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Consonant groups 3 and 4

We will now cover two more groups of letters. All of these letters are non-connecting so they will cause a gap in the word if they occur in the middle.

We will also cover the "taa' marbuuTah" or "feminine taa'".

daal - د
The letter daal is pronounced like 'd' as in 'doll':

Transliteration: d

Independent Final

dhaal - ذ
The letter dhaal has no good equivelent in English. It sounds like a cross between 'z' and 'th':

Transliteration: dh

Writing: dhaal is written exactly like daal except with a dot above.

Independent Final

raa - ر
The letter raa is pronounced like a rolled 'r' in Spanish:

Transliteration: r

Independent Final

zaay - ز
The letter zaay is pronounced like 'z' as in 'zoo':

Transliteration: z

Independent Final

Writing: zaay is written exactly like raa except with a dot above.

taa' marbuuTah - ة
Like many other languages Arabic categorizes nouns into masculine or feminine. In some cases the reason why a given noun is categorized one way is obvious: the word for boy is masculine and the word for girl is feminine.

In other cases like silver (feminine) and gold (masculine) it is more arbitrary.

With very few exceptions all feminine nouns are written with the taa' marbuuTah at the end. Since the taa' marbuuTah is always the last letter in a word it only needs two forms depending on whether the second to last letter is a connecting letter.

TenguGo Arabic 1 covers how the gender of nouns affect adjectives, verbs and other aspects of Arabic.

Non-connected Connected

When pronouncing a single word the taa' marbuuTah has no pronunciation. However the letter preceding the taa' marbuuTah will always have a short vowel 'a' pronounced after it.

When the word containing the taa' marbuuTah is part of certain grammatical constructs the taa' marbuuTah will be pronounced 't' like the letter taa'. However we will not be covering that in detail here.

Example 1: daal + raa + 'alif + jiim + TM

Bicycle - darraaja

Here we start with a daal and a fatHa to give us 'da'. Then we have a raa with a shaddah so we know there is a stressed/double 'r'. There is no fatHah written over the raa but since it is followed by an 'alif there must be an 'aa' to give us 'darraa'.

Finally we have a jiim and a taa' marbuuTah. Once again no fatHah is written out over the jiim but since the word ends in a taa' marbuuTah there must be a short 'a' after the second to last letter to give us 'darraaja'.