Arabic Language Blog

Making Exclamations in Arabic Posted by on Mar 15, 2010 in Grammar

Expressing exclamation in Arabic is done using a special style called (أسلوب التعجب). The particle used in this style is (ما), and it should be followed by the form (أفعل) of the appropriate adjective, e.g.

الشارع واسع.

“The street is wide.”

ما أوسع الشارع!

“How wide the street is!”

It should be noted that the (أفعل) form does not change whether the subject is masculine, feminine or plural.

البنت جميلة.

“The girl is beautiful.”

ما أجمل البنت!

“How beautiful the girl is!”

العرب كرماء.

“The Arabs are generous.”

ما أكرم العرب!

“How generous the Arabs are!”

The noun that follows the (أفعل) form can be substituted by a pronoun suffix, e.g.

البنت جميلة، ما أجملها!

العرب كرماء، ما أكرمهم!

Can you make exclamation statements about the following sentences?

الجو بارد.

الولد طويل.

Here is a very nice video to illustrate exclamation, suggested by Josef:

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  1. Scheich Josef:

    For further practice of the exclamation style
    أسلوب التعجب you may wish to watch the video

    أسلوب التعجب of ClearTraining on YouTube.

    • aziza:

      @Scheich Josef What a lovely video Josef! Thank you very much. I hope you do not mind if I added it to the posting.
      Shukran Jazeelan!

  2. alwe7da:


    Wouldn’t it be more correct to translate those statements as:
    “There is none more beautiful than the girl!”
    “There is none as wide as the street!”

    Wouldn’t that be a more correct way to translate them?

    • aziza:

      @alwe7da Ahlan alwe7da,
      The translation you suggest is not accurate at all. To express “There is none more beautiful than the girl!”, you should say (لا يوجد أجمل من البنت) or (ليس هناك أجمل من البنت). It is best to regard exclamation as a certain style or way of expressing a certain meaning rather than thinking about it word for word and what each one means.

  3. Scheich Josef:

    مرحبا يا عزيزة

    Happy to see that you like the video too!

    Here is an explanation of the first example in this video. From the sentence

    “The leopard is fast.” — . الفهد سريع

    you get it in exclamation style أسلوب التعجب

    “How fast the leopard is!” — ! ما أسرع الفهد


    “How fast he is!” —- ! ما أسرعه

    Note that أسرع is the masculine singular diptotic elative form أفعل in the accusative case of the adjective سريع which is followed by the noun الفهد also in the accusative case. This can be seen nicely in the video since the text is fully vowelised.

    مع السلامة


  4. alif:

    why do you ignorantly use ‘e’ for a kasrah? ما أجهل بك