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Making comparisons in Arabic Posted by on Feb 20, 2019 in Arabic Language, Grammar

How do we make comparisons المُقارنات in Arabic? It’s actually pretty easy and kind of similar to what we do in English. 😊

the comparison in Arabic

Image provided by Yasmine K.

Let’s start with simple adjectives such as big كَبير, short قَصير, and fast سَريع.

In English you would add an “-er” to the end and get bigger, shorter, faster, etc. In Arabic, the root letters of a simple adjective are put into the pattern (أفْعَل) in two simple steps:

  • Add “alif” to the beginning.
  • Replace the “yaa’” with a “FetHa”.

 

كَبير —– أكْبَر

قَصير —– أقْصَر

سَريع —– أسْرَع

 

Two important notes:

  • If an adjective ends with a “و” or a “ي”, it turns into an “ى” “alif maqsuura” for example the words غالي expensive and sweet حلو.

 

غالي—- أغلى

حلو —– أحلى

 

  • For long adjectives that do not follow the same pattern as above such as respectful مُحتَرم and different مُختَلِف, we add “more” “أكثر” or “less” “أقل” as we do in English to make it more respectable or less different. In Arabic though, there is one tiny extra step. You must add “alif” and “tenween fetih” to the end to make into the accusative case.

 

مُحتَرم —– أكثَر احْتِراماً

مُختَلِف —–  أقَل اختِلافاً

 

Now that we know how to make the adjectives into the comparative form, we need to know how to compare things in an actual sentence.

As in English, we use the word “than” to compare two things; bigger than, shorter than, etc. In Arabic, we use “مِن”.

For example:

How would you say that (Egypt is bigger than Jordan?)?

.مَصّر أكبَر مِن الأُردُن

How would you say that (The issue is less complicated than you think.)?

.الأمر أقل تعقيداً مما تعتقد

I hope you found the comparative in Arabic easy!

By practicing the comparative, you’ll end up learning many more adjectives to use in daily life. 😊

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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.


Comments:

  1. Dr Abdul Majeed Chachar:

    Masha Allah, best way of teaching.

  2. Juma:

    Very useful tips that make easy and enjoyable to learn Arabic.
    Thanks

  3. badiuzzaman mohamed:

    shukran yasmine. how would you express the superlative say tallest?

    • yasmine:

      @badiuzzaman mohamed !مرحباً محمد
      You would just add ال to the adjective making it الأطول “the tallest”. 🙂

  4. Nasir Ahmed Muhammad:

    Assalamu Alaìkum.Actually I am enjoying your posting keep it up

  5. Abdur Rahman:

    Thank you so much madam, I have been looking for this types of lessons and topics it will we really helped me in future.