Three Meanings of حتّى


root: ع-ن-ي / noun / plural: مَعانٍ / definition: meaning, sense

I might be stating the obvious here, but learning those Arabic words with multiple meanings is really advantageous. I mean, learning a single word that you can use in numerous contexts to give rise to different meanings? Yes, please.

One of these brilliant words is حَتَّى, which carries three main meanings:

1. until

The first use of حتّى is as a preposition meaning “until”, “till”, or “up to”. Take a look at the example:

كانت المُدَرِّسة تَعْمَل حَتَّى الساعةِ السادِسةِ مَساءً

the teacher used to work until 6pm

2. even

حتّى also means “even” or (when used with a negation) “not even”:

كانَت مَلابِسُهُ وَسِخَةً، حَتّى جَوارِبه

his clothes were dirty, even his socks

3. so that

The third meaning of حتّى is “so that” or “in order that” (similar to words such as كَي and لِكَي, and the لـ prefix):

سَنُراقِبُ الحالةَ عَنْ كَثَب حَتّى نُقَدِّمَ لَكُم آخِر المُستَجدّات

we will closely monitor the situation so that we can bring you the latest updates

Don’t let the different meanings confuse you when you see the word حتّى in a text, because its meaning will usually be very easy to work out based on the context!

As always, feel free to leave any questions or comments below… إلى اللقاء!

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