Arabic Language Blog

Letter of the Week (س) seen Posted by on Apr 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

Moving on to our twelfth letter of the Arabic alphabet (س), we will look at various words and phrases beginning with (س) along with more culture/language related facts.

Let’s begin with looking at your basic forms of the letter س.

Initial سـ‎, as in the word “سَيّارة” meaning “car”.

Medial ـسـ‎ ‍, as in the word “اِبْتِسامة” meaning “smile”.

Final ـس‎, as in the word “شَمْس” meaning “sun”.

Before looking at the following words and phrases, can you think of words beginning with س?

😀Let’s begin with positive words such as سَعيد meaning “happy” which can also be a name for a male.

An example sentence, .رؤية أحفادها يجعلها دائماً سعيدة

Seeing her grandchildren always makes her happy.

Image provided by Yasmine K.

✨Another positive and familiar word is سَلام meaning “peace” and as you might have guessed, is part of the Arabic phrase اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُم; the mainstream greeting used by Arabic speakers. It is used in formal and even informal contexts to say hello or goodbye and literally translates to “peace be upon you”. Its reply is وَعَلَيْكُمُ اَلسَّلَامُ “And upon you be peace”. The complete phrase is ‏اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُم وَرَحْمَةُ اَللهِ وَبَرَكاتُهُ‎ translating to “Peace be upon you as well as God’s mercy and blessings.”

If you’ve been practicing your conjugations, you may notice that this expression uses the second person plural masculine, even when used to address one person. It may be modified to address a person in the masculine and feminine singular form, the dual form, or the feminine plural form, but very rarely.

Think of this phrase as the politest and most formal way to greet a person or a group of people as you enter a room, store, house or when you leave a place, or say goodbye on the phone.

To make it less formal, one could just say سلام meaning “peace”. Here is an example when not used as a greeting, .أتمنى السَّلام العالمي meaning “I wish for world peace.”

Here are some more words beginning with س and examples.

🐟 سَمَك: fish   .أنا لا آكل اللحم، لكن يُمكنني أكل السَّمك     I don’t eat meat, but I can eat fish.

سَنة: year  كم سنة عشتَ في هذا المنزل؟    How many years have you lived in this house?

Note that another word for “year” in Arabic is عَام.

Image via Pixabay

سافرَ: to travel

Let us be reminded of the amazing root system of the Arabic language. Since “to travel” is سافرَ than سَفْرة is a “trip/journey”, and “a traveler” is مُسافِر and “embassy” is سِفارة and “ambassador” is سَفير.



سِرّ: secret   .أرجوك، لا تخبر أحداً، إنه سِر  Please don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret.

سَيْف: sword   .هذا سيف صليبي  This is a crusader sword.

سِلاح: weapon هل تَحمل سِلاحاً؟    Are you carrying a weapon?

سِعْر: price   .ارتفعت أسعار كل شيء بِسبب الحَرب

The prices of everything have gone up because of the war.

سَيِّء: bad   .الوَضع سيء وتزداد سوءاً  The situation is bad and it’s getting worse.

يَوم السَّبْت: Saturday   .سآخذُ السيارة لإصلاحها يوم السبت

I’m taking the car to get it fixed on Saturday.

سائِق: driver   .إنه سائِق جيد ولم يتعرض لحادِث سيارة

He’s a good driver and never had a car accident.

سُؤال : question   .سألتني سؤالاً عن تاريخ سوريا 

She asked me a question about the history of Syria.

سَريع : fast/quick  .أنت سريع جداً في إنهاء واجبك المنزلي 

You are very quick at finishing your homework.

Fun fact: Junk food or fast food in Arabic is الوَجبات السَّريعة technically meaning “quick/fast meals”.

سَهْل : easy  .كانت الأسئلة سَهلة. عرفتُ كل الإجابات 

The questions were easy. I knew all the answers.

سِتّة : six  .جاء سِتة طُلاب فقط إلى الفَصل اليَوم  Only six students came to class today.


Image via Pixabay

ساعة : hour/time/clock/watch

Here are examples for each meaning:

كَم السَّاعة؟   What time is it?

.لدينا ساعة واحِدة فقط لإنهاء قراءة المَقالة

We only have an hour to finish reading the article.

.يَجب أن تكون هُناك ساعة في كُل غُرفة

There should be a clock in every room.

.تحسب هذه الساعة الرقمية خطواتي    This digital watch counts my steps.

Note, another word for “time” is وَقْت as in a period of time. For example, in order to say “I don’t have time.” I would say .ليس لديّ وقتٌ Or, to say “at the same time” would be في نَفْس الوَقْت.

Till next time, happy Arabic learning! 😊

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About the Author: yasmine

MarHaba! I am half Jordanian of Circassian descent and half American. I have a Master's in Second Language Teaching and I teach Arabic as a foreign language here in the US, both MSA and Levantine Arabic. I hope to help you become more familiar and interested in the Arabic language and culture.


  1. Abbas:

    Excellent…no one parallel to you
    Do you have any youtube channel regarding arabic language learning. I want to learn and speak like native.