How to Say “Such” in Arabic

كَيْف

root: ك-ي-ف / interrogative / definition: how


One thing I’ve noticed about myself since starting this blog is that I can never definitively plan out the order of my posts—I post what I feel like writing that day (well, night, usually), whether I noted down the topic months ago or just thought of the idea.

This post’s topic happens to be one I wrote down many months ago, when I came across a construction that I don’t remember seeing before.


I was reading an Arabic article (this one, if you’re curious) and saw the following phrases:

مثل هذه الجرائم

مثل هذه المزاعم

مثل هذه القضايا


What pattern do we see?

They all have the same construction: مِثل هذه followed by a definite plural. And this gives the meaning of such or _ like this/these.


Take a look at the translations of those phrases:

مثل هذه الجرائم

such crimes / crimes like this

مثل هذه المزاعم

such claims / claims like this

مثل هذه القضايا

such cases / cases like this


In the article, we also see a slightly different construction—مثل هذا plus a definite singular noun:

مثل هذا النوع من الجرائم

such a type of crime / types of crimes like this


So what’s the general rule?

مثل

+

demonstrative pronoun

+

definite noun


Now, in my grammar book, the author notes that this use of مثل is idiomatic, and gives the following examples of this type of construction:


.نجح هذه السنة في توقيع مثل هذا الاتفاق

This year he succeeded in signing such an agreement.


.لا يستطيع العمل في مثل هذه الأجواء

He cannot work in such an atmosphere.


.مثل هذه الأشياء لها رنينها

Things such as these have their resonance.

(Alternative translations: Such things have their resonance. / Things like these have their resonance.)


For more about the grammar of the particle مثل, check out the post Comparing the Grammar of Arabic Comparison Particles.


If you’re a grammar nerd like me, don’t miss out on all of the other grammar explanations on The Arabic Pages. And you might also want to check out my review of an amazing Arabic grammar book that I can’t recommend enough!

See you on my next post, مع السلامة!


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4 thoughts on “How to Say “Such” in Arabic

  1. Salam admin of The Arabic Pages, thank you for your sharing. I just found out your page when I’m looking for reading stuff in arabic at WordPress to improve my Arabic Language past months ago. I’m so curious are you Arabian? Because if not, it would be a great example that even non native speaker can be the mastered one in this language! To be honest I benefits so much from your sharing and will try to read all the sharing constantly. May Allah reward your effort and kindness.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I’m glad to hear that you’re finding the blog useful.
      And no, I’m not Arab. If you’d like to know a bit more about me, you can check out my first post, “How Should I Begin?”. Hope that helps!

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