Arabic Language Blog

Definite Nouns with (AL-) (الاسم المعرف بـ (الـ Posted by on Mar 21, 2011 in Arabic Language, Culture, Grammar, Pronunciation, Vocabulary

  • As we discussed in a previous post that Definite nouns have SEVEN Types, today we are going to look closely at the second type of them.

(2) The definite Noun starting with Al-  الاسم الذى يبدأ بـ الـ

  • In Arabic, an indefinite noun can turn into a definite noun by adding the two letters prefix (AL) or (الـ ) or (ألف + لام) to the beginning if this noun.
  • The Arabic (AL) or (الـ) is equal to the English definite article “the“.


Indefinite Noun Definite Noun with AL Which Laam ??
Moon           قمر   

Book            كتاب

School     مدرسة  

Teacher    أستاذ  

lawyer       محامى  

The moon             القمر  

The book             الكتاب  

The school        المدرسة  

The teacher        الأستاذ

The lawyer          المحامى  


The Lunar  Laam

اللام القمرية

Sun            شمس  

Student      طالب  

Tree          شجرة  

Journey     رحلة   

Sky سماء             

Player        لاعب

The sun       الشمس                

The student         الطالب  

The tree              الشجرة  

The journey        الرحلة  

The Sky               السماء

The player          اللاعب 

The Solar Laam

اللام الشمسية

Pronouncing the definite prefix (AL)

  • The definite prefix “al, ال ” is not all the time pronounced as / al /.
  • The “al, ال ” can be pronounced fully with the sound (L, ل ) clearly pronounced with the other sounds in the noun that follows and hence it is called “The Lunar Laam اللام القمرية “.
  • Or the “al, ال ” is not pronounced fully as the (L, ل ) sound is dropped or assimilated by the following letter in the noun that follows and hence it is called “The Solar Laam اللام الشمسية “.
  • When the noun starts with the Solar Laam, the letter that follows the /ل / sound is doubled (you apply a Shadda to it). 
  • “The Lunar (Sun) Laam” is named after the noun of “the moon القمر “.
  • “The Solar (Sun) Laam” is named after the noun of “the sun الشمس “.

(1) The Lunar Laam Rule :

  •   Pronounce the Laam /ل / fully and clearly when it is followed by one of these letters:

( أ  ب ج ح خ ع غ ف ق ك  م هـ و ى  )

         OR you can memorize this phrase which contains all these letters :

( ابغ حجك و خف عقيمه ) = Seek your pilgrimage and fear spoiling it.

(2) The Solar Laam Rule :

  •  Drop the Laam /ل /  if followed by one of these letters:

(ت ث د ذ ر ز س ش ص ض ط ظ  ل ن   )

Note (1) : When the Laam is dropped, the letters above are doubled (You apply a Shadda to them)                            

Note (2) : The Laam is dropped only in PRONUNCIATION but It is written all the time.

Sun Laam & Moon Laam


Next time, we will continue looking at Definite Demonstrative Nouns.

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.