Arabic Observations: Words with Antonymic Meanings


root: ض-د-د / noun / plural: أَضْداد / definition: a word with two opposite meanings

So, we’ve all looked up Arabic words before where we’ve been greeted by a whole paragraph of definitions that we have to sift through. Pretty standard when dealing with Arabic dictionaries, right? But what about those words whose definitions are in fact… antonyms?

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Grammar Book: Arabic for Nerds 2


root: و-ص-ي / verbal noun of form II / plural: تَوصيات / definition: recommendation

So I finally gave in: I ordered the grammar book that’s been sitting in my Amazon basket for months. And while I can’t actually put this hefty 800-ish-page book on my already-overburdened bookshelf for fear of a catastrophic collapse, I have absolutely no regrets. Let me tell you why.

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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.

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Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation #2


root: ر-و-ي / noun / plural: روايات / definition: novel

Note: this is part two of the previous Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation, so if you haven’t read that one yet, you might want to start with that first! We’ll keep this introduction short because it’s safe to assume this will be a very long post…

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Step-by-Step Arabic Literature Translation


root: ء-د-ب / noun / plural: آداب / definition: literature

The shift from simplified pieces of writing in Arabic textbooks to your first encounter with an Arabic novel can will be intimidating. You’ll likely note (amidst your “mild” panic at the sheer amount of words between your hands that you’ll have to mentally decipher) the mass of completely alien vocabulary that almost renders your grammar of knowledge invalid when it comes to understanding. Almost.

So, to help alleviate any trepidation you may be feeling, I thought it might be useful to take a short excerpt from a piece of Arabic literature and go through the vocabulary and grammar word-by-word (similar to my headline analyses).

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Another Use of أصبح


root: خ-د-م / verbal noun of form X / plural: اِستِخْدامات / definition: use

Previously, in this post, I mentioned that the verb أَصبَح / يُصبِح can mean “to become”. For example, “the man became a doctor” or “the situation became dire”—i.e. one thing becoming something else. But there’s another use of أصبح too.

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Ideas for Language Learning in a Lockdown


root: غ-ل-ق / verbal noun of form IV / definition: lockdown, closing

Classes cancelled, study abroad plans put on hold, and your sanity left bouncing between the same four walls for weeks on end… Most of us, in this coronavirus era, are in some form of lockdown or another. Since everyone is naturally coping differently in these unprecedented times, I’ve put together lots of language-learning ideas that you can implement in this lockdown depending on how you’re feeling right now!

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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.

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How to Say “No Longer” in Arabic


root: ج-م-ل / noun / plural: جُمَل / definition: sentence, (grammatical) clause

With some constructions, you won’t realise how often you’ll need to use them until after you learn them—and then you wonder why you hadn’t learnt them earlier! For me, this was one of them: creating sentences using “no longer” in Arabic.

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Four Synonyms for “to Begin to” in Arabic


root: ر-د-ف / noun, active participle of form III / plural: مُرادِفات / definition: synonym

About a month ago, I posted Four Common Words for “to Become” in Arabic. And now we can add some more variety to our Arabic mental lexicons again—this time with four common Arabic words for “to begin/start to”!

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