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Feminine ending ة pronunciation?

Hi all,

They've just introduced the ة ending (all still in the nominative, I think) and there is no explanation about when ة remains a vowel sound and when it gains a "t" sound (or how the "'t" sound is placed).

Can anyone explain this rule?

January 28, 2020



Example after reading up on grammar:

In the Duo sentence "Samia is a smart Arab woman"

سامْية بِنت عَرَبيّة ذَكِيّة

The ending of each word in order as pronounced on Duolingo sounds like:

-at_ -in -atin -ah

Which makes no sense. This looks like (all indefinite):

  1. Nominative? (unclear pronunciation)

  2. Unknown/Genitive

  3. Genitive

  4. ?? (I don't know the rule for only pronouncing it as "-ah")

I'm very familiar with cases so I'm not overcomplicating things by trying to pick this apart, I'm just trying to find out if there's a real reason that the pronunciation is all over the place or if it's simply the error of having computer-generated sound on this course.



I somehow skipped past this comment.

In your example every word ending is wrong. 3arabiya and dhakiya are both adjectives modifying the same noun in the predicate of the sentence so their endings should be consistent, but in this case the final word actually was given no case ending at all and the one before it does so it definitely looks like a mistake.

All words in this sentence would have the same case**

I would have read it out loud as: Samia bintun 3arabiyatun dhakiyatun.

Without case endings: Samia bint 3arabiya dhakiya

I personally dont agree with teaching case endings in a course as basic as this one, its not absolutely necessary to learn the language as theyre rarely used IRL and it can be very confusing to beginners. But if you have to, thats how it would look.

BTW Samia is a girls name and a proper noun which makes it definite by default. Proper nouns do not need to have an alif lam in front to be definite although some of them begin this way because it is inherently part of the word (Iraq and Algeria do for example while other countries like Lebanon and Libya do not.)

**(When I was learning Arabic I only learned the Arabic names of the cases so Nominative, Genitive etc are still mysterious terms to me.)


Taa marbuta is usually silent and pronounced like a short a with no t sound, however if the grammatical case endings are pronounced at the end of the word in the exercises you will hear the t pronounced before it. People dont say the case endings in real life though so usually you will not hear the t.

There are two cases where the t is pronounced besides the grammatical endings and these are heard in normal speech:

Words with taa marbuta at the end that have a possessive pronoun attached-the taa marbutaa turns into a regular taa:

a friend: Sadeeqa: صديقة

my friend: :Sadeeqaty: صديقتي

The other exception is when the taa marbutaa is the non final word as part of a structure called an idaafa, which often indicates possession. In this case the taa marbutaa is still written but the t is pronounced. The most simple form of an idaafa is two nouns with the first word indefinite and the second word definite but other combinations are possible, but for now Ill just mention this structure. If you want to learn more please click below: http://allthearabicyouneverlearnedthefirsttimearound.com/p1/p1-ch2/the-idaafa/

Ex: The friend of the boy: Sadeeqat ulwalad: صديقة الولد

A room: ghurfa: غرفة

The room of the girl: ghurfat ulbint: غرفة البنت

Hope that helps!


Looking at the endings used in the sentence above, it looks like the software somehow read the first three words of the sentence to be an iDaafa and the subject of the sentence fourth word to be the predicate, but this is very wrong and makes no sense. I have my guesses about why that happened.

Samia is the subject and the rest of the sentence is the predicate.

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