Arabic Language Blog

Rules for writing Hamza Posted by on Mar 1, 2019 in Arabic Language, Grammar, Pronunciation

Hello again Arabic Blog readers! Apologies for not posting for a while!

In this post, I write about the rules for writing hamza (ء) in Arabic. This can be a very confusing aspect for learners of Arabic. As a general rule, hamza is often written with alif (أ) when it is used a consonant, e.g. in words like (أحمد، أمير، إسراء، أسامة). However, we cannot generalise this rule. Hamza is never written with alif when it is used a vowel (ا), e.g. in words like (باب، جمال، لامع، سماح). Moreover, hamza can appear in initial, medial and final positions. This post focuses on initial hamza, and where it should and should not be written.

Hamza should be written when it appears in pronunciation, e.g.

أتى أحمد إلى أخته.

Ahmed came to his sister.

However there are certain nouns that do not have hamza written at the beginning, e.g.

امرأة – woman

اثنين – two

اسم – name

ابن – son

ابنة – daughter

There are certain verb forms that do not have hamza written at the beginning, e.g.

Verbs with the pattern (افتعل) e.g. (احترم، اقترب، استمع)

Verbs with the pattern (انفعل) e.g. (انقلب، انكسر، انقطع)

Verbs with the pattern (استفعل) e.g. (استقبل، استخدم، استقال)

It should be noted that the verbal noun (المصدر) and imperatives (الأمر) of the same verb forms do not have hamza at the beginning.

Imperative verbs (الأمر) from verbs with the pattern (فعل), e.g. (اكتب، اقرأ، افتح) do not take an initial hamza either.

It should be noted that the definite article (ال) never takes a hamza on the first letter.

In my following post, I will write about the medial hamza! Until then!

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  1. Kay Neal:

    Nice post! Looking forward to medial hamza.

  2. Rehan:

    As Salam o alekum , Really very important topic you are covering. This is most confusing to me. Shukran & Jazakallahokher.

  3. Ahmadou tidiane balde:

    I very much like your lessons and wish to receive them every day,please!