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How do you say “next” and “last” in Egyptian Arabic?

People who study Egyptian Arabic are often confused when they want to say “next week” or “last week”. In fact, there are several options. Let’s check them.

Last updated: July 18, 2021

In this article we will analyze two very useful expressions in Egyptian Arabic.

The word “next”

“Next” expressed by the word for second

We use an ordinal number here to express next. It is the word second: تانِي

Some examples:

the second year = the next year

taani sanaتانِي سَنة
es-sana t-tanyaالسَّنة التَانْية

the second time = the next time

taani marraتانِي مَرّة
el-marra t-tanyaالْمَرّة التّانْية

the second day = the next day

taani yoomتانِي يُوم
el-yoom et-taaniالْيُوم التّانِي

Using an active participle

This is very common. You use the Arabic verb to come (جاء) and build the active participle (اِسْم الْفاعِل). And you need to pay attention to the gender and number.

Furthermore, you first need to add the definite article to the active participle and then harmonize the gender with the preceding noun.


Some examples.

next Saturdayالسّبْت الْجايّes-sabt ig-gayy
next weekالْأُسْبُوع الْجايّel-usboo3 ig-gayy
next monthالشّهْر الجتيّesh-shahr ig-gayy
next yearالسَّنة الْجايّةes-sana g-gayya
the next timeالْمَرّة الْجايّةel-marra g-gayya

Now, what about the word last? It is quite similar. Let’s see…

The word “last”

Option A – using an Idaafa

Using aa5ir (آخِر )

You use the word aa5ir (آخِر ) and put it before the noun. In this application, you produce an إِضافة. You do not need to harmonize the gender or number. It is always آخِر.

Watch out: Although you want to express a definite construction (e.g. the last time), you don’t use the definite article in the second part of the construction.

Watch out! The word aa5ir with a noun may denote “very” or “extremely”.
That is very clean..دِي آخِر نَضافة
That’s extremely nice..دَه آخِر جَمال

Option B – using an adjective

Using a5eer (أَخِير )

This word is placed as an adjective after the noun which means it matches in gender and in number.

Let’s see both options in action.

the last day

option Aآخِر يُومaa5ir yoom
option Bالْيُوم الْأَخِيرel-yoom el-a5eer

(the) last time

option Aآخِر مَرّةAaa5ir marra
option Bالْمَرّة الْأَخِيرةel-marra el-a5eera

Using a relative pronoun

You will hear this very often. You use the verb فات after the relative pronoun which literally means: which has passed.

اللّي فاتاللّي فاتِتاللّي فاتُو

Some examples.

(the) last timeالْمَرّة اللي فاتِتel-marra illi faatit
last Fridayالْجُمعة اللي فاتِتel-gum3a illi faatit
last weekالاُسْبُِوع اللي فاتel-usbuu3 illi faat
last monthالشَهْر اللي فاتesh-shahr illi fat
last yearالسَّنة اللي فاتِتes-sana illi fatit

Other articles about Egyptian Arabic:

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