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What is the purpose of zero vowels ?

From the hints of lesson "Omar is..."

There is a marking in Arabic that tells you when there is no vowel. It looks like a tiny zero:

كَبُر = kabur كَبْر = kabr

I don't get its usefulness, if I see كَبْر without the ° (sorry I don't know how to write in arabic yet) I'll read it as "kabr" anyway because there is no specific diacritic.

Or stated otherwise, how would one spell "كَبْر without the ° " and would it have a different meaning?

February 21, 2020



If I see "كَبْرْ" then I know I am supposed to read it as /ka-b-r/ but not having the ْ opens the word's pronunciation to interpretations based on the context.

كَبر الطفل = The boy grew up

Here كَبر should be pronounced /ka-bu-ra/

While in كَبر المشكلة = He made the problem bigger

The word كَبر is pronounced /ka-bba-ra/

If you have the sukoon i.e. ْ then you are sure that there are zero vowels, and if it is absent you cannot really tell without context.


It's clearer now, thank you.

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