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Nouns

Arabic nouns are either masculine or feminine. Usually when referring to a male, a masculine noun is usually used and when referring to a female, a feminine noun is used. In most cases the feminine noun is formed by adding a special character, the ta marbuta ـة ة, to the end of the masculine noun.

 
Feminine Singular
Masculine Singular
teacher

مُعلِّمة

مُعلِّم

professor/teacher

أستاذة

أستاذ

student

طالبة

طالب

friend

صَديقة

صَديق

colleague
muslim
thinker
translator
beginner

مبتدئـة

مبتدىء

expert

خبيرة

خبير

envoy, reporter
(someone sent on a mission)
writer, author

Sometimes the noun used to refer to a male and the noun used for a female are completely different.

woman

امرأة

man

It's not just nouns referring to people that have gender. Inanimate objects (doors, houses, cars, etc.) is either masculine or feminine. Whether an inanimate noun is masculine or feminine is mostly arbitrary. A lot of inanimate nouns ends in ta marbuta. When this is the case you know it is feminine.

table

طاولة

city

Unfortunately, not all feminine nouns end in ta marbuta. Whenever you learn a new word, and that word is a noun, it's best if you learn it's gender too. Here are some masculine nouns..

book
nose

and here are some feminine nouns..

wind

ريح

desert
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