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Lesson 8b: Colors

Lesson 8, Part A:
  • Intro
  • Dialogue
Lesson 8, Part B: Lesson 8, Part C:
  • Inanimate Plural Nouns
  • Demonstrative Pronouns
Colors
Instructions:
  1. Read about the colors that follow the "aaf3al" pattern.
  2. Read about colors that are nisba adjectives.
  3. Take the Color Comprehension Quiz until you pass.
Arabic has two kinds of adjectives for describing color. Some colors are regular nisba adjectives, like the ones we learned to describe nationality in lesson 2. Other colors use the "aaf3al" pattern. Although there are differences between these two kinds of adjectives, we can still apply the same basic rules that we learned in lessons 2 and 3. Do you remember what they are?

1. The adjective goes after the noun.
2. The adjective must agree in gender and number.


Later on, we will see some examples that will help you remember these rules.

Colors with the "aaf3al" pattern
First, let's take a look at some colors that use the "aaf3al" pattern. These include the most basic colors like Red, Blue, White and Black. Notice that the masculine and feminine forms are quite different.
Colors
ArabicEnglish


أَبيَض
بَيضاء

abyaD (m) / bayDaa' (f)
White


أَسوَد
سَوداء

aswad (m) / sawdaa' (f)
Black


أَزرَق
زَرقاء

azraq (m) / zarqaa' (f)
Blue


أَخضَر
خَضراء

akhDar(m) / khaDraa' (f)
Green


أَحمَر
حَمراء

aHmar (m)/ Hamraa' (f)
Red


أَصفَر
صَفراء

aSfar (m) / Safraa' (f)
Yellow

The masculine form of these adjectives follows the "aaf3al" pattern, while the feminine form follows the "fa3laa'" pattern. There is a different plural form for these adjectives, but don't worry about that for now. We will learn about the plural forms of adjectives in Arabic 2.

Now, take a look at the sample phrases below. Notice how the adjective changes depending on the gender of the noun it describes.

البيت الأبيَض السيارة البَيضاء
The white house The white car


As we learned in lesson 4, the examples above do not form a complete sentence because both noun and adjective have the article "the". Do you remember how to make a sentence of the pattern "X is Y"? To change the example phrases above into complete sentences, remove the article "the" from the predicate, in this case, the color word. Remember that all sentences start with a definite noun, so the first word must have the article "the". Here are some examples of complete sentences using our new colorful vocabulary!

الكرة حَمراء الكتاب أحمَر
The ball is red. The book is red.

Colors that are nisba adjectives
Next, we will learn some words for colors that act just like the nisba adjectives we learned in lesson 2. Unlike the basic colors you learned earlier, these nisba colors are mostly made by taking a noun of the same color and turning it into an adjective. For example "Orange" comes from the fruit (like in English) and "Gray" comes from the word "Ash". In the chart below, you will see the masculine forms. Do you remember how to form the feminine?
More Colors
ArabicEnglish
بُرتُقاليّ
burtuqaalii
Orange
بَنَفسَجيّ
banafsajii
Purple
ّبُنّي
bunnii
Brown
ّرَمادي
ramaadii
Gray
وَرديّ
wardii
Pink

To make the feminine form of nisba adjectives, don't forget to add the taa' marbuuTa to the end of the word. Pretty easy, right? Again, don't worry about the plural form for now. We will cover that in Arabic 2.

Now let's look at some more example sentences. Again, pay attention to how the adjective changes depending on the gender of the noun it describes.

السيارة برتقاليّة الكتاب برتقاليّ
The car is orange. The book is orange.