the kinds of feminine gender | Arabic free course

Introduction to the kinds of feminine gender – أَقْسامُ الْمُؤَنَّثُ



There are two genders in Arabic: masculine – المُذَكَّرُ and feminine – الْمُؤَنَّثُ. Except for the following categories of words, all other words indicate masculine gender.



1. Words that are feminine by meaning






  • بِنْتٌ – a girl
  • اِمْرَأَةٌ – a woman
  • أُمٌّ – a mother



وَقَالَتِ امْرَأَتُ فِرْعَوْنَ قُرَّتُ عَيْنٍ لِّي وَلَكَ



And the wife of Pharaoh said, “[He will be] a comfort of the eye for me and for you. (28:9)



وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ أُمِّ مُوسَىٰ أَنْ أَرْضِعِيهِ



And We inspired the mother of Moses, “Suckle him (28:7)


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2. Words ending with ة – Ta Marboota




  • جَنَّةٌ – paradise
  • صَلاةٌ – prayer
  • زَكَاةٌ – charity
  • زِلَّةٌ – humiliation
  • أُمَّةٌ – community

وَيَوْمَ نَبْعَثُ مِن كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا



And [mention] the Day when We will resurrect from every nation a witness. (16:84)



 وَإِذَا الْجَنَّةُ أُزْلِفَتْ



And when Paradise is brought near, (81:13)



Feminine nouns are also formed by adding ةta marboota to masculine nouns and adjectives as can be seen from the following:



مُسْلِمَةٌ – مُسْلِمٌ 

A Muslim – A Muslim woman



اِبْنَةٌ – اِبْنٌ

A boy – A girl



كَبِيْرَةٌ – كَبِيرٌَ




لَيْلَةٌ – لَيْلٌ




إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ



Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree. (97:1)



وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ



 it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah] (2:45)


Though some words end with ة, they are considered masculine such as:


  • خَلِيْفَةٌ – vicegerent/successor


إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً



 “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” (2:30)




3. Words ending with اء – Alif mamdooda





  • حَضْرَاءُ – green
  • سَوْدَاءُ – black
  • بَيْضَاءُ – white
  • حَمْرَاءُ – red
  • صَفْرَاءُ – yellow
  • سَمَاءٌ – sky


وَإِذَا السَّمَاءُ كُشِطَتْ



And when the sky is stripped away (81:11)



قَالَ إِنَّهُ يَقُولُ إِنَّهَا بَقَرَةٌ صَفْرَاءُ فَاقِعٌ لَّوْنُهَا تَسُرُّ النَّاظِرِينَ



 He said, “He says, ‘It is a yellow cow, bright in colour – pleasing to the observers. (2:69)


Though some words end with اء, they are considered masculine.  


For example:



  • عُلَمَاءُ – learned
  • فُقَرَاءُ – poor
  • شُهَدَاءُ – martyrs



 وَادْعُوا شُهَدَاءَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّـهِ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ



and call upon your witnesses other than Allah, if you should be truthful. (2:23)



إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ



Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy (9:60)



4. Words ending with ى – alif maqsoora





  • كُبْرَى – big
  • بُشْرَى – good news



فَلَمَّا ذَهَبَ عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الرَّوْعُ وَجَاءَتْهُ الْبُشْرَىٰ يُجَادِلُنَا فِي قَوْمِ لُوطٍ



And when the fright had left Abraham, and the good tidings had reached him, he began to argue with Us concerning the people of Lot. (11:74)



5. Words feminine by convention


  Like geographical names of towns, villages, countries, etc. such as:  


  • مِصْرُ – Egypt
  • الرُّوْمُ – Rome



وَقَالَ الَّذِي اشْتَرَاهُ مِن مِّصْرَ لِامْرَأَتِهِ 



And the one from Egypt who bought him said to his wife (12:21)



غُلِبَتِ الرُّومُ 



The Byzantines have been defeated (30:2)




6. Parts of the body that are in pairs





  • يَدٌ – hands
  • عَيْنٌ – eyes
  • رِجْلٌ – feet
  • أُذُنٌ – ears


7. Names given to fire




سَقَرٌ – جَحِيْمٌ – سَعِيْرٌ – نَارٌ – جَهَنَّمٌ



وَلَا تُسْأَلُ عَنْ أَصْحَابِ الْجَحِيمِ



and you will not be asked about the companions of Hellfire. (2:119)



سَأُصْلِيهِ سَقَرَ 



I will drive him into Saqar. (74:26)



8. Names given to wind



  • سَمُوْمٌ – scorching wind
  • صَرْصَرٌ – furious and intensely cold wind
  • رِيْحٌ – wind
  • عَاصِفٌ – violent wind



فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ رِيحًا صَرْصَرًا فِي أَيَّامٍ نَّحِسَاتٍ



So We sent upon them a screaming wind during days of misfortune (41:16)



أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَرَمَادٍ اشْتَدَّتْ بِهِ الرِّيحُ فِي يَوْمٍ عَاصِفٍ



 their deeds are like ashes which the wind blows forcefully on a stormy day (14:18)


9. Certain other nouns are also considered feminine


  • أَرْضٌ – earth
  • شَمْسٌ – sun
  • نَفْسٌ – self
  • خَمْرٌ – wine
  • بِئْرٌ – well
  • دَارٌ – house
  • نَارٌ – fire



وَالشَّمْسِ وَضُحَاهَا



By the sun and its brightness (91:1)



نَارٌ حَامِيَةٌ 



It is a Fire, intensely hot. (101:11)



إِذَا زُلْزِلَتِ الْأَرْضُ زِلْزَالَهَا



When the earth is shaken with its [final] earthquake (99:1)



وَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِالنَّفْسِ اللَّوَّامَةِ



And I swear by the reproaching soul [to the certainty of resurrection]. (75:2)



You have now completed this Arabic lesson. The next one will be insha’Allah about the conditional sentences in Arabic.


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