Arabic Language Blog

The Usage of في (fee) in Modern Standard Arabic and Levantine Dialect Posted by on Dec 18, 2019 in Uncategorized

في (fee) is probably one of the first words you learned in Arabic to basically mean “in”. It’s made up of only two letters and it’s easy to pronounce. In this post, we’re going to look at what في means in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) according to context as well as it’s meaning and function in Levantine Arabic.

Meanings of في in MSA: 

✨في: in/at/on/into/inside

For example:

in America      في أمريكا

at the hotel    في الفُندق

on the television and radio     في الإذاعة والتلفزيون

🎇Note: بال… attached to a word will give the same meaning as في. For example:

in Arabic    بالعربية                          at home  بالبَيت

🎇Remember that when referring to languages, to say in English/Arabic/Spanish, etc., we use بال rather than في.

 بالإنجليزية، بالعربية، بالإسبانية

Image provided by Yasmine K.

Meanings of في in Levantine:

في: in/at (similar to MSA in addition to) /there is/there are. For example:

✨There is tea at home. في شاي بالبَيت

(As a question as well) Is there tea at home?    في شاي بالبَيت؟

✨مافي: there isn’t/ there aren’t

There isn’t any money in the account.    .مافي مصاري بالحساب

There are no cars in the garage.    .مافي سيارات بالكراج

Compound words with في:

✨في كُل: in all/in each/at each/throughout/worldwide

throughout history في كُل مَراحِل التَّاريخ

in each unit في كُل وِحدة

in all cases في كُل الحالات        in all aspects في كُل الجوانِب

at each meeting في كُل اجتماع

worldwide في كُل أنحاء العالَم

✨في المائة: percent

Some say 5 percent, some say 15 percent.

.يَقول البَعض 5 في المائة، والبَعض 15 في المائة                     

✨في مجال: in the area of/ towards

in the area of health care   في مَجال الرِعاية الصحية

towards development  في مَجال التَنمية

I know some Arabic prepositions such as في can have multiple different meanings according to context making things sometimes confusing. But think of this as what adds richness and beauty to the Arabic language. A fact I’m sure all of you Arabic lovers can appreciate. Keep practicing. 😊

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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. jeffkl:

    في مَجال -how do spell in in english?
    Is it fii majla?

    • yasmine:

      @jeffkl MarHaba Jeff,

      Thank you for your question.
      It would be “fi majal?”

  2. Shah Husain Ata:

    Masha Allah ! Very informative and knowledgeable service you are proving us.

  3. Mizio:

    Can the preposition في also be used with expressions of time? ie does my plane leave at the same time as yours?

  4. GILS:

    Thanks for sharing this useful information