Notes for this unit- Masculine & Feminine – Lesson 1

مُذَكَّر وَ مُؤَنَّث

Masculine & Feminine

All names in Arabic have to be either masculine or feminine. There is no neutral gender (it) in Arabic.

  • One of the most common feminine marker for human nouns is ـة/ة.     For example: طالِب means student, but طالِبة means female student, زَوج means husband, زَوجة means wife.
  • For non-human nouns, most nouns with ة/ـة are feminine nouns and nouns with it are masculine nouns.                   For example: بَيت (house) is masculine, but غُرفة (room) is feminine, كُرسي (chair) is masculine, طاوِلة (table) is feminine.
  • All adjectives that describe feminine nouns usually take ة/ـة .                   

For example: 

أُستاذ عربي             أُستاذة عربية                    شارِع طويل             شَجرة طويلة

رَجُل طَيِّب              مَرأَة طَيِّبة                       بَيت جَديد               سَيّارة جَديدة

  • هذا / هذه we use هذا with masculine & هذه with feminine nouns:

    هذا رَجُل             هذه امرأَة                   هذا كُرسي           هذه طاوِلة

    هذا أُستاذ جَيِّد        هذه أُستاذة جَيِّدة             هذا كتاب عَربي      هذه جامِعة عَربية


The noun has to be definite in three cases:

1. If the noun is specific to both the speaker and the listener.  Therefore: the following nouns cannot be definite 

           Not specific (any car) .أُريد سَيّارة

Specific for the speaker but not the listener .عِندي سَيّارة جَميلة

  Specific to the listener but not the speaker .سَمعتُ (I heard) عِندك سَيّارة

However, the noun in the following car is definite

I bought the car we saw yesterday .اشتريت السَيّارة التي رأيناها أَمس

Here the noun is specific for both of the speaker and the listener, so it is definite.


2. The noun in Arabic has to be definite when we refer to ONLY ONE. For example if we talk about the moon, the sun, the president of a country, etc.

أيَن الرَئيس؟

جَميل (the moon) القَمر

3.When we refer to a noun in general, the noun must be definite. For example:                       أَبي يُحب الشاي.

                                   الصيف حار

The words in the above examples are definite because we are taking about tea/summer in general.