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  5. "Arwa has a new cat."

"Arwa has a new cat."

Translation:عِنْد أَرْوى قِطّة جَديدة.

July 30, 2019



what is the word for a male cat?

  • 1384

قِط (Qit^). Just by removing the ta-marbuta at the end (i.e. ـة) the word would turn into masculine.

This said, there is also another word for cat in Arabic: Hirr (هِر) and Hirrah (هِرّة) (masculine and feminine respectively). I remember some of my teachers saying that these two are more commonly used in the Arabic of Yemen (not the dialect nowadays but the Arabic of ancient times in that region).


What a lovely word. Onomatopoeic (i.e. it sounds like a cat does)

  • 1384



what's the last letter in arwa?

  • 1384

It's called Alif Maqcúrah ألف مقصورة (shortened Alif).
It is a regular Alif (though some scholars say it is a soft short Alif, and maybe some others say it is inclined-Alif, meaning it is between A and I, which is technically like "E" in Western languages mostly). However, we are not taught these views in school technically and we just say this as a regular long vowel Alif (á).
The necessity for writing Alif in this shape varies. For proper names, like أروى, موسى, عيسى and some others, I'm not sure why it is a rule to write the names in that way. However, it has some orthographic purposes when it comes to verbs just as a significator about the origin of Alif. For example:
- he ran: جرى (jará).
- he runs: يجري (yajrí).

You can see here that we didn't write (he ran) as جرا but as جرى, because in the present tense, this Alif would change to ي, so it serves as a significator or a clue about the change in the present tense.

Another purpose is to differentiate "some" words that are similar in sound but different in meaning. For example:
- علا (3alá) to go up; Verb.
- على (3alá) on/upon; preposition.

You can see, the two sound the same in fact but both have different meanings. Some people, unfortunately, do mix this Alif with the regular ي which makes confusion. Moreover, some languages that use the Arabic script, like Farsi, do write the ي in general without dots at the end of the word (simply because they don't need to use Alif Macúrah like we do in Arabic).

Hope that clarifies some points.


Very insightful, thank you


Aand (to have) comes from Egyptian Arabic, right? Normally it doesn't exist in MSA?

  • 1384

No it is pure Arabic. However, the usage here is somewhat "egyptian" in style if I can call it so.

Generally speaking it means "at" and it is used to mean "to have something". There is one word also you might encounter which is not used in dialects in a common way, which is لدى (ladá). The last letter is not Ya', it's Alif maqssúrah (it has no dots and it is spelled like Alif).

Some scholars point out that there is a difference between the usage of the two words: عند and لدى. It is said that عند is used when someone has something in general, while لدى is used when someone has something at the moment of speaking.

All in all, it is OK to use it I guess - at this level.

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