Egyptian Arabic Grammar

Pronunciation rules


In the pronounced form, the syllable that is stressed is underlined.

In most words, the second to last syllable is usually stressed.

'iftakariicftakar إفتـَكـَر
kutubkutub كـُتـُب
mudaKanmudaKan مـُد َخـَن

The stress moves to the last syllable if it contains a long vowel (alif, wow, yeh) or ends with a double consonant. Remember that the letter AIN is treated as a consonant.

taAbaantaAbaan تـَعبا َن
maftoohmaftwH مـَفتوح
yidu''yiduqq يـِد ُقّ

This means that the stress will move if suffixes are added to a word.

Feminine endings

When a word ends in _aaCiC (where C is any consonant) has a feminine ending attached, the i disappears and the aa is pronounced as an a.

waahidwaaHid وا َحـِد -> wahdawaaHdao وا َحد َة


If a word ends with a vowel and the first vowel of the next word is either an i or a u, the words are run together (elided) and the i or u omitted.

'inta mineen?iicnta minyn? إنت َ مـِنين؟ -> 'intamneen?iicntamnyn? إنتـَمنين؟

This also happens if you attach an object suffix that begins with an i.

consonant clusters

If putting two words next to each other makes more than two consonants in a row, a shwa (which sounds like a short a) is inserted between the words.

baAd kidahbaAd kidah بـَعد كـِد َه -> baAdakidahbaAdakidah بـَعد َكـِد َه

Sun letters

If the definite article, il-iil_ ا ِلـ, is attached to a word that begins with a sun-letter ( tt ت,  ss س,  shsh ش,  zdh ذ,  rr ر,  zz ز,  SS ص,  DD ض,  TT ط,  ZZ ظ,  nn ن ) the word is written the same, but when spoken the ll ل is dropped and the sun-letter is doubled

il- shamsiil_ shams ا ِلـ شـَمس -> ishshamsiishshams ا ِشّـَمس


The pronunciation of some pronoun and verb endings is a little unusual. For the you(pl) 'intuiicntoo إنتوا subject pronoun and for you(pl) and they in the verb perfect, the ending is written -w a_w aa ـو اَ but pronounced -uh_uh ــُه.

The word because is written AalashaanAalashaan عـَلـَشا َن but pronounced AashaanAashaan عـَشا َن.

The word orange is written burtu'aalburtuqaal بـُرتـُقا َل but pronounced burtu'aanburtuqaan بـُرتـُقا َن.

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