In this lesson, we will talk about the definite article in Moroccan Arabic.
The definite article in Darija is “L” it’s the same article used in Modern Standard Arabic “AL” but without “A”, and we use it for masculine and feminine, in both singular and plural.
The Definite Article In Moroccan Arabic
We have two categories of definite words in Moroccan Arabic: Moon letters (also called Lunar letters) and Sun letters (also called Solar letters)
Lhorof sh-shamsiya الحروف الشمسية (solar letters)
Lhorof lqamariya الحروف القمرية (lunar letters)
- Moon: qamar قمر / The moon lqamar
- Sun: shms شمس / The sun sh-shms
Did you notice how lqamar has a definite article and sh-shms doesn’t? that’s the rule that lunar and solar letters will follow.
Definite Words Starting With Solar Letters
The solar letters in Darija are: D, J, L, N, R, S, Sh, T, Z (unlike in MSA, J is solar in Moroccan Arabic)
As in sh-shms, words that start with a solar letter don’t need the definite article “L”, we just double the letter, for example:
Sa3a (watch), the watch: ssa3a
Sebbat (shoes), the shoes: ssebbat
Telefon (phone), the phone: ttelefon
Rjel (foot), the foot: rrjel
Note: you can practice what you’ve learned here, and learn how to pronounce each of the words in our Memrise course here, don’t know how to use the platform or sign up? we’ve got you covered in this easy-to-follow tutorial here.
Definite Words Starting With Lunar Letters
The Lunar letters are the rest of the alphabet.
Like lqamar, words starting with a lunar letter will require us to add “L” in their definite form, for example:
Bab (door), the door: Lbab
Qamija (shirt), the shirt: Lqamija
Yed (hand), the hand: Lyed
Ktab (book), the book: Lktab
The Indefinite Form In Moroccan Arabic
To give the indefinite form in Darija, we use the following formula: indefinite form= wahed (one) + definite form.
A watch: wahed ssa3a
A phone: wahed ttelefon
A door: wahed lbab
A hand: wahed lyed
A book: wahed lktab
Note: wahed is used for both masculine and feminine
Practice giving the definite and indefinite forms with the list of the nouns given in this post.
Continue learning Moroccan Arabic with us here.