This section explains how to specify which of several things we are interested in, or talking about.
To talk about a particular man, we say 'the man' in English. In arabic, we attach il-iil_ ا ِلـ to the front of the noun.
See articles for more information.
If we don't want to refer to any man in particular, we say 'a man' in English. There is no equivalent of a in arabic, you just use the noun on its own.
If you want to make it clear that you are talking about just one, you can use the word waaHid- one. When used for emphasis like this, you place it after the noun.
You also use it with nationalities to indicate that you are talking about a person, rather than (for example) the language.
In both English an Egyptian, you can use an adjective to specify which one you are interested in: you simply put the - il-iil_ ا ِلـ in front of the adjective. Note that, in Egyptian, the noun still retains its il-iil_ ا ِلـ prefix.
|describe||I want a red ball||Aaayiz koora hamraAaayiz kwrao Hamrao |
عا َيـِز كور َة حـَمر َة
|specify||I want the red ball||Aaayiz ilkoora ilhamraAaayiz iil-kwrao iil-Hamrao |
عا َيـِز ا ِلكور َة ا ِلحـَمر َة
|specify||I have read the big book||'ara't ilkitab ilkibeerqaraaCt iil-kitab iil-kibyr |
قـَرا َءت ا ِلكـِتـَب ا ِلكـِبير
One particular type of adjective is a demonstrative adjective. These are almost the same as the demonstrative pronouns.
The demonstrative adjectives are:
|this (man)||ilraagil dahiil-raagil dah|
ا ِلرا َجـِل د َه
|this (thing, m)||ilkitaab dahiil-kitaab dah |
ا ِلكـِتا َب د َه
|this (thing, f)||ilhaga dahiil-hagao dah |
ا ِلهـَجـَة د َه
|this (woman)||ilsitt diiil-sitt dy |
ا ِلسـِتّ دي
|these (men)||ilragaala dooliil-ragaalaa dwl |
ا ِلر َجا َلا َ دول
|these (men) nearer||ilragaala diiil-ragaalaa dy |
ا ِلر َجا َلا َ دي
|these (women)||ilsittaat dooliil-sittaat dwl |
ا ِلسـِتّا َت دول
|these (things,m)||ilkutoob diiil-kutwb dy |
ا ِلكـُتوب دي
|these (things,f)||ilhagaat diiil-hagaat dy |
ا ِلهـَجا َت دي
|over there (m)||'ahwaachw!|
|over there [f]||'ahiaachy! |
|over there (pl)||'ahoomaachwm! |
You can use a comparative in the same was as an adjective to specify which one you mean:
|mohammed is the tallest student||muhammad 'aTwal TaalibmuHammad aacTwal Taalib|
مـُحـَمّـَد أطو َل طا َلـِب
|he is the youngest boy||huwwa 'aSGar waladhuwwa aacSGar walad|
هـُوّ َ أصغـَر و َلـَد
|the tallest student is 1m90||ilTaalib il'aTwal Toolooh mitr 1 wa 90 santiiil-Taalib iil-aacTwal Twlwh mitr 1 wa 90 santy |
ا ِلطا َلـِب ا ِلأطو َل طولوه مـِتر ١ و َ ٩٠ سـَنتي
|the most expensive drink is 20 pounds||ilmashrab il'aGla 20 gineehiil-mashrab iil-aacGlY 20 ginyh |
ا ِلمـَشر َب ا ِلأغلى ٢٠ جـِنيه
|this is the prettiest dress in the shop||dih 'ahla fustaan fi ilmahaldih aacHlY fustaan fy iil-maHal |
د ِه أحلى فـُستا َن في ا ِلمـَحـَل
|it was the best day in my life||kaan 'ahsan yoom fi hayaatikaan aacHsan ywm fy Hayaaty |
كا َن أحسـَن يوم في حـَيا َتي