Feminine and Masculine Nouns in Arabic

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

This blog post will give you a brief idea about feminine and masculine nouns in Arabic language. There is also a video for beginners about this topic, with lots of practice in the second part to differentiate between masculine and feminine sounds in Arabic, as well as "he does versus she does".

It is important to note that in Arabic, a noun has to be either feminine or masculine, i.e. it cannot be gender neutral.

The most common sign that a noun is feminine in Arabic is the "Taa Marbouta" (the Taa attached to the letter before if) = ـة or "Taa Modawwana" = ة (the Taa detached from the letters before it). Example:

حديقةٌ hadeeqatun garden

سيّارةٌ sayyaaratun car

Also, adding Taa to many words changes them from masculine to feminine, like:

dog (male) kalbon ٌكلب -----> dog (female) kalbaton ٌكلبة

small (male) sagheeron ٌصغير -----> small (female) sagheeraton ٌصغيرة

Another sign that a noun is feminine, is the "Alif Mamdouda" ـاء or the "Alif Maksoura" ى at the end of the word. Example:

سماءٌ sky samaa'un

صغرى sughra smaller

There are also some words that do not follow a distinct rule (assumed Round Taa), i.e. they may look masculine, however, they are feminine. Example:

يدٌ yadun hand

عينٌ aynun eye

شمسٌ shamsun sun

The following flashcards would hopefully be useful to summarize the information: