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  5. "There is heavy rain in my ci…

"There is heavy rain in my city."

Translation:هُناك مَطَر ثَقيل في مَدينَتي.

July 28, 2019



Is it not ok to say "fii madiinatii maTar thaqiil"?

  • 1363

hmm as an Arab myself I don't think there is something wrong in your sentence.

however, there is something wrong with the word thaqiil here. Thaqiil is used in Arabic to mean "heavy" in weight... for rains we say Ghazeer غزير
Duolingo is using quite a word-to-word translation

  • 1584

Agree. Ghazir is a lot better here


I don't understand when to use matar and when to use al matar

  • 1363

In reference to English, when the English is "There is..." then in Arabic it would be هناك (hunák) and the word that comes after would be without (AL).
If the English sentence was, for example "The rain is there..." or "The rain there is...", in such instances the word comes with (AL). For clarification:

  • There is rain: هناك مطر
  • The rain is there: المطر هناك
  • The rain there is... : هناك المطر

The definite article in Arabic (AL) is added usually for general concepts sometimes, or things identified already and known by the speaker and listener. Example:

  • There is a village. The village is small and green.
  • هناك قرية. القرية صغيرة وخضراء

Notice in English how it was (a village) in the first part, and then it turned to (the village), because after mentioning (a village) the first time, in the second sentence, I am referring back to that same village.
If you are familiar with Turkish, Turkish has no definite articles, but I noticed sometimes that in Turkish they use the accusative case (-ı, -i) or sometimes they simply use Bu and O (this and that respectively) to note that the subject is known and identified already. Hope this helps.


According to the tips at the start of this unit a phrase like “heavy rain” should have two definite articles. Not used here. In the previous sentence “ I don’t like hot weather” they were used and in the one before that “cold weather” not used. Duolingo’s explanation is not valid. Also I am not happy to hear from an Arabic speaker in a previous comment that the wrong word is used for “heavy.” In a comment on another page I read that Duolingo does not follow the correct case system. Could an Arabic speaker please give their opinion on how correct the Arabic is that Duolingo teaches. I don’t want to waste my time.

  • 1363

Duolingo teaches what I call "traveler's Arabic" - something to get you going in case you have to settle or visit an Arabic-speaking region. It is a mix of dialects and standard here.
The sound system on Duolingo has generated, not spoken by a real person, that's why it usually contains a lot of mistakes (though seems in the past few months things are changing in that regard, but still, some work needed yet).
In dialects, the cases are not quite important and so Duolingo did not focus on such grammatical issues as it should be in the standard Arabic. All in all, I might say this course in this rhythm (because the tree of skills is short so far, as I know) might enable one to check online newspapers or some texts here and there. If one is to be living in a region speaking Arabic, then most people do prefer learning the dialect of that region instead most of the time (even though people would still understand most of what non-Arabs would say in standard Arabic).


Thank you for this. It has clarified things.

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