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

 

 

Examples:

 

 

  • 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

 

  Examples:

 

  • 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

Big

 

 

لَيْلَةٌ – لَيْلٌ

Night

 

 

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

 

 

  Examples:  

 

  • 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

 

 

Examples:  

 

  • 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

 

 

Examples:

 

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

 

7. Names given to fire

 

  Examples:  

 

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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