Six Ways to Say “All of” in Arabic


root: ف-ر-د / noun, plural / definition: vocabulary

It’s time to add another post to the synonyms series! I know, I know, it’s very hard to maintain any trace of composure with this level of excitement surging through your neurons, but please remain in your seats—we have learning to do: this week we’ll be going through three different words you can use to express the meaning of “all of” and two different ways to use each word.

So the three words that can be used to express totality are جَميع، كُلّ، and كافّة:

Using كُلّ

1. كُلّ plus a definite noun

  • كُلّ can form an إضافة (possessive/genitive construction) with a following definite noun to mean “all of”
  • remember that a definite noun does not necessarily always begin with الـ: words in a definite إضافة (including just a single word with a pronoun suffix) are also definite
  • also remember that all words in an إضافة except for the first word must be مجرور (in genitive case)
  • examples:

كُلُّ طاقَتِهِ = all of his energy

كُلُّ الأَبْوابِ = all of the doors

2. definite noun plus كُلّ with a pronoun suffix

  • another way to use the word كلّ is to place it after the noun and add a pronoun suffix at the end of كُلّ that refers back to that noun (i.e. the pronoun suffix has to match the gender/number of the word)
  • this construction is not an إضافة so the case ending of the noun depends on the sentence it’s in (and the case ending of كُلّ simply mirrors it)
  • examples:

النِساءُ كُلُّهُنّ = all of the women

قامَتي كُلُّها = all of my body

(the phrase above actually came up in last week’s Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation)

Using جَميع

3. جَميع plus a definite noun

  • the first use of جَميع is identical to the first use of كُلّ: it forms an إضافة with the following definite noun (which is in genitive case/مجرور)
  • examples:

ِجَميعُ الخِيارات = all of the options

جَميعُ أَشْكالِ الاِتِّصالِ = all forms of communication

4. جَميعاً after the noun

  • you can also use جَميع in its adverbial form (i.e. جَميعاً) after a definite noun
  • examples:

نَحْنُ جَميعاً = all of us

ساعَدَنا جَميعاً = he helped all of us

(in this example, the noun “us” appears in the form of an object pronoun suffix at the end of the verb ساعَدَ, “he helped”)

Using كافّة

5. كافّة plus a definite noun

  • like both كُلّ and جَميع, the word كافّة can also join with a definite noun to form an إضافة
  • examples:

كافّةُ أَفْرادِ العائِلةِ = all of the family members

كافّةُ أَبْعادِهِ = all of its dimensions

6. كافّةً after the noun

  • and we can also use كافّة in its adverbial form (كافّةً) after a definite noun, as we did with جَميعاً
  • examples:

المُواطِنونَ كافّةً = all of the citizens

قَراراتي كافّةً = all of my decisions

So there you have it: six ways to express “all of” and spice up your writing (…as much as something like this can be considered “spicy”).

Don’t forget to leave any questions or comments below, and I’ll hopefully see you on my next post!

!في أمان الله

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