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30 Common Opposites in Arabic with Examples Posted by on Aug 3, 2017 in Pronunciation, Vocabulary

When learning a foreign language, a successful way to augment our vocabulary is through opposites. These words are used to describe people and/or things, hence commonly known as ‘adjectives.’ Even though they have other names in Arabic grammar, for now look at this list, go over it periodically and several times for speedier and lasting retention. Also, check this earlier post for more.

image by Ibnulyemen (from المُعْجَم الشَّامِل )

Positive Negative Example
حَلَال  ‘lawful’  Halaal  حَرَام  ‘unlawful’  Haraam هَذَا لَحْم حَلَال.

‘this is Halal meat.

كَثِيْر   ‘a lot’  kathiir  قَلِيْل   ‘little’  qaliil المَطَر كَثِيْر اليوم.

‘the rain is a lot today.’

طَيِّب   ‘agreeable’  Tayiib  شِرِّيْر  ‘evil’  shirriir جُوْن رَجُل طَيِّب.

‘John is an agreeable man.’

شُجَاع  ‘courageous’  shujaa‘  جَبَان   ‘coward’  jabaan أَنْتَ شَخْص شُجَاع.

‘you are a courageous person.’

كَرِيْم  ‘generous’  kariim’  بَخِيْل   ‘stingy’  bakhiil أَحْمَد كَرِيم جِدًا.

‘Ahmed is very generous.’

نَظِيْف  ‘clean’  naDiif  وَسِخ   ‘dirty’  wasikh الشَّارِع نَظِيْف.

‘the street is clean.’

حِلْو  ‘sweet’  Hilw  مُرّ  ‘bitter’  murr الشَّاي حِلْو جِدًا.

‘the tea is too sweet.’

حَار  ‘hot’  Haar    بَارِد   ‘cold’  baarid الجَوّ حَار اليَوْم.

‘the weather is hot today.’

جَدِيْد  ‘new’  jadiid  قَدِيْم   ‘old’  qadiim القَمِيْص جَدِيْد.

‘the shirt is new.’

أَبْيَض  ‘white’  abyaDH  أَسْوَد  ‘black’  aswad الحِصَان أَبٍيَض.

‘the horse is white.’

قَوِيْ  ‘strong’  qawii  ضَعِيْف  ‘weak’  dha‘iif المُلاكِم الجَدِيْد قَوِي.

‘the new boxer is strong.’

رَشِيْق  ‘slim’  rashiiq  سَمِيْن  ‘fat’  samiin سَوْسَن رَشِيْقَة وجَمِيْلَة.

‘Sawsan is slim and pretty.’

فَرْحَان  ‘delighted’  farHaan    زَعْلَان   ‘upset’  za‘laan أَنَا فَرْحَان بالفَوْز.

‘I am delighted with victory.’

سَعِيْد  ‘happy’  sa‘iid  حَزِيْن   ‘unhappy’  Haziin هُوَ سَعِيْد بِالفُوْز أَيْضًا.

‘he’s delight with victory too.’

شَبْعَان  ‘full’  shab‘aan    جَوْعَان   ‘hungry’  jaw‘aan أَنَا شَبْعَان، شُكْرًا!

‘I am full, thank you!

بَسِيْط  ‘simple’  basiiT  خَبِيْث  ‘vicious’  khabiith عَلِيْ رَجُل بَسِيْط.

‘Ali is a simple man.’

نَاجِح  ‘successful’  naajiH  فَاشِل   ‘unsuccessful’  faashil جُوْن شَخْص نَاجِح.

‘John is a successful man.’

رَزِيْن  ‘composed’  raziin  سَخِيْف   ‘silly’  sakhiif إَنَّهُ رَزِيْن.

‘he’s certainly composed.’

حَكِيْم  ‘wise’  Hakiim  جَاهِل   ‘ignorant’  jaahil يَا لَكَ مِنْ حَكِيْم!

‘how wise of you!’

خَفِيْف  ‘light’  khafiif     ثَقِيْل   ‘heavy’  thaqiil الشَّنْطَة خَفِيْفَة.

‘the suitcase is light.’

أَمِيْن  ‘honest’  ’amiin  خَائِن   ‘dishonest’  khaa’in يَا لَهُ مِن رَجُل أَمِيْن.

‘what an honest man he is!’

صَادِق  ‘truthful’  Saadiq  كَذَّاب  ‘liar’  kadhdhaab هُوَ صَادِق دَائِمًا.

‘he is always truthful.’

مَحْبُوب  ‘likeable’  maHbuub  مَكْرُوه   ‘unpleasant’  makrooh مِيْسِي لاعِب مَحْبُوب.

‘Messi is a likable player.’

غَالِي  ‘expensive’  ghaalii  رَخِيْص   ‘cheap’  rakhiiS السَّكَن غَالِي فِي نيويورك.

‘housing is expensive in New York.’

سَهْل  ‘easy’  sahl  صَعْب   ‘difficulty’  Sa‘b الاِمْتَحَان سَهْل اليَوْم.

‘the test is easy today.’

قَرِيْب  ‘near’  qariib    بَعِيْد   ‘far’  ba‘iid المَطَار قَرِيْب مِن هُنَا.

‘the airport is near here.’

هُنَا  ‘here’  hunaa  هُنَاك   ‘there’  hunaak هُنَا أَسْكُن، فِي هَذِهِ العِمَارَة.

‘I live here, in this building.’

فَقِيْر  ‘poor’  faqiir  غَنِيّ  ‘rich’  ghanii سَام فَقِيْر.

‘Sam is poor.’

مُتَزَوِّج  ‘married’  mutazawwij عَازِب  ‘unmarried’  ‘aazib مَايْكِل مُتَزَوِّج بِإيفا.

‘Michael is married to Eva.’

وَاسِع  ‘wide’  waasi‘ ضَيِّق   ‘narrow’  DHayiiq الشَّارِع وَاسِع.

‘the street is wide.’

Notes on pronunciation:

·         H (capital ‘h’) = ح ·         T (capital ‘t’) = ط ·         T (capital ‘t’) = ط
·           = ع ·         kh خ       ·         D (capital ‘d’)  = ظ  
·         DH (capital ‘dh’) = ض   ·         = ء ·         S (capital ‘s’) = ص
·         dh (small ‘dh’) = ذ ·         gh (small gh) = غ ·          


Note on Usage:

  • All the example sentences are nominal; therefore, ‘adjectives’ are always used only in them. Normally, they occur in second position which is called خَبَر khabar ‘predicate’, and the noun in the first position is called مُبْتَدَأ mubtada’ ‘subject or topic’.


Attempt to use the negative adjectives in similar sentences.

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About the Author:Ibnulyemen

Marhaban! I am from Yemen. I am a language teacher. I teach English and Arabic. Besides Arabic and English, I speak French and some German. I have a strong flair for languages; most of my foreign language competency has been self-learning. For Arabic, I have a strong command of its formal aspects. So, if you have any question about Arabic grammar or morphology, feel free to ask any question you may have. In this blog, I will be leading you through Arabic language learning in a sequential and interactive fashion. I will focus on Modern Standard Arabic. Arabic dialectal expressions and vocabulary will be highlighted whenever pertinent to the topic of each post. Enjoy learning!


  1. Abu Mustafa:

    Best post in ages. Great work. Thanks.

  2. Muhammad kashif malik:

    جزاك الله خير I am learning many things. Allah will give you the reward for this great job.you are teaching arabic, the language of رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم to those who love to learn this beautiful language.

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