This lesson will help you understand the numbers (cardinal numbers) in Arabic, and enables you to use real examples shown below. If you have any question let us know by clicking on the “Contact us” button, this lesson is very important since it covers a very widely used element in Arabic which is the numbers.
The table below shows examples of Arabic numbers. The first column contains numbers used in some Arab countries; they’re not of Arabic origins but still used in many places especially in copies of the Holy Qur’an …. In fact the real Arabic numbers are the numbers shown in the 2nd columns used by the Arab world as well as the rest of the world.
Forming numbers in Arabic is quite easy, from 13 to 19 you just place a number before ten for example 13 = three ten, instead of thirteen in English, 17 is seven ten in Arabic. From 21 to 99 you just need to reverse the numbers and add (wa- between the two numbers) 36 would be six wa- thirty instead of thirty six (sitta wa-thalathun), (wa means and).
0 is sifr in Arabic, from which the word cipher came. For 11 and 12 they’re irregular, so just remember how to write them by now (11 = ehda ‘ashar, 12 = ithna ‘ashar).
So in general, numbers standing alone are easy to use, or say. The hard part is that numbers 3 to 10 have a unique rule of agreement with nouns known as polarity: A numeral in masculine gender should agree with a feminine referrer and vice versa (thalathatu awlaad = three boys), boys are masculine plural, so the feminine form of number 3 should be used (which is thalathatu, and not thalathu which is the masculine form, the u at the end of numbers is used when a number is followed by another word to make an easy jump to the next word) (thalathu banaat = three girls) banaat = girls, which is feminine plural, therefore a masculine form of number 3 should be used (thalathu). That may sound complicated but once you get used to it, it will not be as hard as it seems now, besides most Arab natives make mistakes or simply don’t care about matching the gender and the number.
I hope you benefited from this lesson (the Arabic numerals, cardinal numbers), please check our other lessons to take advantage of the other useful information they may contain.
1. Learn Arabic
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