna.الغرف زينةʻThe rooms are nice.ʼ
il- Quraf zayniin.الغرف زينين
Awlaad faqiira أولاد فقيرة/فقراء poor boys
Banaat sughaar بنات صغار small girls

Note that, in general in Gulf Arabic, noun duals and
Plurals such as companies or rooms – that is, inanimate objects –
may be considered grammatically plural or feminine singular, and may
Hence have adjectives and verbs that are either plural or feminine
singular. This applies whatever the gender of the noun in the singular.
So one may (not only) say ish-sharikatayn kabiira/kibaar.الشركتين كبية/كبار

sharika شركة is feminine in its singular form, but also il-aswaag kabiira/
kibaar الأسواق كبيرة/كبار ʻThe markets are bigʼ, where the singular suug سوق ʻmarketʼ is
Grammatically masculine singular.
kuraasi maksuura /maksuuriin كراسي:مكسورة/مكسورين Broken Chairs
biyuut qadiimaa/qada- maa بيوت :قديمة/قدماء old houses
dariishaat saqiirah/ suqaar دريشاتدريشاتصغيرة/صغار
madaa3im baciidah/bacaad مطاعم:بعيدة/بعاد far restaurants
Fanaadiq rakhiisah/rukhaas فنادقرخيصة/ رخاص cheap hotels
Gahaawii gariibah/ graab قهاوي : قريبة/قراب near cafeteria
Dafaatiir ragiigah/ rqaaq دفاتر:رقيقة/رقاق
Suwar qaaliyah /qaaliyiin صور:غالية/غالين expensive pictures
Sayaaraat kathiirah /سيارات كثيرة many cars
Aflaan yadiida /افلام جدية/ يديدة aflaan yadiidah

Noun-adjective phrases
In noun phrases such as ʻa new palaceʼ, قصر يديد ʻa spacious roomʼغرفة واسعة or ʻgood
menʼ, ريايل زينين the adjective follows the noun in Arabic, agreeing in number and
gender as described above:
bint haadiya /بنت هادية a quiet girl
fila 7ilwa/ فيلا حلوة a beautiful villa
balad kabiiraبلد كبيرة/ a big country

gaSir yaadidقصر يديد ʻa new palaceʼ

Qurfa waasi3a غرفة واسعةʻa spacious roomʼ
rayaayiil zayniinريايل زينين ʻgood menʼ the stupid men

If these phrases are made definite, that is, ʻthe old palace, etc., the
definite article il is put before both the noun and its adjective. so the
literal English translation of the Arabic for ʻthe old palace is ʻthe-palace the-
il-gaSir il-yadiid القصر اليديد ʻthe new palaceʼ
il-qurfa l-waasi3a الغرفة الواسعةʻthe spacious roomʼ
ir-rayaayiil iz-zayniin الريايل زينينʻthe good menʼ
ir-rayaayiil il aghbiyaa الريايل الأغبياء
Note that, where the noun ends in a vowel, as with feminine nouns like
ghurfa, the i of the following il is elided.
The defined adjective can stand alone in much the same way as in
fii noo3ayn, kabiir uu Saghiir.في نوعين كبير و صغير
ʻThere are two kinds, big and small.ʼ
nzayn, 3Tni l-kabiir.زين عاطيني لكبير
ʻOK, give me the big one.ʼ

Colors ألوان

Colors are adjectives that describe things and people.
In Arabic, Colors must match the gender they are describing.
An adjective referring to primary colors have a feminine irregular form
The primary colors have special patterns الاوزان :

سودسودا   أسود   black
خضرخضرا  أخضر green
زرقزرقا   أزرق blue
حمرحمرا    أحمر   red
صفرصفرا أصفر yellow
بيضبيضا أببيض white

Relative adjectives النسبة

Adjectives of Nationalities, tribal family Affiliation
Nationalities are simply adjectives made from the name of the Country

Country Mas c . Fem. Plural English
gaTar قطرgaTari قطريgaTariyyah قطريةgaTariyyiinقطرين Qatari
3umaanعمان 3umaaniعماني 3umaaniyyahعمانية 3umaaniyyiin عمانينOmani
maS(i)r مصرmaSri مصريmaSriyyah مصريىةmaSriyyiinمصرين Egyptian

These are best learned as they come, but here are a few common
examples. The plurals are sometimes irregular:


1 If the place name from which the adjective is derived has the
definite article drop the definite article when forming the adjective:
al-kuwait الكويت -+كويتي kuwaiti
al-urdun لأردن ·-+ أردني urduni (Jordanian)
al-yamanاليمن -+يمني yamani

2 If it has the -ah feminine ending, this is also dropped,

. there
are certain anomalies with words ending in -a, which can omit
this final vowel and add -i, or take the ending -aani,اني -aawi,اوي or
even use a completely different base.
These are best learned as they come, but here are a few common
examples. The plurals are sometimes irregular:

Country Mas c. Fern. Plural English
faransa faransaawi * faransfyyah faransiyyiin French
فَرَنْسَا فرنساوي فرنساوية /فَرَنْسِية فَرَنْسِيين or faransaawi
amriika amrrki amriikfyyah amriikaan American
أَمْرِيْكَا أَمْرِّيْكِي أَمْرِيْكِيَّة أميكان
lngilterra inglizi ingliizfyyah lngliz English
إجلنتيرية إنجليزي إنجليزيَّة أنجليز
al-maghrib maghribi maghribiyyah maghaar(l)bah Moroccan
المغرب مغربي مغربيَّة مغاريب

NounAdjectiveMasculine singularFeminine singularPluralF plural     
A7aadiis nabawiyah
نبويين nabawiyyin      
أسويين asawiyiinآسيويات aasiyaawiyaat     
  عرب عربيات     
Franceفرنسا faransaFrench فرانساويفرنساويةfaransawiفرنسويين faransawiyyiinفرنساويات Faransaawiyaat     
yearسنة sanayearly/annual
سناوية sanawi)سنويين sanawiyyiinسنويات     

Some plural relative adjectives (nisbah )نسبة are irregular:

 Masculine singularFeminine singularPlural  M or m+fFlural feminine 
Arabعربي 3arabiعربيَّة 3arabiyyaعرب 3arab   or عربان 3arbaanعربيات 3arabiyaat 
Moroccanمغربي maġribiمغربيَّة maġribeyyaمغرابة maġarbaمغربيا maqribiyaat 
Turkishتركي  turkiتركيَّة turkeyyaأتراك atraakTurkiyaat تركيات 
Englishانجليزي ingiliiziانجليزيَّة ingliizeyyaانجليز ingiliizإنجليزيَات ingiliiziyaat 
Kurdishكردي kurdiكرديَّة kurdeyya      أكراد   akraad  كرديات kurdiyaat   

حِنّا اِجتِمعنَا اِليُوم لَجِل نِختَار وَاحِدن مِنّا اِيمَثلنَا فِي مِجلِس اِلقِبَايِل
مِثلِكُم عَارِف
إنّ اِلعُربَان اِتّفقُّوا عَلَى هَالأمر

7inaa ijtamacn alyoon li ajli nakhtaar waa7idin minaa yamasilnaa fii majlisal qabaail wa mislikun 3aarif ina el 3arbaan itafagoow 3alaa hal amar

we’re meeting today to choose someone to represent us at the tribe council
as you know

Arabs agreed on this

Adjectives that describe feelings

Active participle acting as an adjective

There are a great many adjectives of this class that describe

Feminine Masculine

Sad (Male)
Upset (Male)

Upset (Female)
Exited (Male)
Exited (Female)
Embarrassed (Male)
Embarrassed (Female)

Masculine Feminine Plural

Forming plural from singular adjectives, most adjective is formed by adding een ين at the end of the masculine adjectives.

3aTshaan عطشان 3aTshaana عطشانة 3aTshaaniin عطشانين or 3aTaasha عطشىʻthirstyʼ
Yuu3aan يوعان yuu3aana يوعانه yuu3aaníin or yuwaa3aيوعى ʻhungryʼ
Ta3baan تعبان ta3baana تعبانه ta3baaniin or ta3aabaتعابة ʻtiredʼ
Bardaanبردان bardaana بردانة bardaaniinبردانين or baraada برادة ʻcoldʼ
salma waayid ta3baana سلمى ويد عطشانة ʻSalma is very tired.ʼ
ir-rayaayiil 3aTshaaniin الريايل عشانين ʻThe men are thirsty.ʼ
ana bardaan il-yoom أنا بردان اليوم ʻIʼm feeling cold today.ʼ
Note that bardaan بردانrefers to how a person feels; the adjective baarid,بارد
from the same root, is used to describe liquids, food, or things that are
cold, for example:
jiib lii baarid!جيب لي بارد ʻBring me a cold drink!ʼ (lit. ʻa coldʼ)
il-yoom báarid اليوم باردʻToday is coldʼ
akil baarid أكل بارج ʻcold foodʼ

happy ( group )
happy (a female)
happy (a male)
Sad ( group )
Sad(a female)
Sad (a male)

Adjectives that come before the noun.

Sometimes adjectives come before the noun they describe just li
There are very few adjectives that precede the noun they qualify. The
most important is khoosh خوشʻnice, goodʼ, which is used in exclamatory
phrases of the following kind, and takes no feminine or plural endings:


خوش واحد
khoosh waa7id
nice guy
خوش مطعم
khoosh mad3am
nice good restaurant
خوش اكل
khoos akal
nice food
خوش شغل
khoosh shuqol
good job

khoosh wa7id! ʻGood person!ʼ
khoosh draywil inta! ʻWhat a good driver you are!ʼ
Khoosh shay! ʻWhat a nice thing!ʼ