Arabic Language Blog

Arabic Prepositions (Part 2) حروف الجر Posted by on Sep 23, 2011 in Arabic Language, Grammar, Vocabulary

  • Prepositions are very important words in any language.
  • Today, we are going to learn the Arabic prepositions and their meanings.
  • Arabic preposition particles are Mabni words كلمات مبنية which means that they mostly have a fixed pronunciation regardless of their position in the sentence.
  • These words also inflect the noun that follows them and cause it to end in a Kasrah.
  • There are about twenty one prepositions mentioned by the famous Arab grammarian; Ibn Maalik ابن مالك :

هــاك حــروف الـجـــر و هــــي : مِـِن , إلى             حتـّى , خلا , حاشا , عدا , في , عن , على

مـُـذ , مـُـنذ , رُبّ , اللام , كي , واو , و تا             و الــكــاف , و الــبـــاء , و لعــل , و مـتـى

* In my previous post, I presented some six prepositions. Today, we are going  discuss the meanings and uses of some more common ones:

7) الكاف  = (like or as)

This preposition expresses simile التشبيه meaning “like” or “as“.

Ex.الأمانيُّ الخادعةُ كالسرابِ= False hopes are like mirage.

–  هو يعمل كالآلةِ  = He works like a machine. .

–  هي تعمل كطبيبةٍ  = She works as a doctor.

8)  اللام  = (to or for)

This preposition can refer to the reason or the possession.

Ex.لـلهِ ما فى السماواتِ و ما فى الأرضِ

= Belongs to Allah is all what is in heaven and what is in earth.

النجاحُ لِلمجتهدين  = Success is for the hard-working.

يذهب الطلابُ للمدرسةِ للتعلمِ  = Students go to school to learn (for learning).

9) واو القسم  = (I swear to / by)

                  This (و  )Waw is used for swearing.

Ex. –  و الضحى . و الليل إذا سجى 

= By the morning hours. And by the night when it is stillest.

10) تاء القسم   = (I swear to / by)

This (تا) Ta’a is only used for swearing by Allah (God) and is used only with Allah.

Ex.تاللهِ لأساعِدنك = I swear to / by God that I will help you.

11) حتى  = (till / until)

This preposition refers to finishing something or the end of something.

Ex. يتعلم الناسُ حتى يموتون  = People learn till they die.

12) خلا = عدا = حاشا = (except for)

These three prepositions mean the same and are used to make exceptions.

Ex. – حضر جميع الطلابِ عدا / خلا / حاشا على و أحمد  

                             = All the students attended except for Ali and Ahmad.

(Note: Ibn Maalik has written all the Arabic Grammar in a thousand verses of poetry.)

(Note: To listen to the pronunciation of these prepositions, visit and subscribe to our Arabic Youtube channel at )


Check us back soon

Peace  سلام /Salam/

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About the Author: Fisal

Well, I was born near the city of Rasheed or Rosetta, Egypt. Yes, the city where the Rosetta Stone was discovered. It is a small city on the north of Egypt where the Nile meets the Mediterranean. I am a Teacher of EFL.


  1. S:

    I’d like to know how to use إلي and علي. Would you please tell me the differences? Thanks

    • Fisal:

      @S Ahlan, S. Simply إلى refers to the direction (= to) e.g. أذهب إلى العمل كل يوم = I go to work everyday. Whereas, على refers to the position or place, e.g. الكتاب على الطاولة = The book is on the table.

  2. Atiya:

    I’m a non-Arabic speaker learning Arabic.
    As I understand, a noun following a preposition gets inflected and goes into جر. But when it comes to the preposition حَتَّىٰ I always see it followed by a verb and I do not understand where to look for the inflected noun.
    Also can you please give some example ayaat from the Quran for this preposition حَتَّىٰ . I am not sure if حَتَّىٰ
    is a preposition in 47:31, 52:45, 15:99 of the Quran for the same reasons.
    Thank you.