A HOME FOR ANYONE ADDICTED TO ARABIC.

JOIN ARABIC FOR NERDS➕

Support this site with a membership: For only $1.99 a month or $19.99 a year, you can have a true AD-FREE experience. You also get a 15% discount in my shop and a monthly premium newsletter. Find out more here.

Help this site

Passion doesn't need money. Unfortunately, my web provider does. Your contribution ensures that this site will grow and grow.

Donate with PayPal


Buy Me A Coffee

Donate

zahlen dunkel2

A tool to learn the notoriously difficult rules for numbers in Arabic

Numbers in the Arabic language are like solving mathematical equations. But there is good news: a new online tool – which is of great help to learn the rules: arabic.ba

Last updated: June 2, 2021

Applying the correct case endings (and gender) in constructions with numbers in Arabic is tricky even for native speakers. In this article, I will explain the basic rules of numbers in Arabic and will introduce a new tool which is offered on the website arabic.ba

arabic.ba – a tool to train and learn Arabic numbers

You can learn all the rules by hard. But as soon as you come across a number while reading or speaking, Arabic may feel like an oral exam.

The rules for Arabic numbers must become intuitive, their application playful, like learning multiplication tables – where nobody thinks about it anymore. There is only one method for this: practice.

Check out this new website:

a new and great online tool to learn and train numbers.

arabicba numbers
A tool to learn the notoriously difficult rules for numbers in Arabic 19

Why arabic.ba is outstanding

  • It uses Taskheel (تَشْكِيلٌ)!
  • You get the correct pronunciation of the entire sentence.
  • You can change the range according to your level: from 1 to 10, 1 to 19, 1 to 99 up to 1 to 999999999.
  • The number and the thing numbered are always shown in red, so they are easily identified within the solution.
  • Offline use – you can download and print exercises.
  • For experts: The number (written in digits) and the numbered things (shown as a picture) are used in a sentence. You have to figure out all by yourself!
arabic ba4
screenshot: arabic.ba

Tip: Practice reading on arabic.ba

The website arabic.ba also offers reading exercises! You find unvowelled texts taken from the book اَلْعَرَبِيَّةُ لِلنَّاشِئِينَ – and can then turn some or all vowels on to practice your understanding of grammar and morphology!

arabicba reading 1
screenshot: arabic.ba

Why are numbers difficult in Arabic?

The grammatical function

Numbers are vague, undefined words (كَلِمةٌ مُبْهَمةٌ). It is the number (عَدَدٌ) that does the job in a sentence and not the actual thing that is counted. That’s not really logical for English speakers.

In Arabic, for example, the number may serve as a direct object (مَفْعُولٌ بِهِ), subject (فاعِل) – and not the word that is counted (مَعْدُودٌ).

The grammatical nature

In Arabic, numbers are nouns (

In Arabic, numbers are nouns (اِسْمٌ). They are triptotes except for the number 8! Therefore, they take case endings.

Watch out: Only when the numerals are used to express abstract num­bers, they are treated as diptotes (مَمْنُوعٌ مِن الصَّرْفِ) like proper nouns. An example:

Six is more than five..سِتَّةُ أَكْثَرُ مِن خَمْسَةَ

The inverted agreement

The system for writing numbers from 3 to 10 is a quite awkward. You have to use the opposite gender of the word to which the number refers (الْعَدَدُ مُخالِفٌ لِلْمَعْدُودِ). This is called inverted agreement.

  • The feminine form (مُؤَنَّثٌ) is used when referring to masculine (مُذَكَّرٌ) nouns and vice versa.
  • The gender of the number is determined by the gender of the numbered noun in the singular.
Three men came..جاءَ ثَلاثَةُ رِجالٍ

Note: Numbers from 3 to 10 serve as the first part of a إِضافةٌ; the sec­ond part has to be in the plural.

How to write Arabic numbers correctly – the rules

arabic numbers rules

Other useful tools:


Picture credit: pixabay

Any thoughts or ideas about this? Leave a reply!

Previous Article
Nesrin Amin featured 2

20 questions for: Nesrin Amin (#22)

Next Article
al-khalil

Who are the best Arabic grammarians of all time?

Related Posts
cropped headphones
Read More

This tool helps you to understand Al Jazeera better

The first frustrating experience of many Arabic students is usually the moment when the teacher turns Al-Jazeera or Al-Arabiya on.Most of the time, teachers have to pause after each sentence and ask which words were actually understood. But there is hope: a great audio option on al-Jazeera.