1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Arabic
  4. >
  5. "Baghdad is old."

"Baghdad is old."

Translation:بَغْداد قَديمة.

July 30, 2019



As a rule of thumb, are all city names feminine?

  • 1374

hmm I'm not sure of actually as a native speaker but all the cities I could think of are actually feminine - So maybe we can say 90% of them are? I'm keeping 10% for surprises :)


According to A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic (Karin C. Ryding):

Names of cities are considered feminine because the Arabic word for ‘city’ is madiina, a feminine word. This is true for all cities, not just Arab cities.

It is interesting (but in other languages this "rule" would not be true: in Portuguese, city (a cidade) is a feminine word, most part of city names are feminine, but there are masculine city names).

About country names:

Country names are usually feminine, but there are a few masculine ones, including:

Morocco (...) Jordan (...)

Iraq (...) Sudan (...)

Lebanon (...)


it's like how people call ships and boats "she is a fine ship"?

  • 1374

Not sure about the English expression, but the sentence is what it is, simply telling that Baghdad is an old place. I have to admit though that using the adjective قديمة (qadímah) for old here is kind of misplaced. Typically, if I want to describe a historical city I use عتيقة (3atíqah) which also means "old" but let's say it is old with history. Not saying قديمة is totally wrong, but it just doesn't sound right to me as a native as quite mundane in usage to describe a historical place, such as Baghdad (or any other).


that would make sense because مدينة is feminine

Learn Arabic in just 5 minutes a day. For free.